Teaching Staff

CHRISTINE GEHRIG-DOWNIE

christine-gehrig-downie

Ich bin in der Nähe von Göttingen geboren, wo ich Biologie studierte, promovierte und als Dozentin an der Uni arbeitete. Während meiner Doktorarbeit lernte ich meinen Mann Bryan kennen, den es nach 11 Jahren in Deutschland wieder in seine Heimat, die Bay Area, zog.  Seit April 2016 leben wir gemeinsam mit unserer Tochter Alena und zwei Katzen im schönen Alameda.  Obwohl ich beruflich bisher nur junge Erwachsene unterrichtet habe, lag mir die Arbeit mit Kindern schon immer sehr am Herzen. Ich wirkte im Kindergottesdienst mit und leitete einen Sing-, Spiel- und Basteltreff für Kindergartenkinder in der Gemeinde.  Durch meine Tochter lernte ich die GSEB kennen und lieben, und so freute ich mich sehr, als mir angeboten wurde, die Kindergartenklassen zu übernehmen.  Mein Unterricht setzt sich aus gemeinsamem Spiel, Basteln und Singen, sowie phonetischen und ersten Schreibübungen zusammen. Bei allen Aktivitäten wird ausschließlich deutsch gesprochen, und so spielerisch das Verständnis und der Wortschatz der Kinder erweitert und gefestigt.

I was born in Germany near Göttingen, where I studied biology and worked as a lecturer at the university. During my PhD, I met my husband Bryan, who is from the Bay Area, originally.  In April 2016, we moved together with our daughter Alena to Alameda. It is important to us that Alena does not forget her German roots, and therefore we were thrilled, when we found out about GSEB.Although professionally, I have only taught young adults so far, I have always loved working with children as well. I have been very active organizing kids’ programs at church and have been volunteering at Alena’s preschools. Through her, I got to know and love the GSEB community, and so I was very happy when I was offered to take over the kindergarten classes.  My classes are immersions into German language and culture and consist of playing together, crafting and singing, as well as phonetics and first writing exercises. The children learn in a fun environment, and playfully improve their understanding and extend their vocabulary.

MONIKA HARTMANN

Monika Hartmann

Monika Hartmann was born in Germany, where she played basketball and earned a teaching credential for elementary school, focusing her studies on pedagogy, German language and sports. During her schooling, she taught all levels of German, and coached a basketball team (AG) for 3rd and 4th graders.  After moving to California, she taught German at the Concord Adult School.

Additionally, Monika holds a master’s degree in integral psychology from John F. Kennedy University.  For the past 20 years, Monika has taught various English and math classes at a business college, making sure to include some German words and phrases into her lessons.  She has taught a second grade class at the German Language summer camp in Berkeley and also teaches a fifth grade class at BAKS+ in Berkeley. She lives in Martinez with her husband, a daughter, and her menagerie of dogs, cats, and birds.

 

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.

ROSI KIMBALL

rosi-kimball

Ich bin in Stuttgart geboren. Meine Mutter ist Deutsche und mein Vater kommt aus Budapest, Ungarn. Ich bin das zweite von fünf Kindern. Wir sind kurz nach meiner Geburt in die USA gezogen und während meiner Grundschulzeit dann wieder zurück nach Deutschland, diesmal Würzburg. Nach dem sechsten Schuljahr ging’s wieder in die USA zurueck, diesmal hier in die Bay Area.  Ich habe hier als Polizist Karriere gemacht und bin vor kurzem in Rente gegangen. Seit 2004 unterrichte ich Erwachsene, und 2014-2016 war ich ehrenamtliche Mitarbeiterin in der BAKS + Schule. Seit 2016 bin ich dort fest angestellt in der ersten Klasse. Ich habe auch freiwillig für Santa Maria katholische Kirche Faith Formation fuer Kindergaertner von 2012 bis 2015 unterrichtet und bin derzeit die 1. Klasse Lehrerin dort. Ich habe 2 Kinder, Annaliese und Jack, die 10 Jahre alt sind. Sie sind Teil der GSEB Familie, seit sie 18 Monate alt waren und die Sing und Spielgruppe besuchten. Beide besuchen BAKS + am Mittwochabend und GSEB am Samstag Nachmittag. Ich bin begeistert und stolz, der GSEB-Familie als Lehrerin beizutreten

I was born in Stuttgart , Germany. My mother is German and my father was Hungarian. I moved to San Francisco as a small child with my family. I have 3 brothers and 1 sister.  We moved back to Germany when I was in Elementary school and lived in Wuerzburg.  I returned back to San Francisco to attend 7th grade, and I have been in the Bay Area ever since.  I recently retired from Law Enforcement, where I proudly served as a Peace Officer. I have experience teaching adults since 2004.  I volunteered for BAKS+ from 2014-2016 with the Kindergarten class.  I joined their payroll in fall of 2016 working once a week with the 1st grade class.  I have also volunteered for Santa Maria Catholic Church as a Faith Formation Kindergarten Teacher from 2012-2015 and am currently their 1st Grade Teacher.  I have 2 children, Annaliese and Jack, who are 10 years old.  They have been part of the GSEB Family since they were 18 months old attending the Sing und Spielgruppe.  They both attend BAKS+ on Wednesday night and GSEB on Saturday afternoon.  I am excited and proud to join the GSEB Family as a Teacher.

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.

MARTIN LANDESVATTER

Martin LandesvatterMartin Landesvatter, geboren in Remscheid, aufgewachsen in Karlstadt in Nordbayern.  Seit 1996 mit Nadine Shaw verheiratet, seit 1997 in den USA; zwei Soehne: Jacob, geboren 1996, Kai, geboren 1999. Unterrichte (mit Unterbrechungen) seit 1999 an der GSEB.

Anbei ein sehr huebsches “Selfie” – ich sehe nicht immer so abgeschafft aus, das war nach 80 km auf dem Fahrrad.

 

 

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

silke-maurer

Ich bin in Deutschland geboren und in Wiesbaden, Hessen, aufgewachsen. In Mainz habe ich 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.

ALICIA ROY

Alicia Roy

Alicia Roy is a PhD student in the German Department at the University of California, Berkeley, where she has taught German language and literature classes since 2014. She obtained her dual major bachelor’s degree in German and Media Studies at Scripps College in California and afterwards worked at the Bundestag in Berlin and as a foreign language teaching assistant for the Fulbright Program in Giessen, Hesse. She studies early German cinema and in her spare time loves sci-fi television, cooking, and traveling.

 

 

 

 

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 BAKST + in Pleasant Hill.

 

 

TINA SCHRADER

Tina SchraderTina Schrader lebt seit 2011 mit ihrem Mann und Kindern in der Bay Area.  Sie hat  Master-Abschlüsse in Deutscher Sprache und Literatur und Pädgogik.  Seit 2004 unterrichtet sie Schüler aller Altersgruppen vom Kleinkind bis zum Erwachsenen auf allen Niveaus.

Tina Shrader has been  living in the bay area with her husband and kids  since 2011.  She holds Master degrees in German language and literature and in pedagogy.  Since 2004, she has been teaching students of all age groups and ability levels.