New organizer heads D.C. trip

A new coordinator plans to head Wapakoneta City Schools’ eighth-grade trip to Washington D.C. in the fall.

Jason Johnson recently was approved to take over for Roger Herriott, a district technology coordinator who has organized the trip for approximately 15 years.

Johnson, a special education and science teacher at Wapakoneta High School, is to receive $805 for a supplemental contract coordinating the trip district eighth-graders have been making for more than 20 years.

“I do enjoy it, but it was time to hand over the reigns,” said Herriott, who has done much of the preparation work for this year’s trip. “Once you get into it, it basically runs itself.”

Wapakoneta City Schools Superintendent Keith Horner thanked Herriott for the many years he had put into the trip and said he was confident Johnson would do a good job taking it over.

Brightspark Travel is to again serve as the tour company for the trip at an increase of $30 from last year to $670 per student. To date, 143 students are registered to go, but Herriott said more always sign on by the fall and he expected between 160 and 165 total to be making the trip.

Due to parent teacher conference dates, students would be missing two days of school for the trip scheduled for Friday, Nov. 16, through Tuesday, Nov. 20.

Despite concerns last year that more parents should be included as chaperones on the trip, Horner said they have chosen to give school employees and their spouses first priority in that role.

If not enough district employees sign on to be chaperones Horner said they would then open the trip up to parents.

“In over 20 years of doing this a variety of ways, we have found this to be the most successful way to do it,” Horner said.

The sale of peeler coupon cards as a fundraiser helps students pay for the trip with a couple more installments yet to be paid on balances.

The trip is expected to be similar to last year’s with approximately 30 sites on the tour.