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Former Staff: Then & Now
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Catching up with teachers and other staff that have retired or moved on from the International School of Geneva. Rattraper avec les enseignants et autres collaborateurs qui ont pris leur retraite ou quitté l'Ecole Internationale de Genève.

 

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George Walker (Foundation 1991-1999)

Posted By Alumni Office, mercredi, 18 février 2015

 George Walker   George Walker

1. When did you work at the International School of Geneva and what was/were your role(s)?
I was Director General of the Foundation of the International School of Geneva from 1991-1999.

2. Describe your life today, where you live and what you do.
I am now retired (since 2006), living with my wife Jennifer (who taught clarinet/saxophone at Ecolint) in East Anglia, UK. I write quite a lot and I am still in close touch with the IB (I became Director General of the IB from 1999 to 2006).

3. What are your strongest memories of working at Ecolint?
My main memories of Ecolint concern the teaching staff.  Although - as in any human enterprise - quality was variable, I saw more 'inspirational teaching' at Ecolint than in any of my previous jobs. I never heard an Ecolint teacher 'talk down' to an Ecolint student.

4. To what extent do you like to keep in touch with former students and colleagues?
I think one keeps in touch with those with whom one wants to keep in touch! Then there are the special occasions, for example World Reunions and more recently the reception in London.

 


 

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Ernest John Cordonier (LGB 2002-2010)

Posted By Alumni Office, mardi, 17 février 2015

 Ernest Cordonier   Ernest Cordonier

1. When did you work at the International School of Geneva and what was/were your role(s)?
I worked at the LGB campus from 2002 until 2010. I worked as an English teacher including Classes 12 and 13 IB; and was Year Head 9 from 2003 until retirement in 2010.

2. Describe your life today, where you live and what you do.
When I retired and returned to Canada I attended to my business as a landlord and development contractor of my strata properties. I am fully retired as of January 2015.

3. What are your strongest memories of working at Ecolint?
The strongest memories I have of Ecolint are the memories of working with students and families and the friendships I am fortunate enough to have built. Many of these friends remain in contact through Facebook. I also loved the LGB campus and my involvement with the Ecolint Development Committee, including seeing the construction of Campus des Nations.

4. To what extent do you like to keep in touch with former students and colleagues?
I am fortunate to be able to stay in contact with my most memorable families/students and colleagues on a daily basis through Facebook.

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Shirley (Hainsworth) Curran (LGB & La Chât 1969-2007+)

Posted By Alumni Office, mardi, 17 février 2015

 Shirley (Hainsworth) Curran   Shirley (Hainsworth) Curran

1. When did you work at the International School of Geneva and what was/were your role(s)?
I taught English at La Grande Boissière in both the French and English programmes, from 1969 to 1974. During those years I helped Ben Holden train the ski teams. I then taught English at La Châtaigneraie from 1984 to 2007 when I originally retired. I was asked to return and teach IB French for half a year a couple of years after that and again, to cover a Higher Level IB English class for its final two terms from 2012 to 2013. For many years I organised the Grade Nine Camargue field week, and for a few years also organised the Grade 11 mountain week at La Pointe de Nyon.

2. Describe your life today, where you live and what you do.
I live with my husband in Echenevex at the foot of the Jura mountains. We ski almost every day in winter (I have a Swiss moniteur qualification). We play golf and travel in summer (one son, ex-Ecolint, now lives in California with his family and works for Apple, we spend a month with him; the other and his partner work for the UK government and live in London). I compile cryptic crosswords in my spare time for a range of British newspapers (Times, Sunday Telegraph, Independent, Farmers Guardian) and magazines.

3. What are your strongest memories of working at Ecolint?
The lovely classroom atmosphere and strong rapport with colleagues and students. In all my years at the schools, I can think of only two classes that caused me stress (out of perhaps 130 classes taught over those years!). Teaching at the International School was actually a pleasure - I meet very few retired British teachers who could say that of their experiences.

4. To what extent do you like to keep in touch with former students and colleagues?
The students stay in touch and I love hearing their news. We've been to the weddings of some very special ones and regularly catch up on Facebook. We spend a couple of weeks every year on holiday with ex-colleagues and meet some regularly. The retirees' letter at La Chât keeps us up to date with news.

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Elizabeth Knight (LGB 1961-1996)

Posted By Alumni Office, mardi, 17 février 2015

 Elizabeth Knight   Elizabeth Knight

1. When did you work at the International School of Geneva and what was/were your role(s)?
With my husband Michael Knight, I worked at the International School of Geneva from 1961 to 1996, first as an English teacher, then as an English and Drama teacher in the Secondary school. I was in the English Department when the International Baccalaureate was created. With Rod Price, I founded the first Drama Workshop funded by Mrs Pauling, mother of Ramona, one of my students.

When the Middle school was formed, I was appointed, with several of my Secondary school colleagues, as a Subject Leader. Later I returned to the Secondary school to resume my teaching of IB English, but retained some of my teaching in the Middle school. My husband and I were sent on a teacher exchange to Webb School in California in 1962-1963 and we travelled round the world on our return journey.

2. Describe your life today, where you live and what you do.
I live in the village of Puplinge, near Geneva, where my children, Matthew and Emma Knight, were raised. Both are alumni and live in the USA. Matthew is a computer scientist working in Manhattan; Emma is a teacher. In June 2016 she will resume her life in Geneva with her twin girls who will attend Ecolint.

I have travelled widely, but now I write children's fiction for 8-12 year old children. To do this I took courses. My teaching helped me to write but it was not enough to make me thoroughly professional. My first novel, The Skull, was published in 2014. I am still looking for a publisher for my second book, The Boy With the Flute and I write for the English magazine Aquila. My website is www.eknightbooks.com. When I promote my writing in schools in England and Switzerland, I do it through drama, of course. Some of my audiences number one hundred students, so I still keep on my teaching toes. I also haunt the Middle school library, where I once recommended books to students, for access to children's literature. It's a writer's lifeline.

I have been richly endowed with good health, a wonderful marriage and family, close friends, abundant energy and a career in an unique school. A privileged life! Once an old man in India told me that I had seen a lot of things in my life. That is true. I like to think that he saw my life in my face, but he was probably trying to sell me cosmetic oil for my wrinkles.

3. What are your strongest memories of working at Ecolint?
My memories go back a long way so I must list only those which leap to mind.
Being registered as a gardener at Ecolint in 1961, in order to obtain a permis de séjour.
Working miracles in crumbling classrooms.
Arguing with with the French Side, when there was one. It was an on-going entertainment for both sides.
Wandering round in the rain with drama classes because there was nowhere to go. Sometimes we fought for space in the cafeteria with the formidable manageress, Mme Poirasse. Men balancing trays walked through our lessons.
Journeying twice to Soviet Russia before "glasnost" with Royston and Mary Brunst and eighty students. Someone tried to buy my boots!
Escalade parties where we threw buns at the deeply respected Russian, Mlle Hartogg: we invaded the old music room, after the feast, to play all the instruments, led by Bob Shade on the trombone.
Being afraid of Mme Elizabeth Briquet, Head of English and the Senior Division, who banged the teapot for attention at Break in the old staffroom. Mme Wend, knitting in a corner, took a laconic view. Sometimes film stars wandered in. No one noticed.
Cooking up a fondue in the English office with colleagues and setting off the fire alarm. Boots and helmets appeared.

4. To what extent do you like to keep in touch with former students and colleagues?
 I believe that one has to start a new life when one retires. I have had many lives in my one life. So I do not keep in regular touch with either, apart from a few exceptions. I like to hear about them; they keep me in mind, no doubt, in memory. I marvel at those who became famous, like Bobby Rae, and love those who did not, like me.

 

 

(From the LGB Yearbook 1967.)

 

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