Judging by the impressive turnout, festive atmosphere, and culinary excellence, Thayer Academy's inaugural International Host Family Appreciation Dinner may have been the first of many.
More than 65 people attended the dinner, which was held earlier this month in a Cahall Dining Hall suitably decked out for the occasion. The event served as thanks for families who hosted (or will host) students from the Academy's sister schools in India, China, Spain, France, and the Bahamas (Eleuthera) during the 2018-2019 academic year. Students, their siblings, and parents attended.
"We held the dinner to show our gratitude to these families for being part of our exchange programs, helping our programs to thrive," said Director of International Programs Darah Harper, who led organization efforts for the celebration. "Their participation has helped to promote mutual understanding among different cultures, something that is very much needed in today's world and something that we encourage here at Thayer."
Harper addressed the crowd and discussed the importance of hosting. She thanked families for their time and investment in the program. Alan Xu '20 spoke about his experience being hosted by a family in Milton during the last three years. He described his experience as "nothing short of wonderful."
This year, Thayer Academy has been able to host more than 40 students from four different countries. The Academy is proud of its rich history of sister-school relationships.
Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Jenn Welch, who also serves as Director of International Enrollment, helped with the inaugural event as did US Foreign Language Faculty Allyn Lodge and US History Faculty Karen Jersild.
Organizers and guests alike agreed that one major highlight of the event was the food. Chef Doug Foss P '23, '26 and his team pulled out all the stops, creating an incredible menu representing dishes and desserts from all of the countries with which the Academy has exchange programs. A sampling of that night's menu includes the following dishes: spring rack of lamb; red curry stew; Mongolian torn pork; paella; twice-fried noodles; and mojo de cilantro.
"Doug and his team did a stellar job," said Harper.
Director of International Programs Darah Harper welcomes guests to the thank-you celebration.
The inaugural International Host Family Appreciation Dinner was well attended.