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World Mag > WM Winter 2013 edition > Interview with Emanuel Munteanu

Interview with Emanuel Munteanu

I will start by saying that I am honored for the privilege you give me to share some of my important memories here at AISB.
Emanuel Munteanu
Emanuel Munteanu

WM: Mr. Emanuel, you have been working at AISB since 1999, so you have been at the school for over 14 years. Please tell us 5 dif- ferences between then and now.

EM: I started here as a middle school soccer coach and after that I started teaching French in April 2000. There are many di erences in between now and then. First of all the campus is now located in Pipera-Tunari. At that time AISB has had three locations: Dorobanti, Laptari, and Costinescu.

Another important di erence is the number of students: then there were around 300 while now there are over 800. I must also say that because of this big change in numbers the atmosphere of the school has moved from a family environment to a more educational and institutional one. The academic program and its requirements have also known an evident change: at that time the school was having its rst IB accreditation visits. And of course most of my fellow teachers that were working at that time in school have moved to other international locations.

WM: What makes AISB special? How come you decided to stay at AISB for so long?

EM: There are many things that make this school unique. I think that rst of all, the student and faculty body are very diverse due to their international backgrounds. You meet people from so many nations with so many cultures and with so many ideas. It is a unique opportunity to learn something every single day from someone. You only need to be open to this.

This school also o ers exceptional occasions to grow both as a student and a teacher. The academic program and the after school activi- ties are indeed the main ground for the growth I experienced and witnessed. My reason for staying is not directly related to the school but with something that is very important to me outside the school: my service to God here in Bucharest and not only, in Romania as well as the Republic of Moldova.

WM: Tell us about 3 special moments spent at AISB you’ll never forget.

EM: The tournaments with the teams I coached are very dear and will stay with me forever. Most of all, I remember one of my rst place trophies in softball that was won because of heavy rain (thank you Lord!) that fell for 45 minutes just before the nals so we were declared champions according to the ranking of the round robin games where we nished rst.

The second thing is my rst middle school French class that had 20 students including 6 boys wearing black heavy metal T-shirts who were not happy to be in school. We ended up having a great year in French class.

Sever Savanciuc, an AISB all star, was in my French class while a seventh grader. In the middle of the class he took o one of his shoes and was looking inside it (his nose was 10 cm away from the shoe) while I was trying to explain an important French grammar rule. I asked him to put it outside the class room. It was raining for almost 4 days!!!! I forgot to tell you an important detail: I opened the window to help him with that action! 

WM: Name 5 students you remember most and the reason.

EM: This is very di cult because there were many extraordinary students that I have taught or coached but I will have to say that they are the following:

Sever Savanciuc – there is a certain grace that Sever displays in and outside the classroom. I would say that he has a certain ability in dis- playing his intelligence and knowledge without making others feel inferior. And of course his passion for football that made him make the football teams (middle and high school) from 6th through 12th grade, a rare achievement among the AISB population.

Nikos Kougionas – I worked with him from 4th grade till 12th grade. He was like a son to me, stubborn, very funny, extremely ambitious, and huge manipulator of his friends (Carlo, Nick, Dami). I miss him a lot.

Miguel Jimenez and Niccolo Ficarelli – for making my French classes a nightmare in order to make all the girls in the class laugh. Every time I would give them work to do, Miguel would write down in his note book: “PROTEST!!!!” And show it to me. They were both amazing athletes and football players. Niccolo played one tournament with a huge pain in his knee but never complained once. Grazie Niccolo!

Marilu Lucescu – she was in my class since she was in 3rd grade. She was just the right catalyst factor in my French class: working really hard but also creating a nice learning atmosphere. She still comes to visit when time allows her.

Ben Krenzia, Alex Barba, Maxi Petre, Luca Bucura – (They must come in a package – a winning one) for being behind AISB, winning the rst ever CESSA champion title in varsity boys football. Thank you gentlemen! Sorry Teo!! (Ficcarelli and Balan)

WM: For all these years you have been teaching French, ESL and Romanian. What do you think has the most impact on the students and why?

EM: My frist 5 years here at AISB were spent in the elementary school where I taught French, ESL, and Romanian as mother tongue. After that I moved to secondary school where I am currently teaching French to grades 6 through 10. I make sure that people in my class don’t waste time and that they get well prepared for the next phase of language development. Every teacher wants to have a positive impact on his/her students so I do my best to model what I think is sound and valuable not only in the classroom but also outside it.

WM: What about your involvement with extracurricular activities? Tell us a little about this. What are some of your favorite memories?

EM: As I have already mentioned before, coaching was and still is a big part of my life here at AISB. In the past I used to coach more sports like basketball, volleyball, softball, and football for both middle and high school. Now I am only coaching middle school softball boys and varsity football boys. I have so many fond memories from my coaching that it would take me a novel to share them. These experiences are my motivation to continue coaching. 

The entire season is an experience where 17 people are working, su ering, ghting, dreaming, laughing, shouting at each other sometimes, celebrating, accepting defeat... it is an unique experience that you don’t want to miss. One of my dearest memories is from 2008 in Istanbul. We had a disastrous start losing all our games and being classi ed sec- ond to last after the round robin. The boys had an amazing comeback (Luvo Sifuba, Marius Opran, Carlo Giro were among the best play- ers) and we quali ed in the championship nal against Istanbul. When I texted Mr. Hibbard, the athletic director, saying “we are in the nal!” He replied back: “what nal???!!!” be- cause he only knew the results of the rst day.

WM: What will you be doing for the holidays and why? Are you doing anything special?

EM: During the holiday season, I usually go back to Craiova to visit my parents and my in-laws. We spend time with the family, I come from a family of 6 children and my wife from a family of 9 so you imagine how the family reunions look like; young children all over the place, amazing food, laughing, singing carols and visiting old friends. What I believe is spe- cial for me during this season, is that together with friends from the church, we take the opportunity to share some of these wonder- ful things with people who are less fortunate. We go to some hospitals in Bucharest, some prisons in Romania and also travel to some schools in Cahul, the Republic of Moldova, to share the good news of the birth of our Savior and also donate some things that will touch their hearts in a special way in the di cult period they go through. 

Read the entire WORLD Magazine Winter 2013 edition here.


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