TCGIS In the Media
TCGIS Welcomes New Executive Director
Twin Cities German Immersion School
Tuesday, May 25, 2021
Today we are excited to publicly announce the hire of Dr. Kirsten M. Christensen as next TCGIS Executive Director. Dr. Christensen will assume her new duties on July 26, 2021.
Dr. Christensen comes to TCGIS following over thirty years in higher education, most recently at Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) in Tacoma, WA, where she was Professor of German and a founding member and past director of the Holocaust and Genocide Studies Program. She earned an M.A. in Language Acquisition from Brigham Young University, a Ph.D. in Germanic Studies from the University of Texas at Austin, and conducted her dissertation research at the University of Cologne and the University of Antwerp.
Dr. Christensen’s arrival coincides with the onset of strategic planning for 2025 with a focus on innovative teaching and learning, school culture and engagement, diversity and belonging, and financial sustainability.
We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Christensen to TCGIS. The breadth and depth of her teaching and leadership experience in academia dovetails perfectly with the needs and opportunities of the school as we implement strategic initiatives to strengthen our school and build on the success of our past fifteen years. Her previous work as a diplomat provided many opportunities to interact with elected officials and public figures, building strengths and relationships that she can leverage in advancing the mission of TCGIS.
Dr. Christensen understands what it means to challenge students to learn German and to discuss and write about a variety of topics in German. She looks forward to using her experience to support TCGIS teachers and students in their immersion endeavors.
“What attracts me to TCGIS is the centering of German in the education of the whole child. By teaching in German, we are equipping students to understand the language of the countries that are the political and economic heart of contemporary Europe. We are giving them tools to encounter, in age-appropriate ways, some of the world’s most pressing issues as we simultaneously teach them about the people and institutions within the diverse communities of the German-speaking world.”
She added: “During my interview I was deeply impressed by the engagement and investment of teachers, staff, parents and students. Each group with whom I met spoke with energy and creativity about their commitment to the success of the school. I am grateful for this new professional opportunity and look forward to collaborating with all members of this vibrant educational community.”
In fact, Dr. Christensen is already collaborating with the school’s leadership team and participated remotely in the board and administration retreat this past Saturday. She enhanced the discussions with remarkable insight and valuable perspectives. We are eager to welcome her to the Twin Cities and our school community in July.
Dr. Christensen (please call her Kirsten!) enjoys reading and writing poetry, yoga, walking (especially near water), kayaking (especially as a 'spotter' for her son Hal while he trains for triathlons), shopping at farmer's markets, eating out, finding good kombucha, local bakeries and nurseries, nurturing houseplants, keeping in touch with friends and family around the world, traveling, and cooking and baking for her sons and their friends.
She is the mother of three sons: Grayson, 23, who works as a legal assistant near Seattle; Hal, 20, who just completed his freshman year at PLU, majoring in Music and Business; and Braddock,19, who just completed his freshman year at St. Martin's University, majoring in Business and who will be spending the summer in Uganda with his family. Kirsten is lucky to be his American mom. Seventeen-year-old tabby cat Snuggles is the only family member who will be making the move with Kirsten to the Twin Cities. They both look forward to meeting as many of you as they can!
Please join us in saying Herzlich Wilkommen an TCGIS und Minnesota! to Kirsten when you meet her.
Innovations in distance-learning language immersion education
The pandemic has upended education for the past year. The Twin Cities German Immersion School in St Paul Minnesota has found new ways to bring the German language to its students and families.
“We started a “German Enrichment Page” on our website last spring”, said Dean of German Immersion Beate Simon. That page has links to German language content suitable for the k-8 students at TCGIS. “It was a way to make sure kids were hearing German when they were at home”, during distance learning last spring, and was especially popular with the younger students.
TCGIS on Instagram