Students Give Superintendent Questions to Take to D.R.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Springfield Public Schools superintendent is traveling abroad to help with construction efforts at a school. 

Dr. John Jungmann leaves for the Dominican Republic next week. He was invited by LifeTouch Memory Mission who is sponsoring the whole trip. 

He is one of several other educators, superintendents, principals and teachers from across the U.S. and Canada. 

The trip will last about a week, but Jugnmann hopes the lessons and relationships will last a lifetime. 

"Going to a different place and learn about education and serve kids and families in the Dominican," he said.  

Dr. Jungmann says he's been on two with his church, but this is the first one related to education. 

"Try to understand what education means in the Dominican Republic," he said. "Are there lessons that we can learn from them? Are there things that we can share with them?"

Dr. Jungmann will be one 46 volunteers helping build a cafeteria and a community center at an existing school in Rio Grande, Constanza. 

"It could be hauling bricks, it could be mixing mortar, it could be helping lay and level ground," he said. 

He says he will be bringing back  answers to questions Springfield students have sent him. 

"That's what I'm really excited about," he said. 

Here are some questions students have asked him: 

"What is the name of the school Dr. Jungmann will work on?" - Trevor, 11
"How many classrooms are there?" - Miller, 10
"I want to know if the school is close to a beach?" - Eli, 7
"Is there a volcano on the island?" - Beau, 7
"Does the island have a national animal like the US has the eagle?" - Haley, 10
"It helps show our kids number one that it's a big world," Dr. Jungman says. 

By helping expand a school in the island, Jungmann hopes through his experience kids in Springfield classrooms will expand their horizons. 

"That there are things to learn and appreciate and celebrate really from cultures across our country and across our world," he said. "And this is an opportunity for me to tell the stories from the Dominican Republic to our students here and also tell the stories of our kids to them and hopefully we both get a better appreciation for each other through that process." 

Jungmann leaves Tuesday, and returns on Jan. 23.  He will try to check in with students here via Facebook Live or bring back videos form the trip answering those questions. 

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