Meet the GSM Teachers

Please meet our team of highly qualified and motivated teachers and administrators. We are very much looking forward to building this school with the support and enthusiasm of such a fine group of educators!

Admin Team

  • Leonie Bell

    Preschool Teacher & Theater Enrichment | German Language

  • Wiebke Brardt

    Math Teacher 5th Grade & Inquiry | German Language

  • Jamila Cheaib

    Kindergarten Teacher | German Language

  • Kayleigh Chen

    Class Teacher 4th Grade & Kindergarten | English Language

    Kayleigh was born and raised on the beautiful island of Taiwan. She later moved to New York where she received her B.S. in both Childhood Education and Special Education at New York University. She spent the past two years assisting teachers in New York Public Schools, and is excited to begin her journey at German School Manhattan.
    As a prior student and teaching assistant at an international bilingual school, Kayleigh identifies as and with third culture individuals, “third culture” being the mixed identity that a child assumes, influenced both by their caregivers’ culture and the culture in which they are raised- similar to that of the students and staff of German School Manhattan. She is dedicated to empowering students through building an inclusive, student-centered, and culturally responsive environment, and to foster a sense of belonging whilst affirming each students identity.

  • Lydia Chrisman

    Class Teacher 2nd Grade, Music Teacher | German Language

    Born in Chicago and raised in Zurich, Lydia grew up in a bilingual home filled with music, dance and art. After graduating from a specialized music high school, Lydia moved to Vermont to study dance and voice at Bennington College. Lydia moved to NYC in 2012 and has been teaching music and movement in public and private schools grades PreK – 4th grade through Third Street Music School and Turtle Bay Music School. Lydia is excited to broaden the curriculum to include German songs.

  • Nicola (Nici) Davis

    Dance Teacher | German Language

    Nicola (Nici) grew up in Germany and moved to NYC four years ago. She has always been passionate about working with children and gained most of her experience from teaching dance to children of all ages (3 y/o – 12 y/o) for the past 10 years.

    Nici’s academic career has supported her teaching skills during this decade as Nici graduated from a technical high school with emphasis on psychology and pedagogy and from a vocational school for performing arts and dance pedagogy, both in Germany. Nici is currently attending an online Bachelor’s Program, studying Social Work at the IUBH – Internationale Hochschule.

    Besides teaching dance, Nici worked at a German Pre – School in Brooklyn, teaching a class of 12 children (ages 2 – 5), which inspired her to emphasize her studies to Early Childhood Education. Having a positive impact on young children is very important to her as well as creating a nurturing environment in which children love to learn and play.

    Nici will be teaching Dance at GSM. Dance and movement not only brings a lot of joy, it also teaches us coordination, rhythm, group dynamics and improves our fine and gross motor skills and even our memory, when we learn choreography.

  • Leonie Dionisio

    Math Teacher & Coordinator | German language

    Born and raised in Salzburg, Austria, Leonie has always been passionate about language and cross-cultural learning having spent material parts of her adult life in Austria, France and the US.
    Leonie obtained her masters degree in childhood education, bilingual-bicultural education and special education at Teachers College Columbia University.
    She worked in the French-English classroom at PS84 teaching 5th grade.
    Leonie is excited to work with the GSM students. Her goal is to foster deep understanding and critical thinking by creating authentic and real life learning scenarios in a bilingual environment.
    Leonie resides in Greenwich Village with her husband and their two boys, who are being raised as true bilingual and bicultural kids.

  • Martina Doppler

    Class Teacher 4th Grade | German Language

    Martina is originally from Graz, Austria, where she studied at the University of Graz and earned her degree in German and History. Following her studies she taught fundamental and advanced German, history, social studies and political education at a Gymnasium (Middle and High School) in Graz. Furthermore, she was responsible for the German placement tests in DaF and DaZ, and was an active member in the school’s bullying prevention team.

  • Jonas Esser

    Music Enrichment & After School Teacher | German Language

  • Maryam Farshchi

    Pre K Teacher | German Language

  • Julianne Garofalo

    Class Teacher 2nd Grade & IB Coordinator | English Language

    Julie received her Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from Kent State University and is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from Hunter College. Originally from Pennsylvania, Julie moved to NYC in 2018 and has been teaching in the city since. Having undergraduate experience teaching English in The Netherlands and receiving her International Baccalaureate certificate, Julie values inquiry-based learning, children’s natural curiosities, and bilingual education. Julie is extremely excited to teach at GSM where a child-centered and bilingual curriculum helps shape future global citizens.

  • David Hazibar

    Class Teacher 3rd Grade | German Language

    Born and raised in Vienna, Austria, David has always been interested in working with younger children. After his studies in elementary school education, David taught students in an elementary school in Vienna, Austria, for six years. Besides that, he holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Science (University of Vienna), and he worked in a primary school in Denmark and at the teacher college (Pädagogische Hochschule Wien) in Vienna.
    David’s goal is to meet each child where they are and to support them to develop at their own pace. He is excited to work with the GSM students and families. 

  • Sandra Kluge

    Tap Dance Teacher | German Language

  • Deborah Mouallem

    Preschool Teacher Pre03 | German Language

  • Annell Moya

    Preschool Music & Theater Teacher | English Language

  • Aurelia Ott

    Class Teacher 1st grade | German Language

    Aurelia Ott was born and raised in Switzerland and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Primary Education. Early in her career she was a Lower School teacher in a small Swiss village for 9 years where she also shared her joy of teaching by training future teachers.

    Later, she was a teacher at the German International School in White Plains, NY and a substitute teacher at over 25 schools in Zurich.

    She is excited to help build the young and thriving German School Manhattan with her professional knowledge and to work closely with the staff and families.

    Aurelia feels that successful learning happens through personal connection and individual coaching for each and every child. Her classroom is cheerful and playful, with the right amount of structure and rules to ensure a safe and homey atmosphere for everyone.

  • Sophie Renners

    Preschool Assistant Teacher | German Language

  • Wendy Rivera

    Class Teacher 3rd Grade & Spanish Teacher | English Language

  • Ina Seow

    Preschool Director | German Language

    Ina has been the director of the Deutsche Sprachschule since 2016, a German Saturday school that teaches kids as young as 3 all the way to adults. Ina is an experienced German teacher, you might have met her during camp Wunderbar (she’s run the summer camp at GSM for the past two years). Ina lives in Queens and is the mother of two teenagers.

  • Dana Sirois

    Preschool Teacher | German Language

    Dana is a visual artist and preschool teacher. She has most recently worked at Pusteblume. She has a daughter and lives with her family in Brooklyn.

  • Mitchell Williams

    Class Teacher 1st Grade | English Language

  • Lara Winnesberg

    Head of German Department, Class Teacher 5th grade | German Language

    Having moved to NYC only in 2019, Lara is a “freshly-baked New Yorker.” She holds a B.A. and a Masters of Education from Cologne University (German and English literary studies and Special Education) and she has taught at elementary and secondary schools in Germany and also at the German School Nairobi. Her teaching experience includes teaching social and behavioral skills to underprivileged children, children of refugees and students with learning difficulties. Lara trusts that every child is a capable learner. She strives to foster individual and independent learning to empower and enable students to make socially responsible and conscious decisions.

  • Barbara Remus

    Theater Instructor & Managing Director Galli Theater New York

    Barbara Remus is the Managing Director of the Galli Theater New York, a theater that is located within the German School Manhattan. Barbara, born and raised in Germany, has been living in the US for 20 years, and calls New York City her home. She and her team are excited to be hosting theater classes not only as part of the school’s afterschool program as well as camps and workshops for kids and adults in German as well as English and Spanish. The Galli Theater NY is also offering live fairytale-  and educational performances for families as well as shows for adults on their stage within the GSM. Please see their website for further details:

  • Beatrice Beckmann

    Librarian (Kinderbooks) | German Language

    Beatrice Beckmann is the founder and director of KinderBooks NYC, a subscription based library for German children’s books.
    Born in London, raised in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, she grew up in a bilingual household surrounded by books.
    After graduating from University of Passau (M.A. in American and French Literature and Italian Linguistics), she worked for many years in publishing as a publicist and literary agent, before coming to New York in 2013.  Today she is the mother of two bilingual boys. Frustrated with the choices for children’s books in German she found in New York, she founded KinderBooks in late 2016, to share her passion for books and language and help other parents on the sometimes difficult quest of raising a bilingual child.
    She offers afterschool classes at GSM, and German story times in NYC. For further information see: