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Teachers Look Forward to Summer

Dra. Pontes, Ms. Smith and Ms. Stevens are excited about their summer plans. Photo: Jonathan Rushton

As summer approaches, the excitement of students begins to grow as they formulate their summer plans. What students don’t realize is that teachers share their excitement. Students and teachers have much in common, as they will travel, study and relax before heading back to school in August. Along with touring the world with ICGL, teachers will travel for their own pleasure, such as freshman class dean Grady Stevens who will spend his free time backpacking. “I’m going on a summer-long tour of Europe,” said Mr. Stevens. “I’m going to meet up with some friends there and tour around the whole continent in places like Venice, Amsterdam and Paris.”

Some teachers will spend part of their summer vacation doing academic work. History teacher Helen Smith and physics teacher Brianna Korb, will spend their initial days of summer grading AP exams for Educational Testing Service (ETS). Mrs. Korb will be at the Kansas City Convention Center working eight hours a day to score AP exams taken by students all over the world, while Ms. Smith will travel to Salt Lake City to do the same.

Some teachers plan to travel together. Spanish teacher Paula Pontes, history teachers Emily Stevens and Ms. Smith, and newspaper advisor Lee Wilson will meet in London to spend around two weeks in the English countryside. They will tour the Cotswolds, including sites such as Bletchley Park (where German secret codes were broken during World War II) and Highclere Castle (shown in the opening credits of “Downton Abbey”), along with historical churches and ruins. “It’s going to be a nice mix of historical sights and pleasure time for us, and I’m excited for all of us to be there together,” said Ms. Stevens.

Ms. Smith will also pursue her love for her own subject by traveling to Germany on a “Martin Luther Pilgrimage.” “It’s the 500 year anniversary of the 95 Theses, so I’m spending time in Germany to celebrate,” said Ms. Smith. “I’m going to spend six days in Wittenburg, at a cottage overlooking the exact door where the theses were posted.”

Mrs. Korb will spend a lot of her summer in Bali and Indonesia relaxing with her husband. “We are spending the first part of the trip in a rainforest in Bali, visiting rice fields and riding elephants,” she said. “We’ll then go to Indonesia to spend the first week in a boat. The final leg of our trip we’ll be at a resort. In Indonesia, we plan on scuba diving and relaxing before school starts back up again.”

At least one teacher will reconnect with family roots during his vacation. Science department chair John Pearson will head to Germany to visit one of his close friends and their family. “The interesting part about this trip is where my friend’s family lives,” said Mr. Pearson. “They actually live in the same town that my family immigrated from in the 1820s, so we are going to look through old church records and see some of my family origins.”