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Senior Leadership Team

Dr. Michael Schramm,
Managing Director

Mike SchrammMike Schramm comes to us from the Uruguayan-American School in Montevideo, a PK-12 school with both Spanish and English tracks leading to an IB Diploma, a Uruguayan High School Diploma and a US High School Diploma.

Mike began his career in the United States as an elementary school teacher and then as a teacher and coordinator of gifted and talented programs. He then embarked on an international career, holding various positions at several highly acclaimed and very large international schools.

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Mike spent five years at the Singapore American School as a teacher and then Director of Curriculum and Professional Development. Next, he spent nine years at the International School in Santiago, Chile as the Assistant Elementary School Principal and then the Director of Curriculum and Professional Development. While at these schools, he helped with the consolidation of three campuses into one, led the development of long-range technology plans and led teacher development programs.

In addition to leading the Uruguayan-American School, Mike has served on accreditation teams and participates on a curriculum-writing team for International Schools. He has pursued numerous professional development courses and earned a Ed.D. while teaching in North Carolina.

Sally Thorogood,
School Principal

Sally Thorogood 160x200I was born in England, near London, and studied, lived and worked in several different parts of the country before moving to Munich in 1997. I have been an educator for more than two decades and have taught children from kindergarten through fifth grade, initially in the English state school system and from 1998-2012 in Munich International School (MIS). My family moved to Munich as a result of my husband’s two year secondment with BMW but stayed far longer, having become positively immersed in the international school environment, IB curriculum, Bavarian countryside, and German language and culture. Soon after joining the MIS community as a parent, I was asked to sign up for substitute teaching and the following year I accepted the position of Grade 2 homeroom teacher. Subsequently I held the positions of PYP coordinator and Junior School Assistant Principal.

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During my years in Munich I completed the Certificate of International School Leadership and trained as a School Visitor for the International Baccalaureate Organisation, leading school authorization and evaluation visits in a variety of international schools from 2006 onwards. Many of these visits involved working closely with Middle School and High School administrators and my experience as a parent of children studying the MYP and IB Diploma also broadened my knowledge base of the IB as a whole. In 2008 I began studying part-time for my Masters in Education through Bath University in England and earned my M.Ed. in July 2014.

By 2012, our children, James and Jenni, had graduated from different universities in England and based themselves in Munich and London respectively. So my husband (Mark) and I decided we were ready for a new adventure and were delighted to have the opportunity to become positively immersed in the GAIS school community and life in California.

I am excited to be extending my responsibilities to K-8 Principal in the coming year after three years in the role of Elementary School Principal. I am particularly looking forward to reconnecting with many of the students and parents I have known in the younger grades, and working alongside the Middle School teachers as we implement the Next Chapter of the Middle Years Program.

When I am not working I enjoy singing, reading, playing tennis, skiing and walking in the mountains or by the ocean.


Heike Schmalstieg,
Preschool Principal

Heike Schmalstieg

I have been in the Bay Area for the last 20 years and started teaching at GAIS in 1994. I have taken a few breaks from the preschool to stay home with my two children. I am excited to be back full time, taking over the position as preschool director from Carol Ferrieri, who had taken that position 8 years ago, when I was pregnant with my first son.

The preschool has always had a very enthusiastic and dedicated staff and I look forward to working with them again.

Read more about Heike Schmalstieg

I have taught in preschools in Germany and the US and also taught German and English as a second language to children and adults in the US as well as in Japan. I love spending time with the kids. When I get the time I love reading, hiking and skiing.