Kenosha Unified high school students are out of their classroom and traveling abroad this summer as the district’s Travel Club returns for the first time since 2019.

A group of club students went to Panama from June 20-28 and 16 students are traveling to England, returning on July 28, accompanied by parent and teacher chaperones.

The trips started at Tremper High School in 2007 with the launch of the club, which later was opened to all KUSD students.

“I moved to Kenosha in 2004, and with the help of a lot of very interested students who wanted to travel, we started the travel club in 2007,” Tremper teacher Laura Zajicek-Bagenski said. “When I started at Tremper, I wanted to do something that I could give back to the community. I wanted to be able to do more than just what I do in my classroom,”

Since the club started, students have gone on one to three trips each year, and the club has been to 23 countries. Zajicek-Bagenski, who said she has always loved travel, started the club to give that opportunity to students and families in Kenosha.

People are also reading…

Students in the club get to decide trip destinations and what they want to learn about. There are a few countries the club has traveled to multiple times, including England and Italy. The England trip is the club’s fourth there, and will be a “legends” tour. The itinerary includes more of the countryside and historical sites for figures such as the Queen, Jack the Ripper, Shakespeare and the Beatles.

“It’s all the major legends that have impacted the island of England,” Zajicek-Bagenski said. She’s particularly excited about traveling to Bristol, which is known for its artwork, as well as the English countryside.

“Typically, when we traveled to England, we see London, and just the area right around the city, where this will be much more in-depth, and much greater outside of the city experience,” she said.

Zajicek-Bagenski welcomes all KUSD students in grades 9-12 to join the travel club.

“Overall, dropping the walls of the school, and getting kids out into the world and actually standing in the places that they read about and are learning about, it enhances their motivation for learning,” Zajicek-Bagenski said. “They come back with ideas and sort of a love for learning that they didn’t have before. School becomes more interesting, because these places are real. I have seen kids become more responsible. I have seen them become more school- and college-ready.”

The travel club would not be possible with support from the Kenosha community, and Zajicek-Bagenski said she wants to return that support by providing these global travel opportunities for Kenosha students and families.

“Our goal is to take the benefits of a school community, and to make sure that we share that with our community here in Kenosha,” Zajicek-Bagenski said. “We want to make sure that we as a school stay dynamic and we stay up to date, and we make sure that our kids are competitive when they leave us. And this is just one more piece of that puzzle that we can give our community.”

Related Posts