Ethan Shenhar, a junior at Staples High School, has won an all-expenses-paid summer study trip to Germany based on his performance in a national competition for students of German.

Shenhar was selected as a national winner by scoring in the 95th percentile on this year's National German Exam for High School Students, Level 3, sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of German. Nearly 21,000 students participated in the program. After qualifying with a high score on the exam, he answered essay questions in German and English, and was then interviewed by college professors who teach German.

Based on that performance, Shenhar was selected as one of the American students to make the study trip.

He is a student of Carol Kochefko, who teaches German at Staples.

The award includes round-trip air transportation to Germany from New York, a home-stay with a host family and excursions to places of cultural and historical interest.

The trip is made possible through a grant from the Federal Republic of Germany.

"This program gives students the chance to experience Germany firsthand by living with a German family and attending school," Keith Cothrun, executive director of the AATG, said in a press release announcing the award. "It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

Founded in 1926, the AATG represents German teachers at all levels of instruction.