Meet the GSB Teachers

Please meet our team of highly qualified and motivated teachers.

Admin Team

  • Adam Nelson

    Interim Head of School and Academic Dean, Upper School Humanities Teacher, Debate Coach

    I am GSB’s Interim Head of School and Academic Dean, having assumed both roles in 2022. In the latter capacity, I am responsible for overseeing the school’s academic program, including curriculum development and alignment. I am also helping lead the development of the Upper School, including by both teaching English Language Arts and coaching debate. In the former role, I will spend this school year working with the Board of Directors and Deputy Head of School to oversee all aspects of the school’s teaching, academics, and operations.

    Prior to coming to GSB, I spent ten years at Taipei American School in Taiwan. There, I was Interim Deputy Head of School, Dean of Programs: Director of Articulation KA-12, Political Science & Forensics Department Chair, and an upper school English and social studies teacher. I have also taught throughout the United States, having been a department chair for grades 6-12 at The Harker School in San Jose, California and the debate coach at Catalina Foothills High School in Tucson, Arizona and Rocky River High School in Cleveland, Ohio.


    As a speech and debate coach, my students have won state and national championships, as well as international recognition. I also served as the National Speech & Debate Association’s inaugural Director of Programs & Education nationwide.


    I earned my J.D. from the University of Arizona James E Rogers College of Law and my B.A. in Political Science from Case Western Reserve University.

    My wife, Emily, and I have two dogs, Pepper and Navi, whom we frequently take on hikes throughout the region. I am a citizen of both Germany and the United States, as well as a permanent resident of Taiwan, so it should come as no surprise that we are avid international travelers as well.


  • Melissa Bourgeois

    Deputy Head of School, 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 1 Class Teacher, Kindergarten English

    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.

  • Lena Bacan

    Educational Assistant

    With a background in German Speech Pathology, Lena found her way to GSB in 2016, after moving to New York City from Hamburg, Germany.

    In addition to scheduling for the entire school, she upholds our strong internship program and maintains our German library.

    She enjoys being part of a great team and the welcoming community here at GSB.

  • 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 began teaching at German School Brooklyn in 2021. In addition to teaching dance at GSB, I currently serve as Interim Director of Education at Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts and enjoy leading professional development workshops for teachers, primarily through New Jersey Performing Arts Center. I have over ten years of experience teaching in NYC public schools as a Teaching Artist with organizations such as ArtsConnection and Brooklyn Arts Council. I have served as Adjunct Faculty/Visiting Artist at Washington & Lee University, University of the Arts, and Hollins University. From 2010-21, I worked at Movement Research, where I found my tribe of dancers and developed Dance Makers in the Schools, a collaboration with 11 NYC public and charter school communities. My choreography, created in a past career, has been presented in New York, Atlanta, Mexico, Germany, France and Austria. I studied dance at Columbia University (B.A.) and Hollins University (M.F.A.) after growing up in Atlanta, Georgia. I’m thrilled to be teaching at GSB, where the community values arts education and the students are great partners in learning.

  • Chris Deleigh

    3rd Grade English Teacher

    Originally from Bennington, Vermont; I spent the last sixteen years in Boston, where I earned my BA in communications studies from Northeastern University. After years working in the fashion industry, a career change was necessary, which ultimately led me to elementary education. I have spent the last 7 years working in private, public and Montessori after school programs, specializing in sports and the arts.

    In my free time I can be found enjoying most things outdoors, whether that be camping, mopeds, kayaking, hiking or snowboarding. I’m a film nerd with a particular love for horror and have a “not so secret” passion for cooking. 

    I’m incredibly excited to be part of the GSB community and looking forward to the start of each new school year.

  • Jens Ellerhold

    Music teacher, Middle & Upper School

    I am a musician and educator from Cologne, Germany. I have been teaching at German School Brooklyn since 2017. I hold a bachelor’s degree in music from the Conservatory of Amsterdam as well as a master’s degree in music from Queens College in New York. In 2017 I graduated from Touro College in New York with a master’s degree in early childhood and special education. 

    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

    Fast Track Teacher

    Originally from Charlotte, North Carolina, I moved to Hamburg, Germany, as a child. There, I entered the Helene Lange Gymnasium in 6th grade and  graduated with an Abitur (university admission qualification).

    I then spent time in London before moving to New York City.  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 this time I married and became a mother. I chose to be a stay-at-home mom and then an active volunteer at my children’s elementary schools. As part of the first class of a newly founded charter school, I gained experience working in the classroom as well as in organizational activities.

    In 2006, I began teaching Journalism and English Composition at CUNY, Kingsborough Community College, as an adjunct professor. The population at Kingsborough is extremely diverse, and I enjoy working with the students to encourage critical thinking and strengthen writing skills.  

    In February 2021, I joined German School Brooklyn, where I teach the Fast Track program for our new German language learners in grades 1-5, and also offer language support within the classroom. I am very happy to be at GSB and enjoy the way in which it unifies my experience with children, teaching and German language and culture (something I had been missing over the years). I look forward to continuing to grow in and contribute to the GSB community.

  • Ketirah Felder-Hogan

    School Counselor

    I received my Bachelor’s degree from American International College. Following that, I worked as a classroom paraprofessional and after-school program leader. From these experiences, I decided to pursue a degree that would allow me to aid in empowering students, families, and a variety of multicultural groups to achieve and accomplish success through education, future career goals, and health and wellness. 

    I graduated from Columbia University with a Masters in Education in School Counseling, Masters in Psychological Counseling, and an Advanced Certificate in College Advising. My role as a school counselor is to encompass a comprehensive program that creates an effective, efficient, and progressive school environment that will allow all students to achieve academic, educational, and social/emotional success. I am excited to be able to work with German School Brooklyn students and families!

  • 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!

  • Karen Harrington

    ELL Teacher

    Twenty years ago, I began my teaching career as a New York City Teaching Fellow. I hold dual certification in New York State for English Language Arts and for the teaching of English as a New Language. I completed an MS degree in Education of TESOL at CUNY Queens College. I received my BA from Fordham University, studying both Philosophy and English.

    Over the course of my career, I have taught English language learners of nearly every age group and experience level: early elementary to graduate students and adult learners. I served as the ESL Coordinator and English teacher for the NYC Department of Education. I taught  undergraduate and graduate students at LIU Post and taught English as a New Language at Eastchester High School. 

    In all instances, I work from a student-first philosophy of teaching, striving to design engaging lessons that appeal to the specific learners with whom I have the fortune to work. In this way, I take my academic expertise in language learning theory and approach teaching with practical, real-world applications.

    This culmination of academic success and invaluable hands-on teaching experience has allowed me to operate with the confidence and the caring required of a master teacher. I am thrilled to be part of the GSB team and am excited to put my skills into practice each day!

  • Yvonne Haussmann

    Grade 2 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 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 taught 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. My goal is to help students to achieve an open minded and critical way of thinking and to inspire the best in every student. In addition to being a teacher I also support the school community as a German coordinator for the Lower School. In strong collaboration with the teachers and other German schools in North America and all over the world, we’re creating the best support for our German language students.

    Having found my home away from my family in an amazing city is worth gold. Each year I continue to grow in the school’s inspiring atmosphere, surrounded by motivated people.

  • Brianna Jensen

    Grade 2 Class Teacher, English Subjects, ELL & Special Education Coordinator

    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 a great fit at GSB. GSB shares my commitments to individualized education and culturally responsive teaching.

    I strive to create a classroom community that fosters 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.

    In addition to being a teacher, I also support the school community as English Language Learning coordinator and Special Education coordinator. I enjoy supporting teachers and students across grades to help GSB’s diverse student population thrive. My favorite thing about GSB is the connection between staff, families, and students.

  • Ebru Kara

    Kindergarten Teacher, German Subjects

    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

    Grade 7 English, Social Studies, and Science, Middle School Culture Coordinator

    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

    I am a music educator and musician living in Brooklyn,NY, 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.

    I started teaching music at GSB in 2021. 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, and I strive to impart that to my students.


  • Ava Lim

    Grade 5 Class Teacher, English subjects

    I am originally from Seoul, South Korea but grew up attending American schools in Shanghai, China. After graduating with a B.S. in English Education from New York University, I went back to Shanghai and taught English to international school students. Afterwards, I returned to New York and earned an M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language from Teachers College, Columbia University. While pursuing my degrees, I worked with students of various grade levels in both ELA and ESL classrooms at four different public schools in the city.

    As a teacher, it is important to create a classroom environment for students where they feel safe and respected. For this to happen, I believe that students’ cultures and languages should be valued. Moreover, appropriate types of instructional strategies and assessment should be implemented to accommodate their different levels and needs. My goal as a teacher is not only to focus on academics but also to foster social and emotional growth in my students. I am thrilled to be a part of the GSB community!

  • Franziska Lingel

    Grade 5 Class Teacher, German Subjects

    I was born and raised in Germany, in a smaller city in the south called Aalen. 

    My journey as an educator started at the University of Education in Karlsruhe, which opened up the opportunity to study in the States from 2009 to 2010. This year had an enormous impact on my life. It increased my interest in other cultures, approaches to teaching, and school systems.

    After I finished my first State Exam in English, German, and Physical Education for Bilingual Education, 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 in 2013.

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

    I am more than happy that I have been a member of GSB for several years now, and I am excited to continue to contribute to the positive development of young individuals in the heart of Brooklyn.

  • 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).

  • Claudia Mandlik

    After School and 9th Grade Art Teacher

    I am a professional photographer who lives and breathes art and art education. I received my first camera when I was 13 and it changed my life forever. Born and raised in Germany, I moved to New York to study art in 2000 after an internship at the Hallertauer Newspaper. I taught classes at Children’s Life, an initiative of the Volkshochschule Neustadt a.d. Donau, which confirmed that I wanted to know everything there is about photography and art. I received my Bachelors of Fine Arts with a focus on photography from Hunter College, and my Advanced Certificate in Performance and Integrated Media Arts from Brooklyn College, graduating from both with honors. During my studies, I was a teacher’s assistant at the Leon-Goldstein High School. Throughout I have worked with many amazing artists as well as at the renowned gallery Higher Pictures Generation which focused on changing the way the art world looks at art and photography. In addition to teaching at GSB, I am currently working with Pentagram Design Inc.’s incredible team of designers and artists emphasizing the conviction that great design cannot happen without passion. 

    Inviting children into the rich world of art-making builds a new generation of problem solvers. Providing them with a pressure free setting allows children the freedom to create, imagine and explore in their own ways to boost their self-knowledge and confidence as well as to teach them to think critically about the world around them. Art promotes freedom and allows us to better connect with and express our feelings. I am super excited to be part of the amazing GSB community!

  • Eugene Mednik

    Math Teacher, Grades 6–8

    Born in Ukraine, I was raised in Brooklyn, New York. I obtained my Bachelor’s degree in Actuarial Science at Baruch University 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 of pupils.

    My classroom is set up to encourage engagement by emphasizing the value of making mistakes and learning from them. I incorporate as many hands-on activities and end-of-unit projects into the syllabus as possible. Our curriculum provides real-world examples to give students a practical connection to the material. Upon mastering a particular skill, students are rewarded with game-show style activities to bolster intrinsic motivation and healthy competition. 

    I am delighted to collaborate with the GSB community: staff, students, and parents.

  • Maria Menendez

    Grades 3 & 4, Spanish

    Born and raised in Lima, Peru I am the daughter of Spanish nationals who came from Asturias, Spain.

    I received a degree in Elementary Education from the Catholic University of Peru, and a graduate certificate in Learning Disabilities from Universidad Andres Bello, Chile.

    Before coming to New York, I lived in Kansas and Florida, where my two children were born.

    I have been teaching elementary and middle school Spanish for over 15 years. My objective is for each student to enjoy learning a new language and ultimately make it their own adventure, an adventure which they can pursue for the rest of their lives. To highlight the benefits of learning Spanish, we explore the cultures of Spanish speaking countries, which students find fun and interesting.

  • Sabrina Öhler

    Grade 4 Class Teacher, German Subjects, PQM

    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.

  • Ashley Padilla

    Recess Coordinator and GSB Assistant

    I am originally from Charleston, South Carolina where I attended the College of Charleston and earned a bachelor’s of science in sociology with a minor in African American studies. During undergrad, I started tutoring GED students, which I found so rewarding and has grown into something I now love doing! After graduation I fulfilled a lifelong dream and finally moved to New York, where I now call home. I’m just so happy to be here! 

    Before joining GSB, I was the lead tutor at a New York public library branch, where I tutored students K-8 with homework or assisted them in finding a book. I’ve always been an avid reader and being part of NYPL was a lovely experience. My dream is to be a librarian one day, and I am planning on going to library school for my master’s in library science in the very near future. 

    When not working, you can catch me reading a good book with my very cute cat named Girlfriend, or watching any and all new tv shows and movies! I’m thrilled to be here at GSB.

  • Tina Petereit

    Grade 8 & 9 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.

  • Vilma Ramsaroop

    Math & Science Teacher

    After graduating from New York University, I embarked on an inspirational and rewarding journey which includes over 25 years of teaching experience. I have taught through the New York Department of Education, Florida Board of Education – Miami Dade County, and the Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens.

    I have mostly enjoyed creating a strong level of confidence in all of my students. The most hesitant math learners develop a deep love for and understanding of mathematics. I have successfully designed a math-friendly curriculum encompassing four years of high school math which students can master in four short months.

    I love being the emcee of my personally designed auditorium-filled Math Bees for primary, intermediate, and junior high grades. I also enjoy teaching my students how to connect with their communities through events such as food drives and bake sales. Additionally, I have taken tremendous pride in taking part of the life of a school, such as by creating and designing monthly themed baskets of goodies for school wide fundraising raffles.

    I love to see my students excited to come to school to learn, explore, and be happy. I am exhilarated to be here.

  • Kerstin Rau

    Middle School Teacher

    I was born and raised in the South of Germany, in the beautiful „Schwabenländle“. For my university degree, I moved to Frankfurt where I completed my first and second state exams in German and Sport. During my studies, I had the opportunity to give courses in soccer and to work as a fitness coach. I even played soccer myself in the 2. Bundesliga!

    After the second state exam, I began work at „Eliteschule des Sports“ in Frankfurt. I have taught German and Sport in middle and high school for 15 years. I also completed a special training in the subject „German as a second language“ and taught children who were non-German speakers. 

    As a member of the school board, I was responsible for all matters relating to youth welfare and child protection. I also acted as an examination committee chairperson during the Abitur (high school Diploma) and supported teachers in training.

    Still, my favorite work is being a class teacher, because I not only teach lesson content, but I also have the opportunity to participate in students’ development. To see what talents every single child has and to promote this talent is my main motivation. 

    I am very grateful to be able to expand my experiences at GSB.

  • Christina Reichelt

    Grade 1 Class Teacher, German Subjects

    Growing up in Switzerland and surrounded by four different languages, I have always been fascinated by the different expressions that come with each. Learning different languages and getting to know other cultures led me as an exchange student to Alaska, to France and to a teaching experience at the German Embassy school in Ethiopia.

    Combining this with my passion to help others grow, I decided to become a primary teacher when I started to coach the Track and Field team in my hometown. The process to enable and bring out the best in each child is what drives me and has led me to GSB.

    I studied elementary education at the University of Lucerne and finished my degree in 2016, after which I have taught children from first to sixth grade in different schools in Switzerland and abroad.

    I have a strong interest in languages, music and sports and love to work together on school-wide projects such as activity days, drama projects or reading nights.

    In my free time, I love running, being outdoors, cooking and spending time with my friends and family.

  • Rosheeda Roberts

    After School Coordinator and GSB Assistant

    Born and raised in Jamaica, I moved to New York in 2015. I graduated from CUNY Medgar Evers College with an AS in Science and a BS in Biology. While I was in college, I dabbled in different course areas, minored in Computer Science, and participated in Hackathons in Queens and Boston. I worked full-time for Whole Foods, finished my last 3 semesters, and became a judge for NASA’s Future Engineers Competition 2019-Present during the pandemic. After receiving my BS, my teaching experience began at a charter school. I taught 99+ 8th graders Science/ Living Environment & Math / Algebra. 

    I enjoy reading, watching documentaries, and discovering new scientific theories. My current Kindle comprises 335 books; I’ve read 58 so far as of this writing. I’m still discovering new hobbies that pique my curiosity and challenge me. I am a firm believer that learning is continuous. Gaining knowledge and wisdom never has an expiration date! 

    I am beyond thrilled to be a part of the GSB community.

  • Sarah Sandler

    Grade 3 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 preschool teacher before starting my “Referendariat” in a lower school near my hometown. Following that I started working at GSB. 

    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 5–9

    I was born and raised in Barcelona, Spain, where I attended the German School of Barcelona. I hold two Licentiate Degrees in Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature and a Master’s Degree in Teaching Spanish Language and Literature. I am also a certified IB teacher. 

    Working at several international schools has given me the chance to explore a range of different curricula and approaches as well as the honor to meet many amazing students and staff. 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 and I try to stay up to date with the latest educational trends in my subject. I like to work with materials and projects that stimulate the student’s interests and I promote a learning-by-doing practice. This active effort prevails in both individual and collaborative group tasks, where students are able to perform on different levels. 

    Having grown up in a multilingual environment myself and being a citizen of Spain, Germany and Sweden, I believe that learning a new language is an invitation to a whole new perspective of the world, which contributes to fostering global citizens in a fun and exciting way. I am happy and proud to be expanding the linguistic and cultural knowledge of our fantastic GSB students.

  • Sarah Roussel

    Grade 6 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 have been teaching at GSB since August 2021, and I really enjoy being a part of this amazing community.

    After finishing high school in my hometown of 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 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 teaching academics, 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!

  • Johanna Urzedowski

    Grade 8 German Teacher; Middle School GLL/ Fast Track Teacher

    Originally from Hannover, Germany, I completed my studies in Berlin with a state exam in German and Political Science and a teaching certificate in German as a Foreign Language. In addition, I hold a M. Phil. Degree from Columbia University, NYC, where I pursued graduate studies and research at the Department of Germanic Languages. Passionate about teaching and studying, language, literature, the arts and critical thought, I have since acquired well over a decade of teaching experience which led me into a wide variety of classroom settings, from language schools to university seminars, in both Germany and the US. 

    Throughout my teaching career; as a Teaching Assistant at the Department for German Studies at the California State University Long Beach; the many years as a language teacher in Berlin, where I taught learners of all ages and at all levels, preparing many of them for their language exams at the Goethe-Institut Berlin; as a Teaching Fellow in the German Department at Columbia University; as a member of the AATG Testing Committee for the Metropolitan New York Chapter; as a Language Tutorials Coordinator at Columbia’s Language Resource Center; as a Lecturer at Columbia College, teaching literature and humanities classes – these diverse teaching experiences have formed my core belief that at the heart of every nourishing learning experience is a teacher-student relationship that is based on the principles of equal dignity, respect, and appreciative interaction. 

    In my classroom, I work hard to create this bond and to earn the trust of students. I strive to understand and acknowledge the needs and interests of every student. I champion the students’ individuality knowing that everyone has a different history, different learning strategies and different cultural perspectives. I provide a learning environment that is supportive, student-centered, communicative, and collaborative as well as intellectually stimulating in which I inspire enthusiasm, academic curiosity and critical thinking. I enjoy including the arts and authentic cultural materials and use ‘electronic classroom’ technologies. I also keep up to date with the latest pedagogical and educational trends in my subjects. Most importantly, I provide a fun learning environment, based on humor and creativity, with lively and engaging hands-on activities. 

    I am happy to be a part of and to contribute to GSB’s vibrant intercultural community!

  • Erica Wickman

    Grade 4 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 6, 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!