Students honored for German language skills


April 15, 2013


The following news release is shared on behalf of the Alaska Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of German. Congratulations to the ASD students listed below.

The attached photos are courtesy of Elisabeth Dick, South High School World Languages Chair


Contact: Allison Brandt, East High Teacher

Phone: (907) 742-2100



The Seventh Annual German Studies Awards Ceremony and Reception, sponsored by the Alaska Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG), was held April 11 at East High School. The event recognized middle, high and university students in Alaska who have achieved excellence in their German studies. ASD Assistant Superintendent Darla Jones welcomed students to the event; Martin Buser, four-time Iditarod champion, spoke to students about his experience of immigrating to the United States from Switzerland and his experiences learning five languages including English. Also present were Anchorage School Board member Tam Agosti-Gisler and ASD World Languages Curriculum Coordinator Janice Gullickson. The majority of the students honored at this event were current ASD students or recent graduates.


Matthew Spence was honored as the recipient of the German Teaching Intern of the Year award. Matt is finishing up a masters degree in UAA’s MAT program. As part of his work towards his Master’s degree, Matt spent a rigorous year working in East High’s German department. There he distinguished himself as a teaching intern of exceptional talents and great promise.


­­­­Ioana Lobontiu received the German Learning Opportunities Website (GLOW) award given to an outstanding German student in each chapter of the AATG.


Connor Spencer received the Langenscheidt award, recognizing an outstanding German student in German in each chapter of the AATG. The Langenscheidt publishing company sponsors this award, and Connor received a German-English dictionary along with a certificate of achievement.


Jennifer Doerry of Eagle River High School received the Duden Teacher Award, granted each year to a teacher in each AATG chapter for excellence in the instruction of German.


UAA Outstanding German Student of the year:

UAA: Tom Honer


Outstanding German Students of the Year:

  • Bartlett High School: Raydon Duncan
  • Chugiak High School: Matthew Newkirk
  • Dimond High School: Sterling Emmal and Gavin Davis
  • Eagle River High School: Hannah Gershel
  • East High School: Xinyue Derman
  • Service High School: Kira Davis-Weber
  • South High School: Lida Zakurdaew
  • West High School: Anna Clink


Outstanding Middle School German Student of the Year:

  • Hanshew Middle School: Kelcey Bloss
  • Northern Lights ABC School: Alyanna Medina


Rilke Schule Outstanding German Students of the Year:

Wilhelm Anderson, Michael Weese, Carolyn Tyson Guess, Canyon Jabaay, Sophia Hess, Roos Helgesen, Gwen Cooper, Cecilie Arroyo


The Alaska Chapter of AATG honored high school students who scored competitively on the National German Exams given by the AATG. The exams are designed for Levels 2, 3, and 4 and approximately 23,000 students in the USA took the exams this year. Students scoring in the 70th percentiles nationwide received bronze awards, those in the 80th percentiles received silver awards and those scoring in the 90th percentiles received gold awards.


Gold Awards:

  • Chugiak High School: Aileen Page, Dane Breitung, Connor Spencer, Shane Hall, Levente Roka and Jackson Page
  • Eagle River High School: Daniel Prior and Hannah Gershel
  • East High School: Mary Burr
  • Service High School: Jonnie Dolan and John Anebom
  • South High School: Hayden Arend, Makenna Bond, Annika Flynn, David Biegle, Mitchel Ireland, Lida Zakurdaew and Madison O’Scannell
  • West High School: Ioana Lobontiu and Liam Mitchell


Silver Awards:

  • Dimond High School: Kendal Williams
  • Eagle River High School: Nicholas Roth
  • East High School: Alice Prentice, Collette Kawagley and Jason Scott
  • Service High School: Emily Dreher, Molly Brockway and Rebekah Padgett Victoria Cooper, Elaina Jewett, Kala Paarce, Lukas Vodak and Jaena Quintanilla
  • South High School: Melanie Bartenstein, Samantha Reyna Gonzalez, Madison Webster and Erik Oder
  • West High School: Abagail Khachadoorian, Eva Lincke and Madelyn Boslough


Bronze Awards:

  • Bartlett High School: Heather Lindsey
  • Chugiak High School: Syndey Medders, Sarah Rackley, Ashleigh Bransky and Sarah Haynes
  • Eagle River High School: Alaina Demma, Dylan Denter, Annaliese Sorvoja, Michael Prado and Kevin Sutton
  • East High School: Neal Koeneman and Hallie Moore
  • Service High School: Caleb Vanblankenstein, Alexis Dym, Patrick Grieco, Sarah Amundsen, Noah Dean and Ava Metzger
  • South High School: Danielle Depaepe, Amanda Lundgren, Patrick Nowka and Tyler Kirn
  • West High School: Sarah Powell


The National German Exam of the AATG is designed for students enrolled in a traditional high school German language program from grades 9 to 12. Also noteworthy were results from students at Rilke Schule, an ASD German immersion school for grades K-8. A group of Rilke students took the Level III and IV exam, and these young learners showed the power of early learning in second language acquisition via their outstanding scores in the 70th, 80th, and 90th percentiles. The Alaska Chapter of AATG would like to congratulate:


Rilke – Silver:

Anja Lincke, Rooslan Helgesen Thomson, Hunter Eid, Mikaela Maroney, Gabriella Efird, Cecilie Arroyo and Gwendolyn Cooper


Rilke – Bronze:

Morgen Khachadoorian, Milana Stalder and Timo Schaetze







Martin Buser

Anchorage School District website accessibility and nondiscrimination notice. The Anchorage School District is an equal opportunity provider.