Wednesday, May 9, 2012
NKHS German Has Top-Ranked Students
ENTIRE NORTH EAST INDEPENDENT ARTICLE IS LINKED HERE “I couldn’t stop giggling,” she said when asked what her reaction was when she learned she was selected. The study trip includes round-trip airfare from New York to Germany, housing with a host family and “excursions to places of cultural and historical significance.” Haun is the first student from Rhode Island in a decade to be selected for the award, which is made possible through a grant from the Federal Republic of Germany. Ruthann Baker, who teaches German at the high school, said she wasn’t surprised that Haun was selected and called her one of the “beacons” for her other students. Haun and Margaret Bender, a junior, both recently scored in the 90th percentile of the 2012 National German Exam, which was taken by nearly 23,000 students in the country. They both also ranked No. 1 in the state in their respective levels – Haun is a Level 2 student and Bender is a Level 3. After qualifying with a high score on the National German Exam, a further qualification involved submitting responses to several short essay questions in German and in English and being interviewed by German professors from Brown University and the University of Rhode Island. “They are both so determined,” Baker said of Haun and Bender. “They are the type of kids that every teacher dreams to have as students.” Founded in 1926, the AATG represents German teachers at all levels of instruction and is dedicated to the advancement and improvement of the teaching of language, literature and culture of the German-speaking countries. “This program gives students the chance to experience Germany firsthand by living with a German family and attending school,” said Keith Cothrun, executive director of the AATG. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” Haun, who spent time living in Germany when she was much younger because her father was in the U.S. Air Force, said she is most looking forward to meeting new people during the trip. She leaves on June 27 and returns on July 21, but other than that, she doesn’t know many details about the trip. Bender, who studied in Germany last year as a foreign exchange student, offered this advice for Haun. “Just keep an open mind with everything and don’t be afraid of trying different foods, even if they might look or smell funny,” she said.