On November 1, Niles West High School was inducted to the PASCH network, a highly selective group of schools that promote the teaching of the German language and which builds active and long-term links to Germany. PASCH is a German acronym for “Schools: Partners for the Future.” The Goethe Institut selected Niles West to be a PASCH school.
On hand to present a plaque to Niles West Principal Dr. Jason Ness was the German Consul Herbert Quelle, along with Petra Roggel, Goethe-Institut Director, and Anja Schmitt, Deputy Director of Goethe-Institut. After the presentation, German students were treated to an exciting show by science entertainer Joachim Hecker. Speaking in both German and English, Hecker endeared himself to the crowd with his offbeat demonstrations, as well as his refrain: “I don’t like science. I love science!”
Joining the PASCH network affords Niles West German students and faculty life-changing opportunities at no cost to the district, including all expense-paid student travel nationally and internationally, participation in special events, including projects, activities and cultural events hosted or sponsored by the Goethe Institut, teacher trainings and workshops, materials and resources. The network also provides the opportunity to participate in the global learning exchange platform called pasch.net, which connects PASCH German programs in over 100 different countries worldwide.
The science show was one example of the events sponsored by the PASCH network. Earlier this summer, six Niles West German students were awarded scholarships for summer study programs through the school’s PASCH connection via the Goethe Institut. All travel, room and board, and program fees were completely covered. PASCH also sponsored four students and a teacher to participate in the German Academic Triathlon in Estes Park, CO this fall, as well scholarships to attend a Theatre Workshop held in Texas.
D219 German teacher Josef Neumayer led the effort to apply for the recognition. He said, when the designation was first announced, “We are incredibly honored to be chosen as a PASCH school. This PASCH designation is by far the highest honor our German program has achieved in the history of Niles West. The opportunities for intercultural learning and collaboration will undoubtedly change the lives of countless Niles West German students in the years to come.”