2017/18 ANNUAL REVIEW of the AMERICAN SECTION - LYCÃ‰E INTERNATIONAL de ST-GERMAIN-EN-LAYE
C We’ve often been told that anyone lucky enough to spend time within the American Section comes away with the same awed impression: the profound sense of community that defines us and everything we do. It is pretty remarkable, if you think about it--how all of us associated with this fine school manage to find common ground and a common sense of purpose year after year. We come from different countries, backgrounds and professions. However, the culture of our Section and our school provides the binding material that creates our fundamental cohesion as a Section, guiding us along a path full of significant academic challenges. We cannot take this special sense of community--nor what it brings us--for granted. To begin with, no matter how “successful” an academic institution, there is never any guarantee that students will learn as much as they do, nor that parents will devote time and effort to lend a helping hand when asked. In addition, there is another principle at work here. We in the American Section understand that in teaching young people the value of community, they will go on to create the same in the world they inherit. As “Americans” (honorary or otherwise!) we believe in the importance of teamwork, and the participation of many to guarantee the happiness of the whole. This characteristic has deep roots going back to the Pilgrims who embarked on a new life in what was to become Massachusetts. As school children in the United States learn, the “Founding Fathers” drafted a social contract known as the Mayflower Compact, in which they promised to work together in democratic fashion for the overall good of the community. The Compact created a sense of unity and purpose in the Pilgrim community and its legacy is still considered a vital element of American democracy. In the American Section, the foundation of our social contract is our Mission Statement, and its stated belief in our goal of educating tomorrow’s citizens. We are justly proud of our students’ learning and success, none of which would be possible without the supportive, active community that enfolds each and every one of us. When people feel respected and part of a caring community, they feel involved. When folks feel involved, they willingly contribute to the good of the community. It is to this community that we dedicate this latest issue of Compass magazine and trust you’ll embrace and carry with you the unique sense of unity that graces our Section, for many years to come. Adrienne Covington and Mike Whitacre Co-Directors
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Table of Contents
ASALI-American Section of the Lycée International Rue du Fer à Cheval - C.S. 40118 78100 St. Germain en Laye Cedex, France Phone + 33 1 34 51 74 85 Fax + 33 1 39 10 94 04 www.americansection.org
2 Director’s Corner CommUNITY 4 Lower School The Faculty Parent Partnership Schnapper: A Close-knit and Active Community
The magazine is distributed without charge to current parents, alumni and former faculty and staff, and parents of alumni and other friends of the Section. Co-Directors: Adrienne Covington email@example.com and Mike Whitacre firstname.lastname@example.org Editor: Margaret Jenkins email@example.com Graphic design: Judy Loda, judylodadesign.com Printer: Imprimerie Jasson-Taboureau Contributors Tonio Colonna, Adrienne Covington, Amy Crist, Jenny du Crest, Caitlin Echasseriau, Ben Ghiglione, Anatole Grablevsky, Susan Graham, Beccy Haugen, Ben Heckscher, Charlotte Jarquin, Sophie Lemmerman, Nora Muller, Mila Narjollet, Kathy Ray, Leah Sadoff, Felix Tabary, Roland Tricot, Sébastien Valla, Mike Whitacre Photography Amy Crist, Caitlin Echasseriau, Margaret Jenkins, Charlotte Jarquin, Perrine Jouvin, Marjolein Martinot, John Matthieu, Denis Royer, Pascale Stoffel Vol. 7, Number 1 Copyright 2018 by ASALI. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, except brief extracts for the purpose of review, without the permission of the publisher and copyright owner. We have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of this magazine. If you have any questions, corrections or comments please contact the editor, Margaret Jenkins, at firstname.lastname@example.org. We provide outstanding American educational and cultural experiences within the context of the Lycée International. Fostering intellectual curiosity and self-confidence, we help students reach their full personal and academic potential. We actively prepare students to play dynamic roles in the world by developing their leadership abilities and nurturing a sense of responsibility towards others. Please address admissions inquiries to Director of Admissions, Lisa Stephens-Morvan, at email@example.com.
6 Middle School Building Community Across Campuses The Heart of the Marcel Roby Community
We in the American Section understand that in teaching young people the value of community,
8 Upper School A Unique Community with Worldly Tendrils A Community of Educators 10 Faculty Voice When the Student becomes the Teacher 12 Community Voice Easing the Transition 14 A Community of Volunteers It Takes an Army 16 Reaching Out Serving the Wider Community 18 Class of 2017 University Destinations 21 Summer Awards 25 Development Report 32 Alumni Focus
they will go on to create the same in the world they inherit. Cover photo by John Mathieu
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The Faculty Parent Partnership The American Section prides itself on its vibrant community, one based on a shared vision and close personal interactions among its members. As an element of the mosaic of shared common values, driven by the education of children, the American Section Lower School is part of the greater French school community through the Ecole Schnapper, the Ecole Primaire at the Lycée International, and our many partner externé schools. The spirit of community within the Section is an even stronger force. It unites faculty, staff, and parents, with each element playing a critical role in the education of our children. At the base, members of the school community assume responsibility for one another. The students become a collective responsibility; parents are full partners in their children’s education, and often partners in the education of other children through carpooling, lunchbox, and play-dates. Teachers are professionals integrated in this web of community and driven by a common purpose; ‘the children and their parents.’ Nowhere is the role of the parent more important than in our Lower School. Parents, au pairs, tutors, and caregivers all contribute to the child’s
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education when it comes to homework and guiding the child through their class preparation. Speak to any parent who has had children in Lower School and you will most certainly be regaled with vivid stories of American Section projects. It is also the role of the parent to ensure exposure to English outside the classroom, a necessity to maintaining continuous growth in English. This is often an extra effort made by families as members of our community who share the common value of a truly bilingual education. Volunteering also takes on increased importance in the Lower School. Parent volunteers play a vital role in our Art and Library classes; their assistance not only ensures the smooth running of these activities, it brings parents into the classroom environment, where they meet and interact with the other
students in the class. Our Homeroom Parents are an important connection between the classroom teacher and the other class parents, coordinating communications and the organization of cultural events, class parties and conferences. But each and every parent is asked to participate in the life of the school, especially that of their child’s class. Be it organizing the class basket, sending in a special snack for a class party, or helping out during Project Week, it is precisely because every parent plays a part that we are able to provide our youngest students with experiences that transcend the core French system. Our annual Halloween extravaganzas are a telling illustration of the power of community. On the Lycée campus, our twelve classroom communities join forces to organize one of the best Halloween parties on this side of the Atlantic. And at the Ecole Schnapper, the community takes this one step further, including the entire school in a much-anticipated school-wide Halloween event. Our students, and the programs we are able to offer, thrive when all communities work together. - Beccy Haugen, Lower School Principal
Schnapper: A Close-knit and Active Community
Above: Library and Art volunteers. Perrine Jouvin, Nora Muller, Mr. Jackson and Jenny du Crest prepare Thanksgiving festivities at Schnapper. Facing page: Parent volunteers help out during our annual Project Week. The Schnapper jack-o-lantern carving contest.
The American Section parent community at Schnapper is an active one that draws in the entire Schnapper community to make this a unique school. Our children get the benefit of growing up American but also of sharing that special experience with their French friends and teachers. Veteran parents and Amercian Section Lower School teachers and staff kick off the school year with the annual New Parent coffee. Historically, this was an American Section event, but it has expanded over the years thanks to its conviviality. Spanish Section parents, as well as more and more “local” French parents, attend to meet other newcomers, hear about the school, and set up carpools. Many bonds of friendship are born right here on the second day of school, and Mr. Jackson and the Director usually have to kick us out so that we do not hang around chatting all day! Afterwards comes the crux of Fall, where the parent community at Schnapper marks the important holidays of Halloween and Thanksgiving by organizing school-wide activities that have come to define the life of the school. Thanks to the universal appeal of bonbons, many French children know about and even celebrate Halloween. But how many have carved a jack-o-lantern? If the child went to Schnapper, she or he has been exposed to this fine art form. As part of the Halloween festivities at Schnapper, traditionally held the Friday before the Toussaint break, the entire staff, along with parent volunteers, dress up to delight the children with trick-or-treat games, magicians, and other fun, and each French class carves a pumpkin for the best jack-o-lantern contest. Creativity abounds! That Schnapper French child will also have a lifelong appreciation for the uniquely American holiday on the fourth Thursday in November. As at our other campuses, Thanksgiving is celebrated with a special lunch menu (usually involving some species of fowl, if not turkey, and corn) provided especially for Schnapper by the Mairie de St. Germain. But in addition to the gourmet pies that garnish the much-anticipated teachers’ pie buffet, American Section parents at Schnapper also prepare mountains of home-baked American snacks to share with all of the French classes. To crown the feasting, our fifth graders visit each French class in the school, dressed as pilgrims and Indians, and share the story of Thanksgiving through poems and songs. Outside of school, if you find yourself around the rue Schnapper after 4:30pm, you can observe another display of Schnapper community spirit: “study hall” in the park adjacent to the school. As children enjoy their playtime and share snacks with Schnapper friends, parents greet each other with“Hola!” “How are you?” “Salut!”. These are just a few examples of the Schnapper community, which may best be found in the everyday interactions between us. We are all part of this French-Spanish-American melting pot, lucky to be led by our director, Mr. Bersagol, who cheerfully greets our children every morning and welcomes the diversity of the international Sections in this local French school. Our cozy slice of American Section, actively interacting with the whole, is very fortunate to be part of “us,” the overall Schnapper community. Jenny du Crest and Nora Muller Ecole Schnapper Head Homeroom Parents
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Community Across Campuses Let me start with a simple acknowledgement--that one should take nothing in life for granted. This simple truth applies to a host of issues...not the least of which is the culture of a school and the different folks who make up its community. In the Middle School, we are all too aware of the pitfalls of taking anything for granted. For example, we call ourselves “the Middle School”, yet we are divided onto two very distinct and disparate campuses--the Collège International and the Collège Marcel Roby. When the Middle School was first created nearly 20 years ago, the question arose--how to create the sense of unity that we Americans view as essential to a sense of school spirit? Even more pressing, how to create a sense of community--so important to helping kids feel that they belong and are loved, during one of the most difficult times in their lives? The answer is not as easy as you would think...kids are VERY territorial when it comes to their school and view others from another campus with suspicion. Such was the dilemma that greeted my colleagues and me when we set about to create a unique, distinct Middle School in the American Section. How could we get the kids from the one campus to socialize and get along with the kids from the other campus? We soon took to organizing joint field trips with students from both campuses for each grade level. Dances and all other social activities had to include all Section kids. Co-curriculars, such as theater program and the Middle School soccer team, help creating lasting friendships and bonds amongst kids. And five years ago, we created the Troisième Graduation Celebration, to mark a milestone in our students’ lives and shared American Section Middle School experience. Well, experience teaches you many things, so you can imagine my colleagues’ and my shock and dismay the first
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year we organized the now-essential Amsterdam trip in 2008. Our desire to create a fun, educational experience for the kids in the “Venice of the North” was certainly successful... save for one incomprehensible fact: for the entire three-day trip, the kids from either campus refused to talk to each other. No small amount of cajoling, suggestion, and games could get one “side” to “hang out with” the other. The following year I was giving a presentation about the Middle School’s desire to create cohesion and community and cited our field trips and dances. One parent duly asked me about Amsterdam and I have to admit that for a second I was stumped. A sense of community? There hadn’t been any! I thought for a second, and then had to admit defeat... that that trip hadn’t delivered the sense of community that we had intended. “In fact,” I said, “You know the Sharks and the Jets from West Side Story? Well, you’re right... that was us, in Amsterdam.” However, we refused to give up and have been plugging away at building this sense of community ever since. We offer diversions and activities (the celebrated Amsterdam Angel is one case in point!) to bring the kids together. Eleven years on, the trip to Amsterdam is successful in getting our kids to bond and connect. When children feel a sense of belonging and togetherness, special things can happen. They feel connected, and their behavior and school work improve as a result. When our kids do well, it is because they feel connected to us, and the message we impart: that you can have fun while learning. In fact, you learn better when you are having fun. To this credo, I always add that the shyest kid will blossom before his/her peers if make him/her feel a special part of things. There is one other sense of urgency in creating this sense of community in the Middle School: it is the need to bring kids into the real world. We teachers have to remember that many--if not most--of our younger students have most
likely spent more time in the virtual world than reality. Recognizing this, we have to do everything it takes to help them see the beauty of what lies around them, be it through a captivating history lesson, a touching piece of literature or a memorable field trip. Through it all, we understand that underlying the inherent isolation of the virtual world is the vital importance of connecting to the real world. Indeed, such a connection lies at the bottom of their success in the future. As we carry on in the Middle School, rest assured that all of us will bear these vital connections in mind--that to create a well-adjusted lycéen, you have to create a happy collégien. Our desire to work at building a strong, supportive community of empowered students lies at the heart of everything we do, day after day. Adrienne Covington, Co-Director and Middle School Principal
The Heart of the Marcel Roby Community Over the years, the American Section Library has become the heart of the community at the Marcel Roby Middle School. While this special place is first and foremost devoted to learning and self-enlightenment, it is also an extension of the Section’s philosophy—where students, regardless whether it is to do research or choose books, can gather, participate in extracurricular activities, and develop the friendships and bonds that we view as an important part of being in the Section. Another crucial role of the Library is to ensure that our students have a safe and welcoming physical space, where they have a chance to release school-related anxiety. During such tough moments, either the librarian or Section teachers are on hand to help talk through any signs of unhappiness. It is for all of these reasons that the Roby Library represents the best of our Middle School community, a place not only devoted to quiet study, but also one where students can develop a host of different life skills*, all while contributing to the ambience that makes this space the oasis it is. Here is a list of the different ways we seek to reach the kids, through engaging fun activities, all the while with an eye to working on life skills and building community.
What goes on in the Roby library? A lot! Reading: It is essential to guide students to choose the right book and encourage reading as much as possible. Writing: Ms. Hauser’s literary blog “Every Writer” encourages students to share their writing, artwork and photography. Book Club: Sixième students discuss books of their choice during a monthly lunch meeting with Ms. Jarquin. Chess Club: It seems that games are going on all the time! Players are always welcome in the library and are invited to participate in the chess tournament. Library Helpers: As part of a community service effort, a group of Troisième students assist the librarian in managing our collection and recommend books to younger students. Art Club: A group of budding artists of all ages meet on Fridays during lunch to try out different art techniques. The students have already produced spooky decorations for the Halloween party, and for the Lycée Holiday sale. Student Council: The Student Council representatives meet bi-monthly to organize events for, and communicate with, the AS Roby community. Sewing Club: Ms. Seeberg is the seamstress in charge! Students meet during lunch on Fridays to learn basic sewing techniques. Yearbook: Mr. Colonna trains and guides our Middle School volunteers on Mondays to produce our annual yearbook. Advisory: Sixième Advisory takes place throughout the year with our faculty members.
According to UNICEF, “life skills,* ” are defined as psycho-social abilities for adaptive and positive behavior that enable individuals to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday.
Charlotte Jarquin Media Specialist, Student Development and Co-Curricular Head CO M M U N I T Y
S Lycée International, OIB class of 2017 Facing page: Mike Whitacre, with former Lycée Provisuer, Joël Bianco
A Unique Community with Worldly Tendrils Upon our return from the Toussaint Vacation, I sat in the Lycée International amphitheater in an all-school meeting, and looked around at the crowd. It was standing room only with French colleagues, our peers from other international sections, and our own American Section faculty and staff peppered throughout the audience. After the Proviseur made a presentation about the logistics of moving into the lycée provisoire, the floor was open to questions. The line of questioning from my French colleagues immediately underscored our cultural differences. Yet, I realized “we are all in this together.” Everyone wanted what was best for our students. Although our approaches to challenges may be different on both the “French side” and throughout the sections, my peers share the common denominator of the entire Lycée student body; les élèves. The common good and the quality of education we provide those students connect us all into a pretty close-knit community. Writing and working within the metallic frame of the container building that will be our school for the next few years, I realized that in spite of, or because of, the circumstances, there remains an ever-present sense of community within our student body. It matters little to them that our walls are temporary. Subconsciously and collectively, they adapt as our students always have, by building relationships through shared common experiences. Attending the OIB graduation ceremony in July validates the camaraderie and friendship that form just by the students making it through this place. Graduates from the “Lycée Inter” have same kind of bonds that students who 8
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have gone through boarding school have together. They have worked towards something that was demanding and in the end gratifying; the OIB. Not only is there a sense of pride, but there is also a frame of reference that is manifested through the uniqueness of the experience. I don’t know of any other school with fourteen international sections, where the language of instruction is French, and in which students take Literature and History classes in the Section’s native tongue. It is remarkable. How could there not be a foundation of community built from that education? For the last two years, the Lycée Montaigne in Paris has hosted the annual OIB meeting. The Proviseur of the Lycée Montaigne is Joël Bianco, himself a former Proviseur of the Lycée International. His greeting is always warm and tinged nostalgia about the Lycée International and our students. During that three-day gathering one sees the vines of our OIB community stretching around the globe from Hong Kong to France to the United States. Teachers, Section Directors, and even ministers in the French educational system meet to discuss the exam that our relatively small community of perfectly bi-lingual students will see on the OIB. Today, there are 71 American Sections, and the American option continues to grow with ten new sections opening last year alone. I remember the early 2000s when there were just seven OIB schools in France. Back then, ten to twelve examiners assembled at the Franco-American Commission in the 16th arrondissement to harmonize results. We discussed the copies together as if we were sitting around a kitchen table. It was “mom
A Community of Educators Our friend and former colleague, Catherine Reed, used to joke that half the reason we become teachers is that we want to do our own thing and we don’t work well with others. It was funny, because all we do is work with other people. It’s really why we do it: it’s fun being around lots of people all day; it’s fun having conversations with twenty students at a time; it’s fun meeting dozens of new people every year. It’s fun to be part of enthusiastic, fluid little communities with their leaders and jokers and talkers and characters, with their camaraderie and inside jokes. When Mike Whitacre was considering returning to the Section after a few years’ absence, he came back because “the kids are still great.” It’s why we do it, really. These are our ready-made communities: the system (or Serge Seguin) says we all sit in that room together during those hours. Between classes, we have our section office (a vast, ergonomicallydesigned space about as quiet as Grand Central Station): another community of sorts, where we gripe about the internet and trade stories about our students. Some of us are killing time, some of us are working, but we all have that spotty wifi in common, and we all like Dorian Echasseriau’s latest video. But there are other, latent communities, and those are the fun ones to build. The history department is one such latent community. Catherine Boalch said something in passing last year: “wouldn’t it be nice to have history meetings where we talk about history?” The thought was
revolutionary. People tend to avoid meetings like the plague, the result being that when we had them, they tended to be rather dry and functional: reminders about grade closings, announcements about fire drills… However, insofar as the history department is composed of history nerds, and there’s nothing nerds like more than sitting around, nerding out about whatever they’re nerdy about, I feel like there’s some potential for really good meetings! There’s a term for this: Professional Learning Communities (PLCs, for the savvy). While we’re all American, we’re from different backgrounds, we have varied life experiences, and between us, we span a generation or two. We’ve developed distinct styles and approaches to the classroom, reflections of our own personalities by default, that benefit immeasurably from seeing others teach and plan. We’ve also collected mountains of material, pet projects, specialized resources over the years… And so we now meet, in various combinations, on a weekly basis. We share lesson plans and materials, we write projects together, we brainstorm resources for new units, and we practice what we preach: we’re lifelong learners. We’re supremely lucky, as Section teachers at the lycée, to be able to build our own program together and take common ownership, and to become better friends and colleagues. They say it takes a village to raise a child (or teach it history); we’re building that village.
Ben Heckscher, Head of History
and pop,” compared to the institutionalization of the exam today with almost 1,800 American Section students taking the OIB in 2017. In the current era, we “assemble” in a WebEx meeting and harmonize our grading on-line. We hear from all of our colleagues as if we are on a Skype call (and we may as well be with the network stretching from Shanghai to Cayenne). Close to 40 of us are on-line at the same time, and although institutionalized, the original esprit of the exam stays alive. I believe this is because we are all invested in the community of our OIB students and we all acknowledge the great efforts it takes to excel in a double enseignement. Over the years, I have struck up conversations with people on trans-Atlantic flights and even on a remote
beach in Mauritius only to discover that the person with whom I am speaking is an ancien élève of the Lycée International. As soon as I convey my connection with the school’s American Section, an immediate frame of reference is established, and it is like we are old friends who have come from the same plant. The tendrils sprouting from that plant have a long reach from the rue du Fer à Cheval to the outside world. Meeting alumni and others who have had a connection with the American Section, I see that we have truly succeeded in nurturing global citizenship (as stated in our mission statement), and I find myself proud to be a part of our unique and worldly community. - Mike Whitacre, Co-Director and Upper School Principal CO M M U N I T Y
The Student becomes the Teacher I haven’t quite yet fully realized that I am now a teacher at the school where I was once a student for eleven years. The same teachers to whom I was known as “Benjamin” only a couple of years ago now ask me to address them by their first name, and use “tu” instead of “vous.” I walk around the school and marvel that, not too long ago, I was a second grade Plus student learning about “Super E,” a fourth grader laboring over a state report, a Cinquième on the first Section-wide trip to Amsterdam, or an lycée student stressing about the TPE and bac exams. The few months I have spent as a member of the American Section faculty have been both empowering and enlightening. I was initially a bit worried that my new colleagues (and former teachers) would still see me as the nonchalant little kid who wasn’t working to his full potential and rarely raised his hand in class. This has not been the case. Instead, I find myself an integral part of the Lower School team. With my recent degree in Elementary Education and and student teaching experience, I can provide valuable input about the most current educational practices in the US. And my colleagues have been invaluable mentors. There’s something incredibly comforting about having Mr. Penner-Lacompte, a teacher I had in both third and fifth 10
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grades, next door while I’m teaching. I know that he can give me suggestions and feedback and help me improve as a teacher. That’s the thing that makes the American Section such a fantastic place to work in. My colleagues care about me and want me to succeed not merely to help my students, but to help me, their former student, be the best that I can be. They are concerned about my students’ overall growth and success, not by how well they perform on state tests. They are not trying to make me fit the mold and teach a standardized way like so many American charter schools do. The American Section values its teachers and their individualities, and grants them plenty of freedom when it comes to teaching methods. This in turn fosters a community where the students are also able to let loose and let their personalities be, something particularly necessary considering how strict the French education system still is. For many students (and I speak from my personal experience), American Section classes are one of the few moments at school where they can relax a bit. Although the workload is substantial, at least during that time students feel valued as individuals and learn from teachers who care and want to know more about them. -Ben Ghiglione ’13, Lower School Teacher
My mother and I arrived in France in the summer of 1991, both thrust into the unfamiliar yet enchanting world of the Lycée International. At the time primary classes were held in the Château, that neogothic masterpiece whose majestic brick-red towers rise amid the old trees of the surrounding domaine. The thrill of roaming the halls of this fascinating setting, though, was somewhat tainted by the shock of suddenly being immersed in a new language, not to mention the mildly traumatic experiences that awaited me courtesy of my French teachers. Within two years of our arrival, the Lycée campus underwent a transformation. Through the distorted lens of my memory, I recall the Agora, the amphitheater, and the new primary and maternelle buildings materializing instantly. It is rather fitting, really, that both my initial arrival and my return to the Lycée have been framed by such radical modernization. The Lycée – the American Section especially -- has always been defined by change. Families, faculty and staff rotate fairly frequently (with several notable exceptions, thankfully), creating a vibrant community but also highlighting rather poignantly the displacement experienced by all expatriates. Fortunately, this instability is counterbalanced by the secure, edifying environment that always awaits students in the American Section. I can personally say that like the life-preserving flotsam that bubbles up from the sinking Pequod in the final pages of Moby Dick, the Section sustained me through the chaotic seas of childhood, adolescence, and Gallic verbal abuse. I graduated from the Section in 2003, embarking on a decade-long journey of higher education. I emerged from this voyage with a doctorate in literature, and shortly after completing my viva voce was offered a position as an Upper School English teacher in the American Section. To say that I never expected to return to the Lycée would be untrue. Often, when dreaming of finally exiting the labyrinthian world of academic research, I would envision experiencing 311 from the other side of the teacher’s desk. Now that the ink on my contract was beginning to dry, I vacillated between excitement and doubt, on one hand stirred by the prospect of experiencing a familiar space
from a new vantage point – not to mention the thrill of returning to work alongside former (wonderful!) teachers such as Adrienne Covington, Mike Whitacre, and Kate McCarthy – but on the other burdened by an awareness that I would soon be operating in the shadow of teachers such as Joan Lynch, whose masterful lectures on King Lear and Dubliners inspired generations of Section students. Thankfully, my students’ academic success as well as the joy they seem to experience from delving daily into great literature have assuaged my fears, allowing me to settle into a more confident and comfortable position. True to form, however, the Lycée has once again shown its resistance to routine in the form of the (as the French would say) pharaonic renovations that will take place over the next two years. Carefully negotiating the muddy red slope that leads down to the drab prefabricated structure known as the “lycée provisoire,” one can sense the collective anxiety about the prospect of remaining on this makeshift campus for nearly two years. We will of course, survive the various new challenges that these developments set before us. This, not least due to the sense of kinship that pervades the Section, sheltering us all from the maelstrom of change. The Section remains, for all of us, the boon that it always has been; the ark that will carry us safely to the glorious new campus that awaits us – patiently – in the future. -Tonio Colonna ’03, Upper School English Teacher
Left: Ben’s graduation in 2013 Above: Tonio at his graduation in 2003 Facing page: Tonio and Ben as American Section teachers
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Easing the Transition
The Lycée International, with its dual curriculum, fourteen international sections, network of partner schools, and hundreds of externés, is a complex and confusing place. Everyone, be they student, teacher, or parent, can recollect the bewilderment they felt in the few months as a member of the American Section of the “Lycée Inter.” And thanks to the ever-evolving reality of the school, even those of us who have been around for years are regularly thrown off kilter by a new discovery or development. That is precisely why we make a special effort to welcome new families and students, most especially the Français Spécial families, who often speak little to no French, into our community. The welcome process begins with Director of Admissions, Lisa Stephens-Morvan. She explains that “from the beginning, whether by phone or in person, we always encourage parents to become involved in the community by volunteering or participating in school events. It helps them to create a network of new friends that can make their transition
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here easier and more enjoyable. We want them to feel that they are not just joining a school but a community. We also try to connect new and current families as much as possible especially when there is a specific request.” In that respect, she adds, “our current families are wonderful ambassadors for our program who will often go above and beyond the call of duty to lend a helping hand.” In late August, right before the start of the new school year, there is a “Welcome” event for new families. American Section administrators are on hand to answer questions, as are current families willing to share their “insider” experiences. The core goal of the afternoon, however, is to put students in contact with one another, so that on the first day of class everyone sees a familiar face. Student ambassadors of all ages are a vital component of the event. Lisa Stephens-Morvan says: “The
welcome afternoon helps people to start creating their network. Nearly everyone who attends, new and old alike, has been uprooted at some point in his or her life. It is amazing how willing people are to reach out a hand to help others settle in.”
Office Manager Nora Husson found the orientation activities invaluable when she joined the American Section as a parent in 2014. Now at the other side of the table, her “goal is not only to help newcomers find their way around within the school, but settle and feel they are part of our community.” This includes parents as well as students. Section administrators take the time to get to know our new families and connect them with others in similar situations. The weekly Coffee Klatch is an informal venue where new parents can ask for help in filling out registration papers, get recommendations for dentists, or simply make new friends. And our vast volunteer network also provides multiple opportunities for new parents to become active in the community. Because when it comes down to it, the quintessence of the American Section and the “Lycée Inter” is the vibrant community that embraces all its constituents from the day they join. Margaret Jenkins Assistant Director for Development, Communications and External Relations
It’s often one person in the family that has the compelling notion to take a sabbatical to France. That was me. It takes another to conspire - that was Olivia, my then 12 year old daughter. And there you have it - the momentum to push this American-Canadian family of four to St. Germain-en-Laye. Why here? We simply found the school first. And once you find the Lycée International, you have the confidence to get on with the ancillary puzzle pieces. The big picture was my engine. I knew that life in Connecticut was not going to teach my kids what they would need. And I’m not talking about academics. I’m talking about resilience, tolerance, courage, curiosity, joy. I knew that I couldn’t give my kids happiness – they must acquire the experience and tools to find their own happiness in life. Would they find these in suburban CT? The pit in my stomach grew each year, but from gut ache to “go” is a stretch. Finally, I committed – this would be my enduring gift to them. Well, the big picture falls apart quickly when confronted with the little picture – the day to day craziness of getting by in a country you don’t understand and in a language you all have yet to acquire. Add to that, the alarmed gazes of my three skeptical followers and my own undercurrent of panic. Did I just uproot three people to follow a fantasy when we have a comfortable life in Connecticut? It’s hard to retain the big picture when the day to day is filled with reams of paperwork en français, an unfurnished apartment, shops that close just when I set out to shop, and restaurants that don’t open until 7:30pm on weekdays – huh? Cue the American Section office and community. I cradled myself in the Section resources to such an extent that I failed to grasp for months that I was in the French system and must assimilate. We newcomers must be quite a sight, wandering around the campus like we’ve lost our tour group. Yet with patience and determination, the American Section team sustains an enviable calendar brimming with potlucks and cocktail parties, BBQs and soccer, coffee klatches, and volunteering, where one is assured to find advice and camaraderie. The puzzle that is “The Lycée” would not have held together for us if not for this community of leaders, staff, parents and even kids, hell bent on the success of its expats. A year later the big picture has re-emerged and it is beautiful. This sabbatical was harder than I could ever have imagined. But the rewards are stunning. We did it. My kids have achieved a level of independence that is no longer allowed back home. This independence, hard-won success learning a new language and culture, rigorous academics amid captivating field trips, and new friendships spanning the globe, have given them something I didn’t witness back home – inspiration. I listen and smile as they tell me that kids are the same everywhere, as my eldest makes Latin connections between languages, as they identify and debunk cultural stereotypes through their new, international lenses. But what I find most interesting is how our muddled family separated into distinct individuals. We drew closer as a family yes, but the daily battle was waged as individuals. This newfound individuality has strengthened our family, generating interest and respect for each other. We all found our place here and it will prove to be an important part of each of our futures. Susan Graham
CO M M U N I T Y
A Community of Volunteers
It takes an
A R M Y A few years ago we started an audit to count the number of hours that volunteers donate to the Section every year. We never finished our accounting because, quite frankly, we got lost in the numbers. Between our art and library volunteers who help out in the Lower School on a weekly basis, the homeroom parents who coordinate class volunteers and communication, the event coordinators who spend countless hours organizing student dances and social evenings for parents, the soccer coaches who spend every weekend, rain or shine, out on the field with our teams, the Gala volunteers who solicit donations and organize our annual fundraising event, the countless parents who bake Thanksgiving pies, Holiday Sale gingerbread, and cupcakes for class parties, as well those who man the stands at our Halloween parties, the Lycée en Fête, or the Holiday Sale, and barbeque burgers at the annual picnic, there are hundreds of American Section volunteers and thousands and thousands of volunteer hours logged every year. The American Section owes its very existence to a parent volunteer. June Berzin founded the American Civilian Section in 1962, when the U.S. government determined that civilian children could no longer attend the American Section of the SHAPE International School for 14
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liability reasons. June petitioned the Proviseur, M. Tallard, for a classroom, collected tuition from the parents of the 25 civilian children, hired teachers, and purchased books. And when NATO and the U.S. military moved to Brussels in 1967, this American Civil Section became one of the founding sections of the Lycée International. June Berzin served on the Board of Trustees until 1974. Our current trustees, all parents or former parents, remain as steadfastly dedicated to Section’s mission as she was. We say it time and again, the American Section would not be what it is without its army of volunteers. The time parents spend volunteering is what permits us to run the plethora of events that unite our community, and enrich our educational offering. By volunteering, parents also model an important part of our mission statement to our students: the importance of serving others. Each individual contribution is important, and the thousands and thousands of volunteer hours assembled allow our Section to go from good to great. We thank you all. Margaret Jenkins Assistant Director for Development, Communications and External Relations
Robert Youngblood was an American Section parent for 19 years, from 1997-2016. For the duration of his long tenure as a parent, Robert volunteered in nearly all aspects of American Section life-from working on the Section’s newsletter, to being the original Homeroom Dad, coordinating the Gala basket, serving as a member of the Section’s Board of Trustees for many years, as well as dressing up as Santa whenever the occasion called for it. In the spirit of Robert Youngblood’s selfless engagement, tireless dedication and unshakeable belief in the American Section, this award publicly recognizes a volunteer who throughout his/her time with the Section has exemplified those qualities that all of us came to know and cherish with Robert Youngblood.
O LI V IE R V ENE NCIE Recipient of the 2017 Robert Youngblood Volunteer Award
During the six years we spent in the United States some 15 years ago, we were amazed by the level of commitment to “community service” the surrounding families upheld. Upon returning to France in 2004, we were fortunate to find a spot for each of our children in the American section (three at the time). Our second daughter, Anne, and our younger son, Arnaud, had played soccer in New Rochelle, NY and wished to continue. They both joined the American soccer team that first year. It was an easy commute for us on Saturday mornings, just a relaxed five minute walk, because practice took place in Saint Nom la Bretèche, where we live. I remember the first practice session perfectly because we were late despite the proximity, and also because we were waiting for two other repatriated families, friends of ours from NY. There were two groups of kids on the field. In one of the groups, the adult standing in the middle was “shouting” at the kids. Our kids were intimidated by this loud coach and were apprehensive about joining them. It took a few minutes of bargaining to get them to join that group. However, two minutes later, they realized the group was not the US soccer team… we were so relieved! We then walked over to the other group present and were warmly welcomed by Jacques, Antoine and Jerry. I became part of the coaching team the following year and closely watched the experienced coaches to learn the tricks of the trade. A year later, I had the pleasure of welcoming Arnaud to my team. According to the Club International archives, that year was the first year the US soccer team reached the Tournoi des Etoiles’ semi-finals, the yearly festive soccer event, and ultimately won the competition! As coaches, we were beyond proud of our overjoyed players! Coaching became part of my family life, which meant that every Saturday morning I would accompany my son (I did not coach the girls’ team) to the soccer field, greet all the players, warm up, exercise a little, and then play the game. This routine lasted nine consecutive years, until Arnaud graduated from the Lycée in 2015. I then decided to take a sabbatical which I enjoyed a lot: no more waking up early on Saturdays, no more rain or wet feet or snowy games. The following year, Jéremy, our fourth child, entered Sixième and I decided to escort him to soccer, where I ended up signing up for coaching again! Thus started my 2.0 coaching career. One of my all-time favorite memories is the 2011-2012 season. Arnaud had moved up to Upper School soccer (les “Grands”). As Troisièmes are much smaller than Terminales, they are usually left out from the regular team, and if they are part of a team, they typically “polish the bench” during the games (serving only as substitutes). As it were, the ASH team (German, Nordic and Dutch sections) also had some extra Troisièmes graders. We therefore combined both squads and made a team of 16 players, called “USASH”. I don’t recall us winning a single championship game, but despite the accumulated losses, I always had 16 players eager to fight on the field, rain or shine. The motivation for coaching first came from my own children: time spent with them which I wasn’t able to secure during the week. Very quickly however, I was taken with the other kids, the rest of the team, and the pleasure of spending time with them. I believe I understand where the motivation that pushes young adults to become teachers comes from: helping kids grow, giving them advice, helping them develop skills, though I am by no means a soccer expert. I remember taking one primary kid aside (a young girl), who could barely hit the ball (with either foot), and giving her a private lesson about controlling and passing the ball, the most elementary moves in soccer. I did this again very recently, and the goal remained the same: giving self-confidence to new players and preventing feelings of shame or awkwardness when missing a pass or the ball on the field. It was easier for me to volunteer for the American section by being a soccer coach during the weekends than by finding time during the week to bake and sell cakes, build gingerbread houses and create Christmas wreaths, especially since the only thing I can whip up is chocolate mousse… I am grateful to have been able to find a way of giving back, especially as it ended up teaching me so much as well. Coaching is a yearlong and dedicated commitment, as the season lasts for nearly nine months, from September until the Tournoi des Etoiles in May. We cannot drop out and abandon the kids; they are highly motivated to place in the “Final Four” and win the Tournoi des Etoiles, and count on us to help them achieve this. This is where you find the strength to always get up on those cold Saturday mornings. In addition to the bond fostered with the players, and in spite of the fierce competition on the field, we develop true friendships with other section coaches, and a couple of times during the season, we even indulge and play a soccer game. just between coaches!
Olivier, in red, with his Middle-School athletes CO M M U N I T Y
the Wider Community
Nurturing a sense of responsibility to others is a core part of the American Section’s mission statement, and the desire to make a difference in our community is omnipresent among American Section students. Whether it be a student-driven initiative or an organized school activity, students give back in a multitude of ways. The journey begins in Lower School, where students discover what community service means. They explore different ways in which they can engage in the different communities around them with projects focusing on their local, school, and family communities, as well as learning how to make a difference by protecting the environment. Reaching out to the local community for Lower School students involves sharing Halloween with a special needs school, decorating boxes for Love in a Box, helping collect donations for food banks, and playing bingo with residents in a retirement home. For our school community, the group presents small gifts to various personnel, decorates for Halloween and Thanksgiving, and prepares personalized welcome letters for new students. The Lower School Community Service students continuously look for ways to help their family and friends, and to encourage acting responsibly towards our environment. In upper grades, the activities are often student-driven. Older students have participated in events as diverse as game 16
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nights and cooking activities with physically handicapped adolescents living in group homes, have organized donation drives of both food and clothing, and volunteered in soup kitchens. Students have collected rice and lentils for those living in the Jungle in Calais, toiletries for local shelters, school supplies for India, toothbrushes for l’Arbre à Pain, and the list goes on. The Upper School Community Service group is working this year with the homeless and refugee populations in the Paris region and in our own community. It is not possible to travel around Paris today without encountering people and families living in destitute conditions. Small groups of students participate once per month in food preparation and/ or distribution in conjunction with Serve Your City Paris. The students are also working to organize the community to collect winter coats and other items for refugees in Paris and Calais. Finally, the whole American Section community participates each year in the Fôret Propre forest clean-up in the St. Germain-en-Laye forest. This activity appeals to families as well as older students, who revel in finding suitcases and computers simply strewn in the forest. It is also a great community building activity. - Amy Crist, Upper School Community Service Advisor - Caitlin Echasseriau, Lower School Community Service Advisor
The India Project Former Section director, Sean Lynch, created the India Project over a decade ago, based on the conviction that everyone can make a difference. Over the years, scores of American Section students have taken part in the program, which combines community service, cultural exploration, and international exchange. Students now take part in a rich exchange program with our established partner school, the Mahatma Gandhi International School of Ahmedabad. Their students come to Paris in the early fall to discover France and share their culture with the American Section community, and sixteen Section students visit India during the February vacation. While in India, students visit celebrated monuments in Ahmedabad and Udaipur, and teach the students at MGIS about life in France. Living in host families, they soak up the Indian way of life, so different from our own. But what invariably makes the deepest impression on our students is the community service portion of the program. Gandhi once said that “the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” While teaching English to underprivileged children at the Street School, in the Manav Sadhna community centers, and other local NGOs or municipal schools, Section students discover unknown inner resources. They understand that there are enormous personal rewards when you help others. And that while one person can (and should) make a small difference, it is when we work together that the world becomes a better place. Grace Bagdadhi, a 2016 team member ,wrote the last entry in her group’s on-line journal: “This experience has changed us forever. In many years we will look back at these moments and understand the gravity of it. Being exposed to the harsh reality of poverty, witnessing social inequalities first hand will motivate us forever to try and make a change in the world.” Her sentiments were echoed by one of last year’s participants, Alice Richard. “We’re determined, and we will make a difference, little as it may be. India isn’t over; we’re just taking a little break to go back, more ready than ever.”
Be the change you want to see in the world. Ghandi
Margaret Jenkins, India Exchange Coordinator
CO M M U N I T Y 1 7
CLASS OF 2 0 1 7
Excerpt from the Faculty Address “We’re under no illusion that you’ll forget about a lot of what happened these recent years; our carefully-crafted lesson plans, the essays you spent hours writing and we spent hours grading, the group work and study questions and poetry projects will dissolve into vague memories, but there is one thing from your time here you need to hold on to when you get out into the world. You have a more cosmopolitan understanding of the world than most people, and that’s important right now. You work and live and hang out with people from different countries. You know that physical and cultural, linguistic and religious differences are ultimately superficial and meaningless. Not everyone in the world knows that. In fact, in this age of transnational terrorism, refugee crises and increasingly normalized xenophobia, a lot of people who matter don’t feel that way. You know it, and you need to take with you. If there’s one thing I demand of each of you, personally, it’s that you take this awesome gift and pay it forward. You need to display it in your life; you need to lead by example. Now finally, here is what has kept me motivated and moving through life: have a “next thing:” wherever you are, ask yourself: what are you going to do next? Where are you going to move? What do you want out of your current job and what more do you want to do? Where and how can you be you and be useful? Never stop looking, never stop learning, and never stop moving. We’ve done our thing; now you gotta do yours. You own it now.” Ben Heckscher, Head of History
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Excerpts from the Student Address “As the yearbook’s title said: “You had to be there.” It’s true, you had to be there. You had to be there to fully understand what the American Section family is all about. Words, speeches, stories, pictures, videos, none of them are enough to fully encapsulate all we’ve experienced year after year, month after month, week after week, day after day, class after class. You had to be there to soak up one of Mr.Colonna’s deep, fascinating, philosophical classes, or listen to Mr.Whitacre’s jazzy music on Friday mornings to smoothly wake us up, or enjoy Mr. Heckscher’s natural humor, or hear Mrs. Covington’s fascinating classes on the Russian Revolution in Troisième or even sit through a Wordly Wise test in Mrs. Green’s classes (…) They allowed us to become, through their patience and dedication, the adults we are today; more determined, ambitious and prepared than ever to embark on our separate journeys around the world.” Livia Robic ‘17 “How could one not be grateful to one’s parents for pushing them into the better-person machine that is the American Section of the Lycée International? I say better-person machine because I believe that overall, the American Section simply teaches you how to be an amazing, well-rounded human being. The American Section encourages you to always shoot for the stars while never resting on your laurels. The solid academic teachings are backed by outstanding co-curriculars such as INK, MUN, HRT, India and London trips, Yearbook, Community Service and many more... which give us the necessary mindfulness to be aware of our privilege and be able to go out in the world and change it for the better, as I undoubtedly think the class of 2017 will in the future. My mother has told me several times “your Bac is just a stepping stone, you just have to make sure you don’t miss it”, and although today we celebrate our achievement, I would say that success is only at our doorstep and that the best is yet to come.” ”I believe the American Section is all about family. “Une petite secte” as our classmates from other sections put it. But truly it is one of our strengths. The support that one can find within this section is really incredible.” Axel Fayet ‘17
CO M M U N I T Y
2007 - 2016 180 160
University Destinations Class of 2017 University Destinations of American Section Graduates 2007 - 2016
140 120 CANADA (9) Bishop’s University 100 HEC Montreal McGill University 80 (3) OCAD University/York University of60 British Columbia UBC/Sciences Po Reims (double diplôme) 40 Saint Mary’s University, Nova Scotia 20
University Destinations of American Section Graduates 2007-2017
180 160 140 120 100 80 60 40
UNITED STATES 0 of AMERICA (7) American University Cornell University Middlebury College Penn State University University of Chicago University of New York Stony Brook Wesleyan University
IRELAND (1) Trinity College Dublin
UNITED KINGDOM (20) Imperial College London King’s College London (4) London School of Economics University of Bath (3) University of Bristol University of Exeter (2) University of Leeds University of Loughborough University of Oxford University of Surrey University of Sussex University of Warwick (2)
2011 2009 2011 2010 2010
2008 2009 20072008
INSA Rouen Institut Catholique de Lille Lycée Hoche (prépa) Lycee Lakanal (prépa) Lycée Louis le Grand (prépa) Lycée Pasteur (prépa) Lycée Ste. Genevieve (prépa) Starter Prepa Beaux Arts Université de Paris Descartes (2) Université de Paris Diderot Université d’Orsay
SWITZERLAND (1) Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne NETHERLANDS (1) University of Leiden FRANCE (16) Ecole d’agronomie UniLaSalle EDHEC BBA Lille ENSCOM Compiègne EPITA
GAP YEAR (3) Final destinations included in above listing
Class of 2017 Baccalauréat Results S
Evolution of Mention Rates
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2017 SUMMER A
Now in its tenth year, the American Section’s Summer Awards program has permitted some forty-four American Section students to take part in life-changing summer experiences all over the globe. The Global Citizen Award was created in 2008, the class gift of the Class of 2007. Designed to finance special projects focusing on issues of human development, environmental protection, and/or human rights, applicants must be current Première students, and projects completed during the summer between the students’ Première and Terminale years. Past winners of the Global Citizen Scholarship have created an eye clinic in Ahmedabad, India, built latrines in a Nepalese village, studied global warming in Iceland, done equine therapy in Ecuador and taught English to children in Ghana, China, and India. The Class of 2013 dedicated its class gift to create the Summer Scholars award. This award is designed to allow students to explore an academic or artistic subject in depth during the summer. Summer scholars can study most anything as long as they are pursuing a passion or exploring a field they are considering for their university studies or professional life. The Summer Scholars Award is open to rising Premières and Terminales. Past winners have studied graphic art in New York City, explored marine biology in Borneo and studied medicine in Argentina. American Section Summer Awards are financed by the Annual Fund, through a grant by the American-based Friends of ASALI. A total of 45,000€ has been awarded since 2008. We hope you enjoy reading about the experiences of this years’ winners. CO M M U N I T Y
COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD
An Archeological Dig in Pollentia
s a boy, I had often dreamed of going on an archeological dig. The American Section Summer Scholar Award helped make that dream a reality. On July 2nd 2017, I flew from Orly airport to Palma de Majorca (no, the plan was not to lie on the beach all day long). I had contacted a Spanish company called “Archaeospain,” that gets high school students from around the world to participate in different digs around Spain. I was part of an international team, made up of high school and college students from Spain, the US, and UK, as well as several professional archeologists. For the next four weeks I would be working with over 100 people, excavating the Roman city of Pollentia, located on the north side of the island. The city is well preserved, as it was abandoned after the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century. The medieval town that replaced Pollentia, today known as Alcudia, was built opposite the Roman town. On the first day, we were split into several smaller teams that would work in different areas of the site. Each team had an experienced professional archeologist as its leader, who taught us and gave us instructions. My team was sent to work in a part of the Roman cemetery, known as the necropolis. That area had only been opened last year, when they found four graves there. The idea this year was to extend this area and hopefully find more burial sites. Very quickly, I adjusted to the routine. After spending five to six hours picking away at the dirt with pick axes and shovels, we had a late lunch. The work was extremely tiring, especially considering that it was 37 degrees on average. Nevertheless, it can be quite satisfying once you learn how to wield the tools, and hardship like this made us all great friends. After lunch, we spent two to three hours cleaning, organizing and labeling the mountains of pottery shards that we would find everyday. This was much more interesting than it sounds, as I learned to identify what province of the empire, and what era some of these shards are from (though maybe it is only interesting for a Roman history nerd). Finally, the high school students had lectures in the evening, when the archaeologists would help us understand the more theoretical aspects of archeology. However, as great as all this was, there was one problem: we were not finding much. By the end of the second week, my team had still not found any graves. In fact, the director of the site offered to get us transferred to another area of the dig. Our leader agreed, and said that we should start polishing up the area with our brushes. Then we noticed a particularity: instead of having a smooth layer of unbreakable bedrock, in the midst of this bedrock was a small rectangle of dirt. Upon closer examination, we found that it was a tomb. I then had the privilege of working with a Spanish PhD. student to excavate the grave. We found a full skeleton inside! Overall, this was an amazing experience. I learned so much about not only the science of archeology, but what is the life of an archeologist is like. I do not know yet if I 22
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want to pursue a degree in archeology, but it is certainly an option. I also learned so much about the habits of the Romans, whom I love studying. Finally, I got to meet some kind, interesting and great people, who made the experience even more meaningful. I had a lot of fun during my stay in Majorca, and it could not have happened without the help of the American Section. - Anatole Grablevsky, Première
G L O B A L
C I T I Z E N
A W A R D
Teaching English in Northern Cambodia W
ith my Global Citizen Award I taught English in a remote village near Samraong, in northern Cambodia. I chose this experience because I wanted to do something where I felt I could make a difference and see that I was helping people, and also to gain experience that would be useful for later on in life. I felt like I really did make a difference to these children’s lives, but I also felt like I learned so much from them. Children in public schools in rural Cambodia go to school for just half a day. They have very large classes and only basic English as part of their curriculum. Families with even a little bit of money pay for private English tutors to give their children a chance for the future, but for the poorest children, which is most of the children in the villages around Samraong, where most of the families live at subsistence level, there is nothing. The Greenway School was started in 2012 by an NGO called Greenway Cambodia to give these children a chance to learn English so that they will have a better chance at finding jobs when they finish their schooling. It began with one classroom and only 15 children, and has now grown to 13 classes, and 423 children, who go to the Greenway School when they are not in the public school. It is entirely free; reserved for the children of families who earn between $0.50 and $1 a day (to put that in perspective, a small bottle of water costs $0.50), and all of the teaching is done by volunteers.
What I loved about this experience was the chance to feel a part of Cambodian life. The volunteer experience began with an introduction week where we learned about Cambodian culture and values, and a little bit of Khmer language. After, I understood the culture in a way I never would have if I had just visited as a tourist. At the end of the introduction week, we got our class assignments. I was assigned to the kindergarten class, which was actually composed of children aged between six and nine, because the classes are organized by level of English, not age. The first week of teaching I taught with two other volunteers, who had been there for a while, so I learned a lot from them. The following week the director asked if I minded teaching on my own. It was incredibly challenging, but also incredibly rewarding. The main lesson that I got from this experience is that I should really appreciate the small things in life. When I was there I was constantly thinking that it was amazing how much joie de vivre these kids all have despite the fact that they are so poor and literally have nothing. They were always eager to learn and incredibly happy and affectionate. I honestly think that their childhood is so much richer than ours because they don’t have the luxury of having any technology, so they have the most creative minds I have ever encountered. They constantly invent games with what they have around them. These children permitted me to see a whole new part of the world that I would never have seen if I hadn’t done this project. I am very grateful to have had this opportunity. - Leah Sadoff, Terminale
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S C H O L A R S
AWA R D
Fashion Design in London T
the procedures and ways to develop a project. Our project was centered on the “extraordinary;” through thorough research and idea development we were to, by the end of the week, present a final draft illustration of our garment. I learned about many different ways to motivate your imagination (‘to inspire yourself ’) and to start a thought process through research. Primary research, I was told, is essential during the development of a personal project, thus, internet research was not allowed: we were to gather information by ourselves, through our own initiatives. We were welcomed at the very prestigious CSM library and archives, and at the Victoria and Albert Museum to attend the Balenciaga exposition. At the end of the week, I proudly presented my work to the teachers. The following week revolved around patternmaking, drawing, and cutting out patterns that can later be layered over fabric to cut the garment’s pieces. This was less mentally challenging, but was, practically speaking, difficult at times, and technically very demanding. The teacher had us cut out several patterns such as bodices, sleeves, skirts and pants. I learned about the different types of seam lines and darts and how to fold the paper to make them appear on the fabric, for later use in the development of the garment. At the end of the week, we cut out fabric using a pattern to create a bodice draft to pin on the stand. By that time, I had already created about half a dozen patterns of different sleeves, and bodices, a few skirts and a pair of pants to bring home. These two weeks were a truly inspiring introduction to the fashion college routine. I acquired skills in researching and concept development, as well as practical skills in the use of specific patternmaking tools and fabric. It also boosted my creativity and urge to continue in this field.
his summer, thanks to my Summer Scholars Award from the American Section, I was able to spend two weeks in London taking fashion and design classes in one of the most selective and renowned fashion schools, Central Saint Martins at the University of the Arts London (UAL). My two weeks of classes were divided into two parts: one course was dedicated to research and concept illustration, and the second offered practical courses on patternmaking. During the first week at UAL, the teachers introduced me to
I chose to apply to these courses because the American Section could give me an opportunity I otherwise might have not been able to afford. As I have been practicing fine arts and found a growing interest in fashion, I looked into schools and chose one of the best. These courses helped me get a base in fashion design which I can and will use to grow and evolve in that world. They were truly enchanting and confirmed my interest and passion for fashion designing. I wish to express my sincere gratitude to the American Section without which all this would not have been possible, for helping me evolve and work my hardest to achieve my goals. - Mila Narjollet, Terminale CO M M U N I T Y
COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD
Working with Refugees in Greece Throughout the whole of Seconde, I immersed myself in the refugee crisis by participating in the American Section’s Human Rights Team and traveling to the Calais “Jungle.” I felt a growing sense of duty to get involved in the cause and do whatever I could to help. So when I heard about the possibility of receiving the Global Citizen Award in Première, I immediately decided to apply. I settled on Greece: it was just a two-hour plane ride away, yet I knew that I would be stepping into a drastically different world. For many refugees, Greek shores are the first stop after leaving home. They land on the island of Lesvos after long and perilous journeys before being relocated to camps in Athens and Northern Greece. Jaz O’Hara, co-founder of the Worldwide Tribe whom I met through the Human Rights Team in 2016, pointed me to the EKO Project– a refugee camp just outside of Thessaloniki, Northern Greece. I spoke with them about the prospect of volunteering in July, but I was too young. I was frustrated but refused to give up. After lengthy email exchanges and more phone calls, they finally consented. Excited, I started planning my trip. Shortly before I was scheduled to leave, however, they cancelled: informing me apologetically that EKO was going to be evacuated by the Greek government, a procedure that happens often in order to make space for new influxes of refugees. It felt unfair. After all the efforts I had gone to and despite my enthusiasm to volunteer, I couldn’t follow through with this project. I reached out to several organizations but kept encountering barriers. Either I was too young or the camp was being evacuated. Instead of feeling discouraged, I began to see the refugee crisis for what it was: utterly unpredictable. It was impossible to plan more than a day in advance, and I was experiencing that volatility firsthand. Despite the fear of the unknown, I made my way to Greece with an open mind. I spent much of the first weekend sending out emails and managed to string together a spontaneous plan. I was sent to Elpida, a recently evacuated camp where volunteers scrambled to clear out the entire building and salvage anything that could potentially be reused before the Greek government threw it away. I also worked with Communitere, a mobile organization that went into refugee camps teaching people how to build. Its philosophy seemed to follow the old proverb: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Along with a group of volunteers, I helped the project-leader organize his tools and take pictures of each one for his inventory. Finally I worked at Sinatex, a remote and abandoned factory converted into a refugee camp. Although the camp was evolved compared to most – refugees lived in small, plywood rooms that had a door, lock, and key therefore lowering the chance of theft and rape – the kids had little to no entertainment. My job, along with other volunteers, was to organize creative and playful activities for them. Most children fell between the
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ages of two months and 12 years, which made common activities difficult and somewhat chaotic. Nevertheless, working at Sinatex proved to be my most rewarding experience in Greece. Despite the immense language barrier and cultural gap between us, I formed a strong bond with the kids over painting masks, toy crowns, and each other’s faces. By the time I had to leave it was impossible to say goodbye. How could I explain to these kids that I was going home, whereas they’re stuck in middle-of-nowhere Greece and thousands of miles away from their homes? My thoughts shifted between guilt and gratitude. Three weeks in Greece was emotionally draining but also an immensely rewarding experience. It was just enough time to open my eyes even wider to the refugee crisis in Europe, and I know I will be back. I feel inspired to continue working with refugees and am more grateful than ever for the privilege I have; I hope to use it in the most meaningful way possible by meeting many more inspiring people like the refugees at Sinatex, hearing their stories, and helping them to share their voices with the world.
“Asaalam ealaykum” (An Arabic greeting to all, which roughly translates to “peace be upon you.”) Read more on this blog that I shared during the trip with my mom and two college students––one of whom is a former American Section student: borders2017.blogspot.gr - Sophie Lemmerman, Terminale
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As most of you already know, tuition income covers the American Section’s basic operating expenses, including salaries, books, and classroom supplies. The funds raised through our various fundraising efforts allow us to go above and beyond. We are strong today because of the donations we have received year after year. And that makes us strong for tomorrow. These donations are used to equip our classrooms with modern technology, provide financial assistance to members of our community in need, bring to campus published writers that inspire our students, buy resources for our libraries, and give unique experiences to our students through the Global Citizenship Awards. In the years to come, donations will help fund several strategic initiatives, such as the classroom renovation project and the health program. Close to 50% of our community members participate in our fundraising program through donations to the Annual Fund and the annual fundraising gala. Whether large or small, all contributions epitomize active participation in the American Section community, for the good of all our students. The program enhancements provided by fundraising enrich our educational offerings and directly or indirectly touch each and every student enrolled in the Section, and every euro counts. Many thanks to the parents, members of faculty and staff, and alumni listed below. Your annual gifts to the American Section are tangible proof of the strength and the ambition of our dynamic community.
Key Statistics 2016-2017 Total Annual Fund Income: 67, 165€ Total Fundraising Income: 111,036€
Fabienne Aschenbroich and Jen Dalrymple Co-Chairs, Board Development Committee
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Director’s Circle over 2500€ Sawako BARBERON Katie and Jean-Christophe MIESZALA Jennifer DALRYMPLE and Luis ROTH
ASALI Benefactors 1000€ to 2499€ Fabienne and Jacques ASCHENBROICH * Margaret DICKASON-CLAR and Philippe CLAR Angélique and Jean-Benoît DEVAUGES Kimberly MOCK and Nordine HACHEMI Helen and Tom HICKEY Nora and Stephane HUSSON MH and Olivier MARSALY Adeline and John MATHIEU Stéphanie ANDRIEUX and Keith NEY Susan GRAHAM and Jeffrey RESNICK Karen VISSICCHIO Martine and Christophe VOLARD
Community Builders 500€ to 999€ Yasmin and Francesco BALLARIN * Laure and André BENTZE Emmanuelle GRELIER and Samuel BONAMIGO Marie Capucine and Eric BÔNE Isabelle BRETHENOUX Carol and Pierre CAMBEFORT Cristina BEZZI & Claudio COCCHIS Camille and Baudouin CORMAN Aude NOBECOURT and Alexandre COSQUER Tara PATEL and Eric DESBLANCS Marie-Claude MICHAUD and Alain DE SERRES Nicky and Eric DOLADILLE Mireille FRANCO and Jose ESTEVE OTEGUI Kim MURPHY and Brahim HALMAOUI Muriel NELSON LEBBAR and Youssef LEBBAR Karine DOUPLITZKY and Thierry LUNATI Joanna and Christophe MAINGUY Lennys and Giorgio MILANO Marie-Béatrice NICAUD and Yann PERRON Annelise and Jean-Paul RIVAL Laura MONROE SINGER & Jean-Marie SINGER Nathalie and Stéphane SOUCHET Regina and Frédéric TARDY * Frédérique and Olivier TIREAU Emmanuelle RICARD and Tom VAN DEN BUSSCHE Denise and Matthieu VAN VEEN Christine and Richard WASHINGTON * Alumni Donors
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5-Year Consecutive Donors ( * Ten year consecutive donor) Fabienne and Jacques ASCHENBROICH Yasmin and Francesco BALLARIN Caroline and Indrajit BANERJEE Carol and Pierre CAMBEFORT Margaret DICKASON-CLAR and Philippe CLAR Min Hua SUN and Pascal CORCESSIN Catherine and Mark CORRIGAN * Adrienne and Richard COVINGTON Karl COX * Amy and Philippe CRIST * Lise HARTMAN and Bertrand DE FOUCHIER * Anja and Christian DELANNES Tara PATEL and Eric DESBLANCS Carrie Lee BROWN and Stefano DI LULLO * Nicky and Eric DOLADILLE Catherine and Bill FAHBER Laurence and Laurent FISCHER * Madeleine and Mark FLEMING Sabrina LOI and Marc FOURNIER Désirée and Hervé GENIN Sophie and Laurent GILHODES Kimberly MOCK and Nordine HACHEMI * Yasmina HADERBACHE * Beccyand Stuart HAUGEN Julia HAMMETT-JAMART and Olivier JAMART Charlotte JARQUIN Margaret JENKINS * Cécile and Arnaud LE TIRAN Wendy and Randy LEMMERMAN Adeline and John MATHIEU Andrew MCGOVERN Marjolein and Bruce MEE Katie and Jean-Christophe MIESZALA Lennys and Giorgio MILANO Qi LIU-MILLOT and Manuel MILLOT Stéphanie ANDRIEUX and Keith NEY Véronique and John O’BRIEN Isabelle and Douglas PENNER-LACOMPTE Carolyn and Eric PENOT Annelise and Jean-Paul RIVAL Vanina and Alain ROBIC Jennifer DALRYMPLE and Luis ROTH Alice and Chris SANTEIU
Your donations are making the following possible: Financial Aid: 24,404€ Strategic Plan Initiatives 31,748€ Curriculum Mapping Accreditation Administrative Database Program Enhancements 21,866€ Health Program Writer in Residence Branfére Trip Summer Awards Library Technology : 19,313€ iPads and Chromebooks Computers Fundraising Expenses : 13,705€
Beth PAUL SAUNIER and Maël SAUNIER Bénédicte SILIER * Nathalie and Stéphane SOUCHET Yana and Eric TOFFIN Nancy and Alexandre TREMBLOT DE LA CROIX Emmanuelle RICARD and Tom VAN DEN BUSSCHE Denise and Matthieu VAN VEEN Kathrine and Benjamin VIDET Christine and Richard WASHINGTON Janice and Mike WHITACRE Lorraine and Paul WHITFIELD
Where Donations Will Be Spent
Section Partners 250€ to 499€ John Dekker ANDERSON Steven M. BERZON * Valérie and Pierre BIVAS Laure DEMEESTER and Richard BRAUN Lea and Laurent CHAMBAUD-BOUDET Catherine and Gabriel CORCORAN Maria CRAWFORD and Sami DAKHLIA * Lise HARTMAN and Bertrand DE FOUCHIER * Samantha MATTHEWS-DENEEF and Laurent DENEEF Kathleen and Gaël DOMINIQUE Karine and Jean-François DORIN Evelyne DUVAL Valérie and Anthony EAGLETON Catherine and Bill FAHBER Muriel ESCOLA FLOCH and Ronan FLOCH Gale and Antoine GERRIER Caroline and Séjean GHAFARI Christine DRISCOLL GOULAY and Matthieu GOULAY Tatyana and Edward GRABLEVSKY Elizabeth and Arnaud GUERIN Laurence and Andrew HAFEMEISTER Carmen GOMEZ ALZAGA and Juan HARDOY Corinna and Martin KOHLI Meenu and Amit KOHLI Wendy and Randy LEMMERMAN Jessica Shuet Mui and Henry LEUNG Christelle and Raphael LLOBREGAT Nelly and Benoit LOMBARDET Françoise and Jonathan MARSH Shruti and Varun MISHRA Laure and Jacques MULBERT Karine and Jerome NICOLAS Véronique and John O’BRIEN Beth PAUL SAUNIER and Maël SAUNIER Isabelle and Joe SIART Jennifer TABARY and Charles ZNATY Lorraine and Paul WHITFIELD Pamela and Antoine WOLF 1 anonymous donation
Corporate Donations/ Matching Gifts
* Alumni Donors
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Senior Class Gift Laure, Matthieu & Aurélien ACCOLAS Saliha, Azzedine & Adel BOUBGUIRA Kellie BOURQUE-RIGAL & Dylan RIGAL Anne, Jean-Baptiste & Emilie BRIOT Fanny, Christoph & Clèmence BRUGUIER Carol, Pierre & John CAMBEFORT Min Hua SUN, Pascal CORCESSIN & Lisa DONOVAN Catherine, Mark & Chirstopher CORRIGAN Lise, Rodolphe & Edith CORONAS Anja, Christian & Maëlys DELANNES Claude DUCARME & Alexandre GUIOT Ada, Marc & Axel FAYET Samuel & Adrien FOURNEAUX Caroline, Pierre & Athina GUNNARSSON Yasmina HADERBACHE & Lucas TOURNIER Charlotte & Isabelle JARQUIN Nathalie, Jean-Christophe & Adrien JUILLARD Meenu, Amit & Harshida KOHLI Valérie, Régis & Cécile LOUIS Joanna, Christophe & Hugo MAINGUY Yvonne LEMONNIER, Frédéric & Laura MANOUKIAN An, Alexandre & Lorie MERIGAY Melanie, Frédéric & Matthew MIRAN Lisa STEPHENS MORVAN & Matthew MORVAN Isabelle, Julien & Gabriel NAGINSKI Isabelle, Douglas & Kennan PENNERLACOMPTE Thierry & Sébastien PUJOL Annelise, Jean-Paul & Nicolas RIVAL Vanina, Alain & Livia ROBIC Denis & Benjamin ROYER Carine VASSY, Marc ROBERT & Félicien ROBERT-VASSY Jennifer & Madeleine TABARY Anne-Véronique, Bertrand & Victoire TEFRA Yana, Eric & Emma TOFFIN Pamela, Antoine& Maximilien WOLF
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Program Supporters up to 249€ Caroline and Indrajit BANERJEE Mui Geh and Olivier BARON Charlotte and Guillaume BECLE Klaudia and Adrien BEQUART Delphine MONTAZEAUD and Vincent BORDMANN Céline and Olivier BOURIAUD Agnès and David CATTON Paraskevi TSOURIDI and Stefan CHAPMAN Adrienne and Richard COVINGTON Karl COX * Amy and Philippe CRIST Nathalie SAREL and Rémy CROISILLE Janet HART-DA SILVA and Jean Philippe DA SILVA Anja and Christian DELANNES Marine and Olivier DE LONGEAUX Vanina and Sébastien DE PRENEUF Karen and Julien DESMOTTES Sophie DEUTSCH Carrie Lee BROWN and Stefano DI LULLO Stéphanie DUBOIS Caitlin ECHASSERIAU Marc FAYET * Michelle and Thomas FISCHER Laurence and Laurent FISCHER Sharon and Marc FISCHLI Madeleine and Mark FLEMING * Pilar and François FORTIN Sabrina LOI and Marc FOURNIER * Sophie GALLET-PONTHIER and John GALLET Alexia and Shahin GASHTI Sylvie PENA-GAUFROY and Aymeric GAUFROY * Sophie and Laurent GILHODES Anne-Laure and Anthony GIUSTINI * Natacha and Jonathan HALL Beccy and Stuart HAUGEN Nathalie and Serge HEIDRICH Michelle HOFFMAN Cécile and Richard HULLIN Julia HAMMETT-JAMART and Olivier JAMART Margaret JENKINS Alice and Emmanuel JOUSSELLIN Ashlie and Emmanuel KASPEREIT Wendra MARSHALL and Axel LARGOT Catherine COLLIER and Etienne LAVAUX Elisabeth and Goran LAZOVIC * Mallika and Arnaud LECOEUR Joséphine and Philippe LHUSSIER Jacinthe BRILLET and Antoine LIMAGNE Cécile and Arnaud LE TIRAN Nancy MAGAUD * Caroline and Richard MARSHALL Elizabeth MATTHEWS Andrew McGOVERN Marjolein and Bruce MEE Ana and Olivier MENARD Caroline SMITH and Matthieu MILGROM * Qi LIU-MILLOT and Manuel MILLOT Emilie and Sébastien MORAS Miranda NICHOLS Jennifer and Xavier ODOLANT Kasumi PAILLAUD-IWABUCHI and Stéphane PAILLAUD
Participation Rates 100% 90%
80% 70% 60%
30% 20% 10% Board
Catherine and Jean-Christophe PANDOLFI Isabelle and Douglas PENNER-LACOMPTE Carolyn and Eric PENOT Maria Jose and Dionisio PEREZ-JACOME Anne and Christophe PEYMIRAT Meg PIERCE Serina and Gilles PIZIGO Noriko KOBAYASHI and Nicolas POMBOURCQ Sylvie PONNOURADJOU DIDEROT and Alexis PONNOURADJOU Nathalie and Patrick POUPON Alexia and Pierre-Yves PROST Thomas and Julie PROUST Véronique and Stéphane PUBLIE Fanny RAT-FEREL and Fabien RAT Mathilde DE TURKHEIM and Jean-Philippe RETIF Anahita and Reza REYHANI Carine VASSY and Marc ROBERT Vanina and Alain ROBIC Libby ROBINSON Shiela and Mark SADOFF Alice and Chris SANTEIU Sabine KENNEDY and Hugo SAYAG Jean-Jacques SEKOWSKI Segolene FINET and Drew SHAGRIN Bénédicte and Thomas SILIER Rachel LUPIANI and Xavier SIMLER Frédéric SIROS Hélène and Rui SOBRAL Stacie and Serge STEPANOV Thirawan STYLEMANS Gilbert TALLARD * Marlene PANES VIVEROS and Philippe TORDOIR Ramona TORZSA Nancy and Alexandre TREMBLOT DE LA CROIX Charlotte and Clement TURNIER Kumi and Fabio VANCINI Kathrine and Benjamin VIDET Anna-Claire PAILLE and Guillaume VUILLARDOT Eve and Mark WALKER Jenny WATERS Janice and Mike WHITACRE Jonathan WHITNEY * Chrystele and Mark WINDRIDGE 3 anonymous donors
Friends of ASALI Board 2016-2017 OFFICERS
President: David Renard ‘91 Treasurer: Matt Milgrom ‘95 Secretary: Alexi Remnek ‘87 M E M B E R S AT L A R G E Lorna Colarusso Evelyne Pinard Elizabeth Sheehan Anton Zietsman ‘08 We thank Friends of ASALI for their support of our Student Award initiatives: Global Citizen Award Summer Scholars Award Community Service Award
Sources of Fundraising Income
The Friends of the Association de la Section Américaine du Lycée International (FoASALI) is a non-profit organization composed of former American Section students and parents. FoASALI’s purpose is twofold. The first is to act as the American Section’s philanthropic arm in the United States, participating in the Section’s development by funding specific projects, namely program enhancements that advance the mission statement. FoASALI’s second objective is to expand the American Section’s family at large with its Lost & Found Event series and other networkingrelated activities. Anyone wishing to get involved or find long lost friends, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org David Renard President, FoASALI
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The Roaring 20’s PLATINUM SPONSORS (5000€+)
GOLD SPONSORS (2,500€+)
Jennifer Dalyrmple and Luis Roth
SILVER SPONSORS (1000€+) Champagne Jeeper Josette Dujon (Baïa) La Boutique du Vélo Valeo Wellspace BENEFACTOR (700€+) Actor Conseil Frank RJ Golf de Fourqueux Josette Dujon (Baïa) Paris Wine Company Véronique Pion Jewelry PARTNER (300€+) Angela Charbonnier Association Confucius Sandrine Benyahia-Roussel Big Apple Yoga BPS Tax Services By Aparte Cazaudehore Jeremy Castin Dharma Yoga Ekyog La Fine France Golf de Bethemont La Grande Venise Jo and Jo Barbara Leone Le Manége Marjolein Martinot Photography Pierre Hermé Paris Plastic Omnium Yrsa Pretzel Les Pyramides Sacks
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Total Proceeds: 56,001€ Every fall, when we begin planning for the annual gala, we wonder how we could possibly top that of the year before. Yet somehow, every year, we do! This year’s extravaganza regaled guests in every way, with an elegant and convivial and speakeasy atmosphere, delicious cuisine, flowing Jeeper champagne, and live entertainment. In return, Roaring Twenties guests were extremely generous, participating wholeheartedly in the auctions, raffle, and Raise the Paddle, and raising 56,001€ for the American Section. Thank you to our Roaring Twenties Gala committee: Fabienne Aschenbroich, Lise Coronas, Jennifer Dalrymple, Vanina de Preneuf, Kathleen Dominique, Laure Genevois, Gabrielle Grieb, Margaret Jenkins, Alice Jousselin, Meenu Kohli, Kimberly Mock, Carolyn Penot, Annelise Rival, Sandrine Roussel, Sabine Sayag, Hélène Sobral, Laetitia Stagno, and Denise van Veen for organizing such a memorable and profitable evening. Thank you as well to our twenty-five student volunteers, whose efficiency is essential to the smooth running of the evening. American Section CoDirectors, Adrienne Covington and Mike Whitacre, were skilled and efficient auctioneers, adroitly running an exciting Live Auction and Raise the Paddle. Lower School Principal, Beccy Haugen, and her first graders created yet another highly coveted masterpiece, The Face of the Future. Thank you as well to the many members of our community who made or facilitated auction donations, as well as to our numerous commercial sponsors. The funds raised at the Gala and through our Annual Fund allow us to invest in programs and projects that tuition does not cover, including classroom technology, financial aid, global citizenship endeavors, and the upcoming classroom renovation project. Every € raised directly benefits our students. On their behalf, we thank everyone who took part in this important fundraising event.
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Right: “Faces of the Future”, painting created by Beccy Haugen’s First Graders
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A L U M N I Felix Tabary ‘10 An American Section student for 12 years (1998-2010)
Felix studied hospitality management and business at Cornell University, graduating in 2014. He then worked at Bloomberg for a little over three years, and has recently started working for a financial technology startup in New York. How would you describe the sense of community that reigned during your time in the American Section? The American Section was the comfort of home away from home. Nineteen years ago, I transitioned from an Anglo-Saxon kindergarten to a more formal French primary school system at Ecole Henri Dunant. The American Section’s very own Mrs. Haugen and Mr. Jackson made me feel welcome, and that feeling never went away throughout the following eleven years. A huge thank you to everyone who has worked for the American Section, it wouldn’t have been home without you!
Back row: Dounia Lomri (US), Alice Gatignol (US), Wolf Elardo (US), Thibault Salomon (US), Adam Cox (US), Edward de Fouchier (US), Julie Arnoux (US), Lucie Catillon (US), Daniel Valerio, Chloe Blaustein (US), Richard Duboc (US), Louis Larsen (DK), Felix Tabary (US), Paul Bejjani (US), Manon Vergerio (US) Front row: Olivia Vergnaud (Dutch), Matthias Grenon (US), Celine Chappert (US), Cristina Baussan (US), Simon Behr (US), Marie Saint Girons (US)
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Have you maintained connections with your Lycée and Section classmates over the years? Made connections with other Lycée graduates? Why and how? In Terminale, 15 of us guys from the American and British Sections created a Facebook message group: the Thread. It was originally supposed to help us coordinate parties and other activities, but we kept it going over the years. We speak every single day, and we still use it to coordinate our yearly Thread Christmas dinner and gift exchange. Beyond the Thread, I’ve been fortunate to live in a large house in Brooklyn that has become a pit stop for easily over 50 alumnae from the Lycée since I graduated from university. In 2014, we had an absolutely epic Thanksgiving dinner with 21 former Lycéens in attendance. Perhaps my favorite Lycée reunion memory is Lucie Catillon’s wedding last summer at the Pavillon Henri IV in Saint Germain. There were about 20 of us at the beautiful ceremony, and we made sure the dance floor stayed hot all night long until the sun rose over Paris. Are the connections with fellow Lycée grads different than those you have established with university friends, work colleagues, and other friends? When I visited Edward de Fourchier ‘10 in Sénégal this summer, he introduced me to his boss and told him we were high school friends. His response was: “encore un du Lycée?” Lycée friends are the friends you travel far to see and who you sometimes live with. People you speak to every day or perhaps once a year. There’s one common thread: Lycée friends are family.
F O C U S Sabastien Valla An American Section student for 9 years (1995 – 1998; 2001 – 2007)
After he graduated from the Lycée International, Sébastien moved to Montreal to study Chemical Engineering at McGill University. Four years later he moved back to Paris, where worked for a year at Areva, then got a Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering at l’Ecole Centrale Paris. He spent much of 2017 travelling around the world, and will be starting a new job in Brussels in 2018, leading performance improvement projects in an international network of laboratories.
Above (right): Nicolas Oudin and Sebastien Valla, May 2017 in Bali Above (left), from left to right top row: Matt Vallin (US), Nicolas Oudin (US), Nick Deveaux (US), Stephanie Studer (GB), Sebastien Valla (US) From left to right bottom row: Charlotte Barthen (GB), Corey Haugen (US)
How would you describe the sense of community that reigned during your time in the American Section? During my time in the American Section, there was a strong bond among students and between students and teachers. This bond between students was seen across ages and levels. Have you maintained connections with your Lycée and Section classmates over the years? Made connections with other Lycée graduates? Why and how? The bond that is created at the Lycée is quite special. The only people I have met around the world that have had similar experiences are those who attended comparable international schools. During my years at the Lycée, the bond also stretched beyond the confines of the American Section. I have found that the British and American Section students were always close. This bond was only strengthened after graduating from the Lycée even though we saw classmates less often since most have moved to different parts of the world. I have maintained very strong relationships with my closest friends during the Lycée. Even though we live in Asia, Europe and the US, that will never change. I have also made connections with graduates that I had never truly known during my Lycée years and some have become my closest friends since. During my trip around the world, the Lycée network helped me out as well. Through friends of friends, I met up with other Lycée graduates in Australia, South East Asia, South Korea and the US. It is amazing how quickly a strong connection is created with people I had barely met before, solely because we attended the Lycée. Are the connections with fellow Lycée grads different than those you have established with university friends, work colleagues, and other friends? Absolutely. The Lycée is a tough program that pushes you at an age where you are still young enough to learn quickly and efficiently, and where you are still finding out who you are and who you want to be. On the other hand, you are old enough and mature enough to understand why acquiring all this knowledge and experience is important for the future. It makes the experience challenging, and sharing this with others at that age brings you together. The multicultural experience adds on to it. Understanding that people from different cultures have had an upbringing based on a different set of values and points of views is a huge differentiating factor in the years after the Lycée.
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Kathy Ray ‘74 An American Section student for two years (1972-1974: Seconde and Première)
After graduating from the Lycée, Kathy attended a semester of college then went to a professional photography school before getting a Bachelor’s in Education from Boston University. She worked as a journalist, waitress, radio reporter, ophthalmic photographer, and rockclimbing and whitewater rafting guide, and eventually got a Physician Assistant degree from Albany Medical College in New York. She has worked in internal medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, cardiology, and has been in dermatology for the last 14 years. She takes histories, diagnoses and treats disease, and performs biopsies and minor surgeries.
How would you describe the sense of community that reigned during your time in the American Section? It was great! I don’t know if every class feels that way or if I just landed in the right class at the right time. I found kind, intelligent people with a similar approach to life and a good sense of humor. The Lycée experience gave me one of the most intense feelings of belonging that I ever had. We were all in the same boat: out of our element, but counting each other as part of our new band. There was a sense of cohesion between those in the American Section that I think was three-fold. In part, that’s what people often do when facing a new language and culture: they gravitate to the familiar. The Central American, German, and Swedish friends I had spoke English. The historic context is also important. As Americans after the end of the Vietnam War, I sensed that we were judged more harshly. My accent was pretty good, so except for my ripped blue jeans, it was hard to peg my nationality! I had thought the dislike of Americans stemmed from the typical tourist’s loudness and unwillingness to speak French. Some of my lycée friends put that into perspective for me. I also didn’t realize at the time how much more formal and correct Parisians are, relative to other regions. Finally, it was more than an era in history. It was an era in any life: I came of age there. I was 15 when I arrived and 17 when I graduated Première. All those factors transformed me. So, historic and personal factors threw us together, but it helped that it was a small graduating class size. That created more of a family feel, a home away from home. We did
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Au lycée,1974. L to R Mary Jean Cummiskey (US), Kathy Ray (US), Lena Dissen (Swedish) The Ray family: Dan ‘77, Brenda ‘78, mom Patsy Ray (the Great Adventurer), Kathy ‘74
Shakespeare plays, had basketball competitions and picnics. We students had parties, went to Paris on the newly constructed RER to walk around, shopped for records at FNAC, camped in Fontainebleau, or went to concerts -- Deep Purple, Yes, Cat Stevens. It also helped that my American Section teachers were dedicated and supportive, especially Mr. Weinstein and Mr. Moon. I thought the other teachers were also excellent. I had a great academic experience. I loved my Français Spécial professor, Mme. Sudaka, and my German teacher. I was especially lucky to have a brother and sister close to me in age. Their friends were part of my world and that expanded my circle. That hadn’t happened when we were in the States where kids were divided up by age and grade. Have you maintained connections with your Lycée and Section classmates over the years? Made connections with other Lycée graduates? Why and how? I have maintained contact with a handful of classmates since 1974. No small feat in the pre-internet world. Letters would take over a week to cross the Atlantic. Phone calls were very expensive. I remember how word used to travel when a broken French pay phone was located and we could call the States for free. Facebook is like those free phones. You can stay in touch with a lot of people. The connection is more casual, but in my book, fellow lycéens hold a special place for me. I suppose it’s what people feel in fraternities or sororities. When I’ve attended reunions, organized either on our own or by the current American Section administration, I assume that I share something important with the other graduates. When people have had to step out of their comfort zone, as Lycée students do, it usually makes them more interesting. It’s the best of cocktail parties. They’re sort of pre-approved! Are the connections with fellow Lycée grads different than those you have established with university friends, work colleagues, and other friends? I’ve made a wide array of amazingly kind, thoughtful, funny, intelligent friends since attending the Lycée. But my feelings about my lycée friends are pretty intense, and I think they would have to be. We lived through an era together. It was a strange time in history, and adolescence was a profound time of life, both excruciating and really fun. I feel a loyalty to them that defies the time and distance between us. I’m in touch with fewer than a dozen of them now, over 40 years later, but I have a great respect for what all LI students go through, integrating into the culture, language and community. It gives me just a glimpse of what today’s refugees must feel. We were kids, but we had to become global citizens at a young age.
Roland Tricot ‘93 American Section student for 10 years (1983-1993)
After the Lycée, Roland studied at Sciences Po and then HEC. He worked in Paris and then New York for Cap Gemini going from strategy consulting to software development. After NYC, he created an at-home computer service firm in Paris, then lived in Los Angeles while working in software. He is now settled in Fourqueux with his wife and three kids. His two older boys are enrolled in the American Section.
How would you describe the sense of community that reigned during your time in the American Section? The American Section students bonded a lot then, as I’m sure they do now. In the playground and at recess, sections would mix quite a lot, so we had friends from all sections. But we knew our American Section classmates better still, thanks to being together year after year in class, and to all of our extracurricular activities. Those activities included theater, MUN, and others that were hobbies for some of the teachers of the time: introduction to Art History during lunch break in primary school with Ms. Moross, Introduction to Architecture with Mr. Chrétien, or the Ameritunes singers with Mr. Rosenberg. The American tradition of the Yearbook helped us engrave memories too.
Above: Roland ’93, Katrine ’93 and their three children: past, present and future Section students
Are the connections with fellow Lycée grads different than those you have established with university friends, work colleagues, and other friends? With the advent of social media and a continuously more uniform, globalized western culture, people make and keep more connections. But I’m quite sure Lycée and American Section alumni will continue sharing something special that makes us bond and that makes our connections stronger.
The Ameritunes singers in the early 90s
Have you maintained connections with your Lycée and Section classmates over the years? Made connections with other Lycée graduates? Why and how? Lycée connections were great to have, especially when I moved to New York and LA. I actually got together with my wife, Karine Perset, who is also an alumna, Class of ‘93, because of the Lycée network. We knew each other from the Lycée because we were in class together, but met again thanks to our regretted American Section student of ‘93, the late Natacha Dalcorso. Many of my friends are from the Lycée; one of whom, Lucas Dikkers, I met on my first day in school at the Lycée when we were nine years old. It’s definitely a strong, special bond. More recently, through volunteering and shuttling the children to the Lycée, I get to meet parents who were also at the Lycée and it’s nice to catch up, share news on former classmates, and build connections as a parent of children at the Lycée, which is yet another path.
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Published on Feb 14, 2018