Alumni Feature - Isabel Tumminello

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ISI Staff

Isabel Tumminello began her journey at the International School of Indiana (ISI) in 1998 and eventually went on to graduate with an IB Bilingual Diploma in 2013. From age 3 to grade 12, ISI was all Isabel had ever known. Her education and experience prepared her for a college career at Denison University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and French Language & Culture. Isabel then went on to earn a Bachelor of Nursing Science degree from Marian University.

Her vast educational experience has led her to a job at Ascension St. Vincent where she is a Registered Nurse in the Emergency Department. She credits her ability to treat patients in a holistically and culturally relevant practice to her past education.


1. With benefits like language immersion or the IB Diploma Programme, what drew you most to ISI?
Being entirely immersed in language and culture was always the biggest draw for me to ISI. When I was looking for a high school, I wanted to find a place that continued to foster that cultural competency and community. I decided to stay at ISI for those formative teenage years, and I'm so glad I did!

2. ISI has a curriculum that focuses on the arts and shaping their students’ outlook on international relations. In your experience as an ISI student, how do you think this unique approach to learning sets ISI apart from other schools?
I always felt like I had a leg up when it came to problem-solving because I could see the bigger picture. Having been exposed to so many different kinds of people and cultures helped foster curiosity and empathy when it came to understanding others, their situations, and where we meet in the middle. This problem-solving helped me be successful in school, but more importantly, it’s helped me to be successful in my practice as a registered nurse. Being able to understand why people are the way that they are allows me to figure out how best to help them live a healthy lifestyle. 

3. From student clubs and groups to a wide range of athletics, what extra-curricular activities, or community-building events, were your favorite to get involved with at ISI, and how did they help shape the person you are today?
Athletics was always a big part of my life growing up and continued to be throughout my collegiate experience. I loved being on teams that were small and scrappy, often the underdog. Our athletic program grew so much in my time there, but I did always love that everyone had a chance to be a part of the team no matter what. 

4. Considering the impactful opportunities ISI presents to its students, like the Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) project and the overall international experience, what were you able to gain from your ISI experience that has stuck with you throughout your life?
The commitment to service at ISI allowed me to see myself as part of a community and feel a sense of responsibility towards others. The approach taken by ISI wasn’t service out of pity, but service out of duty and out of investment in our fellow humans. I try to carry that spirit and the things that I do every day, from local volunteering and advocacy to my work.

5. What advice would you give to parents considering ISI for their children?
When I tell my friends about my school experience, often they can’t imagine what it was like to have been with the same twenty or so students my whole education. They also have a hard time wrapping their heads around the idea of a two week exchange trip in the fifth grade. ISI had a fine balance of fostering a very close-knit group that relied on each other while encouraging us to be self-sufficient and independent young people. I felt prepared to go out into the world as an active participant, as a leader, and most importantly as a teammate.

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