Weekly Feature



2012-04-18 / Education

Neighboring school districts unite for field trip to the Big Easy


Joe Allen, left, Phil Aguglia, and Denise Carr, all educators at Kenmore East High School in the Town of Tonawanda, are ushering a group of students during week-long field trip to New Orleans. Joe Allen, left, Phil Aguglia, and Denise Carr, all educators at Kenmore East High School in the Town of Tonawanda, are ushering a group of students during week-long field trip to New Orleans. Never before have students and staff from Kenmore East High School and Tonawanda High School joined together for an out of town field trip that encompasses science, music, and art.

For the first time, a group of 168 travelers from the two neighboring school districts will head to New Orleans from April 17 to 22.

Students will study environmental issues through trips to view wetlands regeneration following extensive damage from Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill, perform in concerts at New Orleans-area middle schools and high schools and Loyola University, and visit the New Orleans Museum of Art and Sculpture Gardens.

“Students will greatly benefit because multiple educational pathways are represented. We are very excited to have music, art and science disciplines as part of our mission to broaden students’ horizons,” said Kenmore East High School biology teacher Joe Allen.

The travel schedule is challenging, packed with concert performances, visits to Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky, art galleries in the Big Easy, and a trip on the way home to the Grand Ole Opry in Tennessee.

“There is no downtime except for sleep. We want to work in as many ‘hands-on’ educational components as possible. Students from both schools are very excited. As an educator we are very proud to offer a once-in-lifetime experience for students where they can learn environmental, scientific, artistic, and musical lessons, all wrapped into one,” said Kenmore East High School Music Teacher Phil Aguglia.

Out of the 168 travelers, approximately 63 are from Tonawanda High School, the remaining 105 from Kenmore East High School. Music students will participate in orchestra, jazz band and concert band workshops at Loyola.

They will also perform with students at Destrehan High School and Harry Hurst Middle School, both in Destrehan, La.

The highlight of the trip will be performances aboard the Creole Queen Dinner Jazz Cruise.

“What’s great is that this trip brings so many students from different backgrounds together. Kids interested in science, music, and art will be able to experience all three,” said Kenmore East High School 10th grade student Danny Bub, an alto saxophone player.

“It will be nice to focus on three subjects, not just one. I am most looking forward to experiencing the cultural differences down there,” said 16-year-old Kenmore East High School sophomore Derek Baker, a baritone saxophone player.

“A lot of the band kids are excited. It is all we are talking about. I am not an art student and I really never got in depth with science subjects. It will be nice to venture outside of my ‘comfort zone’ and to learn about wetlands and our environment,” said Kenmore East High School Senior Katrina Loss, a saxophone and flute player.

“It is going to be a great experience, travelling with art and science students. This will be a bit of a nice break from music,” added Kenmore East High School Senior Brendon Grabowski, a guitar player.

The art component of the trip constitutes two days of visits to the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans Museum of Art and Sculpture Gardens, and St. Louis Cathedral.

“It is quite impressive to have students experience all three disciplines on our trip. They will be exposed to the culture of New Orleans from a scientific, artistic, and musical perspective,” said Kenmore East High School art teacher and art club advisor Denise Carr.

Kenmore East High School Band President Bryan Goyette will provide regular blog updates of the trip. It can be found at: http://neworleans2012.blogspot.com

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