Waconia students receive visit from Haitian friends

For years, students at Bayview and Southview elementary schools in Waconia have enjoyed a special partnership with Lott Carey School in Haiti. Bayview and Southview schools will share their Caring Hearts for Service in January for students at Lott Carey School and generous donations from the Bayview and Southview school communities provide much needed meals and supplies for children at Lott Carey School.
A group from officials from Lott Carey School visited Southview on Wednesday, Dec. 4 and Bayview on Thursday, Dec. 5. The group included Hendrick Saul, Director and Pastor of Lott Carey School; Kettely Petit-Homme Saul, wife of Hendrick Saul and principal of Lott Carey School; the couple’s 13-year-old daughter, Hendriana Saul; and Evens Joicin, who acted as the group’s interpreter.
The group traveled to Waconia from Haiti to visit the schools and express their gratitude for the support their students have received from Waconia. During the visit, the group toured the schools, gave a presentation to students, enjoyed school lunch and visited with students about their schools, the needs of their students, language (French/Creole) and culture.
Hendrick Saul presented each school with a plaque of gratitude, which will be hung at the schools.
“They were truly overwhelmed by the abundance in our country and the overwhelming support our students have for their learning,” said Khuzana DeVaan, Principal of Southview, noting the full time teachers, low teacher to student ratio in the classrooms, teaching materials, and beautiful school environments in Waconia.
“They were impressed with how Americans provide an education that touches the whole child incorporating music, art, physical movement, Spanish, Media Skills, and technology,” she added.
DeVaan noted that at Southview, they are fortunate to have Rodner Seltz, a new second grade student from Haiti who was recently adopted by Christi Seltz, who traveled to Haiti in 2011 representing Southview Elementary and Waconia Public Schools.
“Mrs. Christi Seltz has been instrumental in building a Haitian partnership between our Waconia Elementary Schools and Lott Carey School in Haiti,” DeVaan said.
“The dedication and commitment required to provide service requires a level of personal sacrifice that can only be instilled by a passionate belief in a greater good … something beyond one’s self,” she added. “By practicing civic responsibility we strengthen our communities!”