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Obrigados! Merci! Thank you, Maria!

Maria CarneiroMaria Carneiro is one of our colleagues who will be retiring at the end of the year, after long service at ISP. As a member of our building maintenance team, Maria has been helping us keep the facilities tidy and clean at the Secondary School for more than 20 years.

"I was born in Portugal, but came to Paris with my parents as a child," Maria told us. "I met my husband in 1975, and the wedding was held in 1976. Forty years and still happy together!" Maria's husband, Brazelino, works with the school's building maintenance. In fact, Brazelino has been here even longer than Maria, well over 30 years, and continues to stay on at least for a while.

"Before starting at ISP, I had been working in a pastry shop, first in the 18th arrondissement of Paris, and later in Vitry sur Seine for many, many, years," Maria said. "However, the bakery closed down, and I ended up without work. Luckily Brazelino asked if it would be possible for me to come and work for the school, and the school hired me in 1996. I was delighted and relieved!"

Maria and Brazelino had proposed to their two children that they go to school at ISP, but the children preferred French schools. "They were afraid of losing their French, as we spoke Portuguese at home," Maria explained, "but they often came to events and participated in various activities at the school, and were very happy here. I know that ISP focuses on the importance of the mother tongue, and I believe that it is an important asset to the students. I'm very pleased to see that both my children are indeed completely fluent in both French and Portuguese."

For fifteen years Maria was responsible for cleaning the "science building" at 7 rue Chardin before moving over to the administrative buildings five years ago. "ISP students are extremely kind and respectful," she said. "The relationship between the teachers and students is clearly positive and strong, and I enjoy seeing that. Everyone has always been very kind and friendly towards me as well, and I will miss you all in January!"

We will miss you, too, Maria, and wish you all the best!

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