The American School in SwitzerlandThe American School in Switzerland

This Month at TASIS

October 2023

October 2023

From engaging academics and inspired athletics to distinguished visitors and adventurous travel, we take a photo-driven look at the past month at TASIS.


Leading the Pack

Our Varsity High School and Middle School Cross Country teams performed admirably at the SGIS Championships in Zurich on September 30, with the Middle School Girls capturing gold, the Varsity Boys finishing second overall, and the Varsity Girls taking third. See more photos of the High School and Middle School races.


Signs of Autumn

After the calendar flipped to October, chestnuts began to fall on campus, signifying the arrival of autumn in Ticino.


Levity during Literacy

Ms. Kritzinger’s 5th-grade students discussed their shared class novel, The Unteachables, during literacy class on October 2. See more photos.


In the Lab

High School students in Ms. Elizabeth Rodostianos’s Chemistry class used bunsen burners to heat magnesium sulfate heptahydrate during a lab experiment on October 2. See more photos.


Quantum Gravity

World-renowned theoretical physicist and writer Carlo Rovelli opened the 2023–2024 TASIS Speaker Series in the Palmer Center on the evening of October 3. Professor Rovelli discussed his background and career path with the senior class and then saved plenty of time for a vibrant question-and-answer session. Learn more.



Under the guidance of Madame Mboup, High School IB French 2 students worked on class presentations on October 4. See more photos.


Parents in the Classroom

As part of Family Weekend, Middle School and High School parents were invited to attend classes with their children on October 5—meeting teachers and advisors, participating in science labs and Physical Education activities, and attending lunch and assembly. See more photos


Founder’s Day

The first day of Family Weekend was highlighted by a moving Founder's Day celebration that commemorated the incredible life of TASIS founder and international education pioneer M. Crist Fleming. The afternoon gathering began with poignant speeches, videos, poem recitations, and musical performances in the Palestra and concluded with the annual tradition of tossing yellow rose petals into the MCF Fountain. Learn more.


Plant Kindness and See What Grows

For Family Weekend, Middle School art students created a "kindness tree" and invited members of the TASIS community to add messages of kindness to the display. The tree was then exhibited in the MCF Piazza, reinforcing the school's commitment to compassion and generosity. As TASIS Founder Mrs. Fleming said, "Even small steps, but taken daily, start producing results—a kind word, a helping hand, an effort to speak another language, an offer to help someone small, weak, hurt, or sad."


Adventures on the Mediterranean

Over the long weekend of October 6–9, TASIS students and faculty chaperones traveled to Sicily to learn kiteboarding and to Sardinia to learn sailing as part of our robust Academic Travel program. See more photos.


Kayaking in Crete

Tommaso Danisi ’24 and Arsenii Kravchuk ’24 (along with travel mates Sebastian Airolo ’25 and Giulia Panontin ’26) became the first TASIS students to complete a Silver Qualifying Adventurous Journey in their pursuit of the prestigious Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, which TASIS has been a licensed Independent Award Center for since the fall of 2021. This intrepid group successfully spent the long weekend kayaking and hiking in Crete, and both Danisi and Kravchuk are now well on their way to earning the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award at the Silver level! See more photos.


Tigers vs Panthers

The Boys Varsity Volleyball team faced off against American School of Milan in a friendly competition on October 10 in the Palestra. See more photos.


New York Times Best-Selling Author Speaks to Seniors 

TASIS hosted acclaimed poet and essayist Aimee Nezhukumatathil on October 10–11 as part of the 2023–2024 TASIS Speaker Series. A Professor of English and Creative Writing in the University of Mississippi’s MFA program and the author of the New York Times best-selling illustrated collection of nature essays World Of Wonders: In Praise Of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, & Other Astonishments, Ms. Nezhukumatathil spoke to the senior class in the Palmer Center on the evening of October 10 and spent two full days connecting with students in English literature and dance classes. See more photos.


Ahead of the Curve

On October 11, Seniors in Ms. Eva Nijssen’s IB Applications & Interpretations 2 class reviewed standard normal distributions in preparation for a quiz later that week. See more photos


History Explained

Ms. Mara Bernasconi introduced her Grade 9 Storia Italiana students to Phoenician history during class on October 11. See more photos.


Creative Pursuits 

On October 11, 6th-grade students in Ms. Simona Bellini’s art class used hand saws to cut wood squares into intricate patterns. See more photos


Answering the Tough Questions

Grade 12 IB students tackled a number of tough questions (e.g. Can new knowledge change established beliefs? Are some types of knowledge more useful than others? How is current knowledge shaped by its historical development?) and presented their findings at the third annual TASIS Theory of Knowledge (TOK) Exhibition on the Kay Hamblin Terrace on October 12. See more photos.



Dr. Lorenzo Bianchini’s Grade 7 Storia Geografia students eagerly answered questions during a period of call-and-response in class on October 16. See more photos.


Noteworthy Performances 

Christian Gbarwea ’24 performed an excellent clarinet solo in front of the entire High School at an assembly on October 13, and over the weekend of October 14–15, Caroline Titland ’24 appeared as a guest soloist with the Orchestra di fiati della Svizzera Italiana at concerts held at RSI’s Auditorio Stelio in Lugano and at the Chiesa di San Francesco in Locarno. (See recordings of her powerful solos here and here.)


Hat Trick

Mia Gonzalez de la Garza ’28 scored three goals to lead the Middle School Girls Soccer team to a 4-3 win over the Panthers of American School of Milan on October 16. See more photos of the Girls and Boys Middle School soccer teams in action.


NISSA Champs

The Varsity Boys Cross Country team placed five runners in the top seven of its 3-kilometer race to convincingly take first place at the NISSA Championship hosted by International School of Como on October 17. The Varsity Girls team also raced very well, placing three runners in the top ten to earn the second-place trophy. Read the race recap


Big-Kid Trip 

Grade 5 students and teachers braved some rainy weather on October 19 to hike to the Campra Alpine Lodge in the Blenio Valley for an evening of team-building games and a pleasant overnight stay in a mountain hut. See more photos.


Celebrating 10 Years of the Opsahl Global Service Program

More than 100 TASIS students, teachers, administrators, and members of the Board of Directors gathered in the Villa de Nobili Salon on October 19 to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the pioneering Opsahl Global Service Program and honor the man who made it all possible, Jan Opsahl. Listen to speeches made that evening and watch a video that recaps the past decade of the program.


Fall Theater Retreat

The cast and crew of this year’s High School Fall Play, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, traveled to Torino on October 19 for four days of intense rehearsal and team bonding. The group will perform the play in the Palmer Cultural Center on the evenings of November 17 and 18 and on the afternoon of November 19. See more photos.


Working as a Team

Third-grade students in Ms. Kenzie Kaper’s homeroom took on a challenge meant to test their cooperation during their Morning Meeting on October 20. See more photos.


Champs of Addition and Subtraction 

On October 20, 3rd-grade students in Ms. Laura Pearsall’s math class demonstrated their addition and subtraction prowess by playing “spooky” math games fit for late October. See more photos.


How We Perceive the World

High School students in Ms. Stephanie Chevalier’s AP Psychology class used balloons and markers to create models of the human eye during class on October 20. See more photos.


Battle of the Robots

The TASIS Robotics team welcomed the International School of Basel to campus for a preseason VEX Robotics competition on October 20. See more photos.


Taking the Lead 

The Boys Varsity Soccer defeated the British School of Milan 1-0 en route to a third-place finish at the NISSA Tournament hosted by TASIS on October 21. See more photos