Kristen Suberg, Direktor

My name is Kirsten Suberg, I was born and raised in northern Germany, by the North Sea, and I loved sailing the East Frisian Islands with my dad. Growing up I was very fortunate that my parents traveled all over Europe with me. Through that exposure I developed a very strong passion for languages and cultures. My studies abroad eventually settled me in upstate New York. There I began my teaching career almost eighteen years ago. I have been a class teacher and a German teacher. My passion, still to this day, is to teach the German language and culture, but most importantly I love to create an authentic learning experience for my students. Presenting students with a language immersion is a phenomenal experience, which is the reason I am so excited about the Deutschakadenmie, at the Virginia Governor’s World Language Academies. I knew I wanted to be able to create an environment that I had experienced during my studies abroad. Being a part of a complete immersion gives the opportunity to dive into an experience to be able to speak in the language, think and sometimes dream in the language. Last year I was the Lead Teacher and I am thrilled to be the Director this year and bring my experiences and talents into this program to create a fun filled, exciting and authentic language immersion program.
Samantha Vasquez, Haupt-Lehrerin

My name is Samantha Vasquez and I am currently a German teacher for Loudoun County Public schools. I earned a BA in International Business and a BAFL in German from Virginia Tech, and have just finished my MEd in curriculum and instruction from George Mason University. My family is from Tübingen, Germany, and will use any excuse to say that Baden-Württemberg is the only state worth visiting in there. I am extremely passionate about languages and traveling, and enjoy looking at the ‘so what’ with my students; why is this important to me, and when will I use it in my everyday life? I am excited to be creative and have fun with the language through this program!
Johnatan Wilkey, Lehrer

My name is Johnatan Wilkey, German teacher for Chesterfield County Public Schools. I avidly follow the German Bundesliga. My favorite soccer club is Borussia Dortmund. (Heja BVB! Schwarz gelb allez!) I graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a B.A. in German. I am the Vorplatter of Richmond’s traditional german dancing group, the Hirschjäger. (Insert Juchzer) My mom and her side of the family moved to Germany from Poland forty years ago. My mom and grandparents live in the town of Hanau, 20 minutes outside of Frankfurt. On my yearly trips to visit my family, I have also spent extended periods of time in Austria and Switzerland with a day trip to Liechtenstein for good measure. In my free time I like to hike, bike, run, play soccer and play video games (zocken). I am super excited to share my passion for German with everyone.
Barbara Okker Hassell, Lehrerin

I am a native of Stuttgart, Germany and have been a German teacher at the high school and college levels for 26 years. My husband and I have three sons and nine grandchildren. My passions in life are spending time with my children and grandchildren, cooking, and gardening. My husband and I have lived in Roanoke, Virginia for a little over forty years.

Alan Strecker, Lehrer

I am originally from Cleveland, Ohio and have been living in Roanoke, Va. for the last 17 years, where I have been a high school German teacher. Besides teaching German, I am a Tennis coach, Scholastic Bowl coach and Chess coach for the High School. I have many different interests; including, but not limited to playing golf, tennis, chess, and cards. Traveling is always on top of my list, especially when I take my students on exchange trips or take adults on my adult trips to Germany; hopefully, we can travel again in 2022.