Ann Arbor High School Students Embark on Trip Around Greece


On Friday, March 24, a group of around 50 students and staff from Pioneer, Huron and Community High Schools met up at the Detroit airport to set off on their annual journey to Greece. This group of students and staff, coming mostly from humanities and philosophy classes, first arrived in Athens packed with a full itinerary and months’ worth of background knowledge of Greece’s history. 

“For the humanities students especially, we have been learning about these things all year,” said PHS student Elise Kutcher, an attendee of the trip. “Actually going to Greece and being able to see them and feel the presence of history is something I’ve never really felt before.” 

The tour began in Athens where the group visited various temples and historical sites, including the Theatre of Dionysus, the Temple of Athena Nike, and the Parthenon. 

“A lot of the art and architecture [featuring] Greek mythology and gods was very prominent,” said Sam Gibb-Randall, a CHS student and trip attendee. “They were a society that [was] very focused on building art and architecture to honor their deities.” 

Next, the tour took the group to many remnants of some of the first cities, including Delphi, Olympia and Acropolis; Each holding different kinds of significance in the development of modern society. 

“In the ruins of Delphi, we were able to drink out of a spring that has been functioning since like [the] fifth century BC,” Kutcher said. “It made us feel really connected to the people who came before us.”

One of the biggest purposes of the trip was to highlight and emphasize the historical significance of these places and concepts to the students who had been learning about them since September. 

“I think that in some ways, it was to bring us back to where we started at the beginning of the year and give closure to class,” Kutcher said. 

Alongside being in the presence of incredible fragments of human history, many students – including Gibb-Randall and Kutcher – found additional enjoyment in the country’s exquisite natural beauty. 

“[Greece] had the most amazing natural scenery,” Gibb-Randall said. “It felt like I was in Utah or Montana with the huge mountains and stuff. And then in the middle of that, [there were] all of these ancient architectural things. It was really cool.”

 “When I think back on it, that’s what really blew my mind – the views,” Kutcher said. “It was so incredibly beautiful there. You can get really high up in almost every town, so when we would go high up and hike up those big hills, you would look out over the mountain ranges, it almost made me queasy. It was so breathtaking.”

For Kutcher, the combination of natural beauty and insight into how past humans lived made the trip much more meaningful. 

“The historical significance of all the stuff that we saw, it gave me a good sense of being as a human,” Kutcher said. “It made [me] feel really connected to the people who came before. Although time has passed, we’re all still human beings.”