Alumni Working at ASH: Alette, Class of 2012
In this article series, we will introduce you to some of the ASH students who came back full circle to now work at ASH. Meet Alette, Class of 2012, who is teaching now in the middle school as a Modern Language as well as Language Arts teacher. She has come full circle, starting out her time at ASH as a middle schooler in grade 6. From her middle school years until her graduation in 2012, Alette was very active, taking part in student senate, student ambassadors, volleyball and basketball in middle and high school, and was part of the IB.
How did you find yourself applying to work at ASH?
When I graduated from University of BC, I went to Finland and then completed my masters at St. Andrews in Scotland. I went back to Finland and taught for a bit at the International school of Helsinki, from there I applied to teaching programs at Leiden and got accepted. I started to look for subbing opportunities in 2020 and got on the sub list at ASH in Dec 2020. During the sub interview is when I had my first full circle moment, as Kellie interviewed me and she recognized my name. We then were still wearing face masks, but she recognized me even with it on. She was working in the MS Office with Mary Russman as principal, when I was in grade 6. This was a first full circle moment, having the chat with her and then her remembering me, this made me feel welcome and part of the community, and there was a strong level of comfort.
Just as I started to sub the second lockdown came, but in March we went back to school and I got more subbing opportunities. That turned into a short term leave cover for ES Dutch, until the end of June 2021. Then a part time MS ML position opened up for the fall, and Kellie sent along my resume to Beth (now MS Principal), who came down to watch me teach while I was in the position for Dutch ES. I got the position, and this year I'm working 100% at ASH: 80% as a Modern Languages teacher for middle school (Spanish and Dutch) and 20% Language Arts for middle school. Currently I'm teaching 3 subjects, which is great, it's so much fun to teach so many subjects and I love languages. It's fun to have the literature aspect as well, prepping the students for high school.
How has it been for you to teach at ASH over the past years?
I always wanted to be a teacher, and a language teacher. I remember as a student I loved the combo of teaching and coaching, it was my dream. There were a few teachers at ASH who I looked up to, who were full time teachers and also coaching. And I always thought, wow that is so cool to be able to have a balance and do both, sports and academics. That was me growing up, I loved academics and also athletics. And now I coach as well, varsity and JV basketball and soccer, so I've come full circle. It's kind of cheesy but I am living my dream! It is always what I wanted to do. Having walked in these hallways during my formative years, I looked up to people doing these things and it's been a big inspiration to me, and now I can show other students that this balance is possible.
How has your time working at ASH shaped your career and future?
I feel like I'm in a very fortunate situation where I'm able to teach so many subjects that I love, with experienced colleagues around me. I get to observe and learn so much from so many wonderful skilled people and from different departments, which helps me develop my own skills. I've also learned to adapt with the course load that I've taken on, there is so much coming at me but it's a really amazing learning moment. I'm really able to hone in on my talents, focus my skills which sets me up for more possibilities in the future. Also, some of my former language arts teachers are still working at ASH in the HS so I know what I need to do to prepare our MS students for HS classes!!
My experience as an ASH student and now a teacher gives me so much insight, this dual perspective. Some of my former teachers are still here as IB teachers. For me it was kind of surreal to have my former teachers as colleagues, but that feeling goes quickly and I'm more comfortable now. It is very special and unique to have that perspective, only a few of us are lucky to have that.
What are some of the stand out moments in your ASH experience?
A stand out moment both as a teacher and student is Project week - it was so much fun to help organize Project this year. As a student I had no idea how much time and energy goes into organizing Project week. We were one of the last classes to go to Switzerland, I can't even imagine now the amount of organization going into Project Switzerland! It was so much fun to co-organize this year and this was definitely a full circle moment for me, as it was such a formative experience as a student. I was always thinking, how can we best place the new students and make the groups, make this the best experience for them, because that is what I had. Project was one of my first ASH student experiences, thrown into the mix and getting to know your classmates and people you room with. The friendships that I formed during that trip are ones that have lasted from back then to today. I was part of 3 project trips as a student, all totally different and unique, but there are distinct stand out things I remember - I wanted to try to deliver that this year when I helped with Project.
Also coaching, I love that students come up to me and say “oh you are coaching and teaching, wow that is so cool.” It's a balance between academics and athletics, and they go together - you can find a way to merge your interests. I love that I am just involved now as a I was as a student. I'm even thinking now, I would love to get involved with student ambassadors at some point, as I was a student ambassador back then. There are so many things I'd love to get involved in! And that is down to my time here at ASH as a student.
“#ASHvoices We have a diverse community of students, staff, and families from around the world. Each member of our community brings their own story that enriches the #ASHexperience.