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International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

Freh Tesfaye: A Pillar for the WIS Community

Freh Tesfaye making an iced matcha in the IB cafe. Over the years, the cafe has acquired a wider variety of food and drink options, including her favorites: muffins. (Martina Tognato Guáqueta/International Dateline)

IB Cafe Manager Freh Tesfaye has worked at WIS since 2014. She has retained her position despite the pandemic and multiple food provider changes. 

Tesfaye initially took a job at WIS after a recommendation from a friend and went on to work with Sodexo for six and a half years. Then, she worked with Brock for two years. She was one of the few food employees who remained on campus through COVID-19, even when the IB Cafe was not open. She is currently employed by CulinArt and has no intention of leaving WIS anytime soon.  

Over the years, as the food providers have changed, her responsibilities have increased. Now, the IB Cafe has a wider variety of drink and food options, including refrigerated items.

One of Tesfaye’s main responsibilities is baking pastries in the cafe. Her favorite part of her job is making the muffins, which come in a variety of flavors and are quickly snatched up by WIS students each morning.

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Loved by many, Tesfaye has built a strong relationship with the students throughout her nine years at WIS. “When I come in in the morning, I’m very excited to see you guys,” she said. 

The mark Tesfaye has left on the community is undeniable. The love she expresses for students is widely reciprocated. 

“We love Freh,” junior Ava Gonzalez said. Connections that Tesfaye makes leave long lasting impressions. As a middle schooler, Gonzales recalls waiting for her older sister in the IB Cafe. Tesfaye would keep her company, always willing to have a conversation. 

Tesfaye demonstrates her care for the students in many ways. For instance, she gave junior Claire Khajavi a fresh muffin before the 11th grade IB geography field trip. “She even knew what kind was my favorite,” Khajavi said. 

As well as students, faculty interact with Tesfaye on a daily basis. IB Economics and Theory of Knowledge teacher Guy Neal goes to the cafe every morning. In his years as a teacher, he has found it “funny, amusing and heartwarming” that Tesfaye is the first stop in most alumni visits, even before their former teachers. 

The connection between students and Tesfaye is built up over the IB and persists for years after. Seniors and juniors alike stop by the cafe throughout the day to say “hi,” always leaving with a smile. 

By Martina Tognato Guáqueta

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About the Contributor
Martina Tognato Guáqueta
Martina Tognato Guáqueta, Photographer/Fact-Checker
Hi I’m Martina. I am a senior at WIS as well as Head Photographer and Fact-Checker for Dateline. I have been working at Dateline for four years as a photographer and staff writer. I tend to cover stories across a diverse range of topics. Outside from Dateline you can find me in the theater or yelling action behind the camera. 

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