Magellan International School – First Year
Jun 4 2010

The first year of the new Magellan International School (MIS), founded by the father of my kids (Erin Defosse), is almost over.  And it was a really great year!  I always believed in the vision of the school when Erin first told me he wanted to start it.  It has been a phenomenal entrepreneurial success and it was wonderful to see the kids at their end of school year performance speaking in Spanish.  I remember when I first met Erin how impressed I was that he was fluent in Spanish and often told him he should use the language more often since it was such an asset.  I can understand about 60% of what people say in Spanish now.  During my recent trip to Portugal (See post 1 and post 2) and Spain (will do a post soon) I was able to get by with my limited Spanish in Spain.  Portuguese has some similar words to Spanish so I could pick up some of what people were talking about.  I wish I knew other language other than English, but I don’t.  My parents know two other languages but they don’t really have the opportunity to use those languages much since they aren’t commonly spoken.

I couldn’t argue with giving our kids the gift of another language and only hope they will take every opportunity to use it when they grow older.  My son has already helped me on occasion communicate with someone who only speaks Spanish.  It makes me so happy that he can help me translate!

Erin and the head of school, Marisa Leon, have done an amazing job getting the school off the ground.  I remember meeting/interviewing Marisa in a Thai restaurant in downtown Austin, Texas and knowing immediately that she was the right person to head the school.  She has a great mixture of the ability to communicate with parents and children which is so important in a school.  I trust her and my kid’s other teachers completely with our kids.

MIS started the school year with about 45 students and ended with about 65.  Next school year is anticipated to start with 100+ students!   Plus, next year the students will start learning Mandarin!  The amount of work it takes to get something like a successful, private school going is tremendous.  Although I wasn’t involved in the day to day of getting the school off the ground, I did play a supporting role even if people didn’t see or know what I did, and I don’t believe it’s my place to say how and what I did as well as the sacrifices/compromises we made as a family to make it happen.  All entrepreneurial endeavors require strategic resource allocations (time, money, etc.), but I can say confidently that I did gave birth to the two kids who inspired him to build the school…and I think that is a visible contribution that counts for something. 🙂

Although Erin and I are no longer married, I have always believed in his ability to make the school successful.  Our kids are very happy there and the teachers are all world class and caring.  They have worked with us during our family transition and have kept the kids as their number one priority which means the world to me.  When my kids are happy, I’m happy or shall I say happier than I would be otherwise!

So if you want to give your kids the gift of another language as well as a wonderful learning environment that uses the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (coordinated by my daughter’s teacher Ms. Alexandra Castro) and Singapore Math teaching methods, check out the Magellan International School!

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