French was the first foreign language offered at Graland. When Carol Altman came to Graland, she continued a tradition of excellence begun by Barbara Kobler Nunn, Lucie Gay, Mary Dart, and Madame Avaert -- and later the team of Charlotte Guiberteau and Charlotte Harper. Others followed, most especially, Colette Reynders, Jane Backer, Anna Norris, Linda Alcott, Monique Lathrop, Linette Couturier, etc. French is an established tradition at this fine school. As I type this in 2018, the program thrives thanks to Rocio Zeiler, Marielle Carlson, and Katie Cohen.
At the Master Teachers’ luncheon in 2001, Kathy Benninghoff, English teacher par excellence captured the audience’s attention with her affectionate tribute to Madame Altman:
“Tucked within the leaves of Gibran’s The Prophet-- a book likely on her shelf-- in a section titled ‘On Children,’ Almustafa says, ‘Children are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.’ Dr. Carol Altman -- Madame-- understands this lineage deep within herself.
“In the praise of students and parents, Carol is a ‘superb, human being. . . ’ ‘a demanding, exacting teacher’. . . a thorough, clear, dynamic instructor’. . . ‘an architect of a class that is different, more real, and freeing’. . . ‘a force to be reckoned with”. . . and ‘one who never tires of teaching.’
“For twenty years at Graland, Madame has known that the wise teacher ‘leads you to the threshold of your own mind.’ Her students have blossomed, burgeoned, and grown.
“Au Revoir, les Enfants. . . with you, Madame has flown.”