A quarter century of dedication: Sigi Joseph's legacy at Bavarian International School
Siegfried Joseph's 25-year journey at the Bavarian International School (BIS) is more than mere employment; it is a story of profound influence and lasting inspiration. From 1997 until his retirement in 2022, Joseph dedicated himself to shaping the school, motivating countless students, and pioneering innovative ideas.
A native of Baden-Württemberg, Sigi Joseph began his journey at BIS teaching German, in August 1997, a significant year marking the graduation of the inaugural cohort of International Baccalaureate Diploma students and the subsequent relocation to Haimhausen Castle. With an educational background in German, English, Romance Studies, and Education, acquired in Heidelberg and Albuquerque, New Mexico, he had a lot to offer. He assumed the role of Head of Modern Languages, introduced Spanish as an additional language, and became the school's first Alumni Coordinator. He initiated a remarkable tradition, the Grade 9 cycling tour spanning approximately 400 km from Passau to Vienna, aptly named the "Rite of Passage" in the school’s history. For 17 years, "Mr. Joseph" poured his heart and soul into organising this cycling adventure, creating a lasting tradition.
Among his cherished BIS memories, the cycling tour stands prominently. But equally dear are his directorial contributions to German and Spanish theatre productions and, above all, his deep engagement with students. "Being a teacher – the direct, immediate exchange with the students – is simply the greatest thing. I have always understood teaching as a dialogue that also enriches the teacher," states the now 71-year-old Freisinger. His passion for teaching, coupled with his innate empathy, friendliness, and international perspective, has made him a beloved colleague and popular mentor to generations of students.
Uncovering hidden talents
"Sigi is particularly gifted in discovering and unfolding the students hidden talents, appreciating and fostering their unique personalities and awakening their sensitivity for German culture in an international context," the German team praised his work in the BIS Yearbook 2022. Joseph's appreciation for the international, open-minded environment stems from his previous professional experiences in Great Britain, Hungary, and Singapore. "I think the International Baccalaureate programme is extremely far-sighted, compelling all involved in the educational process to actively participate," says Sigi Joseph, who is deeply impressed by BIS's growth as an institution and its unwavering commitment to academic excellence. His parting advice is a reminder that we should never rest on our laurels but continuously strive for development and innovation together.
The Global citizen continues the journey
Retirement, for someone as dynamic as Sigi Joseph, is an understatement for the next chapter in life. "I have now travelled intensively for a year - I want to continue that. My health also demands constant movement. Apart from that, many things are on the table - voluntary work, political engagement, let's see..." On his wish list are a trip with his daughter and retracing the literary settings integral to his teaching journey: In Siddhartha's footsteps through India, to Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis or to the Norwegian Preikestolen by Igor Bauersima. "Only in my dreams: cycling through Africa!"
A heartfelt thank you for dedicating a quarter of a century of passion for teaching and learning at BIS. May your future endeavors and dreams continue to be as enriching and inspiring as your legacy at the school, dear Sigi Joseph!
We would like to hear from you, what have you been up to since leaving BIS?
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