Last chance to sign up for non-school-affiliated trip to Panama!


A random sightseer

Those who attended the 2022 trip to France pose for a pic in front of the Pont du Gard, an ancient Roman aqueduct bridge.

Camryn Priddy, Staff Writer

Looking for a new place to travel to? Like to explore different parts of the world? If so, this trip to Panama may be perfect for you! 

In the summer of 2023, Mr. Winishel will be leading students on a non-school-affiliated trip to Panama.

He will be accompanied by Ms. Durco, a high school science teacher, and Mrs. Latham, a paraprofessional at the middle school.

Some places the group will be exploring include Panama City, the Panama Canal, El Valle de Anton, Gatun Lake (and Monkey Island), Chagres National Park, the Embera indigenous village, and the Portobelo Ruins, and students will be exploring the ancient ruins of the first Spanish city (Panama Viejo). 

Mr. Winshel encourages all students to consider signing up for the trip!

When asked why he thinks students should sign up, he said: “This trip is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that gives students the unique chance to explore the country of Panama. The itinerary is educational. You will get to learn about the history of Panama (Spanish conquest and Native American resistance), the ecosystem of Panama (including the rainforest and its animals), and the indigenous people that still live there.”

Mr. Winshel has previously led five student trips. The places he has been to are Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, Greece, Italy, Switzerland, and the Mediterranean coast.

“The favorite place I have ever been to was the Galapagos islands,”  Mr. Winschel said. “As a biology teacher, this place is special to me because this is where Charles Darwin did a lot of research that helped him to develop the theory of evolution by natural selection. It is a magical place filled with wildlife everywhere you look.”

Science teacher, Ms. Durco is ecstatic to go on the trip this summer.

“It’s very educational both culturally and environmentally valuable,” Ms. Durco said when asked why students should consider signing up for it. 

She is most excited about going to the Monkey Islands. When asked why, she said, “Because of the boat ride along the islands where the monkeys jump onto the boat and you can feed them.”

This is her second trip with the school. Ms. Durco went on the 2016 trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands.

Lucy Heckla, a current sophomore went on the school trip last year, her freshmen year. She had an amazing time. The trip included many different places around Europe.

When asked what her favorite memory of her time was, Heckla said: “I loved visiting Lake Lucerne. It was so peaceful and the water was a crystal blue that just seemed to sparkle and glow. During our short visit to Lake Como, I got to try a few new foods and had the best pizza I’ve ever had in my life. My favorite part of the trip was visiting Cinque Terre specifically Vernazza.”

Heckla went on to say: “Throughout the entire trip I felt very safe and taken care of. I also liked how they were very clear about the whole process of signing up, and about everything that was going to be involved during the trip.”

Mr. Winschel will be taking students on another trip next year. The location is yet to be determined.

If anyone is interested in going on the trip this June, please go see Mr. Winschel in Room 324. The latest you can sign up is the end of February.