AC 2023
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AC 2023
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 Juergen Clausen Danielle SnauwaertP1060563 
 Jürgen Clausen - former Headmaster of the Hotel School Dortmund  Danielle Snauwaert - former Director at Coloma-Instituut Mechelen

The AEHT would like to take this opportunity to thank Danielle Snauwaert and Jürgen Clausen most warmly for all their contributions to the management and the setting up of activities of our association. The following article is intended to highlight some aspects of their considerable work to our members.


When Danielle Snauwaert was appointed headmaster at Coloma-Instituut Mechelen (BE) in November 1995, her school was already a member of the AEHT, but not very active. 

The national representative for Belgium at that time was the late Willy Creten, who asked her in 1996 to take part in the AEHT Annual Conference in La Rochelle, her first participation on her own, without students or teachers and she was immediately won over! 

The atmosphere was fantastic; it was a real pleasure to see how young people from so many different countries, who had never met before, formed bonds of friendship and became genuine friends, even though they were real rivals at the time of the competitions! Competitions in which everyone gave their all!

Since 1997 we have always taken part in the Annual Conferences with students and teachers.

There is no doubt that AEHT is a great asset for students, teachers as well as school managers.

They too get to know each other better, exchange ideas and make friends.

And Danielle Snauwaert points out that “During these meetings you realise that the specific problems you encounter every day as a headmaster are the same everywhere and this is sometimes very comforting!”

In 2003 Willy Creten took his well-deserved retirement and Danielle Snauwaert got elected National Representative for her country. In 2004 she became together with Jürgen Clausen an auditor for the AEHT at the request of Louis Robert!

In 2007 she too retired but continued her work as auditor of the AEHT accounts until 2021.

“Each time it was a real pleasure to meet up again, first for the serious work and then over a good lunch to reminisce about the old days!”

“I will have unforgettable memories of all those years when my school took part in the Annual Conference with pupils and teachers, meetings which we regretted passing so quickly, but which we remembered each time.

She empathizes that the AEHT is not just about the Annual Conference, that there are many other exchange opportunities offered by the AEHT to member schools during the academic year, such as teacher training courses, Christmas in Europe events, aso.

“I hope with all my heart that the AEHT will continue its mission of bringing together and supporting young people from all over Europe who share the same professional ambitions”.



How it all started 

Already at a young age, Jürgen Clausen started to discover Europe and its different cultures. His school years in the 1950s were marked by trips to Italy, Austria and Switzerland. Of particular importance was a student exchange with a grammar school in Reims, France, as the French exchange partner has remained one of his closest friends until today.

This enthusiasm in foreign contacts remained when he became headmaster of the ‘Wirtschaftsschulen für Hotellerie und Gastronomie (Hotel and Catering College)’ in Dortmund and took care of students from European and non-European countries.

In the mid-1980s in the context of contacts linked to student exchanges with the Hotel school in Illkirch/Strasbourg (FR), Jürgen Clausen started to discuss the possibility of founding the AEHT with headmaster Jean-Paul Bernard and his deputy Martin Bruder in September 1987. He was immediately enthusiastic about their idea, as it was pursuing new goals compared to the existing Association of Hotel school Directors and Principals (Euhofa).

In this new association teachers and pupils/students would be the focus of seminars, competitions and annual congresses.

Thus, he became with his school the first partner in the foundation of our association, which took place in May 1988. In the following months till the 1st Congress in November 1988, he met with a small circle of committed founding members who frequently gathered in Alsace or Paris to work out the statutes for the AEHT.

rgen Clausen’s official functions within the AEHT

He served as National Representative of Germany from 1988 on until his retirement in 2007. Moreover, he was Vice-President from 1988 to 1994 and Member of the Council of Elders from March 2008 on.

Together with Danielle Snauwaert he fulfilled the auditor’s function for more than 10 years.

One of the highlights for him was the implementation of the idea of creating a group within the AEHT made up of the colleges of higher education. This group was initiated with the help of Adolf Steindl more than ten years ago.

Special events set up during his active membership

a) He initiated a seminar week in Dortmund, which was planned and organised by the participating students from different schools with topics of their own choice.

b) In addition, seminars for marketing and for German teachers were held at his school with great success.

c) A genuine teacher exchange with the Hotel Management School Amsterdam was realised in the way that teachers from different disciplines took over the lessons of their colleagues for a fortnight. It was a great enrichment for everyone to have teachers or students from another country in their classroom.

d) Of special importance to Jürgen Clausen was his responsibility of organizing the Annual Conference in 2000 in Berlin. For many years, this city, like no other, was a symbol of the division between West and East. Ten years after the reunification of Germany, with his help the AEHT was able to bring together people from all over Europe in a place that stands for peaceful coexistence. The congress in Berlin with about 700 participants was an event that will certainly be remembered by many of us.

e) Genuine friendships with school directors from different countries quickly developed through encounters at AEHT events, and Jürgen Clausen still enjoys many of them today,14 years after his retirement.

Importance of AEHT for the Hotel School Dortmund                                                      

His school has participated in numerous AEHT events with teachers and students. Their students have often won first places in competitions. At that time, they also often participated in Christmas in Europe events. After returning home, teachers and students always stressed the importance of such encounters with colleagues and young people from other countries in order to develop, promote and deepen European thinking.

According to Jürgen Clausen, the AEHT pursues an essential goal: bringing together people of different ages and origins with their own cultures and customs and enabling them to meet on a professional and human level, so that they feel like: "We belong together, we are Europeans!". The AEHT has, without any doubt, greatly contributed to the fulfilment of this objective.

Quotation of Konrad Adenauer, 1st chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany

Jürgen Clausen would like to conclude his assignment with a famous quote from Konrad Adenauer, who already in 1954 made a statement that hits the AEHT in the core of its mission:

"The unity of Europe was a dream of a FEW.

It became the hope of MANY.

Today it is the necessity for ALL."


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