“In the 1970s, a group of visionaries felt that the Los Angeles community needed a school which would prepare children for life in an increasingly international environment. In 1978, they decided to make their vision a reality and to open a school, using the proven French educational system as the foundation for their school’s curriculum. It all began in a small house in Van Nuys with seven students. Some of the founders’ children were among these first students and they worked hard, alongside their parents, to prepare for their new school LYCÉE INTERNATIONAL DE LOS ANGELES ( LILA) which was originally named Collège d’études françaises (CEF) School and later The French American Schools of Southern California before it was named LILA.”
The original founders were Monique and John Mickus and Pierrette and Jacques Gaspart.
1981 – A group of students with Mme. Bayet (2nd from left), mother of Monique Mickus, who was on the original Board of Trustees for the school. She used to quote a saying from Victor Hugo: “ Open schools and you will close prisons.” An educator herself, Mme. Bayet taught French, Latin and Philosophy when the school first opened in 1978.
LILA co-founder Monique Mickus came from a long line of educators and was one of the first teachers in 1978 when the school opened. Her great-grandfather, French historian and author Alphonse Aulard ( 1849-1928), held the chair of Professor of History of the French Revolution at the Sorbonne, succeeding Michelet. He was also a co-founder of the Ligue des droits de l’homme and was president of the Mission Laïque from 1906-1912. Her grandfather, Albert Bayet ( 1880-1961) was Professor of Sociology at the Sorbonne and at the L’Ecole pratique des hautes etudes. He too was a member of the Ligue des droits de l’homme and was president of the Ligue de l’enseignement from 1949-1959. He was president of the Federation nationale de la presse libre during WWII and president of the Federation nationale de la presse française following the war.
On December 31st, 1978, Pierrette Gaspart and Monique Mickus celebrated the completion of the first term of their new school.
While Monique Mickus may have had a clear vision for the school, nothing put her in a bad mood more than going over the accounts. Co-founder Pierrette Gaspart found a way to put a smile on her face as they went over the dreaded task in this photo taken in 1993.
MOVE TO VAN NUYS METHODIST CHURCH in the 1980’s– First formal school buildings. As the school grew out of its original cramped quarters, it was moved briefly to shared grounds with a Methodist church in Van Nuys.
1993 – LOS FELIZ CAMPUS – The first graduation ceremony at the Los Feliz campus took place, led by co-founder Pierrette Gaspart and Elizabeth Chaponot, daughter of co-founders Monique and John Mickus.
1993 – An outing of students with (from left) co-founder Jacques Gaspart, teacher Sam Donlavy, Woodland Hills campus director Shahin Partiyeli, Los Feliz elementary campus director Giselle Mancheva, and co-founder Pierrette Gaspart.
35 th LILA ANNIVERSARY
Thank you Ai-lin Grison, LILA Public Relations for this wall display of the “Origins of LILA in 1978 ” during the 35th LILA Anniversary at the Burbank Campus.
“History dies without the present. There is no future without the path made to it by the past.” Aidan Chambers
“Without History, there is no future”
Pictures courtesy of personal archives – more to be added as they become available.
Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony in Burbank Campus https://frenchalacarteblog.com/2013/10/13/its-official-burbank-welcomes-lila-lycee-international-de-los-angeles-in-the-neighborhood-ribbon-cutting-ceremony/
LILA 35 – Celebrating 35 years https://frenchalacarteblog.com/2014/09/06/lilas-35th-anniversary-celebration/
Monique Mickus http://articles.latimes.com/2001/oct/07/local/me-54443