Australian teens experience student life at Bob Jones

MADISON — Teenagers from Australia recently audited classes at Bob Jones High School and enjoyed a slice-of-life look at Patriot life.

Visiting students from Australia learned about student life at Bob Jones High School. (CONTRIBUTED)
Visiting students from Australia learned about student life at Bob Jones High School. (CONTRIBUTED)

Eighty-six students and teachers traveled from five schools in Victoria and the East Doncaster, Doncaster, Montmorency, Eltham and St. Helena secondary colleges. They toured San Francisco, then attended Space Camp and visited Madison on Sept. 20.

Chaperone Bernadette Kennedy from Melbourne said the teenagers wanted to visit a college, interact with students, observe classes and “see the different style of school facilities.”

Chaperone Campbell Wilson said his group was “all keen and eager to meet both staff and students from Bob Jones.” Australian physics teachers Kim Schwarz and Tom Wragg requested time with Jeremy Raper’s physics class.

“Bob Jones S2S (student-to-student) Peer Helpers gave tours,” student Erica Perry said.

Bob Jones senior Kimberlee King said her Australian peers “commented on how the size of our school made them feel as if they were in a movie. They only see the things they saw here on TV. Throughout the tour, they continuously asked how we didn’t get lost.”

After attending a pep rally, the Australians talked to cheerleaders, band members and football players, Bob Jones senior Madison Kilpatrick said. “At the game, everyone explained rules of football to the Australians. Many students are now Facebook friends or follow them on social media sites, like Instagram.”

Kilpatrick helped one Australian girl take a photo with Patriots football players. “Now, it’s her profile picture on Facebook,” Kilpatrick said.

“We learned a lot from them,” Bob Jones senior Caroline Jackson said. “Hearing about their high school allowed us to gain a better perspective of how much our school offers. We have a much wider variety of classes, and we actually have sports. The Australians commented on (our) school spirit and that in Australia there isn’t any school spirit.”

Kent Chambers, Bridget Drummond, assistant principal Jeanne Welt and principal Robby Parker were among the staff coordinating the visit. The Australian entourage departed Madison en route to Universal Studios in Orlando.

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