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 our proudest asset.

Martin Walter | Principal | German, P.E., Drama, IT

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.

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.

Claudia Cronin | Office Manager

Originally from Nuremberg, Claudia completed her bachelor's degree in business administration at the Glion Center in Switzerland. After working in Germany, Belgium, New York and San Francisco, she settled in the East Bay 18 years ago. Claudia's favorite pastimes are scuba diving and traveling.

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 | Elementary School, 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.

Susanne Kerkhoff | Kindergarten

Susanne grew up in northwestern Germany and earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Educational Science at the University of Würzburg. She has three years of experience in early childhood education in Germany and the US with a focus on bilingual teaching. Susanne enjoys spending time with friends and traveling.

Daniela Klimetschek | German, History, Geography, 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, ESL

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, DaZ, 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.

Matthias Müller | Math, Biology, Chemistry, 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.

Lisa Vestewig | 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.

Rachel Curle | Preschool Intern

Rachel grew up bilingual, speaking English and German in Switzerland. She earned her BA degree from the University of Education in Zürich, Switzerland. She has many years of experience working with children as a scout leader and karate coach. Rachel enjoys karate, snowboarding and traveling and she loves to bake and eat cakes.

Rahel Pante | Intern

Rahel grew up in northwestern Germany and has aspired since childhood to become a teacher. She is currently pursuing her bachelor's degree in German and English in Muenster. Rahel's interests include languages and creative activities like painting, photography and writing.