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. In addition, because the Bay Area is such an attractive place to live, we have the luxury of handpicking the best and most highly motivated German-speaking teachers through our hiring process. Among our many strengths, our world-class faculty is perhaps our proudest asset.
Kathrin Rees | Early Childhood Program Director
Kathrin grew up in the Black Forest region of Germany. At the University of Heidelberg, she focused on special education with an emphasis on speech-language pathology. After completing her studies, she worked as a special education teacher, diagnostician, and parent counselor. Kathrin also conducted continuing education for kindergarten teachers on issues relating to child language development, such as how to foster multilingualism. She received a PhD from McGill University in Montreal, where she conducted doctoral research in communication sciences, focusing on joint media engagement by preschoolers and their parents. Kathrin has two sons, aged eight and fourteen, with whom she speaks three languages (German, English, and French).
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.
Marjorie Boggs Vazquez | English
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.
Alex Carroll | Art
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.
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.
Marianne Haesloop | Afternoon Club, 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.
Yvonne Hagemann | German, Geography, Math, Ethics
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.
Daniela Klimetschek | German, History, Ethics
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.
Vanessa Koehler | Preschool
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.
Angela Lebakken | Spanish, Nature & Society
Angela grew up in the Midwest and earned her BA in Spanish and Comparative Literature from the University of Wisconsin and Complutense University in Madrid, Spain. She went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Romance Languages at the University of Wisconsin. Angela has fifteen years of teaching experience at the elementary through university levels. She enjoys traveling, hiking, kayaking and music.
Claudia Müller | English, German, Ethics, IT
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.