The American School in Switzerland kicked off International Week 2017 on the morning of February 13 with a stirring Opening Ceremony that included remarks from Headmaster Lyle Rigg, a spirited Parade of Flags, the presentation of Torch Awards, and an excellent performance from the combined school choirs and the TASIS cheerleaders. (See lots of great photographs from the Opening Ceremony.)
Mr. Rigg opened the ceremony with an inspiring speech (full transcript here) that highlighted the impressive internationalism of TASIS, “the kind of community that takes down walls and that provides me with so much hope for the future.”
Mr. Rigg then turned the podium over to Zere Turlykhanova ’17 and Jane Wilson ’22, who introduced the flag bearers from 59 different nations. Each flag was carried, whenever possible, by the youngest and oldest TASIS student (as well as a Middle School student) from that nation.
The Parade of Flags was followed by the presentation of Torch Awards, which are given annually to one student from each grade who embodies cross-cultural understanding and makes a significant effort to reach out to students from other countries and cultures. Theresa Cullen Hill, Head of the Elementary School, presented Torch Awards to Andrea Cassin (Pre-Kindergarten), Olivia Segat (Kindergarten), Varvara Maksimova (grade one), Georgia Segat (grade two), Emilie Blank (grade three), Luca Christian Piconi (grade four), and Camille Girotto (grade five). MJ Breton, Middle School Dean of Student Affairs, presented to Dias Khassanov (grade six), Pedro Cardoso Dias (grade seven), and Adele Virgilio (grade eight). KC McKee, High School Dean of Students, presented the final Torch Awards to Lyla Thompson (grade nine), Eren Dana (grade 10), Shu Ye (grade 11), and Delina Recica (grade 12).
The assembly concluded with an uplifting performance that featured members of the Elementary School, Middle School, and High School Choirs; the Varsity Cheerleading team; and faculty musicians Jonathan Morris (piano), Alessio di Tonno (guitar), Riccardo Borghesi (bass), and Daniel Bagutti (drums). The choirs were directed by Samantha Forrest (HS) Sarah Grove Locke (MS), and Melody Tibbits Zanecchia (ES), and the cheerleaders were guided by Cori Shea (Head Coach), Julie Frazier-Smith (Dance Choreographer), and Yana Smith (Tumbling).
Nations represented in the 2017 Parade of Flags