New teacher leads German classes


Avery Lester

German teacher Brenda Bauske began teaching this school year.

Avery Lester, Staff Writer

After an extensive summer, Brenda Bauske awoke on August 20 to prepare for her first day. After getting in her car, she drove for eight minutes and reached the school where she would soon teach kids for the next nine months. She opened her classroom door, turned on the light, and prepared for the day ahead – it was the beginning of a new year.

This is the first year Bauske has taught German at the school. Before her arrival, Bauske taught in her home state of Wisconsin. She then moved on to Cy Springs before teaching at Lone Star College Tomball. After taking a 10 year break because of the birth of her son, she decided to go back to teaching.

“I really wanted to teach here in the community,” Bauske said. “So when there was an opening at TMHS, I took it.”

Last year was the final year former German teacher Yvonne Thomas worked for TMHS. Bauske arrived here per Thomas’ recommendation, taking over a German program that has been kept largely the same for many years now.

“It’s always hard taking over someone’s program,” Bauske said. “But me and Frau Thomas have known each other for years so I’d really like to carry on the traditions that she got started here.”

Because Bauske is the only German teacher, she teaches a wide range of students.

“I have a lot to prepare for,” Bauske said. “ I have to teach German 1, 2, 2PAP, 3PAP and 4AP.”

Along with the challenge of educating students in a foreign language, Bauske also prepares kids for the German AP test, in addition to serving as the only advisor for German Club and German National Honor Society.

“It’s a lot to juggle but I love it,” Bauske said. “It’s fun for me, I don’t have to do all those things, they’re my choice.”

The arrival of a new teacher means student perception of German could change. However, students are still enjoying their time in class.

“She is really entertaining and passionate about the language,” sophomore Sebastian Reyes said. “She’s unlike any teacher we’ve had before.”

Another student enjoying Bauske’s classroom is sophomore Haley Kilcoyne.

“I feel that she cares more about us as people than as students,” Kilcoyne said. “If we need an extension, or if we need help, she’s always there always ready to do it.”

Bauske started studying German as a child. Her father, a German immigrant, moved to the U.S. in the 1950s. Growing up, she read German poems and prayers and eventually started studying German in her freshman year of high school. She went to Ripon College in Wisconsin and studied abroad in Bonn, Germany to study the language.

“I never thought I would become a teacher,” Bauske said. “But when I studied abroad, I had not decided my major yet and then decided to teach. I knew right then and there I wanted to become a teacher.”

Bauske decided to teach German far into her time abroad and has continued to teach for decades.

“I started buying posters from every place I went,” Bauske said. “But I then realized I didn’t have a place to put them, so I became a German teacher.”