July 2015
A Periodic Publication



Alumni Office Message

Welcome to the VIS alumni newsletter, a periodic publication.  You are receiving this newsletter because you regsitered on our Alumni Network.  This is our attempt to share information about the school and about your fellow alumni.  It is also a venue to celebrate alumni successes, notify you about events, and assist with alumni networking.  If you have any questions or annoucements, please email them to alumni@vis.ac.at.

School News


Class of 2015

Another successful year with 131 graduates in 2015!

Innovation & Design Centre

In an ever increasing technology focused world, VIS has decided to rennovate its computer lab area in the secondary school.  Opening in 2015-16, the newly named Innovation & Design Centre will be an open-plan design area that will encourage students to focus on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills.  Our hope is that a STEM-literate student is not only an innovator and critical thinker, but is able to make meaningful connections between school, community, work and global issues.  Next time you're visiting VIS, we welcome you to check it out!

New Primary Leadership

Starting in 2015 - 16, the Primary School will have a new Principal and Deputy Principal.

  Dr. Christine Lang, who many may remember as a primary school teacher, has successfully secured the Principal position. Christine is a citizen of the USA, married to an Austrian with three children – two who have graduated from VIS and one who is still at the school. In addition to teaching at VIS, Christine has held positions in the USA and the Austrian public school system since 1985. Martha Ross was appointed as the Deputy Principal and she brings interesting experience from working in the UK, Italy and Hong Kong. She is a citizen of the UK, USA and New Zealand, married to an Austrian with one young daughter.  We are excited to have this new leadership team start in August.

Alumni Parents

Good news, we have a growing pool of alumni parents (over a dozen) who now have their children attending VIS.  Many say they want their children to have the same experience they did -  the rich exposure to a quality, international education.  One alumni parent couldn't have said it better, "We enrolled our kids at VIS because of the quality and breadth of education, the IB programme and the spirit of the school which we benefited greatly from. There is no doubt in my mind that my own success is due to the education I received at VIS, not only from an academic point of view but from the immersion in so many different cultures and ways of thinking."  If you are interested in enrolling your child at VIS, then contact admissions@vis.ac.at.

Austrian Subsidy Update

After 30 years (1984 - 2014), our subsidy from the Austrian government ceased. And after several years of negotiation, an agreement has been put forward to secure new financial support from the Republic of Austria. The sums involved are €4 million for 2014/15, €4 million for 2015/16, €3 million for 2016/17, and €2 million annually thereafter. The process going forward is as follows:

• The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has now officially granted approval by the conference of Ministers to negotiate the concluding agreement.
• The President will be asked for his approval, which is a formality but is important in setting the grounds for it coming before the Austrian Parliament.
• This summer, we will bring all of the parties together to finalise and hopefully sign the agreement that was already drafted last year.
• The final agreement will be presented to Parliament for ratification in the Autumn.

In addition, a letter of intent was recently signed between the VIS Board of Governors and the Republic of Austria to secure a long-term lease of the school building and its grounds.


Alumni Events


1990 Reunion

Please join the Class of 1990 as they celebrate their 25th reunion.  Scheduled for Saturday, August 29 from 12:00 - 16:00 at VIS.  Come for a relaxing day outside and enjoy a BBQ with some old friends.  A Heuriger event is also planned for Sunday.  Check your class Facebook page or contact Jamal Raghei for more information.

2005 Reunion

This group will be meeting on Friday, September 4 from 17:00 - 19:00 for a cocktail party and a tour of the school for their 10th reunion.  They will continue into town for dinner and a late night.  Please check your class Facebook page or contact Isaac Acquah for more information.

1986 & 1996 Reunions

Both classes are considering a summer event in 2016 for their 30 and 20 year reunions respectively.  Or perhaps there is scope to host a joint event?  Keep an eye on this space or check your class Facebook page for more updates.


Alumni News


Over the past year or so, we've been collecting stories about our alumni.  Most of them were provided to the Development Office from VIS faculty, who keep in regular contact with our alumni.  Want your story in print? Then please email alumni@vis.ac.at.

Rugby Greats

In May, five VIS Alumni received their rugby caps from the Austrian Rugby Union before a national team match.  Well done guys!

From there left - Craig Morgan, Dr. Brian Simon, Rupert Zallman, Mani Dehimi, Shervin Rafsandjani, and missing Matin Kuhen.

Natalie Samarasinghe

Natalie is currently the Executive Director of the United Nations Association in the UK.  

Learn more about Natalie here.

Nadiv Molcho

Nadiv is currently raising funds to make a movie.  The trailer is directed by and stars Nadiv and he needs a million views to raise enough funds to produce the film.  Please watch his trailer.

Ana Lucia Villagran Herrera

Ana was at VIS from 2001-2007 (Grades 2-8) and then returned to her home country of Guatemala. She's on the Guatemalan National Volleyball Team and finishing her BA in Economics at the moment.  She'll be moving back to Vienna in the fall to start her Masters degree.

Hannah Hetzer

Hannah graduated in 2005. She works as the policy manager for the Drug Policy Alliance in the Americas. For some time now, she and her group have been promoting the legalisation of recreational cannabis. The bill was passed in Uruguay in 2013.  Read the article, written by Hannah and published by CNN.

Emma Johansson

Emma, who graduated in 2006, was appointed to the honourable position of Toastmaster at the Nobel (prize-giving) Banquet for 2012-2014. You can see a clip of her doing this in 2012. Emma makes an appearance introducing the toasts at around 9 mins, 30 seconds.

Claudia Pigrum

Claudia works for the Austrian National Bank and is currently in on-site banking inspections of significant European banks. She was awarded the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 2012.

Boris Kostresevic

Boris is the volleyball player with most games in the Austrian national team. With his club team he also reached the final four of the European Champions League.

Sophie Lillie

Sophie is a renowned art historian. She wrote the standard work on robbed pieces of art during the Nazi Period in Austria "Was einmal war".  She spent years out in Mauerbach investigating the property owned by Jewish people and stolen by the Nazi's.

VIS Artists

Laura Acuna won the Windsor and Newton prize a year or so ago and both Evy Jokhova and Seren Jones are successful artists and exhibit regularly.


Our mission is to empower all of our students to be successful and responsible in a nurturing and diverse learning community, so that they can achieve their potential in a changing world.

In harmony with the ideals of the IB learner profile, and the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we aim for students to be inquiring, inspired, and involved lifelong learners.

Strasse der Menschenrechte 1
1220 Vienna, Austria
phone: +43 (1) 203-5595
fax: +43 (1) 203-0366
email: alumni@vis.ac.at

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