Mrs. Handsberry Goes to Europe!

Travelers from left, Andie Hammon, Elizabeth Haagenstad, Caroline Schramm, Ben Nguyen, Mariah Sanchez, Daniel McCurdy, Elena Atencio, Hayley Schake, Stephanie Blair, Lauren Burr, Emmy Gustavsen, Charlotte Berg, Joy Handsberry, Melanie Boncella, Lynn Ovaska, Eric Ovaska and Max in the back. Louisa Singleton is not pictured because she is traveling earlier and will meet the group in London. Courtesy photo 

Staff Report

Europe 2014 travelers want to thank everyone who supported them and Los Alamos High School teacher Joy Handsberry as they fund-raised and prepared for their upcoming 15-day trip to Europe. The 14 newly graduated LAHS seniors will tour Europe from June 9 to June 23 and appreciate the outpouring of support of their educational travel. 

The graduates started planning Europe 2014 last year to expand their world view and develop global skills before they headed off to college. Once Mrs. Handsberry was diagnosed with cancer, they wanted to find a way to have her come along. Funds raised through coffee sales and holiday craft sales at Los Alamos National Bank will not only help them see famous historical sites such as Notre Dame, but helps their beloved math teacher join the group.

They were able to raise more than $800 toward Mrs. Handberry’s trip by selling the last of their coffee. This will be Mrs. Handsberry’s first trip to Europe as she celebrates the end of her treatments and students celebrate the end of high school.

The group will be traveling and learning throughout six countries with their EF tour director from Italy and LAHS teacher Lynn Ovaska. Highlights include seeing the Phantom of the Opera in London, cruising on the Seine river in Paris, riding the cog railway to the top of Mt. Pilatus, walking along the canals in Venice, visiting the Olympic Stadium in Munch, Germany and touring Anne Frank’s house in Amsterdam.

Look for photos during their tour in the Los Alamos Daily Post. To see the trip itinerary, visit:

This is Ovaska’s third group of graduated seniors to travel with her on an EF tour. She traveled with her own English teacher in 1986 and it changed her life. Her teacher continued taking students for more than 25 years and Ovaska always hoped to continue her legacy once she became a teacher. In 2012, she bought her first group of 11 new LAHS graduates to London, Paris, Florence, and Rome with Kathy Boerigter. In 2013, 24 new graduates toured Berlin, Prague, the Alps, and Paris with her and Rob and Kathy Hipwood. 

Ovaska hopes to be able to continue to offer these life-changing tours and share her love of travel with high school seniors as they transition into adulthood.

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