Faculty & Staff

The majority of our faculty are teachers from Germany and other German-speaking countries in Europe who have undergone extensive pedagogical training. We apply the same high standards to our English-speaking faculty. Most of our teachers have master’s degree level qualifications in education, some have Ph.D. degrees, and all are experts in bilingual instruction.

Martin Walter | Principal

German, Drama

Martin's passion for education and student-centered academic innovation began in the 1980s when he was a high school student in the Lüneburger Heide region of Germany. Martin went on to earn his education degree at the University of Oldenburg with a focus on German Language and Literature, Physical Education, Pedagogy, Psychology and Theater. Now, having been an educator for almost 20 years in Germany and the US, including 8 years of experience in school leadership and development, he is delighted to bring his dedication and expertise to EBGIS and its faculty, students and families. Martin can be reached at mwalter@ebgis.org.

Claudia Müller | Vice Principal

English, French, Global Citizenship

Claudia grew up close to Berlin, Germany. She earned her education degree from the University of Potsdam with a focus on English and French, and her PhD in English Didactics from the Technische Universität Braunschweig. Claudia has worked for over ten years as an educator in Germany and the US. In her free time, Claudia is a board member, volunteer, and DJ for San Francisco Community Radio and she enjoys exploring the Bay Area’s outdoors. Claudia can be reached at cmueller@ebgis.org.

Lisa Vestewig | Director of Elementary School

Elementary School

Lisa grew up near Ulm in the South of Germany. She earned her education degree from the University of Education in Ludwigsburg with a concentration in German, English and PE. Lisa has eight years of experience teaching in elementary schools in Stuttgart, Germany and the US. Lisa enjoys traveling, being with friends and dancing. Lisa can be reached at lvestewig@ebgis.org.

Kathrin Rees | Early Childhood Program Director


Kathrin grew up in the Black Forest region of Germany. After receiving her degree in special education with an emphasis on speech-language pathology at the University of Heidelberg, she worked as a special education teacher, diagnostician and parent counselor. She received a PhD from McGill University in Montreal, where she conducted doctoral research in communication sciences, focusing on shared reading between parents and preschoolers. Kathrin enjoys hiking, running, reading, paper arts and hunting for ABC books to add to her collection. She can be reached at krees@ebgis.org.

Kachine Blackwell | Preschool Director


Originally from the Black Forest region of Germany, Kachine grew up in California. She received her BA in Child Development from San Francisco State University and gained experience in bilingual preschool teaching at La Scuola International School in San Francisco. Kachine enjoys painting, reading, and hiking with her dogs. Kachine can be reached at kblackwell@ebgis.org.

Gita Murthy | Director of Administration

Gita is a native of Stuttgart, Germany, with parents who both hail from South India. She moved to the US after obtaining her Abitur and earned a B.A. in Economics from Duke University and an M.A. in International Affairs from George Washington University. She worked in early childhood education, in the private sector and with nonprofits on the East Coast and internationally before moving to the Bay Area 5 years ago. She is a musician, a knitter, a certified yoga teacher and a black belt in karate. She loves spending time with friends and family and enjoys traveling, food and photography. Gita can be reached at gmurthy@ebgis.org.

Marjorie Boggs Vazquez | Coordinator of US Standards


Originally from Puerto Rico, Marjorie earned a degree in English Literature with a focus on education at San Francisco State University, and a Masters Degree in Elementary Education from The College of New Jersey. She has been an educator for ten years at the kindergarten through middle school levels in Shanghai, Berlin, and the US. Marjorie enjoys spending time with her kitties, dancing, and exploring the world. Marjorie can be reached at mboggsvazquez@ebgis.org.

Anisha Brown


Anisha grew up in Darmstadt, Germany. She earned a degree in early childhood education from the Pädagogische Akademie Elisabethenstift in 2012. Before joining EBGIS she has worked as a Kindergarten teacher in Darmstadt and most recently at an international IB school in Frankfurt am Main. Anisha enjoys singing, dancing and traveling. She can be reached at abrown@ebgis.org.

Alex Carroll

Art, Studio

Alex is a visual artist and arts instructor who has exhibited his work extensively in the US, Australia and Asia. Originally from St. Louis, Alex received his Master of Fine Arts Degree from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia. For ten years, Alex taught art classes and led the visual arts departments at two established international schools in Shanghai, China. Alex believes that participation in the arts and arts education are integral to children’s social, emotional and intellectual development. Alex can be reached at acarroll@ebgis.org.

Jana Ezawa

Elementary School, Art

Jana grew up outside of Bremen in Northern Germany. After earning her primary and secondary education degree at the University of Oldenburg she taught Art, Math, and German Language and Literature for ten years in Germany and the US. Jana has always enjoyed raising the cultural and artistic profile of her schools by creating collaborations with local art institutions. Jana can be reached at jezawa@ebgis.org.

Marianne Haesloop

Extended Day, ESL

Marianne grew up in Switzerland. She pursued language studies in France and Spain and earned her teaching degree in Zurich, Switzerland. She has over twenty years of teaching experience in independent and public schools with an emphasis on cross-cultural education as well as language and academic development. Marianne enjoys traveling, sailing, hiking, and reading. Marianne can be reached at mhaesloop@ebgis.org.

Yvonne Hagemann | Coordinator of IB Program

German, Global Citizenship

Yvonne grew up near Cologne, Germany. She received her education degree from the University of Wuppertal, specializing in foreign language education, linguistics and literature. Yvonne has 15 years of teaching experience ranging from elementary to high school to adult education at schools and institutes in Germany, Ireland and the US. In her free time, she likes running, playing tennis, reading and traveling with her family. Yvonne can be reached yhagemann@ebgis.org.

Nadine Heckmann-Zakharov

Elementary School

Originally from Germany, Nadine earned her MA in applied linguistics and translation while studying at universities in Germany, Ireland, Russia and the US. Realizing her passion for teaching, Nadine went on to earn her Masters Degree in Education, as well as a BA in German as a second language, from Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. Nadine's prior teaching experience includes different elementary schools in Munich and Alto International School in Menlo Park. Nadine has two children. She can be reached at nheckmann@ebgis.org.

Alisa Hoebel


Alisa grew up in a small town in central Germany. She received her BA in social work from the University of Kassel. Alisa has four years of experience teaching in multicultural settings in Kassel and Berlin. In her free time, she enjoys spending time in nature and traveling. Alisa can be reached at ahoebel@ebgis.org.

Jens Hoebel

Global Citizenship, Study Time

Jens grew up near Kassel, Germany. After training as a chef he realized his passion was for teaching. He earned his high school teaching degree with a focus on history and politics (equivalent to a US master’s degree in education) at the University of Kassel. After completing his studies he worked as a teacher in Berlin. In his free time, Jens enjoys attending various sporting events. Jens can be reached at jhoebel@ebgis.org.

Ángela Jiménez Velayos


Ángela grew up in picturesque Ávila, Spain. She studied in Spain, the UK and the US, obtaining a master’s degree in English. Ángela is passionate about languages and teaching and has taught Spanish in a diversity of settings. In addition to teaching at EBGIS, she also teaches at Laney College in Oakland. She enjoys traveling, hiking, dancing, food and art. Ángela can be reached at ajimenezvelayos@ebgis.org

Olivia Kistler

Elementary School

Olivia grew up near Zurich, Switzerland and earned a degree in primary education in Rorschach. After teaching in Switzerland she traveled around the world before returning to Europe and teaching first grade at the Swiss School in Milan. Olivia believes in creating an engaging school environment through stories and imaginative lessons. She still loves traveling to new places, hiking in nature, reading and playing board games. Olivia can be reached at okistler@ebgis.org.

Daniela Klimetschek

Ethics, German, History

Daniela earned her Gymnasium teaching degree (equivalent to a US master’s degree in education) at the Technische Universität in Berlin. She has eleven years of teaching experience in Germany and the US including German, English, Drama, and Humanities, as well as preparing students for the German Abitur university-entry examinations. She enjoys spending time with her family and traveling around California and the US. Daniela can be reached at dklimetschek@ebgis.org.

Vanessa Koehler | Head Teacher


Vanessa grew up in southwestern Germany and studied Early Childhood Education at the Friedrich Froebel Seminar in Mannheim, graduating in 2000. Vanessa spent many years teaching in Ireland as well as in the UK, US, the Middle East and Germany. In her spare time, Vanessa enjoys traveling, cooking and reading. Vanessa can be reached at vkoehler@ebgis.org.

Jason Levis


Jason grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and earned his Ph.D. in music composition from the University of California, Berkeley. He lived in Berlin, Germany for six years where he was composing, performing, touring, teaching, and starting a family. Jason has 13 years of teaching experience and continues to perform regularly throughout the bay area in numerous ensembles. Jason can be reached at jlevis@ebgis.org.

Matthias Müller

Math, Physics

Matthias grew up in the Saxony-Anhalt region of Germany. He studied physics at the University of Leipzig and holds a Ph.D. in biophysics. Matthias has almost 20 years of teaching experience as well as experience as a research physicist. In his free time, Matthias enjoys cycling, reading and silent movies. Matthias can be reached at mmueller@ebgis.org.

Emily Rubis

Music, Studio

Emily grew up in Minnesota where she attended St. Olaf College, double majoring in German and Biology. Deciding after this that music was her passion, she earned a Bachelor and Master of Music at San Francisco State University in Piano Performance, and most recently completed her MA in Musicology at Humboldt University of Berlin in 2015. Emily has performed, taught and written about music for over 10 years and has spent 7 years living in Germany where she also taught music and worked as a translator of musicological texts. Emily can be reached at erubis@ebgis.org.

Bettina Terstegen


Bettina grew up in Neustadt/Waldnaab in the south of Germany and earned her credentials as a preschool and kindergarten teacher in Munich. Bettina has 20 years experience as a professional educator, primarily in Munich and Frankfurt. Bettina also held a leadership position at the Froebel Kindergarden in Frankfurt. She arrived in the Bay Area this summer with her husband. Bettina enjoys yoga, traveling, cooking and spending time with family and friends. Bettina can be reached at bterstegen@ebgis.org.

Paul Terstegen | Coordinator of Enrichment Programs

Elementary School, PE

Paul grew up in Frankfurt, Germany. He earned his teaching degree from the University of Gießen with a specialization in German, Mathematics and Physical Education for elementary school. During the last several years, Paul was a homeroom and PE teacher in an elementary and middle school in Frankfurt. Paul moved to the Bay Area this summer with his wife. He loves sports, especially soccer, as well as traveling, reading and good food. Paul can be reached at pterstegen@ebgis.org.

Viola Tietje

Biology, Chemistry, Geography, German

Viola grew up near Lake Constance in southwest Germany. She earned her secondary school credentials at Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg with emphases in German, Biology and Geography. She has five years’ teaching experience at German and international schools in Baden-Württemberg, the East Bay and most recently in Berlin, where she taught at a secondary school for migrants and refugees. In her spare time, Viola enjoys backpacking, scuba diving and eating delicious food. Viola can be reached at vtietje@ebgis.org.

Lotte Woll


Lotte grew up in the Black Forest region of Germany. She studied at the University of Education in Ludwigsburg and Reutlingen as well as San Francisco State University, earning a Masters Degree in Special Education with a focus on speech-language pathology and learning disabilities. She has worked as a kindergarten teacher as well as an elementary school teacher in Germany and the US. Lotte loves dancing, singing and spending time at the beach, especially with her little daughter. Lotte can be reached at lwoll@ebgis.org

Mirjam Kaiser


Mirjam grew up in the Black Forest region of Germany. She received her high school teaching degree in English and Physical Education from the University of Freiburg. She also coached gymnastics for many years. Mirjam is passionate about languages and she enjoys traveling, all kinds of sports, and spending time with friends. Mirjam can be reached at mkaiser@ebgis.org.

Christoph Roese


Christoph earned his degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Applied Sciences in Kiel. Christoph was lead teacher in kindergartens in Kiel and Hamburg before coming to the Bay Area to experience life in another country before completing his masters degree. Christoph can be reached at croese@ebgis.org.

Anna Walter

Intern, Elementary School

Anna grew up in the south of Bavaria, close to Munich. She is currently studying elementary school teaching and educational sciences with English and PE as major academic subjects. During numerous internships at German elementary schools, she was able to gather practical experience in the various aspects of a teacher’s work. Anna loves cooking, hiking and all kinds of riddles. Anna can be reached at awalter@ebgis.org.