La Lumiere School recently returned to in-person learning following winter break. For the remainder of January, students spent time learning their schedules for the new semester and adjusting to the precautions added now that classes have moved indoors. Additionally, La Lumiere has focused on many activities around the school.
On February 2, the French classes of La Lumiere celebrated the French holiday La Chandeleur. This is a religious holiday that has been around since Roman times, which French people usually celebrate by eating a lot of crêpes and lighting candles.
To celebrate, the French students decided to pass out crêpes to their fellow students, and volunteered their own time to put together the whole event. They prepared over 100 crêpes from scratch for the members of the La Lumiere community, and served them at lunchtime.
French teacher Bridget Sendziak was very thrilled with the outcome of the event.
“These students came together and were able to make something amazing and uplifting during these cold winter months. For that I am very proud of them,” said Sendziak.
She also noted that she hopes for the event to continue on in future years.
“This is a tradition that I think could impact the La Lumiere community and stay for a long time.”
What’s coming up?
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, La Lumiere has closed campus for their boarders. In typical school years, the boarding and day prep school has allowed boarders to leave, but this year they have been restricted to campus for the first seven weeks until spring break. This has forced the residential life team to get very creative with new activities.
Thus, they have scheduled many fun and diverse activities in the local area for the boarders to participate in. Director of Residential Life and history teacher, Michael Heffron, is very excited about the upcoming activities.
“We’re really excited to be offering these opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic. It has allowed our students to try new things and have new opportunities brought to campus,” said Heffron.
The school has multiple activities prepared for the weekends as well, which include axe throwing, private movie theatre trips, and even a laser tag tournament.
Students look forward to the next few weeks, and all the various activities there are.
“These activities have definitely brightened campus life, and it is odd how a pandemic has in turn allowed us to try so many new things that could become staple activities in campus life from here on out,” said Heffron.
Bridget Sendziak is the French teacher at La Lumiere School. While this is only her first year at La Lumiere, she definitely is not lacking in experience.
Upon graduating from college, Sendziak moved to Lille, France and worked at a French high school. From there she moved to Paris, attended graduate school, and taught at Université Paris-Sud, a French university. After moving back to Lille, she taught at a French middle school and high school before returning to the United States following the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
When she returned to the United States, she chose to teach at La Lumiere.
“After being in lockdown in France, where you could not leave your house for days, I wanted a light out of that darkness. In French, La Lumiere means the light, and with that it seemed like an obvious choice to me,” said Sendziak.
While it has definitely been an adjustment for her to teach in the United States, she said she couldn’t be happier to teach at La Lumiere.
“Working at La Lumiere has been such a fresh experience. I love the students, and how I can build such deep relationships and connections with them. Although this has been a wild year, I have been able to get through it with the help of my students and colleagues,” said Sendziak.
Sendziak also said that while transitioning from teaching in France to teaching in America has been different, she has enjoyed it immensely.
“At La Lumiere, I have much smaller class sizes and so I am able to build those relationships, as well as having the freedom to choose what I teach. These are both things I didn’t get to do in France, and so I am overjoyed to have been given this opportunity,” said Sendziak.
Theo Smith is a sophomore at La Lumiere and has recently been offered the outstanding opportunity to join the All-State Band. He is one of four students who play the tuba in Indiana given this offer.
“I am thrilled to be able to do this, and it’s a great opportunity that to further develop my music skills,” said Smith.
As a transfer student who began at La Lumiere this year, he has just started to get into the swing of things in his second semester. While his decision to transfer was due to the COVID-19 shutdowns of other schools, he is very happy with his decision.
“The community here is so great. Everyone knows everyone and there are really no rude people. Also the food here is pretty great too, so that's a big plus,” said Smith.
La Lumiere looks forward to cheering Smith on as he prepares to participate in the All-State Band, with Academic Dean Andrew Hoyt mentioning that this is a great opportunity.
“We could not be prouder of Theo for what he has accomplished,” Hoyt said.