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MORGAN BRADY

Graduating Class: 1998
Current Position: Senior Coach Manager & Health Coach at Vida Health, Inc.
Current Location: Berkeley, CA
Education / School 1: John F. Kennedy University, National University of Health Sciences
17 YEARS LATER: BECOMING AN EB ALUMNI FAMILY
Bob Brady and Sandy Simon, Morgan—Class of 1998, Will—Class of 2006

When parents choose Ecole Bilingue, they are making a choice
for themselves as well as their children. Bob Brady and Sandy
Simon became an EB family when their daughter, Morgan,
began Kindergarten in 1989. In June, their second child, Will,
graduates from the middle school. Over the many years they
have been part of the EB community, Bob and Sandy have had
“a great social experience.”

Initially, they were attracted to EB because the school struck
them as “light and bright with good energy” and the right infrastructure to support learning. Unlike many EB families, they
had no particular experience with France beyond Sandy’s high
school French classes in Minnesota. As Bob says, they loved
the idea of a second language “whatever it was.” Before having
children and while traveling and working abroad, they had been
frustrated by their limited ability to communicate. Like many of
us, Bob and Sandy wanted to give their children broad opportunities and experiences. Moreover, they were willing to trust their instincts and “positive feelings” about EB in making an unconventional choice for their first child.

For Bob and Sandy, a wonderful aspect of their choice has been
the interesting and culturally diverse families that they have
met at EB. It is striking how well Bob and Sandy meet the same
criteria. Bob and Sandy live near Fourth Street above the Trax
Gallery that Sandy founded in a building designed by Charles
Debbas (parent of EB 6th grader, Malek). The house/gallery,
built five years ago, won an award from the Berkeley/Oakland
Design Advocates Group. Sandy is a potter of national repute
who creates functional porcelain pieces that revolve around
food. Trax Gallery, specializing in ceramics and representing seventeen artists, is one of the best of its kind in the United States. Bob is a sculptor working primarily in wood and clay. For the next six weeks, 30 of his pieces are being shown at the Di Rosa Preserve in Napa which is the first traveling venue of a two year show called Robert Brady: Sculpture 1989-2005 that originated at the Palo Alto Arts Center and will end in Boston and Washington, D.C. Coincidentally, the work in Bob’s current show is roughly from the same period that he and Sandy have been EB
parents.

By the time Morgan had graduated from middle school, Bob
and Sandy had done their share as parent volunteers. Painting
auction props for six weeks in their own working space became
a bit old and they thought they would pull back from their
involvement at EB. Yet, as Will began kindergarten, “much to
my surprise,” according to Bob, “we found a whole new group
of parents” whose friendship both of the Bradys have come to
value.

Furthermore and most importantly, Bob and Sandy appreciate the qualities that the school and the EB community have fostered in their children. While Morgan and Will are still young and continue to develop as individuals, their parents feel that they have “a certain confidence and sense of power, an awareness” that can be traced in part to EB. In an experience that many alumni parents have shared and that highlights the poise and social ease characteristic of many EB graduates, Bob and Sandy have been told that their children are “so mature for their age.” When Morgan was fifteen and Will was six, the family spent some weeks on a working vacation in DeRuta, Italy, renown for majolica production. Although they had no common language, Will and the son of the proprietor of the Brady’s lodging spent hours playing together. Following their stay in Italy that summer, the Bradys went on to France where they stayed with an EB family from Bordeaux whose daughter was good friends with Morgan. Neither of their children missed a beat in transitioning from Berkeley to Italy to France. Bob and Sandy see Morgan and Will’s easy facility in all of these disparate settings as emblematic of the academic and life lessons that both of them have learned at Ecole Bilingue.
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