Hillsboro High School is offering freshman, sophomores and juniors a once-in-a-lifetime chance to tour Central Europe.
According to Tanya Hendrix, the trip costs $3,950, but students have the opportunity to obtain a $200 scholarship if they apply online by Saturday, Oct. 27 at www.eftours.com/enroll2094957JD.
Hendrix, who teaches art and culture classes at Hillsboro High School, is the force behind encouraging students to become world travelers.
“I think it’s my duty as a teacher to not only teach my kids the arts, but it’s also important for me to make them aware that there is a whole wide world out there and they need to see it,” Hendrix said.
Hendrix has been a teacher at Hillsboro for 21 years, and told The Times-Gazette it was a trip to Paris with her sister five years ago that showed her the importance of broadening her horizons.
“I’ve taken kids on two tours,” she said. “We went to Spain two years ago and then this past summer we went to Italy, but on that first trip it was reserved only for the Spanish and art classes and I thought, ‘This is something that needs to be opened up for all the students.’”
In addition to being a teacher, Hendrix is a trained tour group leader, having been certified by EF Educational Tours. She described her training as preparation for what a tour will be like, so she can convey to students what an actual trip overseas will entail.
She was impressed with the idea that students need to see what exists outside of “our little town, and our little state.” Hendrix said she felt that even if students have been out of state, “the world is big place,” with people that are “way different than Americans.”
According to EF Educational Tours, students will be able to visit and experience places they’ve only read about in history books. The tour will begin with an overnight flight to Berlin, Germany, where in 1986 President Ronald Reagan dared Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall.” Students can also see the stadium that was home to the 1936 Olympic Summer Games where black athlete Jesse Owens stunned Adolph Hitler by winning four gold medals.
From there, it’s on to Potsdam, site of the conference where Soviet Dictator Joseph Stalin, British prime ministers Winston Churchill and Clement Atlee and U.S. President Harry Truman met to determine the fate of both Germany and the post-war world.
Students will also visit Prague, former capitol of the Holy Roman Empire and where Mozart conducted the premiere of “Don Giavonni.”
At the mid-way point of the tour, students will visit Dachau, one of the first Nazi concentration camps, and Munich, the home of the 1972 Olympic Summer Games.
Before departing for home, students will also visit the real-life model for Disneyland’s “Sleeping Beauty” castle in Liechtenstein on the Bavarian Alps, before taking in Swiss folklore and experiencing the Swiss Alps in Lucerne, Switzerland.
“The beauty of this is it’s a blend of the arts and history,” she said. “Students will be able to gain an appreciation of not only the birthplace of some of our art and culture, but also to visit firsthand places of historical importance that they’ve only read about in a book.”
For more information on tour details, contact Hendrix at 937-393-3485 ext. 2952, or email [email protected]
The tentative target date for the tour is June 8, 2020, but Hendrix is already looking to the future for the next overseas adventure, set for the spring or summer of 2022.
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.