Students Challenge Us to "Think Again" in Third Annual TEDx Event
Posted 03/27/2017 10:09AM

International High School students presented their third annual TEDx event on Saturday, February 25 in the Dennis Gallagher Arts Pavilion. A panel of six students and one faculty member were inspired by the event's theme "Think Again," and challenged the audience to reconsider their preconceived notions of the world.

12th graders Keishi Foecke and Alex Boccon-Gibod co-organized the event with the help of high school humanities and philosophy teacher Jérémie Rostan, and a production team of 25 student, faculty, and staff volunteers. "Organizing this year's TEDx event was an extremely rewarding experience. Despite extensive logistics and planning, it was amazing to see all of our speakers, most of whom are high schoolers, deliver such engaging and well-thought-out talks. I learned how to guide speakers through the presentation writing and delivery processes, as well as how to plan an educational and intellectually stimulating event," said Keishi. 

Presenters explored topics such as disease, child marriage, racial and gender stereotypes, and mental health. 

  • Amir Saleh (Grade 11) made a persuasive case for the largely invisible but perhaps greatest danger facing humanity today in his thoughtful and well-argued talk, "Disease: Our Next Greatest Threat." 

Upon reflection of his experience, Amir said "The greatest gift I received from my TEDx experience is courage. If you have an idea worth sharing, there really should not be anything that can stop you from spreading it to as many people as possible. Communication is essential for progress."

  • Maria-Camila Riaño (Grade 11) spoke to the issue of child marriage in developing countries in a stark portrait titled, "Child Marriage from a Non-Child Bride: Ending a Practice Through Education."

  • In their joint presentation, "Objectivity Is Not An Ideal," seniors Genna Corlett and Madeleine McGrath explored the subject of racial and gender stereotypes, and made a striking case for why the notion of colorblindness is merely an ideal, and doesn't exist in reality.  

  • IB Theater teacher Michelle Haner offered a philosophical perspective on the subject of human connection in her inspirational "If Only I Were You: The Empathy Hack," drawing on multiple cultural and historical sources.  

  • Closing the afternoon was a heartfelt presentation by Jo-Loretta Roberts (Grade 12) on the subject of mental illness. "Mental Health: The Most Underrated Issue of the 21st Century" nicely framed Amir's opening presentation by spotlighting an issue that receives scant attention, but which may very well determine the fate and well-being of humanity as we move into the future. 

Congratulations and well done, students! Thank you for encouraging us to re-examine these ideas worth spreading.

Visit for program and speaker details. 


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An independent Pre-K through 12th grade co-educational day school in the heart of San Francisco. The school delivers a rigorous bilingual (French/English) immersion program through middle school, culminating in either French Baccalaureate or International Baccalaureate program in its International High School.

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