Chargé d’affaires a.i. Micheli’s Remarks at the Annual Back to School Reception

CDA Micheli’s Remarks at The Annual Back to School Reception
August 27, 2019
Vilnius, Lithuania


Dear Students, Teachers, and Members of the Education Community,

Sveiki atvykę į JAV ambasadoriaus rezidenciją. Džiaugiuosi galėdamas mokslo metų pradžios proga čia priimti mokytojus ir mokinius. /
On behalf of the U.S. Embassy Vilnius I would like to welcome you to the Ambassador’s residence today to mark the beginning of the new school year.

This “Back to School” gathering has become a long-standing Embassy tradition, and for good reason. Because not only are we celebrating the beginning of the school year, but we also are celebrating the partnership between our Embassy and all of you here today – the teachers and students of Lithuania.

Let me give you a few examples of this partnership. During the course of the last school year, members of our Embassy community:

  • Met with more than 2,600 Lithuanian students – including you all here today – during school presentations, workshops, musical performances, movie screenings, and sporting events.
  • Students and teachers from all over Lithuania came to our Embassy on 37 different visits; and
  • S. diplomats visited schools across this country more than 60 times.

We discussed important issues, such as human rights, NATO, and the history of U.S.-Lithuanian relations. And we also learned about American traditions, such as Thanksgiving, and had fun playing sports that maybe are not so typical in Lithuania, such as baseball and American football. And in all these encounters, we practiced English and learned about each other’s countries and cultures.

We hope that these engagements will help to improve skills and broaden horizons. We also hope that they will help to strengthen the future relations between the United States and Lithuania, because the fact of the matter is that the students here today are the future leaders of Lithuania, whether it be in government, business, science, civil society, or local communities.

As I look out at all the students here today, I truly do see a bright future of Lithuania, and I look forward to hearing your success stories for years to come.

Of course, these successes would not be possible without the help of your teachers, so I would like to take a moment to thank all of the teachers and the educators here today for your dedication and commitment to assist in the development of tomorrow’s leaders.

Let me also take a moment to mention that we are fortunate to have our EducationUSA advisors and FLEX and ASSIST program coordinators here with us today. They can tell you more about the many opportunities for studying in the United States, so please do take advantage of their presence and talk to them if you are interested in these opportunities.

Finally, on behalf of the entire American Embassy community, I would like to wish everyone a productive and successful school year. We look forward to working with you on many projects this year and for many years to come.

Thank you!