Meet the GSB Teachers

Please meet our team of highly qualified and motivated teachers.

Admin Team

  • Kerstin Haakenson


    Originally from Horn-Bad Meinberg, a small town in North Rhine-Westfalia, Germany, I got my teaching degree in Dortmund and Hamburg. Since I started teaching I have been particularly interested in children’s language acquisition, foreign-language learning, and the beneficial effects bilingual education has on a child’s development. As a special-education teacher, for children with challenges in their speech, language, and learning development, I gained some ten years of elementary teaching experience. Six of these years were in German and English immersion schools in the United States and Germany. My work in special education has familiarized me with not only different types of learners and their individual needs but also ways of creating learning environments that are open to and supportive for everyone.

    Over the years, I have attended professional-development programs, mainly in communication and mediation. I enjoy being actively involved in school development, curriculum work, creation of lesson plans, and acquisition of teaching materials.

    I have had five great years at GSB and am enjoying my sixth with its amazing staff.

  • Melissa Bourgeois

    Assistant Principal, Head of English Department, Humanities Teacher

    As someone with a diverse background as an educator and school leader, I love connecting with students, staff, and families. Before coming to GSB, I taught and mentored in the NYC public schools and abroad, led the Education Department of The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and even taught yoga to both children and adults. I hold a BA in English from Columbia University, a master’s in Education from Lehman College as a NYC Teaching Fellow, and I’m currently pursuing an additional degree in Educational Psychology from Hunter College alongside a Certificate in School Management and Leadership from Harvard University.

    During my years as a young Language Arts instructor at the Manhattan School for Children, I dove deep into teaching and learning, and my classroom was used as a model for the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. My colleagues and I worked closely with consultants from Teachers College to practice and refine the workshop model of teaching reading and writing. Educators from various schools would observe. It was during this time that I fell in love with teaching language arts and helping others learn best teaching practices. Fast forward to now: I’m delighted to be able to stay connected to the classroom while also fulfilling a leadership role at GSB.

    As a school leader, I value collaboration with colleagues and families, and am dedicated to operationalizing the mission of GSB. Helping to lead our growing program is an adventure that I look forward to each day.

    I’ve had the pleasure of teaching at GSB since the school was founded in 2014. I’ve had a number of titles over the years including Head of Lower School, Head of the English Department, and Head of School Development, which led to my current role, Assistant Principal. I remain grateful to be part of such a supportive, dynamic community.

  • Kathleen Wenzel

    Head of Kindergarten

    I have an acting degree from the Theater Academy Mannheim , in Germany. After graduation, as a theater educator with special-needs teenagers, I quickly discovered my love of teaching children. Later, in Berlin, I received an additional certification in intercultural education, with a specialization in communication and pedagogy.

    In 2010, I began working at pre-schools in Germany as a theater educator; I also served as a pre-school teacher of children between the ages of one and three, with a focus on the teachings of the Hungarian pediatrician Emmi Pikler.

    I was also a private tutor in voice and speech for new residents in Germany. This work progressed to teaching them the German language as well.

    In 2015 I came to New York City, where I worked as a lead teacher in a German immersion pre-school, and I’ve been part of the Kindergarten team at GSB since 2017.

    I love working with children, and especially enjoy helping them discover their abilities and acquire self-confidence and curiosity about the world.

  • Jane Marie Hutcheson

    Head of Lower School, Grade 4 Class Teacher, English Subjects

    After growing up in Alabama and receiving a B.A. in Communication Studies at Samford University, I began my teaching career in Southeast Washington, D.C. teaching kindergarten and pre-kindergarten. After moving to New York City to pursue my graduate degree, I received both a Master of Arts and a Master of Education in Curriculum and Teaching at Teachers College at Columbia University. My master’s research focused on creating an anti-bias education professional development curriculum for the staff at GSB. I piloted this curriculum with staff in 2018-2019 and am now continuing to work with our school leaders to develop continuing education around this topic for all staff members. 

    Early childhood education is my passion, and my breadth of experience working with students from pre-kindergarten through fourth grade has given me a unique perspective on where students begin in school and where they are going throughout the early childhood years. As the Head of Lower School, I’m also focused on exploring what it means to build a positive classroom community throughout the lower grades. I believe strongly in educating the whole child, knowing students should achieve academically while also growing in social-emotional skills. 

    Another passion of mine is teaching students from a multicultural education lens, encouraging students to explore and question the world around them while learning about different cultures. Teaching English at a bilingual school allows me to use my enthusiasm for early literacy and multicultural education to give our students a challenging but exciting atmosphere to investigate the world around them. 

    When not in school at GSB, I enjoy running, playing with my Uncle’s dog, Harper, visiting art exhibits around the city, or trying new cooking recipes.

  • Amy Stern

    High School Coordinator, Counselor, Science, Grade 4

    I grew up in Iowa and called Phoenix, Arizona, home for thirteen years after college. In 2009, I received my Master of Education in Secondary Education, Curriculum, and Instruction from Arizona State University. In Phoenix, I taught history and English at a rigorous college-preparatory high school for young women. Most recently, I was an academic guidance counselor there and supported students along their academic and college paths. 

    I moved to Brooklyn in 2018 with my husband and two daughters. Not long after, I completed my Master of Education in Counseling through Alfred University. I enjoy helping students navigate their academic experiences, but I also find it rewarding to support students emotionally and socially as they move through their school years. 

    I believe it’s important, as a teacher and counselor, that I provide a supportive atmosphere in which students can learn. I also think it’s important for students to find answers themselves or talk through a topic to develop knowledge. I’m thrilled to have joined GSB’s dynamic and thoughtful community.

  • Ourania Adani

    Assistant Teacher

    In 2005, I graduated as a Meisterschülerin (master student) in conceptual and visual arts at the University of the Arts in Berlin, where I worked and lived as an artist. I then enrolled in the Waldorf Pedagogy Seminar in 2009, where I graduated as a Waldorf Subject Teacher for the Arts in 2011.

    Since then I have been an art educator and teaching artist in public and private schools in Berlin and New York City. For  the two years before I started at GSB, I taught at the Brooklyn Waldorf School and The Rudolf Steiner School in Manhattan.

    I love being part of GSB’s community.

  • Leonie Bell

    Middle School Drama Teacher

    I am a German-American theater-maker and teaching artist from Berlin, Germany. After attending the John F. Kennedy School in Berlin from K – 12, I moved to the states to study Theater at Bard College. A few years ago, I received my graduate degree in Theater from Sarah Lawrence College. 

    I have been both a practicing artist and a teaching artist at public schools around New York for almost ten years now. How time flies! I also facilitate the theater company LOCAL GRANDMA and work as a sound designer on the side. I describe my own work as “bilingual, highly-physical, interdisciplinary maps with an absurdist hue which center matriarchal lineages, imagine nature as a main character, and often endow the audience with more creative powers (where snacks are always served).”

    In my pedagogical practice, I look to hold space for creative exploration and “making a mess” while also modeling and teaching hands-on skills and techniques that help us bring a project to completion in ways that feel empowering and delightful without the stresses of perfectionism. I believe in honoring differences in learning as a difference in process, rather than a qualitative value judgment. I encourage students to generate their own canon of work that intentionally embodies their unique imagination, dreams, and sense of self as a way to affirm the power of new narratives, the sustainability of communal well-being through art, and the symbiotic joys of interpersonal connection and collaboration. 

    I am very excited to be part of the GSB community and to be in a bilingual learning space!

  • Diana Crum

    Dance Teacher

    I enjoy learning from—and moving, imagining, and creating, with—GSB students!

    For years, I have worked at the intersection of dance and education. I currently serve as Interim Director of Education and Chair of Dance at Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts, on Long Island. I also teach in New York City public schools with ArtsConnection and the Brooklyn Arts Council and lead professional-development sessions for teachers through the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. My choreography has been presented in New York, Atlanta, Mexico, Germany, France, and Austria.

    I studied dance at Columbia University and Hollins University/ADF after growing up in Atlanta, Georgia.

    I’m thrilled to be teaching at German School Brooklyn, and I enjoy working with a community that values arts education.

  • Sabine Deinhardt

    Grade 4 Class Teacher, German Subjects

    After graduating from Friedrich-Alexander-Universität in Nuremburg, Germany, I taught second and third grades, focusing on social Studies, German, and physical education.

    In 2019, I finished my master’s degree in education while teaching middle school in Nuremberg. The diversity at this large school (600 students) enriched my teaching experience. I worked as part of a tandem (co-teaching) model, and it was encouraging to see the positive effect we had on our students’ lives.

    I have been teaching Grades 3 and 4 at GSB for two years, and I’m happy to be part of this constantly growing, supportive, and open community.

  • Maryan Dumas

    School Counselor

    As a first-generation American born to Trinidadian parents and a life-long resident of Brooklyn, I’m happy to be continuing my career in my hometown at German School Brooklyn!

    Although I grew up in NYC, I earned my BA in Psychology from Rosemont College in Pennsylvania. I then returned to New York to receive a MSEd and later an Advanced Certificate in School Counseling, both from Brooklyn College. For over eight years, I worked as a School Counselor in elementary schools throughout Brooklyn, specifically in Crown Heights, Sheepshead Bay, Canarsie, and Sunset Park. I’ve worked with students on an individual basis and in group settings; I also facilitated whole-class workshops. For a time, I served as a Title 1 Counselor for an academic services agency affiliated with the New York City Department of Education.

    As a life-long learner, I’m always looking to further develop my background in counseling. More recently, I participated in coursework at the University of Buffalo in the area of mindfulness counseling for wellness and engagement. 

    In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I also love visiting museums, especially The American Museum of Natural History and The Brooklyn Museum.

  • Jens Ellerhold

    Music teacher for middle & high school

    I am a musician and educator born in Cologne, Germany. I have a bachelor’s degree in music from the Conservatory of Amsterdam and a master’s in music, with a concentration in jazz performance, from Queens College of New York. I recently graduated from Touro College with a master’s in early childhood and special education. I have been head teacher at a pre-school in New York City for the past four years.

    In my music classrooms, my goal is to help students achieve an aesthetic and academic understanding of music, practical music abilities, and above all an appreciation for music.

  • Ingrid Ellis

    Assistant Teacher

    Originally from Charlotte, North Carolina, I have lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Hamburg, Germany. There, I entered sixth grade at the Helene Lange Gymnasium, graduating with an Abitur (university admission qualification).

    I then spent time in London, England, before moving to New York City to be closer to family. Here, I attended Columbia University, where I earned a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s from the Graduate School of Journalism. During my studies I married, and by graduation I had given birth to twins. A few years later I had my third child. I chose to be a stay-at-home mother and an active volunteer at their elementary schools. Several of the families founded a charter school, so I was involved in classroom as well as organizational activities.

    In 2006, I began teaching journalism and English composition at CUNY, Kingsborough Community College, where I am an adjunct professor. 

    I have enjoyed teaching the diverse population at Kingsborough, where my focus is helping students to conduct fact-based analysis, to think critically about what they read, and to study society in general. I also help them express themselves effectively in writing.

    In February 2021, I joined the German School Brooklyn, where I am assisting with Grade 2 and offering German-language support in Grades 2 and 3. I am enjoying working with young learners, excited to be back in a German-speaking environment, and to share my faceted perspective. I look forward to continuing to grow in and contribute to the GSB community.

  • Justyna Grabowska

    Assistant Teacher, After-school Teacher

    I was born in Poland, where I studied special education. I believe that all children have the right and the ability to learn, even if their learning looks different from what you might expect. After completing my master’s degree, I moved to Switzerland and lived there for six years. During this time, I worked with people with autism as well as mentally and physically disabled individuals. In 2011, I moved to New York City and started caring for children in private family settings. I was also a pre-school teacher for a cooperative play group. I’m so pleased that this path led me to my current position, as a teacher’s assistant at GSB.

    Outside of school, I spend time with family and friends. I love to cook and try new healthy recipes. I appreciate nature and farms and enjoy traveling—discovering new places and meeting new people. My motto: organic food, exercise, emotional health, air, and sunshine are the best medicines!

  • Yvonne Haussmann

    Grade 1 Class Teacher, German Subjects

    My journey started in Balingen, a small town in the south of Germany. In high school, I gained extensive experience working with children, which led to my studies as a pre-school teacher at the University of Education in Schwäbisch Gmünd. Pursuing teaching opportunities in Kenya and Braga, Portugal, solidified my decision to work with young children.


    I finished my initial state exams in German, math, sports, music, and arts in 2017. I then taught for two years at a primary school in Stuttgart, where I completed my second state exam, which is similar to earning a master’s degree. I dealt with diverse groups of students in a variety of settings. One aspect of my work in Germany was integrating foreign students into my classroom and helping them achieve proficiency in the German language. 

    This practice was essential to my next big step: working at GSB! I love supporting students as they develop enthusiasm for learning, and preparing them for independence in everyday life. Having found my home away from home in an amazing city is worth gold. Each year I continue to grow in this amazing school’s inspiring atmosphere, surrounded by motivated people.

  • Jessie Hernandez

    Park Coordinator

    I am an experienced youth advocate and educator with ten years’ experience teaching and mentoring young people from diverse backgrounds in New York, Kansas, and Missouri. I have a strong history in bonding with young people, which has fostered their growth socially, personally, and educationally. 

    When working with young people I take a trauma-informed approach that is based on active listening, open communication, relatability, trust, and safe boundaries. I use that approach to help young people find and engage in communities where they feel welcomed. Over the years I’ve become a confidant of and advocate for many young people, and I’m proud that my work has contributed to the development of young artists, academics, community leaders, and athletes. When young people find their community and what they love, they can more readily strengthen the skills they need to be successful.

  • Gabrielle Jarvis

    English Teacher, Grade 2

    I’m entering my fourth year of teaching and have enjoyed working in lower elementary. I received my bachelor’s in education from Pace University, and am now at Hunter College, where I will be receiving a master’s in childhood education.

    My goal as a teacher is fostering the whole child and ensuring that personal as well as educational needs are met in the classroom. I strongly believe that children must be comfortable in a setting before they can begin learning. In making the teaching environment fun and relaxing, I aim to ensure that we are a community that trusts and takes care of one another. I am excited to continue this kind of work in my second year at GSB.

  • Brianna Jensen

    Grade 1, English Subjects

    I’m from California, but my teaching assignments took me around the world before I ended up in Brooklyn. After graduating with a BA in psychology, I moved to Shanghai, China, to teach English to elementary-school students. I returned to the United States for graduate school at Teachers College, Columbia University, where I received an MA in elementary inclusive education. After working abroad and in New York City public schools, I found GSB, which supports students as individuals and shares my belief in culturally responsive teaching.

    I believe a classroom is a community that should foster students’ social-emotional development and individual academic growth. Through inquiry and discussion, I hope to support students in developing a lifelong interest in learning, critical-thinking skills, and independence. My favorite GSB attribute is the connection between staff, families, and students. I am thrilled to be back for a fourth year.

  • Ebru Kara

    Middle School Teacher

    I was born and raised in a multicultural environment in North Rhine-Westfalia, Germany. I received my teaching degree in Frankfurt a.M. and Siegen. I majored in Mathematics, Physics and Educational Sciences. 

    I have taught Mathematics and Physics classes to Middle School students and Mathematics, German and English lessons to bilingual lower school students in Germany. 

    From the outset of my teaching career, I have prioritized enriching my students’ understanding and interconnection with other people from different backgrounds. I believe this is one of the most valuable assets an individual should have in an increasingly global setting, particularly in New York. 

    Considering the ever-changing dynamics of education methods, my teaching style consistently involves stressing the unique potential of each student, and I approach my students based on each child’s specific interests and abilities.  

    I am thrilled to be part of the GSB team!

  • Sasha King

    English, Social Studies, and Science, Grades 7 and 8

    I grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and attended Hunter College, earning a bachelor’s degree in English literature with a minor in anthropology. After college, I joined the non-profit organization Citizen Schools, which works with struggling middle schools to extend the learning day and provide children with diverse experiences and twenty-first-century skills. It was there that I fell in love with the intellectual work and relationship building that come with teaching and began earning my master’s in teaching from the Relay Graduate School of Education. After my two-year apprenticeship I began teaching at a public charter school in Crown Heights, where I learned a great deal about being a professional and a leader.

    After four years I began searching for a school that shared my pedagogical beliefs, that placed a high value on teaching the whole child, and that valued teacher development. I am so happy to have joined the GSB community.

  • Jason Kohler

    Music Teacher, Lower School

    A musician and music educator living in Brooklyn, New York, I’m originally from Southeastern Massachusetts. I’ve been writing music and performing in bands and ensembles since I was 13, when I started playing electric guitar. I graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Composition in 2010 and have worked in music, education, and child care ever since. As a musician and composer I’ve played with and written for a variety of rock, hip-hop, metal, jazz, classical, and musical-theater ensembles throughout the Northeast. As a music educator I’ve been a private-lessons instructor and classroom teacher in New York, Boston, and Southeastern Massachusetts.

    In my classes I place a strong emphasis on the fundamentals of not only music but also multiculturalism, exploring new and unfamiliar musical topics, and music as an essential part of life and well-being. I believe in music as a medium for self-expression, cultural understanding, connecting with one another, and fun. I hope to impart that to my students. The 2021–2022 school year is my first at GSB, and it’s a pleasure to be working with everyone.

  • Emily Levine

    English, Social Studies, and Science, Grade 6

    Originally from Seattle, Washington, I graduated from the University of Southern California in 2015 with a BA in history. As an undergraduate, I served as a counselor at USC Troy Camp, an organization that provided mentorship and tutoring to students from schools in South Los Angeles. After graduating, I moved to Brooklyn and began teaching at Achievement First Crown Heights Middle School, serving in capacities that ranged from learning specialist to lead writing instructor. After three years at Achievement First and in search of ways to better support my students, I entered a Master of Social Work program at Columbia University, where I was able to study educational access and success on a macro level.

    My heart has always remained in the classroom, so I’m thrilled to return to teaching at GSB. The school’s dedication to serving the whole student and its supportive community align with my teaching philosophy, and I’m delighted to have joined the team.

  • Franziska Lingel

    Middle School Teacher, Grades 8 and 9

    I was born and raised in Germany, in a small city in the south of the country. As a student at the University of Education in Karlsruhe, I had the opportunity to study in the States from 2009 to 2010. This sojourn had a big impact on my life, piquing my interest in other cultures, approaches, and school systems.


    After I finished my first state exam, in English, German, and physical education, in 2013, I taught for a year and half at a middle school, where I passed my second state exam and gained experience with diverse groups of students and teaching methods.

    The longer I teach the more grateful I feel for having such a dynamic, responsible job. It has always been a pleasure to work with individuals, to help and see them grow in character as well as in academics.

    I am more than happy to be a member of GSB for this school year 2021–2022, and I am excited to contribute to positive childhood development.

  • Andrea Loefke

    Art, Grades 4–8

    I am a German-born, Brooklyn-based artist and educator with a master’s degree in art and physical education from the University of Leipzig and an MFA in sculpture from Ohio State University. I have lived and worked as an artist in the United States since 2000 and have taught at numerous art schools in New York City over the past 16 years, including Pratt Institute, the School of Visual Arts, and public elementary schools for the non-profit organization Studio in a School. I’ve had the pleasure of teaching art at GSB to all grades since the school opened, in 2014.

    I strongly believe that art is more than a skill; it’s a process of exploration and discovery, a way of thinking and of communicating ideas effectively. My goal is for each student to think like an artist, to appreciate art, to be an imaginative and critical thinker, and to stick with an artwork until it reaches full refinement and complexity.

    As for my personal work, my vivid multimedia assemblages and works on paper in solo exhibitions have received critical recognition from publications including Artforum, Sculpture, Brooklyn Rail, Frankfurter Allgemeine, and Juliet. In 2009 I was commissioned to create a permanent installation for the SØR Rusche Collection in Berlin and received the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award in 2010. I have shown extensively in more than 40 exhibitions throughout the United States and Germany. In 2016 I worked on my first site-specific, permanent outdoor installation, Toss-Up, in the forest of Darmstadt at the Waldkunstpfad and exhibited a new installation at the Ladenburg Kunstverein in Germany and at Smack Mellon, in Brooklyn, New York.

    My work is found in numerous private collections and the Bezirksärztekammer (Karlsruhe, Germany).

  • Eugene Mednik

    Math Teacher, Grades 6–8

    Born in Ukraine, I was raised in Brooklyn, New York. I obtained my bachelor’s degree in mathematics at Baruch and my master’s in education from St. John’s University. After graduating I taught math in the New York Department of Education for four years. During this time I was introduced to the challenges of teaching students with disabilities, which taught me that students learn in different ways. My work with students with disabilities, English-language learners, and gifted students has helped me develop strategies for guiding all types.

    I was delighted to begin my first year at GBS and to become familiar with the community, collaborate with staff, and work with students and parents.

  • Sabrina Öhler

    Grade 3 Class Teacher, German Subjects

    I’m originally from Mistelbach, a small village in Lower Austria. After graduating from high school I pursued my greatest interest, working with children, and became a pre-school teacher.

    In 2011, I earned my teaching degree in Vienna. After five years gaining experience in elementary education, I moved to California to teach at the German International School of Silicon Valley, where I enjoyed the school community’s great diversity.

    My colleagues and I planned hands-on projects for our students. We brought to life dynamic topics in a supportive learning environment where our students benefited from various approaches to teaching, which I’m eager to bring to my students at GSB.

    At the end of my first year in California, I completed my Master of Science Educational Supervision at Mercy College, New York. During my studies, I gained a deeper understanding of professional development in schools and strengthened my communication skills.

    For the past two years, I taught Grade 3 at German School London, and am delighted to now be teaching within the GSB community.

  • Tina Petereit

    Grade 6 Class Teacher, German Subjects, GLL Coordinator

    Originally from a small town on the Baltic Sea in the north of Germany, I studied Latin and German in Barcelona and Berlin, where I completed my first and second state exams in both subjects.

    Since finishing my studies, I have acquired 10 years’ experience teaching grades 5 through 12. I started my career at a humanistic gymnasium (middle and upper school) in Berlin, where I served as a class teacher for the grades 5 through 10, building the language curriculum, and leading the school exchange program in Rome.

    After love brought me to New York, in 2016, I taught German, German as a second or foreign language, and Latin at the German International School New York in White Plains. I co-directed the German department there, directed the Latin program, and developed a robust Green School initiative that brought together parents, students, teachers, and staff.

    My enthusiasm for teaching stems from my investment in each student’s individual pursuits. I work hard to connect with students in a deep way, helping them to expand their academic horizons as they get to know more about the world and about themselves. I love being in the classroom, watching my students thrive as a community of learners.

    Now in my second year at GSB, I’m happy to be a part of this wonderful, international, intercultural community.

  • Sarah Sandler

    Grade 2 Class Teacher, German Subjects

    I am originally from Schwaigern, a small town in the south of Germany. In high school, I did volunteer work with children, which prompted my desire to become a teacher.

    I received my teaching degree at the University of Education in Ludwigsburg, with a focus on German as a second language. I worked as a language teacher and completed an internship at a German school in Thailand, where I was exposed to a different culture and school system. This assignment also deepened my knowledge of teaching German as a second language and prompted me to pursue further professional experience abroad.

    After I finished my studies, I worked as a pre-school teacher before starting my traineeship in a lower school near my hometown.

    I enjoy teaching young learners at GSB, mindful that education involves not only the mind but also the heart, and helping children grow up as happy and confident citizens of the world.

  • Marco Rios Schmid

    Spanish, Grades 3–9

    Half Spanish, half German, I was born and raised in Barcelona, Spain, where I attended the German School Barcelona. I hold two licentiates in cultural studies and comparative literature and a master’s in teaching Spanish language and literature. Working at international schools has given me the chance to explore a range of curricula and approaches. Prior to joining GSB I taught in Sweden for six years and most recently at the American School of Barcelona. ​​

    I take a holistic approach to teaching. In the classroom I develop materials and projects that stimulate the student’s interest, and I promote a learning-by-doing practice. This active effort prevails in both individual and collaborative group tasks, where students perform on different levels. I apply the latest educational trends to my subject teaching, and I use an often task-based, teaching style, which has delivered positive results in language learning. I believe that learning a new language is an invitation to a whole new perspective of the world and that it contributes to fostering global citizens in a fun and exciting way.

  • Sarah Roussel

    Grade 5 Class Teacher, English Subjects

    I’m originally from New Orleans, Louisiana. I have a BFA from California College of the Arts in individualized study, combining creative writing, mixed media, and photography. I am finishing my master’s in childhood education, grades 1 through 6, from Hunter College. My experience in education ranges from teaching in a kindergarten in a traditional classroom setting in Guangzhou, China, to teaching interdisciplinary arts and educational classes in Hong Kong, to serving as program director of Backpacks and Binoculars, a school-aged childcare and educational company under the New York City Explorers Group in Downtown Brooklyn.

    Studying in Jerusalem and Italy as well as living and working abroad have developed my strong interest in travel, cultural learning, and global education. My pursuit of new and challenging experiences in the world as well as my love of the arts inform my teaching philosophy and practices. I’m especially excited about designing hands-on learning experiences for my students, teaching them to think critically and to question.

    I‘m happy to be a part of the growing GSB community.

  • Lars Schmidt

    Middle School Teacher, Mathematics, Sports, Physics, and Chemistry

    I just moved to the Big Apple, and am happy to be teaching at GSB.

    After finishing high school in my hometown, Beckum, Germany, I studied mathematics and physics at RWTH Aachen University. I graduated in 2019 with a Master of Education degree and started working as a teaching assistant at the German School Kuala Lumpur. The experience I gained in Malaysia helped me with my Referendariat (probationary training period), which I completed at the Immanuel-Kant Gymnasium in Heiligenhaus, in Düsseldorf, Germany. I taught there until my move to New York.

    In addition to school teaching, I have introduced youth groups to my favorite sport: Ultimate Frisbee! I started playing in high school and joined the German national team in 2015. Playing and coaching in international tournaments I’ve made friends around the world. One of them invited me to New York in 2018, and after playing in the World Club Championships in Ohio, I stayed with him in his apartment in Brooklyn. That was the moment I promised myself that I would work here one day—and here I am!

  • Maximilian Shire

    Music, Grades K–1, English-Language Learners (ELL)

    I was born in the United States and raised in Austria. Attending a Steiner School fostered my interest in fields like craft, communication, and music. After finishing my apprenticeship in carpentry I started studying medicine and math in Graz and Vienna before I chose music and dance education at the University Mozarteum in Salzburg. There I finished my master’s in early childhood music education and focused my thesis on music and movement’s roles in teaching a second language. I put this degree into practice teaching English at a pre-school in Barcelona for two years, using my own language-teaching program.

    In New York I’ve been a performer and a music and German teacher (in pre-school, music school, and private settings).

    I’m classically trained in piano, violin, and percussion, and I love to make music in my free time. I also enjoy being outdoors, playing sports such as sailing, surfing, skiing, and rock climbing.

  • Amy Stiegler

    Early-childhood Mentor, Kindergarten Class Teacher

    My interest in teaching began during my undergraduate studies at Sarah Lawrence College, where I focused on early childhood and bilingual education. Since then I have gained 10 years’ experience working with children in a variety of settings, mainly German/English bilingual schools. These include the Country Day Nursery School in White Plains, a bilingual kindergarten in Halle/Saale, Germany, and at Wortspiele pre-school in Brooklyn.  I also hold a master’s in early-childhood education from Hunter College. A native English speaker, I am fluent in German.

  • Erica Wickman

    Grade 3 Class Teacher, English Subjects

    The daughter of a State Department officer, I spent much of my childhood living and learning in East Asia before settling in Virginia to finish school and attend college. I earned a BA in music at the College of William and Mary, where I focused on vocal performance. After graduation, I began working as an assistant teacher at a nursery school and fell in love with teaching young learners. After five years of teaching at pre-schools, I returned to school to earn my master’s in early childhood education at Lesley University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, with a focus on arts integration in the classroom. I then moved to Brooklyn to teach kindergarten for two years before joining the English team at GSB. I love bringing music, art, and movement into academic subjects and believe that the arts are fundamental to a well-rounded education.

  • Monica Zuleta

    Grade 5, German Subjects

    I was born in Medellín, Colombia, where I experienced multicultural and bilingual education firsthand as a student at the Deutsche Schule Medellín. When I was 10, my parents relocated to Germany; I finished school in Freiburg, which I consider my German hometown and where I was inspired to become a teacher.


    I studied mathematics, geography and media informatics for middle and upper schoolers at the University of Education in Freiburg. Upon graduating, I wanted not only to teach but also to learn about varied cultures, so I began my career in Colombia as a teacher of German as a foreign language and mathematics at the German School in Medellín. Since then, I have taught middle school in Germany and Switzerland.

    My professional experience has led me to value cultural immersion in our education system. I want to give my students an understanding of different cultures, and I’m delighted to be teaching in one of the world’s most diverse cities.

    Favorites: pizza, arepas, SC Freiburg, New York Yankees, Rummikub!