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DSSLI, Inc. is an initiative by parents to keep their children's native language alive. Its mission is to provide 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, 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). In February 2009, DSSLI was incorporated by the State of New York. The rest, as they say, is history.


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.

Board of Directors



    Chris Wesselborg ('15)
Vice President:

     Katherine Palma ('16)
Secretary & Registrar:
    Christa Siegel-Dittmar ('15)
    Joana Bonura ('16)
    Christa Siegel-Dittmar ('15)
Website Coordinators:
    Chris Wesselborg ('15)
    Kathleen Flint Ehm ('16)
School Involvement Coordinators:
    Joana Bonura ('16)
    Andreas Niens ('15)
Recording Secretary:
    Kathleen Flint Ehm ('16)
Other Board Members:

    Mark Bittmann ('15)
    Lori Busch ('15)
    Michelle Kowatschitsch ('16)
    Nicole Nolan ('15)
    Luise Woltering-Purschke ('16)


Principal: Christa Siegel-Dittmar
Munchkins/Pre-K: Michelle Kowatschitsch
1st & 2nd: Nicole Nolan
Beginner & Non-Heritage: Luise Woltering-Purschke
Advanced: Joana Bonura
Deutsch 4: Chris Wesselborg
DaF Adult Beginners: Matthew Weichner
DaF Adults Intermediate 1: Christa Siegel-Dittmar
DaF Adults Intermediate 2: Katalin Petreczky

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