School Blog

20 for 2020 (what's left of it, anyway)

20 for 2020 (what's left of it, anyway)

I was inspired by a podcast called "Happier" by Gretchen Rubin where a "20 for 2020" list was created: 20 things to accomplish in the year 2020. Yes, I know it's September, but I also know that this year has gotten a negative reputation. And what better way to turn that around than to make some positive changes in our final few months?

Here is my "20 for 2020" list. I left three goals blank and am getting great feedback from students, colleagues, parents and staff from other IES schools. Check out Gretchen's website here for ideas and resources!

From the Principal

Welcome to IES Länna's third (and best yet) year!

Welcome to IES Länna's third (and best yet) year!

On August 19, 2020 we welcomed 572 students to a wonderful school year! Many of those students are returning for their second or third year, but over a hundred are brand new to IES Länna. We are excited to expand our family while at the same time maintaining our values and close-knit community. Our motto for the 2020-21 school year is "See the Good, Be the Good" and we can't wait to work toward that goal with all of our students, staff and parents. Big (virtual, for now) hugs to all of you!

Graduation 2020

Graduation 2020

As the class of 2020 graduated, more than 4,000 IES students throughout Sweden have been awarded their school diplomas. This is normally a crowded event involving hugs and hats thrown in the air in front of friends and family. 

The graduation ceremony, with its iconic blue caps and gowns is an important part of the tradition of Internationella Engelska Skolan - a right of passage for students to mark their achievements over several years of education. This year has challenged us all to find new ways to celebrate our students and their hard work within the limitations of the ongoing pandemic.

Regarding the school's first grade 9 graduation ceremony since it opened in 2018, Julie Kelly, principal of IES Länna, said: 

“For us, everything with this class has been unique and special since there are only 29 of them and we have only had them for two years. It was quite fitting, then, that their graduation was also unique. While the restrictions forced us to make a lot of adjustments, we actually had a beautiful and more intimate ceremony that we will all remember forever.”

In her speech to the students at the graduation Mrs. Kelly said: "I have spoken to you so many times over our two years together that it was very hard to find my final words to you. I can only give you the advice I wish I had had when I was sixteen years old: love yourself first, make friends in unexpected places, and never let anyone else set limits for what you can do and how much you can achieve."

Årets chef 2019 i Huddinge kommun: Mrs. Julie Kelly

Årets chef 2019 i Huddinge kommun: Mrs. Julie Kelly

IES Länna’s beloved principal, Mrs. Julie Kelly, was honored by Huddinge kommun as Årets chef 2019 (Leader of the Year 2019) on March 5, 2020.

Mrs. Kelly was one of three finalists for Manager of the Year. During the autumn term, parents, students, and colleagues could nominate teachers and school leaders they believed had gone above-and-beyond during the previous year. A jury of local politicians selected finalists who were celebrated at a gala where the winners were announced.

Mr. Pajouhi, IES Länna’s IT Coordinator, and Ms. McCabe, Year 4 math and science teacher, attended the gala with Mrs. Kelly. 

“I met Mrs. Kelly in January of 2019. She had traveled to Canada to look for potential teachers to come work at IES Länna. I knew very little about Sweden, IES, teaching or living in another country but what I did know was that having Mrs. Kelly as a leader meant I would be okay,” Ms. McCabe recalls. 

“Now, here I was, a year later watching her accept the award for Årets chef. In that moment, the rest of the audience got to see what I already knew. They got to see a woman who leads by example, a leader who has created and works hard to maintain an environment where staff and students feel respected, safe and welcome everyday.”

“Mr. Kelly was very stressed. I have never seen her that stressed before!” Mr. Pajouhi said about the evening. “I kept joking with her that she needed to prepare her speech because she was going to win, and she kept saying no! But I knew she was going to win so I moved to get a better angle of the stage to take pictures.”

Although the award ceremony seems like it was a long time ago (and a lot of world-changing things have happened since then), make sure you congratulate Mrs. Kelly again. She truly is the best principal and IES Länna is lucky to have her as our leader.

You can read Huddinge kommun’s article in Swedish here.