This Month at TASIS: May 2021

From Beat the Bells, Book Week, and Field Day to the Spring Arts Festival, Moving-Up Ceremonies, and Graduation, we take a photo-driven look at the past month at TASIS.

Beat the Bells

More than 100 runners from around the world participated in the 8th annual Beat the Bells challenge on May 1. The High School Track and Field team and several members of the TASIS faculty kicked off the semi-virtual international event by completing the grueling 7-km course before the bells of Chiesa Parrocchiale di Sant’Abbondio rang at 7:00 AM.

Walking for Water

More than 50 members of the TASIS community completed the 8th annual Walk for Water on May 5. This TASIS Service Learning initiative aims to simulate what many people in the developing world must go through on a daily basis to secure clean water.

Cinco de Mayo Feast

On the evening of May 5, members of the TASIS Parent Association showed their appreciation for the hardworking TASIS Faculty and Staff by hosting a wonderful Mexican fiesta with authentic cuisine, delicious drinks, and fun games.

Let’s Have Some Fun

The TASIS Elementary School celebrated its 4th annual Book Week with a series of engaging activities designed to build enthusiasm and promote reading during the week of May 3–7. Led by Elementary School Librarian Alyssa Uecker and Literacy Coordinator Erin Fitzgerald, this year’s Book Week aimed to highlight humorous books and characters and was centered around the theme “Let’s Have Some Fun.”

Mystery Readers

Faculty and staff members from all TASIS divisions surprised Elementary School classes on May 5 by dropping in to host storytime for the young students. In the morning, Head of School Christopher Nikoloff visited Al Focolare to read to Pre-Kindergarten students.

Author Q&A

Alicia Klepeis, author of more than 140 children’s books, met with Elementary School students virtually on May 6. She explained her writing process, shared some of her favorite book research experiences, and answered many questions from the aspiring writers.

Training in Paradise

Beautiful Lake Lugano has been home to the TASIS crew team this spring.

Same Sky Stuns

Middle School Theater kicked off the 2021 Spring Arts Festival with two excellent performances of the musical Same Sky. Under the direction of Mr. Matthew Frazier-Smith, Ms. Julie-Frazier Smith, Ms. Angela Dusing, and Ms. Tessa Bragger, Same Sky examines why we fear those who are different from us, the wisdom of children in their ability to bridge cultural divides, and what it means to be human. The musical was written by Stephanie Figer, TJ Liquori, and Michael Rosenbaum, veterans of the TASIS Summer Programs’ Dedicated Performing Arts Team.

All performances from the 2021 Spring Arts Festival can be viewed on the TASIS YouTube channel:

Dog Sledding in the Shadow of the Matterhorn

A group of High School students and faculty chaperones traveled to beautiful Zermatt over the weekend of May 7 for an outdoor adventure trip that included mountain biking, hiking below the Matterhorn, team building, and a chance to work with a professional dog sled team!

Two Years in the Making

After enduring two pandemic-induced postponements and 16 months of starting and stopping production, the incredibly resilient cast and crew of Singin’ in the Rain finally got a chance to show their stuff in the Palmer Center on May 14 and 15—and they did not disappoint!

Learning Outside the Classroom

Middle School students have had the opportunity to participate in a number of exciting co-curricular activities outside the classroom this spring. For example, after a year of exploration in three-dimensional art, the Grade 7 Storia and Arte Italiana classes visited the Museum of Vincenzo Vela museum on May 19 to discover the sculptural work of Vincenzo Vela, an important local artist. During the tour, students admired Vela’s refined sculptures and sketched in their notebooks. 

Other Middle School academic excursions this spring have included visits to the Museo dei Fossili del Monte San Giorgio, the Hermann Hesse Museum, the Da Vinci Experience, and more.

Artists Showcase Their Work

This year’s Visual Art Exhibition included a wide variety of exemplary work produced by Elementary School students, Middle School students, and High School students in the disciplines of drawing and painting, photography, architecture and design, and ceramics.
The exhibition was held in the Palestra, with students and faculty members invited to view the artwork in small groups over the course of May 19–23. Explore the exhibition in 3D!

Games for a Worthy Cause

On May 20, the Middle School’s Social Action Service Learning group held a fundraiser during recess to benefit Helen Keller International. Students who donated to the worthy organization  could participate in field games organized by the group. Games included tug-o-war, a basketball challenge, capture the flag, and a water balloon launch.

Maestros in Training

As part of the 2021 Spring Arts Festival, students in Ms. Melody Tibbits Zanecchia’s 5th-grade music classes were instructed by Maestro Andrea Cupia for an Introduction to Conducting workshop that featured members of the Opera ViVa Orchestra. The repertoire included selections from famous works written by composers who students have studied as part of the Core Knowledge curriculum, including W.A. Mozart’s Divertimento KV 522, “Presto;” F.J. Haydn’s The Clock Symphony, 2nd mvt; and J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 4, 1st mvt.

A Grand Finale

Following a number of impressive vocal and instrumental recitals, the 2021 TASIS Spring Arts Festival concluded with an outstanding Finale Concert in the Palmer Cultural Center on the afternoon of May 23. Student soloists and choristers from all divisions performed a rich and varied program featuring selected instrumental and vocal works by J.S. Bach, A. Vivaldi, W.A. Mozart, J. Offenbach, F. Chopin, G. Puccini, and C. Bolling.

Let the Games Begin

Elementary School students enjoyed a slew of outdoor games on May 25 as they celebrated Field Day on campus.

Outdoor Water Adventure

Middle School students had a wonderful time rafting and canoeing on the Ticino River on May 25.

Elementary School Actors Shine

Our youngest actors did a tremendous job performing this year’s Elementary School Musical, The Parable of Pizza, in front of their classmates in the Palmer Center on the morning of May 26.

Math in the Forest

Mr. Patrick Alava’s Grade 6 Math students spent the afternoon of May 27 surveying the woods near campus. The mathematicians applied their knowledge of scale diagrams and percentages to learn which plant species live nearby. The project introduced students to concepts related to biodiversity, random sampling, and factors that impact population density.

Math Skills Take Flight

Grade 7 geometry learners spent the week of May 17 designing and constructing kites in Ms. Muna Kaya’s Mathematics 3 course. On May 27 they took them for a test flight on the Centro Ricreativo Collina d’Oro field.

A Magical Evening in the Palestra

Seniors and faculty members gathered in the transformed Palestra on the evening of May 28 to enjoy a delicious meal and reflect on their time at TASIS. Six students delivered inspiring speeches at this year’s Senior Banquet.

Saying Goodbye Before Moving On

The Elementary School held an impressive Moving-Up Ceremony in the Palmer Cultural Center on the morning of May 28 to bid farewell to the 28 fifth-grade students who will be advancing to Middle School next year.

Climbing Up the Ranks

The Middle School Moving-Up Ceremony, which commemorates the passage of eighth-grade students from Middle School to High School, was held in the Palmer Cultural Center later that afternoon.

Farewell to the Class of 2021

TASIS honored the 102 members of the exceptional Class of 2021 with a beautiful  Commencement Ceremony in the Palestra on the morning of May 29. Watch the full ceremony on YouTube.

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