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We are Family
Once her Students, Always her Students
While some might argue that the transitory nature of inter- national schools makes them less personable, FIS believes a strong relationship with families is so import- ant that it built this commitment into its mission statement. While there are countless examples of this effort led by our teachers, a particularly poi- gnant story occurred late last year.
Gayle Angbrandt (also known as Miss Gayle) teaches 5 year-olds at the Primary Sschool. One might think that she is disconnected from what happens in the Upper School, but that’s not true. Last spring she held a reception in her classroom for six students who were graduating, and had started at FIS in her classroom 13 years earlier. “I wanted them to know that I had never stopped caring about them or following their achievements at FIS,” said Ms. Gayle.
The students and their parents returned to the Primary classroom after IB exams had finished and were treated to a video Ms. Gayle had put together, showing photos of the students when they were in her class. One of the students brought her a special gift: a children’s book that symbolized his antics in class many years ago. She couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have the students, now fully grown, form a circle on the carpet
so she could read a story to them one last time!
The parents of these students were also invited to the gathering and felt equally grateful for the strong start their children had received in Ms. Gayle’s classroom. Susanne Schusta commented, “It was an emotional gathering for us as well. It really made us all proud to be an FIS parent over these many years. Gayle did a wonderful job!”
This wasn’t the only event that tied this special teacher to her special class. The summer after they had “graduated” to Grade 1, Ms. Gayle had married, and she invited her young class to a special wedding reception at the school.
Of course, she was also at their graduation ceremony and dinner last spring. “It was so emotional for me to see them crossing the stage to receive their diplomas. Although I am not their parent, I felt extremely gratified when I saw them graduate so many years later and know that I had a small part in a great school that played an important role in their success.”
When the students left her class in the spring of 2003, Ms. Gayle was given a special gift. A porcelain platter on which their names had been glazed.
At the end of their gathering, 12 years later, Ms. Gayle filled that same platter with cupcakes. As the students took the cupcakes they were surprised to see their names revealed, and were reminded, as they prepared to graduate, of their early beginnings at the school.
As someone who welcomes new families to the school, I hope that in the years to come, you will have a similar “surprise revelation” sometime in the future. When it happens you may be far from our campuses in Oberursel and Naurod, but time will be peeled back for you and you will be reminded that you were graced with a very special period of your life while here at Frankfurt International School.
Alec Aspinwall,
Director of Admissions and Advancement
October 2015 FIS World 5

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