Page 24 - FIS World June 2021
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Fond Farewells
As the year ends, nine faculty/staff set their sights on a new adventure: retirement
In a school year that has been punctuated by starts and stops, at moments it has felt like the longest shortest time. But for nine FIS faculty and staff, whose retirement begins this year, that feeling may be even more true. Below are some reflections on their experiences at the school, which collectively total 247 years at FIS.
Petra Brüggemann, Admissions Assistant, 35 Years
In her 35 years at FIS, Petra Brüggemann has seen many changes – seven different Heads of School, new buildings and campus expansion, and of course, lots of colleagues and friends coming and going. Looking back she says, “I can say it was a pleasure working with all of them.” Nevertheless, Petra holds a special place in her heart for current Director of Admissions, Alec Aspinwall, “for the trust he placed in me,” and to her colleague in reception, Monika Hahn, who “was always there for me and helped during those busy times in the office, or when I was on vacation.” Petra plans to spend much of her time in South Africa where she has a second home, but will also take advantage of her retirement to visit her children and grandchildren in Switzerland and the USA.
Ewa Dettlaff, Upper School Administrative Assistant, 38 Years
In 1982, FIS stole Ewa Dettlaff’s heart. From her very first visit where she was “warmly welcomed by a group of very friendly teachers and staff,” she has treasured being a part of the international school environment. As both a staff member and parent at FIS, what Ewa will remember most about her time at the school are the friendly, helpful and respectful attitudes – combined with lots of goodwill – among the people connected with it. “I have always very much treasured and respected this,” she says. “And the intercultural aspect of this large group was an added bonus for me.”
Carol Koepsell, Library Assistant, 21 Years
Originally hired as a Library Assistant, Carol Koepsell has worked in nearly every corner of FISW over the past 21 years – in classrooms, as the office assistant, and as assistant to the Art Department. But, she says,
“The library has always held a special place in my heart, especially with the amazing recent renovations. However, with the new, spacious, top floor art room in the ACE Center, I now have two favorite working spaces!” Ms. Koepsell will bid adieu to both when she begins new adventures in June – crafting, geocaching, hiking with Komoot, scrapbooking and sewing, and most of all, spending more time with her husband and her five grandchildren.
Cita Lotz, Upper School French teacher, 38 Years
For Cita Lotz, her favorite memories of FIS revolve around people. “Working with young people has been more refreshing and enriching than any other job I could imagine,” she says. “I have learned so much from them; their honesty, humor, idealism and kindness fill me with hope for our future.”Of course, Cita will miss her colleagues too, many of whom have become friends. “I have learned from them, laughed, cried with them, and they have my deep admiration for their commitment to their profession.”In looking back at her long career, Cita says:“In my
38 years at FIS, I have always felt that the school, regardless of change, has managed to maintain its soul. People come and go, yet there has always been a caring, family feeling at the core of this school that makes it so special. Hold on to that!”
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