In remembrance of Virginie Calmé, a former teacher who was part of the FAIS community from 2000 to 2017.
Virginie taught at various levels, from maternelle to fifth grade.
She was a beautiful person, inside and out, who deeply cared about the world at large as well as her close community. This inspiring woman gave so much to FAIS and was ahead of her time. She initiated many new ideas on our campus and inspired her fellow teachers to follow her path.
Virginie was an accomplished athlete and was instrumental in starting an integrated biking program at our school which is still in place today. The experience of biking led to more confident bikers by fifth grade who were using the nature trail. She was one of the first teachers to ask for a climbing wall and would have been delighted to see it finally in place.
Virginie was deeply involved in childhood development and systematically prioritized her students’ well-being. She was a champion of students with learning differences. She ordered furniture that allowed students to learn in a more non-traditional way. In her classroom, students could choose the method of learning that worked best for them. In addition, she pioneered methods of executive function training to help students with their organizational skills. This led to starting a study skills class, which is currently offered to all incoming sixth graders.
Virginie also cared about the well-being of our planet. She implemented the washing and recycling of cloth towels reducing our school’s usage of paper. She initiated our composting program after being awarded a grant from Metro to purchase composting bins for classrooms. She and her students built and maintained the large composting bins that the school used for years. Through this project, she showed teachers the value of service as action on our campus. She partnered with teachers in many grades and empowered students to take responsibility for helping with composting. This led to a campus-wide composting program.
Virginie has always been an inspiration and a leader in our IB journey. She was convinced that we learn better by exploring, inquiring, trying, and making mistakes. She offered multiple opportunities to her students to take risks in and out of the classroom. She welcomed their differences and their trials and valued their passion and interests.
Virginie was a huge advocate of learning outdoors and being adventurous. Virginie’s classes were frequent visitors to the original forest classroom to recite poetry, work on math, or simply explore. Her positive influence and willingness to try new systems have made an indelible mark on FAIS. Her love of the outdoors, biking, and embracing all students are ingrained in the spirit of our campus culture today.
When she moved to Bend in 2017, she embraced her passion for the outdoors and soon became the program director for Bend Endurance Academy where both students, parents, and coaches can attest that she always put the children first, encouraging them to push their limits but letting them be kids first and foremost.
Her joy for life was evident at all times, and she will forever remain an inspiration for all of us. We will remember her warmth, her empathy, and her radiant smile.
She was a loving, caring, and inspiring mother to her two sons Etan and Eliot who were students at FAIS and who, like us, will miss her dearly. Our thoughts are with them and her husband, John.
Virginie touched the lives of so many - students, families, colleagues, and more. Thank you Virginie for the impact you made on FAIS and the world.