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Thirty-seven Carroll County High School seniors and seven chaperones are heading to the Big Apple on Wednesday night for a three-day tour of one of the world largest cities. The annual senior trip to New York, New York, was moved up to March from previous trips, which have usually occurred in May, just after the Academic Banquet.
“We gambled on the weather,” said John Leeper, principal of Carroll County High School, “and I think it will pay off.” Leeper said the senior trip was moved to March to open it up to more students who have had conflicts with Advanced Placement examinations and spring sports, such as baseball, softball, track, and tennis. Leeper said another factor is that the new state assessment occurs later in the school year than in the past.
“We need to maximize our efforts on the new end-of-course assessments, so we wanted to avoid any conflicts with the senior trip during that time,” Leeper said.
English teacher Sheena Breeding, the senior trip adviser, said that this year’s participation is the highest of the four senior trips she has organized. Breeding also thinks that attendance may be higher now that New York has been established as the destination that Carroll County High School visits for its senior trip.
“Now it’s a given that the 8th grade trip is to Washington, D.C., and the senior trip is to New York,” Breeding said.
Breeding also said that, because students know ahead of time about the trip, it is easier for them to afford the $580 price tag.
She said that students save money ahead of time, work fund raisers, and pay off the trip in installments throughout the year. She also said that generous anonymous donors have provided financial assistance for some students who otherwise might not have been able to go.
Breeding said the trip has also helped some students better maintain their grades because they must have a passing average in all classes in order to go on the trip.
Students will depart from Carroll County High School Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. on a motor coach and drive throughout the night to arrive in Manhattan at 7 a.m., Thursday morning, to try and get on the Today Show. They will tour NBC Studio and go shopping and browsing in Times Square. In the evening they will go to “The Top of the Rock,” Rockefeller Center.
On Friday, the group will tour Central Park and visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the historic South Street Seaport before shopping and browsing in China Town. After visiting Madame Tussaud’s Famous Wax Museum, the students will dine at the Hard Rock Café.
Finally, on Saturday, the group will visit the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, the Statue of Liberty, and the 9/11 Memorial. Students will also experience a variety of transportation modes as they board a ferry, ride the subway, and walk. Before returning to Carroll County High School, the group will see the Broadway musical, The Lion King.
Breeding said that each student has his or her favorite part of the trip, but all of the students are surprised. She said that some students have stereotypes about New York based on what they have seen on television and movies but come away from the experience with a more realistic view.
“These trips give students a chance to be exposed to other cultures, things they’ve never seen,” Breeding said. “It opens their eyes.”
Jeff Fremin is director of public relations for Carroll County Public Schools.