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Holyoke history students looking forward to Washington, D.C. trip PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chris Lee   

Eighteen Holyoke students will dive into the history filled area of Washington, D.C. when they visit the Nation’s Capital June 4-7.

Holyoke JR/SR High social studies teachers Luke Thomas and Nic Balog will take 18 students with them this summer to visit Washington, D.C. and tour the many sights and attractions.

Thomas said he heard about the trip opportunity when he was working in Colorado Springs prior to moving to Holyoke. He was hoping to organize a trip last school year but it never materialized. Future trips will be available for eighth-graders but ninth-graders are tagging along this year as they weren’t able to go last year as eighth-graders.

Thomas said he went with Smithsonian Student Tours because they make everything so easy. The chaperones won’t be the “tour guides” and will be able to learn right along with the students as they will have professional tour guides.

Balog said there will be a huge variety of attractions the students get to visit. Sights include the National Mall, Arlington National Cemetery, Mount Vernon, numerous memorials, Capitol Hill, National Archives, Ford’s Theatre, Petersen House as well as choices of the many aspects of the Smithsonian Museum. A photo stop at the White House is also on the agenda.

“It’s a jampacked four days,” Thomas said.

Students going on the trip are those who have just finished U.S. History or who will begin the class next school year. “It fits in with our curriculum here really well,” Balog said as they will be visiting things they talk about in the class.


Eighteen eighth- and ninth-graders are currently preparing and fund raising for a whirlwind trip to Washington, D.C. this summer. Students attending are pictured from left, front row, Roni Beavers, Jentry Andersen, Josilyn Lutze and Lori McWilliams; and back row, teacher Nic Balog, Megan Vieselmeyer, Kaylee Ham, T.J. Gertner, Dominic Krogmeier, Bradley Cumming and teacher Luke Thomas. Not pictured are students Dennis Amaya, Makenna Bishop, Troy Brown, Dylan Kotch, Nathan Miles, Nicholas Ortner, Scott Osborne, Tony Roberts, Sydney Schleich and chaperones Alexandra Billings and Kamara Roberts.

—Enterprise photo

The Holyoke group will join up with another smaller school to fill their charter bus during their trip around D.C.

Students will fly from Denver to D.C. June 4 and return June 7. The quick trip will offer many sightseeing opportunities as well as the chance to delve into the many great displays the Smithsonian Museum has to offer.

Students scheduled to attend are eighth-graders Dennis Amaya, Roni Beavers, Makenna Bishop, Bradley Cumming, Dominic Krogmeier, Josilyn Lutze, Lori McWilliams, Scott Osborne and Tony Roberts. Eighth-grader Sydney Schleich of Platte Valley High School (sister of chaperone Alexandra Billings) is also traveling with the Holyoke group.

Ninth-graders include Jentry Andersen, Troy Brown, T.J. Gertner, Kaylee Ham, Dylan Kotch, Nathan Miles, Nicholas Ortner and Megan Vieselmeyer. Chaperones for the trip include Thomas, Balog, Alexandra Billings and Kamara Roberts.

Fund raising is currently being done by the group. Thomas and Balog said they have a mixed bag of students that want to fund raise. They have made flyers they hope to get up seeking donations for the group. They are also encouraging the students to get out and get dirty prior to taking off.

Anyone needing snow shoveled, grass mowed or other work done around the home, is encouraged to contact one of the students going on the trip. “We thought the best way to get donations from the community was to serve the community also,” Balog said.

An account has been set up at the school so people can donate directly to the Washington, D.C. trip.

Balog and Thomas know kids are busy throughout the summer and hit up people for money all the time. For questions or information about donating, contact Balog at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or Thomas at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Look for photographs and information from the group’s trip this summer in the Enterprise.


Holyoke Enterprise February 23, 2012