WHS Students Provide a Look into German Language and Culture with German Night


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Out of the hundreds of students at Walpole High taking foreign languages, over half of them belong to either a French or Spanish class. Many of these students will double-up on a language and take Latin, in preparation for SATs and to improve their knowledge of Latin-based languages. And who could forget when Mandarin Chinese was introduced at WHS? The program became wildly popular in the last four years, and its students even took a trip to China during the summer of 2011. But there is one language that seems to be left out of the group a little too often: German. For the past several years, Mrs. Elizabeth Pierce (or Frau Pierce, as her students call her) has orchestrated German Night in order for her students to show off their abilities in speaking and understanding German.

The event began at 7 pm on May 8, 2012, and involved a variety of different performances. The night started with Seniors Aine Duffy and Dan DuBois greeting the audience in German and translating for the non-German speakers in the audience. Principal Stephen Imbusch practiced his German in front of the audience, and thanked everyone for supporting the students and the German program by attending the event. The first presentation was by German I student Emily Barber, who talked about her family. Freshmen Christian DeCelle, Alex Phan, and Ben Sacco filmed a video of an angry gorilla; Sophomores Genevieve Canavan and Jasmin Vanegas also talked about and gave descriptions of their families; Juniors Ray Mortali and Joe Sheehan shared their schedules and opinions of their classes (not failing to mention how great Frau Pierce and German is); Sophomore Evan Quinn made an animated video of a silly cat’s journey in a casino; and Freshmen Kody McCann, Kevin Quinn, Claudia Schoenthaler, and Kevin Sullivan acted in a video of an average day at WHS. Parents, siblings, and friends of students were obviously impressed by their knowledge of German after less than a year of learning it. The audience genuinely applauded the students for their great efforts after each presentation.

After a brief intermission in the upstairs lobby (with refreshments provided by volunteers), Head of Foreign Language Department and French teacher, Mrs. Lisa Osborne, shared her enthusiasm for the program by speaking in German herself. German IV Senior, Hanna Ciechanowski, translated for her French IV AP teacher. Mrs. Osborne introduced the German II students as they began their performances, beginning with a video of fine-dining by Sophomore Dylan Bergen, and Juniors Mike Ciampa and Andrew Davis. Junior Thomas Buckley and Sophomore Tyler Chermely each told their story of “Mein Alibi” (My Alibi), and Sophomore Rachel Harris shared the story of “Heidi der Hund” (Heidi the dog). Another presentation was made by Sophmore Leslie Hill, who wrote a picture book called, “Der Vorschlag,” (The Proposal). To end the German II portion of German Night, Sophomores Trevor Brown, Garrett Barry, and Steve Harber showed a humorous video of eating in a restaurant.

Like in years before, the combined German III-IV class, comprised of only ten students, put on an act together. The group sang a German song, called “Jetzt ist Sommer,” which translated in English to, “Now Is Summer.” Junior Phil Reidy beat-boxed and Senior CJ Romeo played guitar for the rest of the group as they sang. Senior Emma Batting and Junior John Brennan also contributed back-up vocals throughout the song. After the performance, the German III-IV seniors stayed on stage and made a speech, delivering their thanks and a gift to the dedicated German teacher.

German Night continues to be a successful evening at Walpole High School. The event effectively draws attention to the German program and serves as an incentive for students to do better in class. Batting said, “Despite the small size German holds in the foreign language department, we have a lot to show! My last three years learning this language and culture has been a great experience. It’s a program everyone should try to get involved in.”

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