Our German teachers are qualified, enthusiastic, and committed to a student-centered learning approach. All teachers are either native or near-native German speakers. All teachers are required to participate in at least one continuing German-education seminar each year. Beyond that, teachers of our school are regularly invited to lead regional or national advanced training seminars or workshops.
Our team consists of teachers, assistants, administrative team, and board.
Anastasiya - Teacher
Anastasiya grew up in Germany where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Childhood Development at the Fachakademie für Sozialpädagogik in Hof/Bavaria. She is an experienced teacher working with kids of all ages, from toddlers over kindergarteners to teenagers. Before coming to California, Anastasiya worked as the head of the Zirndorf refugees’ kindergarten in Germany, where one of the important tasks was to teach the German language. In 2013 she moved from Bavaria to the Bay Area with her husband and her two kids. She is very excited to have joined GASPA in summer 2016. She is looking forward to support the kids in developing their language skills through music, science and action. Anastasiya speaks English, German, Russian and Ukrainian. She loves spending her time with her family, traveling, reading books and hiking.
Barbara S. - Assistant
Barbara is a first generation German-American born and raised in the Bay Area. As a child she spent Saturday mornings at the German School of the Mid-Peninsula in Redwood City. She has a Bachelor's Degree in German and International Relations from UC Davis. For several years she lived in Würzburg, Germany with her husband while he was part of the US Army. They returned to California to raise a family and have two boys. Barbara enjoys being a part of the GASPA community and sharing the German language and traditions with the children.
Kirian - Assistant
Kaya - Assistant
Kaya joined GASPA in 2015 as an assistant. She is currently a junior at Gunn High School. Kaya was born in Munich, Germany and moved to California at the age of three. Between the fifth and seventh grade she attended the German International School of Silicon Valley. In her spare time, Kaya enjoys dancing or boogie boarding in the surf of the Pacific Ocean.
Ulrich - Teacher
Born and raised in Hamburg, Germany, he studied physics in Heidelberg,and moved to the Bay Area more than 30 years ago. He has been involved with GASPA for more than 25 years. In the past he has assisted in different kindergarten levels and currently works in the 5-6 year old children's group. He likes to give children the opportunity to explore hands-on new horizons, loves to read books or sing songs with them and talk to them in German. Besides being an assistant teacher on Saturdays, the past few summers, he has also worked at GASPA's annual 4-week summer camp.
Alexander - Assistant
Alexander joined GASPA as an assistant in 2014 after having attended GASPA for many years. He lives in Belmont but was born in Boston, MA. He has spoken German almost his whole life, though he sometimes thinks his grammar could use a bit of improvement. He currently attends Cañada College's high school/college program. He enjoys reading, sleeping, running, and playing videogames.
Barbara J.– Assistant
Barbara, a native German from Cologne, her husband, and 2 children moved to the Bay Area in 2002. Back in Germany, Barbara was working for the German government and a Medical Council for many years. She discovered her passion for working with children while being actively involved in her kids school. Since then (13 years now), she is an active volunteer at the German American International School in Menlo Park. For many years, she taught art classes at the German School as an extracurricular activity (Kiga – 4th grade) and tutors children in German. In her free time Barbara enjoys being creative, reading, exploring new countries and cultures and of course the Pacific Ocean.
Chris - Assistant
Chris has been supporting the GASPA team since the beginning of 2016. As a native German speaker with a degree from Stanford University, he loves helping students with their language acquisition and beyond. An outdoor enthusiast since his first visit to Northern California in 2007, he still enjoys the many day trip opportunities the Bay Area has to offer.
Daniela - Teacher
Daniela joined the GASPA team in 2011. She greatly enjoys working with kids especially in the educational setting of a school and supports the children in their learning with a variety of different activities like singing, games, riddles, handicraft work, experiments, and meditation. Born in Berlin, Germany, Daniela graduated with a bachelor’s degree in social work. In 2010 Daniela moved to California and is currently enrolled in a master's program in social work. She loves the cultural diversity of the Bay Area, the California sun, and sharing the various form of arts with the students at GASPA.
Lynn - Assistant
Lynn joined GASPA as an assistant in 2016. She attended the GASPA Saturday School for 12 years before completing the DSD I and II as well as the AP German Language and Culture Exams. She currently attends Menlo Atherton High School, and has spent a month with the Thomas Mann Gymnasium in Lübeck as an exchange student. Last summer she did a 2 week archeology internship in her family’s hometown Lübeck. In her free time, Lynn enjoys horseback riding, writing, and skiing.
Jörg - Assistant
Jörg (George) joined GASPA as an assistant in 2015. He also participates in the "Language Swap" program at Mountain View Public Library. Born in Germany and raised in a bilingual household, he is fluent in both English and German. Currently, he is a substitute teacher at Palo Alto, Mountain View, and Los Altos high schools. He has also taught college courses as an adjunct professor.
Juliana - Assistant
Juliana joined the GASPA team as an assistant in 2015 after attending the German American International School from K-8. She is currently a senior at Nueva High School, and plans to pursue a major in biochemistry next year. In addition to English and German, she also speaks Spanish fluently and is working diligently to learn Mandarin. When she isn't doing homework, Juliana enjoys reading, playing the tuba, knitting, writing music, Doctor Who and trying to make gluten-free desserts that taste like food.
Rhea - Teacher
Rhea joined the GASPA team in 2015. She greatly enjoys teaching and working with children of all ages and different cultural backgrounds. Born in the Netherlands and educated in Germany, Rhea studied Political Science and Philosophy at the Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich. Prior to moving to the U.S., she worked as a journalist traveling the world to produce documentaries and reports for German television. Rhea loves the open-minded and multi-cultural spirit of the Bay Area, and is excited to share her passion for language with the students at GASPA.
Rosa - Assistant
Rosa is new to GASPA this year. She was born in Berlin, Germany and lived there until she was six. She lives in Palo Alto and speaks German at home with her family. She is currently attending Palo Alto High School and enjoys reading, writing, and listening to music.
Sabrina - Teacher
Sabrina joined GASPA as a teacher in 2012. Sabrina was born in Germany and holds a Master in Education for Elementary Schools from the University of Paderborn. Before coming to the United States, she taught at elementary schools near Düsseldorf, Germany for several years, teaching first to fourth grade. Sabrina wants to make language studies interesting and enjoyable, so her forte are experiments where her students learn German while tinkering. She is a mother of two girls and wants them to grow up fully bilingual. The only member of her family that is not bilingual is Diego, an adventurous Golden Retriever.
Saskia - Assistant
Saskia attended GASPA herself for 12 years before becoming an assistant in 2014. She was born in San Mateo with German parents, and completed all of the AATG tests as well as the AP exam. Saskia is currently a senior at Crystal Springs Uplands School, and last summer she did a 3 week internship in Freiburg at Fraunhofer Institute, ISE. Saskia enjoys singing, reading, playing tennis, and learning about green energy.
Sophia - Assistant
Sophia has been an assistant at GASPA since 2014. She lives in Hillsborough and is a Junior at Aragon High School. She attended GASPA's Saturday School from age 4 to 15. She enjoys playing water polo, skiing, swimming, painting and animals.
Aaron - Teacher
Aaron Choate joins Stefanie Reinisch this year in teaching the middle school through high school group. Aaron is of German heritage, but grew up in the Bay Area. He has spent the past 7 years teaching mostly university level courses in Portland and Seattle, but also has taught middleschoolers and highschoolers in various subjects in the Bay Area, Southern California, and Portland. Most of his time in D/A/CH has been spent in Salzburg and in Munich, though he speaks more like a Norddeutscher, because of friendships with Berliners and Münsterites as well as his work in the German-speaking cultural realm in Southern California, in Menlo Park, and with Zeitgeist Northwest and its German-language film festivals in Portland and Seattle. Aaron is married and has two children. Ask him about Münster, Kassel, or Freiburg sometime!
Stefanie - Teacher
Stefanie moved to the Bay Area in 2012 and joined the GASPA team the same year. She was born and raised in Austria and received her teaching degree in English and German as Foreign Language from the KF University of Graz. She loves working with teenagers and enjoys the multicultural atmosphere at the school. Stefanie also administers the AATG National German Exams at GASPA. In her free time she enjoys exploring the Bay Area with her husband and her son.
Sabine - Director of Education
She is a wearer of many hats...
As the Principal, Director of Education, teacher, tutor, counselor, workshop leader she always strives to bring in new and challenging as well as established ideas when working with children, and school affairs. She has been with GASPA for about 30 years.
She has a trained paralegal and has a master's degree in Pedagogy (Dipl.rel.paed.)
Over the years, she received several awards for her person as well as her work at GASPA:
- Duden Award - Recognition of outstanding effort and achievement in German instruction; 2012
- Federal Republic of Germany Friendship Award - Recognition for effort on behalf of German-American relations; 1997
- Award of Merit, Goethe Institute and AATG; 2002
(First ever given to a representative of a Saturday School) German teachers may be recognized for outstanding teaching, creative and successful activities promoting German; innovative curriculum and successful course design; successful interdisciplinary cooperation; significant contributions to the profession
- AATG Friend of German Award, 2015
This award is presented to an individual or organization outside the German teaching profession, as well as to a German educator. Each award recognizes outstanding support for and promotion of German and the study of German at the local, regional, or national level.
She is a member of GASANC, AATG, ACTFL, Netzwerk Sprachvergnügen, German Ladies General Benevolent Society, SPLC “Teaching Tolerance”.
She is a co-author and author of literature specializing in children's education as well as publications in trade journals in Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and the USA. Have given numerous workshops and seminars at GASPA, GASANC, AATG, ACTFL, CLTA and was the founder of the now annual GASANC Workshop for teachers of German at Saturday and Part-Time schools in Northern California.
....but first and foremost: She loves people of all ages and wants to provide them ground to grow, learn, explore and develop so that they may reach their highest potential ....maybe even with a little influence from a German Saturday school.
Pamela - Teacher & Director of School Management
Pamela joined the GASPA team in 2008. Born in Pittsburgh, PA, where she lived until age 15, she then spent three years living in Thailand with her family. After high school she studied in Germany where she got her degree in Ferrous Metallurgy and Material Science. She loves working with young students and being part of the "Ah-ha" effect student have when they grasp new concepts and showing them that not everything in life is about computers, in particular, here in Silicon Valley. In her free time she loves to cook, bake, knit, and crochet.
Sibylle - Office Manager
Sibylle has been office manager since 2010. She was born in Lübeck, Germany and lived, studied and worked there for many years.
In Heidelberg she worked as an executive assistant for a telecommunication company. She came to California in 1998 for her husband's business.
After spending some years raising her three children she decided to go back to work.
Since she likes to work with people she did not hesitate to take on the job as Office Manager at GASPA.
In her free time she loves to travel, bike and enjoys spending time with her children.