New head of school for the French American School of Puget Sound

Mercer Island, Wash.– Feb 17, 2010

The French American School of Puget Sound recently named Eric Thuau as incoming Head of School. He is currently Head of School at the Austin International School (AIS) in Austin, Texas. Thuau will replace current Head Andrée McGiffin in August, preceding the 2010-2011 school year.

“The French American School of Puget Sound is fortunate to welcome such a qualified, dynamic and experienced Head of School,” said Bonnie Steele, chair of the school’s Board of Trustees. “Eric comes to us with 11 years of experience in international education and an impressive record of growth at his previous schools.”

At the Austin International School, Thuau doubled the enrollment, obtained full accreditation, improved retention, attained financial and academic stability, and strengthened ties to both internal and external communities through communication and vibrant outreach programs. Prior to his tenure at AIS, Thuau headed international schools in Turkey and Cape Verde. Thuau will be joined by his wife João and their two daughters, the latter of whom will attend the French American School.

“The French American School of Puget Sound has an excellent faculty, a supportive group of parents and a strong board of trustees,” said Thuau. “The school is well-positioned with a full preschool through middle school and shows great promise for the future; I am pleased to be able to build on the excellent work of the current leadership.”

During her tenure, McGiffin guided French American School of Puget Sound to PNAIS accreditation, facilitated the permanent structure at its current Mercer Island site and opened the middle school. Steele noted McGiffin has a long string of successes in her career and is a hard act to follow; she also expressed confidence in Thuau’s ability as the incoming leader.

The French American School will add grade 8 in September 2010 to allow students to complete their bilingual education through the end of middle school. It will offer a parallel program for non-French immersion students seeking an international, academically rigorous middle school experience. The French American School will offer the only French immersion pre-k through grade 8 independent school option in the Puget Sound region.

About the French American School of Puget Sound

The French American School of Puget Sound, located on Mercer Island, instructs students in preschool through middle school via a diverse and rigorous bilingual French and English curriculum. The school enrolls more than 320 students from more than 30 nationalities, is accredited by the French Ministry of Education, is accredited by the Pacific Northwest Association of Independent Schools (PNAIS), is approved by the Washington State Office of Public Instruction and is committed to sustaining diversity among the student body. Previous French language experience is not required for pre-school or middle school admission. For more information, visit the French American School website.

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