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.



Daniela Klimetschek | Director of Middle School
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.



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.



Anisha Brown | Head Teacher
Preschool

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.



Alysha Brinson

Kindergarten



Jon Cho-Polizzi
English

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.



Alexander Dippon
Preschool Aide



Nastja Enns
Preschool

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
Preschool

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.



Yvonne Greene
Preschool

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.




Johanna Haertl
Elementary School

Johanna grew up in a small town in southern Germany. She earned her degree in primary education from the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg with a concentration in Biology, German, Mathematics and Art. Johanna then taught elementary school near Nuremberg and in Munich. Johanna enjoys all kinds of outdoor activities including hiking, mountain biking, swimming and traveling. She can be reached at jhaertl@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
Kindergarten

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.



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.



Neil Hetrick
IB Coordinator, English, Middle and High School

Neil grew up in Northeast Ohio. He acquired a passion for German language and culture in his junior year of high school when he participated in a youth exchange program near Bremen, Germany. Since then, he has lived, worked, and studied in Germany, Switzerland, Ireland and Spain. Neil earned his undergraduate degree in multi-age German education from the University of Toledo, and his MA from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in TESOL (teaching English to speakers of other languages) and international education management. In his free time, Neil enjoys traveling, trail running, and baking bread. You can reach Neil at nhetrick@ebgis.org.



Christiane Hissbach
Kindergarten



Alisa Hoebel | Head Teacher
Preschool

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.




Anna Jordanic
Elementary School

Anna grew up close to Frankfurt am Main, Germany. She earned her education degree from the University of Gießen, majoring in Biology and Geography. After completing a further course of study in primary education, Anna spent two years teaching elementary school. Because of her Croatian roots, Anna grew up bilingual, and she loves learning about other cultures. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, spending time with friends, backpacking and sports. Anna can be reached at ajordanic@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.



Vanessa Koehler | Head Teacher
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. Vanessa can be reached at vkoehler@ebgis.org.




Jens van Laak
Mathematics and Physics, Middle and High School

Before moving to the US in 2016, Jens taught middle and high school in Australia, Scotland and Germany. He then taught mathematics and served as middle school coordinator in New York at the German School Brooklyn. Jens is a German certified middle and high school teacher specializing in Mathematics and English. He can be reached at jvlaak@ebgis.org.



Mónica Lomas
English

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.




Luisa Melms
German, Global Citizenship, Ethics, IT, Middle and High School

Luisa grew up near Berlin, Germany and earned her education degree from the University of Potsdam. For more than ten years, she taught German and English in German schools, including by preparing students for the German Abitur (university entry examination). In her free time, Luisa enjoys spending time with her family. She is a great fan of soccer and basketball, and loves reading, music and being with friends. Luisa can be reached at lmelms@ebgis.org



Samira Noorin
Preschool




Petra Phouasalit
Preschool




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
Kindergarten

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.




Ivonne Urrea
Spanish




Sabina Veit
Art, Geography, PE, Middle School

Sabina grew up in Switzerland and earned her education degree at the University of Applied Science in Berne. She has a wide range of teaching experience including Art, Physical Education, Geography, Ethics and Arts and Crafts from kindergarten to high school. Sabina has taught at schools in Switzerland including a school for hearing impaired students, as well as the German International School in Sydney, Australia. Sabina enjoys spending time with her family, swimming, hiking, nature, good food and cooking. She can be reached at sveit@ebgis.org.



Franklin Brown
Office Manager

Franklin grew up in Prague, Czech Republic and Akron, Ohio. He studied Linguistics and German at Gordon College, in Wenham, MA and continued his education with a MSc in Linguistics from the University of Edinburgh, concentrating on Semantics, Philosophy, and Language Classification. Franklin has lived and worked in Lithuania, Scotland, New Zealand, and the Solomon Islands. In his free time, he enjoys playing the piano, reading, exercising, and gardening. Franklin can be reached at fbrown@ebgis.org.





Maura Donnelly
Learning Support Specialist

Maura is from Seattle, Washington. She earned her degree in Child and Family Studies at Portland State University's School of Social Work with a concentration in Special Education. She has worked in inclusive settings throughout her career including managing a residential summer camp's special needs program. She has lived in Germany for the past three years and enjoyed her work in learning support at the Bavarian International School. Maura takes a holistic approach when helping children reach their goals. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors, creative writing and spending time with friends and family. She can be reached at mdonnelly@ebgis.org.



Pia Newton

Admissions Manager

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 pnewton@ebgis.org.




Samuel Hedrick
Operations Manager

Samuel was born and raised in Northeast Ohio. After completing an exchange year in Wiesbaden, Germany as a Congress Bundestag Youth Exchange Scholar, he went on to earn his BA in German Studies and International Relations from Kent State University, and his MA in Political Science from the Goethe University Frankfurt. Samuel has lived and worked in Germany for over six years, where he was working in the diplomatic field. In his free time, Samuel enjoys traveling, hiking, running, and playing the cello. Samuel can be contacted at shedrick@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.




Onno Macher
Preschool Intern

Onno grew up in Regensburg, Bavaria. After graduating from high school, he trained as an educator (Erzieher) and gained practical experience in a kindergarten and in a school for children with special needs. Onno can be contacted at omacher@ebgis.org.




Karina Morev
Preschool Intern

Karina hails from the Lower Saxony region of Germany. She earned her High School Diploma at the Technical College for Health and Human Services in Cloppenburg. Karina has two years of experience working with children in preschool and daycare settings. In her free time, she enjoys spending time outside, drawing and reading. She can be reached at kmorev@ebgis.org.




Jonas Nickel
Grades Program Intern

Jonas grew up in Seelingstaedt, a small town near Erfurt, Germany. He is currently studying to become a teacher at the University of Jena with a focus on Physical Education and Economics. In preparation for his studies, he supervised children and young people in a soccer school. He also coaches the youth team of his soccer club. Besides his passion for soccer, he enjoys traveling and being with friends. Jonas can be contacted at jnickel@ebgis.org.




Antonia Paesler
Grades Program Intern

Antonia grew up near Berlin, Germany. She is studying to become a teacher at the University of Jena with a focus on Physical Education and German. Antonia already has experience teaching children of all ages as a kindergarten intern and supervisor at a ski camp, as well as through job shadowing at school. In her free time, Antonia is active in a variety of sports such as running, hiking, swimming, cycling, dancing, and working out. She likes to spend time with her friends and she travels often. She can be reached at apaesler@ebgis.org.




Antonia Reichert
Intern



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. She can be reached at cdangelmaier@ebgis.org.



Yoko Kurotani
Extended Day Teacher



Anne-Marie Haro
Extended Day Teacher