Student: Nadra Wass, 17, of North County High...


April 25, 1994

Student: Nadra Wass, 17, of North County High School

Accomplishments/Interests: Nadra can't really explain why she decided to learn German, which traditionally attracts fewer high school students than French or Spanish.

"I just felt better speaking the German," said Nadra, who will have a chance to practice her conversational skills this summer when she visits Germany for four weeks.

She won the trip, and $100 in cash, by participating in a competition sponsored by the American Association of Teachers German. She'll spend four weeks living with a German family and attending German school.

"If you scored in the 90th percentile on the written part [of the contest exam], the next step is a telephone interview -- in German," Nadra said. "That was really weird."

To her surprise, she won and will visit Germany from June 23 through July 21 -- her first trip to that country, even though she is a well-seasoned traveler.

"My family lived in England for 10 years -- from the time I was 3 until I was 13," she said. "We visited France, Norway, Belgium, all the countries around Germany, but somehow we just never got there."

When her father, a National Security Agency employee, was transferred back to the United States in 1990, Nadra said she found it difficult at first to adjust to the American system of schooling.

"It was awful," she said.

She's adjusted quite well though. She picked German as a subject she wanted to study because she had taken it in the seventh grade at an English school. Now a junior, she has a 4.0 GPA and is thinking of studying electrical engineering in college, with a minor in German.

At school she's also on the math team, a member of the National Honor Society, head of the Drama Club technical crew and the club's Thespian coordinator and vice president.

"I still like the English system more. There were more subjects, and when you'd take math, you'd get a little algebra, a little geometry and a little trig, and you could see how it all related and how it could be applied. In this system it's all taught in pieces."

Comment:"I like math. Math and science are my favorite subjects." "Student Spotlight" is compiled by Kevin Harrison. To contact him with suggestions or recommendations for this feature, call the Anne Arundel Bureau at 315-8911 or fax the information to 315-8916; or mail suggestions to: The Sun For Anne Arundel, 8131 Ritchie Highway, Pasadena, Md. 21122.

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