Sport, spiel, and spaẞ at the German Convention


Jenna Sanders

Starr’s Mill’s German students hold up their award certificates at the 2017 State German Convention. “I’m extremely proud of how we did as a whole,” junior Marleena Tamminen said. “We placed in a lot of different events and all levels of German.”

Amy Orr, Staff Writer

On Feb. 3-4, high school German students from across Georgia met at Camp Jackson for the annual State German Convention to compete in various competitions.

This is the most successful year we’ve ever had.

— German teacher Antonela Kljajic

“This is the most successful year we’ve ever had,” German teacher Antonela Kljajic said. “After State German Convention last year, the students really wanted to come back this year and do really well and be successful.”

Every year of the SGC has a different theme. This year’s theme was sport, spiel, and spaẞ (sports, fun, and games). It was centered around various board games, game shows, or sports and athletes. The convention included 14 different competitions for students to compete in, both individually and in groups from their schools. Aside from the competitions, students could prepare projects, such as baked goods, games, photography, and more, prior to SGC and have them judged.

“[Starr’s Mill’s students] did amazing,” junior Ainslie Schmidt said. “We’re all so proud.”

Starr’s Mill’s German students placed in nine of the competitions, earning a total of 16 awards.

This year’s award recipients included:


Lip Sync- first place

3x3x3 – junior Marleena Tamminen, senior Ethan McNulty, senior Kayla Christ – third place

Quiz Bowl – junior Ainslie Schmidt, senior Madison Hagen, McNulty, Tamminen – fourth place

Baked Goods

Apfelkuchen – junior Bailey Christ and Schmidt – second place

Vocabulary Bee

German 2 Vocab – sophomore Cassidy Haycock – second place

Spelling Bee

German 1 Spelling – freshman Joy Inya-Agha – second place

German 2 Spelling – sophomore Katie Johnson – third place

German 3 Spelling – Tamminen – second place

Jenna Sanders
German students compete at the State German Convention. The SGC allowed the students to showcase their German skills and creativity in many different competitions, all while having a great time.

Rollenspiel (Roleplay)

German 3 – Tamminen – first place

German 3 – Schmidt – third place

German 4 – Hagen – second place

Schriftliche (Written test)

German 3 – Tamminen – first place

Nacherzählung (Story retelling)

German 4/5 – sophomore Laura Anderson – first place

Partnerarbeit (Paired work)

German 3 – Schmidt and Tamminen – first place

Hindernislauf (Obstacle course)

German 1 – freshman Elizabeth Marmo and freshman Ellie Meyer – second place

German 2 – Haycock and Katie Johnson – second place

This year, Starr’s Mill’s students participated in the 3 by 3 by 3 and the Quiz Bowl competitions for the first time. The four German Club officers, Tamminen, Schmidt, McNulty, and Hagen, competed in the Quiz Bowl, which was based on the theme of the convention. There was a bank of about 300 questions and facts, and they competed against the other team by buzzing in and answering the questions. Starr’s Mill placed fourth in this event.

“For not having any prior experience in Quiz Bowl, we did a fantastic job navigating it,” Tamminen said. “Sharing the experience with Ainslie, Ethan, and Madison was pretty great because we had a great time hanging out between rounds and quizzing each other on the questions.”

The 3 by 3 by 3 event consisted of three students, three minutes, and three props. This event allows for the students to showcase their German skills and their creativity as well. The Starr’s Mill team of Tamminen, McNulty, and K. Christ won third place.  

Click here to watch the Mill’s 3 by 3 by 3 performance.

Tamminen took home the most awards from SGC. “I did a lot better than I expected, but I definitely can’t take all the credit,” Tamminen said. She placed in three individual competitions and four group competitions, including the lip sync competition where the school won first place.

Click here to watch the lip sync performance.

“Frau [Kljajic] is great at helping everyone,” Schmidt said.

In order to prepare for SGC, the students put in a lot of time and effort. The four

German Club officers got together and studied their questions for the Quiz Bowl, and Kljajic helped out by quizzing them. Everyone practiced for their individual competitions at home. Students also practiced the partner work and role play in class. For partner work, Kljajic gave them a picture, and they had to describe it to their partner, so the partner could draw it. For role play, they were given a prompt and had to act it out.

After putting in the time and effort to prepare for SGC, German students from across Georgia could come together and share an experience involving a common interest.

“[SGC] really unifies German students from across the state of Georgia,” Kljajic said. “They get to see what other schools are up to, they get to hang out with other kids who also take German, and most importantly, they get to figure out how they can get themselves and other people interested in what they’re passionate about.”