There’s a Swedish connection at Wentzville Holt High School that dates back more than 30 years. Even though junior Johanna Otterstedt is thousands of miles from Sweden, the junior feels comfortable walking the hallways of Holt.
“It feels like home,” Johanna said.
That’s because Johanna is not the first in her family to attend the Wentzville School District. In the mid '80s her father, Henrik, spent his senior year at Holt, formerly known as Wentzville High School.
“Knowing my Dad walked the same streets and hallways, it’s really cool,” Johanna said smiling.
Johanna said she always wanted to go to the same school her father attended. To help make it a reality, Henrik contacted former classmate Lynn Chrismer. Chrismer, who now teaches at Holt, hosted Henrik while he lived in Wentzville.
“Johanna has said ‘I want to hear stories about my father.’ All those fun memories started coming back,” Chrismer said.
Eager to get to know Johanna, Chrismer requested she take her class.
“Henrik and I have this connection and now I have this connection with his daughter. It’s surreal,” Chrismer said.
Father and daughter will be reunited this spring when Henrik returns to Wentzville to visit Johanna.
He will quickly notice Wentzville has changed since he lived in the area. According to the district, enrollment has grown from about 4,500 students from when Henrik attended to about 16,000 currently. In the mid '80s, Wentzville had three school buildings. Today, it has 15 buildings with two more in the works.