Meet the Staff - 2019-20 School Year


School Operations and Program Support

Anjanette Gonzales Anjanette Gonzales
Head of School

Anjanette Gonzales was born and raised in Arlington, Texas and learned German at an early age from her mother and grandmother. Anjanette lived in Finland as an expat and assisted in managing a software company in Austin, Texas prior to her children joining the SAGA community. Anjanette has worked with SAGA as a Board Member and as Director of Operations in the past. In March 2019, she began to lead SAGA as its Head of School. Anjanette enjoys spending time outdoors with her children, coaching soccer, traveling, and baking in her free time.

"Different languages and cultures have always been a part of my life. I am grateful that SAGA is able to give this gift and an excellent education to its students and to the Seattle community."


Eva-Maria Hartmann Eva-Maria Hartmann
Administrative Assistant

Eva-Maria Hartmann was born in Seattle to German parents and raised bilingually. The majority of her family lives near Bremen in northern Germany. Eva is passionate about translation and language education, and graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor’s degree in Italian and European Studies and a minor in French. In her free time she enjoys baking and spending time with her two dogs.

"The world is a book and those who do not travel only read one page." - Saint Augustine


Angrid Henning Dr. Angrid-Kathrin Henning
Special Projects Director

Frau Henning was born in Hannover and moved to the US ten years ago with her family. She has served as the Principal of the Eastside German Language School (EGLS) in Bellevue since 2009 and worked as a Paraeducator for the Kent School District since 2011. Angrid has her PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Stuttgart and has past experience helping The SAGA School in science curriculum and substituting in the elementary school classes.

""One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way." ‒Frank Smith. Seeing my own children grow up bilingual makes the opportunity to be a part of SAGA's bilingual education program even more enjoyable."


Janet Scholz Janet Scholz
Program Assistant

Frau Scholz is from Erfurt in the center of Germany. She spent some years in Kassel and graduated with a University degree in Social Work and Social Education. She worked with children ages four to twelve and youth from diverse social and cultural backgrounds in different educational centers in Germany. In Seattle, Janet directed an afterschool program in an Elementary school. She looks forward to supporting the SAGA preschool and elementary programs this year. Janet enjoys the outdoors, dancing, music, and is a massage therapist.

"I enjoy being part of the journey of the young children at SAGA, assisting them in their learning and exploring, and growing their voice. It is such a delight to experience a group of children being excited in play and absorbed in a project."


Elementary Program

Anika Hahn Anika Elfi Hahn
Senior Educator / Elementary Teacher, Art Program Teacher

Frau Hahn joins us direct from Hamburg, Germany. Anika received her Masters in Education for Primary Education from the University of Lüneburg. During her studies Frau Hahn focused on "German as a second language". She has worked as an assistant teacher at a German Immersion school in Milwaukee and for seven years as a head teacher at an English-Immersion School in Hamburg. After a sabbatical, during which Frau Hahn traveled around the world, she returned to teach at the Westerschule, a regular elementary school in Hamburg. Anika enjoys comics and sports, and traveling with her family and friends. She joins SAGA for her second year and is excited to see those little sparks in the children’s eye when they learned something new.

"I say if your knees aren’t green by the end of the day, you ought to seriously re-examine your life." - Bill Watterson


Helga Fuhrmann Helga Fuhrmann
Elementary Teacher

Frau Fuhrmann was born in Seeheim-Jugenheim, Germany, lived in Südhessen (southern part of Hesse) until she moved with her family to Seattle in early 2017. She has a bachelor’s and master's degree in education from Technische Universität Darmstadt. She joins the SAGA Grundschule Team for her second year. Helga enjoys sewing, playing piano and biking as hobbies and is the proud mother of preschooler Oliver.

""Hilf mir, es allein zu tun" - Maria Montessori. I am excited to bring my experience in self-directed learning not only to a German speaking environment, but to a fully cultural immersive community!"


Judith Menke Judith Menke
Elementary Teacher, Sports Teacher

Frau Menke comes from Mannheim, Germany. She received her Education degree, with a focus on PE, German and English, from the University of Heidelberg. She has teaching experience in primary and middle school settings in Ghana, Germany, and Guadalajara, Mexico. She enjoys activities outside and loves hiking in the mountains.

“Do not train children to learning by force and harshness, but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.” - Plato


Verena Smykatz-Kloss Verena Smykatz-Kloss
Elementary Teacher

Frau Smykatz-Kloss comes from Heidelberg, Germany where she attended high school. She received a Masters in Biological Science from the University of Bologna, Italy and later studied Primary Education in Auckland, New Zealand. Verena has worked as a German teacher in a New Zealand State school in Auckland and (for nine and a half years) as a full time teacher at a Waldorf school in Wellington. A highlight for the students was the exchange program with Waldorf schools in German speaking countries, which Verena organized. She loves working with children and in her free time her interests are in German literature and Independent Film.

"I am not afraid of storms for I am learning to sail my ship." - Louisa May Alcott


Clay Oakey Clay Oakey
Elementary English Teacher

Herr Oakey was born and raised in southeastern Idaho. He attended the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas and the University of Utah, in Salt Lake City, Utah. Clay received his Education degree from BYU, with a minor in German and studies in ECE. Mr. Oakey studied German and worked in Germany for two years. He taught for 15 years in the Salt Lake City metropolitan area. He moved to Seattle 5 years ago. He also has a certification in Early Childhood Education at North Seattle College.

"I have only begun to learn."- Michelangelo Buonarroti


Fiona Brechtmann Fiona Brechtmann
Elementary Teacher Assistant

Frau Brechtmann grew up in Bergholz-Rehbrücke, a small town near Berlin before moving to Neufahrn bei Freising in Bavaria. After finishing ninth grade at the Oscar-Maria-Graf Gymnasium she moved to Seattle where she finished High School. She pursued a degree in Psychology and Speech and Hearing Sciences at the University of Washington, graduating with a BA and BS in 2016. During her studies she started teaching at the Eastside German Language School (EGLS) which sparked her interest and passion in teaching language to young children.

"“The limits of my language are the limits of my world.” - Ludwig Wittgenstein. Having had the opportunity to experience different cultures in their own language has been an amazing journey and I want to teach the joy of speaking in a new language."


Sabine Endrigkeit Sabine Endrigkeit
Elementary Music

Frau Endrigkeit grew up in Frankfurt, Germany, in a home that was almost constantly filled with music. She studied recorder and flute with Annegret Lucke at the Akademie für Tonkunst in Darmstadt, Germany as well as music theory, ear training and music history. Sabine continued her flute studies with Paul Dahme at the Dr. Hoch’s Conservatory Frankfurt. Her passion is to help children find their voice in music.

“Musik wäscht den Staub des Alltags von der Seele.” - Bertold Auerbach, Schriftsteller 1812-1882


Preschool Program

Anita Dunlap Anita Dunlap
Director of Preschool Education; Anita's Playgroup, Faustlos, Music & Movement Teacher

Frau Dunlap is an Early Childhood Specialist who completed her education at the Fachakademie for Sozialpädagogik in Nürnberg, Germany. She began her professional career in the US in long term care as a nursing assistant, working as a restorative aide, activity director and restorative supervisor. She has taught at the Eastside German Language School (EGLS) in Bellevue for over fifteen years and is currently the vice-principal. Anita ran a successful German immersion preschool in Kent prior to becoming the first SAGA teacher in 2005 in Issaquah. As one of the initial teachers at SAGA, she taught music to Preschool children, trained to teach the Second Step program, and created our popular summer programs.

"Teaching is the art of assisting discovery and I love to see children discover their abilities!"


Dorit Goodwin Dorit Goodwin
PreK Head Teacher, Elementary Music

Frau Goodwin is a native German speaker from Cuxhaven, Germany and has a wealth of experience as a German teacher in Waldorf and Montessori Schools. Dorit enjoys spending time with her grandson and she also loves to dance! Dorit was trained in Germany to be an elementary teacher and is also a licensed massage therapist. Dorit has been with the SAGA School since 2012.

"Witnessing children's development and expansion of mind and creativity is such a privilege and joy. At the same time, each child gives me the opportunity to learn and grow from them each day. I feel fortunate and grateful to be part of a process like this."


Silvia Phillips Silvia Phillips
Preschool Head Teacher, Kindergarten Faustlos

Frau Phillips is from Regensburg, Germany. Over the past ten years, she has worked with young children both in Germany as well as in the Seattle area. She has led playgroup classes at the Eastside German Language School for one to three year olds, managed an in-home daycare for one to four year olds and assisted in a co-op preschool. Silvia loves art and nature and enjoys sharing that with children. She is also a trained goldsmith and an avid long distance runner.

"I love to spend time with children and see how they learn and grow. I strive to give children room for growth by creating a safe and inspiring environment that allows them to discover their interests and abilities."


Jutta Effler Jutta Effler
Preschool Head Teacher

Frau Effler was born and raised in Speyer, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. She holds a Master's degree in Food Chemistry from the University of Kaiserslautern and received her state certificate (Staatsexamen II). For eight years, she worked as a tenured staff scientist at the Institute for Food Chemistry in Speyer, with tasks ranging from developing analytical methods for determination of organic residues to teaching food chemist trainees. Jutta and her German husband moved to Seattle in 1995 and are raising their three kids bilingually. For ten years, she assisted teachers in various North Seattle College Cooperative preschools and took monthly classes on child development and early childhood education. She also is a seasoned volunteer in Seattle's public school system, having worked with K-12 students as assistant teacher, chaperone and tutor.

"I love being around kids, seeing their excitement about new things they encounter and learn and sharing my experience in raising bilingual kids at SAGA."


Tsha Becker Tsha Becker
PreK Teacher Assistant

Frau Becker was born in the German speaking part of Switzerland. She grew up bilingually speaking Spanish during a 4 year stay in Ecuador in her early childhood. She studied business administration with a major in leadership and human resources and worked in these areas until the birth of her son. Tsha enjoys working with small children knowing that their hearts and minds are wide open and they are eager to discover. She is excited about the opportunity to work as a preschool teacher assistant experiencing how the inquisitive young minds get an immersion into another language and culture, just as she had gotten when she was that age. 

"Look at the world through the eyes of a child."


Gabriela Priss Gabriela Priss
Preschool Teacher Assistant

Frau Priss was born and raised in Braunschweig, Germany. Before she came to Seattle in 1997 she worked as a Certificate Public Accountant. She received her Associate in Arts Early Childhood Education Degree in March 2009. Since 2007 she has taught Preschool at EGLS in Bellevue and from 2009 to 2015 at an American preschool. She has two bilingual children. Gabi enjoys traveling, gardening, yoga and dancing.

“Children see magic because they look for it.” - Christopher Moore


Barbara Brechtmann Barbara Brechtmann
Preschool Teacher Assistant

Frau Brechtmann was born and grew up in North Rhine-Westphalia. She got her degree in child care education in Germany and worked in several Kindergartens and different orphanages with children of all ages. She enjoyed living with her family in Frankfurt, Berlin and Munich. End of 2008, she moved with her husband and two children to the Seattle area. It was fascinating to see how fast her own kids became fluent in spoken and written English.
She is excited to work in a relaxed atmosphere at SAGA, to support the children’s unique gift to be able learn a second language so quickly and to help them develop into confident individuals.

"A different language is a different vision of life." - Federico Fellini


Katharina O'Brien Katharina O'Brien
Preschool Teacher Assistant

Frau O'Brien is from Davis, California, and joined the Seattle community after finishing her degree in German Studies at Scripps College in Southern California. During her time at Scripps, she participated in Study Abroad in Heidelberg, Germany. Katharina has enjoyed working with children for as long as she can remember, and she still enjoys giving swim instruction and music lessons. Working at SAGA has been a perfect combination of her favorite things- getting to have fun working with children, and speaking German.

"Everything that we encounter leaves traces behind. Everything contributes imperceptibly to our education" - Goethe


Elisabeth Jandro Elisabeth Jandro
Preschool Teacher Assistant

Frau Jandro was born and raised in Burgenland-Austria close to the border of Hungary. After she graduated from Law School in Vienna, she moved to Bern- Switzerland and worked in various legal fields for seven years. After she moved to Seattle, she earned a Master's Degree in Criminal Justice at Seattle University. During her studies, she worked as a teaching and research assistant for several years and discovered her passion in teaching others. It was not until her daughter was born, that she realized that she was most fascinated by the very young mind, which is full of curiosity and wonder. Elisabeth looks forward to many years at The SAGA School.


Liane Claassen Liane Claassen
Preschool Teacher Assistant

Frau Claassen is a native German speaker from Oldenburg in Lower Saxony, Germany. She came to the US in 1998 as an Au-pair where she lived in a family with five children. Liane has extensive experience working with children and has taught the "SAGA Parent - Child Kinderstunde" in the past. Her degrees are in early childhood education, "Staatlich anerkannte Erzieherin", from Berufsbildende Schulen Oldenburg in Germany and a bachelor of science in health psychology from Bastyr University in Kenmore, WA. Frau Claassen has also worked as a counselor for nicotine cessation, was co-facilitating a support group for domestic violence survivors and volunteered at CancerLifeLine, all for several years here in Seattle. Liane loves traveling and the outdoors and enjoys sharing this with her three children and husband whenever possible.

"There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One is roots; the other, wings." - Hodding Carter


COOP Care Program

Ashley Fauquet Ashley Fauquet
Childcare Coordinator

Ashley was born and raised in Seattle, Washington where she graduated from a classical high school as one of the first graduating classes. There, she was challenged and mentored to find a passion for learning and eagerness to explore new things. Before going to college, Ashley spent some time traveling Europe and coordinating mission teams for children in Mexico. Ashley went on to pursue Applied Sciences, Psychology and a Nursing Transfer Degree. This started her rewarding career as a health care provider that later developed into patient care management and hospital coordination. Ashley often spends her free evenings in outreach programs for youth in the Seattle area, including mentor building and local community events.

"Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all" - Aristotle