Deutsche Sprachschule Long Island, Inc. (DSSLI) was founded by German parents to improve their children’s native language skills. Now incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit, DSSLI provides German language and cultural education for children and adults. The school is operated by its members under the guidance of a Board of Directors. DSSLI is a member of the German Language School Conference. Its teachers are also involved with the American Association of Teachers of German


The mission of the school is to provide German language and cultural education for children and adults, with the purpose of developing and enhancing their German language skills and gaining insight into German culture. The school and its members also provide a network for families to engage in cross-cultural exchanges.


The school is run by a Board of teachers and parents elected from the membership. Each Board member serves a two-year term (term end dates are indicated in parentheses).

Board of Directors Teachers
    Kathleen Flint Ehm (’17)
Vice President:

     Keith Frederick (’17)
Secretary & Registrar:
    Christa Siegel-Dittmar (’17)
    Joana Bonura (’16)
    Christa Siegel-Dittmar (’17)

Website Coordinators:
    Saskya Barresi (’17)
    Kathleen Flint Ehm (’17)
School Involvement Coordinators:
    Joana Bonura (’16)
    Mark Bittmann (’17)
    Lori Busch (’17)
    Luise Woltering-Purschke (’16)
Recording Secretary:
    Kathleen Flint Ehm (’16)
Other Board Members:

    Michelle Kowatschitsch (’16)
    Nicole Nolan (’17)
    Katherine Palma (’16)
Principal: Christa Siegel-Dittmar
Munchkins: Michelle Kowatschitsch
Deutsch I: Saskya Barresi
Deutsch II: Nicole Nolan
Deutsch III: Joana Bonura
DaF Beginner: Luise Woltering-Purschke
DaF Adult Beginner: Matthew Weichner
DaF Adults Intermediate: Christa Siegel-Dittmar
DaF Adults Advanced: Katalin Petreczky


DSSLI, Inc. was brought to life in 2003 from the ingredients that let every meaningful initiative flourish: two cups of necessity, a cup of enthusiasm, a pinch of vision, and a spoonful of persistence.

As anyone with young children living in a foreign country soon discovers, preserving the children’s heritage language is a daily challenge as they grow up in a world that predominently speaks its own native tongue. Yet, keeping their heritage language alive becomes a necessity when these children grow up in the homes of professionals who may live in their host country only on temporary assignments.

Not surprisingly, several like-minded German-speaking parents who had met at a regular “Kaffeeklatsch” decided it would be more effective and more fun to teach their children together. As more parents joined in, they found a regular meeting place for classes at Stony Brook University, and the German Language School of Long Island (GSLI) began to take shape. It soon became the Deutsche Sprachschule Long Island (DSSLI). On February 2nd, 2009, Deutsche Sprachschule Long Island, Inc. became incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in New York. The rest, as they say, is history.