The American Association of Teachers of German (AATG) has selected Dr. Stephen Van Orden, German teacher at Timpview High School, as the recipient of the 2019 Checkpoint Charlie Foundation Teacher Award. AATG honors one secondary teacher and one university teacher each year with this award.

The Checkpoint Charlie Foundation in Berlin sponsors the award to recognize exceptional teachers who strengthen intercultural understanding and to commend them for long-term contributions to the German-teaching profession in the United States. The teaching practice of teachers receiving the award must demonstrate clear evidence of implementation of proficiency-based instruction and assessment, use of authentic resources in instruction, development of intercultural connections, contributions to the German-teaching profession, and community involvement. Dr. Van Orden received the award at the ACTFL Convention and World Languages Expo in Washington, DC on Saturday, November 23, 2019. The award includes a stipend for travel to Berlin to participate in the Checkpoint Charlie Foundation Enrichment Educational Program held in June.

The German program at Timpview High School led by Dr. Van Orden was also just named a German American Partnership Program (GAPP) School of Distinction in honor of Timpview’s highly successful GAPP Exchange with the Franziskaneum school in Meißen Germnay. Students at Timpview expand their German learning beyond the classroom through a language and culture exchange with the Franziskaneum. Students from Timpview visit the Franziskaneum every other year in June, and students from the Franziskaneum visit Timpview every other year in October. Hundreds of students on both sides have participated in the exchange since 2001. In 2011, Timpview was named an AATG Center of Excellence. The Timpview German program is one of only a handful of high schools in the USA that has received this distinction.

Each year, Dr. Van Orden collaborates with teachers in other disciplines to plan expansive projects that enable cross-curricular learning and cultural bridge building. Through these projects students are able to connect their German learning with music, art, science, history, geography, and language arts. Dr. Van Orden strives to provide a learning environment and high-quality instruction that will empower students individually to progress as much as they can in their German language skills.

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