The American School in SwitzerlandThe American School in Switzerland
Federica De Bianchi Named Khan-Page Master Teacher

TASIS The American School in Switzerland Headmaster Christopher Nikoloff has announced that Middle School Italian Literature Teacher Federica De Bianchi, who has taught at TASIS since 2006, is the recipient of the 2022 Khan-Page Master Teacher Award. Mr. Nikoloff announced the selection at the School’s final all-faculty meeting on the morning of June 10 and delivered the following citation:

This teacher started her career at TASIS as an Elementary School teacher but found her home in the Middle School, where she has been able to spread her passion and deep knowledge of literature and poetry. She is a very humble person who is always questioning herself and constantly trying to improve, not only by teaching a high level of academic content but also by teaching her students how to think critically, be creative, analyze information, and draw connections. She always tries to find ways to keep students engaged by making the literature, characters, and important writers come to life.

This teacher’s caring and compassionate personality and her commitment to academic excellence are the essence of her journey as an educator. Her ability to help students connect their lives with what they read and write, along with the literature they study together, allows them to grow both intellectually and personally. Her students find her classroom to be a comfortable space where they can open up and confide in her, allowing them to better express themselves and grow their confidence as they navigate the unpredictable years of Middle School. 

Every year at the end of her Dante unit, she has students create their own Inferno to further their understanding of the original masterpiece. In her endless efforts to impact her students’ lives and support students whose native language is not necessarily Italian, she has brought to the Middle School new projects and new pedagogical strategies, some of which are now part of the entire Middle School curriculum, such as the 8th-grade Tesina. She has done so in a humble and unpretentious way, always focusing on her students’ benefit and learning. Because of her, an American Middle School can proudly claim to promote exceptional students in the field of Italian Literature. She is a true ambassador of Italian Literature for our students.

She is one of those teachers whom former students return to after they move on from her class. Some of them will never forget her tears while reading about the death of Clorinda in Jerusalem Delivered by Tasso or her passion explaining and paraphrasing Dante, Petrarch, or Ariosto. 

As a colleague, she is generous and empathetic—a special listener who is ready to help out wherever possible. She is a loyal person and has a very strong work and personal ethic, always willing to go above and beyond to help and support a colleague facing a difficult situation. She is hardworking, consistent, goal-driven, positive, and able to spread joy and enthusiasm without drawing attention to herself. Because of these qualities and more, it is my honor to present the 2022 Khan-Page Award to Federica de Bianchi.


A student's Inferno project

Akbar Khan Max P. Page

Khan-Page Master Teacher Award

Bestowed annually since 2009, the Khan-Page Master Teacher Award is named after two outstanding teachers who taught for many years in both TASIS schools: the late Akbar Khan in Mathematics and Max P. Page in English. The award recognizes an exceptional teacher who represents a high standard of professional pedagogy, possesses advanced subject-area knowledge, has a capacity to convey the joy and importance of learning to students, and demonstrates a fundamental sympathy with the aims and goals of TASIS as expressed in the Paideia.

The Khan-Page Master Teacher Award is an initiative supported by the M. Crist Fleming Endowment and was proposed by the TASIS Foundation in 2009. The award is funded by the TASIS Board of Directors as part of its broader efforts to support and encourage the faculty as the heart of the TASIS experience and the center of the School’s improvement in the coming years. Candidates may teach in any grade level but must have taught at TASIS for at least five years to be eligible for the Khan-Page Award, which comes with a monetary award of CHF 5,000.

Previous recipients of the award are Chair of the English as an Additional Language Department Carolyn Heard (2009), Art History and Architecture & Design Teacher Mark Aeschliman (2010), retired Chair of the English Department Cynthia Whisenant (2011), retired French Teacher Brigitte Cazebonne (2012), Physical Education Teacher Giorgio Volpi (2013), Science Teacher Brett Merritt (2014), retired Italian Teacher Mario D’Azzo (2015), Science Teacher Amy Bloodworth (2016), Math Teacher Kerry Venchus (2017), Math and History Teacher Patrick Alava (2018), Music Teacher Melody Tibbits Zanecchia, and Science Teacher Pegeen Crockett. In light of the extraordinary job all TASIS teachers did in rising to the many challenges presented throughout the course of the 2019–2020 academic year, Mr. Nikoloff presented the 2020 Khan-Page Master Teacher Award to the entire TASIS Faculty.

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