As the CEO informed you last week, Benjamin Orillon will be replacing me next year as the Head of the French Section. Benjamin has all of the experience and skills necessary to thrive as your head, just as he did in his previous headships. His knowledge of primary schools (in Seattle), secondary schools (Calgary) and the workings of large, complex structures such as ours (in San Francisco) will help him settle in easily to TES. I am very happy to be able to hand the French Section over to such an experienced head.

The honour of presenting Carine Capel’s replacement falls to me. The new French Section Primary Head will be Sébastien Clergeault, currently Primary Head at the International French School of Singapore, where he has been for the past 5 years. Prior to that Sébastien was Head of the French School of Melbourne. I know Sébastien well, having met and worked with him at numerous AEFE conferences and seminars over the years. I am delighted that he has accepted to be the FS Primary Head starting in August. He has an excellent reputation amongst his colleagues; his talent and his personality have made him one of the most visible educational leaders in the AEFE Asia-Pacific zone. His experience of bilingualism, his pedagogical experience and his vision of education matches our own; we could not hope for a better head to succeed Carine.

The French Section’s aim is always to always recruit the very best educators for our students. The recruitment of Benjamin and Sébastien is an example of that policy in action, as is the remarkable stability of our teaching team going into the next school
year. We shouldn’t let the news that Carine and I are leaving detract from the fact that all of our secondary teachers are remaining for the next school year (except for our Philosophy Teacher, Pierre Boutet – Carine’s partner). In primary, we have a few more leavers (Céline in PS, Marina in GS and of course Andria in CP), but their replacements are well-known to most of you. Marie Gendrot is returning to the French Section after a year of travelling. Adrien, who will be replacing Sarah in CP during her maternity leave, will take on a full time classroom position in August and finally, Maeva Blaire will come back to the FS, where she taught CE2 for two years before moving to the Lycée français in Tokyo. We are delighted to “welcome” the three of them to the French Section.

In order to ensure the best teaching and learning conditions for our students and teachers, more secondary classes will be split into two groups for science next year. Because of that, and owing to the arrival of two 6ème classes in Yamgmingshan in August, the secondary teaching team will expand. The recruitment process is almost complete, and I will be able to share more information with you once the new teachers have signed their contracts.

I am very happy with how the school year 2020-2021 is looking. We have a well-established high quality teaching team, who are ready to support Benjamin and Sébastien upon their arrival – believe me, arriving at TES is quite something! I mentioned to you a few months ago that a good leader is judged by the quality of his or her successor, so I am going to cast modesty aside for a moment and give myself top marks: mission accomplished!

Good luck with (what we hope will be) the last few days of learning from home next week and best of luck to the primary students taking the DELF exams on Sunday!

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