History of the Texas State German Contest
What started out by a small group of German teachers over 50 years ago as an idea to help encourage the study of German and make it fun, has now evolved into a competition with over 1,500 students from more than 90 schools across Texas participating in more than 40 different events at the state level. This makes the Texas system of German contests the largest in the nation and the only one of its kind. Mary El-Beheri, Gail Cope and Beth Smith were instrumental in developing what we enjoy and know today as Texas State German Contests, Inc.
Winterfest began sometime in the late 1960’s, followed by Sprachfest in 1976 and Houstonfest in 1980. As a culmination of the organization of area or regional contests, the Texas State German Contest was first held in the Spring of 1982 at Crockett High School in Austin.
With the assistance of Jackie Hastay it was moved to the University of Texas in Austin where it remained from 1984 until 1995, when it was moved to Baylor University to remain until 2004.
In 2005 State moved back to its original home in Austin where it was hosted by the University of Texas. 10 years later, Texas State German Contest moved to Texas State University in San Marcos for 2015.
Students from each regional (Houstonfest, Sprachfest and Winterfest) who place in the top 5 for each event, qualify to compete at the state level. Each year, Texas State German Contest sees an average of 60+ schools and more than 1,000 students competing for State titles!
Click on the following links for more information regarding each regional contest:
Mary El-Beheri, founder of Spachfest and who served as the Executive Director for Texas State German Contests, Inc, for 30+ years, passed away just before the State contest in 2012. You can download or view a memorial tribute to her here.
Founder of Sprachfest and Texas State German Contest
February 4, 1938 – February 21, 2012
Terry Smith, founding member of TSGC & Pass Auf Coordinator, passed away at the start of the 2018-2019 school year.
TSGC Founding Member and Pass Auf Coordinator
September 2, 1950 – August 29, 2018