On Tuesday 21 November 2023, the International School Luxembourg (ISL) celebrated its 60th anniversary with a celebration at its campus in Luxembourg-Merl.
The school was launched in 1963 and was formerly known as the American School, then the American International School. It currently has 1,300 students and 250 staff members.
Over 250 people attended the event held in the Lower School Auditorium.
Following a welcome cocktail, during which a Celebration Video / photo montage was screened, Liam Smith, President of the High School Student Council and the MC for the evening welcomed everyone. He explained how much he has been able to grow and develop a wide array of skills.
Dr David J. Condon, ISL Director, delivered the Opening Remarks, in which he talked about 60 years of outstanding education. He welcomed and introduced special guests and members of the board, as well as staff, parents, students and members of the business community. He recalled that the ISL unofficially started in 1962 when a few students met for lessons, prior to its official launch the following year. He highlighted a 60th anniversary book produced for the occasion.
Luxembourg's Minister of Education, Claude Meisch, referenced an extraordinary milestone, the 60th anniversary. He said that the ISL has been a cornerstone of education in Luxembourg, providing a rich array of cultural activities and exchanges, embracing diversity and thriving in today's world. He also mentioned that it attracts talent from around the world. He urged everyone to continue to strive for excellence.
Nicki Crush, Former ISL Director, who could not be there for the celebration as she was enjoying a retirement holiday in Namibia, delivered a video message in which she talked about ISL graduates being confident communicators, with the school being a great support long after graduating. She recalled the school moving to the Geesseknäppchen to new premises, with the school continuing to grow.
James Penn, Upper School Teacher, spoke on behalf of the faculty (staff). As a history teacher, he joked that giving a brief history would be possible. Referencing the start of the school in 1963, he recalled a number of other world happenings around the same time, including the need for providing education for children of American expatriate staff working at Du Pont Nemours in Contern. He talked about US foreign policy of investing in the reconstruction of Europe after the world wars, an effect of the Marshall Plan, also to stop the spread of Communism. He also spoke highly of the ISL canteen, and acknowledged all ISL staff, not just academic.
Brian Blanchard, Board Chair, also spoke and referenced ISL students going to top universities and getting jobs at top companies, reflecting the success of the school and its legacy. He talked about the environment in Luxembourg, and the values the country represents, enabling the ISL to succeed and flourish. He revealed that the board has been working on implementing strategic plans reflecting mission statements, etc.
With the speeches over, those attending were treated to a couple of piano performances by students. Firstly, Zi shu Zhuang (Grade 6) played a piece by by P.l. Tchaikovsky; this was followed by Yuka Ito-Mackeown (Grade 11) performing "Happy Birthday To You" by Patty and Mildred Hill, with two arrangements, by Jacob Koller and by Edoardo Brotto.
Dr Condon delivered the Closing Remarks in which he expressed how grateful he was for being able to celebrate the school's 60th anniversary.
Nancy Lhoest-Squicciarini, Former Head of Community Relations and who worked at the school for 31 years, made a celebratory toast following after which those attending enjoyed a reception of drinks and canapés.