We have had a thoroughly enriching few days in Istanbul where we have explored mosques and markets in the city, learned new ideas from new friends, and shown tremendous growth in speaking and presentation skills. The competition among the six schools gathered here has been spirited but friendly, and I have only praise for the professional and gracious way the AISV students - David, Rokas, Daniel, Emile, and Titas - have met the challenges placed upon them in this situation. Our students have shown tenacity in the face of a grueling schedule and gave wonderful performances demonstrating just how much they have gained from participation.
To sum up our results, of twenty entrants in Oral Interpretation, David was among five that advanced to semi-finals. Of twenty-five entrants in Impromptu, BOTH Rokas and Daniel were among the five to advance. Of ten teams in Debate, Emile and Daniel advanced to semi-finals and then again to finals, where they took second place in the category. All of these finalists performed incredibly well in a high-stress environment, keeping their cool on stage and under the lights. They supported each other as well as the competition from other schools with generosity and grace, reflected back on their performances with a determined attitude to improve, and demonstrating admirable sportsmanship in the face of difficult losses.
Following the close of the tournament, coaches from the other schools approached both Mrs. Anderson and I again and again to offer commendation of our students' work, commendation we knew full well they had well earned. Has been a pleasure to see them shine.