School Partnership - Summitt Elementary School in Austin/Texas
The partnership between Schenkendorf and Summitt Elementary School in Austin, Texas, the twin city of Koblenz, has been in existence for 25 years now.
Every other year a group from Schenkendorfschule visits Austin and vice versa.
This exchange program was a challenge of a real encounter of the English language for students, parents and teachers, and still is. In 1993, a group of American students with their parents visited Koblenz for the first time. In 1994, a return visit to Austin took place, and the new partnership with Summitt Elementary School was sealed.
History of the Summitt-Koblenz Exchange
It began with a gift of art. In the fall of 1992, the cities of Austin and Koblenz decided to become Sister Cities under Sister Cities International. Mrs. Renata Anderson asked Diane Mansfield, Summitt art teacher, to prepare art for gifts to the visiting Koblenz delegation. One 4th grade art class painted pictures that were framed and presented to the delegates at an Austin City Council meeting. The delegates were so pleased by the paintings of Austin that they invited the students to visit Koblenz in the summer of 1993. Mrs. Mansfield, about twenty students, and a few parents made the trip and began the friendship with the Schenkendorf Schule. In 1994 the Schenkendorf students visited Summitt and the exchange was born. Summitt visits Koblenz every other year. In the other years, the Schenkendorf Schule visits Austin. The exchange is family-to-family. A family hosts a parent and a student. The exchange is partially funded by fundraisers, including the annual Summitt Teacher Talent Show, movie nights, and Holiday Bazaar.
In addition to Mrs. Mansfield, other teachers became leaders of the exchange: Mary Hutka, Nicole Wilson, April Sawtelle, Heather Brannies, and Heather Doyle. Austin and Koblenz are Sister Cities at every level: business, university, high school and elementary school. In October 2012, an official delegation from Koblenz visited Austin to celebrate twenty years of Sister City partnership. On October 30, 2012, the delegation visited Summitt for an assembly celebrating the twentieth anniversary. Summitt played and continues to play a vital role in this partnership.