It was all about New Zealand at Jan O’Malley’s house on Jan 12 when she hosted a “Shoulder to Shoulder” to honor teachers Anya Geelen and Jennifer Stacey from our Lower Hutt exchange. Anya and Jen had glowing things to say about their visit, agreeing that while New Year’s Eve in Vegas was great fun, Arizona’s Grand Canyon was the highlight of their holiday break travels. And then, as Jen put it, “reality kicked in” with everyone back in school, but Jen and Anya didn’t exactly play hooky as their hosts returned to work. Anya said that they “really enjoyed the
hospitality” of the many schools they visited and feel that they have gained many ideas to take back to Lower Hutt. Jen noted that schools in New Zealand do not begin the day with a pledge of allegiance to their flag and said that she is amazed that we have no school-wide break in our staff lounges. Those of us who have been exchange teachers to Lower Hutt certainly would agree that their morning tea time is lovely indeed. Sherri Strauss and Bev Koopman-Miller were hosts to our Kiwi guests, and Sherri had this to say: “I enjoyed seeing my own school, and learned more about my son’s school, as seen through their eyes.”
Linda Parrish presented Jen, Anya, Sherri, and Bev with our unique and joyful Tempe Sister Cities posters. She expressed appreciation to the people who worked on the “wonderful calendar” for the New Zealand visitors and to Jan O’Malley, who is the New Zealand Liaison.