Nathalie was once a part of the first group of students at what we now know as Dallas International School. Part of a large French family from Reims, Nathalie, her older twin brothers Sébastien and Nicolas and her older sister Isabelle, began attending the French School of Dallas under founder Mme Jeanne Jeannin in 1987.
Taking some time to reminisce about how much she enjoyed her time spent at the school during those days, Nathalie shared how different things were back then due to her family and another family from Paris making up the total student body. Comprised of nine students, the first class was located not far from our current Churchill campus, just down the street at an office building on Preston and Royal. The first class worked with the CNED (Centre National d’Enseignement à Distance). Along with Mme Jeannin, elementary school teacher Marie-Christine Couturier assisted with the younger students, and Philippe Blaise with the eldest students. Taking additional classes in English and Spanish, Nathalie said she realized how well-rounded of an education she was receiving, even at that young of an age. We would like to thank Nathalie for sharing her time with us and all the memories and photos she provided.
Returning back to DIS to visit, what were your initial thoughts on the school and how it looks now compared to your childhood?
I was completely amazed when I visited DIS this summer. It became quite an incredible school, and everything is designed in a smart and fun way! This school seems to provide the best opportunities for students in terms of learning and growing up. I loved the core values that were listed on the wall. It’s wonderful to see how many students there are now.
What are your fondest memories of going to DIS?
As the youngest from my family, it was fun to be together every single day, I felt like a grownup. My sister was 13 and she hated going to school because we were all together all the time! Marie and Philippe were rather young adults and they knew how to have fun with us once our school work was done. Mme Jeannin was both serious and sweet, and always smiling. We were lucky to have such a kind-hearted Director. I believe going to the ranch of our teacher, Connie, was probably one of the best memories, because you don’t often have the opportunity to be invited to such huge ranches and ride horses with cowboys.
What strengths do you feel DIS has, that other schools don't necessarily provide, when preparing children for the future?
Growing up in more than one culture can look like a challenge but it really helps children become open-minded adults. One needs to be able to adapt in order to better acknowledge other people when traveling and also in professional life. DIS provides the best preparation for world citizens and for building bridges between various countries and people, which is highly needed nowadays.
Where do you see DIS going in the future?
I truly hope DIS will continue to provide multicultural education to as many children as possible. Why not dream of exchanges with other schools in order to promote multicultural opportunities?
What would you tell a prospective parent or student that is considering coming to DIS?
I would tell them not to hesitate because there aren’t many opportunities to obtain well balanced multicultural teaching like DIS!