The Lee’s Summit R-7 School District German teachers were recently honored through the American Association of Teachers of German receiving the organization’s prestigious Center of Excellence designation. Only five German programs in the nation received this recognition.
R-7 German teachers are Julie Hume, Lee’s Summit West High School; Deborah Parker, Lee’s Summit North High School; Rachel Reed, Lee’s Summit High School; David Beal, Bernard Campbell Middle School; and Emily Aldenderfer, Summit Lakes Middle School and Pleasant Lea Middle School. Kendall Mellem, retired R-7 German teacher, was also praised by her colleagues. Mrs. Mellem, who taught German in the school district for more than 30 years, helped establish the strong program in Lee’s Summit R-7.
The R-7 program received an excellent rating in all five areas reviewed: organized and structured curriculum, teaching methods, evidence of culturally authentic activities, assessments and staff qualifications. To receive the award, the teachers completed a comprehensive application, providing evidence in each category as well as letters of support from school district and community leaders as well as current and past students.
Unique strengths of the R-7 German program include its strong middle-school component and a 20-year exchange with a school in Menden, Germany. In addition, students compete in foreign-language competitions through the University of Missouri-Kansas City and the University of Central Missouri. Level 5 German students have also regularly scored very well on International Baccalaureate exams.