Frau Schmid was born and raised in Switzerland. Growing up, she was exposed to the four languages of Switzerland. This early exposure to multiple languages has been a driving force in her career and personal life. After moving to Chicago for graduate school and meeting her husband, Frau Schmid began working as an Adjunct Professor in the Chicago area. She has taught at several universities and colleges. In addition to her teaching and mentoring work, Frau Schmid has been an active member of the DANK family for the past 18 years, first as a teacher and now as co-director. When she is not teaching or working, she loves spending time outdoors, biking, hiking, and exploring nature.
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 Julie Mueller (Teacher)
Frau Mueller was born and raised in Arlington Heights, and lives there now with her husband and 3 children, who all have been or are current Dank students. She first lived in Germany for a full year exchange program in college and developed her love for the language and the culture. After returning to live in Chicago, she sought out a job that could bring her back to Germany. She moved with her husband to Frankfurt and spent 4 years there enjoying many travel adventures and the local culture. A third move back to Germany included her two oldest children, which was an exciting opportunity for them to start picking up the language at an early age. This is her second year teaching the 2nd-3rd grade class.
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 Eva Schroeder (Teacher)
Eva was born in Bonn, Germany and is a German native speaker. As the child of a diplomat, she spent her formative years traveling and living in several European countries until she came to the US at age 14. Eva worked as a Paralegal and Ethics and Compliance specialist for 35 years until she retired in 2022. Eva is married and has 2 adult children. She loves travel and meeting people from different cultures. She also enjoys biking, cooking, and trying new cuisines.
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 Terry Smejkal (Teacher)
Frau Smejkal was born in the “Banat” (western German region of Romania) from where the family was resettled to Austria where she grew up. As a teenager she came to Chicago to join her uncles, aunts, and cousins. Her two daughters went through 8 years of D.A.N.K. in Arlington Heights. During their college years both had the opportunity to participate in internships in Linz. Frau Smejkal has taught at Wheeling H.S., Loyola Academy and New Trier H.S. and has been with D.A.N.K. for over twenty years and in her spare time she loves to read, travel, hike and spend time with her family.
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.