SYRACUSE — Wawasee High School announced it has been chosen as one of a few recipients of the German American Partnership Program “School of Distinction” school plaque award, for its exceptional partnership in fostering long-term German American youth exchange between the U.S. and Germany.
The GAPP “School of Distinction” school plaque award is sponsored by GAPP and its partners to recognize outstanding GAPP schools in the U.S. for their engagement and best practices that facilitate youth change in their school, community and beyond.
For the past 30 years, Wawasee has successfully developed and intergraded the German American Partnership Program with the full support of the school board and administration. Since 2009 WHS GAPP Coordinator Julie Baird has been organizing the exchange with the Ludwig-Erhard-Schule in Mosbach, bringing students together with host families in their respective country, building lasting relationships between teachers, administrators, schools and students.
GAPP is separate from the foreign exchange program bringing students from multiple countries to WHS at the beginning of the school year and staying much of the school year. In GAPP, a group of Wawasee students from sophomores to seniors will visit Germany for about four weeks during the summer every other year.
German students visit Wawasee for three weeks during the school year and will be coming in April this year after spring break. Baird noted she will be taking six Wawasee students to Germany this year and has taken as many as 18 in the past.
“It was an amazing experience to get to know people from another country and make lifelong friends,” said a former GAPP exchange student. Another former student said, “Traveling and learning so much about another culture really opened my eyes to a whole new world.”
“We are very proud to award our GAPP School of Distinction to Wawasee High School. With this recognition we highlight and celebrate the schools’ dedication to student growth, inclusion of global perspectives, and celebrate the endless work of everyone, who is involved in the GAPP exchange,” said Molly Rowland, GAPP executive director.
Wawasee started a GAPP exchange in 1989 with Gymnasium Stein near Nuremberg. WHS has been with its current partner school in Mosbach for the past 10 years. During the past 30 years more than 650 German and American students have been a part of the Wawasee exchange. This year’s exchange is being organized by Sarah Fredericks along with Baird. Please contact Wawasee High School for more details.
Since 1972 GAPP fosters bilateral student exchange and promotes German language instructions in the U.S. GAPP is supported by the German government, the U.S. Department of State and Goethe-Institut.
To learn more about GAPP exchange program, visit: www.goethe.de/gapp or contact the executive director Rowland at [email protected]