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In Turin, Complimenti Are in Order

By Monica Jona
In Turin, <i>Complimenti</i> Are in Order

Northern Italian flair: IST’s award-winning campus by night (photo: B. Giarcino).
The International School of Turin (IST), Italy celebrates its 50th year of “Opening the Doors to Tomorrow´s World.” The celebrations are taking place this year. The International School of Turin was established by a group of international businessmen in Turin in 1963, who sensed the need for an American and international educational institution for the children of expatriate executives working in the city.
This year, the school’s community is celebrating its past and its future with its worldwide community of alumni, former faculty members, and host country community and friends.
IST is one of only two IB World Schools in Italy, maintaining as it does the IB Diploma Program as well as the Primary Years Program and the Middle Years Program. The school is also proud of its joint accreditation with the New England Association of Colleges and Schools (NEASC) and the Council of International Schools (CIS) in Europe. Its 450 students and 50 faculty members represent 35 different nationalities, making IST a truly international institution in Turin.
In 2010, the school moved to its new, purpose-built facilities in Chieri, surrounded by cherry orchards and pasture at the foot of Mt. Monviso (30 minutes from downtown Turin).
Its unique building design, which incorporates the property´s original Italian Villa Borbogliosa and modern, eco-­friendly classrooms, won the Italian award for architecture in 2011 (presented by Il Magazine dell’Architettura), and in 2012 the school was recognized as an official “Eco-­School” by the international Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). All school materials are recycled, including lunchroom materials and refuse, and the school’s energy is partially generated by photovoltaic technology.
IST’s Head of School, Tomm Elliott, is in his second tenure as head, having first been at the school from 1993 to 1998 when IST was consolidating its first IB diploma program. Returning in 2011 after other international assignments, Dr. Elliott was excited to see the school´s new building and the fact that the school had managed to accredit itself with all three IB programs and had nearly 70 faculty and staff.
Now that IST has addressed many of its operational and building concerns, its staff can continue making it, in Dr. Elliott’s words, “one of the great international schools in the world.” Dr. Elliott is assisted in his leadership team by John Mores, Upper School Dean, and Carmel Cumiskey, Dean of the Early Childhood Education Center. Monica Jona, the school’s Registrar, has maintained student and school records for over 20 years, and Cinzia Buono has coordinated the school Italian programs for 23 years.
IST officially celebrated its 50th anniversary in October of this year, with a series of activities designed to involve all members of the school community. One guest of honor at the 50th anniversary celebration was Dr. Enrico Salza, one of the founders of the school, who still resides in Turin (and has three grandchildren enrolled in the school!) Dr. Salza was appointed Honorary President of the Board of Directors in 2009.
Another honored guest was Bill Boyle, who served as a history and humanities teacher at the International School of Turin (or ACAT, as it was initially called) from 1976 until his retirement in 2011, and lives in nearby Pecetto.
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