A group of 11 Shaker Heights High School Spanish students traveled to Concepcion, Chile June 3-17 to engage with our international community as part of the high school exchange with the Thomas Jefferson School. This is the sixth year of the biennial exchange with Thomas Jefferson School, but the inaugural trip for Shaker students.
Spanish teacher Kim Ponce De Leon and High School Administrative Assistant Myriam Neil led the group, who spent 10 days living with families in Concepcion, attending school and "making incredible bicultural and bilingual connections," says Ponce De Leon. The group also went trekking in the Andes Mountains, ziplined across a ravine, visited an open mines and spent two days in the capital city of Santiago. "The students made such meaningful connections that there was a river of tears when we left," Ponce De Leon says. "But many of the students exchanged numbers, so they've continued to talk and text even though we're back home."