A Tribute to Claudine Macé
by Leigh Gilman and Mamadou Guèye

A Tribute to Claudine Macé

Claudine Macé has been a vital member of the Upper School language department for sixteen years. We all know that, but Claudine is also full of surprises. She has made a mark on our department and has given us many wonderful memories. We will remember her riding to school on her Vespa and teaching us how to do a runway walk in our office, because yes, she was a model!  In the spring and fall of 2019, Claudine co-advised a group of students in crafting and staging the school’s first multicultural fashion show—the product of her deep background and skills in fashion. The result was a visual splendor that, like everything Claudine has done over the years, brought joy and sophistication to our community and made our school a better place.

Claudine teaches students not just the French language, but she teaches them about life.  At a recent softball game, a parent shared, “Students love Madame Macé!  She’s like a rock star to them. They think she is so cool.”

Claudine’s many French students over the years recognize what we all see in her—a teacher fiercely dedicated to her craft and to the intellectual and social development of her students. Whether teaching introductory French, existentialist philosophers in French IV or Advanced French Literature Program, Claudine’s focus has always been on making language come alive, and on students seeing for themselves the powerful worlds that are unlocked through language acquisition. She is passionate about teaching her students and holds them to high standards.  She leaves having recently been honored as a University of Chicago Outstanding Educator.

Claudine has also modeled for all of us how to continue to grow and develop as an educator. Many years before Zoom or hybrid learning, Claudine was instrumental in using technology to advance student learning in the classroom and especially in developing a 1:1 iPad classroom. She also consistently saw the powerful learning experiences that could come outside of the classroom, whether in the countless trips she chaperoned with students around the world, her ties to the Student Year Abroad program, or at professional development workshops such as the American Council on Teaching of Foreign Languages and EdTech among many others. In 2016, Claudine developed a school-sponsored trip to Southern France to help our students experience geographic history through hands-on activities ranging from prehistoric archeological digs to making goat cheese.

As her fellow French teachers for many years, it will be especially hard to say, “Au revoir”, and we will miss our conversations in French in the hallways and in her office. We celebrate Claudine’s amazing career and accomplishments at Sidwell Friends and look forward to everything that her new chapter in life will bring—focusing on her beloved family, reading for pleasure, traveling, deepening her Chinese language studies and ‘cultivating her garden’ in the foothills of the Appalachians,

 Nos sincères félicitations et bonne chance, Claudine!