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Farewell Letter of the Upper School

Dear School Community,

Another wonderful and eventful year has passed. From our Welcome Night to the 5k Oktoberfest Run, the St. Martin’s parade, the Christmas Market to our first real Carnival Celebration among employees it was a fun-filled year. A few weeks ago, we conducted for the first time the German International Abitur Exams (DIAP) . One of our 12th grade classes took the traditional German Abitur Exam (Reifeprüfung), and the other took the German International Abitur Exams (DIAP) with an additional test subject and larger segments that are taught and tested in the local language. Both degrees have the same value as far as opportunities in higher education and careers go. We whole-heartedly congratulate all graduates and wish them lots of success in their studies and careers. 

Looking forward to the upcoming school year, we would like to make you aware that due to the structure of the DIA exams which will begin in 2019, regulations require that larger segments of instruction are conducted in the local language. Therefore, History will be taught on a modular bilingual manner in all grade levels. For your children this means that, starting next school year,  they will study content units in English and in German alternately. The exams will be conducted in the language that the particular content was taught in. We are convinced that our students will benefit from this approach and will be even better prepared for their Abitur exams, but also for life after school.

As every summer, unfortunately we have to say farewell to many of our wonderful faculty members at the Upper School. Dr. Apel has been at the German School for over 30 years and has taught P.E. to countless students. She embraced coaching several school teams and thanks to her the German School is the proud owner of numerous medals and trophies! We thank her and wish her a fulfilled retirement with many interesting encounters and with loose but not severed connections to the German School.

In the library we will miss our librarian Mr. Thommes. In his 17 years at the German School he felt especially close to the student body. He always had an open ear for their thoughts and stories. Furthermore, he put a lot of personal effort and commitment into the implementation of the digital library system that he initiated and organized.

We also wish all the best to our P.E. and French teacher, Ms. Wirth-Dieterle, who is going off to new adventures in Japan. Thank you for the many years that you have devoted to the German School and its students.

With Mr. Sarpe I lose my deputy who has supported me so fabulously and with whom I was able to work very closely and cooperatively. We will continue to benefit from his new arrangement of class schedules that has a stronger focus on enrichment classes for a long time to come.

We also have to say our good-byes to Ms. Moosdorf, Dr. Lother, Ms. Christof und Mr. Zemek who return to Germany after several years at the German School. They are devoted to the good of our students at the German School and their commitment has set new accents that will be remembered for years to come.

Our Quality Management Director, Ms. Beate Weinhardt, returns to Germany along with her husband Frank. Her highly effective professional development seminars and interesting workshops with important thought-provoking impulses will be missed.

At this point I would like to thank all of you for the great cooperation. It was a true pleasure to work the Students’ Council, Faculty, the Parents’ Council, the Friends of the German School, the Business Office staff, and the Board of Directors. In addition, I thank the numerous volunteers for their time and effort. What would we do without you?

A big Thank-You goes out to all Annual Fund sponsors who made it possible for us to acquire the “cherries on top” for our daily school life and to keep pushing forward with the use of modern instructional media. A report about the implementation of our 3D printers in the Upper School will be published in the next Wednesday Mail.

Best wishes for a relaxing summer,

Petra Palenzatis, OStD‘

Head of School

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