Our beloved German teacher, co-founder, Board member, trip leader, and staunch supporter, Ursula Wirth, will retire at the end of this academic year. This summer she will move to Lisbon, Portugal, where her daughter Susan and partner have just bought a house.
Frau Wirth, a favorite teacher of many of our graduates and current students, was part of the committee that considered starting a Waldorf high school in 2001-2002. She joined the initial faculty as German teacher, has served two stints on the Board of Trustees, and, with Profe Nunez, created and led our international visitor and exchange program, starting in 2004. Because of her efforts, more than 100 students from Germany have come to the Berkshires, and nearly every student of German language at our school has traveled to Munich, some more than once. She has worked closely with the international Goethe Institute; with GAPP, the German American Partnership Program; and she has been recognized by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs for her contributions to language teaching.
Please join me in a sincere, heartfelt good-bye to Frau Wirth, with thanks for two decades of service to the school in ways measurable and immeasurable.
Following that, I am happy to announce that we have hired Edward Hamelrath, PhD, who is pleased to join our school to teach German and to continue our German visiting and exchange program. He will also probably teach some history seminars and electives. Edward Hamelrath has his doctorate in modern European history from the University of Memphis, his MA from the University of Nebraska, and his BA in German Studies from the University of Memphis. He also has a BBA in business and marketing from Mississippi State University. He has lived and worked in Dresden, Germany, for the past 20 years, including teaching at the Dresden International School, the Dresden State Art Collections Museum, the Technical University of Dresden, the Independent Waldorf School of Dresden, and the Hannah Arendt Institute for Totalitarian Research. When not engaged in academic pursuits, he played bass in a power-klezmer band throughout Germany. Welcome!