American School of Paris - Alumni - 2018 Homecoming

Do you remember when?

 

Since its establishment in 1946, there have been numerous transitions at ASP from location changes, new construction, and the addition of new classes to the indirect impacts of the ever-changing world on ASP as an international school. Nonetheless, the school's mission and its focus as an international family-oriented community was steadfast, and still holds true today.

ASP Through the Decades, a special taste of life on campus and off throughout each period of our school's existence, was developed expressly for the 2018 Homecoming by a creative team of alumni and current ASP students and parents, and faculty and staff members, each of whom brought their unique talents and recollections to the project. A large showing of community members lent their pieces of memorabilia to help elaborate the exhibits.

Homecoming attendees of all ages enjoyed a poignant and varied retrospective look at the world, France, and ASP over the years since the school was founded in 1946. This walk down memory lane allowed alumni to reconnect to their youth and step back into their time at ASP. Current families enjoyed seeing many familiar faces and places in earlier incarnations. 

 

ASP Through the Decades featured a unique multimedia experience featuring music, video, photos, an interactive timeline, pop culture memorabilia, a sitting room with the ASP yearbook collection, fun fashion, a tribute to beloved teachers, and more

Continue delving into the history of ASP with an interactive timeline assembled by Chris Chater, who has been a beloved member of the ASP community for the past 50 years. He started as everyone’s favorite music teacher, and eventually became our valuable alumni coordinator. Over the past several years, he was in touch with you and other numerous alumni to ensure that the Homecoming and Community Celebration, would be exactly what it was--an event of a lifetime. Below, you can retrace ASP's history where Chris has provided historical narrative paired with timeless photos, a true story from beginning to end. 

Gone but not Forgotten

Here are just some of the many devoted ASP employees, faculty and staff, who worked with our students and who have left us.  We remember them all. The quotes are largely taken from the school's yearbooks, social media and other publications. If you have any memories you'd like to share, please do submit a class note

Virginia Gift

“I remember very clearly, I was in the tenth grade when my Ceramics & History teacher, Virginia Gift, invited Jean-Claude Fein, a master tourneur from the Ancienne Manufacture Royale in Sèvres to give us some instruction in “throwing”. It was love at frst sight, but I never dreamed I’d make a career out of it.”  
~Kristin McKirdy ‘75

History, Ceramics 1968-1996

“I remember very clearly, I was in the tenth grade when my Ceramics & History teacher, Virginia Gift, invited Jean-Claude Fein, a master tourneur from the Ancienne Manufacture Royale in Sèvres to give us some instruction in “throwing”. It was love at frst sight, but I never dreamed I’d make a career out of it.”  
~Kristin McKirdy ‘75

Having run through English, history, ceramics, photography and speedreading, she's finally settled on teaching history and ceramics. Radiating warmth and always ready to help an interested student, she gets so involved with everything she does that you will never find her sitting still, unless her fingers are working over the typewriter keys. In class you have to be really attentive to keep up with her pace, which can get hard when you're trying to decipher her scribbles to copy them down at the same time that you're trying to listen to her rapid verbal scribbles. She is disorganized in an organized way. She knows what she's doing, but watching her, it looks like a mass of confusion.
~1975 Yearbook dedication

Ted Miltenberger

Ted, fondly remembered as “Milty” made an indelible mark on his students, many of whom remained connected with him well after their time at ASP. Arriving in Paris from the American School of Milan, he started at ASP as an English teacher in the Upper School, and soon took on the role of the school’s theater teacher

English, Theater 1979-2003

Ted, fondly remembered as “Milty” made an indelible mark on his students, many of whom remained connected with him well after their time at ASP. Arriving in Paris from the American School of Milan, he started at ASP as an English teacher in the Upper School, and soon took on the role of the school’s theater teacher. Milty was a driving force at the time of the creation of the Performing Arts Center (PAC), championing the idea of a state-of-the-art, dedicated performance space which would better enable theater students to hone their craft.  He was a founding member of ISTA (International School Theatre Association) and through this helped in the development of international exposure and performance opportunities for students, unifying them around their passion for theater. Dedicated to his students and eager to support a variety of learning opportunities, Milty led many extended field trips, including one to the (then) Soviet Union.

Ruth Tipton

“All of the First Grade went to the zoo with Mr. Kingsley and our teachers. We came back and drew the animals that we had seen. We play instrument-sticks, triangles, and tamborines. We have music in the barn with Mr. Proulx

Lower School 1957-1982

“All of the First Grade went to the zoo with Mr. Kingsley and our teachers. We came back and drew the animals that we had seen. We play instrument-sticks, triangles, and tamborines. We have music in the barn with Mr. Proulx.”
~1960 Yearbook

Rosemarie Clark

“We, the Graduating Class of 1964, dedicate this yearbook with sincere gratitude to Miss Rosemarie Clark, who has helped us through many fields of study and has contributed to the making of two ASP publications: "LETOILE" and "PARISCOPE." A click of the heels, smiling eyes, and a certain perfume have pervaded the school for many years-years which we shall never forget.”

Upper School English 1954-1987

“We, the Graduating Class of 1964, dedicate this yearbook with sincere gratitude to Miss Rosemarie Clark, who has helped us through many fields of study and has contributed to the making of two ASP publications: "LETOILE" and "PARISCOPE." A click of the heels, smiling eyes, and a certain perfume have pervaded the school for many years-years which we shall never forget.”
~1964 Yearbook Dedication

Richard Glass

My favorite memory of Mr. Glass was when he would come around during a test and mark questions correct or shake his head if we were off. It sure gave us a boost of confidence to get that checkmark during the test.
~Ken Halla ‘82

Middle School Math 1952-1984

Richard Glass was a prime mover in organizing ASP ski trips (Pralognon la Vannoise, for instance), as well as a summer camp in Langweer NL.
~Gordon Gibson ‘68

Mr. Glass was my 7th and 8th grade math teacher (1973 and 74 - we were part of a group that skipped a year). He was among the best teachers I ever had. I had no idea he was a B-17 pilot..
~George Von Klan ‘78

My favorite memory of Mr. Glass was when he would come around during a test and mark questions correct or shake his head if we were off. It sure gave us a boost of confidence to get that checkmark during the test.
~Ken Halla ‘82

 

Philomena Coste

Because of her, I developed an intellectual identity. Ms. Coste, you changed my life. I am forever grateful, and I will never forget you.

English, History, Guidance 1964-1999

Can another human teach you who you are? Can another person identify what you're best at and show you where your innate talent lies? Can another person teach you that your voice matters? Can another person encourage you to speak your truth without fear of embarrassment or ridicule? Yes. That person is a teacher. Ms. Coste was that teacher for me. In IB English, she introduced me to Sophocles. To Faulkner. To countless others. I came from a public school in Georgia, where I didn't much care about my grades or showing up for class. Ms. Coste was the only teacher I ever cared about pleasing, because she cared about me. She listened. She encouraged me to explore, refine, and express my ideas. She validated my voice and challenged me to value it. Because of her, I fell in deeply in love with literature. Because of her, I'm a professional writer today. Because of her, I developed an intellectual identity. Ms. Coste, you changed my life. I am forever grateful, and I will never forget you.
~Angus Whyte ‘87

Norman Proulx

Music 1955-1982

Can you imagine, he smoked during chorus!! But he loved what he did and got incredible sound out of us, didn't he? I learned so much from him. I'll never forget his expressions, such as "Allons, cocotte!"
~Betsy Marks ’72

I learned a LOT from him (and my piano teacher, Madame DeLage), and I think my success in music is due to the two of them and how they inspired me. Oh yes - I am a FIRM believer in the solfege method! I play all the woodwinds, and consider recorder as one of my best.
~Ken Farley ‘74

Loved that man! He had me sing in the choir at the American Cathedral on Avenue George V. Mister P demanded excellence...

Michele Lagorio

Lower School 1981-2014

Michele started her employment at ASP on September 1, 1981 as a homeroom teacher in the Lower School. A graduate of the San Francisco State University, she arrived at ASP eager to share her love for learning, dramatics and languages. In June 2014, after 33 years of dedicated service to the education of young people, she elected to retire to her beloved Italy.

Michele always approached her work with abiding passion and energy. She instilled a love of learning in her students early on. And, no one could rival her for the best witch costume at the Halloween parade each year. She offered kindness beyond measure. Michele initiated the relationship between our Lower School students and the orphans in West Bengal, India who had made such an impression on her over a decade ago – and the relationship with the orphanage continues today.

Michael Lynch

English, Theory of Knowledge 1981-2000

He was one of my all-time favorite teachers, and not because sometimes he forgot to show (which he did). I always felt like he taught us about books because he loved them and not because he was supposed to. He introduced us to literature so different from what curriculum in a traditional school dictated. He treated us like grown-ups and he talked to us at our level, but yet always seemed like a genius just the same. He was the one of the teachers who set ASP above the rest.
~Erica Fanning ‘98

Mr. Lynch transmitted to me his love of the English language which never left me since. I thank him for this gift which permitted me to explore many books and ideas. A great teacher is measured by the love of the subject he teaches. Thank you Mr. Lynch for opening the door of literature for us. I would like to underline that it is men like him who make the greatest difference in this world and not the hypocrites. I hope we can be the worthy torch bearers that he wanted us to be.

~François Aftimos ‘84

He made SUCH an impact on my learning, he had such a way. I am so thankful to him for instilling in me a love of reading, literature and poetry; he helped me to 'get it'. Glad I got to see him and hear him reading his poetry at the pub. What a life to celebrate!!!! 
~Lexi Drouart Conrad ‘97

Mathilde Auger Haudebourg

Upper School 1947-1983

In 1947, Madame Haudebourg, then Mademoiselle Auger, came to us as general secretary to Mr. and Mrs. de Rosay and subsequently became executive secretary in the business office, responsible for all the accounting of school finances. She remained through four different campuses and was chief accountant until retirement in 1983.

Marguerite Dubus

French 1947-1968

Madame Dubus used creative lipsticking to accentuate rosebud lips. If anyone misbehaved in class, she would look up over her glasses, pucker, and snap, “Qui cause là? Tu es méchant!” Madame Dubus had a large bosom. When she took off her glasses and let them rappel over that mighty ledge on the chain she wore around her neck, the boys in class lost all interest in the language and concentrated on her problem of locating her glasses in the void the next time she needed them. This was high drama, as she herself knew, and both parties tacitly agreed that the boys would not laugh until something else came along to let the pent-up humor escape without offending her. One day I summoned up the courage to ask her what my given name meant in French, having nearly recovered from the shock of seeing it spelled in neon in the window of a certain kind of shop. She paused, blushed, replied “girdles,” paused, and then smiled flirtatiously. We all knew she wore one. I doubt that we understood how much Madame Dubus taught us with that smile.

“Who remembers studying this book (Bescherelle) for verb drill day? As I remember, Mme. Dubus always drilled our verbs on Wednesdays. We usually had 3 verbs to memorize, in at least 5 different tenses each. She would call on us, give us a verb and a tense, and we had to recite from top to bottom.

I was never one of her favorite students. Sigh. Among other things, it took me a full 2 years to start to crack the code of conjugation. And of the 6 years that I was at ASP, I had her for 3 of those years. Double sigh. I told her that as much as I had hated those verb drills, I did know my verbs inside and out, and it was all thanks to her. That, and the 2-3 exercises we had to crank out every night - she had brought me a long way down the road to knowing how to speak and write correctly.”
~Pat Hiller Steinke

Laurence Feniou

French, Extension Program Director 1988-2004

Laurence was a pillar of strength at ASP.  She arrived in 1988 and held several positions from secretarial to French language teaching before she became Director of the Extension.  She truly loved her work.  As the founder and Director of the Extension program nearly 20 years ago, she reached out to the local French community and opened the doors of our school to thousands of young people eager to learn a new language.  Her foresight and determination helped forge a strong and meaningful connection with our host country that will carry on for many generations to come. 
 
Laurence was always dedicated to ASP and its students, parents and colleagues and truly reveled in her relationships with them.  Her witty sense of humor, wholehearted laughter and genuine care for others made people want to be part of her world.

“It’s easy for people to pick up some basic French words and phrases when they are engaged in a fun
activity. It’s more meaningful in a real-life situation.”
~Laurence Feniou

John Steketee

Elementary Homeroom and Administration 1957-1988

During my first year at ASP, every day at 3:30, I used to hop on my bus when I would see a calm looking man making sure that the buses would leave safely on time. The Lower School children even waved to him. Although I was not aware that this man was the Lower School Director, somehow I knew that he would be staying afar school to work, long after all the buses had left, and had reached their destinations. For one ful year, his name and his uncountable accomplishments were an enigma to me. After my second year here, as Ipass by the hal-open door saying, "Lower School Director” and see Mr. Steketee working, I truly regret not having been at A.S.P. for Lower School. I never attended a school where one man was director for 27 years: in my school the director was different ever year! When I asked a little girl what she thought about Mr. Steketee, she said proudly pointing to the Lower School hallway, "He is the smiling sun of our school." ~Erem Kassim-Lakha ‘88

If A.S.P. were a country, it would be a liberal democracy ruled by highly educated people.
~John Steketee

Jim Moriarty

Physics and Administration 1969-1987

Jim started as a teacher of physics in the Upper School. Two years later he led the drive to establish
the ASP Middle School. Jim recognized the special needs of young adolescents, and helped establish
the structure - the teachings teams, the "explos” the “advisories" - which would allow ASP to
practice fully a Middle School philosophy.

From 1971 to 1987 Jim served as Middle School Director, where, from his “cubicle" office at the top
of the stairs, he dealt with the daily traumas of “Middle Schoolers”, their teachers and their parents -
you can hardly be more "engaged" as an educator than be Middle School Director.
Jim took a break from the Middle School during the 1980-81 school year when he served as Acting Upper School Director. It was at that point that ASP was just beginning the International Baccalaureate Program. Jim was immediately drawn to the international philosophy inherent in the IB and threw his energy into making it a success at ASP.

In 1988, Jim was named Acting Headmaster of ASP, and a year later he was selected to serve as the School Head. Among Jim's many contributions as Headmaster, he probably was proudest of succeeding in constructing a new Upper School and Performing Arts Center for ASP. And, of course, there was the rugby. His players adored him. He reveled in that "ruffians sport played by gentlemen"
~John Guse

Doug McKee

English and Administration 1947-1981

We, the Senior Class, sincerely dedicate our first Year Book to Mr. Douglas McKee. We have all appreciated his whole-hearted participation in anything we have undertaken, as well as his friendliness and his wonderful teaching.

~1949 Yearbook dedication

"This is a lesson I learned on the coast of Normandy in World War II. The most philosophical officer I ever knew advised us: 'Dig the best damn foxhole you can. It may be the last home you'll ever have.' And we did. We became familiar with the earth that sheltered us, and in an odd way, attached to it. Such experiences showed us merely that the earth was the earth everywhere.”

~1977 Graduation address

Doug McKee, who was my English teacher, very much encouraged me to write—a passion that has stayed with me all my life.

~Hilary Jaeckel Kaiser ‘64

Dorothy Woodford

Lower School 1964-1979

She came from the American Middle West, via England, bringing a rich background in teaching and a depth of cultural activities and interests-as well as wartime experience in the American Red Cross. Since the day of her arrival at our school she has made a profound contribution to the lives of hundreds of children and hundreds of adults. Her knowledge of the world, her open understanding of people, and her wisdom make Miss Woodford a valued and loved member of our community. Students, parents of students and colleagues, all who have been touched by her, are richer and better people because of her life and work.

Dorothy became the English tutor for Mme Claude Pompidou, the wife of France's President, Georges Pompidou, with whom she remained long-time friends. On December 13, 1973 she was honored by the French Government and received from the French Government "l'Ordre National du Merite".

Cherry Cook

History, Publications 1971-1983

The ASP Linotype, an iconic part of American life in Paris, was “saved” at a farewell party for the rue de Berri plant of the Herald Tribune on March 24 1978 by ASP current events teacher Cherry Cook, and her husband, ASP trustee Don Cook, a foreign correspondent for the Herald Tribune from 1944 to 1964.

The Senior Class of 1983 has dedicated this year's L'Année to Cherry Cook for her numerous contributions to the American School of Paris. Mrs. Cook has been a teacher at ASP for a very long time, and has been largely responsible for both the yearbook and the school newspaper since her arrival at ASP. Thanks to her dedication and help, the ASP publications department has developed and changed over the past years becoming a very important part of ASP student life. Presently, Mrs. Cook is teaching History and Publications, while assisting in the production of the Student Tabloid. With sincere thanks and appreciation, the 1983 L’Année has been dedicated to Cherry Cook.

~1983 Yearbook

Charlie Arent

Middle School Math & Science 1979-2009

Anyone who has ever worked with him, or asked him to borrow a piece of science equipment, or for a lift or a favor will understand what a loss this is. One of the most organized people I've ever met, Charlie consistently writes a to-do list in a notebook he carries with him at all time.
~Laura Forish

Favorite place on campus?
Mr. Arent's 7th grade science class
~Linus Bodicoat

Cecily Robertson

Upper School 1946-1976

By the time Miss Robertson started at ASP under Headmaster Paul de Rosay, she had taught for three years in Australia, spent one year with the Ministry of Propaganda in London, and concluded the years of World War II teaching in a boy's school in England. Before the war she spent two years studying in France - at the Institute of Touraine and the Sorbonne, and just prior to joining the then American Community School in 1946, she taught English at Berlitz in Paris.

In her twenty-seven years as a Social Studies and English teacher and as assistant to three headmasters and acting headmistress at the American School of Paris, Miss Robertson observed that there has been “continuity in change.”

Brigitte Tailbot Kini

French 1984-2008

Brigitte was an inspiring teacher of French who devoted much of her professional life to ASP students. Over the years, they came to know her as a teacher who cared about them and who was excited to help them in their learning. Brigitte made a point of staying abreast of developments in educational methodology and was a continual learner herself. Brigitte will be greatly missed by her colleagues and her students alike.

Bill Sefton

“To the great "Willy" on ski trips, "Everyone in his own room!" ,..the white robed scientist, the man with the  Leprechaun background... Kelly Green? ...the Senior Class of 1969 dedicates LE PHARE to the master of charm and subtle wit, the owner of the marvelous Irish grin, Mr. Sefton and his microscopes.”
~1969 Yearbook Dedication

More than a hundred students spent a week skiing at Bardonecchia in Italy under the kindly eye of Bill Sefton. Considering the numbers, the injury rate was remarkably low, resulting in only three fancy casts. Another ski trip with more than 130 aspiring sportspersons returned to Bardonecchia for the Easter holidays.

We know nothing about what exists beyond this world, but one thing is certain: if they did not have a rugby team, they have got one now!"
~Bill Sefton, speaking of Jim Moriarty

What makes you MAD about scientists today?
They still refuse to take leprechauns seriously.
~Bill Sefton

What is your definition of a Worldly Phenomenon?
Used by leprechauns as they stumble home through the fields late Saturday nights.
~Bill Sefton

Albert Donnelly

Upper School Social Studies 1952-1989

“We, the Seniors of 1960, dedicate this yearbook to M r. Albert Donnelly, whose constant help and inspiring guidance have been a dominant force in our high school careers. His patient understanding and devoted interest in our class have made us realize how much we owe to him.”
~1960 Yearbook Dedication

“Mr. Albert Donnelly retired in 1989 after having taught over 3,000 students during a career of 37 years at the American School of Paris. Mr. Donnelly was the driving force behind the International Club, and if you were lucky enough to have had his classes, you know what it was like to have a teacher who wants to get students involved beyond the classroom. His favorite year, 1965-66, he directed the Middle School, then located in Louveciennes, and the Middle School had its own building. He remembers fondly the daily assemblies and peanut-butter breaks! One of Mr. Donnelly's greatest challenges was keeping A.S.P. students in touch with French life. “The International Club, a part of the school for over 25 years, visited the elderly, the handicapped, and made good-will visits to French schools. The International Club sponsored the annual Christmas party for orphans, giving students a chance to become involved in their community in a helpful, caring way. In 1984 Mr. Donnelly received the Diplôme d'Honneur from the French government for his tremendous efforts on behalf of the underprivileged.”
~1989 Yearbook