Once upon a time, a young girl started attending the Surrey German School back in 1976. She went every Saturday for 9 years. This included one year of Landeskunde, one year preparing for a student exchange in Hannover and one-year studying for her “Sprachdiplom I”. In 1995, this same girl moved to Sydney, Australia and started working at the Johannes Gutenberg German School running the Preschool Program at this private, full-time school.
Finally, this girl moved back to Vancouver with her husband, had two children and sent them to the Westside German School in 2007. In 2012, she started working as a Music Teacher/Assistant on Tuesdays and eventually became a teacher of the youngest students for 3 years.
Tuesday, May 31st, 2016, this girl (me) spent her last night as a German Teacher at the Year-End Celebration of the Westside German School at the Vancouver Alpen Club at 33/rd/Victoria.It was also the last day for Principal Christine Spreter von Kreudenstein. By coincidence, Christine Spreter also started her position as principal in 2012, and had spent the last 4 years leading her team through many changes. Adding recess, regular weekly singing practice, festivals and field trips, Christine changed the program to reflect what children experienced in their public school and made it easier for children to have fun and learn at the same time. Christine hired new staff that had teaching backgrounds and tried out several new activities every year. The school grew in the last 4 years and now it is one of the biggest schools in western Canada.
At the Year End Celebration, there was a time of greeting the new Principal and to say goodbye to the outgoing Principal. Consul General for Switzerland Urs Strausak and partner attended. They were impressed by the student contributions, especially the student newspaper that had been put together by the Senior Classes. The students also sang a song at the end that had been written by me, based on the song “I am Australian“. It was a song about people starting out in one country and then ending up in another and making it their new home, in spite of challenges and difficulties. One man told me afterwards, how much the song touched his heart, which was a nice compliment. The children practiced for months and one of the older students sang two of the verses as a solo, accompanying herself on her guitar.
New this year was a fundraising raffle with some great prizes. The event was also held at the Vancouver Alpen Club, instead of at one of the two school (Lord Kitchener Elementary or Prince of Wales Secondary) as the Alpen Club had generously sponsored the school and was able to provide typical German food at a great deal and even a genuine black forest cherry cake of enormous proportions that allowed everyone to have a big piece.
The food were the typical German sausages, bavarian pretzels and two kinds of potato salad. Yum. The party was well attended and last past 7 o’clock with many families staying longer than usual and getting to know each other better or planning playdates and get-togethers for the summer.
The next big event at the Vancouver Alpen Club was showing all the soccer games (3 games, at least) in June and July and they showed this on their big screen, so parents or anyone 19+ could write the dates on their calendar.
As for me, I am now seeking full-time work, starting in August, in the field of PR, Marketing, German relations and am hoping I can find something to combine all that. I am also the new Secretary (there are two of us) for the German Canadian Business Association, and would like to invite everyone reading this to the next Pub Night, which, this time around, will be at the Kitsilano Boathouse Restaurant on Tuesday, June 21st, 2016 at 6 pm, hopefully on their beautiful patio. If you would like to come, please e-mail me at email@example.com or call me at 604 828 8788 to RSVP. Non-members pay $10 for a drop-in visit, or you can still join the Association anytime throughout the year, pro-rated (full costs are $280 and Associate Members pay $100, and Student Members pay $50).