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Class of 2022 Valedictorian Achieves Perfection on IB Exams, Lands at Yale
Alexia Dochnal ’22, Validictorian

Class of 2022 Valedictorian Alexia Dochnal (Poland) will seek a degree in Comparative Literature at Yale University, where she was admitted early and invited to join the Directed Studies program, a special academic program for first-year students that she was hand-picked for due to her “truly exceptional academic record and broad intellectual interests.” She also received offers from Columbia University (with a John Jay Scholar distinction), Williams College, and the University of St Andrews. 

Alexia intends to pursue a career in writing while also exploring the world of academia and scholarship. She speaks five languages—Polish, English, French, Italian, and Russian—and in the spring of 2022 became the first student in TASIS history to score a perfect 45 on the IB assessment.

A day student at TASIS since grade 5, Alexia’s remarkable academic abilities, impressive artistic talents, and admirable commitment to service helped her claim more than a few honors in her high school years, most notably the Cynthia Whisenant Award for Excellence in English Literature and the Valedictorian Scholarship Award at the 2022 Commencement Ceremony, where she also delivered a brilliant Valedictory Address and beautifully played Chopin's Ballade No. 2 in F Major, Op. 38. 

Alexia Dochnal ’22 playing piano

As a junior, Alexia was inducted to the TASIS Cum Laude Society chapter and was granted the Cathy Clark Memorial Scholarship in recognition of her notable dedication to community service. In addition, she earned the Highest Honors designation every year since grade six, won the English Literature Department Award in all four years of high school, received the Linda Buchanan Poetry and Creative Writing Prize in both 9th and 11th grade, captured the Magnificent 7 Award for Service in grade 11, and in 2021 won a Torch Award, which is granted annually to one student in each grade who embodies cross-cultural understanding and makes a significant effort to reach out to students from other countries and cultures.

In spite of her unmatched devotion to academics, Alexia remained highly productive outside the classroom. She founded and edited the TASIS Literary Magazine, founded the Movement Outreach Service Learning group and TASIS Literature Club, co-founded the TASIS Students for Social Justice Club, was part of the Dante Club and TASIS Speaker Series Committee, and wrote several articles about her experiences at TASIS through her role as a student journalist. She also found time to intensely study piano and classical ballet for many years, even training at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow during her freshman year.

Alexia Dochnal ’22, Sweet November Dance

Following her graduation in May 2022, Alexia answered the following questions about her eight years at TASIS The American School in Switzerland.

Do you feel that your time at TASIS has prepared you well for college?
I feel that TASIS prepares its students for college extraordinarily well! The IB Diploma Programme pushed me to explore a range of disciplines with passion and curiosity, laying a strong foundation for my future studies. Furthermore, our school’s commitment to truth, goodness, and beauty inspires students to strive toward academic and personal growth and improvement whenever possible, a goal I hope to carry with me forever. 

 

The support of the College Counseling Office has been invaluable in preparing me for this next step. I would like to express my deepest thanks to Ms. Fishbein for her guidance over the course of these two years.

 

 

Did the College Counseling Office influence your path and/or help you achieve your goals? 
The support of the College Counseling Office has been invaluable in preparing me for this next step. I would like to express my deepest thanks to Ms. Fishbein for her guidance over the course of these two years. Her kindness and consideration made the college search process feel much less daunting than it initially appeared and were crucial to each part of my journey. I feel truly lucky to have worked with Ms. Fishbein!

What experiences have you found most inspiring at TASIS?
TASIS’s devotion to the arts greatly inspires me, and I feel incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to explore the literary, visual, and performing arts through the Academic Travel Program. I will always cherish memories of studying Dante’s Divine Comedy in Florence with Dr. Love’s Honors World Literature class and of visiting Munich’s incredible museums with Mr. Aeschliman’s Art History class.

Alexia Dochnal ’22, trip to Florence

What courses or teachers will you remember most fondly?
I am deeply honored and grateful to have studied literature under the guidance of Dr. Love throughout my years at TASIS. Each one of Dr. Love’s classes inspired me to grasp the wonder, power, and complexity that lie within the world of language and to strive towards goodness and moral aspiration as a human being. It has been a true privilege to be able to look up to Dr. Love as a teacher, mentor, and inspiration!

What do you think you will miss the most about your time at TASIS?
I will miss our beautiful campus and the amazing people who made my time here so special: my teachers and advisors, my friends and peers, and all members of the TASIS community. 

 

I will miss our beautiful campus and the amazing people who made my time here so special: my teachers and advisors, my friends and peers, and all members of the TASIS community.

 

 

Dealing with a pandemic for the better part of your final three years of high school was far from ideal. But is there anything positive you've been able to take away from all of this?
The pandemic deepened my gratitude and appreciation for aspects of everyday life that I had previously taken for granted, from in-person classes and assemblies to moments of casual conversation with friends. It was also incredibly inspiring to see how our community was able to cling to hope and come together in new ways during this challenging time, demonstrating strength, resilience, and a powerful sense of togetherness

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