AFTER A WONDERFUL SIX YEARS AT AISG, WILL AND LAURA TRAGERT AND THEIR KIDS, OWEN, ELLA AND LUCY HEAD TO A NEW LIFE IN GERMANY. THEY WILL BE TAKING THEIR LOVE OF AISG – AND SOME CLOSE FRIENDS – WITH THEM.
“We have such a great time at AISG,” says Will with a wide smile. “Our kids are excited to come to school every day. This morning, about 30 minutes before we had to leave, Lucy had her backpack on and was to ‘shouting, ‘I’m ready!’ ‘I don’t know what they put in the water, but it created a place where all five of us want to be.
The decision to come to AISG in 2013 was a big one for the couple – their first international position, in a place they knew little about. “We didn’t even know where Guangzhou was – we had to Google it – and how to pronounce it!” admits Will. But the AISG positivity was hard to resist. “We actually offered ourselves the job before they offered it to us. We said ‘yes, we’re in, if you want to take us we’ll do it’. We were just so excited because we got such a great feeling from the people we were talking to,” says Will.
Will began as a math teacher in 2013 and Laura as the Middle and High School Learning Support Teacher. Will moved to Assistant Principal of Middle and High School, and Laura became the Elementary School Learning Support Teacher. They both say how lucky they have been to experience both roles. “I’ve loved both positions for different reasons,” says Will. “What brings me joy is not the job I do, it’s the people I work with and the school I work in. So, I’ve been really lucky.”
Laura agrees. “Watching kids become adults, standing with them as they make life decisions, has been amazing,” says Laura. “It’s just as fun watching kids learn how to become mathematicians. They are both awesome experiences.”
From the moment they arrived, the Tragerts threw themselves fully into school life. Will is well known for his mischievous smile and sense of fun. With fellow Assistant Principal Duncan FitzGerald, he dressed up as Jon Snow for WASC accreditation review., a school-wide accreditation program. Their unique double act inspired the AISG community.
While the family will be sad to leave AISG, they are thrilled that some of their closest friends, including Duncan and Bernadette FitzGerald, are also starting new lives in Germany – completely by chance.
“Although it will be a three-hour drive instead of a five-minute walk to see each other, our relationship won’t change,” says Will. “I’m sure we’ll be vacationing with them next year, although we haven’t asked them yet!”
“One of the things AISG taught us is to go into things with an open mind,” says Laura. “We have no idea what to expect from Germany, but we had no idea what to expect when we came here. We were just ready to dive into a community we wanted to be part of. We’re ‘all in’, no matter where we are. AISG taught us that the more ‘in’ you are, the more you get out.”