February 24, 2024
Texas State University, San Marcos


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.

Mary El-Beheri
Founder of Sprachfest and Texas State German Contest
February 4, 1938 – February 21, 2012

Download (PDF, 1.1MB)

Terry Smith, founding member of TSGC & Pass Auf Coordinator, passed away at the start of the 2018-2019 school year.

Terry Smith
TSGC Founding Member and Pass Auf Coordinator
September 2, 1950 – August 29, 2018



Feb. 9, 2024
State online registration due by 11:59 p.m. in order to qualify for early-bird price of $12 per student. Online registrations submitted after this point incur the regular registration fee of $15 per student.

Feb. 14, 2024
State online registration due by 11:59 p.m. (regular deadline). Also, postmark deadline for State payment, regardless of whether you completed your online registration by the early-bird or the regular deadline.

Feb. 17, 2024
Digital Event submissions due by 9:00 a.m.

Mary El-Beheri Memorial Scholarship applications due by 9:00 a.m.

Important Dates

Feb. 24, 2024
Texas State German Contest, 42nd Anniversary, Texas State University, San Marcos

Mar. 10, 2024
Gail Cope Scholarship applications due

Anytime during the school year August 1, 2023 - April 30, 2024
Spring Teacher Grant applications due

February 22, 2025
Texas State German Contest 2025

Contact Us

Texas State German Contest Director
Jennifer Christianson

Sprachfest/TSGC Mailing Address
Texas State German Contests, Inc.
PO Box 2043
Boerne, TX 78006

Onsite Directors
Dr. Ewa Siwak & Dr. Valentina Glajar
Dept. of Modern Languages
601 University Drive
San Marcos, TX 78666

TX State University Maps