Liebfrauenschule secured for the future as a girls’ school

Friday, March 26, 2021

Press event in Bensheim / New owner: ISR International School on the Rhine gGmbH

Bensheim/Mainz/Neuss. The essential elements of the Liebfrauenschule in Bensheim will be preserved for the future with the upcoming change of ownership: The Liebfrauenschule will remain an “Ersatzschule”, it will remain a girls’ school, it will con-tinue to maintain the tradition of a Christian-oriented education, and it will retain the Realschule educational branch. The conclusion of an agreement between the Diocese of Mainz and ISR International School on the Rhine gGmbH was presented to the public during a press conference at the Liebfrauenschule in Bensheim on Friday, March 26. The press conference was attended by the Auxiliary Bishop and Vicar General of Mainz, Dr. Udo Markus Bentz, the Managing Partner of ISR, Peter Soliman, the Head of Education of the Diocese of Mainz, Ordinariate Director Gereon Geissler, and the School Director of the Liebfrauenschule, Ursula Machnik. ISR is an education group based in the Neuss and Düsseldorf area and is responsible for an international school, two kindergartens and the Franziskus Gymnasium Nonnenwerth (Remagen), a former school of the Order of Franciscan Sisters.

It is planned that the ISR Group will gradually take over the management of Liebfrauenschule by the middle of the coming year and then take over responsibility for running the school in 2022_2023. In the course of ISR taking over responsibility, the renovation of Haus Michael will also be tackled. After new sponsors were announced for the Martinus School in Mainz-Gonsenheim at the beginning of March, the agreement between the diocese and ISR now marks the second change of sponsors. The diocese is currently in negotiations with regard to the other schools and institutions affected by the management /structural changes.

Auxiliary Bishop Bentz: the school has a clear perspective

“Now we have clarity about the future of the Liebfrauenschule. We had promised to make every effort to ensure that the school could remain a girls’ school with a Christian character. We have succeeded in doing so. I am very happy about that. I stand by my conviction that the patient effort to engage in talks and negotiations, far removed from public eye, is purposeful and relevant. In the future, the diocese will be pastorally engaged with the school. With Mr. Soliman we have a partner who is very much interested in the Christian tradition of the school and in a partnership with the parish and the order. The school now has a clear perspective. It is a matter of great concern to me to thank the entire school community for their commitment to the school. The trusting and committed participation in the discussions of the past weeks has made an important contribution to the success,” emphasizes Auxiliary Bishop Bentz.

Peter Soliman: values remain as important as academic achievement

“I have the greatest respect for the Diocese of Mainz and the Sisters of the Order of Mary Ward. Both have made the Liebfrauenschule a success story that is recognized beyond the region, and in the process maneuvered the girls’ high school through many a difficult phase. In the future, ISR wants to help maintain and further improve the unique offering. There will definitely be a gentle transition: We want to see, judge and act together in the spirit of a long-term partnership. The coming months will be dedicated to planning and preparation. Together with parents, students, the church and the college, we want to work sustainably towards a positive new beginning in the 2022/2023 school year.

There is no doubt that in the future, values and personality will continue to be just as important as academic achievement. The Liebfrauenschule, therefore, retains its Christian orientation. Linked to this, honesty, sincerity, respect and trust remain the basis of education and upbringing. Especially in a time of change and uncertainty, the teaching of such values cannot be valued highly enough.

I am convinced that the modernity and flexibility of ISR and the tradition and values of the Liebfrauenschule will complement each other perfectly. Our experience shows: in such a situation, 1 + 1 makes more than 2! For example, we will contribute to make the Liebfrauenschule fit for the future in the areas of digital infrastructure and equipment with modern communication technology. We attach great importance to mathematics and science education in the so-called STEM (MINT) subjects. In our digital and technological world, this is really effective support for girls.

Allow me to add a personal note: I have two daughters, one is in her second year of university and the other is in 10th grade. From discussions with them – including on concerns and hardships – I know first-hand what is on girls’ minds as they seek their place in careers and society. Both want to be in leadership positions helping to make our world a better place. In fact, these years of personal insight may be the most important pre-requisite for my role at Liebfrauenschule, which I am very much looking forward to,” explains Peter Soliman.

With kind regards

Episcopal Press Office Mainz / ISR Neuss
Bensheim, Mainz, Neuss, March 26, 2021

 

Your contacts for further information and interview arrangements:

Episcopal Press Office Mainz
Tobias Blum
Phone (06131) 253-129/-128/-127 – Fax (06131) 253-402
E-mail: pressestelle@bistum-mainz.de – Internet: www.bistummainz.de/presse

ISR Neuss
Annika Poestges
Telephone / Phone: +49 (0)2131/ 403 88-14; +49 (0)176/44281547; +49 (0)171/9335134
E-mail: Annika.Poestges@isr-school.de; www.isr-school.de

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