May 16, 2023
After 37 years of teaching at AIS-Salzburg, Jeff Agardy will be retiring following the conclusion of the 2022-2023 school year.
We invite you to read the interview below with Mr. Agardy followed by a tribute video and best wishes from alumni, colleagues, and current students.
Mr. Agardy on Retirement and His Time at AIS-Salzburg
AIS-Salzburg: How were you able to maintain the amount of enthusiasm and passion for teaching right through the final years of your career?
Agardy: From the moment I joined the school in 1986 I found it was an exciting place to work. The demands of the administration were generally minor and never interfered with my teaching. Previously, I had taught in the US and in Austria. At a time when society was less diverse, all the students in my classes in the US were Americans, and then nearly all students in the gymnasium were Austrian. At SIPS, as the school was known at that time, the student body was far more diverse. I felt the students learned from me, I learned from them, and we learned from each other. I also had the feeling at this school that we were all working together, not against each other. That is definitely a reason why I stayed for many years.
AIS-Salzburg: What will you miss most about AIS-Salzburg?
Agardy: What I will miss most about AIS Salzburg are the students. There is never a dull moment here. Some resist learning like the plague, others try to sneak up to the girls’ floor at 2 am, and still, others plan a Bierfest at the brewery on a Monday afternoon. That makes them very normal adolescents that are a pleasure to work with. I love the students I teach and the subjects I teach.
AIS-Salzburg: What are your retirement plans?
Agardy: I had 4 years of French in high school so I would like to take a few more courses and live in France for 2 or 3 months to become fluent. I also plan to travel some in Europe, mainly by rail and boat as I did as a student 40 years ago. Skiing during the week in off season when few people are on the slopes is also appealing. In Salzburg, I have a garden and grow about 40 kinds of fruits and vegetables, including kiwis, lemons and grapes. As Voltaire advised “il faut cultiver notre jardin.” That will keep me busy.
Mr. Agardy was once again asked by the senior class to deliver their commencement speech at graduation. You can watch Agardy’s speech and the entire commencement program live on our Facebook page starting at 3:00 PM, May 17th Central European Time.
AIS-Salzburg Bids Farewell to Mr. Agardy
Originally from South Carolina, Mr. Agardy joined AIS-Salzburg –called Salzburg International Preparatory School at that time– as a teacher in 1986 and has been teaching here ever since. Mr. Agardy has primarily been a teacher of history, geography, and German but has also taught a number of other subjects throughout his years. Mr. Agardy has also served as our college counselor for over 20 years and has done an amazing job at guiding students in their post-secondary study decisions.
We invite you to watch our farewell video of Mr. Agardy below.
Alumni, Colleagues and Students Send Mr. Agardy Retirement Messages
Mr. Agardy is not only loved by all who have had the privilege of working alongside him but also by those who have sat in one of his classes.
“Every time I post something about Jeff on our social media, a string of loving comments follows from Alumni dating back 10, 20 even 30 years,” said marketing director, David Burns.
After a post last week on AIS-Salzburg social media requesting best wishes for Mr. Agardy on his retirement, messages came pouring in. Below are just a few quotes from the dozens of messages that came in.
– Varya Buben, Class of 2022.
On behalf of the Class of 86’, we thank you for being such an extraordinary educator and roll model!” Personally, I hope our paths cross again, perhaps at the next SIPS Reunion.”
– Conrad de Jesus, Class of 1986
– Karin Avila, Class of 1990
– David Burns, Colleague from 2004-2023
– Ana Mugosa, 2017-2018
It has been wonderful to have you as my German teacher this year. I loved the atmosphere in the classroom and how you made the subject very enjoyable. I have always admired you for your patience for everyone. Other than being an amazing teacher, you are also a great helping hand for every student in the school. Your support made everyone feel more comfortable and your advice was always helpful to find the right academic and personal goals. I would like to thank you for all the kind words that I have heard from you. I really appreciate that you believed in me from the beginning of my 7th grade year.
I wish you a relaxing time after all those years of teaching at AIS Salzburg. Even though it is not easy to say goodbye, we all made a lot of valuable memories with you that we will never forget. PS. As your neighbor, I am sure we will meet on a walk in the Leopoldskron or during my afternoon run. 🙂
– Ola T., Class of 2025
Dear Mr. Agardy,
Thank you so much for guiding me through my educational journey. Without your help, passion and commitment, I would not have ended up where I am today. The school will never be the same without you! Best of luck in your retirement. Keep in touch!
– Oleksandra Gumeniuk, Class of 2019
– Polina Belyaeva, 2017-2018
– Theresa Walla, 1990-1992
What makes Jeff so beloved by students is he simply exudes a calm and reassuring attitude that students pick up on and feel comfortable with. It also helps that he has so many years of experience under his belt and knows exactly how to engage students and help them to succeed in their learning.
– Jennifer Kasberger, Colleague 2008-2023
Dear Mr. Agardy,
Greetings from Mallorca. I heard the news that you were retiring. I wanted to send you a message and say thank you for the wonderful years that I attended SIPS. If you are ever thinking of traveling to Spain please let me know. Enjoy retirement.
– Yuri den Haring, 1991-1995
– Adam Lichty, Colleague 2015-2023
– Arina Yefimchenko, 2018-2021
– Grayson and Catrin, Colleagues from 1994-2002
– Danila Sevtsov, Class of 2020
– Didem Gökmen, 1992-1993
– Sonja Testa, 2020-2022
– Alec Smith, Class of 2016
– Noa Selzam, Class of 2020
Dear Mr Agardy,
You were teaching me history in my first year at AIS-Salzburg back in 2015/2016. After finishing my first year at AIS-Salzburg, I moved to London to do my A-Levels in Math, Further Math, Physics and German. After successfully completing the A-Levels, I decided to get a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, instead of Aeronautical Engineering, which was my first choice. Deciding to do Computer Science has proven to be a good choice and I have graduated at City, University of London and obtained BSc Computer Science degree with first class.
Even though my path in studies has led me away from social studies I have often remembered our history classes and I think that you, together with Ms. Kasberger and some other teachers at AIS-Salzburg, have played a significant role in my life as a student and helped me mature and figure out which things are important in life. I think you have done this by being a good pedagogue, by giving attention to each student you were able to tailor your approach in order to get the best results from each one of us. In my case, you have succeeded.
I wish you a good retirement, full of joy, happiness and good health. I am sure that you have left a strong impression on the lives of your students, as you have in mine, and I am thankful for that.
– Luka Delic, 2015-2016
– Marina Paramonova, 2013-2015
– Rejhana Zejnilovic, 2021
– Emmanouil Saridakis, Class of 2020
– Desard Sijoni, Class of 2020
Thank you Mr. Agardy for all of the years of dedication and passion to teaching and guiding our students into the real world!!