German Teacher, Gunde Burritt, retiring after 19 years


TRAVELING THE WORLD: Gunde Burritt, far right, takes a photo with her family in Germany

Ava LaBianco, News Editor

After 19 years of being the German teacher at Downers Grove North, Gunde Burritt has decided to retire. For being only one of the two German teachers, Burritt has put lots of energy and dedication into the program. 

She was born and raised in Germany until she went to Indiana University for her Masters program where she found her passion to be a German teacher. Burritt is the one to thank for the German exchange program. She introduced the idea to DGN 7 years ago; she set up the exchange with our sister school in Lubeck, Germany. 

‘’I have a lot of fond memories, but the best memories are setting up our exchange program. Almost all the students who participated said that it was one of their best high school experiences,’’ Burritt said. 

Burritt expressed that she will miss her students the most. She will be a substitute teacher next year in the district, but Burritt will be mainly focusing on traveling more when she retires. She also wants to focus on seeing family and be at home, Germany. 

‘’Discussing similarities and differences between students and my cultures is what I love about my job. Mostly, it turns out that we have more in common than we think and that it is important to observe with judgment,’’ Burritt said

Burritt has impacted many students’ lives by teaching them how to love the German language and culture instead of memorizing words and phrases. 

‘’I was a bit nervous to take German my freshman year because I did not know anything about the language and from what I saw it looked hard. My experience the past three years in German, though, makes that statement so far from the truth. Thanks to Frau Burritt, I really grew to love the culture and have fun every single day in class. It was more of a community rather than a classroom setting,’’ German 3 Honors student Ally Costello said.  

DGN students and staff will truly miss Burritt. Her passion for the German classes will not be forgotten.