Held at the German Ambassador’s Residence, the annual German Teacher Award and the ‘Sommerfest’ pay tribute to and recognise the best and most committed champions of German in primary and secondary schools across the UK.
The ‘Sommerfest’ was attended by over 220 teachers and representatives from the education and language teaching sectors, business and the media from all over the UK. A Teacher Fair with stands presenting the work of the Embassy of Switzerland in the United Kingdom, the Goethe-Institut London, the Austrian Cultural Forum London, UK-German Connection, German Academic Exchange Service, Association for Language Learning, EU Commission and German National Tourist Office offered food for thought during the ‘Sommerfest’. To celebrate the German language in pictures a photo booth offered all guests the possibility to take home with them a memento of their favourite German word.
Addressing the room, especially the teachers, in her welcome speech, Tania von Uslar said:
As teachers and as teachers of language you hold the key to the future of the next generations in your hands, you are the bridge builders for the communicators of tomorrow.
Commending the high quality of submissions, she continued to say that the German Teacher Awards are our way of expressing our gratitude and appreciation […]. Although there will only be five ‘winners’ today, there will be thousands of winners in the future – our common future – and most of all our two countries. She was delighted to welcome renowned novelist and screen-writer Ian McEwan CBE, who himself has a very personal German connection, as the keynote speaker for the event.
After their speeches, Tania von Uslar and Ian McEwan presented the 15th German Teacher Award, recognising outstanding achievements by teachers of German in primary and secondary schools in the UK. The recipients receive a personal prize of £750 and a certificate to honour their commitment to modern language teaching.
Two of the prizes were again specially donated each by the Austrian Cultural Forum London and the Embassy of Switzerland in the United Kingdom. The Goethe-Institut’s Peter Boaks Prize, which recognises outstanding young(er) teachers of German, was also presented.
For the first time a primary school teacher has been among the winners of the German Teacher Award for her outstanding commitment to German.
This year’s German Teacher Awards were presented to Colette Culpin (Nine Acres Primary School, Newport), Olivia Frances Jean Moore (Methodist College, Belfast) and Thomas Surgeon (Horndean Technology College, Hampshire). Karen Boyland (St Hilda's CE High School, Liverpool) was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Recognising an exceptional teacher at the start of their career, the Peter Boaks Award was given to Olesia Tyne (Hipperholme Grammar School, Halifax).
A “Special Mention” was awarded to Katja Neubauer (King's Rochester Nursery & Pre-Preparatory School), Simon Depoix (Gordon’s School, Surrey), Victoria Kikko Kawashima (Bournemouth School for Girls, Dorset) and Daniela Wilks (St Edmund Campion, Nottingham).
The German Teacher Award is jointly organised by the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in London, the Embassy of Switzerland in the United Kingdom, the Goethe-Institut London, the Austrian Cultural Forum London, UK-German Connection, the Deutsche Schule London, the Departments for Education in England and Wales and the Association for Language Learning.