Behind the Scenes: The Long Run
SYA France Campus

When SYA France's Séverine Bordeau qualified for the 2019 Boston Marathon, word spread quickly among the SYA community. From our campus in Rennes to our community around the world, SYAers cheered Séverine on as she trained for and competed in a life-long dream. 

As our community cheered from the sidelines, students and faculty started to compare Séverine's personal journey as a competitive runner to the experience of SYA students. The commitment, repetition and hard work required to successfully complete a marathon parallels the challenge of digging in and learning a new language — both tasks that cannot be accomplished overnight, and that take a certain level of grit and perseverance.

And thus the concept behind The Long Run: to follow Séverine and her students throughout the 2018-2019 school year, paralleling their paths, and finding ways to provide insight into the SYA experience, both as teachers and students. 

Severine Teaching

The short film started with interviews, digging into common themes between the experience of being an SYA student and Séverine's path to the Boston marathon. From there, we threaded the interviews together to form the backbone of a script. In the fall of 2018, we captured footage of Séverine training and teaching, as well as footage of her students as they immersed themselves in the local culture and language. On the day of the race, SYAers followed Séverine's progress in-person and online as she ran through famous sections of the race, feeling the adrenaline of the "Scream Tunnel," the struggle of "Heartbreak Hill" and the exhilaration of the final stretch of Boylston Street, with the finish line looming ahead.

After the race and with the end of the 2018-2019 school year quickly approaching, we compiled a final cut of The Long Run and shared the film with our community just as our students were crossing their own finish line. 

If you haven't watched The Long Run, we hope you will take a few minutes to join us in cheering on our students and Séverine as they overcome challenges and find the the pure joy in working towards and accomplishing their goals and dreams. 


  • News
Severine Bordeau

SYAers around the world followed Séverine's progress as she ran through famous sections of the race, feeling the adrenaline of each mile marker.

Power of Place

President Tom Hassan reflects on the observance of the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings, a visit to Paris and the Notre-Dame Cathedral, and a gathering of over 30 teachers and educational leaders in Viterbo, Italy.

Confluence of Languages

SYA gathered over 30 teachers and educational leaders representing more than five different first languages to chart SYA's future.

Welcoming Trustees: 2019

SYA is pleased to announce the addition of three new trustees to its governing body: Julian Fu CN’06, Jackie Little FR’81 IT’16P and Amb. David McKean FR’74 FR’11P.