German Club All About School Involvement

Deidre Bellmore, Staff Writer

German Club at Notre Dame Academy gets students involved with the school through German-related activities under the guidance of moderator Jennie Laaksonen, otherwise known as “Frau.”

Frau, the only German teacher at NDA,  decided to keep the club going when she started here about 18 years ago.

Frau said that although she is the official leader of the club, she reminds the members that this club is not “her club,” thus giving the students the freedom to choose activities and plans to do as a group.

The original German Club was a small group of students that just planned to deepen their knowledge in the German culture and language, she said, and now the club consists of about 80-90 kids from all grades.

The club participates in many activities together, such as pumpkin carving, ice skating, and eating at German restaurants, in order to get together as a group and to deepen their German culture knowledge, Frau said.

“The club has been helpful to me by helping me be more involved in school and to meet a lot of new friends.  German Club helps me get more involved with school and especially through De La Baiefest by serving the whole school,” said senior Steven Strutt, who is also the school’s “FanMan.”

Strutt is one of the many students that join each year to partake in the club activities and has been an active member for his whole high school career at NDA.

Frau said the structure of German Club is set up with Frau being the teacher adviser, but in order to keep the club more of a student-run program she selects three student leaders to organize and assist in running/advising the club.

German Club follows the Notre Dame mission by connecting people through activities and through culture, as Frau said “the main point isn’t just to get kids involved with the German culture but to build relationships with other people at the school.”

The club had its first meeting a few days after the club fair at the school.

Stutt said,” A normal meeting is meeting in Frau’s room (P-112) usually in the morning and discussing upcoming events and/or German culture.”

Frau hopes that the club with bring a sense of belonging to the students along with some fun involved. She intends to get more students involved in out-of-school activities.

Even though Frau was by default the German Club leader because she is the only German teacher, she said she enjoys that students want to participate with peers and friends and build new relationships with a club that is both educational and fun.

“I would recommend German Club to other students because it gets you involved in the school and helps you make a lot of new friends you may have not met in your regular schedule.  Plus, we have the coolest club shirts and only club members can order them. The activities are really fun, and we just have an overall great time. Frau is really funny and fun to work with,” said Strutt.  

“It’s amazing. And fun. What else do they need to join?” said Frau.

Anyone can get in touch with Frau throughout the year, but the best way to ask for more information is through her email at [email protected] .

“German Club is for kids wanting to do something but to have a structure with it. And this is the reason to come together,” she said.