Who are you and how did you get to SLLIS?
My name is Jeff Lash, and I’m the Founding Head of The International School. My path to SLLIS started with me growing up as a Marine brat moving from country to country, and took me into my college and professional years, where I continued to succumb to the travel bug and developed a love for teaching, experiencing new cultures, and learning other languages.
What drives you to work at a school/serve children?
I enjoy working with children, I am a life-long learner who is never satisfied, and I suppose on some level I can relate to middle schoolers.
If you could have dinner with 5 people (dead or alive) who would they be?
I would want to meet up with both my grandfathers, one of whom I never met and the other only when I was too young to make any valuable connections or learn anything insightful about why I am who I am. Bob Dylan, Shakespeare, and Robert Altman have also been big influences on my sensibilities and appreciations.
In your opinion, what is St. Louis’ best kept secret?
Having lived here for a whopping three months, I am certainly not as qualified as my colleagues in this regard – I do know that The International School is one of them, though! Oh, that and Nacho Mama’s (on Manchester near Kirkwood?) is a good spot for Mexican food.
What do you do when you’re not at work?
I play games or read with my kids, try to learn as much as I can about whatever I can, play soccer, run, sing and play guitar…oh, and lots of laundry, cooking, and cleaning!
Tell us about your favorite vacation.
Going way back to pre-marriage years, it would have to be either the summer I spent trekking around Europe before doing a Study Abroad program in Paris, or a road trip to the dune deserts to the south-east of Marrakesh. Flash-forward to post-marriage/family years, though, and I think last year’s 11-day trip through Costa Rica tops the recent list.
Any advice for prospective parents?
Never say “hurry up”, and make it possible for your children to learn another language in an immersion setting while their brains are still young and spongy enough!
Describe your favorite meal.
It would occur at the end of a full day of fasting, and would need to include elements/courses of Asian, Indian, and either Ethiopian, Moroccan, or Afghani (don’t make me choose) cuisine.
What are your hopes and dreams for SLLIS?
To become a 2500+ student charter network of well-articulated IB World schools from K through 12 that sends 100% of its graduates to college with IB Diplomas.
Anything else you’d like to tell us?
Just try not to ask me about how it’s been to be a Cowboys fan for the past 15 years.