Fall 2015

Dear GSEB Community:

Welcome to Fall Term 2015! We have successfully concluded our first week of classes and are pleased to announce that our total enrollment for the fall is 186 students attending classes in both mornings and afternoons. Our student body ranges in age from two to 80+ years. Given we continue to grow in enrollment, we are always looking for great teachers to join our school. If you know of any, send them our way.   It’s going to be a great semester and we are happy to have you with us as we continue to provide students the opportunity to learn German language and culture in a supportive environment.

 Supporting our School:

As a 501c3 not-for-profit school, you can help further GSEB’s mission of providing top quality German language education. Here are easy ways to do this:

  • Many companies have employee volunteer programs where they will match the hours you volunteer, or the funds you donate, to not-for-profit organizations. Check with your human resources department to see if your company participates.
  • If your company participates in the annual United Way campaign, you can choose to designate your tax-deductible donation to the German School of the East Bay.
  • Consider contributing goods or services to our annual raffle at the Adventsfeier/Christmas celebration on December 13 in Piedmont Veterans’ Hall. Have something great to donate? Contact Tobias Funk, the event organizer, at tobiasfunksf@gmail.com.

All donations are tax deductible and go towards supporting our German language education by providing for teacher training; classroom supplies as well as educational materials. Federal ID # is 94-1620886.

Important Dates:

October 31 Halloween Children are encouraged to come in costume; no masks please
November 8 Goose Dinner Shelby’s Restaurant in Orinda
November 11 Lantern Parade Starts at 6:30 pm at GSEB
November 27 No School Thanksgiving holiday
December 5 Christmas Bazaar In the Altenheim building
December 13 Christmas Celebration Piedmont Veteran’s Hall
December 19 Last Day of Fall Term

Faces of GSEB:


The GSEB welcomes a new Board President this year. Jennifer Schulze has been an active member of the German School community for many years. Her two sons, Ben and Adam, both attend the GSEB, and have been attending German school since they were toddlers. Jennifer has served on the Board for six years, recently as secretary and now as president.

Jennifer was born in the Philippines where her father was an educator for US government schools. At the age of two, her family moved to Germany where they lived for the next 20 years and where Jennifer learned to speak German. She attended Sonoma State and Karl Ruprecht Universität in Heidelberg and received an MBA in International Marketing from San Francisco State. She is currently VP of Marketing for SAP, a large German software company, where her knowledge of German has been a vital asset. Jennifer is a mover and shaker, she loves her family, the outdoors, her dog, traveling, hiking and biking.   We are fortunate to have such a talented, dedicated president guiding the GSEB.

A Success Story: GSEB to German University Larena Nellies Ortiz


Larena shown on the far right with her students last year

“Laterne, Laterne, Sonne, Mond und Sterne…” When I practiced this song with my class last fall as a teacher at the GSEB, I was suddenly transported back to my own childhood—walking through the November night guided by the glow of many small hand-made lanterns. It is experiences like these that I have the GSEB to thank for. As the child of a German mother and an American father, it was the fusion of language and cultural education at the GSEB that cemented my strong ties to Germany and have opened up many doors for me, both personal and professional.

After graduation from Berkeley High, I participated in the yearlong Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange. I landed in the picturesque city of Freiburg in southern Germany, where I lived with a host family and worked in an after-school program that ignited a passion for education and work with migrants and refugees in me. Eight years later, after receiving my BA in International Studies at the University of San Francisco, I returned to Germany through a Fulbright Grant, teaching English at an elementary school in Berlin and German to refugees by night. In October of this year, I will begin a Master’s program in International Migration and Intercultural Studies at the University of Osnabrück. This bilingual program allows me to combine my experience in education, hands-on work with refugees, and interest in intercultural dialogue which will hopefully create lasting solutions to the questions of education and integration in the refugee context.

I am grateful to the GSEB family for encouraging the road to my professional development over the years and I look forward to staying in touch.

Don’t Forget to Share Your Stories At http://www.facebook.com/GSEBSchool!