History of DEUTSCHE SCHULE CHARLOTTE
(German Language School Charlotte)
DEUTSCHE SCHULE CHARLOTTE was founded in September 1974 at the initiative of Mr. Kay Schnaidt, Executive Vice President and General Manager of American Barmag Corp., Charlotte, and Dr. Agnes Hostettler, then professor of German at Queens College in Charlotte. Dr. Gordon Freeman, then Director of Continuing Education at Queens College, and Mrs. Friedel Farkouh, certified Montessori teacher from Germany, were also instrumental in the formation of DSC.
The initial concept was to teach German to children of German-speaking families who had settled temporarily or permanently in the Charlotte area. Keeping up their native language would facilitate re-enrollment for students returning to Germany. All German, Swiss and Austrian companies around Charlotte (49 at the time) were asked to inform their employees about the new German school.
As a result, 30 students were enrolled in three levels: Kindergarten and 1st, 2nd through 4th and 5th through 7th grade at Queens college on Saturday mornings. The first textbooks and educational games were donated by teachers, parents and friends, and much of the early teaching material was compiled by teachers and students themselves. The library was started with books donated by many families. In addition, German and Swiss companies were asked to contribute funds for the expansion of the library, which in the first 10 years grew to well over 1000 volumes.
In 1978, two German-American classes were added for children with one German-speaking parent or some other exposure to the German language. One of those classes was set up for Kindergarten and first grade students, the other from 2nd grade up. In 1980, the program was extended by one more class for older beginning students.
DEUTSCHE SCHULE CHARLOTTE was incorporated in the summer of 1980.
Today over 200 students are enrolled in an academic year, ranging in age from 1 year to grade 12. The school loses nearly 35% of its students every year due to transfers, graduation, etc., but a similar number enrolls every year.
Apart from the treasurer and principal, all board members and officers volunteer their time. The school library is also staffed by volunteers from the parent body.
The principal is responsible for the academic program and the academic staff nowadays consists on average of 25 teachers and assistants.
From it’s beginning, the philosophy of DEUTSCHE SCHULE CHARLOTTE has been to provide a friendly and genuine German-speaking environment for ALL German learners that promotes student participation and a sense of accomplishment at any level.