Poppen chosen as 2008-2009 exchange studentWHS student will spend junior year in Crailsheim, Germany
WORTHINGTON — Worthington High School sophomore Adrienne Poppen was selected Sunday to spend a year in Crailsheim, Germany, as the 2008-2009 exchange student for Worthington-Crailsheim International.
Should Poppen be unable to go, runner-up Charles Schalow, WHS junior, will serve in her place.
“I don’t know if I was expecting it,” Adrienne said at the Worthington-Crailsheim International annual banquet Sunday. “I was just very hopeful and confident.”
Adrienne will depart in July and stay with several host families, beginning with that of German Crailsheim exchange student Yannick Elens.
Adrienne, who is currently taking German II at Worthington High School, participates in the Trojette Dance Team, several school choirs and the school musical.
She looks forward to learning more about German culture, the people and all they have to offer. Adrienne also hopes to become more fluent in German and will keep Worthington informed about her activities overseas through monthly letters to the Daily Globe.
“There’s a lot of stuff I’ll miss (about Worthington),” Adrienne said. “It’s hard to think right now. I’m speechless.”
Her two brothers, Aaron and Tony, as well as her mother, Gail Poppen, attended the banquet with her.
“I’m happy for her and a little nervous, anxious, I guess,” Gail said. “It’ll be a really good opportunity for her. I’ll miss her.”
Adrienne will join a long list of students to travel to Crailsheim as part of a cultural student exchange program nearly 60 years old. The cities first became sister cities in 1947 and since 1956, student exchanges have been mutual each year.
In order to apply for the program, Adrienne and Schalow had to achieve good grades, have a commitment to cultural diversity, be willing to share experiences and have family support. They were required to fill out application forms, write an essay and go through a lengthy interview process.
The Worthington-Crailsheim International annual banquet helps raise funds for the exchange and brings the Worthington community together to share a traditional German meal. This year’s menu featured currant-glazed pork loin, noodles with pork gravy, braised red cabbage with apple and German green and yellow beans, with a dessert of Black Forest cherry cake.
President of the Crailsheim Committee John Nordell congratulated Schalow and Adrienne for their achievements and introduced the Rev. Arlen Foss, who offered an invocation. Elens spoke about how much he was enjoying his time in Worthington.
Guest speaker Hardy Rickbeil, 99, reminisced about the beginning of the Worthington-Crailsheim relationship, recalling its first days in 1947.
“I think this Crailsheim program, we’ve got to keep it going,” Rickbeil said.