Sand in the Sand
Hannah Nardella and Alyssa Prosperi
Mr. Sand is a US History, International Studies, and Current Issues teacher here at Wethersfield High School. He has been a teacher for 29 years, starting at E.O. Smith for 10 years and now has been here ever since. He went to UCONN and got his Bachelors in Science and Education and a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction. He’s been married for 23 years and has two children.
Mr. Sand is one of the few teachers at WHS who does school trips, he’s been doing them since 1995 (a very long time), over the past 24 years he’s gone on eight trips including Belize, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Greece.
Usually 30 students and 4-5 chaperones attend a trip together. Out of his many trips Belize and Costa Rica have been his favorites. Next month we have the pleasure of joining him for Belize and we couldn’t be anymore excited. It’s not all sunshine and sand though, as Mr. Sand has had to deal with some hard times, for example when one of his students was terrified to do the sea trek. That’s when you put a helmet on and walk across the ocean floor. He dealt with it by having her best friend go down first to tell her she’d be ok and then Mr. Sand went to the bottom and walked along it with her.
When asked why he takes the time, energy, and effort to plan and organize these trips he replied with, “I do everything for the students, my main goal is for them to enjoy their vacation but get an educational piece out of it as well. I love to give students experiences they will never forget.”
Like I mentioned, earlier Alyssa and I are both attending the Belize trip coming up next month but Mr. Sand has more than just that planned for the future. He’s planning trips to Australia, New Zealand and Costa Rica as well.
Sadly, he has informed us that after 24 years he will be done with the school trips and Costa Rica will be his final one. He has a former student who accompanies him to his Belize trips and has been since she graduated. We asked him what some tips would be for people planning trips for high school aged kids and he said, “Make sure you’re doing it for the kids.”
Mr. Sand also left us with a funny story to share. On the way back from Costa Rica a couple of years ago, some students bought hot sauce forgetting about the 3 oz rule for planes. A student was stopped and questioned about the more than 3 oz of liquid in her bag. After some freaking out and a scare that she might not be able to fly home, everything turned out fine and the students were still able to enjoy some hot sauce!
If you are interested in attending a future school trip, please go see Mr. Sand and talk to him about it!
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