"It was cool to see all the things we had in common"
PLUM CITY--The idea was initially met with reservations.
Students from St. Paul Central would spend the day at Plum City and then Central would return the favor.
“Our students were nervous at first,” said PC Guidance Counselor Danni Noel. “They were from a big city and Plum City is a small town. What are they going to talk about?”
Those fears were put to rest quickly.
“They were just like us--teenagers,” said senior Sarah Gilles. “It was cool to see all the things we had in common.”
Gilles was one of 12 Plum City students who participated along with Austin Coss, Jaden Foley, Dylan Hovland, Andrew Gilles, Elaina Danzinger, Kasey Krueger, Cora Hinrichs, Rhiannon Kernstock, Jill Holt, Lexie Radle and Megan Dahl.
The idea was the brainchild of Plum City High School Principal Paul Churchill and Gilles’ grandfather Jack, who works at St. Paul Central.
“It was a nice little experience for both sides--the spectrum of big and small schools,” Noel said.
Twelve St. Paul Central students made the trip to Plum City on April 8.
“They really liked Plum City,” said senior Elaina Danzinger. “They enjoyed seeing the small school and how everyone knew everyone.” She also added, they enjoyed trips to Bittersweet Bakery and the Duck Pond.
Added Gilles: “Two of their students played in our band, so that was cool to see.” Noel even chuckled about how Central students were amazed Plum City students had about 15-20 minutes of gym time after they eat lunch.
Plum City then left at 5:45 a.m., the following day, to make it on time for the start of Central’s school day. Central is located off of I-94 and Lexington Parkway North.
Noel said two of the many takeaways from that day was the size--“their graduating class is about as big as our town” and diversity. The ratio of students at St. Paul Central is about 30 percent white, 30 percent black and 30 percent Asian.
Noel said Plum City students also participated in Central’s school-wide news broadcast, which they enjoyed.
“It was amazing to watch,” she said of the interaction between the two groups. “They didn’t stop talking the whole day. They are still talking about it (as of last week).”
She added she hopes to make this a bi-annual project between both schools.