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A Lifelong Connection
Reflections on being a part of the FIS community
 Lame Duck. Lahme Ente. It’s an evocative English phrase, which has been adopted in German as well, to denote an individual who is “on the way
out” of a position and, therefore, hampered by their imminent departure status. As I am now in my final weeks at FIS, I suppose this metaphor could be applied to me. However, let me reassure you: I feel much more like a soaring eagle, full of gratitude for the last 12 years my family has been a part of this school community.
My children began at the FIS Primary School. It was the ideal environment to instill within them an excitement for learning and establish a strong foundation of skills for their future as students. This momentum continued in the Elementary School, where their confidence was built through presentations and a steady rise in expectations. In the Upper School, their passions were ignited as they joined teams and clubs, and delved ever deeper into their coursework. Now, as I put these thoughts down on paper, my son is in the midst of his International Baccalaureate (IB) exams, and soon I will be privileged to shake his and his classmates’ hands as they cross the stage at graduation.
FIS has helped my family to embrace our role as citizens of the world and its campus will always be a place where my family will feel at home.
As my children grew up through the school, so have I. I had countless conversations with other parents about what is best for our children. My wife and I forged lifetime bonds and deep friendships within the community. I recall a myriad of FIS parent events that had me dancing in a Scottish kilt, betting at a roulette table, or serving up beer at Worldfest, as well as learning how to control my emotions at sporting events – not always successfully. I came to believe what I was told at admissions: FIS was not only accepting my children, but my entire family.
I am making this brief trip down memory lane not for my own sake, but as a wake-up call to all of you who are staying. There is nothing we can do to slow down the passage of time, but we can make our years at FIS more vibrant and memorable by taking the time to stop and realize how fortunate our families are to be a part of this community. Of
course, our school has flaws like any other, but taken as a whole, I wouldn’t have wanted to raise my family anywhere else.
I am a citizen of the United Kingdom and Germany making my way back to London. FIS has helped my family to embrace our role as citizens of the world and its campus will always be a place where my family will feel at home. We join the ranks of other alumni who will return to the campus in years to come and remember the mark it has left upon us.
Jonathan Clenshaw Chair, Board of Trustees
Jonathan Clenshaw (left) with Head of School, Paul Fochtman (right), at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Grand Opening of the Stroth Center.
  June 2018 FIS World 3

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