HALEYVILLE - The Haleyville High School Senior Class of 2022 will literally be going in a new direction when it comes to the school’s annual educational tour, which is being revamped after a two-year hiatus to include a different area of the country, filled with new experiences.
Instead of the traditional educational tour for HHS seniors to the hustle and bustle of Washington, D.C., and New York City, seniors will instead go west to visit Las Vegas and such national wonders as the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam and Lake Powell.
The trip this year has tentatively been set for May 16-20, 2022, with the deadline having passed in the last two weeks for seniors to sign up for this new trip, according to HHS Principal Davey Reed.
Around 40 of the 103 members of the senior class signed up for the western senior trip, which will provide many firsts for the students in addition to the trip itself.
“The last two years, our trip has been cancelled,” Reed stated. “The first year, it was very abrupt, and the second year, it really wasn’t open for travel.” Reed was referring to cancellations because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We were hoping that New York City, (Washington) D.C. would be more open for travel this year, but starting out and still now, the mandates...in the restaurants, in all of the buildings have not changed in New York City,” Reed explained.
When Reed flew to New York during the summer, he noticed the streets were not clean, he said.
Reed, upon returning from the trip, talked with HCS Superintendent Dr. Holly Sutherland about the city being different than when the school had taken previous senior trips there before the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.
Other factors also weighed into the educators’ decision to change the direction of the senior trip this next year.
“It has to be masks and a lot of unknowns with that,” he added. “If you plan something, and the date changed, the time changed, and we know we’re still having a struggle this year with COVID, then we know it would be a better option to look somewhere else,” Reed continued.
“COVID was really the reason we decided to go with the state park out west (idea), something different,” Reed pointed out.
“In my mind, we have been cancelled twice, and if we don’t go ahead and have a trip somewhere and make it a positive experience for our students, then it will eventually get lost,” he added.
“Haleyville has strong traditions,” he continued. “And we want to keep those strong traditions alive, but it is very unfortunate that we couldn’t keep it going right now, today, into New York and D.C.
“It is just wasn’t possible, because some of the places that we normally go are shut down,” Reed stressed.
See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.