The American School in SwitzerlandThe American School in Switzerland
Alumni Notes: February 2021
TASIS Hellenic in the Snow

Let It Snow, Let It Snow

It seems that half of the world spent some of February covered in white—even Athens! This photo, posted to the TASIS Hellenic Facebook group by TASIS Hellenic Financial Director Fanis Malakondis, shows the school in all its winter glory. Many students commented on their memories of rare Athens snow during their years at the school.

Kiki Petrosino

Prizewinning Poetry

Congratulations to former TASIS teacher Kiki Petrosino, whose poetry collection White Blood: A Lyric of Virginia (Sarabande Books, 2020) won the prestigious University of North Texas Rilke Prize, a $10,000 award that honors a mid-career poet. We are delighted that Kiki will be the next Linda Buchanan Jacob Memorial Fund poet-in-residence at TASIS in the fall. We look forward to her sharing her work with our community and inspiring students to find joy in words.

Gaven Brooks ’16

Southern Style

Singer-songwriter Gaven Brooks ’16 (son of Stephen Brooks ’83) released his new single, “Man That You See,” in mid-February. Originally from New Orleans, Gaven honed his talents for singing at TASIS, where he also began songwriting. After attending the University of Alabama, he is now studying vocal performance at Louisiana State University. You can hear more of his work on his YouTube channel.

Ariana Neumann ’88

Alumna Novel Continues to Inspire

Ariana Neumann ’88’s bestselling novel When Time Stopped (Scribner/Simon & Schuster, 2020) continues to impress readers around the world. We are delighted that the book won the 2021 National Jewish Book Award for Best Memoir and has been shortlisted for the Wingate Foundation Literary Prize.

Permele Doyle ’05

Bookshop Bliss

Permele Doyle ’05 and her husband Garner Robinson have recently taken ownership of legendary New Orleans bookshop Faulkner House Books, located in the French Quarter. Purchased from the original owners, Rosemary James and the late Joe DaSalvo, the 33-year-old bookshop is located in the space where William Faulkner once lived and wrote his first novel, Soldiers’ Pay, in 1925. The building, erected in 1837, is on the site of a former French Colonial prison and just might include Faulkner’s ghost sitting at his writing desk, puffing on a pipe. Permele, owner of global marketing agency Billion Dollar Boy (which she recently discussed on The Swiss Learning Podcast), has already transformed the shop’s social media presence; see their Instagram for sneak peeks inside the shop.


Do you have a story to share?

Submit your news for us to include in an upcoming TASIS Today or Alumni Notes article.



Debbie Hatzivassiliou TH’84

Trusting Others

HR consultant and international trainer Debbie Hatzivassiliou TH’84 recently hosted an online seminar entitled Perceptions of Trust. The online event was a “collaborative journey into trust using a solid theory base, deep conversations, and improvisation,” she said. It was a huge success and Debbie plans to host more as she shares her expertise in soft-skills training and insight into communications. A graduate of Hunter College at City University, New York, and Teachers College, Columbia University, Debbie founded the HR consulting firm Work Wise in 2015 and works with clients in the US and throughout Europe.

TASIS France for Sale

For Sale: a Piece of TASIS History

In 1986, Mrs. Fleming accomplished her lifelong ambition to open a campus in France. At the age of 75 she purchased Château de Beauchamps with the intent of offering American students a French study-abroad experience, though she ended up also offering a high school boarding program.

“The place was still a ruin,” Bill Eichner recalls of his first visit to the château in May 1986. “It was Mrs. Fleming in her element, really. It was a beautiful old structure, but I don’t think it had ever had any plumbing. We were walking around and you’d see her pointing at things, saying, ‘This will be the science lab, this is where we’ll have…’ and of course walking with her you saw it. She was so good at transmitting her vision of saw it because she believed in it so much.” 

Despite creating a wonderful program with real academic merits in a beautiful place, the school folded after two years. It was the last big program Mrs. Fleming started from scratch.

Recent Posts

FIRST Robotics Championship in Houston

Coach Amy Bloodworth and the inspiring all-female team of Mariaurora Rosso ’24, Maddy Costa Felix ’26, Serafina Ballerini ’26, Olivia Canga ’26, and Diana Xiao ’26 were one of just 108 teams in the world to compete at the 2022 FIRST Championship World Festival in Houston, Texas, over the course of April 20–23. Watch them discuss this journey of a lifetime.

Read More about TASIS Robotics Team Proudly Represents Switzerland at World Festival