February 1, 2023

Nearly a decade had passed, but they still remembered their American friends.

And when it came time to decide what they wanted to do for their final year of high school, Italian twins Matteo and Tommaso Calviello knew: They wanted to graduate in America.

Specifically, in West Des Moines.

The high school seniors walked at Valley Stadium Sunday nearly 10 years after leaving the country as elementary schoolers.

Born and, mostly, raised in Milan, the Calviello twins lived in the United States briefly as children. They attended the district’s Crestview School of Inquiry in Clive from kindergarten through third grade after their father transferred the family to the United States temporarily for a management position with his company.

Even after nearly a decade, though, they remembered their childhood friends, field trips they took, and former teachers. The son of their host family for this school year was a close elementary school friend.

“It’s not an experience that you forget,” Tommaso said.

Returning to West Des Moines to graduate from high school brought them full circle, Tommaso said.

They were also excited to return to the district because of the activities school offers. In Italy, schools typically haven’t offered or don’t emphasize extracurriculars.