Remembering Marie-Anne Andre-Dumon
It is with great sadness that we share the news that Marie-Anne Andre-Dumon, former SYA France literature teacher, passed away on Sunday, June 11, following a short time in hospice care. Marie-Anne began her career with SYA in 1998 and taught decades of students in French literature.
Her life was well led, filled with curiosity and color. She will always be remembered for her passion for the written word and for her colorful glasses that encouraged students to “see“ with different perspectives. Her colleagues have countless stories and memories of their years educating SYA students together.
About Marie-Anne, Resident Director Mina Qadir commented, “I feel very fortunate to have known Marie-Anne. With her smile and her easy, cheerful character, she knew how to attract the sympathy of young people as well as of her colleagues. I always knew I could count on her regardless of what was happening at school. Passionate about French literature, a keen observer of the world and a caring teacher. Merci, Marie-Anne.” Sophie Boynton, SYA France’s long-time administrative assistant, shared a quote that Marie-Anne would invariably say when leaving the building, “à demain, de bonne heure ... et de bonne humeur!" See you tomorrow, bright and early.
TRIBUTES AND MEMORIES
Among her colleagues, Pascal Montéville taught alongside her the longest.
He writes, “Marie-Anne was a close friend, a dear colleague and much more than a literature teacher and avid reader. For more than 20 years we worked side by side, sharing students and stories, meetings and trips. We enjoyed talking about art and politics.
She was at home in the wilderness where, together, we climbed hills, hiked pilgrim trails, and explored caves and coves all over France for the summer program. Riding horses was one of her passions and I can easily imagine her galloping at full speed in the open prairies wherever she is now.
Marie-Anne was a tough cookie who never complained about anything, even when she was facing personal issues and terrible situations. Until the end, she kept the dry but witty sense of humor that was her trademark. Her students will remember how passionate, engaged and dedicated she was in her work. I miss her dearly. All of us who knew and worked with her miss her terribly.”
Colleague Benjamin Sabatier writes, “Marie-Anne was a nice, sharp-minded and straightforward person. I really enjoyed working with her at SYA. We always had great discussions where we wanted to right the world."
In 2020, when Marie-Anne departed SYA, Javi Calleja Erdmann ’18 wrote the following tribute, which captured her essence perfectly:
“We learned quickly that Madame’s class nurtured more than our language skills. Madame encouraged me to lean into my creativity without any excuses. As a result, I made the following things for class projects: a cardboard cone covered with gold wrapping paper and red crayon, a poem sung on the ukulele (I learned to play the instrument the day before to liven up my recitation), and a burned book.
Her encouragement for us to live up to the moment and ourselves was not the only thing that stayed with me. There was also her vivacity, which added spice to every moment. Madame loved to walk to school every day, no matter the distance. I would also add that she walked no matter the weather, except that it was always raining. Where I, accustomed to the Mexican sky, saw dreary clouds, she saw puddles to jump on."