Marion Brecht, firmly believes that all children can learn a second language. For the past ten years at McDonogh, Madame Brecht has painstakingly shared the secrets of a well-organized French notebook and study skills with her students, as well as her love and passion for the Francophone language and culture. Dozens of her students are also looking forward to visiting Amsterdam after being intrigued with Majon's stories of her childhood in the Netherlands.
From providing her students with a class pet, a Beta fish named "Guillaume Sushi" to encourage the students to take turns feeding and talking about Guillaume's imaginary daily activities... to guiding her previously inexperienced students to create marvelous impressionist paintings, Madame Brecht brings joie-de-vivre to her classroom.
Service to others has always been a beacon in Madame Brecht's life. Visitors to her Foreign Language Office can see a large group photograph, including a very young Kirsten Adams and Madame Brecht in front of the White House, where their community service efforts while at Byrn Mawr were recognized by the President. Imagine, decades later, the little girl who received a D in French from Madame Brecht is now the Head of Upper School and the "boss" of her former French teacher!
In every school in which Majon has taught, she has inspired students to reach out and help others. Modeling altruism, Majon has a chart and donates $1 to the Smile Train charity every time one of her students achieves an A on a test. She also spends the year knitting and crocheting dozens of beautiful scarves to be included in McDonogh's Holiday Project.
She and her husband, George, are leaders in the Rotterdam Sister City program in Baltimore and host people from all over the world. One of the exchange teachers who had the pleasure of staying at the Brecht home said that the hospitality she received and the beauty of her surroundings made her feel like a queen. Majon, George and their two grown children, Courtney and Matthew, also enjoy traveling internationally every summer.
Madame Brecht has amazing energy. She often attends Zumba and Intensive Workout classes before and after school. She hikes with her dog Wiley and tends a beautiful lawn and garden at her home. As a member of the group of McDonogh teachers learning Spanish this year, Majon can be seen enthusiastically and anxiously studying before her quizzes and feeling the frustration of beginning language students.
Her colleagues are appreciative of the constant support, volunteering to handle tasks and substituting that Majon generously offers.
Last, but not least, is Madame's love and respect of all things living. It is not unusual to see Majon gently picking up a stink bug to take it outdoors, putting down a very humane mouse trap so that she can deliver her tiny and quite healthy captive to a nearby field or feeding hungry wildlife.
For nearly half a century, Majon Brecht has engaged young men and women in mind-opening classes and endeavors, as well as lending her compassion and generosity to her colleagues and society as a whole. We won't say "au revoir" to Madame Brecht, but rather "À bientôt" as we wish her health and happiness in all the endeavors she looks forward to pursuing.