Head of School
50 Years of International Education
Head of School Jane Camblin delivered the
following address at the school’s 50th Anniversary
i-Speak from the stage of the Castro Theatre,
Saturday, February 11, 2012.
The French American Inter- national School is 50 years old, a birthday it shares, if I may, with that of my esteemed fellow-country- men, the Rolling Stones. And a birthday made even more remarkable if one considers the audacity, perseverance and pluck of
our early founders . In their vision, this
school was to be quite different from all
the other schools in San Francisco. It had
to be academically excellent, rigorous
in a gloriously Gallic and rather Spartan
way, and above all foster the skills of
critical and creative thinking. It had to be
bicultural and international in its outlook,
and develop a respect for “otherness”,
for cultural differences. And it had both
to reflect, and to derive particular benefit
from, the many kinds of diversity in our
own beautiful parent city, San Francisco.
These core values of the school remain
constant today, and always will.
And now? What began as what some
considered a highly eccentric experiment
in bilingual education, has grown from
a tiny kindergarten class into the city’s
largest K- 12 independent school with
1,008 students representing more than
50 nationalities. Our graduates attend
an impressive array of colleges and
universities at home and abroad, and our
alums speak with great passion about the
exhilarating life journeys they have taken,
all because they had the good fortune
to be fluent in at least two languages.
Above all, I am always struck by their
sophisticated knowledge of world affairs,
by the depths of their creativity, and by
the authenticity of their empathy for
Head Jane Camblin welcomes the audience to the
50th Anniversary Student i-Speak at the
San Francisco Conservatory of Music
Left: Head of School Jane Camblin addresses
the audience from the stage of the Castro
Theatre at the 50th Anniversary Signature
i-Speak, Saturday, February 11, 2012.
others. Somehow, it may be that our
biggest gift to the world is to graduate
students who are not only good scholars,
but who are good people.
That we are celebrating our 50th
anniversary at the historic and beloved
Castro Theatre is not an accident. Ever
since we moved into our city’s cultural
and political corridor at Oak and Page
Streets, we have endeavored to forge
partnerships within the community.
The San Francisco Opera, Symphony
and Ballet and the LGBT Center have
all been willing collaborators, and we
enjoy artist in residence arrangements
with such fabulous city treasures as
the Conservatory of Music, SF Jazz, the
Left Coast Philharmonic and Fools Fury
theatre. Over the last 50 years, French
American International School and its
International High School has become a
strong and colorful thread in the tapestry
of this fair city we call San Francisco.
San Francisco, we are here to stay!
Head of School
French American and International 50th Anniversary 1962-2012 | 7 1