Student Spotlight: Cristina Toro


Katie Maliszewski, Staff Writer

Cristina Toro came to West Salem in July of 2018 from her home country of Ecuador.

“America was like a whole new world for me.” Toro said. “Almost everything was completely different than it was back home.”

One of the most notable differences she immediately noticed between West Salem and her home country was the way we run our schools. In Ecuador, students stay in the same classroom all day, have classes with only students in their grade, and do not have extra curricular activities to participate in.

Here, it is the opposite. At West Salem, Toro has been actively involved in DECA, Interact, gymnastics, and various art classes with art teacher, Quenten Brown. Toro was even one of the five students chosen by Brown to attend an art exhibition in Black River Falls  “I love being involved in art classes because we don’t have anything like that back home.”

Another thing at West Salem that was new to Toro was Homecoming. In Ecuador, students only have one school dance and it is on the day they graduate. Toro enjoyed her first high school dance at Homecoming by taking pictures at Vets Park, going out to eat, and having a great time at the dance. “Homecoming was so fun,” Toro said. “It was definitely something I will remember forever.”

Outside of school, Toro has made many new memories too. In the fall, she went to an apple orchard, carved pumpkins and experienced Halloween for the first time.  In the winter, she went tubing, ice skating, and visited the Rotary Lights. “Winter is so amazing,” Toro said. “In Ecuador, we only have two seasons, Summer and Spring, so it was really cool to see all four.”

Cristina Toro will return back to Ecuador in early June. “I am very sad that I will have to leave the friends I have made, but I am very excited to see my friends and family back home.” Toro said.  “I came here to make memories, and all the people I’ve met are going to be in my heart forever.”