On December 5, 2018, ConVal High School in Peterborough, NH, celebrated its admission to the global network of “Partners for the Future” schools sponsored by the German Goethe Institut.
The program, abbreviated “PASCH” in German, was launched in 2008 by Germany’s Federal Foreign Office for the development and advancement of German language education at distinguished schools. ConVal High School is one of just thirteen schools nationwide to have been accepted by the Goethe Institut to receive this coveted award.
The designation ceremony took place in the ConVal Library in the presence of the German Consul General Nicole Menzenbach, Goethe-Institut representative Kerstin Haemmerling, district superintendent Kimberly Saunders, assistant superintendent Ann Forrest, and ConVal Regional High School principal Gib West along with members of the ConVal School Board, the SAU administration, community partners, parents, and students.
Following the ceremony, German singer-songwriter Wincent Weiss and his band gave a two-hour concert in the ConVal gym. In addition to ConVal German learners, the school welcomed about 350 students of German from nine schools in New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts. Weiss, whose albums have achieved gold and platinum status in Europe, is currently on his first tour of North America. Prior to coming to Peterborough, he had given a concert in Montreal and after ConVal went on to perform in New York, Mexico City, and Long Beach, California.
The admission to the PASCH network came in recognition of the German program at ConVal High School and of the outstanding work of German teachers Cynthia Hodgdon and Elizabeth Concannon as well as their predecessor Ali Pantesco who originated the program in 1996.
More than 170 students are currently enrolled in the German program at ConVal High School. They do not only learn German at school but take German out of the classroom whenever possible. Among many other activities, every other year, two dozen students participate in an exchange with a high school in Salzburg, Austria. There is a regular email and Skype exchange with a German class in Poland. Students regularly visit museums in Boston and New York to learn about German art and participate in immersion days which are held at universities in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.
A focus of the German program in recent years has been the participation in interdisciplinary events in the STEM fields, from EuroTech events in conjunction with the University of Connecticut to a recent STEM event at the University of Rhode Island.
The PASCH network promotes German language education, intercultural meetings and the development of an international learning community for schools. For more information about the PASCH network, please visit: www.goethe.de/usa.