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Kelsey Linnartz: Part One

TTUISD Offers Flexibility for Families to Experience Life Abroad

by Lucy Worley

November 30, 2016

Christie, Kelsey, Lance, and Katie Linnartz in Bologna, Italy.

Christie, Kelsey, Lance, and Katie Linnartz in Bologna, Italy.

Christie, Kelsey, Lance, and Katie Linnartz in Bologna, Italy.

Christie, Kelsey, Lance, and Katie Linnartz in Bologna, Italy.

Kelsey Linnartz is a fashion design major at Texas Tech University. In the middle of her sophomore year in the land of Red Raiders, Kelsey is thriving academically at a school that carries significance for her family. Having grandparents who met and married at Texas Tech, with her own parents following suit, it was a no-brainer for Kelsey when it came time to choose a university.

However, this is not Kelsey's first time to be a Red Raider. Kelsey was a Texas Tech University Independent School District student for a semester in high school. She and her family were looking for flexible online schooling options as they prepared to move away from Kelsey's school district to Italy.

Kelsey and her younger sister Katie got the surprise of a lifetime when their parents announced they would be moving the family to Europe for a semester. Lance and Christie Linnartz were working for a non-profit ministry that reaches out to college-aged students on university campuses. If their job wasn't unique enough, they were now going to do it on the oldest campus in the world - The University of Bologna.

At the beginning of 2013, the Linnartz family packed their bags and moved to start their adventure.

“Bologna was absolutely beautiful. It has some of the oldest and richest culture in all of Europe. It's also considered the food capital of the world, so that was a pretty fun aspect of living there. We ate so much pizza!” Kelsey recalled.

There were components of living abroad that Kelsey also looks back on with a depth of gratitude.

“Living overseas and being able to complete my school work online opened up so much time to be able to spend with my family. A lot of high schoolers either don't want to, or don't get to have quality time with their family. Thanks to this experience, that was something I was lucky enough to have.”

Whether it was having three-hour long dinners together (when in Rome, do as the Romans do), having students from the university over to their home, or playing on a local volleyball team with her sister, Kelsey looks back on that time with a sense of nostalgia.

However, in between weekends spent exploring in London and Paris, Kelsey still had to be a normal high school student and tackle her schoolwork. With TTUISD she was able to test out of classes, such as English and World History, but was enrolled full time in Chemistry and Geometry.

While she was enjoying all the cultural aspects of living abroad, having to sit down and do school work every day came as a bit of a struggle. At first, Kelsey thought it was just the adjustment from having an in-person teacher to one online. Then, she considered the possibility that she was just restless - wanting to be out exploring rather than doing schoolwork. At the end of the day though, Kelsey knew something larger was causing her academic struggles. She had been able to hide it more easily in her public school setting, but TTUISD was now acting as a magnifying glass, and her parents started realizing something was not right.

Mrs. Linnartz finally suggested Kelsey get tested for a learning disability. Upon doing this, they found out that Kelsey had ADD and a learning impairment in math.

This didn't shock Kelsey, but it was still an overwhelming issue to deal with while living abroad. To learn more about how Kelsey overcame this obstacle and how TTUISD played a part in her future success, check out the second installment of this two part story.

Kelsey Linnartz: Part Two