News, Events, & Stories
The American School in Switzerland’s Class of 2016 has done exceedingly well in the college admissions process, with students receiving 63 acceptance letters from universities ranked in the top 100 of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, including one to Imperial College London (#8), one to University of California, Berkeley (#13), three to University College London (#14), two to UCLA (#16), one to University of Pennsylvania (#17), two to Cornell University (#18), two to Duke University (#20), one to London School of Economics (#23), two to University of Edinburgh (#24), one to Northwestern University (#25), and six to King’s College (#27). TASIS students also received good news from two top-10 American liberal arts schools: Bowdoin College (#4) and Davidson College (#9).
Later this year we will provide a full list of college acceptances, profile a number of students who attained their postsecondary goals, and examine how the School’s excellent College Counseling Department influenced their paths.
TASIS Elementary School celebrated its first annual Book Week with a series of fun events during the week of April 18–22.
The week kicked off with a special assembly on Monday, in which the Book Week leadership team—composed of Literacy Coordinator and English Language Arts teacher Samantha Nijenhuis and fifth graders Dias, Feliks, Alyssa, Giorgia, and Piero—introduced the calendar of events for the week, teachers led two short reader’s theaters, and members of the first grade explained Read to Feed, a program that motivates children to read and inspires them to build a better world.
On Tuesday, all students had their first opportunity to order books through the Usborne School Book Fair, which was organized by Elementary School librarian Alyssa Uecker and hosted on campus Tuesday–Thursday. Students in Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten, and first grade participated in a door-decorating contest while students in grades 2-5 enjoyed an exciting book treasure hunt. “We dashed from one room to another completing challenges just like sharks eating fish!” wrote Constantine, a third grader.
Wednesday brought the always-popular Drop Everything and Read (D.E.A.R) activity. All students flocked outside at 13:40 and spent 30 minutes reading a book of their choice while making themselves comfortable with pajamas, pillows, and blankets.
Thursday was Poem in your Pocket Day, in which both students and teachers selected a favorite poem (or wrote an original one) and carried it their pockets. Teachers and students asked one another to share their poems throughout the day.
On Friday, students and teachers came to school dressed up as their favorite book characters. Older Elementary School students were also assigned younger Book Buddies and read stories to them throughout the day.
Mrs. Nijenhuis was very pleased with how the inaugural Book Week went and looks forward to organizing it again next year. “The teachers were really positive, and the kids had a great time,” she said. “The culminating activities on Friday made for an excellent finale, and the feedback has been great from everyone.” (Several of the first graders even wrote letters to Mrs. Nijenhuis to express their appreciation!)
|Book Week Photo Galleries
Acclaimed architect, master planner, and professor Maxim Atayants, Ph.D., addressed the TASIS community in the fourth installment of the 2015-2016 Senior Humanities Program on the evening of April 12. His presentation, "Roman Palmyra Past & Present," was held in the Palmer Center and can be viewed in full by clicking on the video clip above.
Dr. Atayants graduated from the St. Petersburg, Russia, Academy of Fine Arts in 1995 and completed his Ph.D. at this Academy in 2010. His Ph.D. thesis topic is The Architecture of the North African Provinces of the Roman Empire, a subject on which he is presently the foremost expert in the world. As its star student, Mr. Atayants was then appointed professor of Ancient Architecture (Mesopotamia and Egypt) and the Architecture of Classical Antiquity (Greece and Rome) at the Academy, a required course for those preparing to be architects. He has directed his own architectural studio within the Academy for 16 years, received the Prince of Wales prize in 1994, and has participated in numerous international symposiums and architectural conferences dealing with the subject of classical architecture.
Dr. Atayants’ exhibitions to date include a one-person exhibition at the Russian State Museum of Architecture in Moscow in 2008, which included a comprehensive catalog of his photographs and drawings of Roman architecture of the Provinces. His stated goal is to document, both photographically and in drawings, the Roman Imperial architecture of the Mediterranean world in a definitive way: a project he has well begun and which will occupy most of his professional career.
Dr. Atayants was the master planner for the architecture of Russia's 2014 Olympic village at Sochi, on the Black Sea. As a practicing architect and master planner, he has 25 architects working under him on various projects. In addition to this, Dr. Atayants has five residential villages under construction in the Moscow area, and he is also overseeing a new Cathedral in the St. Petersburg area. He is also a master in mural painting in the Pompeiian style and was a member of the Jury for the Vision of Europe project in Brussels in 2009.
The Senior Humanities Program (SHP) draws from five defining elements of the TASIS identity—truth, beauty, goodness, international understanding, and humanitarian action—to provide seniors and postgraduates with a signature educational experience that includes a series of discussions, trips, lectures, and tours throughout the year. The SHP Committee selects up to five speakers each year who embody the pillars of the program. Dr. Atayants, who was also the very first SHP speaker at TASIS when the program was founded in 2010, follows visits from Barry Iverson (September 28), Maria José Pereira (October 22), and Shelley Davies (November 30).
The new site details events leading up to and including the Anniversary Celebration, shares the stories of some of the many successful TASIS alumni, and presents an engaging multimedia section that features an interactive historical timeline, a TASIS history quiz, “Then and Now” photos from campus, and an archive of videos and photographs.
All TASIS alumni are invited to participate in the Anniversary Celebration this summer and can register online here. Graduates from 1966, 1976, 1986, 1991, 1996, and 2006 will be celebrating class reunions and may choose to plan their own events in addition to those happening on campus.
The Essenzialmente l’Italia Exhibition, which features outstanding student and faculty artwork from Academic Travel trips to Venice, Rome, and Florence, will be displayed in the Ferit Şahenk Fine Arts Center on the main TASIS campus until early April.
Photographs, paintings, and sketches will be included in the exhibition, which will be replaced by the International Baccalaureate Visual Arts Exhibitions following the School's return from the spring holiday.
|Painting used in the poster by Maria Arevalo Poincot '16|
The American School in Switzerland (TASIS) is now able to offer its students access to the newly renovated Muzzano Sports Center, an expansive and versatile sports complex that can be configured to provide space for 12 badminton courts, four tennis courts, four volleyball courts, two basketball courts, or four indoor soccer fields.
The possibilities for the new complex, which has recently been outfitted with new bathrooms and changing rooms, are endless. “It’s going to enhance our athletic program immensely,” said TASIS Athletic Director Sonny Lim, whose Varsity Badminton team was the first to hold a practice at the Sports Center on Wednesday afternoon.
Lim expects the facility to primarily be used for team practices and recreation purposes for the time being, but he believes that it has the potential to host games and tournaments in the future. He acknowledges that many details about the Sports Center’s usage will need to be worked out in the coming months. “In time, I see this benefiting not only our students but the entire TASIS community,” he said.
It has taken a tremendous amount of work to bring the Muzzano Sports Center to its current polished state. Led by architects Alessandro Preiano and Pierangelo Realini, and assisted by Business Manager Luca Ugolotti and TASIS Facilities Manager Michele Dinelli, the major transformation from an abandoned warehouse to a high-tech, well-equipped, multi-purpose sports facility has been accomplished in only six months. Sports facility specialist Adler and Eisenhunt AG provided all the sports equipment.
Targeted for late spring, phase two of the Sports Center development will provide TASIS with a large fitness center and two multi-use studios for dance, yoga, pilates, spinning, martial arts, gymnastics, and theater.
The facility, which is about a five-minute drive from the main TASIS campus, will offer more than just athletic opportunities. It has a large kitchen that may be used on occasion during sports tournaments and for the TASIS Summer Program’s exciting new cooking course, La Cucina Italiana. Since October the facility has also served as the School’s primary Test Center. With eight rooms converted into classroom space, the center affords TASIS a quiet and comfortable place to offer nearly 20 TOEFL, SAT, and ACT exams each year—the latter two of which are also open to other high school students in the area.
While TASIS students will be transported to and from the Muzzano Sports Center in buses and school vehicles, ample parking is also available for private cars. The School will be hosting Open Houses for parents in the coming months and encourages them to make plans to visit this impressive addition to the campus. More information will be provided in upcoming weekly bulletins and on the TASIS website.
Directions to the Muzzano Sports Center
Muzzano Sports Center
Via Molini 4