Hosted by Appleby College in Oakville, the Ontario High School German Contest took place for the 46th time on April 12th!
The Ontario High School German Contest celebrates the excellence of high school students studying German at high schools and Saturday schools across the province. Students are divided into four categories according to their level and background in the German language (beginner to heritage learner). The amazing prizes this year included a trip to Germany and PAD summer course, cash awards, gift cards, and piles of prizes donated by a range of contest supporters, including the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany, Goethe-Institut, and the University of Toronto.
This year’s participating high schools were: University of Toronto Schools (UTS), Kielburger Secondary School, Rockway Mennonite College, Glenview, Germania Language School, Westmount Secondary School, and Concordia German Language School.
Hailing from Westdale High School, Miruna Dragomir took first place in the advanced category, followed closely by Gautam Manohar (UTS), Qingyu Xiong (Germania Language School), Rhianne Whittaker (UTS), and Alice Vlasov (UTS). “Unranked but spectacular” in the advanced group were Keegan Hammond, Iain McGuigan, and Evan Smith.
The beginner group was particularly impressive again this year. UTS’s Andrea Zhao and Maria Saatgian lead the field ahead of strong showings by Vivian Chau (Rockway Mennonite College), Emma Burdon (Craig Kielburger), Maha Salman Cheema (Craig Kielburger), Tom Bullock (Craig Kielburger), Lily Barron (Craig Kielburger), and Alastair Kreidié (UTS). “Unranked but spectacular” in the category and sure to be contenders for prizes next year were Gelisa Chin (Glenview), Trynidy Cumming (Germania Language School), Ahminah Derman (Glenview), Zack du Kamp (Germania Language School), and Jessie Thompson (Germania Language School).
As in previous years, students with previous exposure to German participated in a separate category. Stephen Chankov (UTS), the 2016 winner in the same category, took first prize again. Stephen is off to the U of T next fall and has already been spotted at German Department events on campus this year! Second place went to Myriam Le Sage (Germania Language School).
Finally, heading the heritage learner group, were Alicia Campbell (Concordia German Language School) and Danika Faulhammer (Concordia German Language School). “Unranked but spectacular” in the group was Katrina Hermann (Concordia German Language School).
On hand to honor the efforts of Ontario’s students and teachers of German were Tanja Matuszis from the German Consulate, Friedrich Broeckelmann of the Zentralstelle für das Auslandsschulwesen, and Stefan Soldovieri, Acting Chair at the Department of Germanic Languages & Literatures, University of Toronto.
This extraordinary event would not have been possible without the incredible enthusiasm and commitment of the organizing committee chaired by Anne Popovich (Waterdown District High School): Ruth Renters (Appleby College), Gabriela Szolnoki-Bourgeois (Halton DSB), Nicola Townend (UTS), and Jimmy Steele (Harbord Collegiate Institute).
We in the Department of Germanic Language & Literatures congratulate all of those involved and look forward to seeing many contest alumni in our classes at the University of Toronto! And – thanks to a new program – we will be reaching out to at least one GTA high school in 2017. In the fall a first cohort of our graduate students will begin community placements at UTS. Our students will provide a variety of supports to Nicola Townend and her colleagues while gaining valuable teaching experience in a new context. We hope that this will be the beginning of even closer relations with the wonderful German programs in the area!