On 08.09.2023, Berlin International School hosted a special evening event to mark its anniversary. More than 200 students, parents, staff, alumni and representatives from politics and society celebrated together. They relived the highlights, challenges and achievements of the school’s last 25 years - a successful concept that today serves 996 kindergarten to the International Baccalaureate students from over 70 different nations.

It all started with a phone call 

In 1997, the Bonn/Berlin resolution that had been passed six years earlier was about to be implemented: Parts of the government – and thus also embassies and international structures – would move from Bonn to Berlin by 1999. The problem: At the time, there was no international school in Berlin. So, in 1997, the telephone of Horst Seidel, the founder of the Private Kant Schulen, rang. The Senate asked him to found an international school. Five months later, Horst Seidel and Andreas Wegener opened the Berlin International School with 12 teachers and 20 students. 

These and many other special anecdotes as well as outstanding milestones in the history of B.I.S. were presented on stage with humour and great enthusiasm by two teachers from the first hour, Cornelia Krafft-Zander and Frank Jordan. With his incomparable British charm, Director, Michael Cunningham, played host to the evening‘s programme. 

Former Director of B.I.S., Dr. Richard Eaton, paid tribute to the many years of work and tireless dedication of Andreas Wegener, who as the then Managing Director and first school Director of B.I.S. laid the cornerstone for the international school together with Mr. Seidel. In her speech, the current Principal of B.I.S. Secondary, Tanya Day Clark, emphasised the important influence multilingualism has had on the development of student identity over the years and how important it is to encourage language development. 

Ms. Day Clark‘s talk was impressively validated by two multilingual speakers from the B.I.S. Secondary: Anna-Sophie and Helena. The two students provided the guests with frank insight into their lives as students at the Berlin International School. In a final rousing talk, teacher-speaker Emma Moffatt discussed the importance of resilience to the future lives of B.I.S. students. 

Community takes centre stage

The stage programme ended with Michael Cunningham sharing the following words: «Berlin International School will continue to actively promote an «international mindset» by creating connections between students, their teachers, parents and the wider community. We want to create a school, a home, where students learn with, about and for each other and understand that our community is based on the enormous commonalities that unite us.»

The event was rounded off with musical contributions from students Leonor and Coco, a solo by Philomene, the Secondary School Choir under the direction of Kirsty Gillies, and a «Happy Birthday» video by the staff with musical accompaniment by Peter Befort, who, together with his bass player from his band, provided the ideal background music for a party that continued well after the events on stage had finished.

A big thank you to the whole organising team, to Cook&Clean for the consistently friendly service and delicious food as well as to the musical maestro Pete Befort.