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.

Claudia Müller | 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.

Tashia Williams-Ware | Preschool Director


Tashia grew up in Oakland, California. She has been an early childhood teacher for thirteen years and is an experienced preschool site director. Tashia holds a bachelor's degree in Child Development and a master's degree in Teacher Leadership. She is currently a site director at a local childcare program while also pursuing her PhD in Educational Leadership. In her free time, Tashia enjoys painting, dancing and singing. Tashia can be reached at twilliams-ware@ebgis.org.

Joy Heitmann | Office Manager

Joy has a deep love for bilingual education stemming from her German and Guatemalan background. She graduated from CSUEB with a BA in Human Development and went on to earn a master’s degree in education. Joy has worked in a variety of Bay Area schools for almost a decade, serving as a lead teacher, diversity coach, curriculum specialist, communications manager, program director, and office manager. You can reach Joy at jheitmann@ebgis.org.

Marjorie Boggs Vazquez


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 | Head Teacher


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.

Dominique Dengler | Head Teacher


Dominique is originally from Stuttgart, Germany. She earned a degree in early childhood education from the Fachschule für Sozialpädagogik Mathilde Planck in Ludwigsburg, and she is also a state-certified Sport and Gymnastik (P.E. and Gymnastics) teacher. After teaching in a bilingual kindergarten in Stuttgart for two years, Dominique taught preschool and kindergarten for 14 years at the German Swiss International School Hong Kong. Dominique enjoys traveling, hiking, and spending time with friends. Dominique can be reached at ddengler@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.

Jon Cho-Polizzi


Jon grew up on the Mendocino Coast of Northern California. He studied European History and Comparative Literature (German and English) at UC Santa Cruz, before receiving his MA in Translation Studies from Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg. He completed his PhD in the Department of German at UC Berkeley in 2020 with a focus on language use and translation as cultural practices for a postmigrant Germany. Jon has ten years' experience teaching both English- and German-language reading, writing, literature, and composition courses to all ages and language competencies from preschool through college, and has taught at public and private schools and universities in California and Germany. In his spare time, he enjoys literary translation, backpacking, scuba diving, and organic gardening. Jon can be reached at jchopolizzi@ebgis.org.

Maria del Mar Yepes

Math, Physics

Maria grew up in Bogotá, Colombia. She earned a degree in physics from Los Andes University in Colombia and a Masters in Organization and Leadership from the University of San Francisco. Maria has been a physics teacher for over six years and is well versed in the IB Diploma Programme. She speaks fluent English and Spanish natively as well as basic German. Maria is passionate about science and the environment, and she loves to travel. Maria can be reached at mdelmaryepes@ebgis.org.

Nastja Enns


Nastja was born in Russia and moved to Germany with her parents at the age of five. She grew up in the Lower Saxony region of Germany and received her BA in social work from the University of Vechta. Nastja has five years of experience in the pedagogical field working with children and families in settings including preschool and afterschool programs. Nastja loves spending time with her family and church community and enjoys baking, hiking, and volunteering. Nastia can be reached at nenns@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.

Sandra Finn


Sandra grew up near Stuttgart, Germany, as the oldest of five siblings. She worked as an au pair in the Bay Area before earning her degree in Sociology and Child Development and Education Studies from the University of Hamburg. She enjoys reading, yoga, and spending time outdoors with her husband and son. Sandra can be reached at sfinn@ebgis.org.

Luisa Gessler

Elementary School

Luisa grew up in Alsfeld, a small town near Frankfurt, Germany. She is an experienced educator who has worked in a variety of settings both in Germany and the US. Before joining EBGIS, Luisa worked as an early childhood educator in Brooklyn, New York. She holds a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education from Justus-Liebig Universität Gießen and a Master's Degree in Educational Science from Philipps-Universität Marburg. Luisa is a strong believer in constructive learning, learning as a social process, and supporting the individual needs of each learner. In her free time, she likes to go backpacking, craft and read. Luisa can be reached at lgessler@ebgis.org.

Yvonne Greene


Yvonne grew up in southern Germany. After earning a business degree in Freiburg she moved to the Bay Area and has worked in the field of early childhood education for over five years. Yvonne loves spending time with her family, traveling and arts and crafts. Yvonne can be reached at ygreene@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.

Ingrid Haider


Ingrid grew up in a small town in Austria. After completing her education as an early childhood teacher in 2000, she worked as a preschool and kindergarten teacher in Vienna, Austria. In 2013 she earned her master’s degree in Occupational Therapy at San Jose State University and has experience as a therapist in pediatric private practice and schools. Ingrid enjoys time with her daughters, music, podcasts, yoga and the outdoors. Ingrid can be reached at ihaider@ebgis.org.

Yvonne Hagemann | International Baccalaureate Coordinator

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.

Christiane Hissbach


Alisa Hoebel | Head Teacher


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.

Christine Isler-Wirth

Elementary School and PE

Christine grew up near Zurich, Switzerland. She earned her education degree from the University of Zurich with an emphasis in Physical Education, English and Arts and Crafts. She has taught for almost twenty years and in addition has been an instructor for coach trainees and a ski instructor. In her free time Christina enjoys mountain climbing, traveling, dancing, volleyball, hiking, skiing, snowboarding and reading. She has two children. Christine can be reached at cisler-wirth@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.

Mónica Lomas


Monica grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She studied Modern Languages at the University of New Mexico with a concentration in Spanish, French, and Portuguese. Monica went on to study Elementary Education at the College of Santa Fe. She has been in the field of education for a decade working with all ages from kindergarten to high school. Her experience ranges from teaching in a bilingual Spanish program to curriculum development to consulting work with the San Francisco Unified School District. Monica enjoys time with her family, dancing flamenco, and creating block prints. Monica can be reached at mlomas@ebgis.org.

Lea Reinhardt

Elementary School

Lea grew up in Reutlingen in southern Germany. She earned her education degree from the University of Education in Ludwigsburg with a concentration in Economics, Biology and Chemistry. Lea taught at a secondary school in Stuttgart and coached youth volleyball. In her free time Lea likes playing volleyball, hiking and reading. Lea can be reached at lreinhardt@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.

Birgit Rulofs


Birgit grew up in Vancouver and Munich. She came to the Bay Area as an au pair many years ago and pursued her degree in early childhood education after trying out many different careers. Birgit founded the Bay Area Kinderstube. She has been an Early Childhood teacher for the last fifteen years and has also volunteered at a school in Uganda. In her free time she enjoys dancing, swimming, hiking and traveling. Birgit can be reached at brulofs@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.

Mario Zettler


Mario grew up near Leipzig in Germany. Pursuing his passion for education, he earned a degree in Early Childhood Education from the Diploma University of Applied Sciences in Leipzig. For the last six years, Mario has worked as a Kindergarten teacher and has also taught first grade. Mario previously worked in the US caring for and teaching German to two host children. Mario enjoys singing, reading, photography and traveling. Mario can be reached at mzettler@ebgis.org.

Pia Erdmann

Administrative Assistant

Pia grew up in Stuttgart in southern Germany. She studied Business Administration for Non-Profit Organizations, graduating in 2018. Pia has experience in the fields of administration, organization, marketing and communication, and volunteered at a children's camp in Stuttgart over an eight year period. In her free time, Pia likes to be active and loves being in nature. Pia can be reached at perdmann@ebgis.org.

Zoë Riering-Czekalla

Administrative Assistant

Zoë is originally from Kiel, Germany and moved to the Bay Area as a child. After working in the insurance field, she attended UC Berkeley and recently graduated with a degree in Sociology. In her free time, Zoë likes to roller skate, cook and hang out with her little dog Fritzi. Zoë can be reached at zriering@ebgis.org.

Constanze Dangelmaier

Extended Day Teacher

Constanze grew up in the foothills of the Alps in the beautiful Allgäu region of Bavaria. She earned her Masters Degree in Sinology, Philosophy and Psychology from Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich. She also studied Chinese in Taiwan and Beijing, living in China for two years. Constanze has over five years of experience teaching German and English in Asia, Europe and the US. She loves singing, playing the violin and viola, arts and photography.

Arianna Standish

Extended Day Teacher

Yoko Kurotani

Extended Day Teacher

Anne-Marie Haro

Extended Day Teacher