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One Day Magazine

Six School Leaders Share Their Dream Field Trips

We asked educators: If money were no object and every permission slip was signed, where in the world (or beyond) would you take your students?

By Paula Ann Solis

June 11, 2018

Imagine it: You’re gearing up for the perfect summer trip, bags packed, snacks prepped, tunes lined up. Where would you be going if money were no object? That’s the question we asked school leaders, with the caveat that they get to bring all their students. No, you definitely have not checked all these destinations off your travel list.

Q: Money is no object. Where would you take your students on a trip?

Liliana Funes (N.Y. ’08) Founding Dean, KIPP Ignite Academy, Los Angeles

A: I would send them to the moon. It’d be really expensive. And I would go along.

Louis Barocio (Bay Area ’04) Principal, Cupertino Union School District, San Jose, Calif.

A: I would like to take them to Costa Rica. I think it’s one of those countries that has achieved a lot in terms of its environmental policies, educational policies, its international relations, in terms of where they put their money, in terms of government structure, and how to be a sustainable country. I think there’s a lot to learn from countries like that, that are achieving marks of excellence.

Aida Flores (Chi–NWI ’08) Interim Principal, Irene C. Hernandez Middle School, Chicago

A: I’ve worked in predominantly Latino schools, so I would want them to visit Mexico or Latin America. I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to go back to where my parents are from, and I think it’s helped shape a lot of my experiences and the opportunities I’ve had in the United States. I would want that for our students, to visit their native lands. 

Phillip Nguyen (Oklahoma City ’13) Director of Middle School Literacy, STRIVE Preparatory Schools, Denver

A: Wherever their homeland is. Could you imagine the learning moments?

Andres Aguilar (Phoenix ’12) Assistant Principal, Rocketship Rising Stars Academy, San Jose, Calif.

A: One of my favorite things to do as a fourth grade teacher was to take kids to science camp, and that can get expensive. So if I could take every student to science camp, I would.

Mercedes Toney (Memphis ’14) Lead Teacher, Freedom Preparatory Academy Charter Schools, Memphis, Tenn.

A: Wakanda. If it were real, it would be a great place to take my kids so they could see that being a person of color is OK, and there are opportunities for kids like you. Being where you are, wherever you live, doesn’t limit what you can be.