Jessica Meet the Willis' for the 1st time

Macks Creek School has the privilege of hosting Miss Jessica Weyhersmueller this year. Jessica is participating in a student foreign exchange program called Experiment.  She is 17 years old and was born in Oberhausen, a city in North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany. She lived in Oberhausen for 5 years with her parents. Then she moved to Hamburg with her mother and her father (Pauline Sango and Joerg Weyhersmueller). German students attend school an additional year beyond American students. Their 13th year is the equivalent of our senior year. She is spending what would have been the equivalent of her 11th year with us. When she returns to school in Hamburg she will have to repeat this year before she can begin her final year of school. 

Jessica’s first trip abroad she can remember, was to Cameroon at age 6. Cameroon is the home country of her mom and where most of her family lives. On the return when she and her Mother wanted to fly back to Germany, airport security said Jessica had to fly alone to Germany and her mother should stay in Cameroon. Luckily her grandmother had a friend at the airport and he helped her Mom. 

At the age of 6 Jessica started to go to school where she met her best friend, Arezu. The two are best friends to this day. Jessica’s mother taught her to speak French, the native language of Cameroon even though her father was against it. Jessica also learned English in elementary school. In her first years of school, her mother had problems with her lungs and had surgery. Now her mother has only one functioning lung. After 4 years of elementary school she switched to middle school. At the end of 4th grade Jessica's brother Christopher was born. Her first 3 years of middle school she was an average student. After 7th grade Jessica started to try to have better grades and her mother hired a tutor to help her and grades greatly improved. 

Jessica also traveled a lot during middle school. She has been to Egypt, the border between the Netherlands and Germany, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Denmark, Austria, Italy and Greece. Jessica graduated 9th and 10th grade after successfully passing a very important test required to continue one’s education. This required test is divided into three subjects: German, English and Math. After the test, Jessica took a celebratory trip with her classmates to Berlin for sightseeing. The highlight was the famous “Berliner Mauer” known to Americans as the Berlin Wall. 

After she graduated middle school in 2022 she went to high school for 11th grade. In September 2022 Jessica’s father passed away after a battle with cancer. Needless to say she and her family had a difficult time. When Jessica’s tutor told her that his son was participating in a foreign exchange program in the USA, Jessica jumped at the opportunity. She applied in November and was accepted. 

In May 2023 Jessica was notified she would be placed with a family in Texas. The night before she was to depart she learned the host family canceled. Fortunately, a new family, the Willis’ from Macks Creek answered the call and opened their home to her.  Two weeks later she started her journey to the United States. The trip started with a short flight from Hamburg to Frankfurt before a 10 hour flight to Denver. After a two hour delay she left for Springfield, Missouri where she met Byron, Shawna, India, Ava and Eva for the first time. The total time spent traveling was nearly 24 hours. Jessica has enjoyed living with the Willis family for the first part of her trip. She will be moving to live with Macks Creek teacher Mrs. Merchant and her two children Aiden and Kamora before she returns home near the end of May.  

Life in Macks Creek Missouri is very different from life in Hamburg Germany. Jessica was very used to living in a large urban city. For example her family doesn’t own a car. They travel using subways, buses and trains. She is amazed at how much time Americans spend driving. Sports are also very different. Jessica has played football (known as soccer only here in America) for the past 9-years. She has learned to embrace basketball especially since Willis’ are a basketball family. She has enjoyed cheerleading and playing for the Macks Creek Lady Pirates this season. Jessica has observed that people in Macks Creek are just as friendly as the people in her community in Hamburg. She has enjoyed getting to know many people here in Macks Creek and she has made a lot of new friends. Jessica would like to encourage any students reading about her experience to take the opportunity to be a foreign exchange student if they get the chance. She feels it has been a great experience. She is proud to carry a little bit of Macks Creek with her for the rest of life. She would like to thank everyone, especially the Willis family for making her stay in America so wonderful!

Jessica is having a blast cheering as a Lady Pirate!

Jessica and friends from Hamburg  

Jessica was a member of the 2024 Homecoming Royalty Court

Jessica really enjoyed homecoming week especially "Grease" the movie vs. "Greece" the country Day! 

Jessica and some of her MC friends pose for a "BeReal" photo.

Jessica and the Lady Pirates celebrate winning the Hermitage Tourney.

Jessica is setting up to shoot her 1st basket as a Macks Creek Lady Pirate in this photo. 

Jessica is escorted by Dakota during HOCO 2024.