By Tim Pinkham Times Herald
The Washington Times-Herald
---- — LOOGOOTEE – How did you spend your summer vacation?
For a dozen Loogootee High School students, the summer included a “castles & castanets” tour of France and Spain.
During Tuesday night’s Loogootee School Board meeting, the European trip was discussed by LHS Spanish teacher Ronetta Bough and LHS French teacher Rhiannon Graves.
Bough provided the board members with a picture-filled newsletter describing the trip, which occurred May 31 to June 9. The Loogootee students, from the Spanish and French clubs, who traveled to Europe were: Ashley Lindauer, Allison Lythgoe, Gabe Nolley, Elizabeth Sander, Tayler Smith, Tyler Spears, Ken Waggoner, Michael Waggoner, Hannah Walters, Matthew Weitkamp and Malorie Weisheit.
Besides Bough and Graves, Ken Macy and Randy Bough were also adult chaperones.
The Loogootee students were joined on the trip by 25 students and five adults from Stony Brook School of Long Island, N.Y.
According to the newsletter, while in France the students visited the Eiffel Tower, Palace of Versailles, Louvre Museum and Notre Dame Cathedral. The students learned more about the French Revolution, as well as other important historical events and people.
The trip from Paris to Madrid was by overnight train. In Spain, the group toured Madrid and visited Prado Museum. The students also visited a cooking school, where they learned to prepare several typical Spanish dishes, such as paella and la tortilla de patatas.
While in Spain, the students also visited the cities of Segovia, Sevilla and Toledo.
Later in the meeting, the board approved a global exchange program idea suggested by Bough. She has developed a relationship with a teacher from a school in the suburbs of Stockholm, Sweden, which is about the same size as Loogootee.
Bough said several Swedish teachers will visit Loogootee schools Oct. 23-30, while several Loogootee teachers will visit in Sweden from March 27 to April 4, 2014.
The teacher exchange could lead to the two schools becoming “sister schools,” said Bough, who eventually would like to see student exchanges between the two schools.
In other business, the board set the public hearing on the proposed 2014 school budget for the Sept. 24 meeting, which will begin at 5 p.m. due to a varsity volleyball game that evening. The tentative date for the budget to be approved by the board is Oct. 22 at 7 p.m.
In other business
The board approved three field trip requests which will involve overnight stays.
The volleyball team will travel to Lafayette Central Catholic Aug. 30 for an eight-team tournament Aug. 31. The Student Council state convention will be in Indianapolis Oct. 25-26, while the BETA Club state convention will be in the capital city Nov. 8-9.
Board President Scott Hall said college credits can be earned through courses taught at the high school. He said parents could save a “boatload of money,” because the cost is only $25 per credit hour and there are no book fees. For more information, parents should call the school or visit the corporation’s web site at loogootee.k12.in.us.
Superintendent Larry Weitkamp told board members they would need to sign “status quo” contracts for the teachers at the close of the meeting. These contracts allow teachers to be paid under the terms of the expired contract, while negotiations on a new contract continue between the administration and the teachers’ union.