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A M E R I C A N

I N T E R N A T I O N A L

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B U C H A R E S T

SUMMER EDITION 2014

WORLD EXCLUSIVE interview with Olympic Gold Medallist Valeria Răcilă van Groningen TM

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WORLD MAGAZINE 1


Romanian Feature 2 WORLD MAGAZINE

Bigトビ Cascade Falls The World Geography rates this waterfall as the #1 most unique waterfall in the world - and for good reason. Located in Caras-Severin, the Bigトビ Cascade Falls is unique in the way that the water spreads out and falls in thin shreds. As one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Romania, it is also unique in the fact that the waterfall is exactly on the 45th Parallel North, which marks the halfway point between the Equator and the North Pole. Located in the forests of the Anina Mountains, the moss-covered falls are formed by an underground water spring that spills into the Minis River. Source: http://www.theworldgeography.com/2013/01/unique-waterfalls.html


Editorial Maria Tudor / AA President / Editor

We have just concluded one of our most important yearly events: the Senior Breakfast, where we welcomed the new AISB graduates into the Alumni Association. I happily inform you that we have 39 new members who are starting a new chapter of their lives and will need guidance and support from all of us.

We congratulate them warmly for reaching this milestone in their lives and wish them all the best in their adventures ahead. They will become adults in no time and hopefully many of them will join forces with the rest of us to make a difference in the AISB community and education. On this note we, the editorial committee thought it would be a great opportunity to have careers as the main focus of this edition, with a concentration on sports. We are honoured to have Olympic Champion Valeria Răcilă van Groningen talk to us about her impressive career and the importance of sports in our lives. In this issue you will also find interviews with Athletics & Activities Director, Scott Hibbard, with alumni who are active in the AISB Athletics Department, coaching the high school soccer and basketball teams, and also with alumna Simona Popescu who studied Sports Management and is now working at the Romanian Rugby Federation. The magazine features columns about “giving back” and “the powerful opportunity of a diverse education”, topics that AISB and the Alumni Association promote greatly, as well as career news from our alumni. This publication is a powerful communication tool. It gives us the opportunity to interact with current and former AISB Alumni and also provides our readers with updates on the school and the whereabouts of its alumni. WORLD Magazine strives to present news, stories and other content in the course of each year that is of particular interest or pertinence to the AISB Alumni and the community. We rely in part on your input to guide and generate articles. This is your publication and you are always encouraged to contribute.

Maria Tudor AA President / Editor WORLD MAGAZINE 3


VOLUME 3 / ISSUE 1 SUMMER 2014 EDITOR Maria Tudor EDITORIAL DIRECTION Ioana Balu Alex Cristescu Patricia Khalil CONTRIBUTORS Patricia Khalil Diana Kassas Cosmin Ghita PHOTOGRAPHY Bogdan Greavu AISB Archives DESIGN AND TYPOGRAPHY Mario Zamfir School Brand LLC ONLINE EDITION School Brand LLC WORLD ALUMNI MAGAZINE Sos. Pipera Tunari 196 Com. Voluntari Jud. Ilfov Romania 077190 Tel.: 021 204-4300 Fax: 021 204-4384 Email: alumni@aisb.ro www.aisb.ro Published by Design Works Publishing Co Print Circulation: 1000 copies Electronic Circulation: 2000 copies Cover Design: Mario Zamfir

About AISB

AISB was founded in 1962 and is currently Bucharest's largest international school. The language of instruction is English and teaching is based upon an American style curriculum. The school offers the prestigious International Baccalaureate Program from Early Childhood through 12th grade. AISB is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, the Council of International Schools, and the International Baccalaureate Organization and is recognized by the Ministry of Education in Romania.

Copyright Š 2013 AISB ALUMNI. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

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Trademarks: WORLD Alumni Magazine, AISB Alumni Association and their associated logos are trademarks of the American International School of Bucharest. All other names, logos, and trademarks of other companies shown in this publication are the property of their respective owners.


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Valeria Răcilă van Groningen

19 24

Alumni Reunion - London, UK

Monte Carlo Night - PTO Gala

CONTENTS 06 08 12 14 20 26 27

DIRECTOR'S LETTER HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPAL'S LETTER INTERVIEW WITH MARIUS OPRAN INTERVIEW WITH VICKY PAUN INTERVIEW WITH SCOTT HIBBARD INTERVIEW WITH TEO BALAN INTERVIEW WITH SIMONA POPESCU

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Director's Message David Ottaviano / Director

What happens after AISB? The mission of our institution is to help prepare students for a successful life of change in an ever changing, smaller world. AISB, as an IB World School, provides an international perspective and rigorous curriculum for students. We expect students to participate, collaborate and provide service beyond their world to influence the lives of others. The AISB mission is to engage learners in a rigorous and balanced international education, preparing them to realize their full potential and inspiring them to be successful and responsible global citizens.

AISB has the expectation that all of our students take the full IB program. Over the years, we annually track the academic progress of our students and we follow our alumni as they go off to university and the work place. For example, when we surveyed graduates, they generally reported to us that they were well prepared for their studies. Most often remarked, was that the rigorous high school

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program prepared them to study and be able to write papers well in university.

For the past 6 years, I have been giving two speeches to our graduating seniors. The first is at their “senior breakfast”, where they gather for the last time in school before their processional. Maria Tudor, our Alumni Association President, invites them into the group of the 1000’s of alumni of the school. It is at that time that I share with them statistics I have gathered over the years about their future. You might find some of these statistics interesting: • Academic Achievement: In Romania only, 75% of students now pass their IB, while the worldwide average is 78.54%. They are among the 130,000 students who annually participate in the IB examination program. The worldwide school average number of points is 29. In our school last year 98% of our

students participated in the full IB and their group average was 34. They earned the highest number of points of all schools in the CEESA region.

• Physical growth: Our men have reached 97% of their adult weight and our women 94% of their adult weight. They will continue to grow for several more years. • Relationships: 10% of them have already met their marriage partner. 74% will marry cross culturally. (Either another nationality or who also had an international background). • Marriage Age: The average age of marriage when I was your age, was 22. The average is now 29 in Romania and Europe, and 28 in North America. For our international students it is 30 years old. I believe that our students are more facile at fleeting relationships but they are more careful or choosey about their marriage partners.


• University: Almost all of our graduates will go to university in their first year out from AISB, with others joining the mandatory military in their home countries. All will eventually go to university. Most important is that they almost all will finish. This will take an average of 4.4 years. • Friends: The average number of close friends will go from 4.5 in high school to 6.5 in university. In life we only have a few close friends that we maintain apart from families. • Interests: Most of our graduates will be addicted to variety, travel and change. • Belonging: Most will have a sense of belonging in more than one country. • The biggest surprise to me was the long-term commitment to relationships. I expected that, like the many different kinds of cereal you can buy in America, people would change marriage partners as frequently as you change countries. But the research shows just the opposite. Our graduates value relationships and apply a tremendous amount of resiliency and ability to cope with major life crises: bankruptcy, death of loved ones and traumas. • Self-sufficiency: Most are exceptionally self-sufficient and have a high regard for the education and exposure given as young people. • Residence: 63% of them will reside in a country other than their own. • Lifestyle: 66% of them will enjoy an international lifestyle. • Majors: 86% will work in business management or education. Most will rise to leadership positions. • Languages: 33% will choose to study languages in university. This compliments their high linguistic capability. • Work: 82% of them will have jobs with international aspects.

In reflecting upon my own life, when I was in high school and college, I was relatively accomplished academically but enjoyed understanding relationships with people. I was elected to leadership roles in high school and university before embarking on my life’s work. I studied psychology in university because I was interested in human behavior and this reflected my later wish, which was to help people be “the best they could be.” These interests and experiences led me to become Head of School. Our graduates have asked for advice in seeking a career in this difficult market. Here are some suggestions: • In your lifetime you will likely have 7 different careers so if you do not get your “ideal” job when you first enter the market, do not worry. The most optimistic way to look at your career isn’t whether you majored in it in university or how long you stay with an employer. Make the best use of your talent and ability and the work will come to you.

“right” you consider correct, but the “right” your employer considers correct. My second graduation speech is the more public speech which happens at the graduation ceremony for parents, grandparents and the wider school community. Over my 29 years of graduations I have found that the long term effects of an international education can be evidenced in cross cultural skills, and global understanding which are the products of friendships rather than merely the subjects you have learned as part of the curriculum. AISB is a wonderful school, it stands by its mission, and helps to educate its students for the new world of work.

• Spend more time with people than with your electronics. It is very tempting to interact through media than in real life but you are successful with the manner in which you ENGAGE in work with people. Remember that people hire you, not technology. • Don’t expect to “get it all” in your first job. In fact, you should expect to have to sacrifice and work very hard in order to position yourself for the future. This means your first year on the job you should expect to put in 150% in order to accomplish your work well. • Learn and experience as much as you can about different cultures and languages. We live in an increasingly small world with a global marketplace. The more you travel around the world, watching and learning, the more you will be able to take advantage of this global marketplace. • Find people whom you trust to give you advice. Ask for advice often. Consider it and keep modifying your actions until you get it right. This may not be the

Just like our Graduating Class of 2014, I will also be taking off at the end of this year. I have felt so fortunate over the last 6 years to be part of this beautiful community and to have had the opportunity to learn from the many parents, students, faculty and staff members who have walked our halls. I will miss AISB greatly but also look forward to what the future has in store. Thank you all for the wonderful experiences you’ve helped create for my wife and me – we leave with the fondest memories of AISB and Romania.

David Ottaviano, Ed.D., Director

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Class of Lorne Bird / HS Principal

Congratulations to this year’s class of 2014. As we celebrate their accomplishments and commend them for their achievements, we remind ourselves of the growth of our community over the years, which has enabled this success to take place and flourish. This year marks the fourth year since the Secondary School was formally split between Middle and High School, meaning this year’s Graduating Seniors experienced their entire High School career in this distinct setting. The graduating class’ evolution marked well the evolution of the High School, as evidenced through such things as the progression with Student Council. StuCo was more involved than ever and it was lead by a core group of Seniors who instituted several significant changes in the High School this year. They took a lead role in refining High School policy in terms of the assignment calendar, and also re-wrote the dress code, bringing in feedback from teachers, parents, and their peers.

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The High School student body also made significant steps in terms of finding its voice and taking ownership in the shaping of its learning environment through The Underground. Two Seniors concretely moved the publication forward this year by voluntarily taking on open and formal positions of leadership by becoming the named editorial team. Ironically, given the digital style of media in recent times, High School students made significant strides forward in exercising their voice within the High School via the publication of a printed newspaper. With certain articles published, some opportunities for learning were presented, and the students involved responded well, marking success, as schools are meant to be safe places for students to learn via trial and error. Over the past several years The Underground has evolved from something operating below the radar, independently of the school, to what will hopefully become an official newspaper next school year. This evolution was made

possible by students like those in the graduating class who showed they are principled and caring, and took intellectual risks to try and address concerns, as well as share the thoughts, ideas, and ideals on our students’ minds. There are many reasons to be proud of the evolution of the Graduating Class of 2014 over the past four years, and the changes that they have inspired. I know they are well-prepared for the challenges that await them, and hope that they have been sufficiently inspired to take up each challenge they encounter. As the newest members of the Alumni Association, we welcome them with open arms and very much look forward to their ideas and involvement. We wish them the best of luck in their next adventures. Lorne Bird High School Principal


Giving Back As I was entering my teens and started on the road to adulthood, one of the best things that happened to me was discovering Community Service.

As the years went by, it became more and more a part of my life, hopefully making for a better world and certainly making my own life better!

there was nothing you could do but make them as comfortable as possible until they passed away. I remember a little boy who was on his death bed and had asked me for a set of drums, so I went and bought him one. However, when I returned to the hospital, he had just passed away a few minutes before. This was one of the most tragic days I experienced.

I started off by going to the Children’s Respiratory Hospital in Bucharest, where I was truly shocked with the conditions the children were living in, and the negative atmosphere that existed. I realized there was nothing I could do myself to change the conditions but I decided to try to change the atmosphere into a more happy and positive one. I did this by organizing birthday, Christmas, Easter and other celebratory parties for the children where I would raise money to buy them presents, clothes and other necessities.

After gaining experience with community service, I decided to open my own community service group within AISB. My group was called Vaslui School Group. The scope was to renovate and supply for schools in the rural area of Romania, more specifically in the birth-town of my mother, Falciu (small village). The institutions ranged from kindergartens to high-schools. In 2 years, we managed to renovate and supply for two kindergartens, one school and one high school.

I then moved on to the elderly homes where it was a whole new experience. I met people whose life stories impressed me. Again, here I found the atmosphere to be a very sad one, therefore my group and I tried to change it a little. We would go for visits every weekend and talk to each individual and we would ask them what they needed and tried to bring them the things they wished for.

I was given awards for my work, but the real rewards came from the smiles, hugs and thank you’s I received from those whom I was able to help.

Next, I went to an orphanage where there were kids from the age of one month to the age of 17. Problems here varied from age to age. Here we went with supplies, toys and clothes. We tried to give the little ones affection and tried to be friends with the teens. In 11th grade, I started working with the children from Victor Babes who were HIV positive. This is where I experienced the most sadness. The reason for this was because sometimes with these children,

As a continuation of my high-school community service, once back in Bucharest from my studies, I found that Hope for Health still worked inside Victor Babes with HIV patients. The young patients who had been infected as children through blood transfusions when there were no means of testing blood, and through the use of dirty syringes, were now older, and still suffering. I found them poverty stricken, in need of help with medicines, supplementary food, help with baby needs and so many other things. Once again, I felt called to “Do Something”. I decided a gala evening at my parents’ restaurant would be the best way to raise

Column by Diana Kassas

AISB Alumna / Class of 2007

funds, and hopefully raise awareness as well. I was called upon by Mrs. Murray, who was the community service leader for several years at AISB (and who introduced me to community service), and who is still very involved with Hope for Health and other groups, to help her organize an event to help the NGO. The school would be involved both through sales of tickets and raising awareness of this issue. I felt it more appropriate that Mary Beal, president of Hope for Health shares her impression of the event: “First of all, profound thanks to Diana and her family for their caring and sharing. The event itself was stunning, so much time and effort given to making it an evening to remember. A brief film was presented as an introduction to the problems faced by these young HIV patients. A delicious dinner, punctuated by entertainment and presentations. All in all, a successful night that will make the coming months easier for those patients in our care. I would also like to comment on community service at AISB while given this opportunity. Through the years, I have strongly felt that community service is equally important for AISB students as for our patients. It enables them to experience “another world” that they would not otherwise know or understand in any way. Just as Diana’s experiences stayed with her and so totally influenced the amazing, concerned young adult she has become, I hope that however brief the time with community service, these students will grow into adults who care! Then someday, when someone like myself asks for help with charity work... Then they will remember that ‘other world’ and help!”

WORLD MAGAZINE 9


Interview with

Valeria Răcilă van Groningen

AISB Alumna / Parent

Valeria Răcilă van Groningen is a Romanian competition rower and Olympic champion. She received a gold medal in single sculls at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, a bronze medal in double sculls at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow and won many other national and international titles throughout her career. Mrs. van Groningen was kind enough to take a few minutes to answer a couple questions for the WORLD Magazine.

Valeria Răcilă van Groningen

WM: How did you start your sporting career? What influenced you? VVG: I did athletics in high school, I was selected for rowing in 1977 through a large scale selection program throughout the country. Although people thought I was too skinny for rowing at first, I proved them wrong and within one year I was participating in the world

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Gold Medallist - 1984 Olympic Games, Los Angeles

championships in New Zealand. I was inspired by Mitana Botez, one of the top athletes at my rowing club in Arad and I wanted to become the best in the world. WM: Why is it important to encourage a sporting culture from a young age? VVG: First of all, sport is very important for the development of children. It is

With youngest son, AISB Alumnus, Sijmen van Groningen

important for learning how to work together in a team, to be focused, to learn from mistakes, and to be determined to achieve their goals. Another important factor is to learn to cope with failure, nobody wins 100% of the time, not even the very best of athletes. You have to learn to lose. These things are not learned easily outside of sports.


WM: What do you think about the CEESA tournaments that promote competition and cultural diffusion?

VVG: My husband and I have always participated in sport events, even today at the age of 57.

VVG: I have attended many CEESA tournaments to see my children participate. I think its very important that AISB encourages children to do sports from a young age. It’s a wonderful experience to get out of your comfort zone and travel to other international schools and participate in tournaments. I think it helps children to develop their sportsmanship and especially team work.

We run marathons, my husband has participated in two Ironman events. We find it important to have a healthy lifestyle, and I am happy our children followed this philosophy.

WM: What is your opinion about the sports education cultivated at AISB? VVG: In my opinion the sports culture at school was good. My children participated in most of the tournaments from 6th grade to 12th grade. Especially in Romania where schools and sports clubs lack the infrastructure, students have a wide variety of opportunities to choose a sport and compete. WM: What is your sports philosophy at home? How has this played in the education of your sons?

Our sons do sports on a regular basis, and Sijmen was selected for the Dutch national rowing team for the world championships under 23 for the second year in a row. WM: What sporting activities are closest to your heart? VVG: Rowing, running and tennis. Rowing because I have achieved my best results and met my husband in international competitions when we were young. Running because it was the first sport I practiced in high school. And today I try to encourage people to run through organizing the Bucharest International Marathon and half marathon to have a healthy lifestyle. Tennis I like it because it was a sport I learned later in life and I enjoy playing it.

WM: Why is important to be involved in your community? VVG: It is always important to give something back to the community where you take part in. I was involved in PTO, (the Parent Teacher Organization). It is nice to see first hand what the parents and the school can mean for the children at events. Now through organizing the marathon, I work with ten NGO’s to raise money for their charitable activities. Giving to the community is always a rewarding feeling. WM: How would you like to see the Alumni Association involved with the school and the community? VVG: The alumni association is a nice thing for any school. Its nice for the current students to be able to talk to former students about their experiences after high school. How the school has shaped them to become who they are today, and to give advice on life after high school in general. I am not aware of many of the activities of the Alumni Association, however I am sure you have many nice events!

Sijmen van Groningen, second from the right, competing for the Dutch National Rowing Team AISB Alumnus, Class of 2010

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Marius Opran Interview with

AISB Alumnus / Class of 2009

WM: Why did you decide to become part of the Athletics department at AISB?

MO: During my time as a student at AISB, my biggest passion was sports (except studying of course ;))! I remember being quite sad upon finishing high school, thinking that I would greatly miss the beautiful gym in which I spent so many hours of my teenage life and the AISB campus itself. Upon being contacted by the athletics director (Mr. Hibbard), who is also a former coach of mine, I was thrilled to hear he was looking for another coach for the upcoming basketball season. Eager to get back on a basketball court and relive those intense CEESA moments from a new perspective, my conscience wouldn’t let me say no.  WM: What team did you train? MO: The Junior Varsity Boys Basketball team. WM: Tell us about a usual practice session. MO: We began the practice with a warm up consisting of players dribbling a basketball around the court. Following the warm up, the players stretched and then proceed to work on different drills; some focusing on developing basketball skills, others on physical endurance. Typically, the students also played a game of 5 on 5 to incorporate the skills we worked on in a real game type environment. To conclude the practice, free throw shooting and a game of 3-point knockout was the way to finish, in which I would participate myself. That’s one way of boosting my retired-player moral... the students calling me ‘Sir’ wasn’t helping.

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WM: What are your educational goals with students?

MO: Being part of such great teams over my years at AISB, I discovered that the secret to success was to have great chemistry between players, and a solid relationship between players and their coaches. I always encouraged the players to motivate each other on and off the court, and if they had a problem with one of their team mates to let him know about it in a constructive manner, not by shouting and insulting them because that tends to make matters even worse. Sportsmanship is also something that is under-appreciated by students. After having a bit more experience in life, I now understand how ‘cool’ it is to display sportsmanship, something I didn’t pay much attention to as a player. One of my goals was to make the students understand the importance of being respectable and having virtuous qualities, emphasizing that these traits go hand in hand with winning and feeling good in general. WM: Do you feel like you connect differently with the students as an alumnus? Do you see any advantages? MO: Definitely. It felt like I was in their shoes yesterday, so it sort of felt like being a student again when I was among them. At times, students would get ‘too friendly’ and try to impress me with their humor but that would usually be solved quickly with them doing push-ups. An example would be when a picture of me sleeping on the plane started circling around between them on ‘snap chat’... an application I am apparently too old for. However, the connection with the students was one of trust and friendship because it was easy for them to relate to me as a person, having attended the same school and having played for the

same team they are currently a part of. I know how the whole ‘popularity’ game works so I was careful to make sure that all students felt comfortable and were enjoying themselves. As an alumnus, I could always use the ‘I know how you feel’ card. WM: What is the difference between being trained and training? MO: As a coach, you have to make sure that everyone is involved at practice and you must come with a well-prepared plan for training. If in the middle of practice you are scratching your head thinking ‘What am I going to do next?’, the kids can quickly get out of control and the practice may quickly turn chaotic (don’t worry, that never happened). Another important factor in coaching is maintaining a good relationship with the players... and given my (sort of) young age, it was key to keep a fine line between being too ‘authoritative’ or too ‘friendly’. However, I quickly discovered that one could combine both traits and get the best of both worlds. The players listened to what I said, and enjoyed spending time together on and off the court.  After playing both roles, I now realize that they are not very different from one another. Both as a player and as a coach you must be well prepared for practices and games. I now understand that as a coach you have a lot of responsibilities, which as a player I never paid much attention to, and that makes me have even greater appreciation for my former coaches!   Both training others and being trained are fun & learning experiences, which help you grow as a person. WM: Do you see yourself continuing to be a coach at AISB?


MO: After being a part of this great season in which I saw the kids improve so much and experiencing some nice nostalgia myself when traveling to Prague (I was here in 11th grade for the basketball tournament, first place of course.. shout out to the old Vampires), I don’t see a reason for not continuing my coaching career at AISB. I enjoy working with students and playing the role of motivational speaker and strategic general in practice and at important games, knowing how important those moments are for them, having been through them myself. Feeling capable of fulfilling this role and enjoying the responsibility which comes with it, I hope to be a part of future sports seasons at AISB. WM: Why is it important that students receive not only an academic education but a physical education as well? MO: Sports provide students with a certain type of education that can not be found in academics. After being confined to sitting down for the majority of the eight-hour school day, sports is where students can channel their physical energy, which is not really solicited in academic education. The type of education that they learn in sports is also vital for their success later in life. Being part of a team encourages cooperation and greatly improves the communication skills of students in a ‘live’ environment. Coaches are there to guide them in the proper ways of resolving possible disputes with teammates, a problem which they will similarly experience at some point later in life but in other areas. Physical activity also helps in relieving stress, something inevitable for every high school and more specifically, every IB student, as we all know. Running, laughing, competing and challenging your physical capabilities are all great ways of disconnecting a bit from the working student life. Ultimately, there must be a balance between physical and academic education. Too much or too little of either one is not recommended by coach Marius. WM: How do you see the Alumni Association's involvement in the future? MO: I hope that there will be more activities in the future promoting interaction between alumni and the current students. It’s a great way for them to gain momentum for their upcoming tournaments: Playing with old Vampire legends is a sure way of boosting their confidence. It’s also fun for us alumni to return to the campus and team up with our former classmates to take on the younger generation and show them we still got it. It would also be nice if alumni showed up to cheer the school team when there is a CEESA tournament at AISB. It would be fun for the alumni to hang out together, and would provide some much needed support for our school teams.

WORLD MAGAZINE 13


Vicky Păun Interview with

AISB Alumna / Class of 2005

WM: Why did you decide to become part of the Athletics department at AISB?

VP: I decided to join the Athletics Department at AISB for three reasons: my love for team sports, the quality of the athletic program at the school and my passion for multi-cultural environments. The athletic program at AISB focuses on building both athletic as well as personal skills, which I believe are essential to any sports program. It is a thrill to see students grow both personally as well as athletically under your supervision and guidance and this is what drove me to become a member of the Athletic department at AISB. Working with students of many nationalities is a bonus for me, as I have experienced first hand the advantages of such an enriching learning environment. WM: What team did you train? VP: I was privileged to train both the High School Junior Varsity Girls Basketball team as an assistant coach, as well as the High School Girls Softball team as head coach. WM: Tell us about a usual practice session? VP: The most exciting basketball practices took place on Monday mornings at 6:20am. While every fiber or our bodies wanted to rest at that time of the day, we fought through it by running laps, stretching, performing the usual lay-up and jump-shot drills, learning defensive and offensive drills. We amused ourselves by “Making it rain” with one of our in-bounding strategies. Softball is quite different, as it requires more mental effort and agility rather than speed. We started our practice with 4 jogging laps around the field, followed by a stretching session with a designated leader. The usual throwing and catching skills were already in place, as most of the players were returning from last year. We actively worked on improving our accuracy in throwing after fielding ground balls and fly balls. Fielding with bare hands, relaying around the four

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bases, and developing a healthy batting stance and strategy were regular aims in our practices. We even had classroom softball, when weather did not allow us to enjoy the outdoors. Here we learned different tricks and tips about how to improve our base running, our batting and our knowledge of the game, which we were able to use during several of our scrimmages against the teachers or the middle school teams. WM: What were your educational goals with the students? VP: Students learn through each and every activity they partake in. My goal as a coach was to build a strong foundation of skills and knowledge of the game that would enable my students to perform well and motivate them to always seek improvement in it. I also encouraged students to be active in the coaching process by offering advice to their fellow teammates and even take initiative to teach them new drills or skills.

WM: Do you feel like you connect differently with the students as an alumna? Do you see any advantages? VP: I definitely feel that as an alumna I have a more insightful perspective that allows me to connect with the current students, as there are many experiences and challenges that we share. Students respond better to teachers who they can relate to and I think that my alumna status has enabled that positive response in my students. They are always curious to find out how my experience was different or similar to theirs, and I am more than happy to share it. A major advantage of having the alumni experience is that I can use it to improve the student’s athletic and educational experience and foresee any problems or issues that may arise or have arisen in the past.

WM: What is the difference between being trained and training?

VP: The difference is simple: being trained involves following coach’s

instructions and taking in the knowledge and applying it to the game; improving skills that the coach identifies. Training, however, is more focused on developing, planning, implementing and measuring the effectiveness of the drills, exercises and activities that develop athletic as well as team-oriented skills.

WM: Do you see yourself continuing to be a coach at AISB?

VP: I definitely see myself continuing my activity as a coach at AISB because it is a very rewarding and valuable learning experience.

WM: Why is it important that students

receive not only an academic education but a physical education as well?

VP: It is important for students to receive both an academic education as well as a physical education for several reasons. One: physical education and well-being improves academic performance. This is a proven fact. Two: we live in a physical world, that theoretical models sometimes cannot explain or predict. Developing an understanding of our bodies and how to make them work better is an essential skill that can increase student confidence and success. Three: physical education also teacher social interaction and teamwork, which are skills that are rewarded and valued both on a personal level as well as professional.

WM: How do you see the Alumni Association? Involvement in the future?

VP: I see alumni involvement expanding

in the future to include attendance to school hosted tournaments, extracurricular and curricular presentations that could help foster a stronger bond, sense of school spirit and pride amongst current students.


The Powerful Opportunity of a Diverse Education Column by Cosmin Ghita

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”Nelson Mandela Information is power -- this is an idiom which we have heard so often that it has become an axiom for us. Whilst true, one would need so much more apart from raw knowledge and facts in order to be successful and a meaningful contributor to the highly dynamic world in which we live. Our society needs wise and valueoriented individuals and not just highperforming professionals. Hence, I would propose to you the following paradigm shift: education is power. Judging by the fact that a little over half of the world’s internet population (1.21 billion1) has searched for the phrase, it seems that we are not alone in this thought exercise. At first sight, education is power for the individual (or learner) at the very personal level. The learner enters the formal education system (at kindergarten) with a very simple, “child-like” identity. As he/she grows and progresses through the grades, two things simultaneously change within her. First, she learns that the world is a “huge” place that is quite busy and complex. Her view of the world widens and deepens as she experiences more of life. By itself, this growing view could make her feel powerless and alienated because she may see herself as a small child in the face of this newlyunderstood enormous world. However, as her world is widening, education encourages a corresponding growth in her understanding of that world. For example, she is learning that, when she bleeds, her body is making new blood to replace that old blood. She need not fear that she will die every time she cuts herself. This is the individual power of education. It helps one understand

the more complex world that she/he is experiencing. Without education, she would feel unknowledgeable and powerless. By interacting with the larger community the learner has the opportunity to immerse herself in the idiosyncrasies of that particular educational institution: to potentially rethink one’s identity and adopt new life-skills and values. Personally, after eight years spent in the Romanian national education system, I felt as a nut in the wall2 upon my first day at the American International School of Bucharest. I was supposed to make friends and pals, interact with dudes, bros, mates, gals, friends, classmates and distinguished colleagues,3 while having the audacity of shortening some of my professors’ last name. I became so enamored by the diversity of culture, traditions, experiences and general points of view of my colleagues that I felt strongly that I had to contribute a unique point of view. I was surprised to see that the points provided by me, a scholarship Romanian student educated just like everyone else in the Romanian national system – provided the basis of interest for my colleagues as well as support for teachers to expand on the lessons taught. I was amazed and felt I should contribute more in any way that I can so to support the ongoing activities of the school. Consequently, I started to get involved in more extra-curricular activities in the school and also look for opportunities to volunteer – simply because I wanted to spend more time within this fascinating diversity. With every second spent, however, I came to quickly learn and respect the importance of values that seemed abstract and remote: community,

AISB Alumnus / Class of 2008

fairness, anti-plagiarism. I was exposed to a new mode of education. There was much more shaping me than raw or processed information. I came to love to learn -- new knowledge, skills, or attitude. Nothing seemed to be impossible to acquire and that was truly empowering. Looking back at those years, I came to realize that due to diversity and highstandard – it was the first time I was compelled to organize my learning experience myself to best suit my needs. In hindsight no one can liberate another person by organizing his experience for him. That he must do for himself; it is his life, it is respect and an incentive to push the student to new limits. Educators are in the business of disciplining the student in the real human fashion which includes the organization of our experience in terms of dynamically interacting levels of generality and significance – whilst maintaining the particularity of each student to maintain an upbeat learning environment: diversity. I would like to recognize AISB and assert my pride for being a Vampire due to the school’s efforts to maintain diversity within this value-driven educational community through programs such as the scholarship program. In a fluid and value-flexible environment, this is a school of promise. Over a number of years, it works its wonders on us and we exit into the world far better than we were when we arrived and are trusted with a mission: stand for what we believe in and make a difference in the communities in which we live. 1 Source: Google Trends search of term [www.google.com/trends] on May 5, 2014 2 “A nut in the wall” is an ad literam translation of the Romanian phrase, “Ca nuca-n perete” which is used to depict an element that does not fit with the other elements with which it has been grouped. The author has purposely added this phrase in the op-ed. 3 Note: To this day I still cannot distinguish the nuances between dude, bro and mate.

WORLD MAGAZINE 15


Photo Expo 2014

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showing the beauty of Romania one photo at a time

AISB’s 2nd Photo Exposition 2014 is now open to celebrate the beauty of Romania‌.one photo at a time. All photos have been on display around the school over the last few weeks. We would like to extend our sincere appreciation and thanks to the many talented photographers from students, parents, faculty and staff who contributed to make


T C om TA l.c N ai O C gm E 4@ AS c7 LE eg ,P :m ER er D ri R r O Cu n TO ha eg

M

this another successful event and another milestone for AISB. Without a doubt, this event would not have been possible without the help and support of many people from our community.

All photos are available for order in multiple sizes and all proceeds from the sale will go to the AISB scholarship fund. Please place your orders to support this worthy cause.

A BIG THANK you to everyone who helped to put this expo together to showcase Romania and her magnificence.

You can place your orders by contacting Meghan Currier @ megc74@gmail.com Follow this link to view the web

gallery of the photographs on display. http://sms.aisb.ro/ photoexpo2014/ Johnson K. Jacob On behalf of the Photo Expo Committee 2014 Meghan Currier, Bogdan Greavu, John McConnico, George Iordachescu, JJ

WORLD MAGAZINE 17


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and it was exciting and enlightening to find out what everyone had been doing since their time AISB. It was wonderful to see friendships between old and new alumni flourish as they met for the first time and shared their similar, but separate experiences, and it was great to catch up with old friends.

Alumni Reunion

LONDON This year’s Alumni Reunion was held on the 8th of March 2014 in London’s botanicallyinspired haven, The Folly. This elegant venue attracted many Alumni from a great range of graduating classes. We had excellent food and drink to accompany the fantastic company of our former peers

With 19 years’ worth of Yearbooks, brought all the way from Bucharest, our eager alumni flipped through the pages, reminiscing about their time in Bucharest and the many memories that flooded their minds. The evening was not short of prizes as well – five lucky winners won AISB-themed goodie bags filled with little trinkets to remind them of their time in Bucharest. Many thanks to those alumni who helped organize the event from London and all those alumni who joined us for this wonderful reunion. We very much look forward to seeing you all at the next one.

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Scott Hibbard Interview with

AISB Athletics & Activities Director

WM: How do sports activities contribute to the education of AISB students? SH: Being a part of a sport or

activity helps students learn how to be responsible, how to manage their time, how to organize themselves, and they also learn how to cooperate. These skills are transferable from the classroom to the sports field and vice versa.   WM: What is the most popular sport at AISB and why? SH: That would depend on who you

ask and at what time of the year you are asking. Purely by numbers of student sign-ups it would be soccer, but we also have a hard core group of students who love to play basketball. WM: What are the current rankings

of AISB in the CEESA tournaments? SH: Our AISB teams are competitive

in each of the CEESA tournaments that we participate in. We are also

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very good in Speech and Debate, medaling in debate for the past three years. Over the course of my time here we have brought home close to 70 1st, 2nd, 3rd place and sportsmanship trophies. WM: Have any AISB students

pursued sports careers?

SH: There is Baris Aktas (class of

2010) who is playing basketball in the Romanian 1st league, and we have several students who aspire to have a sports career after AISB, the most promising being David Georgiev, who plays basketball. WM: Where do you see the AISB

WM: How do you think the alumni’s

recent involvement impacted the sports performance and motivation of AISB students? SH: I believe current AISB students

have enjoyed those alumni who have come back and coached. The students see it as connection to the past and to the success of the program during the alumni’s years. Also those alumni have been able share their experiences with those members of their teams, and upon reflection, the alumni now understand the significance of what their coaches were telling them all those years ago.

Athletics department in the next 5 years?

WM: What are other opportunities

SH: As AISB plans to grow

SH: The alumni can always come

significantly, I would hope that sports and activities would be a key factor in that growth. I would like to see more students participate, investment into the upkeep or refurbishment of our facilities, and possibly technology becoming a part of our coach’s repertoire.

for the alumni to get involved?

out and lend a hand in cheering on the current players when we have tournaments here at AISB, and maybe we could organize a showcase game between alumni and players at the end of each season. I am always looking for good quality coaches to work with our students.


Being a part of a sport or activity helps students learn how to be responsible, how to manage their time, how to organize themselves, and they also learn how to cooperate. These skills are transferable from the classroom to the sports field and vice versa.

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Alumni Life

Adela Catarama [Class of 2008] “This will be my first attempt at summarising the last 6 or so years of my life in a paragraph, so here goes… After saying goodbye to AISB I spent four long and cloudy years in London studying at Cass Business School and graduating from a BSc in Management followed by an MSc in Supply Chain. The bad weather was only compensated by the good company and luckily enough there were many AISB alums around to share the stress as well as the laughter. During my undergrad and masters I discovered my inclination towards Supply Chain and decided to follow a career in this direction. Due to an unexpected turn of events I ended up in Dubai working for a large distribution company as a Supply Chain Executive. This June will mark my first year at Transmed and I can honestly say that I am happy where I am in all aspects of my life. Contrary to what London companies want you to believe, it’s actually not necessary to slave away all your vacations in various internships just to land a good job, but then again I am not working in London so maybe I shouldn’t be the one to talk. It turns out I needed more than one paragraph, but all in all I think the summary turned out all right. Wish everyone the best and if you are ever in Dubai, don’t be a stranger!”

Sabrina Sotiriu [Class of 2006] Sabrina is halfway through her PhD in Political Science at the University of Ottawa, finishing her coursework and

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preparing to defend her doctoral proposal before starting to write the dissertation itself. She still works in the Canadian Parliament when not in classes, and visited Romania this May, in between some more academic globetrotting for her program.

Tom Frumerman [Class of 2009] During my second year of my bachelors degree, I decided to start my own business which deals with a new source of renewable energy. At Cell Technologies, we regenerate (de-sulphate) industrial UPS, deep cycle and automotive batteries back to their original state, Ultimately cutting our customers’ annual expenditure on batteries by 50% as well as reducing their carbon footprint. We work with telecommunication companies, battery maintenance companies, data centres and also with individuals operating with forklifts. I have just completed my postgraduate studies in global management and international business and therefore have now allocated 100% of my time to my business.

Corina Demeter [Class of 2008] After obtaining a Law with European Legal Studies Degree from King’s College London, I completed my Legal Practice Course with a Distinction, and the highest average from my cohort. Since September 2013, I have been working as a paralegal at Huawei Technologies, the biggest Chinese telecommunications company in the world. So far, I was given the opportunity to work on a variety of highprofile projects, such as our sponsorship with the Arsenal Football Club. Most recently,

I have been offered a training contract with an elite international law firm, namely Herbert Smith Freehills. I will begin my training as a lawyer next year and I am extremely excited to be joining a firm that is renowned for the quality of its work as well as its friendly culture.

Filip Radu [Class of 2008] After graduating high school I went on to read History at King’s College London. Although being a great foundation for many careers (and more useful than you’d think), a history degree requires that you to have a solid post-graduate plan in order to make the most of it. For me, the legal industry seemed the most appropriate, so I obtained the Graduate Diploma in Law from the College of Law London - essentially a conversion course for non-law graduates. The following summer I worked as an intern for CMS Cameron McKenna in their London offices - an enriching experience that culminated with a job offer. Currently, I am back at the College of Law studying for the Legal Practice Course, which, if I pass, will allow me to start working as a trainee solicitor with CMS Cameron McKenna by February 2015.

Alin Grigorescu [Class of 2008] I graduated from McGill University in Montreal, Canada in May 2013. Montreal was a lot of fun during my time there, but after finishing university I decided living abroad was no longer for me so I returned to Romania last Christmas. I’ve been gone a long time so I’m now looking to catch up with old friends and build a solid network of new ones. I’m currently working as an

accountant in the BPO industry at Accenture.

Andrei Gaita [Class of 2009] Last year I obtained a Business Computing Systems degree from City University and started a social network for investors and entrepreneurs called Backers Club. Our community aims to connect young entrepreneurs with bright ideas with our experienced investors. We are always looking for new members so come check us out at www. backersclub.com

Alexandra Johari [Class of 2004] Within the past couple of years, I’ve been quite busy in my job: learning, evolving, and adapting. As a Political Advisor to a Member of the European Parliament, my life revolves around behind-the-scenes negotiations, writing reports, amending resolutions, highlevel meetings with political representatives and members of the civil society, and issuing press releases and articles. I have also started a second Master’s degree in European Union Law and King’s College, in order to anchor my political knowledge within a more concrete legal base. In my free time, I’ve started studying Arabic, not only because it is part of my family heritage, but also because it will prove to be extremely useful in advancing my career in international relations. Last, but not least (and somewhat of a shocker for my former P.E. teachers at AISB), I’ve taken up jogging a couple of times per week, completely voluntarily (gasp!).


Ana Visan [Class of 2003] After graduating from Emerson College, I spent 4 years working as a digital strategist in New York. In 2012, I came back to Romania and joined the only Romanian narrative journalism magazine, Decât o Revistă, as a Business Developer. I’m currently organizing The Power of Storytelling, a conference that brings together award-winning journalists, marketers and producers in the only event of its kind in Eastern Europe.

Diana Radu [Class of 2009] I have been working in the investment banking division of Credit Suisse in London for almost a year now. I love what I’m doing, it teaches me how to persevere and face challenges. But more importantly, having a job that pretty much means I spend most of my time in the office with little free time left has taught me how important it is to always have a part of you that is still a kid!

Suha Yenigul [Class of 2002] Update on career . . . hmm well, family business ServuS where we provide payment systems and maintenance to financial institutions is well but like all companies who work with financial institutions due to the ongoing crisis and unstable government we have also been affected. I have established a company called Green Suha Srl where I provide hydrogen systems for all types of engines

that lower consumption, raise horse power and almost diminish carbon emission. The offshore Powerboat Racing career is full of adrenaline as always. I last came in 3rd place in the World Qatar Offshore Powerboat Championship in January in UAE from the Sheikh Hassan Althani himself. Latest update will probably be in couple of weeks. Our friend Bora, who is the master in restaurant business in Romania would like me to assist him in establishing a new concept. Aside from all that, I am just happy to be a father to a beautiful little angel baby girl. Much love and respect, Suha

Yagmur Yenigul [Class of 2006] First of all I would like to thank all those responsible in establishing World Alumni Magazine and I am grateful to be apart of it. As a graduate of 2006 I do miss the crazy, beautiful, funny, loving moments spent at AISB. After I graduated, I have attended and graduated from a university in Switzerland, Cesar Ritz Colleges to be precise and then finished off my bachelors in Robert Gordon University. I’ve always wanted to study Hotel & Tourism Management and concluded my degrees by having my last internship at the ‘’Four Seasons Hotel Bosphorus’’, Istanbul (http://www.fourseasons. com/bosphorus/) in Sales department, which directed me to move to Turkey. After my internship I have started

working at ‘’The House Hotel Collection’’ boutique chain of 3 design hotels which in short period of time I became the Senior Sales Executive of all 3 hotels (now the 4th hotel has opened; http://www. thehousehotel.com/). Two years and a half being part of a great achievement of boutique luxury hotels has given me an amazing experience. I then decided to take over one of our family business Bodrum Yacht Group & Sungulets Yacht Charter, which was established in 2011, therefore I moved to Bodrum - an amazing summer city to live in. Our company is based on Yacht Brokerage & Yacht Chartering in the Aegean Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Greek islands. Bodrum Yacht Group is specialized in Yacht Sales (Mega Yacht, Power Boat, Sail Boat, Gulet and Classic Boats) providing yacht support and technical services such as maintenance and refit, yacht clearance and etc. (www. bodrumyachtgroup.com). On the other hand Sungulets Yacht Charter is all about chartering in crystal clear waters and provides agency services (www.sungulets. com).

Maria Madalina Antip [Class of 2008] For the past year and a half I’ve been working for a global trade association representing the chemical sector as a policy analyst. While based in Paris, my work has taken me from Rome to New York at various United Nations high-level forums and meetings. I have also had the

in loving memory... Fabio Almeida To all that amazing gang of students - too many to mention. Huge sadness when I saw the devastating news about Fabio Almeida. But then, as I looked at some of the photos you posted, so many fantastic memories came flooding back. Memories of plays, and Theatre Workshop, Drama lessons and then Film, and of course ISTA trips I was his teacher but he was so much more than just a student to me - as are you all.

privilege to attend G20 meetings in Istanbul as well as the World Economic Forum. I have also been doing extensive outreach work for the Farming First coalition promoting food and nutrition security within a sustainable framework for countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Most recently I co-organized a capacity building workshop for young international development professionals from Africa, the Caribbean and the South Pacific. In this fast-paced multicultural environment I often remember AISB fondly and I know for certain that its wonderful teachers and dynamic community prepared me for this exciting and challenging career path. So thank you, AISB! I look forward to hopefully seeing some of you soon.

Oana Toma [Class of 2007] The past year has been very exciting, as the luxury mountain lodge and property I run with my sister Adriana, Cabana Hadar Nature Resort, has taken on very interesting partners for a series of projects as well as being recognized as one of the TOP 3 Best Guesthouses in Romania (run by a family) at the Tourism Excellence Awards this May. I am happy to see that we can contribute to the development of tourism in Romania and we invite the AISB community to come relax for a couple of days in a truly magical place. Learn more at www.cabanahadar.ro.

AISB Alumn 2007-2010

He was a charismatic performer and a creative and determined actor to work with. Fabio walked into a room and the atmosphere changed. The energy level increased, people laughed more and felt - somehow better. BASICALLY (Fabio's favourite word!), he was a very special guy who always gave so much. I am so proud to have known him and I know the pain you must all feel. My heart goes out to his family and all his many friends. Mr. Greg Jemison

WORLD MAGAZINE 23


PTO Annual Gala

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"Monte Carlo Night" was the theme of this year’s Annual Auction gala, held on April 5th, 2014 at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bucharest. A large number of wonderful and passionate volunteers worked around the clock to organize the logistics, sponsorships, raffle items, etc, with the main goal being to bring together our whole community to raise funds for some very important initiatives that the Parent-Teacher Organization of AISB, funds.


Of these initiatives, the Scholarship Fund is the most important one - giving the chance to very bright Romanian students to pursue studies in our international program, allowing them the opportunity to continue this level of education in the best Universities around the world, and then to return to their home country and become important actors of the political, economic, and social life of Romania. That gift is priceless; not

only for the student themselves, but also for the legacy that this student will create for their country. PTO Grants are another very important aspect of the use of the funds: Students and teachers of AISB apply for the PTO Grants to fund their projects, often designed and implemented by our students to benefit fellow students outside of the AISB community.

Others are projects or supplies that will enhance our students’ learning, creativity & service experiences. We are so proud of, appreciative of, and grateful to all of our students and teachers, our grants for giving their initiative a means, and all of our very precious and generous sponsors who are committed to supporting us openheartedly every year!

WORLD MAGAZINE 25


Teo Balan Interview with

WM: Why did you decide to become part

of the Athletics department at AISB? TB: Mr. Emanuel and I are still good

friends. One day I went to see him and attend a practice. You know, run around and kick the ball a few times. At the end of the practice Mr. Emanuel offered me to be his second coach. Of course I accepted on the spot.  WM: What team do you coach? TB: I coached the high school football

varsity team. 

WM: Tell us about a usual practice

session?

TB: We start the practice with some

running (a few km) and 10-15 min of stretching session. Afterwards we go over specific drills Mr. Ema and I had agreed on from the previous week. Then, the session ends with some more running. Physical condition and strength are the most important in order to win a CEESA tournament. WM: What were your educational goals

with the students?

TB: As this was my first time ever playing

the role of an educator I didn’t have a precise goal going in. But as time went

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on I noticed that the kids were looking up to me wanting to be inspired. The two most important things I tried to teach them were:  A. Be a nice and kind person regardless of the environment and the attitude other people have towards you. B. Don’t slack. The regret you feel when you lose and you know you didn’t do your best cuts through your heart more than anything else. WM: Do you feel like you connect

differently with the students as alumnus?

TB: Do you see any advantages? I do feel

like I connect differently with the students as an alumnus. Some of them even remembered me. I noticed they looked at me not as much as an authority figure but as a friend who’s good at football and came to help, which really made my job easier because the kids at that age take advice a lot more easier from their peers.  WM: What is the difference between

being trained and training?

TB: It is a lot harder to lead than it is to

follow. People look up to you and expect you to have answers, so you really have to work on yourself in order to be able

AISB Alumnus / Class of 2009

to come on the football field and be the person you want your students to be.  WM: Do you see yourself continuing to

be a coach at AISB?

Yes. It was a great first experience. But we only got 4th place. I can’t walk away now. Not before I get to hold in my hands a 1st place cup.  WM: Why is it important that students

receive not only an academic education but a physical education as well? TB: A man smarter than me once said:

a healthy mind in a healthy body. Life is nice when your body feels good. I don’t know why. Don’t really care. It just is.  Plus it makes school a lot more enjoyable (or, to put it as a high school student, not that bad) knowing you get to play football in the afternoon. WM: How do you see the alumni

involvement in the future?

TB: The alumni need to have a continuous

presence in the AISB life, it gives the kids a sense of being part of something special.


Interview with

Simona Popescu WM: When did you attend AISB? What impact did it have on your life and career?

and most importantly how great it feels to be part of a team.

SP: I attended AISB from 2001 to 2003 (11th and 12th grade). I can say it had a major impact on my life because I was coming from an all-Romanian education system, which is very different than the one in the American International School of Bucharest.

After graduating, in my first year of university, I came back to help out with the girls varsity soccer team - that’s how much I enjoyed my CEESA experiences. The tournament was in Bucharest, which gave me an idea of how things work from a host’s point of view.

Even though back then I didn’t realize the benefits AISB offered, I came to a point in my life when I can say it really helped me a lot both professionally and personally.

WM: How did you decide to study Sports Management? Where did you study and how was the program?

Besides making lifetime friends all over the world, I gained a lot from the education system that the school had to offer. WM: What sports did you play during your time at AISB? What were your favorite seasons and coaches? Tell us more about tournaments and mention names of team players and stories SP: During my time at AISB I played soccer (11th and 12th grade) and basketball in my senior year. I have to say my favorite season was the first soccer tournament that we went to in Warsaw. I had a great time from the moment we got on the bus that took us to the airport until we arrived back in Bucharest. Even though we only scored one goal during the whole tournament, we had loads of fun and it was worth every minute of it. Mr. Bournas (our coach) was great, always supportive and we did our best on the pitch, which made the whole experience unforgettable.

SP: After graduating from AISB I decided to stay in Romania and so I attended the Academy of Economic Studies with a major in International Relations, I graduated in 2007. After University I started working for a company in the medical business. I liked my job but I decided I wanted something else and considering the fact I was always a sports person, either practicing it or just watching it, I wanted to explore this area further so I started looking for a degree related to sports. I chose to go to London, where I got my Masters in Sports Management from the University of East London. The program was great and the timing couldn’t have been better considering the fact that I went there just before the London 2012 Olympic Games. Everyone was breathing sports so I had many opportunities to learn a lot from professionals in the sports market from all over the world. I had a chance to get a glimpse of what happens behind the scenes of such a great sporting event.

As for team players, everyone was full of enthusiasm and we formed a great team.

WM: What do you do now? Tell us how you started working at your job and describe the main activities you are involved with.

Both my soccer tournaments and my basketball one were great, they taught me how to accept a loss, how to celebrate a win

SP: Right now I work for the Romanian Rugby Union in the Communication, Marketing and Events department.

AISB Alumna / Class of 2003

I got to work here after I graduated from my Masters and came to Bucharest to try and implement some of the things I learned in London, back home. I started at the Rugby Union in Romania as a volunteer, trying to gain experience, and in no time I became a full time employee. I was very surprised to see that the Romanian Rugby Union was already implementing most of the things I learnt at school and was also very open to new ideas both communication and marketing wise. The team I am part of is great, we work together very well in trying to grow rugby in Romania and I like to believe that we are making great progress every day. Right now I am responsible for all of the Union's communication channels (YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram as well as all of our websites) but I am also involved in sponsorship, marketing and events. WM: What is your recommendation to students who want to study sports management? SP: Sports management is a growing market, and I believe more and more people start to understand the need of professionals and put more and more emphasis on this area because of the great outcomes it can create. I would recommend sports management to anyone who likes sports and understands that behind medals, trophies or great success, there are dedicated professionals that make the things happen. Sport has the power to move people and through sports a country can benefit in so many ways, no matter the sport, no matter the country.

WORLD MAGAZINE 27


see you in Bucharest

Check the AISB Alumns Facebook page for details about the next Alumni Reunion. We hope you can join us!

Sos. Pipera Tunari 196, Voluntari, Jud. Ilfov 077190 Romania Tel: (40 21) 204-4300 www.aisb.ro

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World Magazine - Summer 2014