Networking Event Brings Together International Leaders in Philadelphia

December 1, 2017

Nearly 60 guests gathered at the Pentimenti Gallery in Philadelphia last Thursday, November 30, 2017 at 6:30 pm for an international networking reception hosted by the French International School of Philadelphia. Seeking to increase its visibility among Philadelphia’s international community, the school partnered with the Consular Corps Association of Philadelphia (CCAP) to promote the event. 

Five members of the Consular Corps Association were in attendance, including: Vincent Finn, M.Sc., Trade Commissioner of Canada; Michael E. Scullin, Honorary Consul of France and a member of the French International School’s Board of Trustees; Ralf D. Wiedemann, Honorary Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany; Christine Pfister, Honorary Consul of Switzerland and a French International School parent; and Peter Longstreth, Honorary Consul of the Republic of Uruguay and CCAP President. The event also drew representatives from various international companies, organizations and educational institutions.

Halfway through the evening, Kathy Kotchick, the Head of the French International School, welcomed the assembled guests and thanked them for attending. Speaking about the school’s unique offerings, Kotchick highlighted both its dual curriculum in French and English—the school is accredited by both the French Ministry of Education and the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools—as well as its role as a “…gathering place for international families.” According to Kotchick, the school currently welcomes families representing more than 50 different nationalities. For those arriving from abroad, the school is often the first point of contact in Philadelphia, providing not only useful information but also opportunities to get involved and become a part of a community. She invited those wishing to learn more to speak with some of the school parents, Board members and administrators in attendance.

Guests also heard from Deborah Willig, the Chair of the French International School’s Board of Trustees, and Peter Longstreth, the CCAP President. Willig spoke about her personal experience as a French International School parent, sharing that her daughter Sydney, who entered in prekindergarten and graduated last June, had developed a compassionate, global worldview throughout her time at the school. Mr. Longstreth, speaking on behalf of his colleagues, noted what an asset the school is to the city of Philadelphia, which boasts a large international community and counts 51 members in its Consular Corps Association.

Following remarks, guests spent the rest of the evening conversing with one another and making new connections. At the end of the reception, each received a small gift bag with French “madeleines” to take with them as a thank you gift for joining the event.

Located in Bala Cynwyd, Pa., the French International School of Philadelphia is an independent pre-kindergarten through eighth grade school serving a multicultural community and offering a comprehensive bilingual curriculum in French and English. Accredited by both the French Ministry of Education and the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, the school expects its students to become global citizens with a deeper understanding of and appreciation for other cultures.