Honorary membership is awarded by the SGIS Committee in recognition of an individual’s exceptional contribution to international education in Switzerland.

Those nominated:

  • Must have worked in, and made a contribution to, international education in Switzerland for a significant period;
  • Must have worked in a school or schools which is/are members of SGIS;
  • Must have earned the respect and esteem of fellow education professionals.
  • Must be nominated by at least three fellow professionals working in the field of international education in Switzerland at the time of nomination.

The Executive Committee reserves the right to award honorary membership.

Brian Bissell

After graduating in separate subjects from Oxford and London Universities, Brian taught to GCSE and A-Level for six years in the UK before his appointment to the Commonwealth-American School, the precursor of the International School of Lausanne. Promoted to Deputy Head and Headmaster, he served the school from 1966 to 1973. He was a founder-member and first Chairman of the SGIS. In 1973 he became Head of the Junior English School in Rome, moving there for six years with his family and soon establishing the Rome International Schools Association. In 1979 Brian returned to the UK for his longest headship, one of nineteen years with the historic Blue Coat School, Birmingham, founded in 1722. He extended its international development and brought it into ECIS membership. Elected to the National Council of the Incorporated Association of Preparatory Schools, he became Chairman of its Education Committee, responsible for the curricular framework of its 550 member schools and representing IAPS for regular briefings in York from the National Curriculum Council. He took its message to groups of schools in the UK and overseas and acted for IAPS with other national organisations, too. In 1999, delaying retirement to become the temporary Head of a school in trouble, Brian was honoured with an MBE, presented to him by Her Majesty the Queen for his extensive services to education. Visits to ISL and the provision of archive materials always kept the Swiss link alive. Brian and his wife, Jennifer, now live in Torquay, Devon. He is already in his mid-eighties, still working with schools and owing so much to the SGIS.

Cyril Boschert

I'm still living a quiet life of retirement in Versoix after working at Collège du Léman as Director of Studies in the Anglo-American Section from 1972 until 1998 officially, and until 2003 on a parttime basis.

Prior to that, I was director of the American School of Stavavger and principal of the Villa St. Jean International School in Fribourg, which followed 10 years at various high schools in the U.S. I greatly enjoyed and valued my experience in international schools, most of which were in Switzerland, and my close involvement with SGIS activities.

Originally from the U.S.A.,  John Curtis has been involved with education in Switzerland since 1964 when he was appointed Headmaster of the then English-Speaking School of Bern (now ISB). He  has since served as Headmaster of the International School of Lausanne  (1977-1989) and was founding Director of The Winter Term in Lenk in 1989. A graduate of Yale with an MA from the University of Pennsylvania, he was a charter member of ECIS and has served as both Treasurer and Executive Secretary of SGIS.

Alison, his wife of 58 years, a teacher and environmentalist, is a former chairperson of the ECIS Environmental Education Committee and is active with several projects in Kenya and Zambia.

Terence Gale

Educated at Elizabeth College, Guernsey, Channel Islands; King Alfred’s College, Winchester; post-graduate studies at Open University; highest degree MA in Education.
Taught in England, Belgium (International School of Brussels), and Collège du Léman International School; retired as Headmaster Emeritus 2012.
Chair SGIS 1972-1976; Chair ECIS Committee on Mathematics 1983-1987; Principal’s Center, Harvard Graduate School of Education Summer Institute 1987; Advisory Board for IGCSE University of Cambridge 1994-1998; ECIS award for the Promotion of International Education 1998; Who’s Who 2003.

Member and Chair of Accreditation teams for ECIS, CIS, NEASC, MSA 1977- 2017…..
Family: 3 sons and 6 grandchildren. Home Prangins, Vaud; membre du Conseil Communal  2011-2016.

Martin Latter

On Thursday 12th June 2014, at the Walterswil campus, of the International School of Zug and Luzern, Antonia, the widow of the late Director and owner of the School, Martin Latter, and his daughter, Sophie, were guests of honour at an emotional ceremony to unveil a statue of Martin.

Friends and members of the school community heard the current Director, Dominic Currer, tell of his admiration for Martin and his child-friendly educational philosophy - and of his support and encouragement for Art-teacher, Andrew Gray‘s concept for the project.

William Lovell

William Lovell was born in Toronto, Canada. He attended secondary school at Upper Canada College and received his post-secondary education at the University of Guelph where he studied political science, education and communication. From 1971 to 2011 he was director and co-owner, with his wife Sandra, of the John F. Kennedy International School in Saanen, Switzerland. He served for many years on the board of directors of the Swiss Group of International Schools, the Tourist Office of Saanen and the Rotary Club of Gstaad. Bill dedicated his entire professional career to the development of the John F. Kennedy International School and summer camp.

In his retirement, Bill has endeavoured to improve as a skier, sailor and grandfather and to further enhance and expand the concept of international education in any way he can - e.g. through the development of Lovell International Camps. Bill has been married to fellow educator Sandra Lovell since 1968 and together they have two children - Alison, a former international school teacher who now lives in Toronto and manages her own design company, and Bryce who is a business graduate and heads up Lovell International Sport and Education Camps in Gstaad. He is the proud grandfather of five grandchildren.

Teaching career began in Glasgow after graduation at University of Newcastle.  After eight years in primary schools moved to Ascension Island School, South Atlantic Ocean, for two exciting years.  Next move was to the British Embassy School in Athens, Greece.  Five happy years later saw an appointment as Head of Maths, middle school, to the Continental School, Jeddah, Sauid Arabia, a most interesting post and place.  Returning to UK became Deputy Head of a small primary school in Essex.  During this time studied for a Dip.Ed at the University of London, Education Department.  

Several year later, was invited to head a new school in Doha, Qatar, a challenging and memorable experience.  Next move was to Whitley Bay in the north east of England as Deputy Head/Head of Maths of a Middle School.  In five years, studied for a masters degree at the University of Newcastle, achieving an M.Ed in Educational Management. 

Drawn again to working and living overseas was appointed as Primary School Principal at the International School of Lausanne, Switzerland.  During this time was involved as a Visiting Team Member for the CIS/NEASCin the  accreditation process.  For several years was a member of the SGIS Committee. 

Retirement beckoned after fifteen happy and fulfilling years in 2013.  Still maintain connections with ISL, SGIS and Switzerland.

Sigrid Ott-Benson

Sigrid Ott-Benson was a pioneer with a life of adventures. She spent her youth in the beautiful plains of North Dakota, USA and lived her later years in the picturesque Alpine village of Leysin, Switzerland. Her life’s experiences made her a leader in the international education movement.

Sigrid was born on September 13, 1916 in Upham, North Dakota. Her Icelandic heritage served her well in the harsh climate and poverty she experienced as a young girl, growing up in a two-room farm house with seven siblings. Sigrid’s parents worked hard to give her the best education possible including sending her to university, a rare opportunity at the time. Her husband, Fred, became a life-long partner in her quest for international understanding.

Peggy Templeton Strong

Tribute to Peggy Templeton Strong

It was with great sadness that we learned that Peggy passed away on Friday 18th July 2014 at the grand age of 102 years. The funeral took place in the small alpine village of Gryon, where she had lived for over 50 years and was attended by close family, friends and colleagues.

We all have memories of Peggy. I remember her as a charismatic and energetic person, who loved life, loved her work and was dedicated to her students, their wellbeing, their success and her role in that process. She loved people, working with people, challenging people and just getting to know people. She became almost an icon within the counselling, careers and guidance profession where her influence was felt world-wide. When the CIS Higher Education Services decided to establish an award to recognize and honor a member of the college counselling community they were to name it the ‘CIS Peggy Templeton Strong Award`. For as long as she could Peggy attended the presentations during the annual CIS Forum on International Admissions and Guidance.

Elaine Tomlinson

Born in Malvern, England, Elaine studied for her teaching Certificate at Nottingham University and began her teaching career in an inner city secondary school in Peckham, S E London, in 1974. Her first international school posting was in 1977 at The British School of the Netherlands, in The Hague.
In March 1987 she arrived in Switzerland to take up a position at the International School of Basel where she was later appointed Junior School Principal. In 1998 she received her Masters degree in Education for International Schools, from Oxford Brookes University.

In 2002 she was appointed Head of the International School of Monts-de-Corsier and played a key role in establishing it as a new and successful school in the Montreux and Vevey area.
Her next position in 2005 was Head of School at the International School of Zug and Luzern and in 2009 she moved to La Côte International School, where she completed her career, her final role before retirement being that of Head of the Art Department.
Over the years her work for the SGIS has included several terms as a committee member, Co-chair for a year and as editor of the once annual students’ Literary Magazine!

Geoff Tomlinson

Geoff Tomlinson was Director of the International School of Basel from 1987 until 2002. 

For six years during this time he served as Chair of SGIS. 

Prior to arriving in Switzerland Geoff was Headmaster of the British School of Jakarta, Indonesia. He was also Head of school in the UK and a vice-principal in Bermuda. Out of a total of forty-three years in education, twenty-seven were spent working in international education.

AGM CHANGE OF DATE!!

The SGIS Annual General Meeting and Dinner
will be held
on Thursday 8th March, 2018
in Montreux
(Venue and time to be confirmed).

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The SGIS Annual Conference 2018

« Education à la Carte »

WILL TAKE PLACE ON MARCH 9TH AND 10TH 2018
AT SWISS EDUCATION GROUP, CAUX CAMPUS, MONTREUX

More info