Kindly Funded by Parents’ Association
Made by Masato Nakada (Class of 2002)

Welcome to ZIS 50 Year Timeline!
Here are some helpful tips to travel across the timeline.
1963: Experimenting and Fostering New Ideas
On a hilltop in Kilchberg, lies a villa built by the Spinnergut family. Occupied by 43 energetic students and a handful of faculty, the villa is filled with the voices of ambitious kids.
1964: School Trip to Israel
"One evening, a group of sixteen and seventeen year old students gave a party for us in a park outside Tel Aviv. There we sang and learned Israeli folk dances around a campfire." – Article from AISZ Yearbook 1964
John Mattern: First Headmaster of AISZ
"Early in the fall of my senior year, Dr Mattern suggested we have a school dance. We did and four of us were caught with some alcohol outside in the bushes during the dance... Dr. Mattern discussed our ‘punishment’ and that it needed to be an example to the rest of the students. He came up with the idea of a community service project and we do a fund raiser and contribute the proceeds to a needy cause which he helped us identify. Some months later, we organized and ran a fashion show which was a huge success and raised a very nice sum for our worthy cause. For the times, community service as punishment was unheard of and is an example of Dr. Mattern’s innovative ideas about education."
– Catherine Solmssen Tenney, Class of 1965
1969: Apollo 11
For the first time in history, a human lands on the Moon.
$300 Calculator & 300kb Floppy Disk

The HP-35 is Hewlett-Packard's first pocket calculator and the world's first scientific pocket calculator. Introducing at US$395, the HP-35 is available from 1972 to 1975. Floppy disks are a ubiquitous form of data storage and exchange from the mid-1970s well into the first decade of the 21st century.
1970: English Language Kindergarten Opens in Villa Seerose
IPSZ Headmasters in chronological order.
1970: August Zemo Becomes the Second Headmaster of AISZ
"It’s not a school . . . it’s an extended family." – August Zemo
1971: Accreditation
AISZ is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and the European Council for International Schools (ECIS). It is now the oldest accredited international school in Switzerland.
1973: Sri Chinmoy Visits AISZ
AISZ hosts spiritual teacher Sri Chinmoy on November 27th. He gives a speech, titled "Love, Devotion and Surrender". The entire speech is reprinted on the back cover of a jazz album by Carlos Santana and John McLaughlin mentioning of AISZ.
1978: Dale Braunschweig Joins as a Math Teacher
Her dedicated role as a math teacher, the first Middle School Coordinator and now the Head of Admissions is a true testament to her love for the community and the love for many generations of students she has cultivated.
ELK Moves to the Naville Villa in Kilchberg
1979: Villa Seerose becomes too small to serve the school’s capacity. ELK moves to the Naville Villa on the lakeshore in Kilchberg. The children enjoy the benefits of a huge garden and the delicious smell of chocolate wafting over from the Lindt factory nearby.
1980: International Primary School of Zurich
ELK changes its name to the International Primary School of Zurich (IPSZ).
1987: Peter C. Mott is Appointed as a Second Administrator
1989: Departure of August Zemo
"All that experience has changed you, undoubtedly more than you can realize at this time. But one day, a year or a five from now, an image or an incident or a conversation from your AISZ days will flash into your mind and affect what you are doing." – August Zemo
1989: Spring Theater Production Peter Pan
Under the direction of Bev Meyer, the actors, musicians, stage crew, and support staff succeed in making the largest theatrical production AISZ has ever witnessed. It is the most ambitious production to date and it involves an actual wire rigging from the Broadway musical stage used by Mary Martin as Peter Pan.
VHS Tapes & Cassettes
VHS tapes & cassette tapes are used to curate their own mixes of songs, TV shows and movies.
1989: Fall of the Berlin Wall

1985: Live Aid
1990: Making Big Moves and Sharpening Vision
Peter C. Mott is confirmed as a headmaster after a board search; Chris Strassen joins AISZ as Dean of Students.The leadership team from L to R: Dale Braunschweig, Eric "Easy-E" Hieser, Chris Strassen, Peter C. Mott
1993: Spinnergut Villa Renovation
"My year 9 was a real stand out because we were in the temporary housing constructed on the fields during the renovation of the mansion. The temporary housing (lovingly known as the "Dorfs") was special in that all the school years were brought closer together. That year I became friends with students in years above and below me that I hadn't met before, and we all felt linked through a joint experience of being dripped on through the roof during heavy rain, freezing in winter, and overheating on hot days. It was brilliant."
– Michelle Engelsman, Class of 1998
1995: Paul Lieblich Becomes The New Headmaster for IPSZ
David Winter leaves IPSZ and Paul Lieblich becomes the head of IPSZ
1997: Turkey Trot and Ball Room Dancing Become the New Tradition
"I truly believe that the Turkey Trot has encouraged a very "Fit" culture in our Middle School! The average Turkey Trot Times continue to get faster and faster!"
– Kimara Meier
1995: Future Olympic Swimmer Competes in Swiss Sprint-Cup in Uster
Michelle Engelsman competes in Swiss Sprint–Cup and places 3rd with a time of 27.55 seconds in the 50 meter crawl race.
Theater Production Fundraiser
"The Theatre Production Fundraiser was a great event with which to be involved. The delight was the fact that teachers, administrators and parents all contributed, coming together in order to support a worthwhile cause (our children’s education). My mother was lucky enough to come over from England and attended one production and in the lead up to dinner, a silent auction and raffle took place. Mary Ann Canzanella kindly bought my mother raffle tickets, and this act of kindness is indicative of the care, thoughtfulness and spirit of what it means to be involved with ZIS (AISZ)."
– Steve Burnham
The Age of Information
Personal computers become an ubiquitous electronic gadget, replacing hand-written essays with typed up Microsoft Word documents. Mobile phones allow people to communicate in liminal spaces. Internet opened a whole new door for students to listen and share music.

"I remember I said to myself, I need to get a bigger handbag for my new phone"
Valérie Horyna, Class of 2003

"My music collection is ridiculous now. There is not enough time in the day to listen to all of this free music. It sure beats having to head to the store, hoping that they have the album you want."
James Duggan, Class of 2002
2001: Witnessing Unprecedented Results
AISZ and IPSZ merge to form Zurich International School with an enrollment of more than 800 students.Through an outstanding collaboration between Mr. Lieblich and Mr. Mott, two schools finally fall under one umbrella.
2002: "The Green School"
The new Lower School building is completed in Wädenswil.
2002: First Graduating Class of ZIS

"The first class of ZIS, the class of 2002, represents a strength in tradition that AISZ stood for. Serving as a bridge of transition, we not only benefitted from a great education but developed into young adults at a young age. In a sense, we really took advantage of the great opportunities the school had to offer. Plus, people let me use their cell phones."
– Chris Mikes, Class of 2002
2004: ZIS Starts a Supporting School in Ghana
Students across all divisions of ZIS, from the ECC to the Upper School, take part in supporting the Bosomtwe Community School (BCS) in Ghana. This relationship, which was established in 2004, has expanded over the years with both hands-on help from students and faculty who visit the school, and financial support through fundraising efforts.
2008: Upper School Campus is Completed
The Upper School Campus in Adliswil and Baden Campus open, and Middle School students move to the Spinnergut Villa – "One School, Five Campuses".
2008: Schengen Agreement
Switzerland scraps routine passport controls at all its borders after joining the EU's Schengen Agreement.
2011: Upper School LipDub Party Rock Anthem
No camels were harmed in the making of this music video.
2011: Middle School LipDub Thriller in the Villa
All kinds of musical genres are clashing in the villa as they scare your socks off!
2011: After 25 Years in the Community, Mr. Mott Decides to Part Ways with ZIS.
Peter C. Mott announces he will leave ZIS at the end of the 2011/12 school year.
"I have done the best I could to create a culture of change, but not for change’s sake; I wanted this to be a place where people realise that we can’t afford to, and we won’t stand still."
– Peter C. Mott
2012: The Making of the Middle School Mural, A Better World
2012: New ZIS Director Jeff Paulson

"ZIS is a great deal more than a school. This is a special community that goes above and beyond to meet the needs of students and offer a sense of belonging for families. People have told me how much they value the special atmosphere that has existed at ZIS since the very beginning. For example, students and alumni talk about their incredible teachers who were mentors, coaches, and directors. They speak of the strength of these relationships and how faculty and staff go out of their way to meet their needs as students, and, most importantly, as people."
– Jeff Paulson
Class of 2013

116 students graduate from ZIS at a special ceremony at the Upper School on Saturday June 15.
2013: 50th Anniversary
Join us to celebrate the 50th anniversary of IPSZ/ AISZ/ ZIS, the Kick-Off weekend is 23-25 August and Gala on January 25, 2014!

Share your ZIS memories via Instagram #ZIS50 or Email