German students garner laurels on national exam


James Cromie

Cody Hendrych-Bondra, Lucas Hertzel, Brandon Mason, and Katelyn Wolf (missing Carter Kickinski and Brady McKiernan) earned high marks on the National German Exam.

The star-studded students of the Bethel Park German program shined brightly this past month by scoring high on the National German Exam.

The National German Exam, known short as the NGE, is a test administered by the AATG, or the American Association of Teachers of German, to over 15,000 German students across the United States.

The AATG has four award categories they give out on the exam to recognize students for outstanding achievement: gold, silver, bronze, and honorable mention.

Narrowing in on Bethel Park, the students in Mr. Tobias’ Honors German 3, 4, and AP German 5 classes took home 12 such awards.

Senior Cody Hendrych-Bondra, who studied abroad last year in Germany, and junior Lucas Hertzel were both gold winners on the Level 4 exam.

For winning the gold award, Hendrych-Bondra and Hertzel will have the opportunity to apply for a scholarship for a trip to study abroad in Germany. This is a scholarship that all gold-award-winning students will have an opportunity to win. Bethel Park German students have won this award twice in the past.

The silver winners included junior Brandon Mason on Level 4 and sophomore Brady McKiernan on Level 3.

The bronze winners were senior Carter Kicinski on Level 4 and sophomore Katelyn Wolf on Level 3.

Six other students were honored in the honorable mention category. These students were juniors Jacob Kalogeris and Parker Nelson on Level 4, seniors Jason Turske and Mira Westen on Level 4, sophomore Jacob George and junior Chloe Gorman on Level 3.

Last year, BP German students were winners of just two such awards.

“We are finally starting to recover from the damage that was done by two years of ‘hybrid’ and ‘remote’ learning due to the Pandemic,” Mr. Tobias said on the large jump in scores from last year, “I think that’s the biggest factor.”

In additional news for BP German, they will be traveling to Washington and Jefferson College on March 14 to compete in the Three Rivers German Day competition. This competition will feature about 12-15 high schools and a few middle schools from the Pittsburgh area.

Students will be competing in three writing categories, four art categories, and three performance categories.

Last year at the event, Bethel Park loaded up the trophy case. Bethel Park took home the most awards of any school, including five first-place awards, one second-place award, and three third-place awards.

It’s a successful start to a big month ahead for German students!