Indian Lake Karl Friedricks and Zdenek Vhynls are Indian Lake Central School’s first international students, and during the Sept. 17 Board of Education meeting, the two young men had a chance to meet and get acquainted with the members of the School Board.
Friedricks is from Hamburg, Germany and Vhynls is from the Czech Republic. Bob and Julie Gundel are hosting both students.
When asked what their biggest surprise was so far, they agreed that it’s the small size of Indian Lake, but that it was “cool” that everyone knows each other. Asked whether they are bracing for our winters, both said they were used to cold winters but are expecting the winter here to be colder than they experience at home.
School Superintendent Mark Brand said the young men were fitting in well and will be playing sports. He also expressed pride and thankfulness for Bob and Julie Gundel coming forward to host these important students.
Nora Harrington, ILCSD English teacher, was in attendance at the meeting and readily expressed how pleased she was with the high quality and proficiency both students have in the English language.
When asked by Board members if they had studied any American history prior to arriving in Indian Lake, Vhynls said that beyond the American Revolution, he had not, but he was looking forward to the opportunity of learning and understanding more about the history of the country.
“They are sharing information and knowledge about their countries’ history and culture with their fellow students as well,” Harrington said, adding that this broadening of horizons is just one of the many benefits the international program brings to all students.
Board President Jon Voorhees closed this segment of the meeting by explaining to the two students how important they are to the school and the community as a whole. He offered all the help and the ear of the Board of Education with any problems or suggestions that the students may need or have in a spirit of partnership to enrich the program for all students and the community at large.