Houlton Pioneer Times

Houlton students experience sights of Washington D.C.

HOULTON, Maine — A group of 38 Houlton High School students and three teachers recently returned home from a five-day visit to the nation’s capital.  

“For many of the students, it was their first time leaving New England,” said Tim Tweedie, social studies teacher at the school.

The trip, involving students in grades 9-12, took place from April 4-8 and allowed student to take in some of Washington DC’s most breathtaking sites.  

Among the stops were the U.S. Capitol Building, the United States Supreme Court, the National Portrait Gallery, Mount Vernon, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Library of Congress, the National Air and Space Museum, Arlington National Cemetery, the National Museum of American History, and various memorials and monuments.

High school senior Mia Hanning reported enjoying two particular stops, “My favorite part about the DC trip was a tie between the Holocaust Museum and watching the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Both experiences were very humbling for me.”  

Meanwhile, the biggest takeaway for freshmen Isabel Cyr was how she could relate the information to school, “We are learning about Asia in Global Studies, and we just learned about the Vietnam War. It was cool because I had the Vietnam War memorial to use as a reference in my class. My favorite part of the trip was definitely all the monuments that we got to see.”

JMG instructor Dee Butler noted how the school tries to relate their trips to some local history.  “We made sure to find the names of Weston Langley, Steve Porter, and Harry McGuire III on the Vietnam Wall,” she said. “We also made it a point to find James Zimmerman’s burial site at Arlington. Tim and I believe it is important for our students see these things, not just the fun stuff.”

Students Jamie Brown, Donald Ouellette, Cassie Butler and Addie Michaud were also able to participate in a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

As for where next year’s trip destination will be, Tweedie said “We are currently polling students to see where they’re most interested in going.  We’re still gathering that information and will then research pricing before we take a proposal to Superintendent Ellen Halladay. Hopefully we’ll know something by mid-May.”

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