Meet the GSB Teachers

Please meet our team of highly qualified and motivated teachers.

Admin Team

  • Kerstin Haakenson


    I am originally from Horn-Bad Meinberg, a small town in North Rhine-Westfalia, Germany, and got my teaching degree in Dortmund and Hamburg. Ever since I started teaching I have been particularly interested in children’s language acquisition, foreign language learning, and the amazing beneficial effects bilingual education has on a child’s overall development. Originally a special education teacher for children with challenges in their speech-language and learning development, I have over ten years of elementary teaching experience of which six years were in German and English immersion schools in the United States and Germany. Through my background in special education I know about different types of learners and their individual needs. It is very important for me to arrange learning environments that are open and supportive for everyone.

    Over the years, I have attended various professional development programs, mainly in the field of communication and mediation. I also love to be actively involved in school development, curriculum work, creation of lesson plans, and teaching materials.

    I have had five great years at GSB already and I am looking forward to an exciting new school year with an amazing staff.

  • Melissa Bourgeois

    Assistant Principal, Head of English Department & Humanities Teacher

    I love connecting with students, and have a diverse background as an educator. I have taught in the NYC public schools as well as abroad, have developed and managed curriculum for The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and I am also a certified yoga teacher for both children and adults. I hold a BA in English from Columbia University, a Masters in Education from Lehman College as a NYC Teaching Fellow, and I’m currently pursuing an additional degree in Educational Psychology from Hunter College.

    In my years as a Language Arts teacher at the Manhattan School for Children, my classroom was used as a model for the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. I worked closely with consultants from Teachers College along with my colleagues to practice and refine the workshop model of teaching reading and writing. Educators from various schools would observe to learn the style and debrief after the lessons. It was during this time that I fell in love with teaching reading and writing, and I am grateful to be able to teach what I love at GSB.

    I’ve had the pleasure of teaching at GSB since the school began in 2014. I have taken on many roles over the years including Head of Lower School, Head of the English Department, and Head of School Development, which led up to my current role as Assistant Principal. I remain grateful to be part of such a supportive, dynamic community.

  • Kathleen Wenzel

    Head of Kindergarten

    I graduated from the Theater Academy Mannheim Germany with an acting degree. After graduation I had the opportunity to work as a theater educator with special needs teenagers, where I quickly discovered my love of teaching children. I received an additional certification in “Intercultural Education” with a specialization in Communication and Pedagogy in Berlin.

    Beginning in 2010, I worked at multiple preschools in Germany as a theater educator and preschool teacher of children between the ages of one and three, with a focus on the pedagogy of Emmi Pikler.

    In addition, I also began working as a private tutor in voice and speech for new residents to Germany. My work initially began as a way to help these new German speakers improve their German pronunciation, though, over the years, as I was hired by more students, I began focusing on teaching them the German language as well.

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

    I love working with children, and my biggest passion is helping them discover their own abilities, as well as helping to instill in them a sense of self-confidence and curiosity about the world.

  • Jane Marie Hutcheson

    Head of Lower School and Grade 4 Class Teacher | English subjects

    Originally from Alabama, I currently live in Manhattan in New York City. 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 the 2018-2019 staff 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 third grade has given me a unique perspective on where students begin in school and where they are going throughout the early childhood years. One focus of my work in the classroom is exploring what it means to build a positive classroom community. 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 in Riverside Park, playing with my Uncle’s dog, Harper, visiting art exhibits around the city, or trying new cooking recipes.

  • Amy Stern

    High School Coordinator, Counselor and Science, Grade 4

    I grew up in Iowa and called Phoenix, Arizona home for thirteen years after college. In 2009, I received my M. Ed. degree in Secondary Education, Curriculum and Instruction from Arizona State University. In Phoenix, I spent most of my teaching career as a history and English teacher at a rigorous college-preparatory high school for young women. Most recently, I was an academic guidance counselor there and supported the students on their academic and college paths. I moved to Brooklyn in 2018 with my husband and two daughters. In June, 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 that it is important as a teacher and as a counselor to listen and genuinely promote a supportive atmosphere for students to learn. I think it’s important for students to find the answer themselves or talk through the topic to authentically develop knowledge. I’m thrilled to join such a dynamic and thoughtful school community at GSB!

  • Ourania Adani

    Assistant Teacher

    I graduated as a Meisterschülerin for Conceptual and Visual Arts at the University of the Arts in Berlin 2005, 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 worked as an Art Educator and Teaching Artist in public and private schools in Berlin, Germany and NYC. For  the two years before I started at GSB, I worked at the Brooklyn Waldorf School and The Rudolf Steiner School in NYC.

    I love being part of GSB’s community!

  • Ana Cantorán Viramontes

    After-School Theater

    I am a Mexican born, NY based Theatre Artist and Arts Educator. I am an actress, director, mover, singer, collaborator, teaching artist, space holder and passionate theatre creator. My original works have toured worldwide throughout North and Central America, Europe, Africa and Asia. I hold a BFA in Dramatic Arts by BUAP, Puebla, Mexico and an MFA in Theater: Contemporary Performance by Naropa University, Boulder CO. I am excited to share my passion for theater with GSB students!

  • Diana Crum

    Dance Teacher

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

    For years, I have spent my time working 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. I also teach in NYC public schools with ArtsConnection and Brooklyn Arts Council and lead professional development sessions for teachers through 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, GA.

    I am thrilled to be teaching at German School Brooklyn, and enjoy working with a community that values Arts Education!

  • Sabine Deinhardt

    Grade 4 Class Teacher | German subjects

    After graduating from Friedrich- Alexander-Universität in Nürnberg, I taught 2nd and 3rd grades, focusing on Social Studies, German and Physical Education.

    In 2019, I finished my Masters Degree in Education while teaching Middle School in Nürnberg, Germany. The great 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 impact we achieved in our students’ lives.

    For the last two years, I have been teaching 3rd and 4th grades at GSB, and I am very happy to be a part of this constantly growing, supportive, and open community.

  • Markus Dittrich

    Grade 7 Class Teacher I German, Biology, History

    I am new to this amazing city, and proud to be teaching at German School Brooklyn! I am originally from Leipzig, Germany, and I attended the University of Leipzig where I completed my 1st and 2nd state exams in Secondary Education. During my training, I had the opportunity to teach in England and South Korea. I gained a lot of experience working with different cultures and exploring different teaching styles. After graduating, I taught at a public middle school in Leipzig. I am very passionate about teaching. My philosophy is to help children become independent and critical thinkers with an emphasis on self awareness in a globalized world. So for me, New York City and its cultural diversity is an exciting place to be! I look forward to working with the students and the whole GSB community.

  • Jens Ellerhold

    Music teacher for middle & high school

    I am a musician and educator born in Cologne, Germany. I hold a Bachelor degree in Music from the Conservatory of Amsterdam as well as a Master degree in Music with a concentration in Jazz performance from Queens College of New York. In addition, I recently graduated from Touro College with a Master’s degree in Early Childhood and Special Education. I have been working as a head teacher at a preschool in New York City for the past four years.

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

  • Ingrid Ellis

    Assistant Teacher

    I am originally from Charlotte, NC but as a result of my mother’s work, moved to Pittsburgh,PA, then finally Hamburg, Germany as a child. There, I began attending the Helene Lange Gymnasium in the 6th grade and at the end, graduated with an Abitur.

    I then spent time in London, England before finally moving to NYC 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 the course of my studies, however, 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 mom while the children were young, and was a very active parent volunteer at their elementary schools. We were the founding families of a new charter school, so I was involved in the classroom, as well as in organizational needs.

    In 2006, I began teaching Journalism and English Composition at CUNY, Kingsborough Community College, where I am currently still an Adjunct Professor. I have enjoyed teaching the diverse population at Kingsborough, where my main focus is on helping students to conduct fact based analysis and think critically about what they read and society in general, as well as helping them to express themselves more effectively and comfortably in writing.

    In February, 2021, I joined the German School Brooklyn where I am currently assisting in 2nd grade and offering German Language support in both 2nd and 3rd grade. I am enjoying the very different experience of working with young learners and am excited to be back in a German speaking environment and to also be in a position to share my unique perspective. I am looking forward to continuing to grow in and contribute to the GSB community.

  • Lauren Erkan

    School Counselor

    I came to New York in 2001, falling in love with the arts, culture and vibrancy of the city. I have spent the last two decades here, studying the field of counseling, working as a school counselor, and raising a family in the dynamic city I now call home.

    I earned a B.A. in psychology from New York University, followed by an M.S. Ed in school counseling from Hunter College. I started my career at a small middle school, moving to one of New York City’s Specialized High Schools, and now calling GSB my home. Forever learning, I have taken graduate coursework at Brooklyn College’s school psychology program and completed a mental health internship working with the children of incarcerated parents.  

    As a school counselor, it has been a great joy to witness the growth of students and be an active participant in their journey. I look forward to working alongside students, families and staff as we nurture potential, learn from one another, and grow.  

  • Justyna Grabowska

    Assistant teacher, afterschool teacher

    I was born in Poland where I studied Special Education. I believe that every child has the right and the ability to learn, even if their learning looks different than what you might expect. After I completed my Master’s Degree, I moved to Switzerland and lived there for six years. During this time, I worked with autistic people as well as mentally and physically disabled individuals. In 2011, I moved to NY and started caring for children for private families and worked as a preschool teacher for a cooperative play group. I am so pleased that this path led me to where I am now – a teacher’s assistant at GSB!

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

  • Yvonne Haussmann

    Grade 1 Class Teacher, German Subjects

    My journey started in Balingen, a small town in the south of Germany. Throughout High School, I gained extensive experiences working with children, which ultimately led to my studies as a preschool teacher at the University of Education in Schwäbisch Gmünd. Pursuing a teaching opportunity in Kenya as well as gaining educational practice abroad in Braga, Portugal, solidified my decision to work in the educational field with young children.

    I finished my initial state exams in German, Math, Sports, Music and Arts in 2017, and then taught for two years at a primary school in Stuttgart, where I also completed my second state exam, which is similar to the Masters Degree. I learned from my experiences dealing 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 get comfortable with the German language. This was an essential component for my next big step: Working at GSB! I love supporting the students to develop a passion 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, with its inspiring atmosphere and surrounded by motivated people.

  • Jessie Hernandez

    Assistant Teacher

    I am an experienced youth advocate and educator with 10 years of experience teaching and mentoring young people from diverse backgrounds in NYC, Kansas, and Missouri. As a youth advocate, I have a strong history in creating bonds with young people which has led to their growth socially, personally, and educationally. When working with young people I take a trauma informed approach based on active listening, open communication, relatability, trust, and safe boundaries. I use that approach to help young people find and engage in communities that make them feel welcomed. Over the years I have become a confidant and advocate for many young people, and I am proud that my work helped in 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

    Grade 2 English Teacher

    I’m entering my fourth year of teaching and have primarily been teaching lower elementary which I have a true passion for. I received my Bachelors in Education from Pace University and I am continuing my education at Hunter College where I will be receiving a Masters in Childhood Education.
    My main goal as a teacher is fostering the whole child and ensuring their personal needs are being met in the classroom as well as their educational needs. It’s a strong belief of mine that children need to be comfortable in a setting before learning can fully begin. I like the environment I teach in to be fun and relaxing, constantly ensuring that we are a community that trusts and takes care of one another. I am excited to continue this kind of work during my second year at GSB!

  • Brianna Jensen

    Grade 1, English Subjects

    I am originally from California, but my teaching experiences have brought me around the world before ending up in Brooklyn. After graduating with my BA in Psychology, I moved to Shanghai, China to teach English to elementary school students. I returned to the US for graduate school at Teachers College, Columbia University where I received my MA in Elementary Inclusive Education. After working abroad and in NYC public schools, I found GSB, a school that supports students as individuals and shares my passion for 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 passion for learning, critical thinking skills, and independence. My favorite thing about GSB are the personal connections staff, families, and students create. I am thrilled to be back for a fourth year!

  • Sasha King

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

    I grew up in Brooklyn, New York and attended undergraduate college at Hunter earning a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature with a minor in Anthropology. After college, I joined the non-profit organization Citizen’s 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 at Citizen’s Schools that I fell in love with intellectual work and relationship building that comes 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 so much about being a professional and leader.

    After four years I began searching for a school that shared more of my pedagogical beliefs, placed a high value on teaching the whole child, and valued and invested in teacher development. I am so happy to have found and joined the German School Brooklyn community.

  • Jason Kohler

    Music Teacher | Lower School

    I am a musician and music educator living in Brooklyn, NY and am originally from Southeastern Massachusetts! I’ve been writing music and performing in bands and various 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 spent my time working in music, education, and child care ever since. As a musician and composer I’ve played with and/or 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 NYC, Boston, and Southeastern, MA.

    In my music classes I place a strong emphasis on not just the fundamentals of 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 vessel for self-expression, cultural understanding, connecting with one another, and fun and I hope to impart that to my students. The 2021-2022 school year will be my first at GSB and I’m really looking forward to working with everyone!

  • Emily Levine

    Grade 6 English, Social Studies & Science

    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 with USC Troy Camp, a campus organization that provided mentorship and tutoring to students from schools in South Los Angeles. After graduating, I moved to Brooklyn and began my teaching career at Achievement First Crown Heights Middle School, serving in a variety of capacities ranging from learning specialist to lead writing instructor. After three years at Achievement First and in search of ways in which to better support my students, I began a Master of Social Work program at Columbia University, where I was able to study educational access and success on a macro level.

    Ultimately, my heart has always remained in the classroom, and I’m thrilled to return to teaching at GSB! GSB’s dedication to serving the whole student and supportive community align with my teaching philosophy and I’m so excited to join the team.

  • Franziska Lingel

    Middle School Teacher, Class Teacher grade 8 & 9

    I was born and raised in Germany, in a small city in the south of the country. During my time at the University of Education in Karlsruhe, I got the opportunity to study in the States from 2009 to 2010. This had a big impact of my life. It inspired me and raised interest in other cultures, approaches and school systems.

    After I finished my 1st state exam in English, German and Physical Education in 2013, I taught for 1 ½ years at a middle school where I received my 2nd state exam.

    The beginning of my teaching career started at a Middle School in Germany, where I gained lots of experience with diverse groups of students, teaching methods and in many other fields.

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

    I am more than happy to be a member of GSB for this upcoming school year 2021/22 and I am very excited to be part of a positive development of the children.

  • Andrea Loefke

    Art, Grades 4-8

    I am a German-born, Brooklyn based artist and educator with a Masters 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, School of Visual Arts and at various 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 began in 2014.

    As an art teacher, I strongly believe that art is more than a skill; it’s a process of exploration and discovery and a way of thinking and communicating ideas effectively. My goal for each student is to think like an artist, to appreciate art, be an imaginative and critical thinker and to stick with an artwork until 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 a number of 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 over forty exhibitions throughout the United States and Germany. In 2016 I worked on my first site-specific and permanent outdoor installation, Toss-Up in the forest of Darmstadt at the Walldkunstpfad and exhibited a new installation at the Ladenburger Kunstverein in Germany as well as at Smack Mellon in Brooklyn, NY.

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

  • Eugene Mednik

    Math Teacher

    Originally born in Ukraine, I was raised in Brooklyn, New York. I obtained my degree in mathematics at Baruch, and my master’s in education from St. John’s University. Since graduating I have taught math in the Department of Education for 4 years. During this time I was introduced to the challenges of teaching students with disabilities.

    Through my education and experience I have discovered that students learn in different ways. My work with students with disabilities, English language learners, and gifted students has helped me develop strategies to guide all types of students/learners.

    I am very excited for my first year at German School Brooklyn. I look forward to getting to know the community, collaborating with staff, and working with the students and parents.

  • Sabrina Öhler

    Grade 3 Class Teacher/ German subjects

    I am originally from Mistelbach, a small village in Lower Austria. When I graduated from high school I started following my passion, working with children, and became a pre-school teacher.

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

    My colleagues and I planned many hands–on projects for our students. We implemented dynamic topics in a supportive learning environment where our students gained a deeper understanding of different learning strategies. I am eager to bring this approach to my students at GSB!

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

    For the past two years, I’ve been teaching Grade 3 at German School London, and now I am very much looking forward to 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 1st and 2nd state exams in both subjects.

    Since finishing my studies, I have gathered over 10 years of 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 5-10, focused on building the language curriculum, and led the school exchange program in Rome.

    After love brought me to New York in 2016, I taught German, German as a second/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.

    I am a very passionate educator. My enthusiasm for teaching stems from my investment in the pursuits of each individual student. I work hard to connect with students in a deep way, helping them to expand their academic horizons while also getting to know more about the world and about themselves. I love being in the classroom, watching my students grow and thrive as a community of learners.

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

  • Sarah Sandler

    Grade 2 Class Teacher / German subjects

    I am originally from Schwaigern, a small town in the South of Germany. During High School, I did a lot of 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 teacher for language education and did an internship at a German school in Thailand as part of my studies, where I was exposed to a different culture and school system. It also deepened my knowledge of German as a second language and prompted me to continue to seek out experiences teaching abroad.

    After I finished my studies, I worked as a preschool teacher before starting my traineeship in a Lower School near my hometown.

    I look forward to teaching the young learners at GSB, always remembering that education is more than just educating the mind, but also the heart, to help children grow up as happy and confident citizens of the world.

  • Marco Rios Schmid

    Spanish, Grades 3-9

    I am half Spanish half German and I was born and raised in Barcelona, Spain, where I attended the German School Barcelona. I hold two Licenciate degrees in Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature and a Master’s Degree in Teaching Spanish Language and Literature. I have spent my entire teaching career working at international schools, which has given me the chance to explore many different types of curricula and teaching and learning approaches. Prior to joining GSB I worked in Sweden for six years and most recently at the American School of Barcelona. ​​

    My teaching is defined by a holistic approach. In the classroom I am used to creating and developing a wide range of own materials and projects, that stimulate the student’s interest and promote a “learning by doing” approach, both in individual and in collaborative group tasks, where the students are able to perform on many different levels. I keep my subject teaching constantly evolving with the latest trends and I promote an often task-based, learning style, which has proven to deliver more positive results in language teaching. I believe that learning a new language is an invitation to a whole new perspective of the world and that it contributes to foster global citizens in a fun and exciting way.

  • Sarah Roussel

    Grade 5 Class Teacher | English subjects

    I am 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 masters in Childhood Education 1-6 from Hunter College. My diverse professional experiences working in education range from teaching in a local kindergarten in a traditional classroom setting in Guangzhou, China, to teaching interdisciplinary arts and educational classes in Hong Kong and as Program Director of Backpacks and Binoculars, a school-aged childcare and educational company under the New York City Explorers Group in Downtown Brooklyn.

    My experiences studying in Jerusalem and Italy as well as living and working abroad have developed my passion for travel, cultural learning, and global education. The impact of my continued pursuit of new and challenging experiences in the world as well as my love for the arts informs 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

    MS Teacher for Mathematics, Sports, Physics/Chemistry

    I just moved to the Big Apple, and I’m 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 Masters of Education and started working as a teaching assistant at the German School in Kuala Lumpur. The experience I gained in Malaysia was very helpful for my Referendariat, which I completed at the Immanuel-Kant Gymnasium in Heiligenhaus, in Düsseldorf, Germany. After completing this last step of teacher training, I continued to teach at Immanuel-Kant Gymnasium until my move to New York.

    In addition to teaching my academic lessons in school, I have always worked with different youth groups to introduce them 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 made it easy to make friends around the world. One of these friends 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, ELL

    I was born in the United States and raised in Austria. Going to a Steiner School fostered my interest in many fields such as 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 Masters in Early Childhood Music Education and focused my final thesis on how to teach a second language with the help of music & movement. I put this into practice teaching English in a preschool in Barcelona for 2 years, using my own language-teaching program.

    In New York I’ve worked as a performer, music and German teacher (in preschool, music school and giving private lessons).

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

  • Amy Stiegler

    Early Childhood Mentor Teacher and Kindergarten Class Teacher

    My passion for teaching began during my undergraduate studies at Sarah Lawrence College, where I focused on Early Childhood and Bilingual Education. Since then I have gained over 10 years of experience working with young children in a variety of education settings, mainly in German/ English bilingual schools including the Country Day Nursery School in White Plains, a bilingual Kindergarten in Halle/Salle, Germany, and at Wortspiele Preschool in Brooklyn.  I also hold a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Hunter College. I am a native English speaker and fluent in German as well.

  • 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 down in Virginia to finish school and attend college. I earned my 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 working in preschools, I returned to school to earn my Masters in Early Childhood Education at Lesley University 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.

  • Sophia Wong


    Born and raised in Edmonton, Canada, I attended French immersion school, obtained an International Baccalaureate and then spent one happy year at the University of Freiburg where I became fluent in German. I moved to New York to obtain a doctorate in Philosophy at Columbia University. My research focused on the moral personhood of people with intellectual disabilities and the parentification of children who become family caregivers before reaching adulthood.

    For ten years I taught Philosophy and Health Care Ethics at Long Island University in Brooklyn. For the past eight years I have worked with children, having realized that educators in the K-12 schools are entrusted with the most influential period of training for college and work. I am certified as an ABA behavior therapist for children on the autism spectrum and as a paraprofessional for special needs and gifted children.

    I’m also a writer, clown, pianist, artist, singer of Gregorian chant and maker of finger labyrinths. I am glad to be a part of the GSB community!

  • Monica Zuleta

    Grade 5 | German Subjects

    I was born in Medellín, Colombia, where I experienced the benefits of multicultural and bilingual education firsthand as a student at the Deutsche Schule Medellín. When I was 10, my parents decided to relocate to Germany, and 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 to also learn about different 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 in Switzerland.

    My education and teaching experiences have influenced me to value cultural immersion in our education system. I want to give my students a deeper understanding of different cultures, and I am looking forward to teaching in one of the world’s most diverse cities.

    Favorites: Pizza, Arepas; SC Freiburg; NY Yankees; Rummikub!