In Europe, “sister cities” are a long tradition, and the city of Joigny (90 minutes southeast of Paris) approached us with an invitation to become their American “sister.”
The Hanover Joigny Exchange Program was developed in 1990 as a result of the initiatives of Don Watson, a teacher at the Hanover High School, Jean-Claude Tatinclaux, a resident of Hanover with family ties to Joigny, and Jean-Luc Allemand (a physician in Joigny).
In 1993, the towns of Joigny and Hanover became “sister cities: with an official twinning ceremony at town hall in Hanover. Signed by the Hanover Board of Selectmen as well as Phillipe Auberger, the mayor of Joigny, the twinning document committed each town to promote cultural and educational exchanges between the citizenry of each town. The following year, the twinning ceremony was replicated in Joigny with Willy Black, Dot King, and Kate Connolly representing the Town of Hanover.
In the 20 years since then, look who’s gone to Joigny to enjoy exchange trips, French cultural immersion, and the building of life-long friendships:
159 regular high school home-stay students
164 HHS Footnotes singers
26 Ray School soccer players in 2001 and 2004
7 people for the 10th Anniversary Celebration in 2003, including local artists Kate Chamberlin & Brian Walsh
8 adults on the 2005 Garden Tour led by Henry Homeyer
31 members of the Upper Valley Community Band in 2007
At least 20 students and adults for individual and family cultural immersion trips
About the Hanover High Exchange
Students in Grades 10 and 11 at Hanover High School are eligible to participate in the exchange which takes place every two years. More information here.
Joigny is a city of 10,000 residents located in the region of Burgundy, France, approximately 80 miles southeast of Paris. It is readily accessible by auto and train. Situated in a picturesque location overlooking the Yonne River, it retains vestiges of the original fortification that originally surrounded the town. Initially an important wine producing village, it presently bases its economy on small industry.
Our counterparts in France