Teaching Staff

 

DANIEL GORSTEN SCHUENEMANN

Born in the US, raised in Brazil, I have spent most of my professional life in Germany and Brazil. l moved to the US at the end of 2015. Since then, l have been working in different educational settings and during the week, l work as a Kindergarten assistant at a Waldorf inspired Charter School in Marin as well as a substitute elementary teacher for the Contra Costa School District. German and Portuguese are my mother tongues. l have a BA in Psychology from the Universidade de Sao Paulo – USP and a German “Bäcker Gesellen Brief.”

 

 

 

SONJA HINRICHSEN

Sonja Hinrichsen

Sonja Hinrichsen was born and raised near Reutlingen in Southwestern Germany. She studied English/American Studies and Art at the University of Mainz, University of Stuttgart and Academy of Art and Design in Stuttgart, where she obtained a degree in Art Education.

Sonja taught German and English for several years – for adults as well as children and youth. Amongst others, she taught at the Volkshochschule Stuttgart (a nation-wide community education program), at language schools and school support programs (middle and high school students). She also taught groups for corporate clients as well as private students (one-on-one).

Initially Sonja came to the United States for graduate school at the San Francisco Art Institute. After completing a master’s degree in New Genres Art in 2001, she moved back to Germany, taught English and German and traveled throughout Europe for various arts projects. Longer stays included Slovakia and Holland.

In 2005, Sonja relocated back to the San Francisco Bay Area and now lives in Oakland. Besides teaching German, she is an active artist. Her ongoing project “Snow Drawings” has received attention nationally and internationally.

OTTI KIRALY

Otti KiralyMeine Ausbildung an der Universität München als Lehrerin für Deutsch und Latein kommt mir zugute im Unterricht von Erwachsenen, die deutsch lernen wollen, aber auch Interesse haben für die sprachlichen Zusammenhänge.  Vor etwa 45 Jahren hab ich angefangen, an der GSEB zu unterrichten.  Ganz klein war die Schule noch und lange nicht so professionell wie heute.  Ich war also fast auf dem ganzen Weg dabei, die Schule heranwachsen und reifen zu sehen.  Seit 1994, beim Zusammenschluss aller Bay Area Samstagschulen  zu GASANC hab ich die Schule viele Jahre lang vertreten  und als Vorstandsmitglied gedient.

My education at the University in Munich is in linguistics, German and Latin.  My own interest in the relationships of languages makes me love to teach adult students with whom I can share this knowledge. I take pride in the fact that I have been part of GSEB off and on for 45 years, allowing me to see GSEB grow and develop into the professional language school it is today. I served as delegate for the school, when in 1994, all the Bay Area schools joined to form what is now known as GASANC (German Association of Saturday School of Northern California), and I served as secretary on the Board.

MIRJAM LEOPOLDSBERGER

Mirjam LeopoldsbergerMirjam and her family have been an active part of the GSEB family since 2012.  She has two children that attend the school – Josh (12) is in his 5th year and Luna (7) is in her 3rd year. Mirjam grew up in Germany in a home of educators and currently lives in Pleasanton.  She has a love for language, learning and working with children.  Mirjam is a caretaker at heart.  In addition to her dedication to the German school, she is also a nurse (not actively working as such at the time) and volunteers regularly at her church and her daughter’s elementary school.

 

 

SILKE MAURER

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Ich bin in Deutschland geboren und in Wiesbaden, Hessen, aufgewachsen. In Mainz habe ich Grafik-Design/Visuelle Kommunikation studiert. Anschließend habe ich in verschiedenen Verlagen und Werbeagenturen gearbeitet während meine Familie und ich von Hessen aus durch drei Bundesländer gezogen sind. Chorsingen, inline skaten und meine Katzen waren meine Hobbies. Meine vier Kinder haben mich in der Zeit gelehrt zu basteln, zu singen, zu spielen und Geschichten vorzulesen.  In 2010 zogen wir nach Berkeley, CA, und ich half meinen Kindern sich in der neuen Umgebung zurechtzufinden. Da fast keiner Englisch sprechen konnte, weiß ich, was es für Kinder bedeutet eine neue Sprache zu lernen. Ich glaube fest, dass alles lernen mit Spaß leichter geht, und ich will mein bestes geben um eine angenehme Atmosphäre mit lustigen Aktivitäten und lachen in meiner Gruppe zu schaffen.

I was born in Germany and grew up in Wiesbaden, Hessen. In Mainz, I earned a degree in Graphic-Design/Visual Communication. I have worked in publishing and advertising in various fields while my family and I moved from Hessen through three different German states.
I enjoyed singing in a choir, inline skating and my cats.  Along the journey, my four children educated me in singing, playing, crafting and story reading.  In 2010, my family relocated again, now to Berkeley, CA, where I’ve helped my kids get settled into the new environment. Since they hardly spoke any English back then, I know what it’s like for children to learn a new language. I strongly believe that any learning is much easier if kids have fun, and I will try my very best to create an enjoyable atmosphere, with fun activities and laughter in the classroom.

ANITA MUELLER HARLEY

Anita Mueller Harley grew up in Switzerland. She first studied communications and eventually moved to New York to study film and art; she received her Masters of Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts in 1999. Anita  likes to connect with young creative minds: For the past years, she has been teaching art, graphic design and German at schools in the San Francisco area to grades 1-8.

LINDA ODUNCO

Linda OduncoI have been a teacher at the GSEB since 2007. I have taught preschoolers, 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade. Additionally, I have been teaching  at a German after school program named BAKS+ in Pleasant Hill, CA.  I really enjoy speaking and teaching German very much.

A little bit about my background:  After graduating from Justus-von Liebig Gymnasium in Neusaess, Germany, I went to the University of Augsburg and studied to be an English and history teacher.  I also worked as a tutor in a private tutoring school in Germany for 5 years, helping children of different ages and grades.

A little bit about me: I’m a Native German.  I was born and raised in the beautiful little town called Füssen, in Bavaria, south of Munich.  Some of you might have heard of the castle “Schloss Neuschwanstein”, for which Füssen is famous.

To improve my English, I came to the US for a year abroad in 2006. Eventually, I met my husband here and stayed. We live happily with our two little dogs in the East Bay.

From 2006 until now, I have always been working with children, providing childcare and private tutoring. I have also worked with children with ADHD, ADD and bipolar disorder.  Nine years ago, I was invited by a former GSEB teacher to come to the school and see if I liked to work there.  I have been a part of this school ever since.

KARL PFEIFFER

Karl PfeifferKarl Pfeiffer stammt aus der württembergischen Region Hohenlohe und wanderte nach Abschluss seines Physik- und Theologiestudiums an der Universität Tübingen und des Lehramtsreferendariats für Gymnasien und Berufschulen in die USA aus.  Er ist ATA-zertifizierter technischer Übersetzer (Englisch>Deutsch) und Mitglied auf Lebenszeit des amerikanischen Deutschlehrerverbands AATG. Er hat an den Goethe-Instituten in Chicago und Houston sowie an der Pepperdine University Deutsch als Fremdsprache unterrichtet.  Karl war von 2000-2005 GSEB-Präsident, von 2005-2013 Präsident unseres Dachverbands GASANC, fungiert derzeit als GASANC-Schatzmeister und unterrichtet seit 2006 unsere DSD- und AP-Vorbereitungskurse.  2013 wurde Karl für sein ehrenamtliches Engagement mit dem Bundesverdienskreuz geehrt.  In seiner (knappen) Freizeit ist er auf einem von 101 Wanderwegen in der Bay Area zu finden.

Karl Pfeiffer, a native of Germany, is a credentialed secondary and vocational school teacher, an ATA-certified (English>German) technical translator and an AATG Life Member. After graduating from the University of Tübingen, Germany, with a degree in Physics and Theology, he has held teaching positions for German as a Foreign Language with the Goethe-Institut in Chicago and Houston as well as Pepperdine University.  Karl was GSEB President from 2000-2005, president of our umbrella organization GASANC from 2005-2013, now GASANC treasurer, and has been teaching our DSD and AP prep classes since 2006. In 2013, Karl was awarded the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany for his service on behalf of the German language in the Bay Area.  In his (limited) spare time, he is checking off his list of 101 Bay Area hiking trails.

FRIDA SCHAEFER BASTIAN

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Hallo! Ich heiße Frida und studiere gerade Economics und Media Studies an der UC Berkeley. Ich bin in Berlin aufgewachsen, aber im Alter von neun Jahren mit meiner Familie in die Bay Area gezogen. Dort habe ich für drei Jahre bei der German American School of Palo Alto als Assistentin gearbeitet. Ich freue mich sehr, wieder mit Kindern zu arbeiten und Deutsch zu unterrichten!Hi!

My name is Frida and I am currently a sophomore at UC Berkeley studying Economics and Media Studies. I grew up in Berlin until I was nine, at which point my family and I moved to the Bay Area. In high school, I worked at the German American School of Palo Alto for three years as a teaching assistant. As I’ve gone to college, I’ve missed my constant connection to the German culture, so I am incredibly excited to be back into the classroom to work with kids especially in German.

 

 

SANDRA SCHLACHTER

Sandra Schlachter. (2)I was born in Berkeley, CA to German speaking immigrants from East Prussia and the Sudetenland. At home my parents spoke German with me and exposed me to many facets of European culture.  On Saturdays, from 1964 to 1976, I was a student at the GSEB, where I first learned to read and write German!

Later, I attended Mills College, where I double majored in German and Mathematics.  After that, I attended the University of Southern California, receiving my Ph.D. in German Literature in 1994.  My dissertation was on German and Yiddish language newspapers printed in Shanghai, China from 1939-1945.

At USC I met my husband – who hails from China – and we were married in 1985.

From 1993 to 1996 my husband and I lived in Jena, Thuringia (previously East Germany), while he worked as a guest researcher in the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft X-ray optics group at the Friedrich-Schiller-University.

For the past 20 years, I have been a consultant for medial device manufacturers engaged in clinical trials.  Frequently these trials are carried out at least in part in Germany or Austria.

My husband and I have a 21-year-old daughter who is studying computer science and machine learning in the State of New York.

Now that we are empty nesters, we lavish our attention on our cat, Felix, who understands all of four German words: Mama, Papa, Fressen and Raus!!

BRITTA SCHOENFELDER –ZOHDI

Britta Schoenfelder ZohdiBritta Schoenfelder-Zohdi has taught the adult beginners at GSEB since 2013.  She was born and raised near Frankfurt, Germany.  After becoming a “Diplomsportlehrerin” at the Deutsche Sporthochschule in Köln, she came to the US in 1987 as a DAAD scholar to study Kinesiology.  She received her Ph.D. in Kinesiology at Louisiana State University in 1992.  She has lived in the Bay Area since 2001.  Britta has 3 daughters, born in Louisiana, Texas, and Germany, respectively.  They are all bilingual, and two of them passed their DSD2 exam as students of the GSEB. The middle daughter worked at GSEB as an assistant and now lives in Germany studying politics and ethnology at the Goethe Universität in Frankfurt.  Britta also works as a substitute teacher for BAKS + in Pleasant Hill.