WHS sophomore Moody will be next exchange student in Crailsheim

WORTHINGTON -- Grace Moody, a Worthington High School sophomore, was named the 2017-18 student ambassador to Crailsheim, Germany on Sunday. Moody called it a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" after being awarded the scholarship at the annual Worth...

Grace Moody, newest student ambassador to Crailsheim, speaks Sunday at the Worthington-Crailsheim banquet. (Karl Evers-Hillstrom / Daily Globe)

WORTHINGTON - Grace Moody, a Worthington High School sophomore, was named the 2017-18 student ambassador to Crailsheim, Germany on Sunday.


Moody called it a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” after being awarded the scholarship at the annual Worthington Crailsheim International Inc. Banquet.


“I’m really excited, honored and extremely grateful,” she said.



Moody and WHS sophomore Preston Leopold were the two student ambassador finalists.


Earning the right to study in Crailsheim isn’t easy for WHS students. Those interested must fill out an application, get letters of recommendation, interview with WCII committee members and go through a one-on-one “interrogation.”


Surrounded by friends and family, Moody said she couldn’t wait to take advantage of the opportunity.


“Just experiencing everything Germany has to offer, meeting the people, the food, the traveling, the relationships you build - it’s very exciting,” she said.



This summer, Worthington and Crailsheim will celebrate the 70th year of their historic relationship. WCII President Janice Berger announced Sunday that more than 100 citizens will be traveling to Crailsheim on July 18.  


“I’m honored to say I’m one of those lucky ones,” she said.


Berger also announced the newest exchange student to Worthington - 14-year-old Lilo Herzig.


Todd Nordell, the 2004-2005 exchange student to Crailsheim, was the guest speaker for the event. During his time in Germany, he was able to travel to London, Paris, Berlin and Austria and take two ski trips in the Swiss Alps. He had a simple bit of advice for the winner.



“Make the best of it - it’s going to go way too fast,” Nordell said. “When my year was coming to an end, I really didn’t want to come back.”


Skyla Rautenkranz, the Worthington Crailsheim 2015-2016 exchange student, spoke highly about her time in Germany.


“My favorite thing about Germany was there’s something every weekend to do with your family and friends,” Rautenkranz said. “Even Father’s Day is a party there.”


Rautenkranz nearly broke into tears when speaking about her love for the city of Crailsheim and its people.


“Honestly, don’t worry about being homesick - it’ll go by fast,” she said. “I think I’m homesick for Germany right now.”


Soon, the city of Worthington will be saying goodbye to Johanna Andrejew, the current Crailsheim exchange student to Worthington. Speaking at Sunday’s event, Andrejew said she was grateful for the opportunity to take a “journey across the Atlantic.”


During her time in Worthington, Andrejew focused on stepping out of her comfort zone and being brave enough to take on new challenges. She joined choir and the ice hockey team, and took math classes in English.


“Thinking about all those activities, they made me shiver in the beginning of the year, but I’m really glad that I did them,” Andrejew said.


Scott Burns, father of Dominic Burns, current Worthington exchange student to Crailsheim, read a note from Dominic at the event.


“Your experience coming to Germany will be one of the best ones in your life,” the note read. “Like graduating, getting married or experiencing the birth of a child, it's something you're going to look back on and remember with great fondness.”


Herzig and Moody will be the 58th exchange students from each city. On July 28, Herzig will fly to Worthington with Burns.

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