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Focus Summer/Fall 2011

the american school foundation, a.c.



The Class of 2011 Moves On



A Look Inside the New Wellness Center

A magazine for alumni, parents, students, faculty & friends




24 The Graduating Class of 2011 26 “How Will You Represent Your Life?” by hyewon kim

02 From the Executive Director 03 From the Editorial Board 04 From the Board of Trustees Introducing two new members


Campus currents 28 It Won’t Be Long What the new Wellness Center will offer

30 “Diego Came By Today...” An ASF grad’s place in the history of Mexican art by kelly arthur garrett

05 News and Events

Family forum 34 Doing It Right!

Musicals, Seussicals, new faces, showcases... and other goings-on

Volaris CEO and ASF parent Enrique Beltranena is thinking big

Departments & Divisions 12 Early Childhood Center Sharing, Not Giving

13 Lower School

by guy cheney

Taking It to the Top by ella ramírez & lorenza barrera

STUDENT VOICES 38 Different Strokes

14 Middle School

by maría m. martínez

Abuzz with Excitement

Institutional Advancement 40 Honoring Our Donors

by nina sachdev

15 Upper School

42 Generous Lower Schoolers

Room for Debate (’11) & rodrigo cepeda (’11)

16 The Arts 17 Parent Association

Preserving memory, promoting tolerance by cindy tanaka (’91)

Game Theory

18 Athletics & Extended Learning There’s More to Learn! ASF Soccer: A Season of Success by matt macinnes

And other news from the Capital Campaign and the Annual Scholarship Drive

Alumni 43 Profile: Sonia Arakelian (’76)

Leaving Their Mark

paloma porraz interviews gosbinda vizarretea

focus on education 36 Q&A Robert Wilson A chat with the director of Athletics and Extended Learning

by anna siegal

by miguel raz guzmán

by sloane starke


44 Off and Running! The Second Run for Education

45 Reunions Who got together... and what they did

Running With a Passion

46 Milestones

by rafael ramos

Births, engagements and marriages

GRADUATION SPECIAL 20 Graduation 2011!

47 Class Notes

22 Graduating with Honors And to Cap It Off...

47 In Memoriam

23 Adiós, Old Timers by josé segebre

Keeping in touch with the ASF family, far and wide

kids’ corner 48 This Is Just To Say... Poetry and art from the 4th Grade

from the executive director

c o n t r i bu t o r s

Dear ASF Community, Another school year is starting – it’s a familiar time for anybody who has ever gone to school, especially those of us who still study or work at ASF. But one thing that won’t be quite so familiar this year is the ASF campus. Over the summer, workers have spent countless hours at the sites of the former tennis courts and the Upper School Gym, transforming them into two modern facilities which will provide for increased artistic and athletic endeavors for our community. The Ángeles Espinosa Yglesias Fine Arts Center takes center stage on campus, while the Mary Street Jenkins Wellness Center will serve as an anchor overlooking our main playing fields. Both were mere skeletons when school dismissed for the summer. Now, we expect Stage 1 to be complete and ready to use before 2012. (It is important to mention that further stages will serve to equip both buildings more fully for their intended purposes.) Also on campus this August, you can expect to see a mix of new and familiar faces, especially on our Leadership Team. We are happy to welcome several totally new members, as well as some newly promoted leaders and two who are coming back to ASF after professional experiences in other countries (see page 5). Hundreds of new students and teachers will set foot on campus for the first time this year as well, and we know the rest of you will give them a warm welcome to the ASF family. During the 2010-2011 school year, we were reminded time and again of what it means to be part of ASF. The school community benefited from the numerous contributions made by our members —from donations to volunteer hours to student and faculty accomplishments that made us all proud. Through the “Be Part of it” initiative, we reflected on what we love about our community and why we are all here. I urge you to keep these thoughts in your minds as we move forward and continue to build community this school year and in years to come. We are all part of ASF! Sincerely, Paul Williams Executive Director


Guy Cheney (“Q&A: Robert Wilson,” page 36) An English teacher in the Upper School and the head of the English Department, Guy is a frequent contributor to the magazine. “Writing for Focus magazine gives me an opportunity to meet people on campus I otherwise have little interaction with,” he says. “I thought it was also a good idea to get to know Mr. Wilson better because I will be the head of the running program this coming year and he will be one of my new bosses.” Miguel Raz Guzmán (’11) (“Room for Debate,” page 15) Miguel Raz Guzmán was cocaptain of the ASF Debate Team from 2009 to 2011 before graduating in June after attending ASF since 4th grade. He is moving on to study physics at UNAM, the National Autonomous University of Mexico. He counts among his favorite pursuits reading science and philosophy, trail running, technology and geeky jokes Rodrigo Cepeda (’11) (“Room for Debate,” page 15) Rodrigo Cepeda was cocaptain of the ASF Debate Team from 2009 to 2011. Organized, competitive debating is fairly new at ASF, and Rodrigo, along with Miguel Raz Guzmán and others, was an important student pioneer in the pursuit. “We’ve learned that any individual can help forge the debating community at ASF,” he says. “We put our stake in the ground and earned our place.” Paloma Porraz Fraser (“Game Theory,” page 17) A curator and executive director at the Museo del Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso, Paloma is an ASF parent who contributes frequently to Focus on topics related to art.

from the editorial board


A magazine for ASF Alumni, Parents, Students, Faculty and Friends Summer/Fall, 2011 Vol. X | No. 2 | Mexico City


he Focus you’re holding in your hands (or reading on the screen) is all about fascinating people. It will give you an idea of just how rich our community is, thanks to the talented and fascinating members who make it up.

First off, the young men and women of the hour. This issue is our traditional graduation special, where you can see photos of the Class of 2011’s big day (page 20) and find out where they’re headed this fall (pages 24, 25). This year, you can also read a special feature about those most veteran of ASF students –the so-called “Old Timers.” On page 23, find out what they have to say now that they’ve moved on from this school that has been their second home for 12, 13 or even 14 years. For this issue, I had the great pleasure of interviewing an ASF dad, Volaris CEO Enrique Beltranena. His passion for community service and for service to The American School was evident during our chat. I invite you to turn to page 34 to learn more about Volaris’ social responsibility initiatives and how ASF may be part of them in the very near future. Another interesting feature of this Focus is on page 38. You may have heard a lot about ASF’s International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement courses, but ASF Upper School student María Martínez wants all of us to know that a young person can have success at ASF, in college and in life without doing the Diploma Programme or taking as many APs as possible. Many people will find her take on academic pressure refreshing. On page 30, a special profile of ASF alumna Susannah Glusker (’57) gives us an intriguing look into 20th-century Mexican history, via the recent published diaries of her mother, renowned liberal intellectual Anita Brenner.

Focus Summer/Fall 2011

And finally, another alumna is profiled on page 43. Sonia Arakelian (’76), also an ASF mom, has played a key role in Mexico’s new Museo Memoria y Tolerancia, which sheds light on such dark chapters of human history as the Holocaust, the Srebrenica massacre and the Rwandan genocide.


These are just a few of the people you’ll meet on the following pages. Our extended ASF family is full of others who are unique in their own ways —including you! Thanks for what you bring to the community. GRADUATION


The Class of 2011 Moves On


A Look Inside the New Wellness Center

Board of Trustees Rosa (Marentes) Pisinger (’87), Chair Cathy Austin (’78), 1st Vice Chair Carlos Williamson, 2nd Vice Chair Carla Ormsbee, Secretary Joan Liechty, Treasurer César Buenrostro (’85) Richard Campillo Murray H. Case Sara Craig Francisco Demesa Sebastián Fernández Fernando Franco Frances Huttanus Jeffrey Scott McElfresh Antonio Rallo Tito Óscar Vidaurri Martin Werner Editorial Board Adele Goldschmied, Cindy Tanaka (’91), Clementina Aguilar, Michele Beltrán, Paul Williams, José Segebre, Juan de Jesús Breene Editorial Staff Violeta Ayala, Director of Communications Sloane Starke, Editor-in-Chief & Chair of the Editorial Board Kelly Arthur Garrett, Editorial Consultant Daniela Graniel, Art Director Marisela Sanabria, Photography Alumni Relations Cindy Tanaka (’91) Parent Association Aliki Elias, President, 2010-2011 Alma Rosa Rodríguez, President, 2011-2012 Lillian Toro, Vice President, 2011-2012

Saludos, Advertising Sales: 5227 4942


Paul Williams Executive Director Susan Olivo Head of Early Childhood Center Evan Hunt Head of Lower School Rebecca Crutchfield Head of Middle School Amy Gallie Head of Upper School Robert Wilson Head of Athletics & Extended Learning

Sloane Starke H ead of Communications and the Focus Editorial Board

A magazine for alumni, parents, students, faculty & friends

On the cover: Graduation 2011. Photo: Marisela Sanabria


FOCUS es una publicación cuatrimestral editada por The American School Foundation, A.C., Sur 136 #135, Col. Las Américas, México, D.F., C.P. 01120. Editora Responsable: Sloane Alexandria Starke. Derechos de Autor: Licitud de Título y de Contenido 16220. Reserva de Derecho: 04-2008-111212240200-102. Distribuido por The American School Foundation, A.C. Sur 136 #135, Col. Las Américas, México, D.F., C.P. 01120. Impresa por MG Impresores, José Morán #139, Col. Daniel Garza, C.P. 11830 México, D.F. Se prohibe la reproducción total o parcial de los textos de esta revista sin previa autorización escrita de The American School Foundation, A.C.

from the board of trustees

Board of Trustees 2011-2012 Rosa Pisinger (’87), Chair Catharine Austin (’78), 1st Vice Chair Carlos Williamson, 2nd Vice Chair Joan Liechty, Treasurer

A Building Year The 2010-2011 school year was an interesting one at ASF. We all witnessed with excitement the ongoing construction of the Mary Street Jenkins Wellness Center, which will allow our students access to improved health and athletic programs, and the Angeles Espinosa Yglesias Fine Arts Center, which will allow our students access to improved arts programs. Watching the buildings rise from the ground has been an impressive experience. It is the Board’s expectation that the first stage of the projects will be finished during the academic year we are starting now. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of those who have donated towards these projects and hope that we will continue to receive generous support from all in our community. The graduation of the Class of 2011 took place during the month of June. The ASF community should be proud of the accomplishments of those graduates, who have moved on into the world and will make it a better place. Those who remain in the school will welcome new students and teachers during the upcoming year. Remember, every new member of our ASF community brings something different to share with all of us.

Rosa (Marentes) Pisinger (’87) Chair of the ASF Board of Trustees

Carla Ormsbee, Secretary César Buenrostro (’85) Murray H. Case Richard Campillo Sara Craig Francisco Demesa Sebastian Fernández Fernando Franco Frances Huttanus Jeffrey Scott McElfresh Antonio Rallo Tito Vidaurri Martin Werner

New Faces

Introducing the two newest members of the ASF Board of Trustees —Sara Craig and Jeffrey McElfresh. Sara Craig calls herself a lifelong cheesehead, having been born and raised in Wisconsin. She now works as deputy chief of American Citizen Services at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City and has three children enrolled at ASF. Sara hopes to bring a newcomer’s perspective to the Board of Trustees. “I’m part of a family that moves often in the international setting,” she says, “so I know how important it is for a school to have the ability to communicate with families and assist in the children’s transition and integration.” If you haven’t met Sara yet, it’s still hard to miss her. “Even though I’ve lived in many countries, as a 6-foot-1 woman I can never blend in!” she says. Jeff McElfresh is a Florida native, now working in Mexico as chief information officer at América Móvil. He tells Focus he sees being a Trustee as an extension of parenthood. “The main purpose in the life of a parent is to provide leadership and an enriching environment for children to reach their full potential,” he says. “The opportunity to extend this responsibility beyond your own household and into the learning environment shared by the whole community is special.” Jeff and his wife have two children at ASF. He enjoys spending time with his family at the beach, and also playing guitar with his kids. 4


Jordan Maas

Martha Drury

Sean Areias

Alberto Hananel

Charles Pawlik

Naomi Pawlik

Gabriel Lemmon

Violeta Ayala

Meet the Newest Members Of ASF’s Leadership Team Charles Pawlik is the new Middle School dean of students. He worked at ASF previously as a photography teacher, and then was chair of the visual and performing arts department at the American School of Tegucigalpa in Honduras. In Upper School, Naomi Pawlik (married to Mr. Pawlik) will be the new academic dean. She was also most recently working for the American School of Tegucigalpa, as the upper school assistant principal. She had previously taught at ASF as a member of the Upper School English department. Both Pawliks hold degrees in educational leadership from NOVA Southeastern University. Upper School also has a new dean of students. Gabriel Lemmon joins ASF from Los Angeles, where he has spent seven years as program director of the Cleveland Humanities Magnet and coordinator for interdisciplinary studies at Cleveland High School. He has two master’s degrees in education from UCLA and 12 years of experience in the field. A new position for the 2011-2012 school year is director of communications, a post that has been filled by Violeta Ayala. She brings nearly 15 years of experience with firms such as Chrysler Financial and SANLUIS Corporación. Ms. Ayala holds a master’s degree in communication and visual arts from Emerson College in Boston.

In Lower School, Jordan Maas and Martha Drury are new to the team of six house deans. Both are veteran ASF teachers with master’s degrees from the State University of New York at Buffalo. With four years at the school, Mr. Maas has more than six years of experience in education, most recently as a third grade teacher and coach of the ASF running team. Ms. Drury has been at ASF for seven years, most recently as a third grade teacher and grade level coordinator. Lower School also has a new academic dean, Sean Areias, who brings many years of international experience, having worked as principal at the American International School of Lusaka in Zambia and also at the Caribbean School in Ponce, Puerto Rico. He has also taught in California, Mexico and Belgium. He joins us from Pennsylvania, where he has been working on his doctorate at Lehigh University. In Middle School, new Academic Dean Alberto Hananel is making a return to ASF after many years. He attended The American School as a first grader! Since then Mr. Hananel has acquired many years of experience in education, including as principal at the El Sol Science & Arts Academy in Orange County and in the Lynwood Unified School District, both in California. He has a doctorate in education from Pepperdine University. 5

NE W S & EVENTS Celebrating the People Who Make the School Work

Middle Schoolers are Getting Connected

The red carpet rolled out last May 11 for all ASF faculty and staff. Employees and friends of the ASF community, including several members of the Board of Trustees, gathered at Campo Militar Marte to celebrate each other and a year’s worth of hard work. This Staff Appreciation Celebration is an annual event that not only celebrates teachers and other staff members for a job well done, but also bids farewell to those who are moving on. This year’s theme: The Oscars. With red carpet interviews, statuettes, food, games and an all-around festive atmosphere, those completing milestones marking multiple years of service received special recognition. Here’s who they are:

This year the Middle School will have something new — connectivity. Being part of a Connected Learning Community enriches classrooms by connecting students with students around the globe, with international and national experts and with virtual museums. By breaking down the classroom walls, the new connectivity program raises the bar in teaching and learning. Here’s how: Students will be able to use their own devices to enhance their learning. Tablets and smartphones will be used for research and quick reference, and school laptops will also be available when needed. Teachers can use Twitter or Facebook to communicate and start discussions in and outside class. Students will be able to take on-line tests and quizzes or conduct instant polls. Clearly, students’ technology skills have advanced to the point where integrating them into the classroom makes sense. As with any new program, there will be challenges with the transition. But teachers and digital literacy coaches will educate students on taking responsibility for their digital footprint, and on proper and safe use of devices in the classroom. The possibilities for creation and innovation are limitless.

Five years of service: Mariana Pérez Galán, Lupita Vázquez, Vail Hilbert, Paty Medina, Amy Oseguera, Magdalena Sánchez, Lee Ann Seifert, Lety Zamora, Jonathan Chenier, Paty Morales, Elisa Aguirre, Graciela Martínez, Kristal Rice, Edna Vázquez, Dafne Ordoñez, Juan Carlos Delgadillo, Juan Antonio Pacheco, Rennie Martin, Vicky Solórzano, Miguel Ángel Corta, Christian Rivera and Esther Ortiz. 10 years of service: Marianna Bojorquez, Leslie Phillips, Mónica Campa, Mariana Hernández, Mariceci Rojas, Alva Cañizal, Omar Ugalde, Tavane Estañol, Julio César Solís, Michele Beltrán, Gregorio Leal, Karina Márquez and Elisa Penela. 15 years of service: Susan Olivo, Verónica de la Garza, Miguel Ensaldo, Jorge Paz, Alejandro Soto, Carmen Castañeda, Luis Cárdenas and Pedro Cuevas. 20 years of service: Nancy Alvarez, Tere Piñón, Ángel Guerrero, Paloma Vélez, Felipe Gómez, Serafín Cruz and Miguel Ramírez. 25 years of service: Lourdes Ornelas, Glynis Frenkel, Cynthia Escalante, Maru Gutiérrez and Paul Williams. 30 years of service: Silvia Flores. Retirement: Cindy Berry, Cynthia Escalante, Laura Espin, Violeta Galán, Fernando Moreno, Mary Guerrero, Robin Honey and Veronika Saldaña.

From top to bottom: • Jovany Baez and Carmela Bertheau interview Janet Segura (center) on the red carpet • Honored for 25 years of service • ECC teachers celebrate

—Patty Zamora (‘82), ASF digital literacy coach

The Show was a Hit! It was Great! It was Hot! (Said the Cat in the Hat to the Fish in the Pot) More than 2,000 people jammed the Teatro Nextel in Interlomas last April for performances of one of the most talked-about ASF Upper School musicals in recent memory —“Seussical.” Based on the whimsical work of the legendary author Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel), the show was a huge hit with families, and especially with some of the younger members of the ASF community. “We want to see it a million times,” said brothers Miguel (K3) and Jack Masliah (2nd grade). The ASF performance of “Seussical” was supervised by drama teacher Rosanna Cesarman.


A Pilot Program Gave Some Lucky 5th Graders Access to a Mobile Devices Learning Bonanza

A Gesture of Patience Students, staff and visitors have been watching a beautiful transformation take shape before their eyes, right by an entrance to the Upper School building. The unfinished totem you see in the photograph is a woodcarving project, appropriately named, “Gesture of Patience.” The IB Visual Arts class of 2011 created it, under the supervision of art teacher Leo Trias and visiting artist Artemio Morales. Look for the next issue of Focus for a view of the finished work and the full story behind the project.

When students in Twyla Hanes’ classroom prepared their Primary Years Programme Fifth Grade Exhibition last spring, they had more than the usual tools to get the job done. They worked collaboratively with 16 iPads, 17 iPod Touch devices, a couple of BlackBerrys, an iPhone 4 and a Kindle. All those devices meant much less waiting for reserved time on the 12 school laptops shared by the entire fifth grade. They provided diversity; the iPads, for example, worked best for consulting newspapers and viewing videos, the iPods for maximum portability. And they paid off during the exhibition itself, facilitating a multimedia component to the student presentations. Ms. Hanes’ students owed their good fortune to a mobile devices pilot program that took place during April and May, with equipment on loan from Apple México. The devices were available for all classroom pursuits, but the kids were most excited about using them for their Exhibition projects. They found the mobile devices easier and than other tools for information searching, and that learning supported by mobile devices was more engaging than traditional learning. They also found that mobile devices could be distracting, so they consciously practiced self-discipline to stay focused on their project tasks. That pressure was relieved a bit on Fun Fridays, when a 30-minute free time allowed those who showed responsibility during the week to play games. — Tracy Miller, Center for Teaching Excellence coordinator

Great News for All ASF Alumni: Cindy Tanaka is the New Coordinator

Metro Art All those hours on the Mexico City Metro have paid off for Jason Schell. The ASF art teacher, who has spent a good deal of his recent life riding the lines and making art out of what he sees, was chosen to create a mural for the Viveros Metro station —a high honor for any artist, and especially a foreign one. His work will be installed sometime in September, but the finished panels were debuted for the public at a special event in an art space on June 15.

Cindy Tanaka is ASF’s new alumni relations coordinator, but she is by no means new to the school. A 1991 ASF grad, Cindy has been working in the Institutional Advancement Office for the past eight years as a graphic designer, design coordinator and, most recently, Capital Building Campaign coordinator. She took over at a very busy time for the ASF alumni, helping plan such recent events as the Networking/Casino Night and the second Run for Education this past spring. All alumni with any news to share should send Cindy a note at 7

NE W S & EVENTS For a Week Last April, Traditional Fun Took Over from Screens and Machines

Meet the New Parent Association President

Since 2004, the Parent Association has organized special activities during the April week when Earth Day and TV-Turnoff Week are observed internationally. We call it “Turn Off Your Screen Go Green Week.” The goal: To preserve our precious natural world and promote fulfilling internal and social lives that are not overly dependent on screens and other machines. The focus last April was to honor traditional ways of (screenless) entertainment. To do that, ASF’s Sustainability Committee arranged for several presentations and exhibitions with the cooperation of Naturalia, Pronatura, Walmart de México, Grupedsac, Ecoce and the Junior League. The Fundación Águila Real surprised everybody by bringing a special guest —a female golden eagle named Inka. Mime Jorge Wagner provided a wonderful time. The “traditional entertainment” theme got an additional boost from two other PA-sponsored events that took place during the week —an afternoon at La Feria de Chapultepec and the Used Book Fair. As always, the success of Turn Off Your Screen Go Green Week depended on hard work by members of the ASF staff, as well as Parent Association volunteers. Special thanks go out to José Carlos Alanís, the environmental education coordinator. —Dagmar Calleja

Alma Rosa Rodríguez, the new president of the Parent Association, has been participating in ASF activities since 1997 when the family moved to Mexico City from Guadalajara. She has two sons, one entering 10th grade at ASF and one who just graduated in June. Throughout the years, Alma Rosa has helped with everything from kitchen and gardening activities in the ECC to Lower School and Middle School Stepping Up ceremonies to the Art Fair and the Prom. Alma Rosa says she is honored to be the PA president and confident about her term. “I’m surrounded by a great team,” she said.

Stepping Up to Upper School The move from 8th to 9th grade may be the biggest step up any ASF student will take before final graduation. That’s why the annual Stepping Up Ceremony marking the transition from Middle School to Upper School is a major event in the school year, and the ceremony that took place last June 15 was no exception. Friends and families of the Class of 2015 packed the Lower School Multipurpose Room to cheer on the Middle School graduates as they received awards, honorary mentions and diplomas. The students were inspired by speeches from Head of Middle School Rebecca Crutchfield, who challenged them to continue to excel and embrace the challenges to come, as well as by class valedictorian Santiago Rodríguez Lebrija and salutatorian Leni Peterson Redondo. 8

For Pre-Firsters, A Taste of Glory at the Mini Olympics As early as age six, ASF students start learning track and field events such as throwing, jumping, running dashes, distance running and relay races. Since 1993, they’ve had the opportunity to display their new skills in the annual PreFirst Mini Olympics, which took place on May 26 this year on the Upper School track. The students spent weeks in advance practicing their skills, learning the rules and regulations and becoming familiar with the equipment. As always, good sportsmanship was emphasized. The Mini Olympics was an exciting event for parents as well as the kids. It was a day for the entire family to come out and celebrate the children’s developing athletic skills. There was even a race for parents. First, though, came the torch relay, in which the children ran the track, passing the torch at intervals and finally lighting the Olympic flame to officially inaugurate the event. At the end, all children received a medal recognizing their efforts and participation. The fun-filled day ended with a small breakfast for Pre-First children, their parents and teachers. Coming near the end of the school year, the Mini Olympics also provided a chance to say good-bye to the Pre-First students as they venture off to Lower School.

Move Over, Verdi and Rossini. ASF Fourth Graders Do Opera The hottest ticket in town last May and June was ASF’s Fourth Grade Operas, the culmination of a six-month project for all fourth grade classes. This tradition, now in its 17th year at ASF, is a student-run production from start to finish. The teachers support and facilitate, but the students do the rest. All students have a job —most more than one— from make-up artist to electrician to lead performer. As one student, Laura Checa, put it, “A lesson I learned from the opera was that instead of working alone, it’s better working in teamwork.” The time and energy students invest pay off for them in the end, as they perform their own original music and dialogue for hundreds of parents, relatives, teachers, friends and fellow students. “One of my proudest moments in the opera was when the performers were on stage doing their best,” said Mariana Romero, who was the stage manager. The operas tend to take on real-life issues, like bullying, divorce, parental unemployment and friendship. And not only do the students teach others through the storyline – they themselves learn through the entire process. “I like doing the opera because it was fun seeing how from the beginning we didn’t know anything and now we are experts at the jobs we did,” said Gabriela Edid. For the 2010-2011 school year, the operas took place, as usual, in the Lower School Multipurpose Room. But next spring’s operas should have a new and improved location: the Angeles Espinosa Yglesias Fine Arts Center. The new theater on campus will give the students an even better idea of what it’s like to perform on a professional level. Still —the effort is what makes the operas special. “The opera was very hard, but I made it,” said Noah Khan. —Sloane Starke


NE W S & EVENTS Lower School Students Take to the Stage With a Performance of “101 Dalmatians” It was a first-time-ever event for the Lower School —the production and performance of its own musical, “101 Dalmatian Kids.” The students who participated worked hard, staying after school twice a week for nearly four months to get their songs, lines and choreography down. It was worth it; the multiple performances on June 9 and 10, using a set designed by an ASF mom, packed the house, and even sent organizers scrambling for more chairs to accommodate the overflow. “I was incredibly proud of their hard work and thrilled to see how they were able to become a community,” said music teacher Bethany Dunford, who directed the musical. “Students built and strengthened relationships across grade levels and even across social circles.” The musical project was initiated and developed by the Athletics and Extended Learning division, which is hoping to do it again during the 2011-2012 school year.

Exhibition Takes Fifth Graders From Nervous to Knowledgeable Videos, PowerPoint presentations, posters, interactive demonstrations, games... That’s an impressive line-up of communication tools, and especially so when you’re talking about fifth graders. But it was indeed fifth graders who used those tools and others toward the end of the last school year to present their Fifth Grade Exhibition, the culmination of their years in the International Baccalaureate’s Primary Years Programme (the Middle Years Programme starts in sixth grade). Students had prepared over the course of the year, working in small groups to tackle a real-life issue of their choosing. All topics for the 2010-2011 school year fell within the transdisciplinary theme of “Sharing the Planet.” Individual groups chose such related subjects as green building, recycling of plastic, marine life poaching and the destruction of natural habitats. The students researched on-line and in the library, interviewed experts and discussed the issues and then wrote up their conclusions for presentation to their peers, teachers, family and guests on the day of their exhibition. Lower School Academic Dean and PYP Coordinator Cindy Berry compared the exhibition to a thesis, with students tending to be very nervous about the project at first. “In one of the final morning meetings for fifth grade, we talked about how when they started fifth grade, they were nervous,” she said. “It was lovely to listen to them and think that they accomplished it. They got through it.” Ms. Berry said the students were confident and knowledgeable, looked professional and communicated well in English with people of all ages. 10

Moving On Up: Lower School Grads Mark Their Successes, Achievements On June 16, 176 eager 5th graders were honored for their achievements and successes during the annual Stepping Up Ceremony in the LS Multipurpose Room, where friends, families and faculty celebrate the end of the students’ elementary years and the beginning of their Middle School life. Students who consistently excelled academically received an Outstanding Achievement Award. Those who achieved at the highest level were awarded the Presidential Gold Award. Head of Lower School Evan Hunt made some opening remarks and encouraged students to continue to excel in their remaining school years. Executive Director Paul Williams then warmly welcomed the attendees. Fifth grade students Maria Fernanda Alatorre, Patrick Austin, Nicole Cesarman and Emilio Pinedo delivered speeches in English and Spanish.

A Rousing Performance To End the School Year On June 10, the Performing Arts Department’s Spring Showcase took over the Middle School Field. Summer vacation was just days away, but that didn’t stop people from coming out on a warm afternoon to have a great time listening, watching and clapping as they supported the 200 or so Middle and Upper School students who participated under the direction of Performing Arts Coordinator Deborah Lawrence. After band music conducted by Dr. Lawrence, the chorus entertained the crowd with Beatles songs. Then came a series of dramatic performances by students, including monologues and scenes from movies and plays. The showcase was a festive success, and a great way to end the 2010-2011 school year.

A Teachers Day Thank You, Buffet-Style Last May 18, faculty and staff took a mid-morning break for the annual Teachers Day Brunch, organized by the Parent Association as a way of saying thanks to the teachers and other ASF employees. The new twist this time is that the event was moved from the old Upper School Gym —which is no more— to the Lower School Multipurpose Room, adorned for the occasion with tables, chairs and a long buffet staffed by smiling Parent Association volunteers. The main course was Italian, accompanied by a variety of sweet and savory dishes including sushi, sandwiches, cakes and cookies. 11

d i v i s i o n s & d e p a r t m e n t s early childhood center

From the Head of School

Mini Olympics As I sit down to write this letter, we have just celebrated our ECC Pre-First Mini Olympics Family Day event on May 26 (see page 9). This event has been a highlight of the Pre-First year since 1993. Parents and children have the opportunity to light the Olympic torch, participate in track and field events and share some quality time together in a healthy and fun sports environment. In the ECC, we see the Mini Olympics as a rite of passage to Lower School. Children learn to be good sports, to be respectful of each other and to wait patiently for their turn. During the relay race, they learn to be team players and to run as well as they can to try to win the race. The Mini Olympics Family Day strengthens our school community by engaging parents in the life of their children. They are given the opportunity to meet their children’s friends and parents and to build relationships with the ECC staff. This type of event also allows conversations about school activities and child development to take place. I wish all of our K3 and Pre-First students all the best of everything as they begin first grade in August.

Susan Olivo Head of Early Childhood Center

From left to right: ASF student Aliza Rozen gives a toy to a child. Local schoolchildren demonstrate a traditional dance. The ASF contingent models masks made in Tempoal.

Sharing, Not Giving

Participants in an ECC Community Service visit to a preconquest Veracruz city brought back more than they gave. By Anna Siegal, ECC Art Teacher


ocal music mingled with the sounds of traditional dancers stomping their shoes on a wooden platform. The scent of honeysuckle rose from the garlands our hosts had draped around our necks. Intricately carved wooden masks hid the faces of the dancers, drawing attention to the subtle variations in their movements. I was overwhelmed. I and fellow ECC teacher Erin Lamont, along with some ECC kids, project leaders and volunteers, were in Tempoal, a small city in the state of Veracruz. We were there to distribute clothes and toys donated by ECC families to marginalized indigenous communities, as part of the ongoing ECC Community Service Project headed by Renee Rozen, along with her husband Dr. Isaac Rozen. But it was becoming clear to me that this was not a one-sided transaction. The opportunity to experience this culture up close — to join the dancing, speak to a mask-maker, taste the cornmeal cookies —was a once-in-a lifetime event. 12

Our weekend in Veracruz demonstrated once again the richness and variety of Mexican culture, but it also made me think of something more. During our trip, my inner dialogue changed from one about giving and receiving to one about sharing resources. At ASF, we have the privilege of educating the future leaders of Mexico. It occurred to me in Tempoal how important it is that our students have experiences like this one. For them to acquire a true understanding of their country, they need to not only perform community service but to learn from people whose history and way of life are different than theirs. The understanding that everyone has something to contribute is one that can be made tangible for our students through experiential learning projects like this one. On our trip, I moved from “us and them” to “we.” I am grateful for the new perspective, and I hope to be able to pass it on to our students.

d i v i s i o n s & d e p a r t m e n t s lower school

From the Head of School

THE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT As we begin to look at what children and parents can expect in the coming school year, one of the topics often discussed at morning meetings, orientations and parent partnership coffees is discipline. Here is a quick look at how we handle it. This year in the Lower School we: • Implemented 20-minute morning meetings in classrooms Tuesdays through Fridays. • Devoted these 80 minutes per week to helping children learn more about one another and strengthen their sense of community. • Achieved as a result of these efforts a 30% reduction in reported discipline cases.

Taking it to the Top ASF third graders are concerned about our water future. So they let the president know. Earlier this year, students in Katherine Williams’ third grade classroom completed a “reflection” on the theme of Sharing the Planet, with the central idea being that water is a limited resource and essential to life. The action component of the assignment consisted of writing letters to Mexican President Felipe Calderón. To everybody’s joy, a personal letter from the president’s office came back to the entire class, signed by the president’s technical secretary. Here is an article by students Ella Ramírez and Lorenza Barrera describing the experience, followed by additional observations from other students in the class.


e were doing a unit of inquiry about water and how to save it. We were also learning how to write letters, so we decided to write a letter to the president, Felipe Calderon, to tell him our worries about all the problems with water in Mexico. We found out that not everyone has clean running water at their house and that lots of kids get sick because the water they drink is not clean. We also discovered that we don’t have good ways to catch rainwater in the city and our water comes from a long way away. Many people waste water. In the world there is not much water and we need to share it properly and use it wisely. We need water to live and we are worried about running out.When we sent the letters, we were very nervous to see if the president would read them or even reply. It took a long time but we finally got the wonderful news that he was interested in what we wrote. He told us that he was very happy that we care about water and he was impressed that we wrote letters to him. He thought we knew a lot of stuff about water and he told us that the government is trying to fix the water problems.We were nervous in the beginning but when we read that he was trying to do something about the problems, we were excited and happy. We are very proud of our letters. “When the letter came back to us, I was surprised. I was worried the letters would not get there because the president is very busy and has a lot of appointments.” —Patrick Spataro “I was nervous because I am worried nothing will change. I imagine to myself how the world can be better. If we don’t take care of the water, it’s not fair. It’s the people’s job to take care of it, not just the president’s job.” —Sujey Singh “We need to keep making sure we save water and do things so that everyone has water.” —Tamara Canales “I wrote my best in the letter because I knew it was going somewhere. It is our responsibility too, not just the government’s.”—Andres Waisser “We should be grateful for the water we have and use it in the best ways.” —Paulina Fuentes “I feel a bit nervous because even though we got a reply, I wonder if things will change in the future.” —Gabriella Hayes 13

In the Lower School we believe that: • Students should be held accountable for their actions. • This accountability can be manifested through modeling, reflection, detention, probation, suspension and, in extreme cases, asking students to leave the school. • Learning from mistakes is one way children mature. In the Lower School we do not believe in: • Corporal punishment. • Informing other students or their parents of the consequences applied in discipline cases (though we do share general information in morning meetings, the flag ceremony and parent communications). • Considering all cases of students bothering one another as “bullying.” • Labeling students, rather than giving them the opportunity to make positive behavior changes. The table in the Lower School section of the Family Handbook gives more information on how we handle discipline procedures, and we will be discussing the topic throughout the school year. But keep in mind that parents, students and the school must work together for any discipline program to be successful. The lessons taught at home are just as important as those taught at school. Thank you to everyone in our community for their help in creating a school environment of which we can be proud.

Evan Hunt Head of Lower School

d i v i s i o n s & d e p a r t m e n t s middle school

Abuzz with Excitement During a memorable camping trip, 6th graders experienced a little bit of everything... even some beekeeping. By Nina Sachdev, ASF 6th Grade Student


hen I first heard that we were going to Camp Pipiol in Valle de Bravo for our 6th grade trip, my mind wandered back to the spring of 2010, when I was there with a non-ASF group for the usual fun stuff like horseback riding and campfires. Little did I know what was in store for me this past May —activities I never would have imagined, such as fun games like bulldog and resorte, language arts

From the Head of School

A Return When I first came to ASF 11 years ago, after six years of teaching and earning a master’s in education in my hometown of San Jose, California, my goals were to continue to improve as an educator and to make learning fun for kids. Those goals turned into a rewarding personal and professional journey that has enabled me to grow as a teacher and as a leader. I have had the pleasure of teaching 4th and 6th grades at ASF as well as serving in various coordinator positions over the years. In 2005, I accepted the challenge of working as a house dean in Lower School. After six years there, I have now returned to the Middle School as its head. The most common questions I’m asked about being head of Middle School are, “Do you like it?” and “How can you deal with that age?” My answers are, “Yes!” and “By listening, laughing, coaching and questioning right along with them.” I don’t pretend to be their friend, but I’m certainly their ally.

Rebecca Crutchfield Head of Middle School

activities, mountain-bike riding, high jumps and long jumps, making salad, learning about composting, rock climbing and rappelling, baking bread, ceramics, stargazing, a wet and soapy slip ’n’ slide and, on the final night of camp, even a disco party! But of course, I’m saving the best for last. My favorite camp activities were the color finding game, the bee farm and the river experience. In the color finding game, one counselor told us a story about how there was a magical world full of all the colors you could think of except for one: black. He said all the colors were happy until one day the color black started destroying everything. So the counselor told us we would have to find counselors dressed in a specific color and then they would mark our hand with that color. To win, you had to have all the colors. The catch was that you had to stay away from the counselors who were wearing black clothes. And the worst part was, it was pitch black outside! Once we finished the game, a counselor gave out the prizes. This was the most fun game I played at camp and everybody else really enjoyed it too. At the bee farm in Avandaro, a bee expert explained how much honeybees produce, where they get their nectar, how colonies are grown and a lot of other interesting bee facts. Then we became busy bees ourselves by changing into beekeeper suits. And boy, was it hot in there! We observed the bees’ habitat and how they make honey. We got to see the queen bee of the hive. We also visited a honey factory on the bee farm and saw how honey is extracted and sweetened. We tasted the honey but it wasn’t quite finished because it was way too sweet. Finally, we were able to buy honey from the honey shop. I was fascinated by this experience – it was not only fun, but also academic. The best part of the whole camp trip was the river experience. It was all about teamwork. We had three challenges. Our first one was when six people were bitten by a snake (don’t worry, not for real) and we had to try to carry them across the river without dropping them. Our next challenge was the hardest, but the most fun. We had to try to make it across the freezing cold river without stopping. You’d be surprised at how nice people can be when it comes to hiking in a river full of rocks and insects! And who could forget our last challenge: Going down a natural waterfall slide and splashing into the crisp, icy water! After this, we were taken on a hike with a biologist and learned about the plants we saw in the forest. The most interesting fact I learned was that if you want to know the age of a tree without chopping it down, you just 14

count the branches. Another highlight during our hike was seeing the beautiful waterfall of Velo de Novia. In the five-day experience we had at Camp Pipiol, I became more aware of my natural everyday surroundings. I learned how there are many connections between what we learn in school and the natural world around us. I also discovered how learning in a natural environment can be not only educational and practical, but energetic and thrilling at the same time. Thanks ASF and Camp Pipiol for an experience I’ll never forget!

d i v i s i o n s & d e p a r t m e n t s U P P E R school

Room for Debate The ASF Debate Club is new, but it has already won tournaments and established itself as a fascinating campus subculture. No experience necessary. By Miguel Raz Guzmán (’11) and Rodrigo Cepeda (’11), ASF’s Debate Club


llow us to introduce ourselves: We have been the proud co-captains of Debate Club 2009-2011, and we would like to answer the question that most readers have: What the heck is Debate Club? Debate Club lies somewhere between intellectual cage fights and nerd Olympics. Less facetiously, it’s a community dedicated to critical thinking, analytical discussion, the development of rhetorical style and a hard emphasis on world issues awareness and research. A typical day might include topic brainstorming, practice debates, speech redos and strategy planning for an upcoming tournament. That last involves preparing several topics, known as “motions” in debate-speak, on both sides of the issue, for example, the legalization of organ selling or the costs of space exploration. In our particular debating style, three of four debaters present three eight-minute speeches, arguing either side of the motion, and a four-minute conclusion speech. Debate Club has only become established at ASF in the last two years. In that short period, and now guided by coach (and Upper School teacher) Mark Webber, we have attended five tournaments, hosting two of them here on campus. We can boast several first-, second- and third-place finishes, both as a team and as individuals. Two of our members are competing at the World Schools Debating Championships in Scotland this August. Arguably, Debate Club has been the most successful competitive activity at ASF over the past year.

Achievements aside, nothing makes you think like debate club. At our Stanford tournament last February, we both had 15 minutes tops to prepare a case for a motion. The first five minutes consisted of hyperventilation, panic, massive frustration and abandonment. But then came the “eureka!” moments of crafting our arguments. No AP or IB test challenges the output of time-restricted power the way debating does. We think we have forged a subculture at ASF with fascinating individuals who can have thoughtprovoking conversations on almost any subject. A true debater is never a bore (in fact, sometimes we can be quite the handful). We’ve talked about everything from the distribution of food in the developing world to the effects of giant space mirrors orbiting Russia. (They were legitimately proposed. Look it up.) Everyone has a place in Debate Club. Even with zero experience, if you’re willing to work hard, you’ll not only improve, but also become an asset to your team and our club. This is no exaggeration. Other than three members, nobody in the Debate Club had any prior debating experience before this past year. (Some couldn’t even match their socks to their shoes, let alone complete two minutes speaking in public.) How have they done? One has already gained a spot on our Mexican national debate team. The other won a trip (fully paid!) to London in an extemporaneous speech competition.

From the Head of School

NEW YEAR, NEW FACES Welcome to, or back to, Upper School. There are two new faces in the administration this year. Our new academic dean, Naomi Pawlik, is joining us from Honduras. Gabriel Lemmon, the new dean of students, comes from Los Angeles. (See page 5 for more about both.) We are especially pleased that each of us on the administration team has two children attending ASF. So, as both parents and administrators, we will certainly give our best to the school community. And we hope that all of you reading this —parents, teachers, students, staff, alumni and friends —will do so as well. There is a slightly different bell schedule for this 2011-2012 school year. We will begin each day with a ten-minute homeroom period, when teachers will take attendance, read the daily bulletin and get to know their students as people. This last point is the most important —that is, students and teachers getting to know one another on a personal and informal basis. As was the case last year, each Tuesday we will have an Advisory period. Students will return to their same homeroom teacher for a 30-minute period to talk about non-academic issues. In the course of a week, students will meet with that one teacher for a total of 80 minutes. Teachers will be able to ask students about anything from how they did on a math test to how many goals they scored in a soccer game. Students will be able to ask teachers about their children or what they did over the weekend. The goal of these changes is to increase the sense of community and trust between students and teachers. It is our sincere wish that these changes in timetables and student-teacher interaction will make our big school feel a bit more like home.

Amy Gallie Head of the Upper School

Micah Cook (left), founding teacher of the Debate Club, poses with article authors and 2011 graduates Rodrigo Cepeda (middle) and Miguel Raz Guzmán shortly after the ASF debate team took the gold back at the 1st annual Tec de Monterrey Tourney.


d i v i s i o n s & d e p a r t m e n t s the arts

From the Visual Arts Coordinator

THINKING AHEAD I am very excited to start my position as ASF’s new visual arts coordinator at a time when the new Ángeles Espinosa Yglesias Fine Arts Center will soon mean new opportunities for all of us. But even beyond the physical changes, the long tradition of a strong visual arts program at ASF will certainly continue to evolve. The art teachers at ASF are ready to come together on issues relating to curriculum and new opportunities for students. The School Improvement Committee for the Visual and Performing Arts, under Anna Siegal’s direction, has identified needs across all of the divisions and has made recommendations for new equipment for ceramics, printmaking, drawing and painting. The administration is supportive of our ideas and is willing to let the teachers do the prioritizing. Teachers also want more professional development opportunities, more hands-on training for acquiring new skills and more teaching resources, such as art books and DVDs on the lives of artists. They have asked for more contact with practicing artists, who can communicate directly with students and act as examples on how to make a life in the arts. And they are asking for more museum visits, which they see a necessary part of an aesthetic education in Mexico City (where we are fortunate to have more than 100 museums at our disposal). In addition to its fundraising function, the annual ASF Art Fair gives parents a chance to see the creative side of their children. Over the year, teachers work hard to organize the student section of the Art Fair, and that always creates eager anticipation about what the student artists will present each year. We are looking forward to working with the Parent Association to display the many new artistic experiences that take place at our school every day. As the hallways fill with color and expression, our students take greater ownership in their school environment. Our goal as art teachers is to increase the importance of the arts in our school by energizing our learning environment with positive artistic proposals. With the support we have received from the administration, we feel confident that almost anything is possible. In case it hasn’t been more than obvious, I am truly looking forward to a great 2011-2012 school year.

Patricia Patterson Visual Arts Coordinator

Leaving their Mark

Graduating seniors involved in the visual and performing arts have an opportunity to leave behind something special to their alma mater. Here are four examples from the Class of 2011, one from the performing arts and three visual artists who met the challenge posed by Visual Arts Coordinator Patricia Patterson to make permanent artwork for the Upper School hallways. Tomas Ruiz created this large three-part action painting in black and white called “Shades of Grey.” Clearly influenced by Jackson Pollock, he wanted to leave a bold mark on his school. His choice of black and white makes for a high-contrast composition that has an impact even at a distance.

Roberta Gomez based this large, red painting on a smaller study she did using variations on red, burnt sienna and white. Such a textured painting gave her the chance to make a big statement with color that has really changed the atmosphere of the front hallway.

Marianne Dreissen contributed to the US Building’s hallways a work consisting of six canvases, four of which are shown here. She used an abstract expressionist style for an overall field of paint textures that create a vibrant, positive energy. 16

Francisco Pagan dedicated much of his time at ASF to studying music and learning to play the alto, tenor and baritone saxophones. (That leaves mastering the soprano sax on his to-do list.) Band class, he says, helped him relieve stress as well as develop his musical skills. After creating many musical memories at ASF, Francisco has moved on to study robotics in college. But music will be a lifelong interest for him.

d i v i s i o n s & d e p a r t m e n t s parent association

Game Theory Meet Gosbinda Vizarretea, the featured artist at the 42nd annual ASF Art Fair, who recognizes the connection between play and art. The featured artist for the PA-organized 42nd annual ASF Art Fair this November is Gosbinda Vizarretea Rodriguez (’11), who enrolled at ASF as a kindergarten student and graduated last June, headed for integrated design studies at Parsons The New School For Design in New York. An accomplished photographer with a playful attitude, Gosbinda creates “digital galaxies” that often explore gender. She recently answered some questions for Focus from Paloma Porraz, an ASF parent and executive coordinator of the Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso, one of Mexico City’s most prestigious art venues. Paloma Porraz: How did you become interested in art? Gosbinda Vizarretea: My parents introduced me to the artistic world. Ever since I can recall, they took me to museums, so I found myself immersed in the beauty and complexity of art at a very young age. My sister taught me the real essence of art. She majored in art history, and art was always a hot topic at the dinner table. My teachers at ASF have been the main source for my interest in art. I took art classes at school since kindergarten, and it was always my favorite class. In high school I had the opportunity to take electives such as photography. My purest love for art emerged in the darkroom. PP: At what point did you become interested in artwork related to gender? GV: Gender work caught my interest in high school, when literature, philosophy, art and math bombarded me with new ideas. Specifically, Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being triggered my interest in gender studies. One of the main characters fails in life due to the lack of connection between body and soul. PP: Do you believe that sensuality and physical beauty empower women or submit them to a consumer society? GV: Sensuality and physical beauty empower women by nature. However, if a woman does not grow emotionally, she becomes a victim of a patriarchal society —as Margaret Atwood put it, “a two-legged womb.” Intelligence and personality complement the natural beauty and sensuality a woman has. PP: You create “digital galaxies” that surround this woman’s world. Is that a game? GV: Photo sessions are digital galaxies because they’re fictional realities created through technology. The purpose of these new realities is to break off from the stiff and generate pleasure. It becomes a game for all who get involved with the photographs. For example, during the creation of pictures, I travel back to my childhood. It’s like playing with Barbies again, but this time with real-life Barbies. I comb and dress them; I take them to fictional places. Most models are friends of mine. Shoots are an opportunity to hang out and have a good time. And honestly, who doesn’t like someone to comb their hair, make them up and take pictures of them? PP: When you use makeup and other things associated with the consumer society, do you feel a contradiction between women’s search for definition and these tools that society uses to define them? GV: Back to the Barbie analogy. Makeup can be used literally for playing. Accessories can open the door to freedom and personal expression, or they can create a co-dependent relationship between women and stereotypes. It all depends on the intellectual maturity a woman has. We can either use accessories for our own good, or to become more attached to prejudices and limitations. In the makeup world, there are so many products that it becomes a game that allows women to take control over the sensuality of their bodies. You have options. Within the creative process, I’m exploring how the dramatic use of makeup can create certain emotions, certain vibrations. I don’t believe there is any contradiction. The fact that these tools exist opens up possibilities for finding and defining ourselves. 17

From the President

A THANK YOU AND A WELCOME As president of the Parent Association over the last two years, it has been my pleasure to work with parents, teachers, administrators and students on fundraising and other events that build our ASF community and support scholarships, special programs, student activities and the Capital Campaign. During the spring semester alone, we had our monthly general meetings, visited the UNAM Rectory buildings and MUAC (Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporaneo), as well as the Modern Art Museum, held our annual Turn Off Your Screen Go Green Week (see page 8), organized another Used Book Fair, had some fun at the Feria de Chapultepec (with a record attendance of more than 3,000 people!) and hosted the faculty and staff at the annual PA Teachers Day brunch (see page 11). I thank all of you for your support during these past two years. And now I’d like to ask you to join me in welcoming Alma Rosa Rodríguez as the new president of the Parent Association. For more on Alma Rosa see page 8.

Aliki Elias Parent Association President

d i v i s i o n s & d e p a r t m e n t s athletics & e x tended learning

From the Head of Athletics & Extended Learning

BUILDING MEMORIES The office of Athletics and Extended Learning experienced a significant leadership change at the beginning of the 2010-11 school year. Louisa Renero and I joined Noah Randall to create the team to lead ASF’s fifth division a year ago. We had much to learn about ASF and the A&EL programs. Our goal was to continue what had been developed in the past and identify those areas which needed improvement. Today, as we begin 2011-2012, we are still working toward this goal. In Athletics, our vision is to build a strong athletic foundation by focusing attention on our lower levels. We are committed to working toward providing our Lower School students with superior coaching and a philosophy which is inclusive and performance-oriented as opposed to results-oriented. The important thing in the Lower School is to provide an avenue for all students to enjoy skill development and a love of sport. As students mature and enter Upper School, the program then includes the importance of training to win as one aspect of athletic teams. In Extended Learning, we look to continue to provide an extensive menu of choices for the ASF community, from ballet to bridge. ASF has one of the largest Extended Learning programs in the world. We are proud of this and hope to continue to improve each and every course offered. Our goal is to enrich the lives of our students after school. As adults, when we think back on our lives during our K-12 school years, we remember the friends we made and the activities we participated in after school. At ASF, we seek to provide children with the best programs to build those lasting memories.

Robert Wilson Head of Athletics & Extended Learning

There’s More to Learn!


he Extended Learning menu just keeps getting bigger and better. ASF offers one of the most extensive menus of Extended Learning opportunities in the world (see page 36). Here are some of the highlights for the 2011-12 school year. Modern Guitar & Electrical Bass/Guitar for Beginners/Guitar Pre-Intermediate. Children will learn to play the guitar or the electrical bass in small groups. At the end of the semester, students will exhibit their skill.

Musical Theater: Grades 3-5. We are offering this fun course for the second time. Last year was a grand success as our students entertained us with “101 Dalmatians.” Robotics: Grades 1-8. Children will learn the basics of computer programming, mechanics and engineering through a highly specialized course given by the group Microbotics. This started last semester and has expanded to include more students.

An Uplifting Summer! Students who took advantage of the Summer Programs from Extended Learning had a rewarding experience. Activities ranged from make-up academics at the Upper and Middle School levels to the Kinder Cub Camp (ages 3-6) and Youth Bear Camp (ages 7-12), with both creative (art, drama, cooking, etc.) and sports activities, including the popular adventure sports such as rappelling and zip line (shown here). 18

ECC/Lower School Art: ECC and Grades 1-3. Participants will learn about art history, experiment with many different media and become familiar with the concepts of design, form, texture and composition. Ballet: ECC and Grades 1-3. Children are taught the basics of ballet. Cheer/Dance Squad: Upper School. A new concept for Upper School students who would like to dance, cheer and experience a new kind of acrobatic fun mixed with choreography. Beginning/Intermediate French: Grades 5-8. Classes for beginners as well as those who have achieved some fluency. Chinese: Lower School. We are continuing the program started at the ECC level and integrating new students into the course.

ASF Soccer: A Season of Success

Running with a Passion

By Matt MacInnes, ASF Soccer Coach


The ASF Bear isn’t just strong and fierce. It is also fast. By Rafael Ramos, ASF Senior


he ASF boys’ and girls’ teams enjoyed considerable success in a very busy 20102011 soccer year. After a month of training and some friendly games, the Total Gol league campaigns started off brightly for both teams in February. The boys looked sharp and focused in comfortable wins over Miraflores, Tec Santa Fe, Centro Escolar Lago and Instituto Cumbres, and also won tighter matches against Salesiano and E.C. Colon. The girls were also quick to rise to the top of their league with wins over CEBA, Instituto Juventud, Regina and E.C. Colon. Our teams took a break from league duty to travel to Puerto Vallarta for the annual ASOMEX tournament. With only one senior boy and two senior girls participating, the way was paved for younger athletes to play. Our boys found it difficult to compete with the older opposition in the first game but as they continued to work hard, their performances and the results improved with every game. The girls’ team quickly gelled as a group, managing to secure victory in their first three games and surprising many people by landing a place in the final. They came very close to winning a second successive ASOMEX title, losing 1-0 against Querétero in the championship game. After Spring Break, both teams built on their successful league form by qualifying for the North/South Championship games played on the last weekend in May at Estadio Azul, the 35,000-seat home of the Cruz Azul pro team. The girls faced a gifted and athletic team from the Centro Universitario de México. Despite matching CUM well in the first half, the Lady Bears lost out in the end. It was a good finale for the seven seniors, who graduated in June proud of their achievements playing soccer at ASF. The boys managed to go a step further with a comprehensive 4-2 victory over Panamericana in an entertaining final. ASF scored two early goals and was on the ascendency with Jose Maria Poo controlling the game. In the second half, the Bears paid the price for taking their foot off the gas and Panamericana drew level. With less than 10 minutes remaining, ASF turned up the pressure, hitting the post twice before securing victory with a third goal from Matthew Rogers and a fourth from Alejandro González. Congratulations to the boys, the best school team in Mexico City! There’s a real buzz around the ASF soccer community for this new school year, thanks to the success of the varsity teams and the many changes coming into force to improve our program at the lower levels. We will continue to work hard and build on our success.


SF students who participate in athletics of any kind find themselves immersed in a world of rigor and camaraderie. But there’s a sport that many tend to forget, a sport that requires hard work, determination, perseverance, patience and a great deal of sweat. Members of this particular ASF athletic community —the Wolf Pack, as they’re called colloquially— train with the sun in their faces and wings beneath their arms, with only their shoes and their motivation to drive them forward. They are, like me, members of the ASF Running Team, an experience that pushes your limits unlike anything else. For three years, I have been part of this speedy elite of the school’s athletic community. I have realized in that time that running epitomizes the so-called love/hate relationship. On the one hand, it is a rigorous exercise routine with little immediate reward. As a distance runner, I’ve endured the stress of training for over an hour every day, a process that involves sweat, tears, severe time reallocation and, if you’re as uncoordinated as I am, a little blood from wounds. And after all that, my race time may drop by just a few seconds. However, the rigor itself is where the enjoyment is. All exercise provides relief; running takes this to the extreme. The lactic acid in your body appears to convert to sheer energy when you keep moving forward even though you’re tired beyond comparison. You really do reach a state of physical ecstasy when running, with your head cleared of the difficulties of the day as the endorphins reach your brain to provide a sense of security and pleasure that few other pursuits can. ASF Running not only helped me discover my passion for running, it also helped me expand it. The coaches took a boy who ran a mile in over 10 minutes, and in two years turned him into an athlete who accomplishes this feat in a little over 4:50. I am grateful to them, and as I enter my senior year, I will make sure that I continue to strive for greatness. Joining the running team, or any team for that matter, is a life-changing experience that not only provides a healthy alternative to watching TV all afternoon, but also memorable moments of pride and friendships that will probably last a lifetime. So don’t mess with the ASF Running Team. We can literally run circles around you.

G RA D U ATION s p e c i a l

Graduation 2011!


ull of hopes for the future and nostalgia for their now-alma mater, the Class of 2011 graduated on June 4th, ending a chapter that started for many of them in kindergarten on the very same campus. A large tent set out on Coach Colman Field protected the students and their families and fans from the late spring sun. The traditional Pomp and Circumstance melody played as the faculty and school leaders filed in, followed by the soon-to-be graduates. Among the highlights of the ceremony were the valedictorian’s speech (see page 26), and the congratulatory address by Dean of Students Omar Ugalde, who started as dean when the Class of 2011 entered 9th grade, and is himself “graduating” from ASF and moving on to a job abroad. Many parents teared up as Head of Upper School Amy Gallie compared the students to butterflies getting ready to hatch from their cocoons, and the musical performances of “Unwritten” and “Don’t Stop Believing” had classmates clapping their hands. After receiving their diplomas, tossing their caps in the air and marching back up the aisle, the now-alumni reunited with their family and friends for a brief reception, sponsored by the Parent Association.

G RA D U ATION s p e c i a l

Graduating with Honors Many graduating seniors were recognized for their special talents and hard work at the Senior Awards Ceremony last May 23. Here’s who they are. Left: Ms. Kim Kaufman and Clemente Dadoo.

French Language Outstanding Students • Santiago Montiel • Alejandra Rubalcava American Legion 1st Vice Commander Brian Johnson, Diego Song and Bernardo Barzana.

Social Studies Department Outstanding Students • Eduardo Coronado • Raul Scorza Right: Ms. Tess Wheelwright and Mariela Madero.

And to Cap It Off...


hree days before the real thing, there was a sort of pre-graduation for the Class of 2011 on June 1. In what has become a beloved tradition, seniors collected their gowns and received their graduation caps from their favorite ASF teachers or staff members. This Capping Ceremony, which started in 2006 as a student initiative, provides soon-to-be graduates a way to recognize and connect with a special person from their years of education at ASF, whether it’s an ECC teacher, a coach or an administrative assistant from the office. This year, the students and their cappers enjoyed a special lunch together before the ceremony. All pairs exchanged cards, and sometimes gifts. At the ceremony, Mexican social studies teacher Ricardo González, selected to speak by the senior class, touched on the eternal subjects of youth, happiness and freedom. With family members of the graduates and other faculty and staff members looking on, each pair was called up and the adult placed the cap on the student’s head. Sofía Campomanes chose Claudia Salazar, an administrative assistant from the Upper School Office, to cap her. “It was very nice – a marvelous and touching experience,” said Ms. Salazar, who participated in the ceremony for the first time this year. Capping Ceremony was also the occasion where students obtained the rest of their graduation regalia, including pins, tassels and stoles that commemorated such accomplishments as serving on Student Council, participating in Model United Nations or completing the IB Diploma Programme.

Mexican Social Studies Department Outstanding Students for Derecho • Micaela Valentin • Carlos Daniel Velez Outstanding Students for Filosofía • Manuel Benito Coquet • Michelle Saltiel Humanities Department Performing Arts Outstanding Students • Eun-Hee Susan Kwon • Sofía Sánchez Visual Arts Outstanding Students • Ana Segovia • Gosbinda Vizarretea English Department Outstanding Students • Kelsey Burgess • Giancarlo Besa Science Department Outstanding Students • Bernardo Barzana • Hyewon Kim Mathematics Department Outstanding Students • Manuel Benito Coquet • Diego Song Language and Literature Department Spanish Literature Outstanding Students • Tania Carregha • Sofía Campomanes Spanish Language Outstanding Students • Sujin Baeg • Gabriela Oliveira 22

Technology Department Outstanding Student • Maria Sofia Poo Physical Education Department Outstanding Student • Sophia Pages Outstanding Student-Athlete • Devan Sullivan Community and Service Outstanding Contribution to Community Service • Diana Litchi International Baccalaureate Diploma Outstanding IB Senior Student • Eduardo Coronado Counseling Department 2011 College Fair Scholarship University in Mexico • Carlos Daniel Velez University in United States • Se-A Chong University Abroad • Elba Gomez National Merit Commended Scholar • Kelsey Burgess President’s Award for Educational Achievement • Eduardo Avila • Giancarlo Besa • Paola Bistre • Horacio Carvajal • Rodrigo Cepeda • William Dickson • Ander Gimenez • Elba Gomez • Daniel Justo • Yumi Kim • Mariela Madero • Thabile Magazi • Dan Nurko • Gabriela Oliveira • Santiago Oñate • Francisco Pagan • Katerina Rivera • Tamara Saitcevsky

• Andrea Sanchez • Ana Segovia Student Ambassador Award • Seung Ho Cha • Alejandra Rubalcava American Legion Award • Bernardo Barzana • Diego Song National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution Award • Kelsey Burgess • Devan Sullivan Parent Association Service Award • Se-A Chong • Camila Ocejo Alumni Spirit Award • Jennifer Kim • Raul Scorza President’s Academic Excellence Award • Bernardo Barzana • Vianca Bedoya • Kelsey Burgess • David Campillo • Ivan Cherem • Se-A Chong • Manuel Coquet • Clemente Dadoo • Hyewon Kim • Dania Nanes Ambassador’s Award • David Campillo Salutatorian • Clemente Dadoo Valedictorian • Hyewon Kim

Salutatorian Clemente Dadoo, the student with the second highest GPA in the senior class, at the Senior Awards Ceremony.

Adiós, Old Timers Some 2011 grads were in it for the long run.


By José Segebre, ASF Communications Assistant With his Chilean, Filipino, Italian and Brazilian roots, ASF’s diversity and international focus have made it an ideal environment. “It’s the people here who make you want to be a better person,” he says. Old Timer Susan Kwon, born in Panama, has similar observations about campus culture and diversity. “Our campus has people from so many different places and backgrounds,” she says. “I feel like in college I will be able to meet anyone and say I know I can connect you because I’ve been used to it for 12 years.” Tania Maria Carregha, who started ASF in the ECC, comes from an extended family of ASFers. Her brother started first grade a year ago, which means, as she puts it, “My parents will have paid 25 years of tuition once my little brother graduates.” During her time here, Tania was a student ambassador, giving campus tours to prospective families and students. “I am leaving with a globalized vision,” she says. “You meet people from all parts of the world at ASF.” Rodrigo Salas, at ASF since ECC, was on the school’s swimming team for eight consecutive years. His older brother graduated 11 years ago and his younger brother is currently enrolled. With a hint of nostalgia Rodrigo says, “I think I am even going to miss waking up at five in the morning to come swim here.” Being an Old Timer means having spent about two thirds of your life coming to the same plot of land day after day. Not one of the Old Timers Focus spoke with would have had it any other way. Unanimously, they liked the idea of their own children spending their entire school life at ASF.

SF prides itself on graduating many students who have been enrolled at the school for 12 to 14 years —that is, who start in first grade or earlier and stay on until they finish Upper School. By tradition, they’re called Old Timers or, more lightheartedly, “frequent flyers.” There are 75 Old Timers in the graduating class of 2011, an impressive number for an international school in a globalized world where people tend to come and go a lot. One of them is Marilu Bosoms, who entered ASF in the first grade and missed only a year when she attended a school in France. (You can study abroad for a year and still be considered an Old Timer, a necessary loophole in a school that encourages a global perspective.) Marilu, who has two siblings still attending ASF, says she is especially thankful for the flavor of international education she experienced here for more than a decade. “I love the way it teaches you to think,” she says. “Compared to other schools where you have to memorize a bunch of things, it really challenges you to be an independent thinker.” Bernardo Barzana has been at ASF since what was then called Kinder I (K2 today). He has deferred admission to Yale, where he plans to pursue a science major, for a year to study philosophy at UNAM. What stands out for Bernardo about ASF after all these years is the variety of resources. “They give you a lot,” he says. “Whether you take advantage of it or not is entirely up to you.” Giancarlo Besa, who is starting college in the United States this fall, came from Rio de Janeiro, where he was born, to ASF in the first grade. 23

Graduating Class of 2011




O O H H, O H


O H, IB O IB, O IB, O H H, IB H, IB, O H, O IB IB, O H, IB O IB, O H, IB

Fanny Adler Braun Mariana Aguila González José Antonio Álvarez Kuri Sandro Ambrosi Belausteguigoita Andrés Albores Eduardo Miguel Apellaniz Múzquiz Renata Arellano Pérez Vela Gerardo Arévalo Luis Mauro Arteaga Jaime Andrea Atri Mizrahi José Ángel Ávalos Talancón Eduardo Ávila Herrera Ricardo Ávila Álvarez Ximena Aviña Alcocer Su Jin Baeg JooHee Baik Yi Minsik Bang Andrea Baños Álvarez Sergio David Barajas Baez Laura Barroso Barrera Bernardo Barzana Sánchez Mejorada Vianca Bedoya Thomas Bello Amanda Bermúdez Dávila Alezandra Michelle Berrio Francesca Berrondo Lombardo Mathias Berthelemot Giancarlo Besa Paola Bistre Marilú Bosoms Hernández Kelsey Burgess Alejandro Burgos David Alexander Campillo Sofía Campomanes Rojas Daniel Campos Tania María Carregha García Horacio Carvajal Domínguez Santiago Carvajal Minvielle Juan Manuel Castañeda Rodrigo Cepeda Diego Céspedes Seung Ho Cha Tala Chebaro Reyes Iván Cherem Se-A Chong Manuel Benito Coquet Davila

Universidad Iberoamericana Universidad Autónoma de Nebrija Oral Roberts University Universidad Iberoamericana Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México University of Miami Universidad Iberoamericana Universidad Iberoamericana University of British Columbia Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México ITESM, Campus Santa Fe Endicott College Goldsmiths College, University of London University in Korea University of Michigan Georgia Institute of Technology Art School Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México Yale University University of Virginia DePaul University Studying French and art history in Paris Lynn University Gap semester in Paris, then Universidad Iberoamericana McGill University The University of Texas, Austin Gap year Davidson College Azusa Pacific University Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México University of Chicago Gap semester in New York, CENTRO Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute McGill University Universidad Anáhuac University of Southern California The University of Texas, San Antonio Undecided Universidad Iberoamericana Gap semester, then university in Korea Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México Gap Year Georgetown University Undecided





H O IB, O H, IB, O O H H, IB

Eduardo Coronado Sroka Rafael Enrique Correa Engelhardt Andrea Cummings Marchetti Clemente Shankar Dadoo Lomeli Blake Davis Arakelian Leobardo de la Garza y Montes de Oca Mariana del Río Ojeda Anna Detmold William Dickson Marianne Driessen Rubalcava Norma Duayhe Aiza Tania Edid Nahira El-Yabroudi Cañibe Adela Escandón Cesarman Susy Espinosa de Los Reyes Keosseyian Fernando Eugui Zorrilla Dennis Fasciani Alejandro Felgueres Guzman Daniel Galván David Flores Porras Alex Fraind Dorfsman Lucas Evan Furtado Michelle Gallo Ruiz de Velasco Roberto García Montalvo Paulina García de Alba Graue Marifer Garza Antonio Gil Ander Gimenez Bilbao Roberta Gómez Diaz Elba Ilusión Gómez Navas Acevedo Bernardo Gontijo Teixeira Ximena Gonzalez Montalvo Sarah Jillian Goslin Alec Grandío Paulina Guerra Salas Alejandra Gutiérrez Alexander Hojnicki Alberto Holm Cardona Tae Won Hwang Daniel Jimenez Villarreal Daniel Justo de Prado Elias Kalach Hanono Margot Kalach Hanono Eva Kassel Hyewon Kim Jennifer Hyuna Kim Lee

Boston University Gap semester Universidad Iberoamericana University of Chicago Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México ITESM, Campus Santa Fe Gap Year in Paris and Barcelona University of St. Andrews (Scotland) George Mason University Universidad Anáhuac Universidad Iberoamericana Universidad Anáhuac Emerson College Universidad Anáhuac Gap semester, ITAM Universidad Iberoamericana University of Maryland, Baltimore County Universidad Iberoamericana The University of Texas, San Antonio Universidad Panamericana Universidad Iberoamericana George Mason University Universidad Iberoamericana ITESM, Campus Santa Fe Studying medicine Universidad Iberoamericana Universidad Iberoamericana ITESM, Campus Santa Fe Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México University of British Columbia Northeastern University Universidad Iberoamericana Dickinson College SAE Institute Barcelona Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México University of Oregon Purdue University Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México The George Washington University Gap semester Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México Universidad Iberoamericana Gap year in Barcelona Oxford College of Emory University Princeton University Universidad Anáhuac

H, O H, O O IB

H, IB, O O O




H, O O H O O


Yumi Kim Procel Ronit Krouham Eun Hee Kwon Pablo Lagos Allegre Sara María Landa Lizarralde Alejandro Lecanda Moreno Keun Hyup Lee Paulina Leipen María Luisa Lins Diana Litchi Ozner Valentina Llanos Vargas Ricardo Adrián López Gutiérrez Alberto Lorenzo Ramos Mariela Madero Fernández Alonso Madrazo Labardini Juan Pablo Magaña Thabile Magazi Santiago Marcos Hadjopulos Macarena Matrait Sanchez Juan Mateo Menendez Brill Alexis Michan Fernanda Mijares de la Barreda Rachel Mines Gilchrist Delumen Molina Santiago Montiel Palacios YoungJune Moon Chong Jesús Alejandro Mota Medelín Dania Nanes Sarfati Pau Nuñez Dan Nurko Elliot Brenda Obando Paula Obregón Tolumes Camila Ocejo Galvao Gabriela Oliveira Galvao Santiago Oñate Yañez Lucia Ortiz Simon Helena del Carmen Ortiz Hernández Karla Pacheco Daniela Paciuc Freyer Francisco José Pagan Sánchez Sophia Pagés Maria Sofia Poo Castillo Stephan Putter Gustavo Ramírez Miguel Raz Guzmán Macedo Ana Rebolledo

Pace University, New York City Universidad Iberoamericana Boston College Universidad Iberoamericana Universidad Iberoamericana ITESM, Campus Santa Fe Georgia Institute of Technology Les Roches International School of Hotel Management University of Colorado at Denver Gap semester, Brandeis University Gap semester in Paris, ITESM, Campus Santa Fe Universidad Iberoamericana Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México University in Barcelona Centro de Investigación y Docencia Ecónomicas University of Houston Gap semester New York Film Academy New York Film Academy Savannah College of Art and Design Universidad Anáhuac Universidad de las Américas Puebla Gap semester, modeling in New York University in Michigan Michigan State University University of Pittsburgh Universidad Iberoamericana Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México Savannah College of Art and Design, Atlanta ITESM, Campus Santa Fe Brigham Young University Universidad Panamericana Universidad Iberoamericana Northeastern University Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México Gap year Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México Universidad Iberoamericana Universidad Iberoamericana Gap year The University of Texas Universidad Iberoamericana Universidad de las Américas Puebla Universidad Iberoamericana Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México Universidad de Navarra


O O O H, O O O



H, IB, O H, IB O O

Pablo Rebolledo Márquez-Padilla Alejandra Riquelme Galindo Katerina Rivera-Torres Nester Víctor Manuel Rodríguez Escobedo Carel Roffiel Sánchez Laura Rosales Vieyra Natalie Rosengaus Rangel José Miguel Rosillo Alejandra Rubalcava Mora Tali Rudy Tomas Ruis Leycegui Lorena Sada López Tamara Saitcevsky Rodrigo Salas Flores Michelle Saltiel Cassab Sofía Sánchez Borboa Andrea Sanchez Moctezuma Jeny Schoenfeld Raul Enrique Scorza Figueroa Ana Segovia de Fuentes Gabriela Shabot Alan Shapiro Guss Sergio Solórzano Villicaña Diego Song Cho Jero Souza Alan Spindel Olvera Devan Rori Sullivan Vickers Gonzalo Tessa Matta Regina Torres Thompson Miguel Ángel Traver Barbabosa Rodrigo Treviño Garza Matteo Scigliano Trevisani Ruben Turok Catarrivas Nicole Urich-Sass Garcia Micaela Valentin Christopher James Velazquez Carlos Daniel Velez Loyola Armando Enrique Vernet Rojas Gosbinda Vizarretea Rodríguez Melanie Lizeth Yépez Mantilla Oscar Zapata Julia Zebadúa Orozco Garrett Armando Zebley Anton Zu Innhausen und Knyphausen García-Huidobro

H - Honor Society

Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México Gap semester, Universidad Iberoamericana Universidad Iberoamericana Emerson College International College of Management, Sydney Boston University Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México University of California Los Angeles Syracuse University Gap year in Israel, Northeastern University University of Southern California Universidad Iberoamericana University in Mexico Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México Universidad Anáhuac Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México Savannah College of Art and Design Gap semester in Florence University of British Columbia School of the Art Institute of Chicago Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México Universidad Iberoamericana Universidad Iberoamericana Wesleyan University Universidad Iberoamericana Bentley University James Madison University Universidad de Chile Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México Universidad Iberoamericana Gap semester in Europe The University of Tampa Gap semester, ITAM Universidad Iberoamericana Universidad Austral James Madison University Escuela Libre de Derecho Universidad Iberoamericana Parsons The New School for Design Hult International Business School Gap semester University of Colorado at Boulder Chico State University Maastricht University, Germany

IB - IB Diploma Programme

O - Old Timers

G RA D U ATION s p e c i a l

“How Will You Represent Your Life?” Hyewon Kim (’11) delivered the following address as class valedictorian at the 2011 ASF graduation ceremonies last June 4. It is reprinted here in its entirety.


high school diplomas, we are also handed a piece of paper, a canvas, a blank wall —to be experimented with for the first time outside the familiar and comforting confines of the tall, pink walls of ASF. Now is the time to touch the tip of our brushes for the first time on that paper and see what happens. Smile at the person you’ve been upset at, blurt out that thought you’ve been chewing on relentlessly for the whole class period and express love and gratitude to your family you’ve been taking for granted all this time. The thing with paintings, or any kind of art, is that you’re stuck with whatever you put on that canvas. Even if you throw it away, the fact that you chose to see the world in a certain way at one point in time and put it on paper doesn’t go away. But believe it or not, this is the best part. Whatever we do or don’t do, no matter how insignificant or regrettable the experiences may seem, they leave some kind of mark that makes the canvas of the world more interesting than it had been before. At Magritte’s exhibition, there were so many people from all walks of life that I started to wonder if most of these people even knew who Magritte was. But that didn’t matter. Not everyone had to know the artist’s biography, main characteristics of his works or the history behind each of the paintings. Just with the title and the piece itself, anyone could comment, “Wow, that is beautiful.” Every mark on your life will mean the whole world to at least one person, if not your family, friends, teachers, country or the world. Magritte said, “Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist.” The world would not exist without your own representation of your life, your unique perception of it. If there’s one more cliché I am allowed to say in this speech, it is that reality is overrated. But I don’t think anyone can emphasize this enough —it is one’s unique representation of reality that can change the world. If we all saw the world in the same way, how could anyone expect it to become different one day? Don’t let anyone tell you that something is less real than others because it is merely your representation of it. It is the determination and passion that goes into your representation of life that creates a true and lasting impact. Congratulations, Class of 2011. Thank you for the beautiful experiences and making me into the artist I am today. Best of luck to you all, and never stop painting.

n March of 2010, Bellas Artes held an exhibition of the French surrealist painter Rene Magritte. The thrill for me wasn’t so much that I could see first-hand the works of the artist I fervently studied in my art history class, but that each of the pieces in the exhibition spoke to me a message. This message is conveniently summed up in Magritte’s words themselves: Ceci n’est pas une pipe. More than a year later, I find myself going back to Magritte and his obscure words —This is not a pipe. Written directly under an image of a pipe, this message refers to more than just this particular painting— it may be telling us to snap out of it, that no matter how pleasurable the sensation one gets out of a painting, a party or a concert might be, it is merely a representation of a part of life suspended in space and time, not the real thing. Some might take Magritte’s reminder as a harsh wake-up call that beautiful things aren’t everything, but as for myself, getting lost in a space and time of one’s own isn’t necessarily something to wake up from. Drawing has been my favorite pastime ever since I can remember. Today, it has become more than just a hobby; whenever I feel overwhelmed with schoolwork or with the usual mishaps of life, I grab the nearest scrap paper, whip out my favorite mechanical pencil and start drawing whatever comes to mind. This absolute freedom and control over the two-dimensional product of my imagination is highly therapeutic, to say the least. I tend to get absorbed into whatever I’m drawing at the moment, and can get fooled into thinking that the smiling face, free-flowing clothing or crouching body on the paper is exactly how reality looks like. More recently, however, I found myself deliberately distorting some features of my drawings, like in a political cartoon, to remind myself that indeed, they were merely representations, not the real pipe. How will you represent your life? At the end of the day, like the conclusion of a lab report, our experiences are summed up —not in an exact, proportionate way, but with the details that each of us chooses to remember. It is in our freedom to paint reality however we want. If there is no universal truth, I believe this is one of those absolute subjective truths: We make our own reality. Not everyone is an artist in the conventional sense, but everyone is an artist, a creator, of his or her own life. We have been privileged enough to receive an education that gave us the power and courage to express what we believe in, at the tip of a pen or a brush. But today, as we receive our 26

campus currents

A view from the Middle School Field shows how construction stood in July, with an artist’s rendering of what the finished building will look like from a similar angle.

It Won’t Be Long

The opening of the new Wellness Center is right around the corner. Curious about what will be in it? Here’s a brief tour.


the aforementioned curricular benefits, certain specific needs had been identified over the years, and the building was designed to meet those needs. We’ll see plenty of examples during the brief tour ahead. Then there’s that word wellness in the building’s name. While it will inevitably be referred to casually as “the gym,” the multiuse facility is obviously much more than that. While “health” usually refers to a state of the body that is either free of disease or not, “wellness” has to do with a balance of the physical, social, emotional and intellectual elements that go into making a human being. What could be more appropriate for an educational institution? Another word associated with the building is green. ASF has committed itself to meeting LEED (Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design) standards for environmental responsibility in all new construction and remodeling, which includes the Wellness Center as well as the recent Upper School remodeling and the upcoming Ángeles Espinosa Yglesias Fine Arts Center. The standards are being met by such efforts as the use of recycled materials, efficient electricity use and water conservation, which will eventually include an on-site water treatment plant. And finally there’s the name associated with the facility —Mary Street Jenkins, the wife of a 20th century American businessman in Mexico who named a foundation after her. Fundación Mary Street Jenkins was the major, though far from the only, donor that made construction of the Wellness Center possible. Now let’s see what’s inside of it.

hroughout the 2010-2011 school year and the summer that followed, the Mary Street Jenkins Wellness Center has been taking shape on the ASF campus, rising inexorably over the school’s underground Transportation Center. Being only a matter of months before the new facility opens its doors, now seems a good time to take a closer look at just what will be inside this building, and what it will offer students and the entire ASF community. First some vocabulary. There are several words we hear a lot when the conversation turns to the Wellness Center, and for good reason. They’re words that describe the philosophical underpinnings of the project. Or more simply put, they explain why the building exists. One of those words is integrated, which means that pretty much everything’s in the same general space. Unlike before, the indoor sports facilities, physical education rooms, exercise areas, coaches’ and teachers’ offices, locker rooms, accommodations for non-sports events, sites for many Extended Learning activities and the tennis courts will share a facility. And the entire structure overlooks the Middle School athletic field and Coach Colman Field. Another word is curricular benefits. Okay, that’s two words, but the concept is doubly important. The new Wellness Center is not meant to be a showcase to impress the world; it is a school facility that exists to further The American School Foundation’s mission and educational goals. Everything in it was planned with that in mind. A third word is needs-based. No mystery behind this concept. To achieve 28

mostly glass walls affording splendid views. This is where the coaches and teachers will have their offices, along with the director of Athletics and Extended Learning. They will be located on the east end, directly above the vestibule and locker rooms. On the south end will be six multipurpose rooms that can serve as PE and health classrooms, sites for aerobic conditioning and such EL activities as yoga and venues for small or mid-sized events. The rooms will have a familiar feel for all, except the newest students and staff —the flooring is taken directly from the old US Gym. Perhaps the most intriguing feature of the new facility’s second floor will be the exercise areas along much of the north side. The rows of stationary bikes, stairclimbers and other cardio equipment will be enclosed by glass walls, giving exercisers a front-row balcony seat to the action going on on the Middle School Field. Unlike its former location, the cardio equipment area, with its natural light, will offer exercise with a view. The strength-training area will be nearby but separate. Finally, on the “fifth wall” —that is, the roof— there will be three tennis courts. They will debut a bit later than the building’s opening in December. A concrete wall around the perimeter will be supplemented by a chain link fence on top of it, to keep stray shots (or at least most of them) from turning into lost balls. The Wellness Center will be ready to serve the ASF community as soon as it opens, but it’s important to remember that what is finishing up now is only the first phase of the project. More fundraising is under way as you read this to acquire the kind of equipment, accessories and other material needed for an optimum facility —the software, as it were, to complement the new hardware. A similar effort is ongoing for the new Fine Arts Center as well. That means there’s more opportunity for the ASF community and its friends to join the effort to outfit the two newest additions to the school campus. After getting a first glimpse of the upcoming Wellness Center, it’s a good bet most of us will want to be a part of it. —Kelly Arthur Garrett

Ground Level The main entrance to the Wellness Center will be on the east side, not that many paces from the Upper School/Administration Building. Just by entering, we’re already in new and improved territory. For one thing, you walk into a spacious vestibule, rather than almost directly onto the playing court, as in the old US Gym, where you felt you might be called for a technical foul just for wandering in. And as you enter, you notice the elevator, a welcome addition that can carry persons, especially those with physical disabilities, from the second underground floor in the parking facility all the way up to the tennis courts on the roof of the Wellness Center. You’ll also notice large glass display cases housing the trophies and other honors amassed by the ASF sports programs over the decades. Here’s an example of a needs-based element; there really was no convenient place to display them before. Also in this area you’ll find a new and improved campus store for uniforms and school supplies. The store window will serve as a ticket counter during public events.Near this area are the public restrooms. Two corridors take you along the north and south sides of the building to the large multipurpose area —the gym, if you will. What those corridors are taking you around are the locker rooms —shiny, lean and modern, with showers, restrooms and lockers. The “gym” itself is a multisport area that extends to the ceiling two stories above the floor. It is large enough for a regulation-size basketball or volleyball court when used lengthwise, but also wide enough for two teams or PE classes to practice simultaneously (thereby addressing another important need). The bleachers along the east and west sides —that is, the sidelines during a regulation competitive event— are fixed and permanent, but those on the north and south ends will be portable. This also facilitates the use of the floor for assemblies and other large non-sports events.

Upstairs The second level surrounds the multisport area in a rectangle, with 29

campus currents

“Diego Came By Today...” ASF grad Susannah Glusker has given the English-speaking world an inside look at Mexico’s most renowned artists and their Mexico City of the 1920s. It’s all there in her mother’s diaries. By Kelly Arthur Garrett, ASF Parent

Susannah Glusker (’57) stands in her home near a portrait of her mother, Anita Brenner, painted by Jean Charlot in 1926.



ne day while helping her mother reorganize a room, Susannah Glusker (’57) came across some bundles of old typewritten and handwritten papers. They turned out to be some 900 pages of journals that her mother, Anita Brenner, kept from 1925 to 1930, mostly as a journalist writing in English in Mexico City. Now, most of us would be intrigued —maybe mortified— to learn our mother had kept a diary as a very young woman, especially if people could still actually read it. In this case, though, the papers meant more than a grown daughter’s window into her mother’s youth. It took a while, but Anita Brenner’s diaries eventually created a link between our own times and that dizzying post-Revolution era when an unprecedented explosion of art, music and literature, sometimes called the Mexican Renaissance, redefined a nation and its culture. And as it often does when it comes to U.S.Mexico social interplay, The American School Foundation sits right at the fulcrum between the role that Anita Brenner played in Mexico’s storied past and the role that Susannah Glusker plays in its present. Her discovery led to two of the most historically significant books ever produced by an ASF graduate (and there have been lots of books produced by ASF graduates). The first was Anita Brenner: A Mind of Her Own, Susannah’s biography of her mother and her times, published in 1998. The more recent came out just last fall from the University of Texas Press, under the title Avant-Garde Art & Artists in Mexico: Anita Brenner’s Journals of the Roaring Twenties. It is a spectacular presentation of the near-daily musings of a talented and precocious young woman —she is barely 20 when the diaries begin— who lived and worked in the eye of Mexico’s cultural hurricane.

Friends Anita Brenner knew everybody. A typical short entry from July 7, 1926 gives a pretty good idea of the circles she ran in: “Went with Chamaco and Rose to see Edward. Worked with him on choosing, etc. photos until two. A New Orleans man, Spratling was here also. Sort of amable and vapid. Lunch at the Café Colón with Chamaco & Rose. Looked at her costumes & heard about the grace and flowers of Tehuantepec until five. To Diego’s & saw there Barreda, Carlos Chávez... talked about the ballets with Carlos. Home to find the boys —Jean and George— had been here twice. Fooled about & no work.” Let’s take those names one at a time: Chamaco. That’s Miguel Covarrubias, the great sketch artist, cartoonist and designer of

sets and costumes who published in Vanity Fair, The New Yorker and elsewhere in the United States and Mexico. They called him Chamaco (kid) for his youth, though he was slightly older than Anita, “and nobody ever called Anita Brenner ‘Chamaca,’” Susannah notes. Rose. Covarrubias’ wife Rose Roland, sometimes called Rosa Rolanda but born Rosemonde Cowen of Scottish, Mexican and American descent, was an artist, dancer and photographer who was the subject of a recent retrospective in Mexico City at the Museo Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo and the Casa Luis Barragán. Edward. The noted American photographer Edward Weston was a fixture in Mexico at the time, working with his apprentice Tina Modotti, herself a transplant from Italy. The two played a major role in modernizing Mexican photography. Their work, often with shared credit, makes up the bulk of the hundreds of photographs in the published journals. Spratling. William Spratling, an American architect who moved permanently to Mexico in the late 1920s, was an early promoter of Diego Rivera’s work, and later organized the artisanal silver cottage industry in Taxco, Guerrero. Diego. Yes, that would be Diego Rivera, then 39 years old. He and his wife Lupe Marín were lifelong friends of Anita, and recurring characters in the journals. Susannah remembers the “ordeal” as a girl of visiting the artist with her mother and brother. “He was a huge fat man; his eyes bulged; he was unkempt,” she writes in the biography, later adding, “I loved visiting Frida Kahlo, his [third] wife, but kept out of the way of the detestable fat man.” Barreda. A writer and poet who worked with the Mexican Foreign Service in New York, Octavio Barreda was married to Carmen Marín, the first director of the Museum of Modern Art in Mexico City. Carmen was Lupe’s sister, so Barreda was an in-law of Diego Rivera. Carlos Chávez. The composer/conductor, just 27 at the time of this diary entry, was the leading figure in 20th-century Mexican music and the first director of the national symphony orchestra. What we see here, then, is that Anita’s interests (and connections) extended beyond art, literature and politics and into serious music. “I don’t know how she did it,” Susannah shakes her head, still amazed at her mother’s intellectual reach after all these years. Jean. Paris-born (in 1898) but with Mexican family roots, Jean Charlot was an important painter and illustrator who played a role in the development of Mexican muralism. In the journals, we’re aware of his on-again/offagain romantic involvement with Anita. George. George Vaillant, a Harvard anthropologist who wrote several books about the Aztecs. 31

Meet Susannah Glusker The first English-language presentation in Mexico of Avant-Garde Art & Artists in Mexico: Anita Brenner’s Journals of the Roaring Twenties will take place on September 21 at 4:00 p.m. at the American Benevolent Society on Paseo de la Reforma 1870-201 in Lomas de Chapultepec. Admission is free and everybody is welcome. The editor, Susannah Glusker, will be present. For more information, call 5540-5123 or 5520-3008. And that’s just one entry. But let’s be clear. Anita is not dropping these names to impress. Her diary’s huge cast of shining characters is the result of solid friendships and/ or working relationships from her career as a journalist and author chronicling Mexico. Helping things along was how close everybody lived to each other at the time; this was pre-sprawl Mexico City and most of the action was in and around what we now call the Centro Histórico. So what we get out of the journals is not titillating gossip (well, we do get some), but rather an inside look at the era’s creative types —the Siqueiroses, the Orozcos, the Tamayos, et al— as people, people who worked hard, it’s true, but also people who partied and “fooled about.” Meeting them as human beings, and mostly young ones at that, makes for a refreshing change of pace from the larger-than-life demigods or nationalistic icons they’re usually presented as. Anita Brenner’s true legacy was to communicate Mexico’s vibrant cultural awakening and folk heritage to American readers. She and others, such as Alma Reed and Frances Toor, contributed a salutary antidote to the pressdriven impression of Mexico as little more than backward, violent and unsanitary —an impression, alas, that survives to this day.

That’s Susannah Glusker, at the far left, attending a formal ASF affair in the mid-1950s.

“The key to understanding my mother’s life is to know that she was among the first to fight against Mexico-bashing,” Susannah says.

Mother Anita Brenner published her first book, an exploration of Mexican art and culture entitled Idols Behind Altars, during the period covered in her journals, so we’re right there with her during the process. Your Mexican Holiday (1932) was an early guidebook that combined the usual practical information with her personal impressions. Later (in 1943) came The Wind That Swept Mexico, the photo-rich story of the Revolution that for many of us born stateside served as our first introduction to that convoluted period in Mexican history. For her efforts, Anita was chosen for the Order of the Aztec Eagle, the highest honor a foreigner can receive from the Mexican government. She refused the award on the reasonable grounds that she was not a foreigner. She was born in the state of Aguascalientes, to where her father immigrated from Latvia, via Chicago. “In my family, you change countries with every generation,” Susannah says. “My mother was born in Mexico, my brother and I were born in New York, my kids were born here in Mexico and their kids were born in Minnesota and Atlanta. We’ll have to see where their kids will be born.” By age 11, as revolution still raged in Mexico, Anita was living in Texas. “She was immediately hit with the ‘little Mexican girl’ and ‘Jew girl’ things,” Susannah says. “She had very few friends. She became a library rat.” Reestablishing residence in Mexico at age 18 felt like a liberation. “The first article she published in The Nation was called ‘Mexico: Another Promised Land,’” Susannah says. A friend of the family rabbi introduced Anita to Frances Toor, the founder and editor of

the magazine Mexican Folkways. That opened doors. But it was Carleton Beals, the radical journalist who published several books about Mexico and Latin America, and who taught briefly at The American School, who recognized her talent early on and spread the word. With those two acceptances, the door was open to the world we read about in the diaries. She kept up her journal even as she spent more time in New York, where she earned her Ph.D. in anthropology from Columbia and met a doctor named David Glusker. “She writes that she met Prince Charming,” Susannah says. “You can’t imagine what a hard time my U.S. history professor gave me when I affirmed that I had not invented my mother’s statement about Prince Charming. He demanded to know if I was sure that it was really Anita Brenner talking about a Prince Charming!” The diaries end in June of 1930, when Anita Brenner and David Glusker married.

Daughter It was Prince Charming who decided to enroll Susannah Glusker in The American School some years after the family settled in Mexico in 1944. But it was Anita who filled the timehonored parental role of complaining. “My mother used to go there regularly and yell at them because they weren’t teaching us right,” Susannah says. She was far from the only American School student at the time with a famous parent or two. Susannah’s schoolmates in the 1950s included the children of legendary film director Luis Buñuel, and of the blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter Hugo Butler, who, using a pseudonym, wrote both of Buñuel’s only films in English (“Robinson Crusoe” and “The Young One”). There were, in fact, a number of families that had settled in Mexico 32

City to escape McCarthy in the United States and Franco in Spain. Also roaming the same halls as Susannah were future artist Pedro Friedeberg (’52), future publisher René Solís (’52) and future writer Martín Luis Guzmán (’57), the namesake grandson of one of Mexico’s most storied authors. And there were many others. With that kind of adolescent intellectual firepower all around her, one would think that the daughter of Anita Brenner would have spent her high school years pursuing an educational agenda of political meetings, art world immersion and a jazz- and folk-infused alternative lifestyle. One should think again. What today is the ASF Upper School was then known as the American High School, and that’s just what it was —an American high school of the 1950s, all crinolines and bobby socks. “I went to football games and on Mondays the Rainbow Girls [a girls group run by the Masons] and I organized school parties,” Susannah recalls. “And we looked forward to our senior year’s Tacky Days where the football players dressed up as cheerleaders and we girls decided to be football players.” With a smile she admits, “I really wasn’t conscious in high school.” But she was aware that her family life was not typical, and that it mostly had to do with her mother. “She was an ‘other’ because she worked, which was not common for mothers then,” she says. “And she drove a 1939 Ford in the mid-50s. Unheard of. She’d come and pick us up in it, except once when she forgot.” Fully grasping the significance of her mother’s world was a slow process. When Anita would take her to the Santa María la Ribera home of a friend named Gerardo Murillo, Susannah experienced it as a visit to a sickly older man who would offer her drinks (“¿otro

tequilita, niña?”), and not as an audience with one of Mexico’s greatest painters who signed his work with the name Dr. Atl. “I had no idea who these friends of my mother were,” she says. “But I was drinking their tequila.” A turning point came when her mother introduced her to Anthony Quinn, the Mexicanborn actor who had recently won an Oscar for his supporting role in Elia Kazan’s “Viva Zapata.” Artists are one thing, but a Hollywood star gets a high school girl’s attention. “All of the sudden, my mother was not the woman who would say things like ‘Are you going out dressed like that?’ but a friend of Anthony Quinn’s!” says Susannah.

Journals In 1974, Anita Brenner died in an automobile on the highway between Mexico City and the family ranch in Aguascalientes. Soon after, Susannah got a call from a researcher asking her for details on her mother’s relationship with Leon Trotsky, the Stalin rival who was exiled in Mexico in the late 1930s, and assassinated there in 1940. That had a last-straw effect. “Leon Trotsky? Leon Trotsky?” she kept

repeating to herself. “Who was my mother?” To find out, she studied. After completing her studies at Bennington, Brandeis and Mexico City College, and living on a kibbutz in Israel, she embarked on a self-designed program that led to a Ph.D. in U.S.-Mexico Relations Among Intellectuals and eventually a teaching position at the Universidad Iberoamericana, giving courses on such subjects as “Mexican Art in the First Half of the Twentieth Century,” and “Mexican Women of Note.” That achievement, along with the more difficult one of raising two children, would be more than a life’s work for most people. But the daughter of Anita Brenner still had her eyes on the prize: “I had to find out who my mother was.” That meant tackling the diaries. It was an enormous task. But the resulting two-volume boxed set of more than 860 pages and several pounds is a reader-friendly marvel. Susannah Glusker has translated every non-English word, gently excised repetitive passages, written explanatory chapters that set each year’s entries into context, identified (either bracketed in the text or in an exhaustive appended glossary) every name that Anita mentions

and provided a selected bibliography of Anita Brenner’s writings (it runs five pages). Further, she went to the effort to arrange the photos strategically throughout the two volumes so that they usually illustrate something about the adjacent diary entries. The UT Press bound the volumes beautifully and the editors provided a thorough —and much appreciated— index. The end result is that the two volumes of journals serve not only as an art historian’s resource, a layperson’s study guide for learning about Mexican artists and writers and a rewarding read for those patient enough to follow somebody else’s diary for 860 pages, but also as a work of art in their own right. ASF grad Susannah Glusker has deservedly received a great deal of praise for bringing Anita Brenner’s chronicles of the 1920s Mexican art world to the general Englishspeaking public. But the most relevant comment may have come from an art history student in one of her classes on Mexican artists, who told her, “You’re the first person who makes these artists come alive as people.” There’s a good reason for that, isn’t there?


Courtesy: Volaris

Doing It Right!

Enrique Beltranena is an ASF dad and CEO of Volaris, an airline with a solid record of social responsibility. A longtime friend of the school, he sees its students as potential partners in community development. By Sloane Starke, ASF Head of Communications


the fledgling company received a line of credit from the World Bank because air travel connecting different parts of Mexico is considered essential for economic development. Aside from being a project to help Mexico’s economic development, Beltranena sees Volaris as an example that a company can do things the right way and still succeed. After going through a rigorous certification process and obtaining permission to operate as a commercial carrier, Volaris now transports 6.5 million passengers a year. All this, he says, happened in a transparent way. And that commitment to ethics has been shared with all Volaris workers, who have to pass a polygraph test, ruling out fraudulent activities and drug use just to be considered for employment.

s the CEO of Mexican low-cost airline Volaris, Enrique Beltranena is a committed ASF dad who says his company and The American School have quite a bit in common… and that common ground should grow. Most people know Volaris for its low prices and clever advertising campaigns, but many of the company’s proudest achievements are part of its social responsibility programs. Now, Beltranena is working with Executive Director Paul Williams and other ASF leaders to allow ASF students to play a part in those initiatives. Beltranena and his wife María Eugenia have four children – two ASF graduates, Sofía (’08) and Diego (’09), and two who currently attend the school, Cecilia in tenth grade and Javier in eighth. “My kids have been very happy there,” he said. He and his family arrived in Mexico from El Salvador in 2006, where he had been with Grupo TACA as Chief Operating Officer. At that time, he says, ASF came so highly recommended that they did not consider any other school. Volaris has long been a friend of The American School, donating, for example, tickets to the Silent Auction and assisting ASF teachers to travel for professional development opportunities. Beltranena says that’s part of a set of values that have always defined Volaris. “The whole emphasis on developing and supporting has been part of the company since its founding,” he says. In fact,

An Ambitious Strategy Volaris has an ambitious social responsibility strategy, including causes like health, the environment and leadership development, with plenty of opportunities for partnerships with the school. The Volaris strategy emphasizes ethics, partnerships with other organizations and volunteerism among its own workers, which at Volaris are known not as “employees” but as “ambassadors.” The ambassadors participate in such varied projects as beach and park cleanups, house painting and building projects and support of a 34

home for 350 orphans. Beltranena says it’s not hard to convince workers to spend their own free time on such projects. On the contrary, “They all want to go,” he said. “That’s what I love about Mexicans. They have big hearts.” He would like to see ASF students join Volaris workers on projects like these, and is working with the school to make that happen. Beltranena considers the company-wide ethics campaign the cornerstone of all the company’s other community endeavors. “The people started getting involved,” he said, starting with small projects like donating old uniforms and long-unclaimed luggage to people in need, and building from there. Volaris now frequently uses its existing infrastructure to do good. You could be on a Volaris flight with doctors and organs on their way to perform a transplant, or sitting next to a terminally ill child who’s traveling with his family to see the beach for the first time. One unique aspect of Volaris’ community outreach is its involvement in leadership training for students at universities like the Anáhuac, the Iberoamericana and the Tec de Monterrey. In the future, Beltranena would like to see these programs include Upper School students from ASF. He says Volaris tries to distinguish its leadership programs from others by using social networking and other tools to engage young people.

An Environmental Commitment Volaris’ environmental commitment starts with its fleet, combining new and more efficient aircrafts with specific practices to reduce fuel consumption, air contamination and noise pollution. Beltranena says the fact that Volaris uses alternative airports such as Toluca also helps the environment by alleviating ground traffic. As of this year, everything served on board is in recyclable packaging, and all vendors must themselves meet ISO 14000 environmental management standards. The company’s environmental and ethical principles extend to its corporate offices, where reusable mugs have replaced disposable coffee cups, and transparency is more than just an abstract idea – nearly no one has doors on their offices and almost all walls are made of clear glass. Beltranena sees Volaris as part of a growing movement in Mexico. Volaris frequently works with other corporations and foundations in order to carry out its community development goals. Regarding foundations and institutions like Fundación Televisa, DIF, Teletón and Un Kilo de Ayuda, he says, “We see ourselves helping each other to do things together. That’s a fascinating new era in Mexico in terms of development.” The needs are formidable, but teamwork is essential, he says. “We don’t have the people to do everything, but if we combine efforts, we can keep working.” Combining efforts is what Volaris and ASF will be doing this school year. He plans to use his enthusiasm for the school to make that happen. “The pillar of ASF is the people who love the school,” Beltranena said – and he includes himself in that group. He sees ASF as more than just a school, calling it “a project to develop people.” Indeed, Beltranena sees ASF graduates as potential hires. He said that when Volaris puts on its programs at universities, he constantly meets his children’s fellow alumni. “I find them in the best programs – in the leadership programs,” he said.

Courtesy: Beltranena Family


f o c u s o n e du c a t i o n Q & A

Robert Wilson

ASF’s director of Athletics and Extended Learning oversees everything from the American football program to extracurricular ceramics classes. He brings a world of knowledge to the position. Robert Wilson has filled many roles in his career, in many countries. He has coached and played basketball, taught history and served as a school principal. His task as director of Athletics and Extended Learning at ASF may be the most challenging. Essentially, he is the principal of a fifth division on a par with the ECC, Lower School, Middle School and Upper School. Despite the complexity of overseeing all aspects of a program that serves students at all levels, Mr. Wilson sums up his job like this: “It’s pretty simple — let’s provide good programs.” He recently sat down with Upper School English Department Head Guy Cheney for an interview. Here are some highlights: Focus: Why did you pursue an international career? Robert Wilson: I played basketball for Chapman [now Chapman University in Orange County, California]. The school had a boat, and when I was done playing I went on what was called “World Campus Afloat.” It was a school on a ship and we sailed around the world, through Africa and Asia. When I went on that boat, my eyes were opened. I have always had a desire to live in foreign countries from that point on. I guess you get what you wish for. Focus: Where are some of the places you have lived? RW: One of the most interesting was Bhutan, in 1980. The king of Bhutan was a basketball aficionado, and he was actually the best player in the country. A friend of mine went to play on his team for a year, and I was invited to come coach and play with the team. That was one of the experiences that started the ball rolling with my international career. My first full- time job was coaching the Malaysian team at a time when they had a very strong team. I was coaching at UC Irvine and while scouting a game I was asked if I would like to coach the Malaysian national team. Focus: What brought you to ASF? RW: In 2006, I returned to the United States and took a teaching job in a small charter school in Phoenix, Arizona. After one year as a teacher, I was offered the job of principal and served as principal of the high school for the next three years. In 2010 I learned that ASF was looking for a principal-level position as the head of Athletics and Extended Learning. I felt well-suited for the position and was off to Mexico City. 36

Focus: Is it different at the higher level? RW: Of course, at the higher level we become more results-oriented, but that still is only part of the picture. Even at the varsity level, we are working with kids and we still use a developmental approach. Teamwork, the athletic experience, the journey to the game... these are some of those other parts of the picture that are important.

Focus: What is your principal task as leader of Athletics and Extended Learning? RW: To take the vision and mission of the school and incorporate those ideals into our division. Focus: Do you have any specific goals for the Extended Learning side? RW: Our program is one of the most extensive in the world. We offer 67 different activities that range from yoga to language to bridge to chess to art, gymnastics, everything. One of the goals I have is to offer the best instruction for each of those courses. I look at each course and decide how we can make it better.

Focus: With so much international experience, what do you consider unique about ASF? RW: What ASF has done is create a fifth division for Athletics and Extended Learning. I believe the program here is one of the most extensive in the world. We offer 67 activities to students at all levels. So my job is unique in its scope, and one of the few like it in the world. For me it’s a perfect fit.

Focus: How about for athletics? RW: Our varsity and upper-level athletics are strong, so we are focusing on developing and improving the quality of what we offer at the lower levels [ECC, Lower School and Middle School]. I believe that athletics at the lower levels should be inclusive.

Focus: What do you find most rewarding? RW: I enjoy working with every stakeholder group. I enjoy the process of analyzing our programs and tweaking them to make them the best in Mexico and bring them up to the highest level in the world. My reward comes when students and parents find programs they like and feel we are serving them well. I enjoy the interaction within the division, from working with staff to attending the art exhibition for our ECC children at the end of the semester. When I attend a sporting event and see ASF students and parents displaying good sportsmanship, I feel we are making a positive contribution. I have the best job in the world and I am grateful for that.

Focus: What role does athletics play in the school experience? RW: All of our students should develop a love of sport. This philosophy is sometimes forgotten when we get caught up in winning, which is not so important. ASF is here to provide athletic experiences for all students, not just the elite athletes.


s t ud e n t v o i c e s

Different Strokes Upper School students who take the regular program have made a choice that is best for them. Those in IB and AP should respect that. By María M. Martínez, ASF Senior


he American School Foundation offers 11th and 12th graders the full International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme, a two-year curriculum of courses in languages, social studies, the experimental sciences and mathematics that demands creativity, action and service. Qualified ASF students can also take year-long Advanced Placement (AP) courses that count for college credit. Students in these programs are usually proud of their highly advanced and difficult classes, and they are justified in feeling that way. The thing that bothers me, however, is that some of these students like to casually boast about the IB to all us mortals who take the regular program. Even though some full-IB program students are pretty nonchalant about their academic achievements, a good deal of full-IBers frown every now and then upon the kids who opted to remain in the standard classes. Throughout the junior year of my high school career, I had many conversations that went more or less like this: Full IB/AP student: Hey, are you full IB? Me: Nope. Full IB/AP student: What about IB certificates, the individual IB classes? Me: No. Full IB/AP student: AP classes? Me: Yeah, one Full IB/AP student: Only one? Don’t you consider yourself smart or even qualified? Me: I do... Full IB/AP student: Then? Me:... Full IB/AP student: Do you even plan on going to college? It is the college question that usually marks the end of the conversation. Or if it’s not the college question, it’s the “What do you do with your afternoons?” question, or the “Don’t you feel capable of doing the IB?” question. I would love to say that I am making a dramatization of the facts, but the sad thing is I am not. Kids can be mean, and high school kids are usually the meanest. I don’t want to be making generalizations here, but I do want to make it clear that in my experience I have had fingers pointed at me because I take the (gasp!) regular program. Now I would like to get to the gist of this article. … Drum roll, please… Students who take regular classes are competent, capable, smart and hard working. There! I said it. It is true. It may also be true that our current school system has given such excessive importance to the IB/AP programs that the reputation of the regular program has been unjustly undermined. Regular classes are also rigorous classes with talented and prepared teachers who make their students think, analyze, conceptualize and discuss. In regular classes we also have homework, contrary to the apparent IB/AP belief that students in a regular program have monotonous afternoons filled with trivial activities. Even though I take only one AP class, I know that I am competent enough to not only get into college, but to get into an exceptional college. I also know that I am clever and sharp. I am a reader and I am a writer. I am knowledgeable, mindful and perceptive. I reject ignorance and I embrace wisdom. Finally, I feel comfortable pointing out that the traits and virtues aforementioned are also representative of the vast majority of students in the regular program. The full-IB program students who are not capable of recognizing the achievements of students in the regular program have either drowned in their textbooks or been overwhelmed by their work. Simply put, they seem to have forgotten the part of the core mission statement of their curriculum that encourages students across the world “to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.” María Martínez is in her seventh year at ASF. She is looking forward to pursuing a career in the humanities after graduation. In her free time she enjoys reading, writing and playing the ukulele.


i n s t i t u t i o n a l a dva n c e m e n t

Thank you to our Donors and Sponsors for the Annual Scholarship Drive, Capital Campaign and Special Events ALUMNI Álvarez Varea María José (’90) Anonymous Austin Cathy (’78) Besquin Neumann Daniel (’03) Buenrostro Moreno César (’85) Castillo Iriarte Marcelino (’47) Castro Xenia (’96) Clayton William E. (’53) Danner de Ledwith Louise (’56) De St. Aubin Stephanie (’01) Draine Bruce T. (’65) Furbeck Boltman Irma (’52) Galindo Stahl Martha K. (’58) Garciagodoy Juanita (’70) Golley Linda (’74) Gwynn James (’46) Gwynn John (’52) Haakh Gilbert E.T. (’42) Hunter Barbara (’53) Kolteniuk Ricardo (’94) Lechner de Brooks Kathleen (’48) Martínez Guevara Dora (’50) McDonald Alonzo Susie (’56) Medellín M. John (’79) Paredes Santiago (’89) Santoyo Beltrán Elsa (’55) Schmidt Anne A. (’40) Solís Romero Rodrigo (’87) Tello de Meneses María Victoria (’56) PARENTS Aboumrad Chedraui Family Achar Abadi Nelly Adler Zaslav Mario Aiza Hojel Family (’86/’89) Anonymous Ballesteros Gutiérrez Juan Pablo Baudouin Family Braun Murillo Javier Bustamante Sfeir Family (’93) Campillo Richard Case Family Cervera Family Cosio Clusa Family Degraffenried Les Del Río Audibert Bernardo Demesa Francisco Duque González Family Elias Boton Family (’88) Escudero de Mateos Amaya Fernández Sebastián and Ivette Ferrer Barroso Family Franco Bustillos Fernando Fraser Porraz Family Gómez Tena Family González Calvillo Rodrigo Grossman Sandy and Andre Guerrero Rivera Family Hojel Pacheco Family (’87) Hubp Martin Family Ibarra Fariña Francisco Jones Romo Family

Alaniz Estrada José Carlos Álvarez Nancy Anonymous Beltrán Elisa Beltrán Michele Berentsen Heger Ivette (’90) Berry Murphy Cynthia Ann Betancourt Ashton Bilbao Ugalde Itziar Blanchette Linda Jean Calderón Moreno Lucienne Annette Campa Robledo Monica Campos Kane Karla (’01) Carrera Maru Casanueva Cortina Marian Castañar Vicente Chenier Jonathan Couto Marquez Angel Javier Crutchfield Sklarski Rebecca Nancy Cummings Stephanie Gail Dávalos Sánchez Teresa Leticia De Jesús Breene Juan De León Rodríguez María Elda De St. Aubin Mercedes DeLong Snyder Cynthia Devilbiss Muñoz Harold Daniel Dillon Rachel Ellen Domínguez San Millan Liliana Drury Martha Dora Dunford Bethany Lynn Escobar Rojo Adriana Espin Salgado Laura Bruna Espinosa Ma. Del Carmen Galán Rangel Yolanda (’65) Gallie Kevil Amy Irene Ghirlanda De Haslam Alicia Maria Giral Lopez Manola Goldschmed Harrison Susana (’91) González Martinez De Escobar Celes Gutiérrez Zanatta Maria Eugenia Hanes Bailey Twyla Jan Hennessy Jr Michael Albert Hernández Franyutti Paulina Hernández Naufal Mariana Hinojosa Infante Tania Howe Olivia Gonzalez Hubp Patsy Hunt Evan and Anne Immink Swart Fleur Jackson William Allen Jeffcott Stirling Mary Elizabeth Jessel Pérez Sagra Maria De Lourdes Keeler Keenan Lisa Ann (’83) Kelman Desatnik Anna Sarah Leo Katherine Luisa Levy Marks Cecile Babette Loaiza Mateos Claudia Roberta Mankoch Medel Antonieta Maria Marín María José Marquez Aguirre Ilya Karina Martínez De Escobar Simon Guadalupe Martínez Jennifer Alicia Morales Álvarez Laura Patricia

Justus Mauricio (’87) Katzman Richard (’77) Levin Santangelo Family Lozano Panameño Family Mateos Castañon Family Mendoza Klein Family (’91) Naranjo Mauricio Olvera Liechty Family Ormsbee Carla Parent Association Peralta Carlos Phillips Olmedo de José Irene (’55) Pilliod Family Pisinger Marentes Family (’86) Popovits Rene and Veronica Razguzman José Reimers Isaac Rendón Russell Family (’92) Rivera Castañeda Family Rojo Fernández Family Ruiz de Velazco Pablo Saltiel Serrota José Santacruz del Valle Family Solorzano Giardinelli Family Spinola Ricardo Sulaiman de la Rosa Family Trueba Ruiz Family Valdés Acra Eduardo Valenzuela Pedro Vidaurri del Castillo Tito Vidaurri Salas Family Werner Martin and Mercedes Williamson Carlos STUDENTS Class 2018 ECC K3 Classroom 14 LS Classroom 2D LS Classroom 2F LS Classroom 2G LS Classroom 2H LS Classroom 3B LS Classroom 3E LS Classroom 4G MS Students GRANDPARENTS Anonymous Botton Julio and Dolly Cane Suzanne Goldschmied Adele Hamer Mr. and Mrs. Thurston R. Hernández de Merino Flora McCoy Horacio (’57) Quevedo López Carlos Souroujon Family Uriegas Family Varea Gilabert Carmen FACULTY AND STAFF Abarca Trujillo Miriam Aguirre Tovar Elisa Del Socorro Ajuria González Alicia María


Novoa Escobar María Del Consuelo Ochoa Delgado Marcela Ochoa Zenteno Laura Olper Benuzillo Renee (’85) Ordóñez Camacho Dafne Ornelas Cravioto María de Lourdes Ortega Pareyon Claudia Amanda (’90) Oseguera Amy Marie Susan Parga Rubio Federico Payne Mcderment Susan Marion Peñaloza Santillan Clementina Pérez Galan Mariana Phillips Leslie Piccaluga Gutierrez Maria Elena Ramírez Espinoza Juan Gabino Ramón Verdin Lorena (’82) Reyes Santillana Alejandra (’87) Rivard Scepaniak Jean Rojas Aguilar Maria Cecilia Roldán Fernández José Ruiz Vargas Vidal Salas Valencia María Del Rocío Salcedo Hugo Salcedo Morales Jessica Isabel Sanabria Alcaraz Marisela Schlusselberg Portnoy Renee Segebre José Segura Quintanilla Luz Eugenia Shimanovich Couriel Leslie Smith Turner Robin Lee Solorio Enriquez Ana Maria Solorzano Béjar Silva Virginia Sotomayor Nuñez Velia del Carmen Spencer Jr Steven Hayden Starke Sloane Sterkel Mercier Veronika Lynn Tagle Memri Tapia Araceli Tolumes Villafaña Lorena Judith Trautman Erin Michelle Trejo Tellez Javier Ivan Ugalde Sánchez Omar Valle Alerhand Axel Ver Duin Megan Leigh Webber Cynthia Ann Westholm Michelle Wheelwright Tess Thatcher Williams Paul Wolpert Kuri Janet Woroszylski Yoselevitz Helen (’93) Zaragoza Tejas Diego FRIENDS Anonymous Heyman Timothy and Malu Huttanus Frances Olivares Helaine Rivera Orozco Horacio Viberg Gordon Williamson Sybil Davis ON BEHALF OF Álvarez de Silva Roman and Ana Sofía

Baker Allan Degraffenried Les Fernandez Daniel Galván Lourdes Salcedo Hugo Segebre José MEMORIAL GIFTS Brott Ralph Ludmilla Carrington Leonora De la Riva Lorraine (’64) Martínez Mark (’92) Schon Isabel (’57) CORPORATE AND FOUNDATION American Express Anonymous Fomento Educacional Genomma Lab Goldman Sachs IGSA PepsiCo Producciones y activaciones de vanguardia S.C. Tecnología Intercontinental S.A. de C.V. Tonic Films Volaris Whiskey Films SILENT AUCTION 50 Friends Abitbol Cathy Achar Family AJ Trading Allen Carr’s Easyway México Amore Tatiana Anonymous Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso Arreglalo Arroz con Leche ASF Alumni Council Atherton Richard Ayestaran Escalante Family Azul de Oaxaca Azure Baby Cottons BB Mundo Bello Antonio Big Orange Bistro Estoril Blanco Flores Family Bloom Blue Spa Body Xpert Bounce Brain Pop Brick Brockmann Linda Bruna Buen Ojo Buenrostro Moreno Cesar Bufete Quijano Buhler Ronald Cale Canizzo Centellas Family Cárdenas Adriana Carral Lorenza Castemalle Aleman Family Centro de Entretenimiento Palmas/Kash Centro de Especialidades Odontológicas Centro Optico Palmas Centro Qi Chaque Chose Checa José Family Checa Kuri Alfredo & Family Checa Laviada Family Chelala Ortega Family Chertorivski Salomon Chili Fruits Chillim Balam Chulis CIE/OCESA Cielito Querido Café Colgate Palmolive Consejo Mundial de Boxeo

La Terminal Laddu Lando Las Brisas Las Nanas de la Cebolla Lelo de la Rea Family Libros, Libros, Libros Lima Azul Lomeli Family López Zotoluco Eulalio Los Canarios Los Tulipanes Macario Jimenez Maldonado-Álvarez Family Mani e Piedi Mantenimiento Donald Clean Manzanni Manzo Family Mareazul Marein Andres Marinter Markova Nadine Marquez-Eindorf Family Martínez Jacqueline Maya Gabriela Mayan Resorts McLellan Sara Medellin Annelis Mendonca Karine Mendoza Klein Family Merikansky Arie MGC Microsoft Molina Patricia Montecarlo Montelongo Dora Montemayor Andrea My Cupcake Nacif Jennifer Nae Tatiana Nava Liz Nespresso Nivea Obregón Andrés and Adriana Old Spice Olive Dennis Ordorica Pilar Orvañanos de Gomez Mara Pantera Paraíso Golf Peniche Montelongo Pedro Pérez Vargas Anacecilia Picacho Piel Canela Pineda Covalin Piso 51 Ponds Prinsel Propiel Pujol Quintana-Hurtado Family Quintana-Ortiz Family Quintanilla Pedro Randazzo Delpha Regala 1,2,3 Remeritas ReQer2 Restaurante Harumi Restaurante San Angel Inn Ricalde-Ruiz-Massieu Family Rivera Family Roka Roshfrans Russell Larry San Miguel Designs Sánchez Julia Sánchez Navarro Lebrija Family Santacruz José Luis Santoyo Jorge Savannah & Mairena Serrano Mauricio Sigal Samantha Silva Ruiz Karina Sir Winston Churchill’s

Country Crown Paradise De Crab De la Peña José Abel De Yturbe José and Jimena Del Río Hamer Family Del Toro Deleite Destino GPS Devlyn Diageo Digitopresión Dupuis Edid Jaris Family Editorial Lyrsa El Bebé Viajero El Lago de los Cisnes Erawan Escajadillo Family Escuela Comercial Cámara de Comercio Estée Lauder Eucerin Ezquerro Sound System Faceta Fantasias Miguel Feher & Feher Ferriz Rodrigo Finca de Santa Veracruz Flamenco Fonda Garufa Foto del Bosque Four Seasons Punta Mita Franco Gabriela Fraser Porraz Family Fundación Nextel Fuzzion Galewicz Tatiana Geo Gifan Gillete Fusion Gocco Google Goxi Chemical Graña Jaime Gravita Green Dog Grupo Alsea Grupo Cever Grupo Expansión Grupo Malazzo Grupo Plan Grupo Presidente Grupo Sagama Guadiana Guerra Suarez Family Guns Frantz Gutiérrez Jimena Hand Lab Herdez Hotel California Hotel Las Nubes Hotel Marquis Reforma Hotel Playa Viva Hotel Quinta Real IASA Comunicación Ibarzabal Family ID Wall Ileana Celis Imor Closets Incredible Buffet and Fun Center Ivoire Jaso JW Marriott Mexico City Kaloni science center Ken Hair Studio Kick Rossana Kimaat Kimberly Clark King Fish Kokolet L’ Atelier du Chocolat La Casa de la Educadora La Cueva del Yogui La Maissonete


Smaltum Sonana Jaqueline Sport City St.Tropez Sud 777 Sulaiman de la Rosa Family Sulaiman Mauricio Sushi Santomi Suzy’s Stuff Syrah Tanaka Cindy Tanya Moss Tarragona Margarita Tatan Texas Ribs The Bash Tide to go Todo en Orden Tony Romas Tous Tsimani V & Co. Vázquez Alejandra Viajes Integrales Villaseñor Pavla Virginia Fuertes VIS Viu Manet Volaris Waisser Efrain Weinberg Carla Werner Mercedes Xpressa GOLF TOURNAMENT Aon Risk Services Bosque Real Bounce Caras Sports Congresum Cuervo Devlyn Gatorade Gifan Gillete Fusion Goldman Sachs Grupo Cever Grupo Presidente Hotel Hilton México City Hotel Quinta Real Kaloni science center La cava de los amigos Lorant Marinter Old Spice Piel Canela Rancho Avandaro Seguros Atlas Tecnolomet Tequila Herradura Texas Ribs Toyota Financial Services Warranty Group Zientte 5/10K RACE CIE/OCESA Circulo K Energy Fitness/Hard Candy ESPN Feher & Feher Puma Sport Fitness Tecnológico de Monterrey Telcel Transportes LIPU

i n s t i t u t i o n a l a dva n c e m e n t

A Farewell PA Breakfast... And a Generous Donation On Wednesday, June 1, members of the Parent Association enjoyed a breakfast together on campus to mark the end of the school year and also the end of Aliki Elias’ (’85) presidency and the beginning of Alma Rosa Rodriguez’s term. Maintaining its role as an important supporter of ASF scholarship students, the PA made a very generous donation of $300,000 pesos to the Annual Scholarship Drive. (Pictured: Outgoing PA President Aliki Elias (’85) and Institutional Advancement Committee Chair Frances Huttanus.)

The Class of 2018 Takes a Seat! And It’s Greatly Appreciated The Class of 2018 donated a seat to the Angeles Espinosa Yglesias Fine Arts Center at the 5th grade Stepping Up Ceremony this year. Shown here are some of the class members standing with Director of Institutional Advancement Michele Beltrán and Head of Lower School Evan Hunt. On behalf of ASF, we thank them for their support of the Take A Seat initiative, which benefits this new space to show off our community’s great artistic talent.

A Special Thank You to ECC & Lower School Donors ASF ECC and Lower School classrooms (including the ones shown here) have learned the value of making small sacrifices for big causes. Students in one ECC classroom and seven Lower School classrooms chose to invest in the future of ASF by giving a donation to the Annual Scholarship Drive and giving the opportunity to other kids to have the same education they have. Thanks to our generous students, families and teachers for their support! Let’s continue with this ASF tradition! The classes that participated are: K3 Room 14, 2D, 2F, 2G, 2H, 3B, 3E and 4G.

LS Room 3B

ECC Room 14

Love Golf and ASF? Mark Your Calendars! Join Golf Tournament Chair John Donnelly on the links this November, and be prepared for fun and great prizes. When you sign up, don’t forget to give us your handicap, name of your club and team members. Hurry, time is running out and we have only 120 spaces available! If you or your company are interested in sponsoring a hole, caddy vests, golf carts or setting up a stand, please contact María José Marín Salcedo, special events & sponsorships assistant at 5227-4943 or e-mail 42

The Luckiest Day of the Year More than 1,000 people attended the 8th Annual Silent Auction on March 16, 2011, hosted by ASF and the Hotel Presidente Intercontinental. With more than 1,000 lots up for bids, the event raised more than $938,000 pesos for the Annual Scholarship Drive. Some of the most impressive buys of the night included: • VIP tickets to the U2 concert for $40,000 pesos • More than 10 stays in Cancún for around $1,250 pesos each • An original work of art by Fernando Andreacci for $5,000 pesos The auction was also a great community builder, bringing together parents, alumni, employees and friends of the school. This year, the set-up was slightly different. The auction took place off site as building projects enhance and modernize the ASF campus. Thanks to the support of Grupo Presidente, the auction was held at the Hotel Presidente Intercontinental. The lots (all donated by parents, alumni and friends of the school) were spread around one room and the hallways of the hotel with an elegant green, yellow and white St. Patrick’s Day theme. There was also a live auction featuring iPads and student artwork from the Early Childhood Center. ASF thanks the following people for their commitment and support: Emcees: • Paloma Mendoza • Irene Checa • Allen Jackson • Jonathan Chenier Committee: • Adriana Cortina • Adriana Wallsten (’91) • Dora Montelongo • Fernanda Suárez • Graciela Uriegas • Helga Mendoza (’91) • Karine Mendonca • Lola José (’82) • Mariana Ayestaran • Mariana Haro • Marissa Russell (’92) • Regina Lelo de la Rea • Tatiana Amore Event volunteers: • José María Ramirez • Javier Couto and the Maintenance team • Cynthia DeLong • Silvia Nuñez • Maribel Morales • Luz A. Tamez • Pilar Villaseñor • Carlos Soto • Tavane Estañol • Verónica Estañol

• Araceli Becerra • Jovany Baéz • Carlos Reyes • Vidal Ruiz • José Roldán • Carmen Rodríguez • Javier Eguía • Juan Pérez • Miriam Abarca • Alberto Vázquez • Carlos Salinas • Gregorio Leal • Tere Gutiérrez • Luis Vacheron • Edith Herrera • Viviana Gómez • Martha Salinas • Jennie Wallsten • Lunda Schwartz • Richard and Karen Campillo • Frances Huttanus • Santiago and Ivette Fernández • Annelies Medellín • Allison Hamer (’90) • Angie Esteve • Ana María Autrique • Melissa Goslin • Susan Fasciani • Monica Cadena • Laurie Brennan • Karina Silva Ruiz

Alu m n i profile

Full Circle

From top to bottom: • Sonia Arakelian (’76) • Sonia’s parents, mother Arpi Bodossian (’49) and father Ara Arakelian (’51) • Arpi Bodossian (’49) with her grandchildren (Sonia’s sons) Jonathan Davis (’08) and Blake Davis (’11) • The Museum of Memory and Tolerance, down town Mexico City

Sonia Arakelian (’76) is dedicated to promoting diversity and fighting the intolerance that haunted her family’s past. By Cindy Tanaka (’91), ASF Alumni Coordinator


istory has a way of coming around full circle. That fact came home to me recently when I had the opportunity to chat with ASF alumna Sonia Arakelian (’76) about her amazing family history and her current participation with Memoria y Tolerancia A.C., the non-profit organization behind the Memory and Tolerance Museum across from the Alameda in Mexico City’s Historic Center. The mission of the organization and the museum is a familiar one to anybody involved with ASF —teaching and promoting the importance of tolerance and diversity. Sonia Arakelian comes from an Armenian background. Her grandparents lived in Armenia during the terrible days of the Armenian genocide, the organized destruction of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire around the time of World War I. Most of her family was killed, but Sonia’s grandparents were fortunate enough to survive thanks to something you and I might consider natural —knowing how to speak English. Their work as translators kept them alive until they had the opportunity to escape in the 1920s. Hoping to settle in the United States, the Arakelian family found its way to bordering Mexico. But they soon decided that Mexico was the best place for them. Still, they kept in mind that no matter where they lived, it was crucial for the entire family to know and study English, the language that had saved their lives. Not surprisingly, The American School eventually became a family tradition, the alma mater of four generations. Sonia’s son Jonathan is a 2008 ASF grad, and son Blake (’11), is a member of the latest graduating class. “It has given all of our family such wonderful advantages,” Sonia says of the school. “Both our business and social opportunities are enormously expanded because we are completely bilingual. We enjoy the best of both cultures.” After her graduation in 1976, Sonia has stayed involved with ASF, from serving as homeroom mother to being involved with the Capital Campaign. “ASF offers a multicultural education that distinguishes it from the rest,” she says. “It is very important we never lose the real essence of what it means to be part of ASF.” Six years ago, Sharon Zaga and Millie Cohen, president and vice president of Memoria y Tolerancia, invited Sonia to be part of this project, just as the Armenian showroom was being created for the museum. “I burst into tears the moment I was invited,” she says, “remembering my dear grandfather who had just passed away. He had dedicated most of his life to being a fundraiser and philanthropist for Armenian causes.” The museum itself is a disturbing reminder of some of history’s atrocities. But the purpose is education, and the message is one of hope. “By showing the most significant examples of intolerance committed by mankind, such as acts of genocide, we can come to understand the value of tolerance and diversity,” reads the museum’s literature. The similarity in mission between the Memory and Tolerance Museum and ASF is obvious. And Sonia is involved with both. Whether she is volunteering and fundraising at the museum or ASF, she is fighting for tolerance and diversity, and creating consciousness about them through education. 43

a lu m n i special event

The family of ASF Trustee Richard Campillo was out in full force. From left to right: Steven, Karen, David, Alexandra and Richard.

Off and Running!

Five of the six top 10K finishers, left to right: Sandro Enríquez Flores, Aurora León, Mauricio Méndez Cruz, Samantha Teuscher (’91), Manuel Aguirre Meza.

The Second Run for Education gave ASF community members of all ages a chance to run competitively, get some exercise and contribute to the school’s future.


t 7:30 a.m. sharp on May 22, the signal was given and a morning of running was underway. The second edition of the Run for Education, an ASF alumni-organized event, included 5K and 10K races and a race for youngsters age 3 to 14. The running was competitive, but a spirit of healthy fun dominated the event. Making the event possible was support from Transportes LIPU, 4000 Taxi, Safe Storage, Circulo K, Energy Fitness, Hard Candy Fitness, Banamex, Bimbo, Chevrolet, ESPN and Gatorade. After the race there were activities for children and a variety of food from Café Bola de Oro, Chilim Balam, Yoguen Fruz, Las Fresas, La Bakery-a and ICEE. The hard work needed to make the 2nd Run for Education a reality came from Alumni Council members Leon Merikanskas (’93), Mauricio Quintana (’00), Janet Huerta (’03) and Melissa Berenstain (’03). 44

And the top finishers were: 10K - male

5K - male

Mauricio Mendez Cruz 1st place Sandro Enriquez Flores 2nd place Manuel Aguirre Meza 3rd place

Miguel Barbosa Machado 1st place Gustavo Peralta Arteaga 2nd place Victor Manuel Ramos Robles 3rd place

10K - female

5K - female

Aurora Leon 1st place Katia Torres Landa 2nd place Samantha Teuscher (’91) 3rd place

Mireya Soto 1st place Verónica Aguilar Peñaloza (’92) 2nd place Litzie Riveiro Echeverría 3rd place

a lu m n i reunions

What Are You Up To?

Let Focus be your way of letting the ASF community know what’s been going on in your life after you moved on from the school. Send information to alumni@asf. Don’t forget to include a photo!

1986: A Luncheon Bash


ust organizing the party got a lot of us got into contact after many years. And then on June 4th, in Bosques de las Lomas, we managed to pull in a rowdy and lively crowd of about 70. And boy did we party! The comida started at 3:00 p.m. and went on till the wee wee hours of the morning. We ate, drank, danced, laughed, gossiped and did everything else in the book, short of setting the house on fire. It was fun seeing Miriam Hamui dance all kinds of sensual and weird movements, right out of the Arabian Nights. We were honored to have among us Fran Lieberberg, Anna Sylvia Ortega, Laura Estrada, Lourdes Fernandez, Lourdes Zebadua, Fernando Gonzalez Saiffe, Salomon Birch, Dave Atherton, Eddy Mueller and Richard Dorfsman, among others. Suzy Hamlyn showed up in wedding garb, but faster than a New York minute she changed into jeans and slippers and danced the night away. Of course Jenny Nacif, Jackie Kalach, Judy Romano and Mossy Farca were more stunning than Charlie’s Angels. Vero Martinez was bubbly, cute and fun as usual. There was the unforgettable, captivating and bewitching smile of Ale de Angoitia, as well as the sweetness of Andy Cesarman. I took cool pictures of Fernanda Simon, the most laid back gal I have ever met. At this party Alicia Gutierrez threatened to have another party next year at her Pedregal home, which I am sure she will come through with, meaning we have a guaranteed great time to look forward to. The Frequent Flyer Mile Club award goes to Gustavo Espitia, who owns a vineyard and B&B in Mendoza, Argentina. Coming in tied for second were Miguel Castillo from SFO and Hugo Mantilla from MIA. We had plenty of laughs with Carlos Aiza (looking healthy and slim), Guilly Matta, Alex Marquard, Javier Padilla, Raymundo Solis, Jeff Fastlitch, Guillermo Azoños, Jose Ramon Buenfil, Ezequiel Farca (an award-winning interior designer), Severino Perez (who limped into the party with a back injury), Sebastian Rodriguez, Stevie Said (who abandoned house-moving to come party with us), Karen Ehrenwald and Octavio Marques and wife Karen Eindorf (the most talented photographer at the party). If I haven’t mentioned everybody, it is not out of disdain. Just space. The important thing is that present or not, the Class of 1986 is a successful and talented bunch and we are all proud to be ASF alumni.

—José Ángel Gutiérrez Katze (’86)

1976: Fun in Acapulco


ack in June 1976, when we were all wearing caps and gowns, looking forward to that new stage in our lives, we didn’t know if or when we would see our classmates again. It didn’t seem relevant somehow. But this class of graduates has been special, and several groups have managed to keep in touch over the years. We’ve had some great reunions! This year’s was no exception. Unlike other occasions, we did not have a huge event organized well in advance. We just wanted to be with our former classmates and life-long friends. And thanks mainly to the initiative of Patty Gracia-Medrano, it happened. So some flew, some drove, others took the bus to Acapulco. Some didn’t attend fearing for their lives, others because they or their children graduated (congratulations!), some had previous commitments, others, perhaps, just didn’t feel like seeing their classmates again. Our main headquarters was the Pierre Marques, as it had been on previous occasions. We got together Friday night (Saturday and Sunday night, too) at Gustavo and Patty Montaudon’s place for some drinks, jokes, and anecdotes. On Saturday, after hanging out all day at the pool, we went to Harry’s for a nice dinner. Sonia Arakelian (see page 44) ordered dessert for everyone, never realizing how huge the portions were! By Sunday a few of our classmates had to leave, but the rest of us had a nice dinner (with a gorgeous view of Puerto Marques) at Scirocco, a seafood restaurant. Who made it to the reunion? Among others, Patty Alemán, Sonia Arakelian, Mercedes Ávila, Elsa Bancalari, Connie Brown, Alejandro Calvo, Yvonne Chávez, Barbara Estrada, Alberto Farnos, Debbie Frenkel, Patty Gracia-Medrano, Sue Green, Ken Kryzda, Jaime Lombardo, Gustavo Montaudon, Bobby Rodríguez, Gail Sanborn, Ricardo Sánchez, Andy Sobel, Manolo Solís, Patty Valero (’77), David Weitz and David Zarkin. —Barbara Estrada (’76)

1967-1976: Reuniting with Coach Colman


special ASF reunion took place at the San Marcos Resort in Chandler, Arizona last June 17. It was a special gathering with John Colman, the legendary ASF coach for whom the school’s football field is named. A group of 20 or so Fighting Bears gathered to reminisce and pay tribute to the man who coached football at the American High School, as it was then known, from 1967 to 1976. Known to all as “Coach,” John Colman was a larger-than-life presence, with his gravelly voice and the demeanor of a drill sergeant. His former players affectionately recall how quickly they snapped to attention when they saw either his baseball cap or his clipboard get slammed to the ground. But they also remember how deeply he cared about each player and how much he taught them about football, and about life. As team quarterback Art Camacho (’72) said at the reunion, “Coach was more than a football coach to many of the guys on the team. He was a father figure.” Jim Melhado (’73) agreed, and reiterated the tribute he made to Coach Colman nearly a decade ago. “Coach, you always made time for us,” he said. “You made us a close-knit group, a disciplined team, a team not willing to accept defeat. You gave us the thrill of winning. You gave us a chance to be champions. You made us Fighting Bears.” At the event, the group paid tribute to two recently deceased teammates, Tony Viele (’73) and Dan “Iron Man” Fitch (’71). Both had been stars on the teams that eventually achieved the greatest victory of all: the famous 30-14 win over Tepeyac in 1972. The lessons learned on the football field back in the late 60s and early 70s transformed a ragtag group of boys into the successful, impressive men they are today. And they haven’t forgotten the coach who motivated and inspired them. —John Marfiak (’73)


a lu m n i milestones

Norma Velasco (’92), Jorge Manuel Ruiz and little ASFer Juan Pablo welcomed María José into the family on May 9, 2011. She was born at the Hospital Español weighing 2.720 kg and measuring 49 centimeters.

Nicole Smith (’95) and Brian Cole welcomed Elizabeth Morgan Cole on March 24, 2011. She joins her older brother Mason, 2. The family recently moved to Augusta, Georgia, where Brian manages the Partridge Inn.

Alma García (’96) and her husband J.D. Bayliss will be celebrating their second anniversary on September 12, and wanted ASF alumni to know about their marriage. ASF alumni who attended the wedding in 2009 included Ana Elena Sagaseta (’96), Liliana Alvarado (’96), Silvia Mejia (’96), Mónica Bravo (’96), Amanda Sepúlveda (’96), Rosario Brindis (’97), Nahielli Rojas (’98), Daniel Acosta (’98), Manuel Martínez (’99) and the bride’s brother, Alan García (’99).

Networking Night The Alumni’s annual networking night had a new twist this year. With the addition of some casino tables, it became ASF Casino Networking night. It took place at the Bar Brick @ Brick Hotel and everybody had a blast. Besides the fun, the gathering brought together people from different classes, backgrounds, ages and professional experience.

Career Day is Coming Career Day gives Upper School students the opportunity to learn about professions that interest them —directly from ASF graduates who practice those professions. The Alumni Office is searching for outstanding ASF alumni who would like to speak about their career experiences. Your participation will enrich the education ASF offers its students. Interested in participating? Contact Cindy Tanaka, alumni relations coordinator, at or 5227-4966.

Where Are You?

If you ever attended ASF, we’re looking for you! Please update your information by sending an e-mail to right away. We want to keep you up to date on all the ASF news as well as informed about upcoming alumni events. Keep in touch! 46

a lu m n i class notes


The Class of 1965 will hold a reunion over the weekend of July 7-9, 2012, with the theme “Class of ’65 Turns 65.” The site is the Wigwam Resort in Litchfield, Arizona. Former Governor Bill Richardson, a member of the class, will be giving the keynote speech at the Saturday night dinner. For more information, contact Nena Gottfried Wiley at coyotearz@

IN MEMORIAM... Counterclockwise from top: • Cutting the inaugural ribbon at the 2009 Art Fair, accompanied by then-PA President Aliki Elias. • Leonora Carrington, with her son Gabriel Weisz Carrington, examines works at the 2009 ASF Art Fair. • “The Haunted Eye”


The 45th reunion of the Class of 1966 is right around the corner. It will take place on October 14, 15 and 16 at the Menger Hotel in San Antonio, Texas. There are lots of activities planned. Members of the Classes of ’65 and ’67 are also invited and welcome. The best way to get more information, including a reservation number for special hotel rates, is to check out the web site put together for the occasion by Mike Scott: http://www.ahsmexico66. org. You can also contact Ellen Cohn Sadovsky at or Henny Sands at


Clive Dawson writes: “I recently had a most wonderful hour-long conversation with one of my all-time favorite teachers: Roberta McKinley! If you remember her as fondly as I do, please get in touch with her. She would love to hear from you. Her e-mail address is I’m still on a high after that conversation, having a lot of fun thinking about hobbies and interests that I have enjoyed for years, and tracking them back to a spark that was lit in me by one particular teacher. My love of maps and atlases started with a report I did for Mrs. McKinley on maps and map-making. My avid interest in space exploration, from a term paper on the Apollo 1 tragedy for Mrs. Gonzalez’s Current World Problems Class. And on and on: Weinblatt. Covo. Rodriguez. Blanco. Franz. I love them all, and wish I could tell them how much they meant to me. In many cases, it’s too late for that. I’m glad I have had the chance with Roberta McKinley. “Who were your favorite teachers? What memories do you treasure the most? Sometimes there will be a specific moment that you remember when one of your teachers lit one of those sparks that has remained a force in your life to this day. Please take a few minutes to write them down and share them with us. We will all be enriched.”


Jorge Villalba (’76) writes: “A fantastic broadcaster with amazing energy and excitement, my brother Víctor Villalba, from the Class of 1978, is the Spanish-language broadcaster for the champion NBA champion Dallas Mavericks. He is also the Spanishlanguage broadcaster for the Dallas Cowboys. Other siblings of ours are Patricia Villalba Thomas (’75) and Iván Villalba (’80). Here is Víctor holding the winning trophy after the Mavs beat the Miami Heat.


Several members of the Class of 1981 dropped by the school recently to see the changes that have taken place at ASF over the last 30 years. Shown around campus were Jennifer Wayland-Smith, Cindy Petrinovic, Anaceci Perez-Vargas, Elena Rohweder and Dwight Werren, along with 1983 graduate Ana Iglesias.

Leonora Carrington, an

ASF grandparent and great friend of the school, passed away May 25, 2011, in Mexico City. The famed surrealist artist participated in the 2009 and 2010 Art Fairs on the ASF campus. The featured exhibit in 2009 was created around art by Carrington and her family, including a sculpture called “The Haunted Eye,” which made its debut there. Carrington was born in England in 1917 and had lived in Mexico City since the 1960s. She is survived by her sons Gabriel and Pablo Weisz Carrington and several grandchildren, including ASF alum Daniel Weisz (’09).

In the Spirit! The ASF Alumni Council presented Alumni Spirit awards to two members of the Class of 2011, Jennifer Kim and Raul Scorza. They received recognition at the Senior Awards Night in June (see page 22). Jennifer Kim plans to study medicine at the Anahuac del Norte in Mexico City. Raul Scorza will study international relations at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

• Marjorie Lockett Mother of Laura Lockett (’68) and Gordon Lockett (’72), Marjorie Lockett passed away on December 21, 2010. She lived in Mexico City for 46 of her 88 years, where she was responsible for the Boys State and Girls State leadership and citizenship programs through the Alan Seeger post of the American Legion in Mexico City, of which she was a lifetime member. • Lázaro Blanco Lázaro Blanco, a renowned Mexican photographer and a teacher at The American School for 20 years, died on May 4, 2011, at the age of 73. 47

kids’ corner

This Is Just To Say... As students in Kelley Brooks’ fourth grade class learned about poetry last semester, they studied many important poets, including William Carlos Williams. Then they wrote their own poems inspired by his famous work, “This Is Just To Say.” Here are four examples. Victor

From left to right: Santiago Rocha Novella, Víctor Hahum Antoni, Daniela Zaga Salame and Renata Álvarez León.



Santiago 48

Focus Summer/Fall 2011  

A magazine for alumni, parents, students, faculty & friends

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