I had the best summer ever!

Teachers and students share how they spent their two months of freedom.


English teacher Amanda Flachsbart swings over the Grand Canyon.


Within two months and eight days of being free from essays, group work, and math equations; many SWHS students and teachers had the opportunity to adventure with friends, go on family vacations, and start new jobs. This past summer both teachers and students travelled all over the US and had many new experiences like swinging over a canyon or flying on an eleven-seater plane. Starting all the way on the beautiful island of Maui, Ms. Andrews was able to scratch one more location off of her travel bucket list. Just across the ocean, Kenzie Eppler “went to Vegas and did an RV trip to the Grand Canyon, Zion Canyon, and Bryce Canyon.” The man behind the wheel was Mr. Eppler, who enjoyed all these jaw dropping sites with his two daughters. Not too far away, Mrs. Flachsbart was embarking on a terrifying swing ride in Colorado. She describes the experience as, “basically getting thrown upward over this canyon and you are way up in the air pretty much looking like you’re about to plummet down.” While this was happening Mr. D’Amato was having a more relaxing vacation in Nashville, Tennessee. His highlight was going to the Country Music Hall of Fame. Many people in South Windsor travel to places along the east coast and enjoy vacation destinations. The most popular would have to be Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. This is a magical place to be and people leave there with dreams such as becoming a royal princess one day. Farther up the east coast is North Carolina. Sarah Sartoris “went jet skiing and saw a dolphin.” That is definitely a cool aspect of vacationing in North Carolina! Max St.Amand took a trip to Vermont. His trip was jam-packed with many fun activities like paddleboarding, fishing and canoeing. At the furthest point of the east coast, a former SWHS student, Jake Schwob visited Maine and “camped in Acadia National Park.” Students and teachers both had a fun filled exciting summer vacation, it’s a shame it had to be so short.  Not only did people from South Windsor travel all over the US but they also travelled all over the world. 

Kenzie Eppler enjoys her time on her summer trip out West.

During the summer, many people from South Windsor High School traveled to different places outside of the country too. Senior Gabe Galley said, “My favorite part of summer was my trip to Italy. I went for two weeks and played viola in Tuscany while also sightseeing in my spare time.” Like Gabe, numerous others traveled to specific countries in order to see landmarks and just to sightsee in general and enjoy a relaxing vacation. Others, however, had a wild experience. Senior Megan Phadael went to St. Kitts in the Caribbean, and she said “a monkey jumped on my face. It was a scary experience but overall was an amazing trip.” What an unexpected turn of events this was for her. Who would’ve known that a monkey would have been the highlight of her summer. Fortunately, both students had an eventful summer presiding alongside others at South Windsor High School.

Many students in South Windsor stayed home over summer and decided to gain some valuable work experience.  A Senior at SWHS Samantha Kasheta shared her experience with us and was “able to work with over a hundred dogs a day in the yard with about 30 and my overall experience just gave me a chance to come out of my comfort zone and work with new people I’ve never met before.” Samantha has a deep love for animals so this was a good start to her growing resume. This is very different from the experience that SWHS sophomore Leah Cunha had over summer. She was able to babysit for many families, which in turn allowed Leah to gain many skills. She told us about how she was able to gain a better understanding of “money management, child care, and organization.” It’s not often that you hear somebody say that they’ve looked after kids from 10-12 families in their own neighborhood over the summer. Some others have taken it upon themselves to try things they’ve always wanted to do in their free time. “I taught myself to play the ukulele purely out of the need to write my own music,” says junior Oli Griffin.  “I always wanted to but it’s harder with just your voice.” Leah and Oli are just two of many students that have learned it’s never too late or too difficult to try something new.

Over the summer, some people decided to go away to various summer camps or outdoor areas for recreational activities. There are several places across the country to camp out and enjoy nature and, luckily, some of the best places to camp out are nearby. Kevin Holmes, a junior here at SWHS, went “camping up in Raymond, Maine with [his] Boy Scout Troop.” For a week, he did various activities including, “archery, kayaking, and even tomahawk throwing at targets.” Others, like senior Cooper Nodden, traveled to various locations nearby. He said, “I spent a week at the CT state police academy, two weeks at boy scout camp, and one week at an Adirondack ranch.” Both Kevin and Cooper are prime examples of the group of people who had a lot of fun being outdoors and enjoying nature over this past summer.

The summer of 2018 has been about meeting friends and having a summer to explore the world and going to local spots. Lauren Landino had a cool down and relaxing summer, “I had fun with my friends and ate lots of ice cream. I went to Dzens and got a kid size cotton candy cone with rainbow sprinkles and it was delicious.” Just like the rainbow sprinkles, Lauren’s summer was full of bright and exciting new adventures. Lisette Fraiser and her husband found out she was expanding her once two people family to now three back in June. The news was confirmed, day 2, when suspicions arose within her old students and her new ones. “Yes, I am pregnant,” she simply stated. Fraiser is due sometime in January with her new baby. She is keeping the gender a secret as she does not know herself.  Although we are excited about the new addition to the English department, some students would feel more mentally prepared if we knew the gender seeing as the baby will take her away from us after January.

While many South Windsor students travelled abroad during their summer vacation to exotic places, some students had rather uneventful summers. Neville Thomas even said, “This summer was boring, I want a refund.” H e wished his summer was more memorable and exciting. Many other students agreed with what Neville had to say. Living in a small town can start to get boring after a while, as you run out of things to do. You can only drive around with your friends for so long until it gets repetitive. With him not having much to do he stayed in the house for a large percentage of the summer saying “I did nothing besides hibernate.” Whether students had amazing summers or mediocre ones, most students would agree that it was still better than being in a classroom.