Graduating Class of 2019; Credit: ISL

The International School of Luxembourg (ISL) Class of 2019 graduated on Saturday 25 May 2019 at the Grand Theatre; a total of 100 students from 27 different nationalities were in the graduating class this year.

ISL Director, Mrs. Nicki Crush, opened her speech to the graduating students with: “Life is an adventure and you have now completed your first 18 years of it.”

Among the students and proud parents were Omar Hoek and his son, Luka Hoek – the ISL’s first graduating father and son alumni. Mr. Hoek graduated from the ISL in 1988 and wanted his children to study there too, so much so that the Hoek family moved from France to Luxembourg two years ago.

Mr. Hoek, originally from the Netherlands, was in a class with just eighteen students compared to the 100 students who graduated from the ISL this year. The school was the American International School in 1988 and had 200 students; today there are 1,395 students.

While the school continues to grow some things have stayed the same: there are still two teachers and one member of support staff who have been at the ISL during both Mr. Hoek and Luka’s education. Media teacher, Mr. Seth Ruef has taught at the ISL for 32 years, Science and Math teacher, Mr. Walter Lilyblad has taught there for 31 years and support staff member Mr. Heng Schreiner has been at the ISL for 33 years. 

Mr. Hoek said: “I want to give praise to the authority in Luxembourg, they helped to make this school happen - providing funding, and believing that diversity enriches a country – that is truly the beauty of Luxembourg.” Commenting on his memories at the school, he said: “At ISL difference was embraced and celebrated that is what is great about it.” Having lost his Graduation Yearbook, Mr. Hoek was invited on stage to receive a copy of the 1988 Yearbook.

For his part, Luka was sad to be leaving ISL but happy to start a new chapter in his life. He said: “ISL has been a great chapter in my life, my friends and teachers are from all over the world, from Mexico to Luxembourg – that has really enriched my experience.”