Alumni Honorees

Ninja Maria Nagel Ninja Maria Nagel

B.A. German, 2003


When Ms. Nagel came to Northern from her native Germany in 2000, she was hired as a head native speaker for the Foreign Language Residence Program (FLRP). Cited for being “the best native speaker we have ever had,” she prepared games and activities for her fellow “FLRPies” at Douglas Hall and still regularly attends special dinners and bi-annual Taft retreats, where she presents mini-workshops for the students to great acclaim.

After earning her degree, Nagel first taught at Buffalo Grove High School, then accepted a teaching position at Prairie Ridge High School in Crystal Lake, where she received tenure. While working full time, she received a Master of Arts in Teaching and Leadership from Saint Xavier University and is currently working on Type 75 certification at Concordia University.

By all accounts, Nagel is truly a “born teacher.” Her outstanding teaching abilities have not only been recognized at Prairie Ridge, where she has single-handedly increased German enrollment by three sections, but also in the profession.

She is the youngest member of the Goethe-Institut Trainer Network Midwest, a group of accomplished teachers who offer workshops to colleagues. This past summer she taught a week-long immersion workshop in Casper, Wyoming. The topic: Keine Angst vor Technik im Deutschunterricht! (Don’t Be Afraid to Use Technology in Your German Class!)