New Electronics Course and Textile Course starting October 25/26th: Register here!

Open House Next Week! October 26, 2017 18:30 - 20:00

Meet the Staff - 2017-18 School Year

 

School Operations

Anjanette Gonzales Anjanette Gonzales
Director of Operations

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 also Director of Operations over the past 7 years. Anjanette enjoys spending time outdoors and playing piano in her free time.

"Different languages and cultures have always been a part of my life. I am grateful that the SAGA experience is allowing me to pass on the gift of being bilingual to my children!"

 

Eva-Maria Hartmann Eva-Maria Hartmann
Office Assistant

Eva 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

 

Elementary Program

Angrid Henning Dr. Angrid-Kathrin Henning
Director of Elementary Education

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."

 

Melanie Bohmeyer Melanie Bohmeyer
Kindergarten Teacher

Frau Bohmeyer grew up in the East Westphalia region, Germany. She received her Masters degree in Education with majors in Math, German and PE from the University of Bielefeld. Melanie has eight years of teaching experience as an elementary school teacher in Germany as well as one year of teaching preschool in the US. In 2013 she and her husband moved to Valencia, CA and had her daughter Cleo. Since 2015 they live in Bothell, WA. She loves working with kids and enjoys traveling. Fitness is also an important part of her life and Melanie is a certified fitness instructor.

"Education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening to words but by experiences in the environment." ― Maria Montessori

 

Anja Blesch Anja Blesch
First/Second Grade Teacher, Art Teacher

Frau Blesch joins us from Überlingen, Germany. Anja has a Master of Arts in "Europalehramt" from the Pädagogische Hochschule Karlsruhe. She has nine years teaching experience with a background in bilingual education. Anja moved to Seattle last summer and has enjoyed living in the Pacific Northwest and her experiences at the SAGA School!

"Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow." -Antony J. D'Angelo

 

Judith Menke Judith Menke
Second Grade 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
Third - Fifth Grade Teacher

Verena 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

 

Fiona Brechtmann Fiona Brechtmann
Elementary Teacher Assistant

Fiona 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."

 

Clay Oakey Clay Oakey
Elementary English Teacher, Elementary Co-teacher (Math)

Clay 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 has just completed certification in Early Childhood Education at North Seattle College.

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

 

Sabine Endrigkeit Sabine Endrigkeit
Elementary Music

Sabine 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

Anita 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

Dorit 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

Silvia 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

Jutta 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."

 

Janet Scholz Janet Scholz
Preschool Teacher Assistant

Janet 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. 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."

 

Lina Hanks Lina Hanks
PreK Teacher Assistant

Lina grew up in Lehre, a small town in northern Germany. She attended college in nearby Braunschweig where she received a degree in Kindergarten and Early Childcare Teaching. After graduation, she moved to Dresden where she worked at a preschool/kindergarten for six years with children between the ages of one to six. From her years of teaching, she has gained valuable experience working with children of different backgrounds and learning styles. Lina enjoys traveling, gardening, origami and other handicrafts.

"I enjoy seeing how children learn, develop and grow. They are eager and enthusiastic to experience new things. It also impresses me how children can learn from each other. I'm glad I can be a part of their development process."

 

Semira Macias Semira Macias
PreK Teacher Assistant

Semira was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She was raised in Eltville/Erbach am Rhein. She attended Wiesbaden's Louise Schröder Schule, where she earned her technical degree in Baking. Later, Semira did her practical training at Bethanien Kinder-und Jugenddorf Marienhöhe to gain skills working with children. She used her experience from the Jugendorf to travel abroad to the U.S. as an au pair for Culture Care Au Pair, whom she later worked for as a local childcare care coordinator for families in Seattle. Semira went on to earn her early childhood certification from North Seattle Community College.

"I appreciate that kids live in the moment. It is great to be able to share those moments with them because it is an opportunity for both of us to learn from one another."

 

Nora Stone Nora Stone
Preschool Teacher Assistant

Nora was born in Northern Michigan. She has German ancestry and began studying the language seriously in 2002. Spending a year as an exchange student in Hamburg cemented her interest in German language and culture. After completing her BA in German Studies and Linguistics in 2013, she became interested in early childhood education, and is very excited to combine her two passions – German and preschool – working at SAGA!

"You are not here merely to prepare to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand." — Woodrow Wilson

 

Gabriela Priss Gabriela Priss
Preschool Teacher Assistant

Gabi 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

Barbara 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

 

Katie O'Brien Katie (Katharina) O'Brien
COOP Care Scheduler

Katie 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. Katie 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