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History and Founders

In 1965, instruction in German commenced at Grace Episcopal Church in Westwood, under the auspices of the German Cultural Society.

Our founders:

  • Bill and Pat Lutze
  • Christel and Dietmar Schoeffel
  • Hermann and Elsa Warth
  • Will and Gertrude Kratzer
  • Hildegard Warth-Kaufmann


The first classes at the school included 35 children and 8 adult students. In the second year, 55 students were enrolled and two additional teachers were hired. The German Cultural Society was legally incorporated in 1971.  It attained non-profit status and was entirely funded by tuition and donations.

GLSW's attendance and requirements (educational and technological) have grown over the years necessitating our move to facilities that can accommodate the needs of our students and school.

  • 1965-1973 - Grace Episcopal Church, Westwood
  • 1973-2007 - Zion Lutheran School, Westwood
  • 2007-2019 - Berkeley School, Westwood
  • 2019-???? - Saint John's Academy, Hillsdale


Today, over 200 adults and children are enrolled. The school is funded primarily by tuition, but also receives support from the German Government, based on the academic performance of the school's students. With additional support from corporate and private donations, the school is able to realize the dream of its founders and help spread awareness of German language and culture. The school continues this mission with principal Christine Gehres, along with our enthusiastic faculty and board.