German Makes a Comeback


Kayla Vittore

Ms. Canales teaching her 4th hour German II class

Kayla Vittore, Reporter

     After a decrease in interest in the class, it seemed as though Belvidere North’s German classes were doomed to end soon.  However, German class has reappeared on the course selections sheet this year.

     Now, the Board of Education has changed their mind about removing this foreign language, and decided against last year’s decision to phase it out.  “With a high school of our size, we want to offer more than one foreign language to students,” said Principal Marc Eckmann, “I took three years of German in high school and I enjoyed the class, so I’m glad that our kids also have the opportunity to take German if they want to.”

    German 1 will be returning to Belvidere North next year, but teacher Mrs. Kelly Kristensen​ will not be.  Mrs. Kristensen has taught German at Belvidere North since the school’s opening, and many students have voiced that she will be greatly missed.  “I was sad and disappointed to hear Frau [Mrs. Kristensen] was moving.  She was an amazing teacher,” said Jennette Waulbaum (‘18).

    When asked how she felt about the change in German classes, Mrs. Kristensen said, “I am very happy.  It would be a shame for the students to be without the option for another foreign language. It has been around so long … it is somewhat of a Belvidere tradition.”

    With Mrs. Kristensen no longer on our continent, the position of German teacher has been taken over for the rest of the 2015-2016 school year by long term substitute Ms. Canales.  Ms. Canales also filled in for Ms. Kristensen last year, and the school was glad to have her again.  “We were really excited to hear that Ms. Canales was still available,” said Mr. Eckmann, “There really aren’t a  lot of German teachers looking for jobs, and the students were very excited to have her back.”

    Ms. Canales has had an extensive education.  She has studied at three separate universities in three different states.  “In high school I really wanted to learn German, and the classes weren’t very advanced.  Since I didn’t get the chance to learn as much I decided I wanted to give other students the option to learn as much as possible,” said Ms. Canales, “I think German 1 and 2 classes returning is awesome.  Students should have the opportunity to choose between languages… I believe the addition of languages is always a good thing.”

    The return of German classes has been well received, but it should be noted that German is not completely revived.  German classes 3 and 4 will be phased out in the coming years.  Students can still take the first two levels of German, but if they wish to continue learning a foreign language after that they will have to choose an alternative method or class.

    When asked about who will be the German teacher next year, Mr. Eckmann said, “A position will be posted in March, and we hope to fill the position by summer of this year.”  After seeing Mrs. Kristensen in the halls for so long, some students have yet to adjust to this change.  As a final goodbye to her students at Belvidere North, she said, “Don’t ever feel bad about the hand you’re dealt in life…. Times get tough, but know that you are tougher and smarter and better than you know. You are a good person with wonderful gifts to give the world, and there are people out there who care for you and are rooting for you. Don’t ever be afraid to ask for help or to take a chance. Be good to each other, and live a life you are proud of.  Aufwiedersehen!”