Headmaster's Welcome

TASIS The American School in Switzerland is a school built on a vision. Our vision grows from a passionate belief in the importance of a classical education and noble virtues, experienced in a setting of breathtaking beauty at the crossroads of European and Mediterranean civilization, in a nurturing, supportive community of students and scholars. We believe such an education is the surest path, the firmest foundation, upon which to build a life.

M. Crist Fleming founded The American School in Switzerland in 1956, and in a 1996 speech she said:

Maybe foolishly, but 40 years ago I did dream of a school or schools that by bringing young people closely together in their young and formative tender years we might be able to “bond” the world together in such a way that ties of understanding, compassion, love, and a sense of reality would create a saner, safer, better world.

That dream comes to life daily in the experiences and program of TASIS. Our campus and its buildings, with inspiring views of mountains and Lake Lugano, provide an ideal setting for study and reflection. A short drive from northern Italy, our home in Montagnola provides the starting point for an ambitious program of travel to sites near and far. Our location and program underscore our belief that teaching about our world and cultures is best done through active, first-hand engagement with our world and its cultures.

We are a diverse and culturally rich school community. In our Middle and High Schools, we welcome 530 students representing more than 60 nations. Every day on campus brings fresh learning from different cultures and perspectives. Friendships forged here span continents and often endure for a lifetime.

Challenging our students to high academic and ethical standards, our 90 Middle School and High School faculty members play active roles as teachers, advisors, coaches, dorm parents, trip leaders, and mentors. All are dedicated professionals, ready to make the most of both the place and the people of TASIS.

One of my major goals as headmaster is to ensure that we continue to stress and highlight the things that were so important to Mrs. Fleming—beauty, the development of good character, academic excellence, service, civility, good manners, the arts, compassion, and respect, just to name a few. Because many of our students and teachers have not had the pleasure of knowing Mrs. Fleming, I look forward to finding ways to tell them about this remarkable woman so that she might come to life for them too.

As you review the words and images of this website, I invite you to imagine for yourself how our combination of place, people, and principles offers students a unique community in which to grow into their best selves. We hope you will consider bringing your talents to The American School in Switzerland.


Lyle Rigg, Headmaster

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