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WPWV Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of German



WPWV AATG Fall Meeting Minutes                    Saturday, November 16, 2013
                                                                                    Mt. Lebanon High School
Meeting opened at 9:00 a.m. by John McLaughlin, Chapter Vice-President
Present: John McLaughlin, Cathy Altmeyer, Peg Meyers, Gabi Thorell, Mary Wagner, Josi Smith, Amy Karst, Leah Skrypek Jeffrey Reynolds, Michael Stang,  
Cynthia Chalupa, Leah Turner, Martina Wells, Deborah Janson, Jennifer Scott,
Beth Roadman, Heiko Ter Haseborg
1. Future meetings, plans for spring
Cathy Altmeyer will contact Jennifer Redmann about a writing workshop, and Lauren Janetta from Hempfield High School about her gnome project, to see about availability on our suggested dates of April 5, 12, or May 3.  John McLaughlin will send a survey via listserv including questions on preferences on dates and topics for our upcoming workshops.  We will have a door prize drawing at the spring meeting for a free registration to ACTFL 2015 in San Antonio, paid from the Chapter treasury.  Leah Turner will check about using Penn Hills High School for the meeting.  Any member interested in hosting a future meeting should contact our Chapter President, Gabi Eichmanns: eichegabi@hotmail.com
2. National German Exam.  We need more seniors to apply for the study trip scholarship contest.  Students scoring 90%ile and above may apply.  If you have not yet ordered exams, the deadline is December 1st for exams to be administered in January.  Please see aatg.org for more information.
3. Three Rivers German Day Tuesday March 25, 2014. 
We are expecting $2300 in grants from Hogfathers BBQ Restaurant, Checkpoint Charlie Foundation, and the Bayer Corporation.  With a contribution of no more than $1200 from our chapter, we can afford to lower the registration fee to $9 per person, including lunch and a t-shirt.  We have applied for a grant which would fund a grand prize of a study trip via AATG to Germany in the summer of 2014.  it was suggested that we make this available to any attendee of German Day.
4. Webinars available via AATG (Musik, Common Core, Switzerland, Underrepresented groups of students-retention, thematic instruction...)
Gabi will attend AATG Chapter Presidents' Meeting
General membership meeting Friday at noon, Room W103A
German events at ACTFL—something on Saturday night.  Cathy Altmeyer will
receive the AATG/Goethe Institut Certificate of Merit Award at the Saturday night
6. PSMLA in State College October 17-18, 2014.  Our planning committee has agreed that our chapter will be a part of this meeting, and hold our chapter meeting/workshop there.  There are usually not enough German-related sessions at PSMLA.  Perhaps we can work with the Central PA chapter and between the chapters provide at least 6 sessions.  We will look into having a table for our chapter (or perhaps share with the other AATG chapters), and will ask textbook publishers to send samples for German teachers to peruse, since there are not many German textbook vendors represented at PSMLA.  John McLaughlin will include ideas for sessions in the survey to be sent to our listserv:  
-Using authentic materials
-The transition from high school to college for German learners.
-AP Preparation
-GAPP and other exchanges
-The New German Teacher—networking opportunity
7. WPWV AATG Chapter Report due Dec 13--any individual news (articles published, etc) to add to it?  Usually includes topics of our workshops, number of members, other activities, accomplishments of members, news…
            -Mt. Lebanon High School celebrated the 30th anniversary of their exchange with           Germany.  The Post Gazette wrote an article about this.
            -Quaker Valley High School also celebrated the 35Th anniversary of their German
             exchange this year.
            -List of newly-hatched teachers looking for positions 2013-2014:
            (WVU will send some names, we’ll email Pitt as well.)
            -Checkpoint Charlie grant of 1000 Euro for Three Rivers German Day 2014.
            -Fulbright Awards: (Cynthia will send names)
            -Cathy Altmeyer received the AATG/Goethe Institut Certificate of Merit at the
            2013 ACTFL Convention in Orlando, Florida.
            -# of schools hosting exchanges (John McLaughlin will survey our members      about this.)
            -Teutonia Männerchor will have an event in March open to the general public
            which will includie food and dancing.
8. Sonst was?  Jeffrey Reynolds inquired about appropriate films and video for high school use.  Suggestions from other teachers:  JoJo Sucht das Glück, Goethe Institut’s Kurz und Gut macht Schule



Mary Zollars, Guido Halder,  Peg Meyers, Heiko ter Haseborg, Amy Karst, Amy Minnetti,  Gabriella Thorell,  John McLaughlin,  Gabi Eichmanns, Cathy Altmeyer

 1. Congratulations to Bernice Yu, of North Allegheny Intermediate School, on winning a study trip to Germany via the National German Exam.  Bernice is a student of Mark Demkee.

 Congratulations also go to our faithful member, Leah Turner, of Penn Hills High School, who gave birth to a healthy baby boy.  Willkommen, Maximillian!

 2. Vielen Dank to Drew Richards, our Chapter President, for his years of service to the AATG.  Gabi Eichmanns from CMU is now our Chapter President through April 2015.

  3. Chapter Vice-President Election.  John McLaughlin of Trinity High School accepted the nomination and was unanimously elected Vice-President through April 2015, at which point he will become the Chapter President.

 4. German Day 2013:  no chapter grant was awarded this year, so our chapter used approximately $600 of our own funds.  We received a $500 grant from Hog father’s Restaurant and from the Bayer Corporation.  We are working on getting funding from Hofbräuhaus Pittsburgh.   Proposed dates for next year:  Tuesday, March 25 or Thursday, March 27, 2014.  There will be no state tests that week according to the PA Department of Education. (no PSSAs, no Keystones) 

Hog father’s would like a poster to put up in the restaurants promoting their 3 years of financial support for German Day.  Cathy will look into having posters printed at W&J. 

 Peg Meyers will write the chapter grant proposal for German Day 2014.    A video of German Day is available on youtube.com via the W&J youtube page.  Bayer requested that we make the video available online, so that they can encourage other companies to support German Day. 

 5. Award Nominations due May 15:

 Friend of German Award: We will nominate Hog father’s Restaurant for their continued support of German Day.  We need letters from German Day participants stating how much they enjoy German Day and appreciate the support of Hog father’s in keeping down the cost of the competition.   Amy Karst and Cathy Altmeyer will work on the nomination.

 Certificate of Merit:  We will nominate Cathy Altmeyer.  Peg Meyers will work on the nomination.

 future ISE Matters Award nominee:  We might nominate Helene Schaeffers next year for her long years of work on summer language camps for secondary students.   

 6. National German Exam:  Testing Chair Guido Halder discussed the results and the fact that we only had one nominee for the senior category.  Some schools have troublel giving the exam because their school does not want German teachers to proctor the exam themselves.  Parents can proctor the exam as an alternative.  Teachers are reminded to be sure that students write their applications without the use of online translators or teacher/native speaker assistance.   Perfect grammar is not expected on the application and students should write at their own level and ability.

 WPWV AATG Fall 2012 Chapter Meeting Saturday, November 12, 2012

Fox Chapel Area High School     Meeting opened at 9:30 a.m., adjourned at 10:30 a.m.

In attendance:  Andrew Richards, Leah Turner, Cynthia Chalupa, Peg Meyers, Josi Smith, Gabi Thorell, Cathy Altmeyer, Bob Chaney, Amy Minnetti, Gabi Eichmanns. 

 1. Nominations for Chapter Vice-President from the secondary level.  Term to begin at the conclusion of the spring chapter meeting.  Leah Turner was nominated and is   considering the nomination.  Other nominations will be solicited from the membership and a ballot will be sent out by Chapter President Drew Richards via survey monkey or something similar.  Nominations/write-ins will be accepted through the end of the election.  Gabi Eichmanns will become Chapter President at the conclusion of the spring 2013 meeting.

 2. Three Rivers German Day, Thursday, March 7 at Washington & Jefferson College.   Same cost as last year $13 which will include lunch, registration and a t-shirt.  School buildings will be limited to 40 participants each. Cynthia Chalupa will contact WV schools to encourage them to participate.  

Three Rivers German Day t-shirt ideas: SMS messages,   Grimm 200 year anniversary

German language black and gold spirit towels will be ordered as prizes this year.

A summer language camp list, and list of local German companies will be distributed in prize bags and teacher bags.  Leah Turner will help us with a poster promoting German specifically for Western PA/West Virginia, and we will have those made up (possibly at Fox Chapel) to give to teachers at German Day for use during school open houses.

 3.  Christmas markets: at Columbus, Akron, Harmony, Pittsburgh, Mifflinburg PA.  Possible meeting next fall—W&J can reserve vans for 12 people.

 4.  Gabi Eichmanns, our chapter VP,  will attend the Chapter President’s Assembly at ACTFL to represent our chapter. 

 5. Membership building.  Lists of former and possible members were distributed.  Attendees were asked to contact people on the list and encourage them to join/rejoin AATG.  Our chapter will pay for the membership of the first 10 former or new members to respond.

Next fall, we will hold a drawing from the membership for a $500 award to help cover the cost of attending ACTFL in Orlando.

5. Spring meeting ideas? One member requested that we set up the meeting so that others could dial in via Skype.  Fox Chapel has this capability so we will likely hold the meeting there again.  Washington & Jefferson College is another possibility.

April 13 was suggested as a possible date. 

-Ohio gave a recent workshop on how to present the European economic situation in the classroom, Greece, the Euro, coming elections in Germany.  Peg Meyers will contact a possible presenter.  We may combine this with business German in the high school classroom, led by business German professors Gabi Eichmanns, Cynthia Chalupa, Guido Halder.  (Give high school teachers the tools to have their students write a resume, application, and do  mock interviews with native speaker community members)

 -Handicapped in Germany—also done in Ohio, possible future topic

 -An overnight immersion weekend was suggested.  The WV chapter did this successfully, using members’ homes as ‘host families’ for lodging.

-Workshop to arrange classroom visits—college professors visit high schools, high school teachers visit college classrooms.  This has been done at Ohio State. 

-TPRS  workshop—Rob Williams, etc.



WPWV AATG Spring 2012 Meeting Minutes              

Saturday, April 14, 2012, Osborne Elementary School, Sewickley PA

8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

Present:  Andrew Costigan, Drew Richards, Doug Wilkinson,  Colleen Richards,  Cathy Altmeyer, Peg Meyers, Leah Turner, Josi Smith, Ed Heinlein, Amy Karst


1. Election Secretary/Treasurer.  Cathy Altmeyer was unanimously reelected.


2. Summer WPWV AATG Picnic, Cooper’s Rock State Park near Morgantown WV. Pavilion #2 near the overlook. Sunday, August 19, noon to ?  Family, dogs on leashes welcome.  Bratwurst/vegetarian hot dogs, drinks, cups, plates, etc. provided, please bring a dish to share.  Handicapped accessible, but path is a little rough. Central PA, MD Chapters have been invited as well.  Extra 2011 Chapter Grant Funds will be used to help defray expenses.  Drew Richards will be our Grillmeister.

Request for volunteers to bring needed items will be sent to the listserve.

(Costs will be reimbursed.)

bratwurst—Drew Richards

plates, cups, silverware, napkins, serving utensils—Cathy Altmeyer

still needed: buns for bratwurst, condiments, drinks with ice


3. German Day:  333 participants, 10 judges, 35 W&J student volunteers.  Technology competition judge requests that this category be eliminated as of next year due to lack of entries.  Several teachers stated that students had started projects but did not complete them on time and requested that we keep this category. 


4.  Membership Contest—winner of $50 VISA gift card from members who renewed for 2012 by January 1, 2012:  Kerry Werner.  Winner of $50 VISA gift card from members who have signed up for auto-renewal:  Ed Heinlein.


5. National German Exam:  Study Trip Nominee and Winner: Michaela Culley, Burgettstown MS-HS

2012 Duden Award for excellence in teaching (based on National German Exam results)  Mark Demkee from North Allegheny Intermediate School

2012 Langenscheidt Award- Daniel Madler, student at  North Allegheny Intermediate School.

There were NO senior trip applications this year.   Peg Meyers noted that 5th year students can take the 4th year exam; we will ask the Testing Chair to help to encourage teachers to give the exam to seniors next year.  Fewer study trips were awarded nationwide, so this is not isolated to our chapter.


6. Peg Meyers and Cathy Altmeyer will work on next year’s chapter grant application, due in early May.


7. Pitt Graduate German Program may be cancelled—Dr. Lyons asked for letters of support to be sent to the dean. A petition is also circulating and has been sent to the listserv. Please see the news pages on the website for details.



WPWV AATG Fall Meeting Minutes, October 29, 2011, Washington & Jefferson College

Present: Drew Richards, Cathy Altmeyer, Gabi Thorell, Chris Godwin, Leah Skrpek, Cynthia Chalupa, Peg Meyers, Budimka Uskokovic, Megan Kramer, Leah Turner, Jennifer Scott, Dana Burgard, Harald Menz, Amy Karst, Mary Barliakos


1. German Day Tuesday, March 27, 2012. Washington & Jefferson College.  Cost per participant $13

Chapter will chip in about $500 to keep the costs down for students.

Grants expected: $500 AATG, $500 Bayer, $500 Hogfather’s

Typical costs: $150 certificates/frames, prizes $700 (but we have a lot of free stuff this year—we must spend $500 per AATG grant requirements.), tshirts $2700, lunch $2700= $6250

About 360 paid participants last year=$17.36 each

Subtract $1000 in grants from cost=5250/360=$14.58—Chapter will cover enough to make it $13.


2. National German Exam   New testing chair Dr. Michael Shaughnessy.  Send him comments and questions.  german@washjeff.edu

How to Use the National German Exam in Your Classroom. Online at:



The deadline for orders is November 15, 2011. Administration of exam: 12/6/11 to 1/20/12.


3. Recruitment/Retention Ideas wanted: Please send to helene@aatg.org


•       If you have a strong long standing program, what do you do to keep it that way?  (Best Practices)

•       If anyone has started a new program recently,  what steps did you take to accomplish that?

•       If your program was threatened and saved, what steps did you and others take to accomplish this?

If you have statements from parents, students, colleagues, administrators, community members etc. that would support any of the above, please include them (no names needed, just positions).


4. Member announcements:

Amy:  new book Neuland, Gedichte, Gedanken und Bilder, by Josef Immergruen Karst, amazon.com

   Could be used in class as contemporary literature.

Cynthia: AP Prep Book in the works.  Suggestions needed. cynthia.chalupa@mail.wvu.edu


5. Membership Drive   We will run a membership drive, led by Michael Shaughnessy. 

$100 Visa gift card for the member who recruits the most new (or lapsed 2 years or more—no 2010, 2011 membership)

$50 Visa gift card drawn from new members from this drive.

$50 Visa gift card drawn from all members who signed up for continual renewal of membership or lifetime membership by 12/31/11.

We will modify and distribute the flyers used by another chapter to help with this drive.


6. Free Film Screenings for Schools, South Side Works. Pittsburgh Jewish Film Forum.

•        Holocaust, historical, social topics.

•        Pre-selected screening dates or individual scheduling for 100 or more. Next screening date11/15

•        Teacher Guides available

•        In-classroom pre-screening preparation, led by one of our educators, is available by request.

•        One of our educators always leads a post-screening discussion at the theater.

Contact: Lori Sisson lsisson@jfilmpgh.org      412-992-5213

7. Chapter will donate $200 in honor of Helene Zimmer-Loew’s retirement for her celebration and for a gift.  Any monies leftover from these donations will be put in the schlolarship fund.


WPA AATG Spring 2011 Meeting Minutes

Meeting opened at 10 a.m.  30 April 2011, Burnett Center, Washington & Jefferson College


Michael Shaughnessy, Cathy Altmeyer, Chris Squire, Andrew Richards, Henry Lenz, Uli Taylor,  Josi Smith, Brad Martin, Deborah Janson, Eichmanns, Ed Heinlein, Gretchen Gyrich, Cynthia Chalupa, Amy Karst, LuAnn George, Peg Meyers, Harald Menz, Heiko e ter Haselborg, Kathy Fegely, Leah Turner


1. Chapter VP election—Gabi Eichmanns unanimously elected

 2. Constitution vote—chapter dissolution clause required by IRS was added

Dissolution of the Chapter

The Chapter may be dissolved only 1) at a special meeting called for that purpose,  2) through a vote by a majority of the remaining members of the Chapter or 3) through clear evidence that the Chapter no longer is active. No member of the chapter shall be entitled to any distribution or diversion of its remaining property or proceeds.  The balance of the money, other property or assets received by the Chapter from any source shall be distributed for exempt purposes to qualifying charitable beneficiaries, preferably the national organization, the American Association of Teachers of German which is registered as a 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code.


3. Vote on merger of WPA Chapter with WV Chapter –unanimously accepted

 Name change?  WPWV AATG chosen

 Questions on merger:


WV treasurer will transfer funds to WPA account

WPA account name will be changed

Dues will begin to be credited to the new chapter next January since we have already received this year’s portion of national dues.

 WV officer terms will end upon merger.  WV members can stand for election at the next


 Meeting locations—will be determined by members.  We will try to use Skype to aid

members who live far from the meeting location.  Kathy   Fegely suggested that we

alternate meeting locations, and that when meeting in the north, a central location should

be chosen in the south and vice versa so that members will still be able to meet as a



Some workshops in the past featured book reviews-- this might interest some members.


5. German Day March 6 or 27 are possible—27th was chosen.

Please let Cathy Altmeyer know of any publicity your program has received.

6. financial report attached—The chapter is in good shape.  Please use auto renewal for membership so that we can receive a portion of your national dues.

7. change in leadership.  Mike Shaughnessy handed over the presidency to Drew Richards, and was presented with a gift, card, and a cake to thank him for his service to the chapter.


WPA-AATG Fall Meeting, Saturday November 13, 2010, Carnegie Museum of Art Cafe


Present:  Michael Shaughnessy, Cathy Altmeyer, Drew Richards, Richard Hough, Josi Smith, Chris Hallstein, Amy Karst, Lauren Poetain, LuAnn George, Ingeborg O’Mahony, Leah Turner, Bob Chaney


Meeting began at 10 a.m. and ended at 10:30 a.m.

Peg Meyers has been on extended sick leave.  Flowers were sent to her from the AATG, and she sent us a thank you card, which was read to the membership. 

We will elect a new chapter vice president in the spring.  It should be someone from the post-secondary level, according to chapter rules.  Chris Hallstein will speak with his colleagues at CMU to see if anyone would like to run.  If no candidate from post-secondary is available, we can nominate someone from secondary, provided that at least one officer remains from the post-secondary.  We will take nominations up to and at the spring meeting.

Western PA AATG Spring Meeting March 27, 2010                            Minutes

Meeting began at 9:30 and ended at 9:55.



Cathy Altmeyer, Wendy Burgbacher, Amy Karst, Josi Smith, Lauren Gates, Leah Turner,

Robert Chaney, Gabriella Thorell, Zsuzsa Horvath, Drew Richards, Gretchen Gyrich, Ingeborg O’Mahony


1.  Election of Chapter Vice-President to complete the term of Colleen Richards, who has resigned.  Drew Richards was elected with a term to begin immediately and to end in March 2011.

2.  Cathy Altmeyer was re-elected as Secretary/Treasurer.

3. Rules regarding next year’s VP election were discussed.  Our chapter rules dictate that the candidate should be from the university/college level, but if this is not possible, it is permissible to have someone from the secondary level, since our Secretary/Treasurer is from the post-secondary level.

4. German Day report—426 participants from 18 different schools.   Suggestions for next year were made: Hogfather’s Restaurant would like to either donate $400 for prizes, or perhaps a luncheon for a winning school.  Pepinos Restaurant in Washington might be another possible donor—this restaurant is owned by a participant’s parents. (Anthony Verardi).  A new art category was suggested: culinary arts.  There were many good handicraft entries this year, and making a separate cooking category would help the judges and give the students another opportunity to compete.

 5. There will be another spring workshop on Sunday, April 18, at the UJF Holocaust Center in Squirrel Hill from 1-3 p.m. Cost is $5.   Topic: Teaching the Holocaust through Comic books.  Workshop will be led by Zsuzsa Horvath and Beverly Harris-Schenz.

 6. Nominations from our chapter:  Amy Karst has been nominated to the Executive Council of the AATG.  Elections will be held in the fall.  Peg Meyers will be nominated as German Educator of the Year.   Bayer Corporation will be nominated for the Friend of German Award for its support of German Day and other programs.

 7. Additional announcements. 

Chapter members were asked to submit any press on their students from German Day, the testing program or other awards. 

Ingeborg O’Mahony’s student was interviewed for a story on the Congress-Bundestag program.

Uwe Kind concert at Fox Chapel High School on May 11 from 9:30-noon. $5 per person.  There is a park nearby where students could stop for a picnic lunch afterward—Squaw Valley Park. 

Carnegie Museum of Art has a good collection of German art.  Ingeborg O’Mahony took a group of students there for a one hour tour of the collection.  Please contact Ingeborg for more information:


Minutes-- Fall 2009 Business Meeting WPA-AATG

October 24, 2009

Teutonia Männerchor

Meeting began at 10:00 a.m. and ended at 10:35 a.m.

 Present: Dr. Michael Shaughnessy, Cathy Altmeyer, Dr. Zsuzsa Horvath,

          Robert Chaney, Richard Hough, Josi Smith, LuAnn George,

Greg Smolinski, Doug Mills, Gabi Thorell, Drew Richards, Donna Nofzinger, Dr. Edith Krause, Amy Karst, Gretchen Gyrich, Elliott Bergman, Beth Roadman

 1. Financial report is attached.  We’re in good financial shape with a balance of $4032.46. 

2. Membership drive.  We currently have 94 members, not all of whom registered in time for us to receive a portion of the membership fee.  Members need to renew by early March at the latest in order for our chapter to receive a portion of the dues.  The membership no longer begins in September—it begins in January.  Mike Shaughnessy is looking into contacting some new teachers in the area, and all members are encouraged to approach colleagues about membership.  We need more members from the university level, including graduate students who may wish to teach German at the secondary or post-secondary level.

Previous membership numbers: 2

2004            92

2006            96

2007            102

2008            84

2009            94

 3. There will be an election in the spring for Chapter Secretary/Treasurer.  Cathy Altmeyer was nominated for the position and has agreed to run again.

The current VP has decided not to continue, so there will be an election for that position in the spring.  Drew Richards was nominated for the position.  Other nominations for either position may be made by email to the Chapter President, Mike Shaughnessy at mshaughnessy@washjeff.edu before the spring meeting.

 4. There will be a Weihnachtsmarkt in Harmony on November 14 and 15 this year.  Members discussed how the AATG could support and promote the idea of having a Weihnachtsmarkt in Pittsburgh.

 5.  Spring meeting.  Drew Richards suggested an immersion day, similar to the recent and very successful immersion day in Erie.  The PSMLA is trying to arrange an immersion day at the University of Pittsburgh on Saturday, March 27, and we will try to work with them and make this our spring workshop.

 6. German Day is on Thursday, March 18, 2010 at Washington & Jefferson College.  Suggestions were made regarding the judging of the music category to allow for separate judging for small-scale versus large-scale productions.  This will be brought up with the German Day committee.

The new technology category will be tried again this year.

 7. The Modern Austrian Culture and Literature Conference will be held in April 2011 at Washington & Jefferson College.  Approximately 70 scholars from around the world will participate.  Mike Shaughnessy is looking into offering a discounted rate for AATG members for sessions only.  The full conference rate is expected to include all meals.

 Minutes WPA-AATG Spring Meeting 2009

Saturday, March 28, 2009, Fox Chapel Area High School

Meeting began 9:30 a.m., ended 10 a.m.

Present:  Amy Karst, Mike Shaughnessy, Cathy Altmeyer, George Kendares, Colleen Richards, Drew Richards, Meghan Lewis, Greg Smolinski, Josi Smith, Gabi Thorell, Gretchen Gyrich, Bob Chaney, Rita Nieman

1. Election of new Chapter Vice-President.  Candidate must be from secondary level. 

            VP will serve for 2 years, March 28, 2009-spring 2011, then will become Chapter

            President.  Colleen Richards was unanimously elected.

2. Planning Committee will apply for the Certificate of Merit Award for

Dr. Michael Shaughnessy, and for the Friend of German Award for Bayer

Corporation for its support of German Day.  Applications are due in May.  Peg

Grasso will do the application for the Friend of German Award, and Cathy

Altmeyer will assist with the Certificate of Merit Award.

4. German Day follow-up.  Over 400 participants including volunteers, 15 schools

            including 2 middle schools. A video is available for anyone who is interested—

            we just ask for a small donation to cover costs.  $2 for any video that must be

            mailed, $1 for just the video for those picking it up at the meeting.

            There were no valid entries for the Technology competition, but we will run it

            again next year.  We will put links to examples on the WPA-AATG website.

Teachers: please contact local papers, put info on school website for publicity,

and let me know if you get coverage.  National AATG wants to know about any

media attention we get.  Better news coverage is needed for this event—perhaps

we should contact television stations next year, such as KDKA’s Dave Crawley. 

Also, the Washington & Jefferson College media person has been involved in

previous years and perhaps could do more next year. 

Some teachers commented that the $14 cost per student

in addition to charges of up to $300 for a school bus for the day makes it

expensive for the students.

            Judging rubrics were discussed for the music category.   Some entries are very

            different in nature to others--featuring the instrumental or vocal talents of the

students involved or original works.  Could a separate award be given for best

original song or best performance.  The German Day committee will discuss it.

5.  Thank you to outgoing Chapter President Amy Karst.

Welcome our new Chapter President, Dr. Michael Shaughnessy

            6. Announcements: Hofbrauhaus on the South Side is open.  Pittsburgh German Meetup group will be there April 2, 6:30 p.m. 

7.  20th anniversary of Fall der Berliner Mauer in November—perhaps our chapter could host an event.



WPA-AATG Fall Meeting Minutes, October 11, 2008

 Present: Amy Karst, Michael Shaughnessy, Cathy Altmeyer, Peg Grasso, Josi Smith, Wendy Burgbacher, Chrissy Hartmann, Ruth Scott, Jack Scott, Ed Heinlein, LuAnn George, Pauline Spring, Karen Taylor, Doug Mills, Gabriella Thorell, Goran Thorell, Leah Turner, Beatrice Hook, Mary Zollars, Gabi Eichmanns, Christian Hallstein, Meghan Lewis, Stephen Brockman (23)

 1. Membership renewal: Membership runs from January to December.  Please renew for 2009 before February 1, 2009 to ensure that our chapter receives a portion of each member’s dues.

2. PSMLA: WPA-AATG will have a booth at the fall PSMLA conference on October 17 & 18.  Volunteers are needed to staff the tables.  Suggestions were solicited for what to put on the table: gummi bears, useful handouts such as a list of German places in Pittsburgh, in addition to member forms, listserv information.

3. Spring Meeting suggestions:  Advocacy, cooking with Josef Karst, differentiation, cross-curricular projects (including art, dancing, crafts, cooking, social studies)

4. German Day 2009: March 12 at Washington & Jefferson College.  New category this year: technology, which will include pod-cast, webpages, etc.  No fee per school, but cost per student will be between $10-14 and will include t-shirt, lunch, and administrative costs.

5. National German Test.  Teachers giving the test in December need to register by October 31.  Dr. Joseph Moser is our new testing chair: jmoser@washjeff.edu.  If your students win a prize or score well, contact Dr. Michael Shaughnessy at german@washjeff.edu to have it put on the WPA-AATG website.

6. VP Nominations.  Starting at the end of the spring 2009 meeting, Amy Karst will be stepping down as president, and Dr. Michael Shaughnessy will be our chapter president.  We are now accepting nominations for VP, who will serve 2009-2010, and will become the chapter president at the end of our spring 2011 meeting.  The nominee needs to be from the secondary level.  Nominations: Josi Smith (declined, will be retiring before the end of the term of president), Chrissy Hartmann, Bob Chaney, Colleen Richards

Nominations will continue to be accepted until the spring meeting, and the election will be at the meeting.


WPA-AATG Spring 2008 Meeting Minutes

Meeting began at 9:30 a.m.  Ed Kasper, Gabi Thorell, Bob Chaney, Peg Grasso, Greg Smolinski, Josi Smith, LuAnn George, Mike Shaughnessy, Cathy Altmeyer, and Amy Karst present.

1. Discussion:  fall meeting options

            --German tour of Pittsburgh led by Dr. Michael Shaughnessy, using Just Ducky vehicle.  Cost of tour + lunch—we’ll try to keep it at $40.  Teachers will leave with a transcript that they can use with students to give their own German tour of Pittsburgh. We might seek financial support for this workshop to keep down costs from DANK, or other organizations.  Tentative date: Saturday, October 11.  Paid guests will be welcome—we need to fill up the seats on the tour.  The tour will be in German.

Suggestions for future workshops: differentiation in the foreign language classroom.  We may set up an online survey for members on preferred locations, times, and topics for future workshops.

2. German Day: a great success this year.  Great press coverage in Pittsburgh Post Gazette and a few local papers.  We’ll try to charge $10 per student next year, including t-shirt, lunch, and registration.

3. ACTFL November 19-23, Orlando, housing open now (as of April 25)

4. German Day PNC Park Sunday August 31, 1:35 p.m. against the Brewers, if you buy a Hat’s Off Package, you receive a Pirate’s hat with a German flag on it.  Hat’s Off           Packages cost $20 (L/R Field Box) or $17 (Outfield Box).  German food does not seem to be included in the ticket price this year, but may be for sale at the park.

5. Pittsburgh Air Show.

            May 10-11, 2008 9:00-5:00     at the 911th Airlift Wing Air Force Reserve  
            This year's air show will have a display honoring 60th anniversary of the Berlin    Airlift.  Free Admission - Free Parking. 

6. other meetings/conferences: PA Modern Language Conference, MLA will be in PA this year, June 24-26, free workshop for teachers at Duquesne Teaching Contemporary Global Issues, sponsored by the World Affairs Council.

Suggested for the winter: Christkindlmarkt in Harmony.  Teachers expressed a desire to see one in Pittsburgh—this has been suggested before, in Market Square.

Summer course for teachers available at the University of Pittsburgh: Technology in the Classroom with Claire Siskin.

7.  Membership: Members are asked to  please help us by recruiting in your district.  Letters and emails were sent in August and in January recruiting new members, asking lapsed members to come back.  We need to have dues paid by mid-March in order to receive a portion of them from AATG.  Remember to ask your school district if they will pay for dues to a professional organization.

8. Suggestions for getting more attendance at workshops: have a WPA-AATG table at other area conferences, for example at the IUP Language Conference, or at PSMLA.

Survey the members online to ask for ideas.  We need to consider relevant topics, convenient times and locations.  We need to give out lesson plans with workshop with standards on them.


Minutes WPA-AATG Fall Meeting September 29, 2007

Washington & Jefferson College


Joseph Moser, Cathy Altmeyer, Amy Karst, Christian Hallstein, Mary Beth Zollars,

John McLaughlin, Ann Bailey, Richard Hough, Josi Smith, Linda Ionta, Donna Notzinger,

Marie Fechik, Bob Chaney

Meeting was called to order at 9:30 a.m. by Chapter President Amy Karst.

1. Jane DeBacco of Greensburg area schools won the AATG Certificate of Merit Award.  Amy Karst will accept the award for her at ACTFL in December.

2. The ACTFL conference is November 15-18 in San Antonio, Texas.  Deadline for regular registration is October 8.  Further information under www.actfl.org

3. German Day will be held March 13 at WJ as it has been held in the past. There will be limits to how many students each of us can bring, and some changes in the registration process, so please read your e-mails and/or snail mails as they arrive to avoid any problems! A sign-up sheet was sent around looking for volunteers.

4. Congratulations to chapter members Chrissy Hartmann, Chris Tobias, Betsy Ross, Wendy Burgbacher and Ellen Policastro on receiving Gift certificates to take students to Atria’s Oktoberfest! Guten Appetit! Oktoberfest at Atria’s will continue through Oktober 16.

5. ACT 48 and problems? – Check the PDE website that your ACT 48 credits are in for Spring 06 = 3.5 hours, Fall 06 = hours and Spring 07 = 4 hours.   Let Cathy Altmeyer know if your hours (only the ones turned in by the PSMLA) are still not correct.

6. Chapter Grant applications are due by the end of October. Peg will do another for the immersion weekend, and Cathy will do the one for German Day 2009 (!) We will receive $400 for each of these events in 2008.

7. Spring Meeting – Immersion Workshop. Attendees suggested a date in February, rather than April.

We’ll pass this on to Michael Shaughnessy, who is in charge of organizing the event and getting hotel rooms. We should get a rough figure on how many rooms we would need. Invitations will also go out to the WV chapter since they are so close.

8. Promoting German:  how to promote your program, work in an atmosphere where language programs compete with one another for students.

Chris Hallstein mentioned that the AATG listserv has been talking about how effectively GAP programs are in boosting German programs.  Josi Smith added that friendshipconnection.org also has a great program.  Amy Karst passed around the comments from students who went on the AATG Study Trip.  Marie Fechik and Mary Beth Zollars use Letternet in their classrooms to motivate students.

10. There will be a methodology workshop on April 18 at IUP, featuring Renate Schultz as keynote speaker.  ACT 48 credits are available.

11. November 2 is German night at the PSO.  A package ($25 last year) includes a pre-show, tour, the show, and a German food after the show.  Amy will email us details.

12. The German meetup group meets twice a month in the Pittsburgh area, and will meet on October 11 at Atrias on the North Side at 7 p.m.  Go to meetup.com for information.

13. Suggestions for future meeting topics:  Volunteers to host the meetings are always welcome.

--Bob Chaney attended a 2005 ACTFL workshop on the role of foreign languages in standardized testing, such as the PSSA.  Skills developed in the foreign languages classroom apply to academic skills being tested by the standardized tests.

--ACT 48 hours need to include some hours on differentiation, ESL, and special education.  We could address this ourselves or get someone to talk to us about dealing with students with hearing/vision problems, health problems such as ADD or Asbergers.

--Mechanics of teaching in the foreign language classroom.  How to do 5 preps per day, manage time, teach from a cart when you don’t have a permanent classroom.

--Advocacy:  How to respond when administrators want to cancel German or French to make room for Chinese, Japanese, or Arabic.  Suggested responses:  The countries where these languages are spoken are less accessible to students than Germany or France.  Teachers for these languages are not readily available.  The time to become proficient in these languages is longer than it is for German or French.

Meeting ended 10:25 a.m.


WPA-AATG Spring Meeting, April 21, 2007 at Mt. Lebanon High School

Meeting began at 9:30 a.m.

22 members attended: Cathy Altmeyer, Bob Chaney, LuAnn George, Gretchen Gyrich, Chris Hallstein, Christina Hartmann, Richard Hough, Amy Karst, Heather Morgan, Maureen Minder, Maria Patsy, Ingeborg O’Mahony, Drew Richards, Colleen Richards, Shawn Rudy, Josi Smith, Greg Smolinski, Chris Squire, Gabrielle Stobbe, Gabriella Thorell, Daniela Wiernik

1. Chris Hallstein explained the proposed changes to our by-laws.  We would like to remove the words “executive committee”, and have a “planning committee” instead.  The Planning Committee will be defined as all chapter officers, the president, vice-president, and secretary/treasurer, and anyone else who wishes to participate.  Planning Committee Meetings will be announced on our website and to our Listserv, and any WPA-AATG member is welcome and encouraged to attend.  The meetings and workshops will be planned by the Planning Committee, and not by the Vice President alone, as it is currently listed in our by-laws.

This motion was proposed, seconded, and passed unanimously.

2. Chris Hallstein explained that the vice president must be a post-secondary person, and explained that Dr. Michael Shaughnessy of Washington & Jefferson College had agreed to be nominated.  He asked for other nominations, and there were none.  He motioned to close the nominations, which was seconded and passed.  Michael Shaughnessy was elected by unanimous agreement.

This is Chris Hallstein’s last meeting as Chapter President. Amy Karst will be the Chapter President beginning at the end of the meeting, serving for 2 years, 2007-2009.

3. The National AATG is seeking contributions for a scholarship fund in memory of Jamie Bishop, the German professor killed earlier this week at Virginia Tech. Chris  suggested a contribution from our chapter of $200, which is the same amount as similar previous contributions.  A motion was made that WPA-AATG donate $200, the motion was seconded, and the motion was passed unanimously.

4. Anne Green will be moving to Arizona in June.  She will remain as President of AATG until her term of office ends later this year.  She will also continue to do consulting work for Goethe Institute and will be working for the non-profit organization, Vegan Outreach.

4.Cathy Altmeyer explained how to get ACT 48 for WPA-AATG workshops.  Attendees can either give their certificates of attendance to their school districts to have them turn in the hours for them, or current PSMLA members can sign the list and have the PSMLA submit the hours for them.

5. Mike Shaughnessy’s book, German Pittsburgh, is now available in bookstores and online at amazon.com.  The Allegheny City Society, which tries to preserve historical sites in Pittsburgh, especially on the North Side, will also be selling autographed copies of the book.  Proceeds from those sales will go to the Allegheny City Society.

6. Gabrielle Stobbe will have 2 books published this coming summer.  Just enough English, an illustrated grammar, and Just enough Spanish, an illustrated grammar, will be published by McGraw Hill.

7. A video of German Day 2007 will soon be available online.

8. LuAnn George recommended the CALL (computer assisted language learning) course, taught by Claire Siskin, at the University of Pittsburgh.

Also recommended were the programs at Middlebury College and Millersville University.

9. There will be a German summer camp at Millersville University for students who have had 2 years of German and are ages 15 and up.  2007 graduates are also welcome.

10. One of the teachers asked about code free DVD players.  alphabetgarden.com was recommended as a good source.

11. German night at the Pittsburgh Opera was a great evening.  About 75 people were treated to a backstage tour, a great concert of German music, and food from the Penn Brewery.  Another German night is planned for November 2007.

12. Attendees were given information about German Day at PNC Park, which will be held on September 9, 2007.

13. Chris Hallstein was given a card signed by WPA-AATG members, thanking him for his service as Chapter President.  He also received a Penn Brewery gift certificate.

 Meeting was adjourned at 10 a.m.


September 23, 2006 Minutes WPA-AATG Business Meeting 

submitted by Anne Green and Cathy Altmeyer 

9:25 a.m. Meeting started.  35 members in attendance. 
Congratulations to:

       Zsuzsa Horvath on the release of materials for “Die Lisa” through the AATG Materials Center. The book “die Lisa” is also available through the materials center. 

Anne Green on the pilot release of “Weiter Geht’s”, an intermediate German textbook published by evialearning.com 

Mike Shaughnessy on his upcoming book “German Pittsburgh”. 

AATG Poster Contest: deadline is September 30.  A committee of post-secondary judges will determine the winners. 

Please email listserv@washjeff.edu and put in the body of the email:

       Subscribe wpagerman  FIRST NAME LAST NAME 

 German Studies Association annual meeting will take place next week at the Pittsburgh Hilton, from September 29 to October 1.  This will be the largest GSA meeting ever.  ACT 48 credits are available for PSMLA members for attending. 

There are two opportunities for German-related in-service on Allegheny County’s

October 9 in-service day:

      Mt. Lebanon: Classroom activities related to German Day.  See Peg Grasso.

      Holocaust Museum: see Chris Tobias 

National German Test:   The testing period is December 11, 2006- January 17, 2007.

AATG Annual Meeting will be held from November 17-19 in Nashville. 

The date for German Day has been set for Thursday, March 8, 2007, at Washington & Jefferson College. 

The spring meeting will be held on March 31, 2007.  During this meeting, we will hold an election for a new chapter Vice-President.  The new VP must be from the post-secondary level.  Our workshop will feature a German cooking demonstration by professional chef Josef Karst and a discussion of what we can do with our German clubs.  Members agreed to raise the meeting fees starting with the spring meeting to $25 for members, $50 for non-members.

Mike Shaughnessy is looking into finding corporate funding for a travel scholarship for Western Pennsylvania secondary-level students.

Grants are available for learning-based projects through the SSLC, the Student Service Learning Center.  If interested, ask Amy Karst. 

LuAnn George reported that the Governor’s School of World Languages offers a wonderful program.  The program registration fee is $35, and the program itself is completely free.  Eight German teachers participated last summer. 

The Old Economy Village is hosting Erntefest on Saturday, September 30, 2006 from 10-4:30. See   http://www.oldeconomyvillage.org/ for more information.  Other events include November 25, Christmas with Belsnickel: 10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. and December 9 Christmas at the Village 2:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. 
Thanks to Claire Siskin of the Pitt Media Center for hosting us today. 

Meeting adjourned at approximately 9:50 a.m.



The Western PA. Chapter of the AATG held its Spring Meeting and workshop at Quaker Valley High School on April 8th, 2006 from 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM. Our professional development workshop, “GDR Literature and Cross-Cultural Awareness”, was presented by Dr. Karina von Tippelskirch, head of the Language Program at the Deutsches Haus at New York University.  The workshop explored the literature of the former GDR as a means to learn about the history of the two German states as well as about cultural differences in general. 

Participants received hand-outs of the poems and a prose text which were discussed in the workshop. They were also given a certificate stating that 3.5 hours of professional development work was completed. 

From 9:00 AM to 10:30 AM, the secretary/treasurer Christina Hartmann held the registration and coffee and other refreshments were provided.  Immediately after, Dr. Christian Hallstein held the business meeting. 

 The agenda of the business meeting follows:


I.                    Belated but heartfelt congratulations to member Zsuzsa Horvath on winning a graduate student teaching award for 2005 from the University of Pittsburgh.

II.                 Our StADaF grant for 2007 was funded for $425 of the $500 which we requested.  The chapter will be able to cover the remaining $75. 

III.               Member Peg Grasso reported that there will be an Allegheny County In-Service Day for all teachers in the county on October 9th, 2006.  She has submitted a proposal for a workshop entitled:  “Aligning the WPA-AATG German Competition to Curriculum and Standards”.  Peg sent out an email on our mailing list about the workshop.  She would like to invite everyone who attends German Day to collaborate with her on this workshop.  It would be a great forum for discussing strategies for the competition and ways to improve how we run the competition.  Those interested in attending may email Peg Grasso at Pgrasso@mtlsd.net or can call her at 412-344-2000.  The location of the workshop will be announced at a later date.  If you do not teach in Allegheny County, but would like to attend, contact your school’s administrator to see if this is possible. 

IV.              Dr. Anne Green showed us a copy of the new “Counselor’s Guide to German” pamphlet, which is published by the AATG and the Goethe Institut.  She also brought some for us to take.  If you would like more, ask Anne to send you some for your school.  They can also be ordered from the Goethe Institut website. 

V.                 Anne, who is our new National President, also announced that the national AATG website is being overhauled.  It should be done by the fall.  It will be easier to navigate, much like the ACTFL website. 

VI.              Dr. Chris Hallstein announced that the AATG Study Trip Awards have been cut back by half.  We had another winner from our chapter this year.  The winning student is Taylor Lescallette of Burgettstown High School, whose teacher is Mary Barliakos.  Congratulations go out to both of them.  This is the second year in a row in which one of Mary’s students has won.  We are doing well with getting winners from our chapter.  But national AATG wants us to look into funding the award ourselves, in order to guarantee that we get an award every year.  The applicant must be 16 before they go on the trip.  At least $2700 is needed to fund 1 student.  Chris asked if we should ask for donations.  He suggested that we pursue it if we already have connections to some local German companies.  Dr. Mike Shaughnessy reported that we have on our website a list of 70 German companies in the Pittsburgh area.  Member Colleen Richards knows people at Siemens, where she used to work.  Although they already have a science and math scholarship, she will ask her old boss about the possibility of supporting a German scholarship.  Zsuzsa Horvath has a student who works at Boss and another at Bayer.  It was noted that Bayer has so many in-house programs already.  If we could get 5 firms to donate $500 each, that would cover most of what we need.  We could cover the remainder.  Anne said that we would not have to do this every year.  She suggested mentioning to the companies the whole amount we need, which may lead to them donating more than $500 a piece.  We can offer to name the scholarship award after the company, so that they can have some PR for it.  Mike Shaughnessy offered to draw up a budget.  Anne suggested we have $3000 as our goal, which will allow the student a little spending money.  Mike suggested having the whole proposal done before approaching the companies.  He said he could make up a draft or work with someone else on it.  Colleen Richards, Zsuzsa Horvath and Mary Beth Zollars volunteered to help him.  He will pass on the draft to them and they can take it from there.  Colleen also suggested having our school’s German Clubs do fundraisers and give the proceeds for the scholarship.  Anne also mentioned that companies could sign up to give a donation for one year or more if they want.  We should keep it open-ended.  We will publicize it on our website.  (Companies will want to know how they can gain publicity for their donation.) 

VII.            Chris Hallstein, our chapter’s testing coordinator for the National AATG German Test, reported that we usually have a steady 14 schools in our area participating in the test.  He hopes that this will continue.  He will be sending out the awards/prizes to the high scoring students within 7-10 days.  He hopes that this will be before schools start having their awards ceremonies. 

VIII.         As this is the final meeting in Secretary/Treasurer Christina Hartmann’s term of office, President Chris Hallstein and Vice-President Amy Karst thanked Christina for her 4 years of service to the chapter and presented her with a gift from the officers and members.  The steering committee had previously nominated Cathy Altmeyer for the office of Secretary/Treasurer.  Chris asked if there were any other people who would like to be nominated for the position.  No one volunteered, so he asked for a vote to elect Cathy as our new Secretary/Treasurer.  The motion was seconded and the ensuing vote was unanimous.  Cathy Altmeyer will be our new Secretary/Treasurer, starting officially when the bank account is transferred into her name. 

IX.              The chapter’s Financial Report was presented by outgoing Treasurer Christina Hartmann.  Our starting balance (from the date of our last business meeting) was $2760.92 and our ending balance as of April 8th, 2006 was $2321.12.  Athough we received a chapter project grant for $500 from national AATG and a donation from Bayer for $500 for German Day 2006, we had a problem with the student lunch tickets.   School districts ordered too many tickets and then did not pay for all of them, due to the fact that there are always some kids who end up not attending that day.  One school district ordered around 30 tickets, but when they signed in at the competition told us that they had packed their lunches instead.  The chapter took a loss of $558 for all of these tickets.  Mike Shaughnessy of Washington and Jefferson College, which hosted the competition, suggested selling souvenir t-shirts to students to help defray some of these costs.  We discussed possible designs for the t-shirts and that pre-selling them for $10 a piece would be enough to make some profit from them.  We would pre-sell the t-shirts by including an order form in the registration form for the competition.  The lunch tickets will now also be pre-paid at the time of registration.  This is the only way to ensure we do not take a loss again.  

X.                 Meeting adjourned and the workshop began. 

 Respectfully submitted by:

Christina Hartmann

Secretary/ Treasurer


Minutes for the WPA-AATG Fall Meeting
October 8th, 2005
Carnegie-Mellon University
Submitted by: Christina Hartmann, Secretary/Treasurer

A. Encouraging former members to rejoin
1. President Christian Hallstein reported that National Executive Director Helene Zimmer-Loew asked all chapters to help stop the attrition of members. According to the statistics for 2005, we lost 150 members since last year, a trend that has continued for the past 10 years.
2. Chris will send a mass-mail to everyone in membership categories (L) and (F) to ask them to rejoin. He will stress that they can receive Act 48 continuing education credits for attending our workshops.
3. Discussion on making personal phone calls to former members. It was suggested that we do it in layers; first, send letters, then call with an invitation to a get-together (social hour) . Chris will divide up the list of people so that we can all help with the calling.
4. Anne Green suggested that we make the second half of our Spring Meeting a “social mixer”. Discussion took place on having a separate event and if people would have the time to come to it. David Lane suggested the “MeetUp.com” German discussion group. Amy Karst suggested going to a wine and cheese jazz music event at Atria’s, which is the last Wednesday of every month. She can email us reminders and reserve a table for us.
5. Anne Green said that if people tell you during the phone call that they don’t want to join again, we should ask them why. It would be good for us to know.
6. Discussion on updating our email lists, so that we can best avoid spam and unwanted ads. Mike Shaughnessy from Washington and Jefferson College volunteered to help us with this.
7. Chris suggested that if any member knows of people who are not yet members, that we send him their email addresses and send them a letter. We can also remind them that membership dues are tax-deductible and that some school districts will even pay them for you.

B. ACTFL “Year of Languages” Projects in our chapter
1. Chris wanted to know if anyone has done any projects for it. Amy Karst’s students did a showcase for Open House. Mike Shaughnessy is having Jochen Richter come to W&J on Tuesday, Oct. 11th at 5:00 PM. Dr. Harris-Schenz of the University of Pittsburgh had a panel discussion about how professional people in the community use foreign languages in their careers.
2. Chris Hallstein asked members to email him with your YOL ideas and he will send it on to national as a group response for our chapter.
3. Anne Green asked for help in judging the posters for the YOL poster contest. She will send out prizes locally. Anne will judge the grand prize, which will hopefully be a free language course at the Goethe Institut for the winning student.

C. Chapter Presidents Meeting in Baltimore
1. Chris wanted to know if we have any concerns so that he can pass it on and have it put on the agenda for discussion.
2. The elimination of German programs in our area was mentioned as a concern.
3. It was noted that when German teachers retire, schools often shut down the program entirely, rather than hire a new teacher. Or they hire teachers straight out of college and ignore the older candidates.
4. It was asked if Pennsylvania should have a two-year foreign language requirement for graduation. Some noted that colleges have stopped checking for two years of language study and students seem to get into college without it quite easily.
5. It was noted that if your subject is not important to the PSSA test, the state and school districts don’t care.
6. Discussion on passing the state standards for foreign languages in PA. We are probably 1 among 3 states which do not have state standards passed for foreign languages. The state seems unwilling to change the situation.
7. Discussion on what makes German less important than other languages. Is it because of politics and the Germans’ stance on the Iraq War?
8. Discussion on how school districts find ways of getting around the state mandate that they must offer at least 2 foreign languages.
9. It was suggested that members buy/download the “Pro Deutsch” materials from AATG/Goethe Institut to help give them ideas on how to retain German programs.
10. Anne reminded everyone that Bob Chaney is receiving the Certificate of Merit at the ACTFL conference this year in Baltimore and asked for members to go and support him. Carpooling can be arranged.

D. Chapter Projects
1. We are turning in a project for German Day again. Peg Grasso volunteered again to do the paperwork. Anne Green, who will be the new National President next year, will be deciding on the proposals.
2. We can submit up to 3 proposals. A “Wald-Wochenende” for teachers was suggested, but Anne said the AATG would favor ideas which involve students, not just teachers.

E. German Diplomat Hans Arnold speech
1. Chris Hallstein announced the upcoming speech to be held at CMU on October 17th, 2005.
2. The speech is titled: “Europe and the U.S.: Where Do We Go From Here?”.

F. Encouraging participation in the National German Test.
1. Chris would like to see more schools participate. We will include an additional letter in the mass mailing on the German Test.
2. Chris mentioned that we are no longer guaranteed to have a winner from our chapter.
3. Christina Hartmann asked Mary Barliakos, whose student won the study trip last year, to tell us about his experience. Mary said that her student had the experience of a lifetime and is much more confident now.

G. Hurricane Katrina relief assistance
1. Executive Director Helene Zimmer-Loew sent a letter to the chapter presidents asking if local chapters could pledge money to support fellow AATG members affected by the hurricane. This would include providing books and materials for these teachers.
2. Anne Green suggested we match the Alaska chapter and sponsor at least 2 people. Motion passed to sponsor 3 colleagues. Treasurer Christina Hartmann will send the check for $150 to national.

H. Endowed Scholarship Fund for High School Students
1. Interested students can apply online at aatg.org.
2. Chris included copies of student participants’ letters about their experiences during their stay in Germany.
3. Members are encouraged to make donations every year to the Endowed Scholarship Fund.

I. Steering Committee Meeting
1. The next steering committee meeting will take place on January 7th, 2006 at CMU.
2. It is open for all members who want to come. Contact Chris Hallstein at hallstein@cmu.edu if you want to get on the email list for steering committee meeting reminders. Just show up and enjoy the food and refreshments!

I. Announcements
1. German Day 2006 will take place on Thursday, March 9th, 2006 at Washington and Jefferson College. Mark your calendars! Look for the poems and writing topics on the chapter website very soon. Anne Green is also making changes to the Culture Bowl competition, which will be listed on the website.
2. The WPA-AATG Spring Meeting and Workshop will take place on Saturday, April 8th, 2006. Author Katrina von Tippelskirch will speak about DDR-Literatur. The location will be announced.

Liebe KollegInnen!

We hope that you all have had a restful summer vacation and feel energized to start the school year. This is the perfect time for all of us to breathe some new life into our teaching methods and German programs. For this reason, the Western Pa. AATG has planned a very special workshop for our Fall Meeting.

The focus of the workshop is grammar! In particular, how to make the teaching of grammar more effective, less painful and more fun for both us and our students. The meeting will take place on October 8th, 2005 at Carnegie-Mellon University. Chapter President Professor Christian Hallstein will host the event.

In our Grammar Forum, we will offer all participants a chance to share a unique grammar idea or fun technique with their colleagues. All of the ideas presented will be photocopied and organized in a neat binder for you to take home and use in your own classroom. If you feel like you never get the chance to meet with your fellow German teachers to share your ideas and concerns, this is the workshop you absolutely must attend! By sharing our ideas and teaching methods, we hope that all of our German programs will become stronger. The more creative our teaching becomes, the more students we will attract to taking German. For those students we already have, we realize that German grammar can be quite daunting. If we can make it easier for them to learn, they will want to continue their study of German into the upper levels. In addition, by teaching grammar in a more exciting way, we as teachers will also find it less tedious and more gratifying. We assure you that no matter what level German you teach, you will definitely learn something useful and practical at this workshop. You can also fulfill 5 hours of Act 48 continuing education credits required of all public school teachers. The PSMLA has generously agreed to make us a “subcontractor” and thus certify our meetings for Act 48 credits.

If you would like to present an idea or technique in the Grammar Forum, we offer you the added incentive of a reduced workshop fee ($15.00 instead of $20.00 for AATG members, $35.00 instead of $40.00 for non-members, which also includes a one year membership in AATG). We simply ask that you submit your idea to Christina Hartmann, Secretary/Treasurer of the chapter, in advance, so that she may compile all of the materials into binders for each participant. You may send a hard copy by mail to the address provided in this letter or if you prefer, an e-mail (with a Word attachment, if necessary). The presentations will be given in English, with examples given in German. Presentations need only be about 5 minutes long (or less). The more ideas we can share, the better! Some ideas we would like to include are: teaching grammar through songs, rhymes, games, stories, poems, etc.

The schedule for the day is as follows:

9:00 – 9:30 Registration, coffee and donuts

9:30 – 10:00 Business Meeting

10:00 – 12:00 Grammar Forum Workshop

12:00 – 1:00 Lunch—provided by the chapter (vegetarian items available)

1:00 – 3:00 Continuation of Grammar Forum

To register for the workshop, please send your name and address with your payment to Christina Hartmann at the address provided. Or, if you prefer, you may register by e-mail at: chrissy_hartmann@yahoo.com and make your payment at the workshop. The deadline for registration and submission of ideas for a presentation is September 30th, 2005.

Sincerely yours,

Christina Hartmann
1220 Royal Dr. Apt. 267
South Park PA 15129


Western PA AATG Spring Meeting 2005 Minutes
April 9, 2005
Canon-McMillan High School

Written by: Christina Hartmann and Ingeborg O’Mahony

Business Meeting:

1. Testing Report: Our testing coordinator Christian Hallstein reported that this year there were roughly the same amount of test-takers in our chapter as last year, however, there was a sharp drop in the number of students applying for the study trip. Other members commented that it seems like students have so many things they do in the summer that they have difficulty finding the time to take the study trip.
2. German Day Summary: Peg Grasso, our organizer of the event, said that it was a great competition this year. Since there was one complaint about the enforcing of the rules for the music category, it was agreed that next year the judges would strictly enforce all rules. In addition, the officers will continue to refine some of the details of the various competitions, in particular, the Culture Bowl. Anne Green, who is the judge of this event, has some ideas about how to change it so that students will have to know much more than what is printed on the question list. No changes have been finalized at this point.
3. Year of Languages Poster Contest: Ingeborg O’Mahony distributed the information on the contest to all participants. We would like to encourage teachers to get their students involved. Posters are to be submitted by June 30th, 2005 to Anne Green. There are three levels for the theme: elementary, middle/junior high and high school. The AATG would eventually like to use the winning designs for publicity on t-shirts, bags, etc. Anne Green said that she hopes we will be able to offer a number of different prizes, possibly including a grand prize of a summer camp scholarship at Concordia Language Villages.
4. ACTFL 2005 Convention in Baltimore: we hope that many of our chapter members will atttend, considering that the distance to travel is not so great. Members were reminded to book their hotels early if they are going to go.
5. Treasurer’s Report: Christina Hartmann reported that our current balance is $2625.99 and that we are in good financial standing. The treasurer’s report was submitted to new President Christian Hallstein. It was suggested that in the future, the chapter will help offset the cost of membership in AATG to new members, by paying for most of the fee for them. We hope that this will help us gain more new members.
6. Fall Meeting 2005: The Steering Committee decided that the topic of our next workshop will be a grammar forum, where participants will bring their ideas about how to make the teaching of grammar less painful and more fun for students. We will give teachers who submit their ideas the incentive of paying only $15 instead of the usual $20 for the workshop fee. For non-members, the fee would be reduced to $35 from $40. Teachers who present at the workshop must bring 25 copies of their idea and we will provide folders for the participants to store them in. On the invitation letter, we will stress that the workshop will be held in English and that there will also be a door prize. We would also like to include a mission statement about our chapter and organization. The Fall Meeting and Workshop will be held on October 8th, 2005 at Carnegie Mellon University, with President Chris Hallstein hosting.
7. Announcement from Chris Hallstein: about a performance called “Cut Faust!” being held at CMU from April 19th –21st , 2005. For more information, email Chris. It was also announced by Chris that Dr. Anne Green has received the Elliot Dunlap Smith Award for teaching excellence at CMU, which is a great honor for her. Our congratulations to her!
8. Announcement from Peg Grasso: about the Goethe Institut’s National Award of Excellence, which is a contest schools can win for publicizing the benefits of learning German. Your school receives a short video to show students, then, after viewing, the students take a short quiz. The more entries a school has, the better its chances of winning a study trip to Germany for one of their students. Contact Uwe Rau at the Goethe Institut in New York to get on the mailing list and for more information.
9. Election of WPA AATG Vice-President: Amy Karst expressed interest in running and won a unanimous vote to become our new vice-president.
10. Final Announcements from outgoing President Ingeborg O’Mahony: She expressed her thanks and gratitude to her fellow officers for their help and support during her presidency. Thanks also went out to: Jo Sanders for the outstanding presentation she gave, Christina Hartmann for hosting the meeting, Michael Shaughnessy for his unwavering support and hosting German Day 2004 and 2005 at Washington and Jefferson College, Peg Grasso for organizing German Day every year, Chris Hallstein for his support with meetings and for the chapter in general and to Anne Green, for her neverending support and advocacy for our chapter both behind the scenes locally and on the national level.
11. Changing of the Guard: Chris Hallstein began his term as President of the chapter.

A special thanks from Ingeborg O'Mahony.

Dear Colleagues,

For those of you who were unable to attend the presenation by Jo Sanders this past Saturday, we had a great session with her, and all of us came away with so much in the way of spirit and information. During our Business Meeting, Amy Karst, from Quaker Valley High School, was elected our new chapter Vice President, and Christian Hallstein of CMU became our Chapter President, and I know he will do a great job. Christina Hartmann remains in our service for another year as our fearless Secretary/Treasurer.

We spoke about German Day and its success, and we are continuing to refine some of the details of the various competitions. We also would like to remind all that ACTFL 2005 is in Baltimore, so we hope that as many people as possible can attend the convention. We also spoke about the Goethe National Award of Excellence, which is a very "winnable" award for all of us. If you want more information, contact Uwe Rau at the Goethe Institut in New York.

We would also like to congratulate Anne Green for having won the Elliot Dunlap Smith Award for teaching excellence at CMU, which is a great honor for her.

We also want to remind everyone that we still have the Year of Languages Poster Contest. Posters are to be submitted by June 30, 2005 to Anne Green. The various levels for the Theme: Why Learn German? are Elementary (K - 5 or 6), Middle School/Jr. High (6 or 7 - 9 or 9), and High School (9 or 10 - 12).

Our Fall Meeting is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, October 8, 2005. If this date doesn't work or there is a major conflict, let me or Christian Hallstein know.

Finally, I would like to extend my e-thanks to the following people:

1. To Jo Sanders for an outstanding, entertaining, and informative session. We loved having you here, and you are welcome any time.

2. To Christina Hartmann for being a great Secretary/Treasurer and for offering her school as a hosting site for the Spring Meeting.

3. To Michael Shaughnessy for his unwavering support and hosting of German Days 2004 and 2005. We truly appreciate his help.

4. To Peg Grasso for unending energy and efforts in organizing German Day every single year. What a great job!

5. To Christian Hallstein for his sustained support with meetings and the chapter in general. We also loved your Kuchen - Thank You!!!

6. Finally, my utmost thanks to Anne Green for her neverending support behind the scenes. She has done so many things, they are too numerous to mention in this email. Her strength and support of this chapter and of all of us (now nationwide) are unmeasurable.

The topic of our Fall Meeting will be grammar, and we will all be bringing ideas to the meeting, as to how to make the teaching of grammar less painful and much more fun. Furthermore, our presentations will be in English. We hope to see all of there in October.

Again, my deepest thanks,


Ingeborg A. O'Mahony
Senior School German Teacher
Sewickley Academy
315 Academy Avenue
Sewickley, PA 15154

Minutes of Fall Meeting 2004

Minutes for the WPA AATG Fall Meeting

By Christina Hartmann

The Fall Meeting and Workshop was held on Saturday, October 9th, 2004 from 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM at Quaker Valley High School. Our hostess was Amy Karst. The workshop presenter was Professor Michael Shaughnessy of Washington and Jefferson College. The topic of the presentation was: “Practical Uses of Technology in the German Classroom”.

President Ingeborg O’Mahony conducted the business meeting. The minutes are as follows:

A. AATG National Test reminder: If you would like to test in December, you only have 2 more weeks to register. If you are testing in January, you can sign up as late as early December. You may register online by using the national www.aatg.org website. There is no Level I test, only Level II – IV. The test takes about one hour and 15 minutes. Teachers may ask an administrator, guidance counselor or parent organization to help with the proctoring of the test. Please remind your students that if they score well, they may win prizes and possibly a study trip to Germany.

B. 2005—The Year of Languages: Please try to promote they Year of Languages as much as you can. You may order a resource packet from the AATG website to help you plan your events. A logo is available for use on fliers. This logo can only be used for educational purposes—not for commercial use.

C. German Day 2005: Information regarding the competition is presently on the chapter website. The tentative date is March 10th, 2005. Professor Michael Shaughnessy will be host again at Washington and Jefferson College. During the meeting, we discussed and voted for updating some rules and regulations for the competition. We hope this will keep the day running smoothly and quickly. Please go to the website to read these updated rules. All changes were officially made by vote at the meeting. We would like to get more publicity for the competition this year. We will make sure that the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Observer-Reporter get information and pictures this year. Christina Hartmann volunteered to ask Pittsburgh’s Honorary Consul of Germany to donate some prizes, so that all participants will get something small for attending.

D. Advocacy Binder Promotion: There is a binder of materials you can order from AATG which will help you fight for retention of your German program in your school. This is an issue which is affecting several of our members in the area. Our next workshop will address the issue head-on. National President of AATG Jo Sanders will be coming to speak on this topic on April 9th, 2005.

E. Treasurer’s Report: Please see the attached report. The chapter is in good financial standing.

F. New Candidate for WPA AATG Vice President: The chapter is looking for a new V.P. from the secondary level. The person selected will later become President. Please consider running for this office.

G. General Announcements:

1. The ACTFL Conference will take place in Chicago from November 19-21, 2004. Our President and several other members will be present. We helped to sponsor this year’s AATG luncheon with a $300 donation from our chapter and they are very thankful for the support.
2. Christina Hartmann shared information on a fundraiser teachers can do with their school’s German Club. The prizes for selling Haribo gummi bears are 3 types of German t-shirts. Having students wearing walking billboards like this can also help with public relations and interest in German.
3. The Pittsburgh German Meetup Group will meet at Panera Bread at Waterworks Mall on Weds., October 20th, at 7:00 PM. Come join the group and discuss your common interest of all things German!
4. The Spring Meeting 2005 will be held on April 9th, tentatively scheduled to take place at Canon-McMillan High School. Christina Hartmann volunteered to host.

Spring Meeting, 2004

Our Western PA AATG Spring Meeting was held at Quaker Valley High School on Saturday, April 24, 2004, hosted by Amy Karst. We held a business meeting, discussed German Day 2004, and planned possible dates for the Fall 2004 meeting. We honored Josi Smith, who received a Certificate of Merit at the AATG/ACTFL annual meeting in November, 2003. Dave Lane was also presented a gift in honor of his retirement from Kiski School. Christina Hartmann was unanimously elected secretary/treasurer for the chapter for another term.

We had a wonderful presentation given by Zsuzsa Horvath on using the children's book die Lisa to teach German history and culture. Wendy Burgbacher and Dave Lane presented a CD of Berlin East and West information, which tied in well with Zsuzsa's presentation. Ingeborg O'Mahony showed us a video project of "Der Gasmann" that her students completed.


Prize-winning German Author, Karin Gündisch, reads and discusses her works
at the Fall 2003 meeting of the WPA AATG!
Photo of Karin reading
Photo of Wendy Burgbacher's students, enjoying Bananen

As part of her US-tour, the prize-winning German author of children’s and youth literature, Karin Gündisch, spent September 16 -21, 2003 in Western Pennsylvania. Her works Im Land der Schokolade und Bananen and Das Paradies liegt in Amerika continue to grow in popularity and are fast becoming the staple of secondary and post-secondary German courses. Among the many prizes her books have won are:
• Mildred Batchelder Award, 2002
• Stipendium des Ministeriums für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst Baden-Württember, 2001
• Kinderbuchpreis der Ausländerbeauftragten des Berliner Senats, 1991
Das Paradies liegt in Amerika has been translated into English as How I Became an American and is now read in some middle school social studies classes. A native of Siebenbürgen, Frau Gündisch offers a unique perspective on issues of German identity and immigration. Drawing upon her many years of experience as a teacher of German herself, Karin Gündisch makes German culture easily accessible to learners of German on many levels.

Her stay in Pittsburgh included a reading for high school German classes on Wednesday, September 17th at Mt. Lebonan High School. The reading was attended by almost 200 high school students of German from the Western Pennsylvania area.Karin also met with university-level German classes using her works at the University of Pittsburgh, on Thursday, Sept. 18th, and Carnegie Mellon University, on Friday, Sept. 19th.

On Saturday, Sept. 20th, the Western PA Chapter of the AATG sponsored a day-long workshop with Karin Gündisch for German teachers. The workshop took place at Carnegie Mellon University, in Baker Hall, Room 235A from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Karin read the children’s book Ein Brüderchen für Lili, and from her two works of youth literature, Das Paradies liegt in Amerika andIm Land der Schokolade und Bananen. Participants had the opportunity to purchase the three works listed above and have them signed by the author. The workshop was a big success. Karin Gündisch is a wonderful reader and a relaxed and humorous presenter.We were all very impressed with her stories and anecdotes about how her works.We presented her with a book entitled The Power of Pittsburgh, signed by all participants.

Spring Meeting 2003

The Spring Meeting for our AATG chapter took place on Saturday, April 5, 2003 at Seneca Valley High School, where Josi Smith was our host. Mohamed Esa of McDaniel College in Maryland presented a lively, interactive workshop entitled: "Rocking the German Classroom with Rock, Pop, Hip-Hop and Kindermusik". He demonstrated how German songs can be used to teach simple topics like body parts, colors or car models, as well as complex and advanced subjects relating to gender, multiculturalism, racism or German history. Songs from "The Wise Guys", "Die Prinzen" and many others were presented and practical suggestions for implementation discussed. Included in the fee for the workshop was a CD of the recommended songs and a binder of materials for future use.
At the business meeting, Christian Hallstein was elected Vice-President, and Ingeborg Woodhouse took over as President of the chapter.


Fall Meeting 2002

The Fall meeting for the Western PA AATG chapter took place on Saturday, October 5, 2002 at Carnegie Mellon University. Rob Williams of the Fairfax County Public School District in Virgina led a workshop on TPRS (Total Physical Response + Storytelling) for the German classroom. TPRS is a dynamic way to engage students at the elementary, secondary, and post-secondary levels. Rob demonstrated this technique and showed us how to use TPRS to increase motivation, learning, and retention.
At the business meeting, Peg Grasso discussed plans for our annual German Day Competition, to be held at Mt. Lebanon on Thursday, March 13 2003. We also discussed plans for the Spring meeting. Participants received binders with materials and a certificate stating that 6 hours of professional development work was completed.


Spring Meeting 2002

The topics of the Spring Meeting included "The EU und Du" and "Rubric Grading: Assessing What's Important," and the festivities took place at Shady Side Academy in Pittsburgh. Presenters Bob Chaney and Wendy Burgbacher attended the EU AATG seminar last summer in Schwäbisch Hall, and presented on the EU in general, providing basic information to help teachers understand the system, as well as a teaching unit on EU-Erweiterung. At the business meeting topics for the coming Fall Meeting were discussed, and we decided to bring in someone from the consultant list to present on TPRS. The probable date for that meeting is Saturday, October 5. Future topics also include "Kinder lernen Deutsch". Chapter membership strategies were also discussed, along with the annual German Day Competition, which the chapter sponsors. Participants saw video of this year's competition and discussed the venue for 2003. The chapter also voted in Christina Hartmann as the new Secretary/Treasurer. In the afternoon session Wendy Burgbacher presented on rubric grading, during which time participants designed their own rubrics and received samples and models for future use.


Fall meeting 2001

The WPA-AATG Fall 2001 Meeting on Saturday, October 6, 2001, at Seneca Valley Senior High School, was hosted by Josi Smith, who also had a wonderful German-American Day cake made for us. The main topic of the day was German Club ideas/creative projects for the classroom. Participants made: Amish Welcome signs, Nadeligel, Marienkäfer, Herzen für Muttertag/Valentinstag, Strohsterne, Weihnachtsschmuck, Weihnachtsherzen, and other crafts. Presentations were given by Bob Chaney, Anne Green, Kathy Russmann, Josi Smith, and Ingeborg Woodhouse. Each participant received a binder with complete instructions for these and other projects. The day also included a discussion and video about our second annual German Day Competition. A good time was had by all!


Spring Meeting 2001

March 9, 2001 was the WPA-AATG Spring Meeting. The speakers for the day were Chris Hallstein from Carnegie Mellon and Kathy Russmann of Baldwin High School. Chris' talk was entitled: "Kunst im Deutschunterricht: Farbe, Form und Fantasie" and he wrote:
"Our world assaults our senses daily with a veritual flood of moving images and sounds that force us to become "holistic" observes and listeners. We learn to suppress details in order to cope with this relentless audio/visual onslaught. Consequently, our students are often unaccustomed to searching silent and static images for the details of composition, and their minds are thereby impoverished. When the eye and ear are feed, the mind wishes to be fully engaged in discovery but is often forced to function only as a filter. This workshop will give teachers general techniques and specific materials for helping students become careful observers through inductive examination of works of art by German artists such as Albrecht Dürer, Caspar David Friedrich, Wassily Kandinsky, Käthe Kollwitz, Franz Marc, George Grosz and Anselm Kiefer. Examining artistic images promotes the excitement of discovery and stimulates linguistic production. For the novice, we can focus on colors, shapes and the relative position of objects; for the advanced student, the lack of a linguistic context in an artistic image provides a challenging but natural impetus for more extended discourse. In this approach, close observation of specific works and the production of speech take precedence over art history, artistic style and periodization. All the works used in this workshop are available over the internet, so teachers will have no trouble using this material in their own classes."
In the afternoon session Kathy showed how she uses art, color, and "Sprichwörter" to develop language skills.
The workshop took place at Carnegie Mellon University, Baker Hall, Room 235A .
During the business meeting we elected a new Vice-President of the chapter, Ingeborg Woodhouse. Peg Grasso stepped down following a wonderful job as President and Anne Green stepped up to that post.



The WPA-AATG Fall Meeting took place on Saturday, October 7, 2000, at The Kiski School in Saltsburg, PA. David Lane hosted the meeting there. The workshop focussed on two topics: our new German Day competition and Powerpoint, a computer program which aids in the designing of multi-media presentations.

Our first annual WPA-AATG German Day was scheduled for January 29, 2001 at Mt. Lebanon High School. Many of us have seen just how motivating these festivals are for students, and we hope to begin an annual event that will boost enrollment in German in the Pittsburgh area. Participants received materials to help prepare their classes for the big day.

David Lane taught participants how to use Powerpoint in the afternoon session.



At our Spring 2000 Meeting the WPA-AATG was presented a special program, thanks to the hospitality of the Bayer Corporation. Our meeting took place at the Pittsburgh site of Bayer Corp. on Friday, March 17, 2000. The program was entitled, "Cultural Understanding" and was presented by Lyle Knisley, head of the Cultural Communication Alliance. Bayer's program works with local high school teachers and encourages high school students to continue language training. The program also promotes the incorporation of culture into language learning. In this way students are better prepared to work for companies that do business globally, whether on an overseas assignment or at home in Pennsylvania.



In the morning session Anne Green of Carnegie Mellon University presented an interactive workshop on the subject of Germany in the European Union, drawing on knowledge and materials obtained the summer 1999 AATG seminar in Wiesneck, Germany. After lunch the program continued with a swap-shop. We heard from members about how you have used WPA-AATG materials in the classroom, good tips for classroom teaching, and experiences from abroad. Topics of discussion also included: successfully applying for seminar grants, middle school teaching, the Fulbright Teacher Exchange, Congress-Bundestag exchange program, textbooks, summer seminar opportunities, the AATG listserve, National German Exam, AP classes and new websites and internet addresses for teachers of German. As usual, participants received a packet of materials to take home and use in the classroom.



Morning Session: "Kinder- und Jugendliteratur im Deutschunterricht"
Presenter: Kathy Russmann
Afternoon Session: "Landeskunde im Deutschunterricht"
Presenters: Peggy Grasso, Father Willy Wurm
At the business meeting, Father Willy was presented with a gift for his successful term as president. Peggy Grasso succeeded Father Willy as president, and Anne Green was elected vice-president.


The Fall Meeting took place on September 26 at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, PA from 9:30 a.m.- 3 p.m. Our presenter was Jo Sanders, and the meeting was entitled:

A Formula for Success: Structuring the Class as Family

Jo writes that "by structuring foreign language classes as "families," we can raise the students‚ chances of success, providing a supportive, low-stress, highly motivating environment where students can interact freely. This workshop will share practical ideas on restructuring the class, activities for "families," how to teach, practice and evaluate orally and in writing in family groups. Appropriate for introductory levels or as review and expansion for higher levels."


Our presenter was Dr. Bonnie Adair-Hauck, the 1st Vice-President of the PSMLA. She is a member of the PSMLA's Task Force for World Languages in PA. For the past 4 years, Adair-Hauck has been working on a Title VI grant-funded project on the assessment of oral proficiency in French, German and Spanish.
    During the first part of the morning workshop, Adair-Hauck provided an update on the proposed World Language Standards for PA. For the second half of the program, she shared information on a Title VI grant-funded project "Investigating the SOPI (Simulated Oral Proficiency Interview) as an Assessment Tool for L2 Oral Proficiency". The advantages and disadvantages of using the SOPI as an assessment tool were discussed and project data shared regarding the amount of time needed for students to reach an Intermediate level of oral proficiency, motivation, anxiety and students' self-assessment.
    In the afternoon, we focused on promoting the study of German. Fr. Willy opened the afternoon session by sharing information and materials from the ACTFL conference in Nashville. All participants brought along ideas, handouts, and strategies for promoting the study of German.


Fr. Willy and Anne Green led the morning session, which included discussion of taming and using the World Wide Web in the German classroom. The afternoon session, headed by Anne Green, gave participants the opportunity to explore the Internet while able to ask questions.


The Western PA AATG Spring 1997 meeting was held at Seneca Valley High School in Cranberry Township, March 8, 1997.

Our special guest at this meeting was Dr. Robert DiDonato, a professor at Miami University of Ohio and co-author of the textbook, Deutsch Na Klar. Dr. DiDonato presented the workshop "Using Video in the German Classroom." This workshop provided an overview of what is available in German for the classroom. It focused on segments of videos from German commercials, authentic footage to a "Krimi" and a "Kinderserie." Participants learned strategies and techniques for incorporating video into their teaching.

At the Business Meeting, Peggy Grasso of Greensburg Salem High School was elected our new Vice-President. Fr. William Wurm assumed the Presidency. Kathy Russman was presented with a certificate and gift in recognition of her term as president.