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Clear Spring High to have 2 exchange students this fall

June 03, 1998|By TERRY TALBERT

Clear Spring High School will have two exchange students from Mexico next school year, thanks in part to the efforts of Spanish teacher Lottie Dorsey.

Azucena Sanchez, a 17-year-old girl from Hermosillo, and Ivan Santiesteban, a 16-year-old boy from Monterrey, are coming here as part of the Iberoamerican Cultural Exchange Program (ICEP), for which Dorsey is the local representative.

Ivan will live with host parents Dennis and JoAnne Michael and their family in Clear Spring. Azucena will stay with the Steven and Rose Gensler family in Cearfoss.

Ivan plays soccer and basketball and lifts weights. He helps his father at his air conditioning parts store in the summer and is interested in computers.

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Azucena's favorite sport is basketball. She also plays volleyball and soccer and enjoys aerobics, running and swimming. She helps her father at his farming equipment store during vacation and likes to work with computers.

The students are required to serve as a resource to the Spanish teacher one period a day, and must take an English class. They choose their other classes.

Dorsey said students in her Spanish classes wrote letters to the exchange students in Spanish for extra credit.

Dorsey, who has worked on the school system's foreign language curriculum for seven years, went to Mexico to interview and test some of the students there who wanted to come to host schools in the United States.

"Many of our goals and objectives in foreign language refer to comprehending a native speaker and being understood by a native speaker," she said. "Having an exchange student in a Spanish class is one way to ensure those goals are being met."

Dorsey and seven other teachers involved in the exchange program met in Mexico City and then spread out to other areas of the country where they interviewed and tested the applicants, and talked to their parents.

To qualify, students must show they understand written and spoken English.

Dorsey said her trip was a lesson in perseverance. She said she got little sleep because of a tiring schedule, and her hotel in Mexico City was near a disco.

She had to walk through demonstrators in Mexico to get to her hotel, after a cab driver dropped her off more than a block away. While she was there, she sprained her ankle.

Still, she said, it was a good experience.

Dorsey said that in the past 10 years, 17 students from the ICEP program have been placed with families in the Clear Spring and Smithsburg areas. Most have been from Mexico, although some have come from Bolivia, Costa Rica and Spain.

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