Coordinators’ Background Info

Krista Winzer-Lee


Work experience:
Heavily involved with the logistics of The Friendship Connection program, helping to create the pairings between American and German students, actively involved with school visits in both the United States and Germany, coordinating flight arrangements with the airlines and chaperoning large groups of American students to Germany in the summers.

Taught Spanish at Marion Franklin High School in Columbus, Ohio. In that year, arranged for an exchange between Ohio schools and a high school in Madrid, Spain.

Taught German at Copley High School near Akron, Ohio.

In preparation for my father’s anticipated retirement, chose to devote the next two years to working full-time as the Assistant Coordinator of The Friendship Connection exchange program.

2008 – present
Assumed the full responsibility of The Friendship Connection as the Program Coordinator.

2020 – present
Created a “new branch” of The Friendship Connection called “VFC,” for Virtual Friendship Connection, during the COVID pandemic years.

Graduated with honors from Hudson High School, Ohio

Spent an academic year studying in Germany at the Ignatz-Koelger Gymnasium in Landsberg, Germany. Attended a two month long intensive German grammar course at The Goethe Institute in Munich, Germany.

Attended Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Majored in German, Spanish and Education. Graduated “magna cum laude.”

Attended La Universidad de Alcala de Henares in Alcala, Spain. Took a 2 month intensive Spanish grammar and business course.

Attended John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio. Education courses and received teaching licensure.

Roland Winzer


Work experience:
Taught social studies and introduced German in the Western Reserve School System in Wakeman, Ohio.

Taught social studies and German in the Hudson Public School system, Hudson, Ohio.

Introduced German into the Hudson High School curriculum.

Coached Hudson High School’s varsity soccer team since 1966. In 1972 began taking soccer teams to Germany with the prerequisite of a minimum of one year of German.

Started The Friendship Connection, Inc.

Introduced German into the Hudson Middle School curriculum.

Retired from teaching. By this time an additional German teacher was required for the Middle School and over 200 students were studying German in the Hudson Public School System.

Continued to coordinate The Friendship Connection, Inc. until turning the program over to his daughter, Krista Winzer-Lee.

Service within professional organizations:
Served as an executive board member for Ohio’s chapter of the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG), including 2 years as Ohio Chapter President. In addition, made presentations at ACTFL and AATG conferences over the years; often topics related to “creativity” and “motivational techniques” in the classroom.

Awards & citations:
Finalist for the Ohio Teacher of the Year Award sponsored by the Ohio Dept of Education.

One of the first recipients of Hudson Public Schools’ Distinguished Teacher Award.

Acknowledged by Helene Zimmer-Lowe, national Executive Director of the AATG, for efforts as the President of the Ohio Chapter of AATG.