The MacJannet Schools
In 1920, Donald MacJannet decided that as he would never get to France with the US Army he should go on his own. He left his teaching job at St. Albans in DC to attend the Sorbonne. In Paris, Donald found that many expatriate Americans needed educational tutoring help for their children. Soon the students he was tutoring grew to such numbers that a school that he could take on a partner. During the summer of 1922 he was joined in Europe by his sister Jean. She spent the time with a French family while Donald helped to run a summer camp near Bourget. Donald found that the course at the Sorbonne was not geared toward teaching instructors how to teach French. So he found a course in Bonn, Germany at the University where they taught teachers how to teach the French. (Hear Jean's version of events here.) They spent two years in Germany. Donald lived with a Frau de Jonge, whom they called Mutti. The friendship with her was such that her children would spend time at the MacJannet camps and school later on. Jean found that the life lessons she was learning in Europe were as valuable as what she might have learned at University back in the States and so decided to stay with her brother.
The siblings soon returned to Paris. The next step was a school. In 1924, along with a Harvard man named De Rosay, Donald opened a school for Americans in France. Due to differences of opinion, a year later Donald opened his own school in a suburb of Paris in St. Cloud. (Read the official French government documents granting permission for the school.) A building across from the Bois de Boulogne was the perfect setting. (Hear Jean speak about the events.) Donald added two classrooms, a gymnasium and a playing field to the school grounds over the years. There was also a garage for the school bus. Donald drove the MacJannet School bus (which had various incarnations) in the mornings to collect the day students who lived in Paris.
Etudiants sans frontières/Students without Borders*
The war in Europe finally sent the MacJannets to the United States. They landed first in Sun Valley, Idaho where they soon had established another MacJannet School. Here in the American mountains they brought their international school. Once again the ideals of education as well as athletics were encouraged. In the splendor of the ski resort the school provided a safe haven.
*with apologies to Médecins sans frontières