On Tuesday morning you learned that Rachel Loble is leaving The École at the end of this school year. Before I write another word, I would like, on behalf of the entire team, to wish her, Jules, and Stefan all the very best for their new adventure. I would particularly like to thank Rachel for the last two years during which an enormous amount of her energy was directed toward ensuring that our students and staff could work in the best possible conditions despite the pandemic that was raging around us. We owe her a depth of gratitude for keeping us as safe as possible in the face of COVID. However, I am certain that she will be remembered most for her work in our Middle School, which she created and directed for the past nine years.
From September, I will be stepping into Rachel’s shoes and taking over direct leadership of our growing Middle School. I will be working closely with a School Life Assistant (SLA) who will work uniquely in Middle School. The position is a newly created, full-time role and the Middle School SLA will be responsible for the daily logistics of Middle School life. The Academic Leadership Team from this year will be reinforced, which will allow me to head the whole school with the able assistance of remarkable collaborators whose skill and talent I greatly appreciate: Benoît Brisset will lead Elementary in coordination with Sara Weintraub, who will be responsible for the US side of the Elementary curriculum, and Ben Hayes will continue as our Maternelle Coordinator.
The École is transforming. It is looking highly likely that our student body will grow to at least 300 students by September 2022 in comparison to 215 when I arrived in 2020. The bilingualism that is at the heart of our school has recently been revitalized thanks to a review of its organization, and thanks also to the arrival of new talent to our team. More and more families are now opting for The École over public schools thanks to our reputation as a dynamic, rigorous school where children can thrive freely and prepare for a future full of possibilities.
Our Middle School occupies an important place in this extremely positive dynamic and it must meet three challenges. First, it has to represent an obvious and desirable next step for our Elementary School students. Second, it must provide a unique educational experience for our students and their families. Finally, it has to ensure that our students are well-equipped for the future. I am enthusiastic at the prospect of working with our Middle School educators to meet these challenges together, as I did in Shanghai and Taiwan, and build our Middle School of the future. Our current Middle School already has plenty of inspiring qualities as evidenced by the fact that we are opening a second 6th Grade class this coming September.
The last two years have given rise to quite a few interesting educational developments at The École. The signature of our partnership with Léman Manhattan is without a doubt one of the most meaningful. I would like to invite you to attend an information session on Tuesday, June 14 during which Maria Castelluccio, the Head of School at Léman, and I will have the pleasure of presenting the bilingual high school track that will be on offer from September. The relationship that has been built between our two schools is rich with possibility and offers an exceptional opportunity for our students to enjoy their Middle School years with us at The École before moving on to a prestigious high school that will open the doors of the world’s greatest universities to them, thanks to the French-American bilingual IB program. I hope to see as many of you there as can make it because it is an important moment in the life of The École and the beginning of a new chapter for our Middle School.
I know that Rachel will be following that next chapter closely from Africa, and we will do our best not to disappoint her.