GISC Important Dates

 

October:

10 – Staff Development Day (No School)

13 – Columbus Day (No School)

15-17 – Parent/Teacher Conferences


November:

9Laternenfest

26-28 – Thanksgiving Vacation (No School)


December:

5 – St. Nicholas Day/Nikolaustag

22 - Jan 2 – Christmas Vacation (No School)

Faculty and Staff

GISC teachers at the 2013 GISC Spring Gala

The GISC teachers at the 2013 GISC Spring Gala.

Faculty and Staff

Annegret Harnischfeger, PhD, Director

Annegret Harnischfeger, Dr. phil., 1971 (Psychology; Education, Criminal Law) Christian-Albrechts-Universität, Kiel; 1967-71, Training in Psychotherapy, Institut für Psychotherapie, Berlin. – Professor (ret.), Education & Social Policy, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL. Prior positions in Education at the University of Chicago, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung, Berlin, Deutscher Bildungsrat, Bonn, Germany. Her research includes teaching-learning processes, school administration, evaluation und resource allocation. She is a founding trustee of GISC.

Petra Obritzberger, Assistant Director

Petra Obritzberger hails from Austria. – 2000, Dipl.-Päd. and Teacher Certification (English, Geography, Economics), Pädagogische Akademie der Erzdözese Wien. 2008, Teacher Certification for Michigan (Language Arts, Mathematics, German). 2007, Training as a Rescue Diver. – 2000-2007, Teacher in Middle School (5. – 8. Klasse) in Wien. 2007-2009, Teacher for German (Grade 1), German Language Center, Bloomfield Hills ,MI. 2009 – 2010, Teacher (Grades 2-4), The International School, Farmington Hills, MI. 2009-2011, Teacher (Grade 3), Deutsche Schule Ann Arbor, MI. 2003-2007, Tour Guide for groups of Austrian students to Great Britain, Malta, Slowenia. Languages: German, English. Since 2011 at GISC.

Michelle Ernst, PhD, Head of After School Programs

Michelle Ernst grew up in Missouri. – Ph. D., 2001 (Developmental Psychology, Statistics), Loyola University, Chicago, IL. 1998, M.A. (Developmental Psychology), Loyola University, Chicago, IL. 1993, B. A. (Psychology) University of Missouri at Columbia, Columbia, MO. – 2009-2012, Senior Researcher, Chapin Hall, Center for Children at University of Chicago, Chicago, IL. 2001-2009 Senior Research Scientist, National Organization for Research at the University of Chicago (NORC). 2003-2009, Instructor of Research Methodology, Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership, Chicago, IL. 1999-2000, Instructor of Statistic, Loyola University, Chicago, IL. Since 2014 at GISC.

Susanne Brendl, Administrator

Susanne Brendl comes from Paderborn. – 1987, Certificate in Business Administration (Staatl. Geprüfter Wirtschaftsassistent-Industrie), Hochschulseminare Ludwigshafen. 1992, MBA, St. John’s University, New York. – 1987-1990, Marketing Research Analyst, BASF AG, Ludwigshafen/Mannheim. 1992-1995, Associate Fund Accountant, Deutsche Bank Securities Corporation, New York. – 2003-2007, Trustee, German Division, École Internationale à Fontainbleau, France. Languages: German, English, French. Since 2010 at GISC.

Sonja Manhart

Sonja Manhart grew up in Kanton St. Gallen. – 1986, Certificate of Proficiency in English, English Language Institute, Dublin. 1983,Diplom in Business (Handelsdiplom), Kantonschule Sargans, Kanton St. Gallen. – 1996-2014, Administrator, Schweizerisches Generalkonsulat, Chicago, IL. 1992-96, Administrator, Schweizerisches Generalkonsulat, Johannesburg, South Africa. – 1991-92, Administrative Intern (Konsulardienstanwärterin), Schweizerisches Generalkonsulat, Marseille, France. 1990-91, Administrative Intern (Konsulardienstanwärterin), Eidgenössisches Departement für Auswärtige Angelegenheiten, Bern. 1986-90, Secretary (Sekretärin), Prime Computer (Schweiz) AG, Zürich. 1983-85, Secretary (Sekretärin) Schweizerische Lebensversicherungs- und Rentenanstalt, Zürich. Languages: German, English, French, Italian, Spanish. Since 2014 at GISC.

Preschool Faculty

Nelia Janik

Nelia Janik comes from Bonn. -2013-Present, Course Work in Art and Education, Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, IL. 2005-2007, Course Work (French, Art), Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, IL. 2008-2010, Studies in Interior Design, Harrington College of Design, Chicago, IL. – 2002-2008, Interpreter for English, German, Spanish and Italian for several international Organisations. Since 2003, music performances, recordings and Song Writer in Latin American and Popmusic in Germany and USA; Singer with various bands and orchestras in Chicago. 2008-2011, German Teacher, Language Stars, Chicago, IL, Inlingua, Chicago, IL. Languages: German, English, Spanish, Italian. Since 2011 at GISC. Teaching Subjects: Art, Music.

Nathalie Kohlhaas

Nathalie Kohlhaas hails from Berlin, but grew up as a diplomat’s child in Instanbul, Ankara, and Moskow. – 2011 State Certified Preschool Teacher (Staatlich geprüfte Erzieherin), Fachschule für Sozialpädagogik, Pestalozzi-Fröbel Haus, Berlin. – 2011-2014, Preschool Teacher, Kinderladen Karl und Karla e.V., Berlin. Internship inWroclaw, Polen: 2010, ENTE Centrum Wspolpracy Europejskiej. Internships in Berlin: 2010, City-Initiative für Eltern- und Kinderprojekte; 2009-10, JFE Gartenhaus an der Marie; 2008-09, S.O.S. Kinderdorf; 2009, Karl und Karla; 2008-09; 2007-08, KITA Elfenland. Languages: German, English, French, Turkish. Since 2014 at GISC. Teaching Subject: Social Sciences.

Anika Pierlings

Anika Pierlings grew up in Nordrhein-Westfalen. – 2012 Second Teaching Certificate for German and English at Elementary and Lower Secondary Schools (Zweite Staatsprüfung für das Lehramt an Grund-, Haupt- und Realschulen), Landesprüfungsamt für Zweite Staatsprüfung, Ministerium für Schule und Weiterbildung, Nordrhein Westfalen. 2008, First Teaching Certificate for German and English at Elementary and Lower Secondary Schools (Erste Staatsprüfung für das Lehramt an Grund-, Haupt- und Realschulen), Bergische Universität Wuppertal, Wuppertal. – 2012-14, Teacher (Grades 1-10), Gemeinschaftsgrundschule Lindenschule, Krefeld. 2010-2012, Teacher (Grades 1-3), Gemeinschaftsgrundschule Büttgen, Kaarst. 2009-10, Teacher (Grade 4), Gemeinschaftsgrundschule Heinsberg II, Heinsberg. 2009, Au Pair, Boston, MA. Languages: German, English, French. Since 2014 at GISC. Teaching Subjects: German, Mathematics.

Danica Polanski

Danica Polanski comes from Hamburg. – 2014, M.A. (Bilingual-Bicultural Education), DePaul University, Chicago, IL; 2011, B.A. and Illinois Teaching Certificate for K-9 , Concordia University, River Forest, IL . – 2006-2011, Nanny for children ages 7 months to 12 years including several children with learning difficulties (ADS, ADHS, autism)for several families in the Chicago area. Languages: German, English. Since 2011 at GISC. Teaching Subjects: German, Mathematics.

Anne Schmetzer

Anne Schmetzer grew up in the Stuttgart area. – 2010, State Certified Preschool Teacher (Staatlich anerkannte Erzieherin), Eugen-Grimmiger-Schule Crailsheim, Fachschule für Sozialpädagogik, Crailsheim. – 2013-14, Au Pair, EurAuPair-AuPair, Chicago, IL. 2011-2013, Preschool Teacher, Safari Kinderhaus, Crailsheim. 2010-2011, Au Pair, EurAuPair-AuPair, Chicago, IL. Languages: German, English. Since 2014 at GISC. Teaching Subjects: Sport, Practial Life.

Karola Trockenbrodt

Karola Trockenbrodt grew up in Aschaffenburg. – 1997, State Certified Nurse (Staatlich Geprüfte Krankenschwester), Regierung von Unterfranken, Würzburg, Bayern. – 2013-14, Caregiver, Best In-Home Services Inc., Northbrook, IL. 2012-2013, Nurse at Neurology/Neurosurgery Critical Care Unit, Klinikum Aschaffenburg, Aschaffenburg. 1997-2012, Nurse at Neurology Ward, Klinikum Aschaffenburg, Aschaffenburg. Languages: German, English. Since 2014 at GISC. Teaching Subject: Natural Sciences.

Gisela Wiese

Gisela Wiese hails from Meschede, Sauerland. – 1998, Montessori Diplom, Montessori Vereinigung e.V., Aachen. 1997, State Certified Special Education Teacher (Staatlich anerkannte Heilpädagogin), Fachschule für Heilpädagogik, Berufsbildende Schulen Bergkloster Bestwig, Bestwig. 1979, State Certified Preschool Teacher (Staatlich anerkannte Erzieherin), Berufsbildende Schule Prüm, Prüm. – 2012-14, Assisting Disabled with Life Skills (Lebenshilfe für Behinderte), Ambulant Betreutes Wohnen (ABW), Meschede. 205-2012, Preschool Teacher, Integrativer Kindergarten Rappelkiste, Bremke. 2004-05, Preschool Teacher, Kindergarten St. Franziskus, Meschede. 2001-03, Assisting Disabled with Life Skills (Lebenshilfe für Behinderte), Westfälisches Pflegezentrum und Förderzentrum, Warstein. 1999-201, Special Education Teacher (Heilpädagogin), Sozialwerk Sauerland e.V. Olsberg, Olsberg. 1998-99, Montessori Special Education Teacher (Montessori Heilpädagogin), Kindergarten Vogelbruch, Hüsten. 1996, Various Special Education Internships. 1994-95, Preschool Teacher (Erzieherin), Kindergarten St. Johannes, Eversberg. Languages: German, English. Since 2014 at GISC. Teaching Subjects: Social Studies, Mathematics.

Kindergarten and Elementary School Faculty

Cornelia Babbitt

Cornelia Babbitt hails from Ohio. 1977, Artistic Diplom in Cello (Künstlerische Reifeprüfung in Cello), Prof. Andre Navarra, Musikhochschule Detmold, Detmold. 1975, State Certified Music Teacher (StMP) (Staalich Geprüfte Musiklehrerin), Musikhochschule Detmold, Detmold. – 1977-Present, Cellist with various orchestras and ensembles: Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Substitute), Lyric Opera of Chicago (Substitute), Chicago Opera Theater, Chicago Philharmonic, Chicago Piano Trio, Concertante di Chicago, CUBE Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, Orion Chamber Ensemble, Kammerorchester Tibor Varga, Orchester des Südwestdeutschen Rundfunks, Orchester des Bavaria Film Studios, Ensemble International des Huits Violoncellistes. Accompanying orchestra for: Ray Charles, Julio Iglesias, Earth, Wind, and Fire. Languages: English, German. Since 2014 at GISC. Teaching Subject: Music.

Laura Eddelbüttel

Laura Eddelbüttel hails from Hamburg. – 2013, M.A. (German Studies), Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL. 2011, Studies in Media, Art and Communication, University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, Stevens Point, WI. 2010, B.A. (Art, Music, Media), Philipps-Universität, Marburg. – 2011-2013, Teaching Assistant, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL. 2008-2012, Assistant to Arts Manager in the Communication Department, Hypo Vereinsbank, Hamburg. 2009, TV Editor, Fernsehmacher, Hamburg. 2007, TV Editor, MTV Media, Helsinki (Finland). Languages: German, English, Finnish, French. Since 2013 at GISC. Teaching Subjects: Mathematics, Social Sciences/History.

Mike Helfmann

Mike Helfmann hails from Bielefeld. – 2009, Teaching Certificate for English as a Second Language (ESL, K-12), Texas State Board for Educator Certification Standard, Austin, TX. 2005, Teaching Certificate for Special Education (K-12), Texas State Board for Educator Certification Standard, Austin,TX. 2002, B. A. (Psychology), St. Edward’s University, Austin, TX. – 2011-2012, German Teacher, Language Stars, Washington, DC. 2004-2010, Teacher for Disadvantaged Students (elementary & middle School), Leander Independent School District, Cedar Park, TX. 2003-2004, Teaching Assistant for Disadvantaged Students, Austin Independent School District, Austin, TX. 2000-2002, Teaching Assistant, St. Edward’s University, Austin, TX..2000-2002, Teaching Assistant, St. Edward’s University, Austin, TX. 1994-1999, Early Childhood Special Intervention Specialist, Austin Travis County MHMR. 1992-1993, Integrationspecialist for children with disabilities, Montessori Kinderhaus, Bielefeld. Languages: Deutsch, English. Since 2012 at GISC. Teaching Subjects: English, Natural Sciences.

Nelia Janik

Nelia Janik comes from Bonn. – 2005-2007, Course Work (French, Art), Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, IL. 2008-2010, Studies in Interior Design, Harrington College of Design, Chicago, IL. – 2002-2008, Interpreter for English, German, Spanish and Italian for several international Organisations. Since 2003, music performances, recordings and Song Writer in Latin American and Popmusic in Germany and USA; Singer with various bands and orchestras in Chicago. 2008-2011, German Teacher, Language Stars, Chicago, IL, Inlingua, Chicago, IL. Languages: German, English, Spanish, Italian. Since 2011 at GISC. Teaching Subject: Art.

Marijke Japs

Marijke Japs hails from Dortmund. – 2011, Second Teaching Certificate (Zweites Staatsexamen für die Laufbahn des Höheren Schuldienstes an Gymnasien), Baden-Württemberg, Ministerium für Kultus, Jugend und Sport, Stuttgart. 2011, Teaching Certificate for German as a Foreign Language, Staatliches Seminar für Didaktik und Lehrerbildung, Stuttgart. 2010, Teaching Certificate for Media in Education, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität, Münster. 2009, First Teaching Certificate for High and Comprehensive Schools (Erstes Staatsexamen für die Laufbahn des Höheren Schuldienstes an Gymnasien und Gesamtschulen; English, French), Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität, Münster. – 2010-2011, Teacher, Max-Planck-Gymnasium, Böblingen. 2006-2007, Teaching Assistant for German, Lycée de la Mare Carrée, Moissy-Cramayel, Frankreich. Languages: German, English, French. Since 2011 at GISC. Teaching Subject: French.

Katharina Koch

Katharina Koch grew up in Mannheim and Augsburg. – 2013, Illinois Professional Educator License for English and German, Grades 6-12. 2011, Second Teaching Certificate for English and German at Secondary Schools, Grades 5-12 (Zweites Staatsexamen für die Laufbahn des Höheren Schuldienstes an Gymnasien), Baden-Württemberg, Ministerium für Kultus, Jugend und Sport. 2009, First Teaching Certificate for English and German at Secondary Schools Grades 5-12 ( Erstes Staatsexamen), Albert-Ludwig-Universität, Freiburg. 2008, M. A. (European Comparative Literary Studies), University of Kent, Canterbury, UK. – 2013-14, German Teacher (Grades 6-8), Community School Unit District 200, Woodstock, IL. 2012-13, Financial Aid Advisor, Career Education Cooperation, Schaumburg, IL. 2010-11, Instructor for ESL and German Grades 5-12, Peter-Petersen-Gymnasium, Mannheim. 2009, German Language and Culture Instructor, English Opens Doors, Santiago, Chile. Languages: German, English, Spanish. Since 2014 at GISC. Teaching Subjects: English, Social Sciences/History.

Petra Obritzberger

Petra Obritzberger hails from Austria. – 2008, Teacher Certification for Michigan (Language Arts, Mathematics, German). 2000, Dipl.-Päd. and Teacher Certification (English, Geography, Economics), Pädagogische Akademie der Erzdözese Wien. 2009-2011, Teacher, Grade 3, Deutsche Schule Ann Arbor, MI. 2009–2010, Teacher, Grades 2-4, The International School, Farmington Hills, MI. 2007-2009, Teacher for German, Grade 1, German Language Center, Bloomfield Hills, MI. 2000-2007, Teacher in Middle School, Grades 5 – 8, Wien. 2003-2007, Tour Guide for groups of Austrian students to Great Britain, Malta, Slowenia.- 2007, Training as a Rescue Diver. Languages: German, English. Since 2011 at GISC. Teaching Subjects: German, Sport.

Marianne Serex

Marianne Serex comes from Kanton Thurgau in Switzerland. – 2012. Certificate of English Four-Course ESL Curriculum, DePaul University, Chicago, IL. 2000, Diplome for Teaching French as a Foreign Language (Diplôme d’aptitude à l’enseignement du français langue étrangère), Ecole des Français Moderne, Université de Lausanne, Lausanne. 1998, Certificate in French Language, Litterature and Civilisation (Certificat de langue, de littérature et de civilisation françaises), Ecole de Français Moderne, Université de Lausanne, Lausanne. 1997, License for Dyscalculia- and Legasthenytherapy (Zusatzausbildung für Dyskalkulie- und Legasthenietherapie und Spezielle Förderung), Lehrerinnen- und Lehrerweiterbildung Kanton Luzern, Luzern. 1983, Certificat as Legastheny Therapist (Legasthenie-Therapeutin), Sanitäts- und Erziehungsdepartement des Kanton Thurgau, Frauenfeld. 1979-80, French Language Studies (Séjour linguistique), Université de la Sorbonne, Paris. 1975, Teaching Certificate for K-6 (Wählbarkeitszeugnis für Primarlehrer), Erziehungsdepartement des Kanton Thurgau. – 2006-11, Tutor for German as a second language, preschool-high school and adults, Le Mont-sur-Lausanne VD. 2000-06, Teacher for German as a second language, grades 5-9, Etablissement Scolaire de Savigny-Forel, Vaud. 1989-96, Teacher for special needs students (Dyslexia, Dyscalculia), grades 2-6, Primarschule Cham, Zug. 1975-81, Elementary School Teacher, grades 1-3, Primarschule Bischofszell, Thurgau. Languages: German, French, English. Since 2014 at GISC. Teaching Subjects: French, German as a second language.

Janine Wilds

Janine Wilds grew up in Kanton Aargau, Switzerland. 2014, Teaching Certificate for K-6. School of Teacher Education, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland. 2002, B.A. (Theatre Arts and Communications), California State University, Fullerton, CA. 1997-98, Studied Communication and German Literature and Linguistics, Universität Zürich, Zürich. – 2013, Tutor, Private German Lessons, Chicago. 2013, Teacher, all subjects in Grade 2, Primarschule Rupperswil, Aargau. 2010-12, Freelancer in Zürich: Casting Director, Producer and Editor in various TV and film productions in Switzerland; Lead Actress in Series „Best Friends“, B&B Endemol, Zürich. 2010, Strategic Marketing Manager, Privat Bank Sarasin, Zürich. 2008-09, Production Coordinator, Turnus Film AG, Condor Films, Zürich and Purple Pictures (subsidiary), Santa Monica, CA. 2006-08, Communication Specialist, Ernst & Young, Zürich. 2004-06, Production Manager, C-Films AG, Zürich. 2003-04, Moderation/Editorial Staff, Radio Argovia, Brugg, Aargau. Languages: German, English, French, Italian. Since 2014 at GISC. Teaching Subjects: German, Theater, Physical Education, Mathematics.

Before/After Care

David Ben-Porat

David Ben-Porat hails from Norwalk, CT. – 2005, Diplom-Instrumentalist (Trombone, Jazz, Pop), Hochschule für Musik „Hanns Eisler“, Berlin. – Since 2009, Leader/Composer/Singer with own group DBP, Trombonist/Member, Sidewalk Chalk, performances with Lupe Fiasco (appeared on the „Tonight Show“ with Conan O’Brian), Talib Kweli, Res, Brother Ali, pre-band for Company of Thieves, J DaVeY, Questlove of the Roots, Wu Tang Clan, De La Soul, El DeBarge, arrangements for strings and brass for various artists. 2005-2009, Composer/Instrumentalist/Trombonist, Singer with various music groups and bands in Europe, Mousse T, Eva Be, James Kakande, Miss Platnum, Ohrbooten, Jazzanova. Languages: English, German, Spanish, Hebrew. Since 2009 at GISC.

Matthew Drahozal

Matthew Drahozal grew up in Lawrence, KS. – 2014, B.A. (German), Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL. 2012, Study Abroad, Universität Bayreuth, Bayreuth.- 2014-Present, Cashier, Guest Service Representative, Barnes & Nobles, Evanston, IL. Languages: English, German. Since 2013 at GISC.