Westlake High School senior Kristen Vellinga was selected by the Ohio chapter of the American Association of Teachers of German as the state representative to advance to the national level competition for a study abroad trip to Germany for graduating seniors this summer.
Kristen qualified for the honor after placing in the 90th percentile on the National German Exam Level 4 and completing a telephone interview with the testing committee chair. Nearly 21,000 students from across the country participated in the exam this year. Each exam is comprised of 100 questions, including multiple choice, matching, true/false and fill-in-the-blank. There is a listening/viewing portion of the test, and an interpretive reading and text completion portion.
Other WHS Gold level winners were Kevin Babic, who earned a Level 3 Gold award, and Charlotte Keppler, who earned a Level 2 Gold award. Gold award winners received a medal.
Other WHS winners were Frank Steffen, Level 4 Silver; Wendy Defeo, Level 2 Silver; Joy Meng, Level 4 Bronze; Merlena Ward, Level 3 Bronze; and Level 2 Bronze winners Peter Martens, Ian Pinkas, Ryan Ungar and Nick Vecchio. All are students of WHS German teacher Kristen Harter. Out of 36 WHS students who took the exam, 20 earned placement at the Achievement, Bronze, Silver or Gold levels.
The national AATG/PAD Study Trip Award is a four-week study trip program in Germany. Kristen is competing for an Award II for graduating seniors. The award is round-trip transportation to Germany where students participate in a homestay program with a German family, attend a special international seminar and participate in excursions to cultural and historic locations.