Instructor & Club Leader
Susan Gleason has a passion for the Lord, life, and teaching German! For the past several years, Susan has taught German online. She has an extensive background in foreign languages, also studying French, Spanish and (presently) Russian.
Traveling internationally since the third grade, her adventures include Europe, Scandinavia, Estonia, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, the Bahamas, South and Central Americas and South Africa. She studied German in college and graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1986. In 1985, while a college student, Susan led a Bible-smuggling operation into Soviet-controlled Estonia. She was a student radio announcer at WXYC and WUAG and was in a music group whose video clip aired on MTV. Susan lived in Germany from 1986-1991, experienced the fall of the Berlin Wall and had some daring adventures outwitting East Berlin border guards.
She did post-graduate studies at Universität Würzburg, Universität Bonn and FAS Germersheim. She worked as an interpreter at the international trade fairs in Cologne as well as a translator and private tutor. Susan won many regional Tae Kwon Do tournaments in Germany and, as a Black Belt, served as an instructor at Sportschule Yoo. In 1993, Susan started the weekly Blue Ridge Backroads program on WBRF 98.1FM Galax VA, a live old-time and bluegrass show that is still broadcast today. She has toured Germany and France several times with her old-time band, the Farmer’s Daughters.
Susan is a multi-instrumentalist, radio voice talent, event announcer, and an avid cyclist, hiker, and trail runner. She loves serving the Lord on mission trips and is a parishioner at St. Innocent of Alaska Eastern Orthodox Church. Susan lives with her family on a small beef cattle farm nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.
I was working as an interpreter and translator in Cologne, West Germany, when the Berlin Wall came down 30 years ago. On November 9, 1989, I was waiting at a stoplight, two blocks from my apartment. Suddenly, the music on the radio stopped, and an announcer cut in...read more
Wondering which Excelsior Foreign Language to learn in high school? Try all of them first! Designed for 6-8th graders, Excelsior offers a one-semester, mucho fun Foreign Language Sampler course, teaching the basics of German, French, and Spanish by our native and...read more
Excelsior’s French and Spanish Instructors Come Highly Recommended… By the German Instructor! It has been an honor and a blessing to work with Señora Diana Lamolinara (Spanish), Madame Gina Duss (French), and Madame Sarah Lehtinen (French) for many years. These...read more
"I wanted to thank you for taking the time to call and speak with [student] today. I believe that your phone call made a big impression. This evening he sat down and began working on his German homework...And, best of all, he is so proud of himself when he completes his two sections! He smiles from ear to ear!! I have never had a teacher call to talk to [my son] to encourage him—that is awesome."
" [Our daughter] can't wait to resume her German education and is delighted that it will once again include you! We, her parents, feel blessed that she'll have another opportunity with such a positive and inspiring teacher as yourself. Even though we have never met in person we all feel like we know you, with the comfortable familiarity of a longtime friend. Your class, and your German stories and experiences, have become part of our dinner time conversation and discussions. They have brought us many smiles and much food for thought over the past year."
Thank you, Frau Gleason, for German II and III classes. I had an amazing time! Thank you soooooo much for being such [a] kind, sacrificial teacher who truly desires to see every student succeed.
You are the only teacher he has had for the longest [amount of time] --3 years--other than me! It wasn’t always easy, but he persevered, and I couldn’t be more thankful for your teaching, encouragement and influence in his life!
To really learn and be fluent in a language, you need to speak it as much as possible. Speaking German in class every week helped a lot and having Frau Gleason hear you and help you with pronunciation was very effective.
Our son has really enjoyed taking German online from Frau Gleason. Her personal attention to each student really made a difference in helping him love learning the language. Even though the class was online, she took time to get to know our son personally, was gracious in answering his e-mail questions, and held him and the entire class to rigorous standards. She did more than just teach the students grammar and vocabulary, she also introduced them to the culture of the language as well, providing assignments to engage with German language media, music and news. In short, not only did our child learn a new language but he also gained experience as a citizen of the globe. We highly recommend Frau Gleason's classes to others. Vielen Dank, Frau Gleason!
Frau Gleason was my son's online teacher for German I and German III. Her fluency in the language, her organization of the syllabus and classroom time, and her personal attention to each student made this an outstanding academic experience. Communication to the students and the parents was always thoughtful and thorough. Frau Gleason was easy to reach with questions on the material or other concerns about the class. She helped build rapport among the students by hosting occasional webcam days, creating fun student surveys, and by encouraging participation. This was our first experience with a live, online class in our home school, and it was entirely successful. Best of all, she has incorporated Scripture memory into the German class, to make the language both alive and ultimately useful. I would give Frau Gleason my highest recommendation!
…I was determined to find a qualified teacher and a rigorous course. I selected Susan Gleason as their teacher. Her extensive experience in German language and culture has enriched our children’s education… The children worked hard to fulfill Susan’s high expectations, and so they learned a lot. Mrs. Gleason’s faith permeated every aspect of her teaching whether in pursuing excellence academically, or selecting German Bible verses, German sermons, and German music each week. The children knew they could trust Mrs. Gleason to teach them well, because they understood that she cared very deeply about their souls, character and German academics.