Teacher Saffron Walden wins German Foreign Ministry award



16:02 November 1, 2021

The German Foreign Ministry presented a prestigious award to a teacher from Saffron Walden.

Erica Schwiening, who taught at Saffron Walden County High School for 34 years, received the German Teacher of the Year award for delivering first-class and ‘inspiring’ lessons to both the inside and outside the classroom.

Erica said she was “honored” to win the award along with three other teachers from West Lothian, Hampshire and Liverpool.

She said: “Learning a language opens so many doors and expands our experience and appreciation of the world.

“It has been such a pleasure to pass on my passion for German to County High students and to see their joy in learning to understand and communicate in another language.

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“I am very honored to have received this award.”

Erica started teaching at the school in 1987 and quit teaching this summer.

A spokesperson for the German Federal Foreign Office said the awards showcase excellent language teaching in the UK.

The German Teacher of the Year awards are normally presented by the German Ambassador to the UK at a ceremony in London, but were released online in 2021.

German Ambassador to the UK Andreas Michaelis said: “The continued decline in the number of pupils studying German in the UK is really sobering.

“It is therefore particularly important to pay tribute to all schools and teachers who work tirelessly to encourage and defend language learning, especially in difficult times like this.

“German teachers are the main guardians of our bilateral relations.

“My sincere congratulations go to all of the winners and nominees.”

Polly Lankester, Principal of Saffron Walden County High School, said: “We are delighted that Erica has won this prestigious award.

“Erica has inspired so many students, giving them a love for the German language and culture.

“The students and teachers at County High know how lucky they were to work with Erica.

“We are grateful to him for his wonderful lessons and his commitment to extracurricular activities and travel.”

Erica won the award alongside Linda McLean from West Calder High School, Stamatia Kalogeropoulou from Farnborough Sixth Form College and Alexandra Brown from King David High School, Liverpool.


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