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A total of 37 Valley City seventh and eighth-graders and parents went on this yearâ€™s Washington, D.C. Tour, May 29 through June 1, said Mike Watterson, program director for the past 20 years.
Other leaders on the tour were course leader Alex Mathews of World Strides,â€ť and bus driver Todd Walls of the James River Bus Co.
Those on the tour stayed at the Radisson Hotel in Largo, Md.
Watterson said the tour was arranged through World Strides Tours of Charlottesville, Va.
All 37 left Fargo at 5:15 a.m. Tuesday, May 29, on a Delta plane that went from Fargo to Minneapolis to an airport in Washington.
While in Washington, Watterson said, those on the tour visited The White House for a picture stop; Mount Vernon; Alexandria (Old Town - drive through town); Einsteinâ€™s Statue, Holocaust Museum (Childrenâ€™s tile wall and main exhibit), Vietnam Memorial; Vietnam Womenâ€™s Memorial; Korean Memorial; Arlington National Cemetery; Kennedy Grave sites â€“ JFK, Bobby and Edward, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, changing of the militaryguard Watterson said it was â€śvery precise and honorable.â€ť
Watterson said, â€śThe students were North Dakota and Valley Cityâ€™s ambassadors. Everyone we dealt with mentioned how pleasant and polite they were. They were very accepting of the fast pace and long walks. They were respectful when needed and asked a multitude of questions of our guide. I was very proud of them.â€ť
This year marks the end of an era for the trips. â€śThis is the 20th trip that I have led to Washington, D.C. and it will be my last,â€ť Said Watterson. â€śIâ€™ve decided that after 20 years, it was time to see if someone else was interested in taking on the adventure. Angela Van Bruggen, a social studies and math teacher in the Valley City School System, has agreed to lead the trip in 2013. I hope that the trip continues to be a source of education for Valley Cityâ€™s children well into the future.â€ť
This is the 20th annual DC trip that Watterson has directed.
The total number of students that have toured DC with Watterson over 20 years is 474, along with 39 parents.
The 32 students on the tour were Joey Aus, Samantha Bennefeld, Kallie Brandt, Mercedes Candiloro, Merry Cummings, Kristina Haugtvedt, Jordan Hejtmanek, JP Henseon, Abby Ingstad, Drew Jacobson, Nate Johnson, Jocelyn Jorissen, Noah Kvilvang, Evan Lang, Cacie Lloyd, Emily Mckay, Rachael Meyer, Autumn Meyer, Bryan Mikkelsen, Brandon Miller, Emily Murray, Katelyn Nehlich, Jenessa Noeske, Drew Oberlander, , Jara Opatz, Hailee Peterson, Jessica Ronning, Madison Ruzicka, Kaylee Schlittenhardt, Haley Schnaidt, Laura Thoreson and Darris Thoreson
The seven parents who attended were Lana Candiloro, Sheila Cummings, Terry Haugtvedt, Peggy Kvein, Mark Oberlander, Penny Peterson and Mike Watterson