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TASIS Commencement May 30, 2015


Spring 2015

An e-magazine for Alumni & Friends of The American School In Switzerland Spring 2015 1

In 2010, a fleeting discussion about sharing stories resulted in eTASIS, an e-magazine bringing tales small and big to the global TASIS community. Over the years, eTASIS has chronicled annual events such as International Week and watched a one-off event (the Walk for Water) become an annual event on the TASIS service-learning calendar. We’ve introduced our five new buildings [such as Lanterna] and watched changes to older ones [Coach House]. We’ve highlighted many of the people who make up our unique global community, from chefs to athletes to philanthropists. We’ve done our best to show glimpses into the lives of our students, faculty, staff, and alumni, bringing a little bit of the magic of the Collina d’Oro into your world, wherever you are. Starting this fall, we’ll be sharing TASIS stories through an interactive monthly newsletter, which will take advantage of our new responsive website, launching later this summer. This means you’ll be able to easily read and explore these stories on your smartphone, tablet, or computer. Thank you for your support and for reading eTASIS.



The American School in Switzerland

Story Highlights News 04 Campus Drones, selfies, the X Factor, and more!


Loving Poetry An essay on the importance of poetry

Year in Photos 14 The A look back


Mad About Science Gala Meet the artist behind the whimsical drawings

Event-full Week 16 An End-of-the-year celebrations and events


From CDE to the Classroom How CDE inspires future teachers

18 Commencement Congratulations to the Class of 2015!


The Sweet Sixteen A look back on five years of eTASIS

Stay connected with TASIS!

Spring 2015 3

campus news

College Counselors Unite!

A Campus Flyover By Rron Lluka ’16 My first GoPro was a birthday gift from my father. I was hooked and quickly began exploring and experimenting with it. The first videos I made were for snowboarding. A year later I bought the drone and made the first ever drone video of my city, Prishtina, Kosovo.

College Counselors from the Swiss Group

I keep going because people enjoy

of International Schools (SGIS) meet

watching my videos and I get a lot of

annually in the spring to discuss trends in

support! Every corner of TASIS inspires

college admissions as well as changes in

me to make a new video. This summer I

admissions policies and standardized testing.

plan to work on a video to promote the

They also share ideas on how to better

beauty of the Albanian mountains.

serve their diverse international student bodies and families. “We face the same

I use a GoPro Hero 4 Black edition,

challenges,” says Greg Birk, Director of

a GoPro Hero 3 Black edition, and a

College Counseling. “It’s great to sit down

Phantom 2 drone. I use FinalCut Pro X

once a year and bounce ideas, problems,

editing software which I learned using

and concerns off each other, and share ideas, and I also use GoPro Studio

about how we can best help our students.”

and Adobe AfterEffect CC 2014.

{ 4 eTASIS

I started with a GoPro Hero 3 because it was a birthday gift from my father. I was hooked and quickly began exploring and experimenting with it.

campus news

In the News

TASIS dominated the European Sport

A number of TASIS teachers are IB and AP

Conference (ESC) championship right

exam readers. English Department chair

from the start with team captain

Todd Matthew was recently in Louisville,

Alfred Stauder PG’15 destroying the

Kentucky for a week of reading AP English

competition with his ESC and personal

Literature tests. Art Department chair

best in the 110m hurdles (16 seconds).

Martyn Dukes has been busy evaluating IB

Immediately after winning that race, Alfred

art portfolios, and Head of the High School

got himself ready for the grueling 3000m. He

Dr. Rob Pierce was involved in marking IB

started the race in the lead and never looked

TASIS students aren’t the only award-winning

Business Management. By reading exams

back, winning his second gold medal. He

athletes on the Collina d’Oro! 11th Grade

and talking with other examiners, teachers

repeated his gold medal performances three

Dean Kevin (KC) McKee spent his spring

return with a greater idea of what is being

more times in the 400m, 4x100m relay and

weekends playing defense for the Milano

done worldwide in their subject areas.

4x400m relay. Alfred’s excellent performances

Painkillers Lacrosse Club. The team placed

were topped by him winning the MVP award

3rd in the Italian Cup in May by holding

for the championships. Congratulations!

on to a 1-point advantage against the Torino


Tauruses, thanks to KC’s stellar defending in the final moments — despite two broken ribs!

Great news! In March, TASIS was noted as being the top Swiss Group of International Schools (SGIS) school on Twitter. Don’t miss a

KC is also one of the TASIS Boys Lacrosse

tweet! Follow us!

coaches. His involvement with lacrosse spans 28 years and includes playing in high


school and college and coaching at some

Videographer and TASIS Global Service

of the US’s top lacrosse high schools. He is

Program assistant Milo Zanecchia ’08 and

also one of Switzerland’s certified officials.

photographer Robin Gilli ’08 will soon


embark on an adventure. Their trip, Latitude 45, begins on June 22 and will take them on an overland journey through a dozen countries


ending in Mongolia in mid-September. “Our inspiration is to document the changes in culture and landscape along the route,” Milo says. “We are looking for what ties people together in these diverse places.” Keep an eye on the TASIS Facebook page for the Latitude 45 website link and updates from their travels.


Our inspiration is to document the changes in culture and landscape along the route

TASIS Elementary School opened its doors as the first English-language elementary school in Ticino in the fall of 2005. TASIS is a Core Knowledge school and includes an Italian Section for Ticino residents. Since its inception, the Elementary School has grown to over 200 children with an international mix of over 20 nationalities and 21 different languages, exposing our young students to a global community. Watch the new Elementary

Congratulations to Marianna Barbieri ’15, who auditioned for the 2015 season of The X Factor UK! She’s waiting to hear if she has been chosen to try out in front of Simon Cowell. We wish her luck!

School video here. Spring 2015 5

campus news

Proud parents of a brand new bouncing yearbook!

All Roads Lead to TASIS

Affectionately known as ‘TASIS Roads’, this microblog was started by students and has continued for two years. With over 150 posts featuring 315 students, faculty, and alumni, TASIS roads tells stories of the community. Recent posts include:

Mrs. Aeschliman, do you often take selfies? This is the very first selfie I have ever had taken!

To give some perspective: this year, a

photos, build pages, and study on,

completely rookie squad of students created

and in the process they learned valuable skills

a 250-page book, containing 19,776

in photography and graphic design.

words and 2,448 photos - an enormous accomplishment, similar to winning a league

A lot of work goes unnoticed at TASIS.

championship without ever having played the

The yearbook staff are just a few of the

sport before. This dedicated group gave up

unsung heroes in the TASIS community.

their free time on nights and weekends to edit



You four are this year’s TASIS post grads, aren’t you? Has it been a good year? Yes! It has been fantastic. We all have traveled, been involved with sports teams, music, and of course classes. It has been a great way to spend the year before heading off to college. We all feel better prepared, and the experiences and friends we have made will last a lifetime.

campus news

Everybody Wants to be a Cat... Over a weekend in May, the Palmer Center stage was home to dancing, singing, and lots of purring! Thirty-five energetic Elementary School students performed The Aristocats, an entertaining production of the Disney classic. The show features alley cats, aristocratic cats, and even an odd horse and pig. The children gave sparkling performances and can be proud of their efforts! The Aristocats was Elementary and Middle School Drama Director Gillian Eames’s final performance after seven years with TASIS. She and her husband are moving back to New York. We appreciate Gillian’s commitment to TASIS and her endless energy and dedication to her students and the performing arts. The success of her performances are testament to her professionalism even when working with very young actors. We will miss her!

Enjoy a gallery of images from many of Gillian’s Elementary and Middle School Productions over the years.

The Aristocats photos

Password required. Contact the ES office.

Spring 2015 7

campus news

Khan-Page Master Teacher Award 2015 - Mario d’Azzo

As legions of students, and faculty members, will attest, Mario’s love of teaching and the Italian language is manifest in all he does, and it serves to both inspire and motivate them in their studies. He is a Renaissance man whose musical talents, athletic interests, and commitment to family and TASIS flow together in a life well led. - taken from the Headmaster’s citation


As regards my own philosophy of education, I consider myself an open and flexible person, conscious that patience and enthusiasm beside solid preparation can be a guarantee of high results.

The Khan-Page TASIS Master Teacher Award is named after two outstanding teachers who taught for many years in both TASIS schools: the late Akbar Khan (in Mathematics) and Max P. Page (in English). The award recognizes an outstanding teacher who represents a high standard of professional pedagogy, subject-area knowledge, a capacity to convey the joy and importance of learning to students, and fundamental sympathy with the aims and goals of TASIS as expressed in the Paideia.

Former Khan-Page Master Teacher Award winners


2009 Carolyn Heard - English-as-a-Additional Language

2012 Brigitte Cazebonne - French

2010 Mark Aeschliman - Art History/Architecture and Design

2013 Giorgio Volpi - Physical Education

2011 Cynthia Whisenant - English

2014 Dr. Brett Merritt - Science

campus news

TASIS Leadership Academy Capstone Projects Edoardo Italia ’16 This year our inaugural TASIS Leadership Academy (TLA) students are completing As part of his dream of becoming an engineer, their Capstone Projects, putting two years of Edoardo has created a Science Competition learning about leadership and entrepreneurship at TASIS to share his love for the sciences. to practical use. Congratulations to our TLA Since last fall, he tirelessly worked with students on completing this special program! Nojus Marcinkevicius ’16 and Rron Lluka ’16 Armed with the vision to increase school spirit on campus,

both in the middle and high schools, as well as with students, to organize and launch the event during the Inaugural Convocation of

Rron and Nojus have

our new Campo Science building in April.

designed and built

Over twenty participants responded to

new TASIS logo

the challenge and participated in the Quiz

products. Using some

Bowl. Congratulations to Team Tesla for

of their classmates’

winning the first TASIS Science Competition!

talents in art and

Edoardo would like to make the Science

design, our two entrepreneurs initially

science teachers, alumni, and administration,

Teacher Dan Schiff

created a jacket for their dorm. Lucky Hadsall residents proudly wear them on campus. Nojus and Rron have since received requests from other dorms to have their own apparel items. However, as School-wide merchandise, they are focusing on a line of stationery products.

Competition an annual event at TASIS.


The Science Competition was a great success, and I think that the teachers and parents present would have loved to have been on a team!

Defne Şahenk ’16

Jillian Streit ’15

Defne’s passion for healthy nutrition has

Jillian loves and is committed to ecology and

Building a business from scratch is not a

led her to introduce smoothies on campus.

service to others, and her leadership project

small undertaking. Yet, without any business

After investigating the eating habits and

consisted in adding a new dimension to

classes on their transcript, they tackled

needs of the boarding community and the

the work of TASIS in Kenya with WISER.

supply chain, marketing strategies, cost of

TASIS kitchen, she worked hard to convince

During her trip there last spring, she realized

sales and net income by themselves, and

the Snack Bar on campus to offer smoothies

the amount of waste from used plastic bags.

had the instinct to seek appropriate help in

for students and staff. She created a healthy

She also noticed that locals work with ropes

and out of our community when needed.

smoothie menu using fresh, seasonal fruits,

in all kinds of chores. Her creativity led her

They contacted potential suppliers in Turkey,

as well as trained the

to recycle those plastic bags by using them

Lithuania and Kosovo requesting estimates and

staff. The needs of those

to make ropes, which can hold weight up to

sample products. They worked on shipping

with special diets such

70kg. Her initiative is not only allowing the

expenses, pricing, and tax implications.

as lactose or gluten

school in Kenya to help the environment by

They negotiated terms and contracts

intolerance, or those who

reducing waste, but also distributes working

with suppliers, with the TASIS Parent

want to stay away from

tools to the community. She is training the

Association, and the TASIS administration. We look forward to the official launch of

refined sugar, have also been addressed. With

WISER Global Service group at TASIS to

such delicious, healthy, and refreshing snack

implement her project on future trips.

alternatives, who wants a plain fruit juice?

their new TASIS logo product line next year. Spring 2015 9

Looking back Images tell the stories of the 2014-15 academic year


Spring 2015 11


u Click

u to view more photographs or videos!

u 12 eTASIS








You must exercise your curiosity. Maintain a sense of adventure, set up challenges. There is no excuse for being bored in a world with so many wonderful places, populated by such fabulous people. - M. Crist Fleming


u Spring 2015 13

u u



u 14 eTASIS








The TASIS SmugMug site houses hundreds of photographs available to view and purchase. The ES galleries are password-protected; please contact the ES office for the password. u Spring 2015 15

An Event-full Week

Senior Boat outing, Prom, and the Senior Banquet

The buzz of the final week before graduation is

exhilarating! It begins with the stress of examinations as our seniors who are not taking IB and AP courses complete their final classes of high school. Then students must pack up their dorm rooms, often an exhausting and emotional experience as many of our seniors have attended TASIS for four or more years, and the School truly feels like home. Families begin to arrive mid-week and students often move in to local hotels for their final days at TASIS. Wednesday night features a boat ride on Lake Lugano with dancing and dinner – which featured a delicious sushi buffet this year. The evening serves as a welcoming into the TASIS alumni community, and an introduction to the new class agents.



Thursday night is the annual Senior Prom. One of the traditions is the pre-prom photo extravaganza, where students gather on the lawn outside Casa Fleming to admire one another’s attire and take photographs before boarding the buses for the prom venue. Friday is the Senior Banquet, celebrating the students’ final night together as a class. This year’s Senior Banquet filled the Palestra with a record 500 guests to enjoy the food and hear the speeches celebrating the senior class. Speakers this year included: Mindy Chen, Marianna Barbieri, Pavel Artemov, Nathaniel Brener, and Master of Ceremonies Tomson Carroll.

Spring 2015 17

From 5th grade to Middle School, from Middle School to High School, and starting college...

Moving On, Moving Up


The time spent at TASIS will be a memory that we will hold to dearly until the end of our days. - Noe Manuli ’15

You can’t wait for it to happen, and when it does, reality begins to

The Class of 2015 was graced with a beautiful Saturday for their

sink in: I’m in middle school! I’m finally in high school! Then, My TASIS

emotional Graduation ceremony. TASIS had been home to many of our

life is over…what awaits me? Each division at TASIS celebrates this

seniors for as many as nine years, and although all graduates felt ready

shift with a ceremony to recognize and honor the students and the

to face their next steps, the day was bittersweet. The TASIS community

families who support them through their education. View images

is unlike any they will be a part of ever again; an institution with the

from these ceremonies on the following pages.

purpose of preparing students for higher education, yet which introduces them to so much more.


Commencement 2015



Spring 2015 19


Middle School Our Middle School end-of-year celebrations included the annual Farewell Assembly, which gives all MS students the chance to thank departing teachers and view a slide show of their time together. The following day’s Moving Up Ceremony in the Palmer Center featured a beautiful rendition of “The Water is Wide” by members of the MS Choir as well as student speeches that celebrated this special class.

{ 20 eTASIS

I know that the friendships I have developed this year will last forever. Given the international background of everybody here, who knows where each of us will be on this planet in 10 or 20 years? - Iñaki Alvarez Arocha ’19



Elementary School The Elementary School Moving Up Ceremony was a joyous celebration of moving to the Middle School. Preparations of our 5th graders began with a Shadow Day, when each student ‘shadowed’ a Middle Schooler for a day, and also included a special dinner with their future school-mates. The Moving Up Ceremony featured a slide show of ‘guess the quote’ featuring every 5th grader and delightful musical performances of “We Are the World” and “Together”. Special thanks to Joan Lutton, Interim ES Head, who helped guide this group of students through their final year!



Spring 2015 21

I started memorizing poetry before I knew what I was doing. I think it started

gradually became lost as it was written down, its rhythms two-dimensionalized

when my grandma and mom would sing to me. Every morning I’d wake to

and flattened into a board—I mean bored—format.

the sound of “London Bridge” or one of Shel Silverstein’s ditties. Nursery rhymes. Gospel hymns. Old Civil War songs. Cowboy poems, too. I liked

Now, I face the dilemma of making Shakespeare relevant to students who

anything that sounded musical. Alliterative, bouncy sound bites clung to my

know the stories well but who maybe never saw a live performance or heard

memory like alphabetic Saran wrap. Perhaps it is no accident that I grew up to

the lines spoken out loud. That’s why I ask students to memorize a sonnet’s

become an English teacher. I mean, my love affair with words began about as

worth (14 lines) of poetry as part of their test on Shakespeare’s Romeo and

soon as I could utter them. Then again, maybe my love of poetry has nothing

Juliet. At first, it feels like a pointless exercise in retro-rote education, but I

to do with my profession. I’m a big believer in the somewhat unpopular idea

know from experience that in this age of external hard drives and Google-

that poetry is for everyone. Poetry can be found in a rap artist’s lyrics or in a

search impulses, it is nice to have something in your brain that can be recalled

dancer’s somatic aria. What I like most about poetry, though, in all its forms, is

at any time. We do it for math: we learn our multiplication tables. Poetry is

its rhythm.

the easiest and most pleasant bit of information to keep in mind, and once memorized, a poem is like a family heirloom that cannot be taken away from

I couldn’t have known it when I was a kid, but later at university I heard a

you. It can seldom be lost, even to Alzheimer’s. These days, we spend too

theory from a beloved professor regarding why I loved the songs and poems

much time and energy consuming and not enough producing. Where is the

that I loved. It turns out

satisfaction in gobbling up

that my favorite poems and

pop songs and movies and

songs follow a “rhythm of three,” or an anapestic

A Case For Memorizing Poetry By Andra Yount - TASIS EAL Faculty

meter. (An anapest is a three-syllable poetic foot with two unstressed syllables followed by one stressed

not contributing anything in return? Memorizing poetry is building a

foundation for future creative output.

syllable, like “T’was the night before Christmas and all through the house…”) I joke with my students that they should memorize a poem just so they have Like most of the songs my family sang in the car on cross-country road trips,

something to think about in an extremely unfortunate situation. What if

Lewis Carroll’s “The Hunting of the Snark” had a rhythm that I could move

you end up in jail for hours, days, weeks? What will you do to fill your time?

to, which meant that I could remember it without having to think too hard.

What if you find yourself stuck in an elevator and start to go insane under

It was one of my favorite poems as a kid. A British professor once told me that

the pressure? Or strapped in an MRI machine for 45 minutes? How will

I probably liked the “rhythm of three” poems because I was American—and

you cope? Poetry gives us focus—a sense of individuality and community.

what’s more, I was Texan. What does geography have to do with my poetry

It is both personal and shared. For these reasons, memorizing poetry is

preferences? I thought. The gallop of the horse has influenced and shaped

useful to everyone, even today. Start with a couplet (two end-rhymed lines).

the American imagination for hundreds of years, he claimed, and that’s

Memorize two lines each day. Slow and easy does it. (and the rhyme helps with

why American poets—like Edgar Allan Poe and T.S. Eliot, for example—

memorization) Professional athletes know that there is such a thing as muscle

sometimes use rhythms of three rather than the more-British rhythms of two

memory—a deeper kind of knowing that happens when our bodies think for

(such as iambic pentameter, which we associate so closely with Shakespeare).

us. When a poem is repeated to the point of memorization, it becomes second

Whether or not the galloping horse has had any influence on my poetic

nature to say it aloud. Then, when a poem is yours, no one can take it away

preferences, I may never know. But I like the idea, being fond of horses and all.

from you. Not confined spaces, not an estranged friend, not war, not old age. It is yours always.

If you think about your favorite musical artists, your favorite songs on the radio, or your favorite sport, they probably all follow a rhythm that is pleasing to you. That’s why I know that poetry is still relevant to our lives today, though the rhythms have taken on other forms that move us beyond the written word. Today, pop music has so thoroughly replaced poetry in our lives that we often forget its origin, which was in the song. Poetry was an oral tradition that 22 eTASIS

Andra Yount, TASIS EAL and IB teacher, has always loved poetry, and wrote this essay about what it means to her as a person and teacher. Along with her teaching, Andra is completing her doctorate in Humanities with an emphasis in aesthetic studies.

The last day of April is “Poem in your Pocket� day, a part of the National Poetry Month initiative started in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets. TASIS students and faculty were encouraged to carry poems in their pockets and share them with each other. Our 3rd graders gave high school students poems to carry, and our entire community found boxes of poems throughout campus to take and share.


Spring 2015 23

It was a weekend of learned discussions and a wonderful night of food and dining! The weekend commemorating the opening of Science Campo had something for everyone. Guest lecturer Dr. Benjiman Schumacher discussed and challenged Middle School and High School students alike. He was challenging the middle school students with a problem he and his colleagues had come across in their reseach of ______ . The students quickly tried to figure out what the answer might be, but it was Prash Eduardo Italia ‘16 coordinated and worked with physics teacher Matt Walker a science competition for students right after Dr. Schumacher’s opening address. The questions were tough, the teams were made up of both MS/HS students,u and it was all Eduardo could do to keep the parents from joining in.

Mad About Science Gala

Seniors Pavel Artemov and Anton Allyakin were determined to take home first place. They argued a few points, and Mr. Walker grudgingly agreed the boys were right.

This year’s fabulous TASIS Parent Association Gala raised CHF 120,000 to pay for a lab in Campo Science. Delicious food and an exciting auction were highlights, as were the delightful drawings

published by Francesco Brioschiabout Editore. also illustrated booksto David Mayernik also spoke the I‘spaces in between’

written by Don Antonio Mazzi for Edizioni Inmorning. addition architecture and other interested studentsSan onPaolo. Friday to the books, I love to draw cards, calendars, and invitations.

adorning the table names and invitations to the event. We spoke with TASIS parent and artist Simona Garelli Zampa about her

Why do you enjoy doing these sort of projects?


I love children and I love science. I am happy that TASIS is growing and I believe the new science building will be extremely stimulating

How long have you been an artist?

for the students. Also my passion is portraiture and I adore drawing

I have probably always been an artist as I am self-taught. I have

interesting people!

loved drawing and coloring since I was a child. I started writing and illustrating books professionally in 2008, after a decade working in finance. How did you get involved with the TASIS gala? TPA President Muriel Aciman asked me to make some drawings for the gala and I loved the idea. Where else can we see your work? You can see my work in a few illustrated books. I wrote and illustrated the series of books about the fictional Krapiz family 24 eTASIS

Spring 2015 25

Learning about Butterflies


One of the best parts of the Core Knowledge science curriculum is the hands-on projects that let children see science in action. Recently, our Kindergarten students learned about the life cycle of butterflies. They watched as the animals morphed from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis and, finally, to butterfly. The students made shadow boxes with windows so they could observe the cycles, culminating in a special afternoon when they set the butterflies free. “We learned that caterpillars eat mallow,” one child said, “and we gave the butterflies sugar water for nectar.” Another was delighted when “a butterfly landed on my shoulder! We put it on the flowers, and then it flew down and up. I named my butterflies Rick and Stevie.” This experiment covers a few Core Knowledge units, giving children a chance to connect the science knowledge they’ve learned throughout the year.


Spring 2015 27

spotlight on service

Spring Break Service This April TASIS sent students and faculty to India, Nepal, and Zambia as part of the Global Service Program

Global Service Update • 48 students and faculty took part in Global Service Program trips during their spring break to work with a variety of organizations on two continents. • On June 10, two summer service trips left to work with Nuovo Fiore in Ethiopia and Caring for Cambodia in Siam Reap, Cambodia. • Learn more about our Global Service trips on the TASIS website or read the Service Learning Blog which has posts about service learning in all divisions. Click on the u in a photograph to view photographs taken on that specific service trip. See the Global Service YouTube playlist to view videos of various trips.

In mid-March, TASIS was fortunate to welcome Joe Madiath, founder of Gram Vikas, our newest Global Service Program group. Mr. Madiath spoke to the student body about his India-based organization, which promotes sustainable, socially-inclusive and gender-equitable processes to help the poor achieve a better quality of life. His TED talk on sanitation has been viewed by nearly a million people.

India - Gram Vikas By Taina Barrau ’16 This spring break a group of thirteen students journeyed to Orissa, a region of India, to help the organization Gram Vikas. We worked with the founder of the organization, Joe Madiath, and his team to see how and what Gram Vikas does for the people in the region of Orissa. By visiting several villages we saw the adaptation of the program based on the needs of the people. In these villages we interacted with communities composed of ‘untouchables’ and others composed of all five castes. In a village that had people from all five castes we saw how Gram Vikas uses water and sanitation to unite


these rural communities. Gram Vikas has extended its impact beyond water and sanitation to develop the educational opportunities for the tribal children and other children in these rural villages. Read more >>>


Gram Vikas - India

...I remember looking around me to see laughter and happiness caused by little more than running and throwing a ball around. It really changes one’s perspective on the things that should make you happy in your daily life, things that you might not even notice usually.


Click on the image above to view a video of the Gram Vikas trip.

Serving Southern Africa Serving Southern Africa is perhaps TASIS’s longest-running service group. Started by Howard Stickley over a decade ago, the group has spent between two and three weeks annually in Zambia and Botswana. The trip begins in Livingstone, Zambia. The group stays at a hotel which helps subsidize an orphanage, where TASIS students organize an art workshop for the children. The group takes a cycle tour of Livingstone which supports a local pre-school, where TASIS students hold workshops, supply food, and entertain the children with games and songs. They also attend a dinner made


by a local woman who is saving to put her daughter through college. The next stop is Mwandi, a rural village two hours from Livingstone, where the group builds mudhuts for homeless elderly people who look after orphaned children. Read more >>>


The culture is loving, welcoming, and kind. Going on this trip may not transform you into a perfect person, but I promise that it will lend you a new pair of eyes.


u By Isabella Piconi ’16 Nepal was the most memorable trip I have been on and I will miss everything about it. During my two years in the Nepal group, I have been researching the country and learned a lot from others who attended last year’s trip. Learning about something in a classroom or hearing the stories of others is one thing, but going out and experiencing Nepal for yourself is another. We landed in Nepal from Delhi and got our first taste of what city life was like in Kathmandu on the way to the hotel. The dirt roads were filled with the sound of horns coming from every direction, people putting their lives at risk crossing the dirt roads without traffic lights and encountering occasional cows paying no attention to the chaos happening all around. Read more >>>


I learned to love the simplistic nature that the people in Tibet live in and grew to appreciate everything so much more. I will miss the food. I will miss the sparse lifestyle, the way the communities got along, both in the Tserok Camp in Mustang as well as the Tashiling Camp where we stayed with our Tibetan homestay hosts.

Spring 2015 29


Arts Festival

Spring Arts Festival 2015 One of the things we’ve loved featuring in eTASIS is the annual

Castelli Chamber Orchestra. Three students were chosen from the

Arts Festival, a celebration of the extraordinary talent we have on

general workshop to conduct the orchestra during their Friday afternoon

campus. This year’s four-day event featured over 3000 drawings,

performance of Vivaldi, Mozart, Grieg, and BartÓk in the Palestra.

paintings, sculptures, and photographs on display in the Palestra as well as vocal concerts, instrumental recitals, drama performances,

The Arts Festival also coincides with the Middle School’s annual musical.

artisan workshops, and an all-school closing concert.

This year, the students performed My Son Pinocchio Jr., a delightful retelling of the classic children’s fairy tale. For those lucky enough to get tickets, the

A particularly special event was a conducting workshop for 5th graders

musical showcased an amazingly talented group of Middle School students!

where every student was given a chance to conduct the Camerata dei

MS Musical

Conducting workshop

Spring 2015 31

Counselor to the Classroom Every summer, CDE hires young people ages 18 and over to work as counselors for our youngest Summer Program children. Some of these counselors find such joy in this job that it inspires them to become teachers! We spoke to a few CDE veterans and current staff members about how CDE influenced their decision to teach.


I moved to a small town in France to teach English. Although it was a great experience, I still wasn’t sure if I wanted to pursue education until I got to TASIS that summer. Walking onto campus you just feel this energy all around you, from the teachers, the kids, and the beauty that surrounds the School. Everyone at TASIS is excited about learning, and you can feel it! You can see the kids’ progress and emotional growth happening before your eyes. As a teacher, that’s always the goal. You want to see your students bloom, and it’s incredible to see that happen at CDE every summer. I applied for grad school education programs when I got home from my first summer at TASIS. Adults refer to the language “barrier,” as

Matthew Lilly started working with CDE in 2011 and has taught French,

if language gets in the way. But kids don’t know anything about language

English, and Italian. He has just finished working as a language teaching

barriers. To them, language is just one form of communicating, and not

assistant in Nice, France, teaching 13 classes of children ages 6 to 11.

even the most important. You don’t need language to play football or

My time at CDE has really made me feel comfortable being in front of groups of children. When you’re getting soaked during a water balloon

make friendship bracelets. They leave full of self-confidence and new international friendships that often last a lifetime. How great is that?

fight or having to dress up in flippers for a skit, you can’t really take yourself too seriously. That’s a unique benefit of CDE that I was able

Taylor Sayward ’09 has worked at CDE since 2010. His first session was

to take with me into the academic year. I’ve also really enjoyed finding

with CDE and subsequent sessions have been with the Minnows, the youngest

new ways to make language-learning fun. At this age we’re really just

CDE students ages 4 to 6. Last year he worked as a teaching assistant in

establishing the foundation to make students want to continue with

grades 4 and 5 at Nagoya International School, and in July 2015 he is

the language. My favorite thing about CDE is watching children form

moving to Myanmar to teach Pre-Kindergarten.

friendships with others who come from such different cultures. It’s what I hope they take home from TASIS more than anything else.

I think all CDE staff members want to become teachers so their summers are free to work in Lugano! Working at CDE made me see what a challenge it is to

Laura Fox began teaching with CDE in 2011. She recently graduated

teach children.

with an MAT in Elementary Education. This summer she is serving as

It’s nice that the

Drama Coordinator in CDE’s new literature-based drama program. She is

kids push you to

then moving to Jeju Island, South Korea to teach in the elementary school at

work hard, and

Branksome Hall Asia.

it’s rewarding to I was an English major in college, so I knew there were a lot of doors open to me, but I still had NO idea what I wanted to do when I graduated in 2010. I thought teaching might be a possibility, so


see your work pay off for somebody besides just yourself. Betsy [Newell] always says the more you


put into it, the more you get out of it, which is the definitely the case when you work with children.

sounding thing that Betsy probably said, remember the sound of hundreds of kids laughing at something, remember the two-teacher to five-student

I think the most important thing that CDE, TASIS, and really any international school does for kids is to expose them to as much diversity as possible — diversity in people, places, and experiences. The common denominator is always international-mindedness or global citizenship; when those kids grow up playing and working with people from all around the world, compassion and acceptance of different cultures has a way of developing very organically.

classroom ratio…I remember all that and in so doing, remember that I got into it for the fun, and I smile at all 27 of my students now, imagining them in red shirts, telling myself, man I really ought to get back to Lugano this summer for another dose of whatever it is that surrounds it. More things should be fun. Chris Nelson ’09 started working as a Junior


Counselor at CDE the summer after graduation. From 2010-2012 he worked with the Minnows program. He teaches 5th grade English and Social Studies at the


International School of Manila, where he also coaches middle school basketball and varsity golf. After spending the summers working with kids I already knew that teaching was the way I wanted to go. But what CDE showed me and what Johannes Nelson ’07 was at CDE from 2007 to 2011. After working as a teaching assistant in Venezuela and San Francisco, he is now teaching

really helped was the dynamic between the staff members. The way that they treated each other and interacted with the kids immediately bolstered

4th grade at the International College in Beirut, Lebanon.

my desire to teach and be around more people like them.

Plain and simple: CDE made working with kids fun. The structure

Programs like CDE are great because the kids are really able to interact

of summer school is such that unassessed, kind of ‘do-what-you-feel-

and learn with other children from all over the world. This is a cultural

like fun’ is front and center, in and out of the classroom. You can see

eye-opener for everyone at CDE — counselors and kids included —

this on the faces of the kids and on those of the adults shepherding

because there are so many relationships and connections between borders

them around. The element of fun created room for me to develop a

and continents that don’t really happen anywhere else. Often times great

relationship with the students that I taught at CDE as well as with

connections are made between kids that don’t speak a common language

my colleagues that simply isn’t possible during the academic year.

at all at the start of the summer. They teach and learn from each other and find a way to communicate. Many of the kids arrive a little nervous

When my 27 4th graders here in Beirut are having 27 different,

and might shed a few tears saying goodbye to Mom and Dad, but by the

irreconcilable problems and making a racket about each and every

end the tears are for the friends they don’t want to leave.

one of them, I breathe deeply and remember some wise old adageSpring 2015 33

The Sweet Sixteen

Click on any cover to reread the issue!


eTASIS has covered a lot of things in five years. Many of the graduates from our inaugural year have finished college and started their careers. We’ve said goodbye to beloved faculty and staff and welcomed many new people to our community. The face of campus has grown to include new buildings and spaces for our students to study, learn, and live. We checked in with the subjects of some of our favorite stories to see where life has taken them.

The easyJet Set: Where Are They Now? This story, chronicling the adventures of five young women from the

communicate with others and know how to stick up for ourselves.

Class of 2012 who took full advantage of weekend travel, resonated with readers of all ages. We caught up with the girls we call ‘the easyJet

Bella Clark: The travel we did together made me more independent

Set’ to ask if they are still filled with wanderlust. (eTASIS June 2012)

and adaptable. It allowed us to grow and mature faster than some of

Tali Sandel: At the moment I am sitting with Bella Clark in Mallorca, we are on a cruise after visiting Natasha Watson in Paris! How did the independent travel you did together help shape who you

our peers, and gave us a sense of confidence that we brought with us to university. Independent travel posed challenges for us that we overcame together and allowed us to form a unique bond that we will cherish forever.

are now? For example, do you face new

Where have your travels taken you since

situations more confidently, or are you


more flexible than others?

TS: As for travels, the most significant

TS: Traveling together definitely made me

for me was spending summer 2013 in

more independent and confident, traits

Shanghai studying for three months. It

which have followed me and helped me

was definitely a culture shock as we lived

throughout my university career. It was

in a suburb of the city, and I wouldn’t

especially obvious my freshman year at

have made the decision to go without my

Boston University when many students

love of travel and confidence. Besides that,

hadn’t even left the country. Traveling not only helped me personally, but also academically and even professionally. Professors and employers are extremely impressed to hear where I have traveled and in awe when I tell them I did so with my friends and put together such successful trips at such a young age. Lauren Stephenson: I think all of us learned so much from the joys of travel. It forced us to adapt quickly and efficiently to different situations. We definitely take more initiative in trying to discover beautiful and fun places and feel confident when we travel, because we know how to

I’ve taken a couple of trips to Paris to visit Natasha, went to London and back to Lugano this past Thanksgiving with Bella, and frequently visit New York to see Mel and Lauren. It’s amazing how even after three years of living apart these girls are still my best friends. LS: I didn’t get to see Istanbul on academic travel like the other girls, so I visited two years ago and loved it! Also, I traveled to Santorini, Greece and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.  Spring 2015 35

The easyJet Set are planning a trip to Dubai for New Year’s Eve 2016. BC: Since graduating from TASIS, I have continued to travel as much

BC: All of our trips were amazing and different, but one of my favorite

as possible. I’ve been to Geneva, Ibiza, Palma Majorca, Marrakesh, Paris,

trips I guess was Mykonos or Dubai. I guess it would just be because of

Istanbul, Izmir, Valletta, Sicily, Como, London, Hamburg, Munich, San

the location. We were all in such a good state of mind and having the

Salvador, Puerto Rico, Miami, LA, and NYC.

times of our lives. We loved the food and culture in both places.

Thinking back, which of your trips were your favorites and why?

Where are you now?

TS: It’s so hard to decide my favorite, we had such an amazing time

TS: I am going into my senior year at Boston University, getting my BS

everywhere! For me, Mykonos was one of the stops after we graduated.

in marketing and informational systems planning on graduating may

We had so much fun riding ATVs around the island and planning trips

2016. This summer I am interning for NBC in LA!

to visit each other in the near future made it feel less like the end, which it clearly wasn’t.


LS: I think we all have a soft spot for Dubai, because that was one of the

BC: I go to university in Washington, DC. Seeing as Tali, Lauren, and

first trips we took at TASIS independently, and we had such a great time.

Melissa all go to school on the East coast as well, I see the girls as much as

All of us girls shared a bed and a blow-up mattress and were basically


living on top of each other, but I’ve never giggled so much in my life. We really were just so excited to be together and in such a beautiful place with so many things to do. 36 eTASIS

From TASIS to Beyond: Update Our ninth issue featured eight TASIS college freshmen sharing their future plans with us. We caught up with a few of them and asked them to reflect on their years since TASIS.

Vittoria Vitali ’12 I am studying fashion styling at Maragoni and have found my course interesting and motivating. I’m graduating in June. I have no idea what’s next, but I’ll start applying for jobs and I want to travel a bit to find more and more inspiration. When I’m not studying, I like to go out. Maragoni is in the center of Milan and when I finish my classes I always walk around a bit. Milan is so beautiful and there is always something interesting to see and discover and places to find inspiration. TASIS really helped me for two things; first is the language, since my course

Tara Das ’12 I am at Bates and absolutely loving it. I cannot count how many wonderful experiences and people I have encountered through my time studying at Bates! I am a double-major in Politics and French. I am currently applying to various post-graduate fellowships including the Fulbright Fellowship and Koch Fellowship with the intention of gaining work experience in the International Relations or the NGO sector before pursuing a graduate degree in International Development and/or NonProfit administration — fingers crossed!

at TASIS. They helped cultivate my creative thinking and my photography and PhotoShop skills, which I use every day on my course.

Lauren Stephenson ’12 I’m still at NYU and am at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study, and my concentration is Music Business Management and Production. I absolutely

In my free time I perform in modern dance pieces produced by the Bates Dance Department, teach English, do translation work for refugees in my town, and organize events for the International Club. Through Academic Travel, International Week, the Senior Humanities Program, and the day-to-day conversations I had with my peers at TASIS, I was constantly broadening my outlook on the world and developing my cultural literacy. Since graduating from TASIS, I have continued to seek opportunities that test and mature my passion and skills for expanding and connecting the international community around me. Whether it is organizing the annual Bates International Dinner for my college (heavily inspired by TASIS’s International Dinner, my favorite event of the year) or studying abroad in Dakar, Senegal, I often find myself calling upon my knowledge and experience of navigating across cultures with which TASIS has provided me.

is in English. The other is photography. I really liked my photography classes

loved London [where she attended her first year]! It was the best decision to study abroad for as long as possible and I met wonderful, international people who are still close friends today! NYC is basically home and it’s the best city in the world. In NYC, I love going to concerts and shows with my friends, but I just started interning for Late Night with Seth Meyers [a NBC talk show], so that’s pretty occupying at the moment! Although my major is Music Business, I really see myself working in film/TV production. I loved studying theater at TASIS and it’s kept with me ever since. Working at Late Night with Seth Meyers has been such a blast so far, so hopefully I’ll be working at NBC when I graduate!  I think TASIS made me a more well-rounded person and really forced me to adapt to certain situations and environments that are unfamiliar. Also, TASIS made me so much more communicative and open to different people and I believe these traits are so important in life and make you a more genuine, loving human being. Spring 2015 37

Alexis de Bruin ’12

students or professors, or for the

I am at Bentley University, entering my final year of what has been a

Fed Challenge, a competition last

memorable three years. I am majoring in Economics and Finance with

December where I placed third

a minor in Global Studies; three topics that shape today’s world. I’ve


been enjoying the competitive environment stemming from attending an all-business university and the challenges that come with it. Thus far,

TASIS was excellent in prepping

it has been very pleasant. I’m heading to New York City this summer for

me for college life. Not only was

an internship with an asset management firm, where I’ll be working with

I able to skip a few general classes

junk bonds. If that goes well, I plan on continuing to work in the same

because of credits I received from

field for a few years before enrolling at a business school to get an MBA.

getting high AP grades, I also had the experience of dealing with roommates and community life, while

When I’m not studying, I spend time visiting different parts of Boston

other students struggled in adapting to their new living arrangements.

or travel around to see TASIS friends. At school, I read and do research

Skipping a few classes allowed me to get ahead of other students and take

on monetary economics for papers I’m collaborating on with other

harder classes, as well as graduate earlier.

Upcoming Alumni Reunions

Take a road trip! Don’t miss connecting with your TASIS friends.

Class of 1985 – 30-Year Reunion

All-Class Reunion in Los Angeles

Washington, DC, September 18-21, 2015 Contact Trish Munoz Kish: for info

April 30, 2016 6:30 pm till Late “Casa Roubik”, Glendale

Class of 1990 – 25-Year Reunion Las Vegas, October 10-12, 2015 Contact Ken Tobe: for info

All-Class Reunion in Washington, DC November 20, 2015 6:30 - 9:30 pm The Hay-Adams Hotel

PG’65 – 50-Year Reunion Washington, DC, November 20-22, 2015 Contact Rick Bell: for info


Class of 1975 – 40-Year Reunion Los Angeles area, April 29-May 1, 2016 Contact Linda Jaekel Avery: for info

All-Class Reunion in Lugano Celebrate the 60th Anniversary of TASIS August 19-20, 2016 More info to come: email for info

PG’66 – 50-Year Reunion Lugano, August 19-21, 2016 Contact Cindy Crabtree: for info

Alumni Artists TASIS would love to share every art opening and show by TASIS alumni with our community. Please send the Alumni office information about gallery openings so we can get the word out. We hope to expand our TASIS Visual Arts website soon to include more alumni artists bios and news.

Lincoln Park Zoo May 15–October 31, 2015, Chicago, Illinois Mary Seyfarth PG’66

Photo London May 21-25 London, England Fiona Struengmann ’05

Station Beirut Saturday, June 13 - 5:00pm, Beirut. Lebanon Gianna Dispenza ’08

TBD Independent Projects Art Gallery June 16 - 21 Basel, Switzerland Luca Marziale ’08 Spring 2015 39

TASIS The American School In Switzerland CH-6926 Montagnola, Collina d’Oro, Switzerland Tel: +41 91 960 5151 -


Spring 2015 eTASIS  

Enjoy the last issue of eTASIS, the e-magazine of The American School in Switzerland