Students and faculty at Episcopal School of Knoxville bade a tearful farewell to exchange students from Guatemala and Taiwan during a chapel service their final day at the school, 950 Episcopal School Way off Gilbert Drive, Friday, Dec. 7.
One by one, children and teachers walked up to the podium, shared their experiences with and appreciation of the visiting students, while other classmates, wiping away tears, hugged their departing friends.
“I appreciate Nayeli (Tecú)’s love for everything and positivity (Dónde está tu hijo?),” ESK student Lydia Smithey said. “I appreciate Diana (López)’s determination and work ethic.”
Hailing from Guatemala were eighth-graders Nayely and Diana; seventh-grader Juan Andrés Chalapud; and sixth-grader Joaquín Martínez.
“I appreciate Juan (Chalapud)’s curiosity since he likes trying new things,” Lydia said. ”I appreciate Joaquin (Martinez)’s skill to know what’s right from wrong and be the older one in those situations.”
Students from Taiwan were eighth-graders Sophia (Lín Guàn-Yü), Henry (Hóng Yǜ-Xiu), Cherry (Lín Lǜ-An), Ivan (Chén Yòu-Qíng), Tanya (Liào Jié-Xing) and Neil (Weng Zhì-Lún).
Seventh graders were Sophie (Xü I), Noah (Zhang Téng- Xin) and Lily (Lài Yǜ-Xin).
“Thank you so much for coming to this school,” student William Gholston Green said. “We
learned more about both of your cultures and more about you as individuals.
“Meanwhile you learned more about what we do in our daily lives at ESK,” he added. “It was more than a pleasure to have you at this school so we can both learn more.
“It was so cool learning a little bit of what goes on the other side of the world.”
The students from Guatemala spent eight weeks at ESK
while students from Taiwan spent one week.
“The time has flown by, and we’ve gotten to know each of you and feel like you are a part of the ESK family now,” said Amanda Sharpe, ESK Communications and Strategic coordinator.
“We’re sad that you’re leaving, and wish you safe travels and continued successful studies,” she added.
“We hope you’ll come back and visit us one day.”