December 25, 2021

By Dan Hall
Photographer and Reporter

On Dec. 21, forty-two students and three administrators participated in a student led holiday program at the Summit International Studies Academy (SISA). A three person student team developed this first ever holiday program to honor the eleven foreign exchange students from all over the world who attend Lee’s Summit West High School. Foreign students were teamed up with local SISA students who participated in a tour of the Summit Technology Academy. Following the tour, a short team produced power point presentation was given about how the holidays are celebrated in America. That was followed by many of the foreign exchange students describing how their families celebrate Christmas. The student team also organized a pizza lunch and cookies following the program.

SISA is a completely “project driven” team approach to learning. Nine student teams will have worked on fifty projects this fall semester involving thirty two students. Each of nine teams has a local Rotary member servicing in an advisory role. These advisors answer business questions, provide quality control, and share life experiences that help guide students in their projects.

Student team members: Kira Pangelinan, Bailey Gerhardt and Sophia Buck review final plans for Exchange Student program

The Dec. 21st project was planned by three SISA team members; Bailey Gerhardt, Kira Pangelinan, and Sophia Buck. This foreign exchange project is designed to assist foreign exchange students who may need assistance in becoming immersed into our American culture. The project was also created for each exchange student to have a “high school buddy” in order to lessen the culture shock, and help around academic and language barriers. The project goal is to build a student driven program that will continue helping international exchange students for years to come.