SPARTA, NJ – Spain was on the board of education agenda on Monday night.  Students and staff who traveled to Spain this summer shared details of their with the board members and public.

Sparta High School vice principal Michael Lauricella introduced Spanish teachers Haley Sytsema, Amanda Sachenski and Sierra Mitchell.   According to Lauricella this was the first time the Spanish department had a trip abroad “in a long time.”

It was the second international trip since the board reinstituted international travel for students with new guidelines.

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Lauricella also introduced Spanish students Sabrina Burkhart, Delaney Forziati and Jordan Bucened. 

Burkhart said they were constantly learning on the trip. “The lessons formed a bigger context having learned them on the street [of Spain],” Burkhart said.  “Your mindset has to change when in a different environment.”

“Barcelona stood out the most, because of Mr. Lauricella’s in depth knowledge,” Forziati said.  She shared a funny moment at Starbucks when she was trying to order in Spanish the server told her “I speak English honey.”

Bucenec said the trip has encouraged her to improve her speaking skills and continue to study Spanish IV.  “I am grateful to have been able to communicate and improve my listening skill,” Bucenec said.

Bucenec said her teachers taught important life skills on the trip as well.  “Mrs Mitchell taught us how to bargain and Mrs. Sytsema taught us how to read people.”  She gave examples of both important lessons from overpaying for a sandwich to understanding “gypsies” offering special herbs for good luck needed to be avoided.

“Studying abroad is the best experience,” Bucenec said.  “It’s great to learn to connect with people in another culture.”

“I highly recommend it,” Burkhart said.

Lauricella shared a three-minute video made by the students about their trip.