RHS one of only five high schools nationally to receive a Global Excellence Award for student exchanges

Riverton High School was named one of only five high schools in the United States to be recognized as as a Global Excellence Award recipient by the the EF Foundation for Foreign Exchange, school board members were told Tuesday night.

The local EF Student Exchange Coordinator, Stacey Peranteaux, presented the award to principal John Griffith along with a $100 scholarship.

“Five superior schools are recognized each year, and I’m happy to report that RHS was one of those. Along with the award the Foundation presented a $100 gift to a graduating senior who embraces the Foundation’s ideals of cultural and international understanding,” Peranteaux said. “This year we had 10 exchange students at RHS from five different countries.”

Peranteaux said the program is successful because the high school “goes above and beyond for our exchange students. It’s a wonderful environment where they are made part of the student body. They are really integrated into our community and school,” she said. “They are more than just another person in the classroom, they bring different ideas and thoughts into the school.”

One exchange student who attended the presentation, Lena Wammer from Norway, arrived at the meeting fresh from girls soccer practice. “This year went by really fast, the first six months were slow but there was so much new, doing fun things,” she said. “We just had prom, which we do not have in Norway, and that was so much fun. I’m so glad that I came here. I learned so much and I will treasure this my whole life.”

Superintendent Terry Snyder said he wanted to thank all of the exchange students for coming here “and enhancing the lives of our students.”

One district employee who has hosted exchange students, long time Key Club sponsor Gay Hughes, said she and her husband had hosted 10 exchange students over the years, eight from European countries and two from Asia. “And this summer we are going to visit our European students on an extended trip,” she said. “I appreciate your support of the exchange student program.”

Board member Dean Peranteaux said the students who arrive in Riverton are all outgoing and positive “and will take a lot back with them. Especially their relationships with their host families.”