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Team Hort

Stephanye Coyle

Stephanie Coyle
Site Supervisor (Preschool Hort)

My name is Stephanie Coyle and I am very much looking forward to starting my new position as the Site Supervisor of the After-School Program.

I have acquired extensive international experience teaching in Australia, Canada, Germany and the United States. In addition to teaching, I have experience in curriculum development and teacher training.

I grew up in the southern part of Germany, where I later received my Diploma in Social Pedagogy with the focus on Early Childhood Education. During my time in Germany I worked for many years as a Kindergarten Teacher and Group Leader for a Catholic school.

In Australia and Canada I worked in Early Childhood Education. For the last twelve years I taught Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten (Vorschule) in North Carolina where I was promoted to Curriculum Lead of the Grove School in Cary.

Additionally for the last eight years I served as the Education Manager for CarolinaKinder, a non-profit organization that promotes teaching of the German language and culture to children from age 3 to age 16.

Children are my passion in life, they inspire me, and I agree with Angela Schwindt who says “While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about!” I am excited about the new opportunities and challenges ahead of me and I am very much looking forward to getting to know you and your children.

Nadja Nef

Nadja Nef
Site Supervisor (School Hort)

My name is Nadja Nef and I was born in Switzerland and grew up in a town near Zurich. I studied at the University of Teacher Education in Zurich and received my B.A. in Primary Education in 2011. During my studies I had the opportunity to work as an assistant teacher in the United Kingdom for a few weeks. After my studies I worked for two years as a primary school teacher in Zurich.

In April 2013 I moved to the Bay area and I really enjoy living here. I have been working in the afterschool care at GAIS since August 2013 and am very happy to be part of the team.

Jennifer Porscha

Jennifer Porscha
Preschool Hort

Hi! My name is Jennifer Porscha.

I grew up in a small town between Heidelberg and Karlsruhe, Germany.

After finishing my Child Diploma in 2010, I came to the US to be an AuPair. I took care of two wonderful twin-girls in the Bay Area. During that year I met my husband. We recently moved to Redwood Shores and enjoy going for walks or runs with our dog.

I’ve been working at GAIS since May 2012 in the afterschool care (Hort) for the school kids. I am very excited to be working in the Preschool now and be part of the Team.

Doris Penninger

Doris Penninger
School Hort

I was born and raised in a small village in Upper Austria and moved to the Bay Area 8 months ago. I studied economics and pedagogic and received my Diploma in Business and Vocational Education and Training from the Johannes Kepler Universität Linz in 2010. During my studies I also travelled a lot. Beside practical trainings in Scandinavia and cultural trips around Europe I was Au-Pair in the United States (Boston) for two summer periods and took care of two lovely kids. Since this time I have known that I want to work with children and students. After having received my master’s degree I moved to Munich, Germany, where I finished the Internship (Referendariat) for high schools in 2012.

During these two years I thought economics, IT and German from Grade 9 to 11. In my spare time I enjoy travelling, hiking, skiing and spending time with my friends and family. I am very excited to join the GAIS team and looking forward to my new role as a first Grade Teaching Assistant. Teaching at a bilingual school has always been my dream since I came to California.

 

Maria Merintiti 2 120x160

Maria Merentiti
Preschool Hort

My name is Maria Merentiti and I was born in Greece. I studied law and German linguistics in Germany and in Switzerland. I worked as a lawyer for a construction company in Greece and as a German teacher at a private school. In 2011 I moved with my husband to California. I am  very happy to be part of the GAIS Team.

Claudia Weller

Claudia Weller
School Hort

Einen schönen guten Tag!
My name is Claudia Weller and I started working at the school Hort summer 2013. For many years I have been working as a teacher at a German Saturday School and have taught many different age groups and levels. I also have three children of my own who all left the “nest” already.

More about me: Born and raised in Germany (Erlangen), immigrated to the US in 1990, BS in Psychology (minor in German) – University of Pittsburgh, MA in German – SFSU, and currently working on a AS in Child Development.

Katrin Huelse

Katrin Huelse
Preschool Hort

Hello, my name is Katrin Huelse and I’m originally from Germany. I grew up multi-lingual, speaking German, French and English. I came to the U.S. in 2006 as an AuPair and lived with a family in Marin.
 In 2008, I started studying ECE (Early Childhood Education) at local community colleges and graduated in 2013. I have been working with children of various age and developmental levels in a variety of settings for about 10 years and have been loving it since.

I am a spontaneous, creative and active person and I love to travel. Working here I am looking forward to expanding my horizon and knowledge and enrich your children’s experiences and relationship and make it memorable.
 My favorite quote is: “A great life isn’t about great huge things; it’s about small things that make a big difference.”

Franziska Braunstein

Franziska Braunstein
Preschool Hort

My name is Franziska Braunstein. I grew up in a very small town in the beautiful black forest (Germany).

I received my Child Development Diploma in 2010. After my education as a preschool teacher I took one year off from university and became an Au Pair in Woodside where I took care of four lovely kids.

After my Au Pair year I worked from 2011- 2012 as a preschool teacher in Germany, before I started an advanced training in Cologne to become a therapist for children with special needs.

During my Au Pair year I enjoyed working and living in the Bay area. That’s why I decided to come back and work as a teacher at GAIS. I’m very proud and happy to be part of the GAIS team.