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Hamilton welcomes students from Germany

“Welcome GAPP Exchange Students.” Don’t be surprised if you see this greeting on signs in front of area businesses welcoming the 2007 group of German American Partnership Program (GAPP) exchange students to Hamilton High School in Sussex. Michelle Zapf, Hamilton German Club co-president and GAPP exchange participant, and other members of the German Club have been working feverishly to make arrangements involved with hosting 17 exchange students and two teacher-chaperones from Altdorf, Germany. Students from the picturesque, small town in northern Bavaria arrived in the Hamilton School District March 29 and will stay until April 19.

The GAPP exchange opportunity is again offered at Hamilton to promote international understanding among young people and provide students with an opportunity to learn German in an immersion experience. German teacher Robin Tessereau is excited about what this exchange means to Hamilton German language students.

“I have seen enthusiasm for learning German increase in the years since we started the exchange at Hamilton in 2000,” said Tessereau.

When Tessereau first proposed the exchange, high school and district administrators supported the GAPP concept as an opportunity for the high school and district. Through the cooperation of other teachers and principals, many students throughout the district will have the opportunity to experience a piece of the German culture and language.

Some 20 Hamilton families and students are hosting the German guests and traveling to Altdorf this summer for a three-week exchange at the Leibniz-Gymnasium. The Leibniz-Gymnasium is a college-preparatory, secondary school specializing in the study of world languages, mathematics and science. While in Germany, Hamilton students will attend classes at the Leibniz-Gymnasium and visit places of historical and cultural interest.

Hamilton students participating in the GAPP exchange are: Holly Abel, Rowanna Bailey, Bethany Buchholz, Jessica Buschke, Andrew Doucette, Joshua Guarisco, Sara Kamoske, Alexander Klett, Ellen Kudronowicz, Curtis Mason, Allison Michalek, Kathrine Ollenburg, Andrea Salus, Nicholas Sawatzki, Kevin Schweiss, Mark Slinde, Eric Swierczek, Kaitlyn Wandel, Justin Wechter, Michelle Zapf and Aja Zarling.