What do you notice when you walk around the French
American campus now?
Walking around the school now, you really get the
feeling that the administration is trying to make a really
good environment for kids. For the high school, it is one
you can relax in, learn in, and one that is collaborative.
In elementary, I love the desks! The shape of the desks!
I noticed that right away because I remember our long
rectangular desks where we’re not facing each other. You
hear a lot about getting kids to work together more easily. You feel that they’ve done that here in a really cool
way. Then in the high school... it looks cool! There is a
nice hang out spot... there is a really nice flow through
Do you remember your first day of school at French
I was so young! I was saying to Marie-Pierre that I remember my first day of Pre-K crying and not wanting my
mom to leave!
It is hard to remember a lot from Pre-K, but when I
walked in the room today, Marie-Pierre’s voice is so
familiar to me—more than anything. I think it was ‘ 89 or
‘ 90. I remember the play kitchen and the great, big area
to sit down in a circle. I remember it being really fun.
What do you think about your education in retrospect?
At the time, I remember thinking—we all thought—this
is tough. My friends and I would talk about how it was
so hard and how the teachers were really demanding.
And now I think about how I was so lucky to have such
demanding teachers. They really expected a lot from you
and we delivered because of that... I learned a lot! I felt
so much better prepared for everything that came after.
When I think back, I’m like “Wow! Did I really do that?”
When we were younger, we had our time divided into
French instruction and English. We would spend half
the day on Monday in French, the other half in English.
Then alternate, English, French, English, French. Walking
around the school now I hear the mix of languages and
it is so normal to the students. It used to be normal for
me, too. It is really amazing.
What do you think an international education should
offer today on top of the Bac?
I think the appreciation for other cultures, understanding
the things that are happening in the world, and the diversity that you have. I see the exchange programs going
on here... for me that makes it an international experience—you’re not just wrapped up in your little bubble of
school—you still get a feeling for the world.
Lower School Principal Marie-Pierre Carlotti with
her former stuent, Danielle Barnetche ‘03