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NORTH COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL NAMED GERMAN CENTER OF EXCELLENCE

The awards just keep rolling in for North County High School and its German program.

With the 2015 Maryland Foreign Language Teacher of the Year and a German Embassy Teacher of Excellence on staff, the school now has earned a national recognition. North County was named this week as a German Center of Excellence by the American Association of Teachers of German.

The school is the first in Maryland and one of just nine high schools in the nation to earn the distinction.

“The jury was impressed in particular that the German program is so very well established and growing,” AATG Executive Director Keith Cothrun wrote in a letter notifying the school of its award. “There is clear evidence that the program has strong support from the administration, professional colleagues, parents and students, and has strong ties to the wider community. Extracurricular activities and special events are clearly integral elements of the program.”

North County offers nine sections of German classes and an Advanced Placement class to about 175 students. Teacher Katrina Griffin, who also chairs the school’s World and Classical Languages department, was recently named the 2015 Maryland Foreign Language Teacher of the Year, and teacher Cora Hofstetter this year earned one of three German Embassy Teacher of Excellence awards.  The school also holds an annual German STEM Fair where science activities are demonstrated in the language and nearby middle and elementary school students participate.

“We are incredibly proud of our German teachers, Ms. Griffin and Ms. Hofstetter, and the program they have spent years building and nurturing,” North County Principal Julie Cares said. “This award is an outward demonstration of the dedication of these outstanding teachers and a testament to their passion for German education and the students at North County High School.  Both teachers seek national and international opportunities to improve their own instruction and share their significant skills and experiences with other teachers around the country.  The students and staff of North County are incredibly grateful for these two teachers and we know we are lucky to have them as part of our school.”

AATG also cited the clearly articulated sequence of instruction, the use of culturally authentic materials, and the establishment of interdisciplinary connections as reasons for bestowing the award on the school.

North County will receive its award during the AATG’s annual meeting next month.