In the News

Aux Trois Pommes President Raymond Samaha Featured on Mr. Mom Radio Program! The show aired January 5th on KSCO and Dr. Samaha discussed the benefits of learning a second language with the host of Mr. Mom, Dave Marin.

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Aux Trois Pommes, CA Partners With Gateway School, Offers Language Classes Open To K-11 Students County Wide

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Profile: Aux Trois Pommes creates 24 part-time teaching jobs

September 1, 2012

SANTA CRUZ – The foreign language school Aux Trois Pommes opened downtown as the local economy was coming out of a deep recession, yet has expanded to 24 part-time teachers in fewer than three years.

Founder Raymond Samaha expects up to 150 students to enroll this semester.

He offers an immersion curriculum in Spanish, French, Italian, German, Mandarin, Arabic, Japanese, Russian, Dutch, Farsi, Portuguese, and English as a Second Language with Korean the newest addition.

“By far the largest growth we see is in the 3-5 year old age group, which is really excellent as it really is the best age to start acquiring a second language,” he added.

An open house to meet teachers and learn about the program will be 2-5 p.m. Sept. 22 at the school, 765 Cedar St. Most classes will be in the afternoon, although Spanish, Mandarin and Japanese are offered in the morning.

“We are also looking to add a Mandarin, French and Greek teachers,” Samaha said.

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Aux Trois Pommes foreign language school enrollment tops 100, plans anniversary open house in Santa Cruz on Saturday

January 18, 2012

SANTA CRUZ – Sonja DeWitt, a native of Bremen, Germany, wanted to make sure her daughter learned to speak German. She began researching what to do when her daughter was born two years ago.

When DeWitt, 37, lived in San Francisco, she had lots of options. In Santa Cruz, the only choice appeared to be driving over the hill once a week, which she was loath to do.

With her husband Ryan, a Santa Cruz native, busy starting his own physical therapy business in Pleasure Point, she decided she would have to start a nonprofit and find a room and a German teacher on this side of the hill. She hoped to start classes by fall 2012.

Then someone suggested she call Aux Trois Pommes, the foreign language school at 765 Cedar St. downtown. The name means “The Three Apples” in French.

DeWitt does not speak French, but she called. She discovered school founder Raymond Samaha had contacts for several German teachers.

“We wanted a native speaker, because all of us are,” DeWitt said.

The classes have already begun; 19 children up to age 12 from 13 families are enrolled. Some of the parents work at UC Santa Cruz; others commute to tech jobs.

German is the second only to Spanish in popularity, according to Samaha, and enrollment may grow.

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New Santa Cruz language school focuses on immersion, cultures

January 10, 2010

SANTA CRUZ — A language school set to open downtown will use total immersion to learn a new tongue, and to find the fun in learning about the culture behind it.

“Sometimes the language courses you took back when you were in high school were not very engaging,” said Raymond Samaha, owner of Aux Trois Pommes Ca. “Practice is the key. But we also bring into the classroom what’s different about a culture.”

A Lebanon native who served as a Red Cross medic when that country was torn apart by civil strife in the 1980s, Samaha moved in 1989 to Santa Cruz, where he worked as a biological molecular scientist.

“That means we do gene research, and research in drug development for the medical industry,” he said.

A graduate student at UC Santa Cruz and holder of a doctorate, Samaha said he decided to establish a language school in part because his cousin Marie Joseematta founded a successful one in Connecticut.

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