Frau Schmid was born and raised in Switzerland in a multicultural family. She moved to Chicago for graduate school where she met her husband. She joined the DANK family 18 years ago when their three boys started German school — first as a teacher, and then as the co-director. She’s been an Adjunct Professor in the Chicago area. When she’s not in the classroom, she loves the outdoors, biking, and hiking.
Frau Sabine Woerner (Co-Director)
Frau Woerner was born in the Rhineland by Cologne and enjoyed traveling all over Europe as a kid with her family. She came to the US to improve her English and found a new path here. She studied to be a German teacher and has taught for many years now at high schools and colleges. She is a co-director and coordinates all the testing at our school. When not teaching she travels with her husband to visit her three kids on the East Coast or explore the rest of the country and world. Recently she added a new puppy to her life which keeps her extra busy.
Frau Kyoko Hallal (Teacher)
Frau Hallal was born in Germany and has lived in Japan and the United States. She grew up speaking German and Japanese and loves art, music, and traveling. Her son is a happy DANK student and loves the exposure to German. She is excited to be a new member of the DANK team.
Frau Trudy Hoyer (Teacher)
Frau Hoyer is a life-long Chicagoan and has taught with DANK for 20 years. She loves to read, plant and weed her perennial gardens, and raise and release Monarch butterflies.
Frau Melanie Potuznik (Teacher)
Frau Potuznik grew up in Duluth, Minnesota, and found out early on that she was interested in people, their cultural backgrounds, and ways of thinking and living. In college, she traveled to Tanzania, East Africa, where she dabbled in Swahili. This experience set the tone for her life. She married a German man from Frankfurt and has been teaching for DANK since 2012. She loves to run, hike in the woods, and drink coffee.
Frau Thuy Radons (Teacher)
Frau Radons is from Flensburg in Schleswig-Holstein. She is fluent in German, Danish, and English. She has been with DANK for 10 years as a teacher and nine years as the DANK accountant. Frau Radons taught/teaches Levels 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. Recently, she also began teaching Adult Beginners and Adult Intermediate.
Frau Janine Sasso (Teacher)
Frau Sasso was born and raised in the Harz Mountain region in Germany and moved to Chicago in 2010. Both of her children have been with DANK since they turned three. She values the friendships and connections found within the DANK family. She loves hiking and camping with her family and during the week is found selling real estate in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago.
Frau Birgit Schubert (Teacher)
Frau Schubert was born and raised in the Frankfurt area in Germany before moving to Chicago. She joined the DANK family nine years ago when her children started German school. She enjoys working with the students and teaching the German language and culture. She loves bike rides, reading, baking bread, and spending time with her family.
Frau Nicole Simms (Teacher)
Frau Simms was born and raised in Saxony, in the east of Germany. Early on, she discovered her passion for the English language, art, and other cultures, as well as working with children. Nicole’s perfect day starts by waking up early for a cup of tea, being silly with her three kids, working on DIY projects with her husband, and going for a stroll or a bike ride. Frau Simms is a new teacher at DANK.
Frau Katharina Thomas (Teacher)
Frau Thomas was born and raised in Marburg an der Lahn with a fairytale castle on a hill. She always had a passion for languages; besides German and English, she loves French. She’s been living with her family in Arlington Heights since 2008. She joined the DANK family as a parent in 2012 and is excited to teach 5th grade now in her third year. Her son has finished DANK with the B1 exam and her daughter is still attending. Frau Thomas loves dogs, big and small, the outdoors, and traveling.