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18 FIS World February 2017
A Great Loss for FIS
Remembering former faculty member George Henning-Ross
The FIS community was saddened with the news, in late November, that a retired teacher of long- standing in the school, George Henning-Ross, died in Strasbourg where he had lived since 2009.
He was 77.
George Edwin Ross grew up in Pine Blu  and Ashdown, small agricultural communities in southwest Arkansas, where he attended local public schools. He earned his BA at the University of Arkansas (Fayetteville) in 1961. Two years later he returned to Fayetteville to work on his MA in English. He was awarded his MA summa cum laude (1965).
After several teaching assignments in Vermont and the United Kingdom, George accepted an appointment as coordinator of the English Department at FIS, where he was also the Senior Advisor, IB examiner, and founder and advisor of the school magazine Triad. He retired from FIS in 1997 after 25 years. Since his retirement, George lived in London (2000-2009) and Strasbourg (2009-2016). In 1992, George was adopted by his close elderly friend, Collette Henning, who died in Kronberg in 1994.
The young George Ross was an over-achiever in the household of four: father, mother, and elder sister Judy. His father owned several local grocery stores. His mother, Lillabel Ross, was descended from the distinguished Floyd family of Charleston, South Carolina. Ardent members of the Southern Baptist Church, the Rosses encouraged George at worship services several times a week and twice on Sundays. He was sent o  to
a Baptist camp for a month every summer. Despite the family’s best e orts and good intentions, George never declared any religious faith.
George’s tenure at FIS was the highlight of his career; it was also instrumental in setting standards for academic excellence in the early years of the school. In any institution,
teachers come and go; as years pass, some are forgotten or remembered slightly. However, such is not the case for George Henning-Ross. He devoted countless hours to preparing his lessons, including study guides, historical perspectives, biographical material, vocabulary enrichment tests, and essay assignments. Students would routinely request counselors to assign them to Mr. Henning-Ross’s class. When George retired from FIS in 1997, members of the English Department took his  ling cabinet, which contained  les for all the literature units he had taught over the previous years, and stored it in the department book room where it became a resource for all to use; it remains there to this day.
George was not merely a brilliant teacher. A gourmet chef, George earned certi cates from the Ritz
Esco er School in Paris. In recent years, George made it a practice to present his guests with a jar of his homemade con ture – always a delight on the breakfast table. He also studied Eighteenth Century Furniture at Sotheby’s Institute in London. He could recite the plot and hum the arias of at least ten operas and could relate highlights of the careers of many contemporary opera singers. During his London years, he was a regular at the West End theatres, galleries, and Covent Garden.
George’s legacy will surely be remembered. FIS was fortunate to have had this dedicated, erudite, and inspiring man on its faculty for 25 years.
Richard Coburn
FIS Faculty, Retired
Photo: Richard Coburn, August 2014

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