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November 9th is the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall. Here are the recollections of a GSC parent, who grew up in former East Germany and was in his early 20s in 1989:

Brandenburger TorIn November 1989, I was a student at the Technical University of Ilmenau. We had keenly followed the developments at the Prague Embassy of West Germany, known people who sought to escape through Hungary to Austria and West Germany, and I had started to participate in the Monday demonstrations for an end of the socialist dictatorship. I was by no means part of an organized resistance; still worried what consequences open opposition might have, yet it was a time where one could sense fundamental changes were afoot. At the time, no one could fathom where they would end.

MauerfallWhen the wall came down on November 9 we were all in disbelief. No shot had been fired, the Soviet occupying forces stood down, Michail Gorbatchëv (then President of the USSR) seemed to support the East German people against the ruling party, and now, the borders were open. Right the next day we queued up at the local police station to obtain a visa for West Germany as we wanted to see our relatives in Witten (NRW), though we certainly expected to return back home. After four hours my stepdad and I had the visa stamp, put canisters of additional petrol in the trunk of our Wartburg 353 to save our few precious Deutschmarks, and started the journey at around 4 p.m. .

GrenzeThis must have been the longest traffic jam I’d ever experienced – 10 hours stop and go across the border. The welcome by our fellow Germans just across the border was overwhelming. Every town we came through had volunteers with food and drinks for folks like us on our way to see our relatives. I have never again seen so much joy, excitement, and outpouring of support. At 3 a.m. we finally sat around the kitchen table with our relatives in Witten – happy and still barely able to grasp the change that had happened. – Frank R.

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GSC’s current Principal, Dr. Renate Ludanyi, will retire at the end of this school year after 40 years of dedicated service to the school. Back in 1978, driven by a decrease in German instruction in the State of Connecticut, Dr. Ludanyi and a handful of concerned parents and colleagues had the ambitious goal to create a German Saturday School. Due to her leadership, the support of dedicated teachers and enthusiastic volunteers, the school has remained successful to this day. One of Dr. Ludanyi’s key achievements was the introduction into the USA of the Deutsches Sprachdiplom or DSD 1 and 2 (German Language Diploma), for which she was awarded the Bundesverdienstkreuz (Germany’s Cross of Merit). Under Dr. Ludanyi’s guidance, Saturday schools were granted the privilege to offer the AATG (American Association of Teachers of German) exams. GSC also pioneered the Saturday school chapter of the German Honor Society Delta Epsilon Phi. She and her teaching staff can be especially proud that in 2018 the GSC was awarded the prestigious designation of German Center of Excellence by the AATG. Dr. Ludanyi is the recipient of many national and international honors and recognitions including the coveted AATG Friend of German award.

Going forward, Dr. Ludanyi will continue to support GSC in a position of Director Emerita.  She will remain president of the German Language School Conference (GLSC), the national umbrella organization for German Saturday Schools, and a core member of the Washington-based National Coalition of Community-Based Language Schools.  She will continue with her research into heritage language education, her publishing and lecturing activities, her affiliation with Western Connecticut State University and her professional memberships.

The School is very pleased to introduce Dr. Stefanie Mischner as the new principal of the German School of Connecticut beginning with the 2019-20 academic year. Dr. Mischner is very familiar with the German School of Connecticut, having taught at our school for 16 years. She also previously held the role of Assistant Principal at the school for 11 years.

After Dr. Ludanyi announced her retirement last year, the Board of Directors appointed a search committee to find her successor. The search for a new principal included candidates from a variety of backgrounds and consisted of several rounds of interviews by the search committee, as well as faculty and administration stakeholders. Dr. Mischner stood out among the candidates and was unquestionably the individual best qualified to serve as principal of the GSC moving forward. She has the experience and skills to lead the German School of Connecticut into the next 40 years.

Dr. Mischner holds a Ph. D in Economics and Education from Columbia University, and a degree in Linguistics, Visual Arts and Education from the Otto-Friedrich University in Bamberg, Germany. She has taught at universities in the US and Germany and has worked as a research assistant for the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education and the World Bank, and as a research consultant for the German Language School Conference. Dr. Mischner is a Board Member at the Columbia University Club of Fairfield County (Marketing and Technology) and has published several papers on education.

Please follow and like us: – Fairfield County and the German School of Connecticut are well-represented this year: by the newly crowned Miss German-America 2018 and Her Court of Princesses who live, work and study in Fairfield County, CT and have a continuing involvement with the German School of Connecticut (GSC) in Stamford. These accomplished young women are extraordinary representatives of the rich German-American heritage and culture of the tri-state area.

Miss German-America Pavlina Schriel of Norwalk, CT, is a 2016 graduate of New York University in Manhattan and currently a music teacher at Brookside Elementary School in Norwalk, CT where she teaches all grades, from Kindergarten to fifth grade, is a former student at GSC.

Princess Sean Tomlinson, from Scranton, PA, is a double major of German and Sociology/Anthropology at Fairfield University, Class of 2019. Sean is an active community activist and aspiring folklorist. She learned German beginning in high school and was able to explore her German heritage in depth during the Summer of 2016 when she worked at a family clinic in Southern Germany. Now she shares and celebrates her culture as a German teacher for beginning students. Sean has taught German at Yale's Sprout and Splash Programs, at Starfish International in The Gambia, and as a teaching assistant at the German School of Connecticut.

The youngest member of the Court of Miss German-America is Junior Princess Amelia-Elsa Schweizer of Norwalk, CT who is a native-level German speaker and enrolled in the heritage language program at GSC where she has won several German national language awards. She attended Marvin Elementary School and is now in sixth grade and in the academically talented program at Nathan Hale Middle School in Norwalk, CT. She is an accomplished figure skater and dancer, and an active member of her local Girl Scout troop.

Join Miss German-America and her Court on Fifth Avenue in New York City on September 15th, 2018 at the Steuben Parade or view the live broadcast at

The German School of Connecticut offers German language instruction on Saturday mornings for children from the age of two through high school, as well as for adults. More information is available at and at the Open House at the Stamford Campus located at Rippowam Middle School 381 High Ridge Road, on Saturday, September 1, 2018 from 10 a.m. to noon. Classes start on September 8!

The German School of Connecticut congratulates Miss German-America Pavlina Schriel, Princess Sean Tomlinson and Junior Princess Amelia-Elsa Schweizer for their well-deserved new roles!

Muriel Swaggart
The German School of Connecticut, Inc
(203) 548-0438

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We are looking for teachers, see details above.
For Stamford: Apply for teachers jobs at:

For West Hartford: Apply for teachers jobs at:

For next year September 2019 we are also looking for new principal. Job description is here. If you like more info contact:

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Dear friends of the German School of Connecticut,

All of our parents community and some of the adult students are volunteering at our schools in Stamford and West Hartford. Thank you very much.

But we are also looking for outside volunteers to help us organize events  or Saturday mornings. Maybe you have a special talent like playing an instrument, fundraising ideas and experience, website talent or any other ideas to help us thrive in Stamford or West Hartford.

We also wanted to let you know we accept any donations in form of books, computers etc and also money donations.

If you like to donate to the German School of Connecticut, Inc., please use this link: donations or sent via PayPal to:
Any donation is fully tax deductible and you will receive a receipt by mail for you tax filing.


The German School of Connecticut

Contact info:

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Dear GSC Community,

Today, 40 years ago (22 May 1978) I signed the papers of incorporation of our school.  Thus, today, 22 June 2018,  is our 40th  birthday.

Last Saturday, with the help of the administration, parent volunteers, teachers and students who created a time line, an exhibition of their school work  as well as a GSC hymn, we pre-celebrated this birthday.

We had a lovely school event.

The Consul General in New York who could not be present last Saturday asked me to let everyone have his congratulation.  I attach it.

I also attach an article on the history of our school that was written by a freelance journalist who has written about our school before.

I thank you all for your great and dedicated  support of the school in the many years since its creation.   I wish you a wonderful summer.

With kind regards,

Renate Ludanyi, Ph.D.
German School of Connecticut

Letter of the General Consul of Germany in New York   A history of the German School of Connecticut

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Dear students, parents and friends of the German School of Connecticut,

Inclement Weather Policy

For the upcoming fall and spring semester we wanted to make you are aware on how we would communicate school delays or closings.

We will email you with this website and/or manually (and for those who have their accounts set to receive text messages, will receive text-messages from this website) about any school closings or delays. Also we would send you the automatic alert that you receive weekly on Thursdays immediately when we would change anything not according to preset schedule.

In addition we also have the local TV & Radio stations announce it on their websites and on live TV/Radio:

For GSC Stamford its:

News12 CT : website:    

NBC CT:       website:

For GSC West Hartford its:

NBC Connecticut WVIT – Channel 30.1



GSC Staff

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Dear students, parents, alumni and friends of the German School of Connecticut,

We are announcing our yearly Open Houses:

Stamford: Saturday May 12th:  12:30 pm to 2:00 pm
at Rippowam Middle School, 381 High Ridge Road, Stamford

West Hartford: Saturday August 18th: 10:00 am to 12:00pm
at First Baptist Church , 90 North Main Street, West Hartford

Current students an parents are encouraged to hand out the attached flyer or email this email to your friends and neighbors or post it at your trainstation, local coffeeshop, library or grocery stores. THANK YOU.  We offer our referral bonus of $150.-/per new family/student for future tuition credit , if new family/student signs up and pays &stays for 1 year. (For further details ask your registrar)

Please download the flyer for you friends here:

Stamford Flyer

West Hartford Flyer

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