By Ginny Steinhagen
When Amy Weigel, a German teacher at Roseville High School in suburban St. Paul, began teaching in the College in the Schools (CIS) German program in fall 2008, she inaugurated the second generation of CIS German.
Since 1986, the College in the Schools program has allowed Minnesota high school students to take college-level courses in seven world languages and ten other subject areas at their own high school. Their teachers are trained by University faculty, and the students receive college credit for their efforts; as a result, they are able to enroll in advanced-level courses as soon as they enter college.
As a student in Curt Ecker's CIS German class in White Bear Lake in 1995-96, Weigel remembers being part of the group that won the Oskar in the CIS video competition for a video titled "Indiana Faber," which mixed the stories of Indiana Jones and Frisch's Homo Faber. As a college student, she knew "that I wanted to study German, even if I didn't know what else I would do. There was even a brief time my freshman year that I was going to double major in geology and German, but I decided to follow my mom into teaching." Weigel spent a year in Germany as a Fremdsprachassistentin (teaching assistant) on a Fulbright Scholarship after college; she has been teaching in Roseville since 2002.
Shelley Orr, a German teacher at Red Wing (Minnesota) High School, has been with the College in the Schools German program since its very first year, 1989. She works with a former student, Nikki Roschen, who teaches at the Twin Bluff Middle School in Red Wing. Roschen teaches German as part of the Introduction to World Languages course which gives students a taste of German, Spanish, Chinese, and Japanese. Taking CIS German changed her life, Roschen says: she had not planned on teaching German, but with the college credits she earned as a high school student, she was able to fit a minor in German into her college studies.
In addition to Weigel and Orr, CIS alumna Sarah Hosfield, who studied German through the program with Maureen Zishka (Owatanna), is a student teacher working with Cheri Thomas at New Life Academy in Woodbury, Minnesota.