30 Years of BIS: Rooted in tradition, ready for change
Interview with Marc Aghili, BIS Parent and Chair of the Supervisory Board of Bavarian International School gAG (BIS)
Palo Alto changed his life. In the birthplace of Silicon Valley, the native Swabian earned his first international merits at Hewlett-Packard. Under the Californian sun, he met his wife Erica and breathed the new air of innovation, globalisation and a spirit of change - shortly before the turn of the millennium, when Google was still in its infancy... The global spirit and the enriching diversity later led to his two children attending an international school. Marc Aghili, who was born in Stuttgart, has now been a community member of the Bavarian International School for ten years; daughter Grace will graduate from BIS in the current school year and son Luca is in grade 8. While his new role as Global Director Solutions Management at UL challenges him in his professional life, the 52 year old has been involved in the Supervisory Board of the non-profit organisation BIS gAG for almost four years, currently as Chair of the Supervisory Board.
Mr Aghili, you have personally experienced one third of the 30-year history of BIS. What does this anniversary mean from your perspective?
"Growing from five students in the very first class back then to almost 1,200 students from more than 60 nations is evidence of an impressive development. Today, BIS is academically among the top 3 international schools in Germany and top 15 in Europe. But nothing is as constant as change; we must continue to keep an eye on the future, remain innovative and develop the school further. Our roots are just as important as a focus on our strengths."
If you had to explain these strengths to someone outside BIS - what would you say?
"First of all, I do it a lot because, like so many other parents, I feel like an ambassador for BIS. Believe, Inspire, Succeed is not just a slogan, it is lived here every day. The international spirit, diversity, innovative strength, mutual understanding and cooperation are essential characteristics that cannot be emphasised often enough. In everyday school life, I am always inspired by the students' assemblies. I am always very impressed when I see the self-confidence and communication power with which the students present themselves in front of a large audience. One last point: the learning support at BIS is impressive and goes far beyond the standards at international schools. And we need to have a two-pronged approach: maintain educational quality across the board while promoting academic excellence."
What are your three words that you associate with BIS?
"Leadership. Community. Future."
What are BIS's plans for the future?
"We are, of course, working on the future development of BIS at various levels. Especially in these difficult, disruptive, fast-moving and digitally driven times, it is all the more important to prepare our children as well as possible for life after school. They should become true global citizens and game-changers who can make the world a better place. This task is closely linked to the continuous development of staff, curricula and, last but not least, the learning environment. As a big goal, we are working to build the new heart of the Haimhausen Campus: the Creativity & Innovation Centre (CIC). To this end, we have begun to launch our information campaign. My great hope is that not only the relevant companies will get involved in this extraordinarily important project for the future. Everyone from the BIS community is called upon to support the financing of the CIC, because it is more or less like a generational contract: we, the current parents, can only enjoy such a strong BIS because previous parents had also made a strong commitment to this school."
Check out our special anniversary magazine.