2012 German-American Festival Society Scholarships Awarded

The GAF Society lends support to talented students of German language and culture.

The German-American Festival Society announces its scholarship awards for 2012.  “Scholarship recipients were selected on the basis of their achievement in German language studies and their enthusiasm for learning about German culture,” said Christina Renz. High school students must have taken an academic or college preparatory course of study and must have attained a grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0-point system. Students must have completed at least three (3) years of German language study and must have participated in at least one school sponsored organization, such as: National Honor Society, Student Council, athletic teams or school clubs. “The GAF Society is pleased and proud to lend support each year to talented students of German language and culture. It’s a natural extension of our overall mission to preserve our unique heritage, says Marcia Amstutz, President of the GAF Society

The following are 2012 recipients of the German-American Festival Society’s $1,000 Scholarships:

• Kayleigh Smith is a graduate of Woodward High School. She studied German for four years under teacher Sharon Turner. While at Woodward, Kayleigh served as president of German Club. Kayleigh’s grandmother (Oma) was born in Germany, so she frequently speaks German with her, and the family celebrates many holidays using German traditions that her Oma practiced. In the future, Kayleigh plans to travel to Germany to see where her Oma was born, and meet relatives who still live there. This fall, Kayleigh will continue her education at the University of Toledo in Pre-Veterinarian Science, before continuing to Veterinary School at The Ohio State University. She hopes to study in Germany during her college experience.  Kayleigh is the daughter of Dan and Laurie Smith. 

• Elise Lohmann is a graduate of Whitmer High School. She studied German for three years under teacher Krista Balwinski. During her time at Whitmer, Elise was active in the German Honorary Society and German Club. Elise still has many family members in Germany, and plans to visit soon to meet them and see where her great-grandfather was born. Growing up, Elise was raised with many German traditions, and her family attends the Schwaben Verein Waldfest and the GAF each summer, where she has volunteered at the GAF for the past two years. This fall, Elise will continue her education at the University of Toledo, pursuing a degree in Chemical Engineering.  She is the daughter of Brian and Beth Lohmann.

• Joshua Brann is a graduate of Bowsher High School. He studied German for four years under teacher Anthony Dodge. Josh has volunteered at several GAF events at Oak Shade Grove during his high school career. His love for German drives him to use the language with friends and family from Germany as often as possible. Josh will attend the University of Toledo this fall to pursue a degree in Civil Engineering.  He is the son of William Jr. and Kory Brann. 

Awards of $50 were presented to the following students chosen by their teachers as their schools' top graduating scholars: Clayton Rice, Anthony Wayne High School; Alex Manning, Bowsher High School; Andrew Sankowski, Central Catholic High School; Blayne Weddington, Sylvania Northview High School; Kirsch Briel, St. John’s Jesuit High School; Savannah Xaver, Start High School; Kristi Skinkiss, Sylvania Southview High School; Nicole Lancz, Whitmer High School; and Kayleigh Smith, Woodward High School

Each of the participating schools will receive a classroom subscription to German World magazine. German World is an excellent teaching tool, publishing articles in English and German, side-by-side.

The German-American Festival is the largest supporter of high school level foreign language education in the Toledo area. These awards mark the 47th year of recognizing young German scholars. Questions regarding these scholarships can be directed to: GAFScholarship@gmail.com.

Additionally, several German and Swiss Societies make scholarships available. The Toledo Schwaben Verein gives $500 scholarships to full time students in an undergraduate college program or a technical school. This year they awarded 10 scholarships to the following students:
• The Schwaben Verein Scholarships: Elise Lohmann, University of Toledo; Brian Mathe, Michigan Technological University; Bryan Pfouts, University of Toledo; Matt Pfouts, University of Toledo; Kristen Scott, University of Toledo; Taylor Waggoner, Ohio State University
• The Chris Ziegler Scholarship: Emily Belcik, Capital University
• The Herman Schmalzried Scholarship: Kurt Decker, Virginia Tech
• The Maria Schmalzried Scholarship: Craig Lohmann, Bowling Green State University

The Toledo Schwaben Verein has awarded scholarships for 12 years, for a total of 84 scholarships and $47,000.

GBU Fraternal Life, District 510, promotes scholarship through the GBU Foundation. This year’s GBU Foundation Scholarships include: Hannah M. Birchall, University of Toledo ($2,500); Tyler A. Halicek ($2,500); Elise K. Lohmann, University of Toledo ($3,750); Heather L. Klatt, University of Toledo ($1,500); Peyton E. Weiss, Emporia State University ($2,500); Krystin A. Miller, University of Toledo ($1,000); Alexandra M. Zunk, Owens Community College ($1,000); Kelly L. Rice, University of Kentucky ($2,500); Joshua R. Whitt, Ohio State University ($1,500); and Derek D. Mason, Ohio State University ($2,500). 

GBU Foundation Grant: Mackenzie D. Bihn ($500); Rebecca S. Birchall, Bowling Green State University ($500); and Megan D. Henisse, Bowling Green State University ($500)

GBU High School Freshman Grant: Jarrett Cunningham ($100)

The Toledo Swiss Ladies Society awarded $750 scholarships to Amanda Harpel and Kaylie Lingston, who will both study at The Ohio State University.