Second Regional Network Conference of German Schools Abroad


Dear School Community,

As you may know, our GISW in Potomac is one of over 140 German Schools Abroad that are supported by the Central Agency for German Schools Abroad (Zentralstelle für das Auslandsschulwesen – ZfA). This support is evidenced by the provision of teachers from Germany, in the form of professional development seminars, and the Agency’s efforts to strengthen the network of German Schools within each of the 16 regions that exist worldwide.

On November 3rd and 4th, 2017, the second regional networking conference of our region (Region 1: USA & Canada) was held here in the vicinity of our school. At this conference with a focus on “Advancing the German Schools of North America to handle challenges of the 21st century” each school was represented by one or two Board members, the respective Head of School and the Business Manager.

Following welcoming words by our Head of School, Petra Palenzatis and presentations by Holger Mahnicke, Head of the Communications and Culture Department at the German Embassy, and Gert Wilhelm, regional official of the Central Agency for German Schools Abroad, the goup started with their contextual work.


After inspiring presentations by Dr. Jochen Schnack (German International School Boston), Beate Mahious (German International School Washington D.C.) and Ed Schlieben (German International School New York) the participants worked on topics that will be of utmost importance to further the development of each school. The topics included the future -oriented instructional lesson design, fundraising, and marketing strategies. Everyone learned a considerable amount from one another during in-depth exchanges among representatives of different schools.

In our region, we currently have the following accredited German Schools Abroad that all participated in the conference here in Washington:

1. Alexander von Humboldt German International School Montreal
2. German International School Boston
3. German International School New York
4. German International School Portland
5. German International School Silicon Valley
6. German International School Toronto
7. German International School Washington D.C.


The conference was organized by our new Quality Management official, Torsten Steininger, with the hands-on support of Jutta Wagner and Jeannette Dubrey. In this successful conference the network of the seven German Schools in our region was strengthened and the participants agreed to continue working in a variety of subgroups to further their assignments over the coming months. A special sign of a strengthened network is that the Board members who were at the conference elected two representatives for the region from their midst: Dagmar Tawil from our school and Dr. Johannes Fruehauf from Boston.

Photos: Ute Hollinde-Steininger

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