Testimonials for Co-Director and Founder, Michele Silvestri
Developing and implementing cutting-edge curriculum with Michele Silvestri was one of the most rewarding projects of my thirty-year career in departmental administration. She has the student in mind, always, with every decision. Michele’s holistic, compassionate and rigorous approach makes her a true leader in her field. All of the students in her charge are very lucky indeed.
Catherine Reed, Head of English, American Section – Lycée International de St-Germain-En-Laye
When I took my first real teaching position as a history teacher at the Lycée International de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, I came armed with enthusiasm and optimism, but very little knowledge of how to actually teach. I had recently graduated college with a B.A. in history, but I had never studied education or teaching. As the history chair at the Lycée, Michele Silvestri took me under her wing, helping me to build a curriculum, plan meaningful and engaging lessons, and showing me how to tailor my teaching to each individual student in my class. It became clear to me very quickly that Michele was born to be an educator. Her passion and enthusiasm for both the subject matter and working with middle school students was contagious. She was always finding ways to challenge students to think critically, inquire about history and the world around them, work collaboratively, and be creative. She helped me to foster a classroom culture that was student-centered, rigorous, safe, and joyful. To this day, after I myself have earned an M.A. in teaching and gained another several years of teaching experience, Michele remains among the most effective, expert educators I have ever seen. (In my own classroom back in the United States, I still use many of the techniques she taught me and even some of the projects she created). I have no doubt that any school run by Michele will be a institution that challenges students to reach high levels of learning, while respecting and nurturing each child’s unique strengths and learning styles.
Rebecca Samel, Teacher, Success Academy Charter School, New York
As a former teacher and current administrator, I am extremely indebted to the guidance and mentorship of Ms. Silvestri. Ms. Silvestri was one of my educational influences when I was a high school student. Through countless study sessions and mentor meetings, she was able to ignite in me a world of hope and possibility. Regardless of the many hardships I faced, she inspired me to create a world and chase a dream based on my passions. As a result of her educational leadership and influence, I have dedicated my life’s work pouring into our youth the same lessons of hope and possibility that Mrs. Silvestri poured into me. Any parent that is fortunate enough to enroll their child into RISE International School will be investing in a lifetime of purpose and passion for their child. I am living proof!
John Broussard, Athletic Director, Murrieta Mesa High School, California
I had the great pleasure of working with Michele Silvestri as a Social Studies colleague. She was as inspirational to her fellow teachers as she was to her students. Michele put time, effort and great thought into everything she did. She engaged students in her classroom in various ways providing unique learning experiences tailored to their needs. To Michele, each child was an individual and all children could learn if given the right tools. Her passion for her craft and her love of her students provided a balance where kids would thrive. She truly believes in giving students a global perspective and showing them how to make real life applications to their learning. Students at the RISE International School will surely benefit from her incredible talent and love.
Maryellen Klock, Curriculum Leader, Somers Middle School, New York
You only have to meet Michele to see right through to her abundant energy, genuine talents as a progressive educator and compassionate human being. I hired Michele with no reservations as a teacher for our new Charter school in Oregon. She quickly became a leader in our experiential, democratically governed school, shaping how we viewed and partnered with children in their education. Also, as a teacher for my daughter, she gave her whole heart and was according to my now 25 year old, “one of the best teachers I ever had!”. I agree – you are so lucky to have her.
Arianne Newton, Director of Programs, International Partnership for Service-Learning and Leadership
Michele Silvestri is one of those rare teachers that students remember and love — and want to keep in touch with even when she’s no longer their teacher! She’s passionate, dedicated, confident and incredibly knowledgeable. Students connect with her and it’s clear she wants to be in the classroom with them. As a parent, I always found her to be accessible and caring. If only I had a fraction of her energy!
Wendy Lemmerman, former parent, American Section-Lycée International St-Germain-En-Laye
I had the pleasure of working with Michele Silvestri when I was first starting out as a teacher and learned more from her about teaching middle schoolers than I have from a Master’s program and dozens of other coworkers. She connects with middle schoolers better than anyone I’ve ever seen and is a wonderful teacher and leader.
Lucas Mennella, Teacher, Fukuoka International School Japan
Director Michele Silvestri believes in social justice and her practice reflects her cultural competency. She has had a powerful impact on me as a career educator and I have the highest level of respect and admiration for her.
Suzie Peachin, Assistant Principal at North Clackamas School District, Oregon
I had Mrs. Silvestri as a history teacher back in middle school, and she is to this day one of the most inspirational people that I have ever met in my life. In one of my most awkward stages, she offered guidance and kind words, making me feel that everything was going to be ok. Still today, I consider her to be a good friend and an incredible educator. If anybody should start a school, it should be her.
Misia Lerska, student, Wellesley College
I met Michele Silvestri as my eighth grade Social Studies teacher. She taught me far more than just social studies. I did not realize how much of an impact a teacher could have in my life, until that’s exactly what she was doing. Her dedication to her classroom and students demonstrated the knowledge she had to share, so passionately. She enriched both my mind and life, and I know that is exactly what she will do for you and anything she is a part of.
Emily Spencer Osburn, mother of two primary aged children
Ms. Silvestri is a passionate and intellectual educator. It is evident through her teaching style that she cares deeply for her students and making the community a better place. Ms. Silvestri encourages students to think critically through a multicultural approach and inspires them to find their passions through learning. I was her student almost 16 years ago and the lessons she taught about appreciating diversity has stuck with me ever since! She is inclusive to all, has a kind heart, and is the best teacher I’ve ever had. I would recommend her for any position in an educational field.
Elizabeth Thurston, Director, KinderCare Education, Oregon