Please join Director Dierk Seeburg and the entire staff of German School Phoenix in welcoming Katharina Blohm to the team as the new Assistant Director. Katharina officially assumed her new position with “the best little German School in the West” in July, and will be focused on the day-to-day operation of the school.
Because Katharina knows the benefits of early language education, she eagerly supports the mission of the school and is also raising her children in a bilingual environment. As a native German with a Banking Diploma and work experience as an Assistant Department Manager, she brings both language and administrative skills to her new position.
Katharina moved from Germany to Arizona in April 2017 with her husband and their three young sons. When she’s not busy with her family, she likes to read and go hiking. She also has a passion for running and traveling, and would love to discover, and run in, all parts of the United States.
Imagine that you’re told to attend a presentation made by a distinguished professor who specializes in the history of medieval and early modern German and European literature and culture from about 800 to 1800. Would you expect to be bored by a dry, serious presentation?
If that distinguished professor is Dr. Albrecht Classen, then that expectation would be wrong. Very wrong. Just ask any of the students, faculty and friends of German School Phoenix who were fortunate to meet Dr. Classen on Saturday, January 27th. Everyone there was captivated by his enthusiasm, inspired by his energy, and disappointed when his presentation had to come to an end.
Dr. Classen talked to the group about the history and development of European languages and the relationship between English and German. During his visit to classrooms before the presentation, he emphasized the importance of understanding history and appreciating what it can teach us about the present.
Currently serving as University Distinguished Professor and Undergraduate Advisor in the Department of German Studies at the University of Arizona, Dr. Classen has studied at several universities in Germany, Spain, Great Britain and the United States. For more information about Dr. Classen’s background and publications, please visit http://aclassen.faculty.arizona.edu/.
German School Phoenix now has a Marketing Manager! Julie Linke’s new title reflects her previous contributions to GSP’s growth and the expansion of her duties to managing ASU intern Jackie Welsh and volunteers Gözde Tuncalı and Erika Gehres. Julie has been instrumental in distributing flyers, and in creating our newsletter and brochure. Going forward, Julie and her team will be working on making connections with preschools in anticipation of a children’s class, and on reaching out to sponsors. Congratulations to Julie and much success to the marketing team in their efforts to help GSP grow and improve.
Every student that shows up in class on Saturdays has a different story, a different background, and a different motivation for studying German. In this student spotlight, we’ll introduce you to a member of the intermediate class, Jong Lee.
About Jong: Jong was born in South Korea, and moved with his family to Seattle when he was eleven years old. After high school, Jong got a B.S. in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering at University of Washington in Seattle. Then he went on to the University of Texas at Austin for an M.S. in Aerospace Engineering. His first “real” job was with Siemens Power Generation in Orlando, Florida. Jong became a U.S. citizen in 2001, and came to Phoenix in 2006 to work for Honeywell Aerospace.
Jong’s Reason for Learning German: Jong took a couple of semesters of German while in Austin because he got hooked on a German band, Rammstein. He enjoyed the German classes, but after he moved to Orlando he wasn’t able to keep up the German studies. He was pleased to find German School Phoenix and resume taking classes when he relocated here.
Something about Jong that Might Surprise You: Jong’s dream is to become a full time artist. He liked to doodle and draw as a kid, so he signed up for art classes when a friend gave him a coupon for them. His talent quickly developed from there, and he is now an accomplished painter. You can see his work on his Instagram account, gymkata9124, or on these websites:
On Saturday, November 21st, German School Phoenix participated in the Tempe Public Library International Cultural Fair. Student and staff member volunteers were available at the GSP table to answer questions and provide information about the school and the classes offered.
On October 17th, German School Phoenix students and staff were pleased to welcome back Dr. Helge Jordan for his second visit as guest speaker. Dr. Jordan is the Honorary Consul for Germany in Arizona. The topic of Dr. Jordan’s talk this year was the 25th anniversary of the reunification of Germany, which was celebrated on October 3rd. He also provided students with information on free electronic newsletters available through the German Embassy and Consulates, and the German Information Center USA. For more information, visit http://www.germany.info/Vertretung/usa/en/Newsletter.html.
German School Phoenix was invited to participate in the Musical Instrument Museum’s “Experience the Alps” event held on October 4th. With a live band playing German music in the background, GSP Director Dierk Seeburg (shown in photo), along with other GSP volunteers, were able to talk with museum guests and answer their questions about the school and the classes offered.
For more information about the Musical Instrument Museum, please visit http://mim.org.
On September 19th, Gerlinde Dunlap visited GSP classes to describe her family’s experience with Concordia Language Villages. Concordia Language Villages is a language and cultural immersion program offered by Concordia College, a private liberal arts college located in Moorhead, Minnesota. Programs are available in several languages and each takes place in a customized Language Village on Turtle River Lake, near Bemidji. The German village is called Waldsee. Youth programs for ages 2 through 18 include day camps, sleepaway camps, family weeks and weekends. Adult programs are also available. For more information, visit http://concordialanguagevillages.org.