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    Anne Rieger, Elementary School Teacher, 38 Years
One of the biggest changes Anne reflects upon at the end of her 38-year career at FIS is the campus itself. “When I first arrived at FIS you could really only see Old Main. The rest of the campus was hidden in the trees and the entrance looked like a paved path going further into the woods. There were portables and log cabins all over the place.” As the campus expanded over her years at the school, so did student enrollment. “When I arrived at FIS there were just 960 students. That number has doubled since.” As with others, Anne says that it has been the people – and the students who really wanted to learn – that made working at FIS special. “When those students had those ‘aha’ moments, it made all the effort you put into teaching worth it,” she says.
Future Plans: Anne plans to “keep my feet in both countries (Germany and the United States) for the time being” and is eyeing retirement as a whole new “World of Opportunities” – made even sweeter by the introduction of the 9 Euro train ticket in Germany this summer.
David Steiner, Upper School German and TOK Teacher, 26 Years
For David Steiner, the last 26 years at FIS have flown by, although he can still remember certain moments as though they happened yesterday – a telephone interview with FIS German teacher Chris Hill on a day he was having an exceptionally rough time engaging an unwilling German class at his inner-city school in Coventry; his first FIS Grade 8 Outward Bound trip to Bavaria; and the excitement of using emerging digital technology in education. As his retirement approaches he says: “I knew this day was coming 40 years ago; what I didn’t know was just how fast this day would arrive!” While David primarily worked as a German and TOK teacher in the Upper School, “most people don’t know that I was welcomed as an honorary member of the Performing Arts department and have fond memories of colleagues past and present.”
Parting Thoughts: FIS hasn’t changed in essence – when I arrived, I thought it was the best school in the world and it remains the best school I have ever worked at.
Annette Schlosser, Transportation Manager, 24 Years
For more than two decades, Annette’s role at FIS was ensuring the smooth and safe operation of the school’s buses, one of the largest private school bus fleets in Germany. One memory she has was of her first real “snow day” in 2003 when an afternoon storm dropped so much snow by 15:00 that buses were unable to leave the campus. A few buses with snow chains were used as shuttles and the last students finally arrived home at 22:00! While she won’t miss getting soaked while out with the buses – “It always rains at 15:00,” she jokes – she will miss all of her nice colleagues and the school itself: “The best thing about FIS is really the family togetherness and the goal of doing the best for our children.”
Future Plans: Annette is looking forward to vacationing on her own schedule, including taking advantage of the holiday tours that her company offers – by bus of course – but is also excited to spend more time with her five grandchildren and two Bernese Mountain Dogs (Bonnie and Clyde), and in her large garden and plot with fruit trees. As she says, “There is enough to do.”
Julia Tomás Mora, Spanish Teacher, 26 Years
Besides her students and colleagues, the thing that Julia will miss the most when she retires is the continuous challenges that FIS has provided.“This is a school where not only the students learn, but also the teachers,”she says.“I feel that I have‘grown up’a lot since my start in 1996.”In her time at FIS the school has also grown – more buildings and more people – “but one thing has not changed at all,” she says. “FIS is a great school, a world of opportunities for each of us.” Julia is looking forward to new opportunities in retirement, including traveling and spending time with her children. “Once in a while, I also plan to do absolutely nothing,” she says. “I mean, only if I can find out how this works!”
Advice: To those continuing to work at FIS Julia says: “Remember the importance of educating your students and preparing them for the future. One day your students will remember you, and they will be thankful. The invisible bonds that arise in the classroom leave their mark well beyond the times at school!”
*Carolina DesMarais, Elementary School Teacher, (7 years) retired in April 2022, but was unavailable for this story.
   June 2022 FIS World 23

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