St Andrews teacher now top of the class

Elizabeth Semper pictured with the German Ambassador, Dr Eckhard L�bkemeier
Elizabeth Semper pictured with the German Ambassador, Dr Eckhard L�bkemeier

A St Andrews teacher has returned to school after the summer holidays with a prestigious UK-wide teaching award to her name.

Elizabeth Semper, head of German at St Leonards, was recently named as the German Embassy’s German Teacher of the Year.

Elizabeth won the title, which is open to all teachers of German as a foreign language in the UK, in recognition of her tireless efforts to promote and improve the teaching of the subject.

She told the Citizen this week: “I’m thrilled to have won the award, it’s a great privilege.”

The title, awarded in association with the British German Association, the UK German Connection and the Goethe Institute was picked up by Elizabeth at a special ceremony at the German Ambassador’s Residence in London.

However, Elizabeth had an inkling beforehand that she may have been successful.

“I was in Munich on a course run by the Goethe Institute but I was given an invitation to attend the Embassy’s Sommerfest at which they present the awards,” she said.

“I had a feeling that I might be in with a chance when they encouraged me to come back from Munich for it.

“And when I was ushered to the front row I suspected that I might have won!”

Elizabeth, who has been teaching at St Leonards for eight years, revealed the secret of her success and the significance of her subject.

“German is my passion,” she said.

“I try to make my lessons fun and exciting and make the complex grammar simple.

“It’s an exciting country and culture and German is the number one language that employers in Europe want.

“I’m just doing the best I can to keep the number of pupils taking German as high as possible.”

St Leonards headmaster, Dr Michael Carslaw, added: “I’m delighted for Elizabeth that, with the award of this prestigious title, her excellence and endeavour has been recognised on a wider stage.”