Six Questions with Miss German

German School

1. What do you teach at ILS/what is your role at ILS?

I teach music classes to all of Jr. Kindergarten - 8th. I also direct the newly-forming Immanuel Youth Choir after school (this year in the fall and spring).

2. What does classical education mean to you?

Last year, the faculty read "The Seven Laws of Teaching" by John Milton Gregory. Great read, highly recommend for anyone who takes a child's education to heart. I keep close at hand a conglomerate quote which captures some of his wisdom for teachers: "Look at the veiled immortals in front of you and plant there with sure hand the desire to learn, i.e. the love of truth." Accepting students as human beings with souls redeemed by God, and inspiring them toward a lifelong love of truth - that is classical education to me.

3. What is your favorite thing about ILS?

The relationship between the church and the school. I love seeing the influence of what our congregation values become embodied in our school faculty, staff, and students. To me, this is our way of remembering who we are in Christ, allowing that to inform how we proceed as leaders and learners.

4. Who was one teacher who inspired you?

Content matter tends to inspire me, so anyone who teaches content that inspires me makes it to one of my personal pedestals. So, for any of my former teachers who may be reading this and taught me anything having to do with theology, foreign languages, or music, I'm most grateful. Mr. Tim LaCroix, my Lutheran organist German teacher from Concordia Lutheran High School (who also served as choir director several seasons): You will always deserve a special shout-out. A number of students admired and respected you, but I believe you showed me glimpses of my future self, which I like to think is the greatest form of a mentor. Thanks for that one year (though I suspect not the only) when you lost your only prep period after I begged to get German III in my schedule without giving up choir. At least, I think that was my fault.

5. What is your favorite book? (What book has most inspired you?)

The Book of Psalms. Wisdom for the human experience is underrated and addicting.

6. Please share one thing families wouldn't already know about you.

I'm a 5th-generation church organist. That I actually didn't realize until considering this question, so I've learned something new, too. And it just sort of happened. I only decided to learn in my grandpa's memory when he passed away from cancer a decade ago. My mom played (and her sisters still do), my grandma a bit, my great-grandpa, and apparently my great-great-grandpa. A couple of my cousins know how to play as well. I inherited some organ books with great-grandpa's name on them and play from them regularly. His story is better than mine: He was a farm boy and lost his right hand in a corn shredder when he was around 9 years old. He got a hook in its place for the rest of his life. But since a future in farm work looked grim, he pursued church work instead, including organ playing (since playing the organ with a hook clearly seemed realistic). Sometimes I wonder if he's also the reason I'm left handed, along with my mom and two of my siblings.

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