Learn, Play, Grow ...  Deutsche Sprache  English Language

Our Team

The GPSSD faculty consists of experienced, qualified teachers of German. Our teachers maintain close ties with Germany, Austria, and Switzerland and share their knowledge of current events as well as the culture of the German-speaking countries to supplement and enhance the language instruction programs.

All our teachers are background checked and certified in CPR and First Aid.

Wiebke Elbe

Wiebke Elbe is co-founder of GPSSD and has been the director since November 2013. Born and raised in Northern Germany, Wiebke and her family moved to San Diego in 2003. She lives with her husband and two bilingual children—a high school and a college student—in North County. Wiebke holds an advanced degree in pharmacy and a California teaching credential. She is a teacher with heart and soul, has extensive experience and loves teaching all levels from pre-K through adults.

As director Wiebke puts all of her energy into the school. Because of her background as a scientist, she enjoys organizing many science and art oriented extracurricular events for her students, as well as the school's innovative full immersion summer camps.


Philipp Habermann

Philipp Habermann, born in Erlangen (Bavaria) and raised in Fulda graduated in 2012, as Master of Science in Education. From 2013 to 2015 he has been working at the German International School in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where he was a member of the school’s administration (Primary School Coordinator). In 2015 he returned to Germany to live together with his wife and to start working at the European School in Herne. In early 2018 he moved to San Diego where his wife does her postdoc fellowship at the USCD.

To accompany, support and inspire pupils in learning (and life) is a task which is compulsory and fulfilling for him. In addition to teaching content in the classroom, he always strives to give pupils a positive attitude towards school and education because "learning should be fun and enjoyable".


Raschel Bouajram

Raschel was born and raised in Forchheim, Bavaria. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Integrated Life Sciences from the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, she moved to San Diego in 2017. Besides working in a Biotech company, she is passionate about teaching the German language.

For several years, she has participated in organizing summer camps for children and teenagers. She also taught science to middle school students and tutored a child with special needs for a few years. In addition, she volunteered as a German language translator for refugees.


Andrea Palczewski

Andrea was born and raised near the city of Bremen, Germany, where she graduated with a degree in International Business Administration from the University of Applied Sciences.

For roughly 17 years, she worked in marketing and project management for companies in Germany, China, and the US. In education, Andrea gathered 8 years of experience teaching German to both children and adults of all ages, different language levels, and cultural backgrounds.

In March 2017, Andrea joined the German Pacific School San Diego, as a German language instructor. She supports the school also in a variety of administrative areas.

Andrea has been living in beautiful San Diego with her husband and her bilingual daughter for over 20 years now. She enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and taking her little dog out on nice long walks.


Vicky Ripart

Born and raised in Germany, Vicky Ripart holds a Master Degree in German and French studies of the University of Metz and the University of Saarland. The major part of her curriculum was German as a Foreign Language at the University of Sorbonne Paris IV, France. Before moving to San Diego, she was working at the Goethe Institute in Paris, France where she lived and worked for 9 years. Vicky is teaching at the German Pacific School since 2016. Her main intention for teaching children is to waken and maintain their joy of learning the German language. She likes to create a joyful and productive learning atmosphere where every child can contribute to the learning process with his or her capacities. Along with her two trilingual children, Vicky is confronted with the process of foreign languages acquisition in her everyday life.


Dr. Melda Baysal Walsh

Melda was born and raised in Aachen, Germany where she started studying German Language, Literature, and Culture as well as Political Science. Upon moving to the U.S. in 2006, she received her M.A. in German Language, Literature, and Culture from the University of Delaware and continued with her doctoral studies at the University of Maryland. Melda holds a Ph.D. in German Cultural Studies with an emphasis on (German) Orientalism, Postcolonialsm, and Women and Gender Studies. After a year of teaching and doing research at the Westfӓlische Wilhelms-University in Münster, she moved back to San Diego in 2017 and is currently working towards her M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy.


Beatrice Manneh

Beatrice Manneh is a native German speaker and holds a 1. and 2. Staatsexamen in Teaching German and English language and literature from Ludwig-Maximilians Universität in München and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education from Cambridge University in the United Kingdom where she lived for a couple of years on and off. She loves and has extensive experience teaching all levels of German from young children (Kinderwerkstatt, German Pacific School), teenagers in England, Germany and at Cathedral Catholic High School in San Diego, to adults at various colleges and universities (e.g. Palomar College, UCSD, Cal State LA). A full-time German Professor at Palomar College since 2015, she now works for the GPSSD only in an advising role, as Pedagogical Advisor and member of the Educational Committee. Wiebke and Beatrice enjoy organizing German events that bring their diverse student populations together and introduce them to a wide variety of German immersion opportunities. Beatrice lives with her husband, son and dog in Leucadia.


Tina Soebbing

Tina Soebbing was born and raised in a small town in northwestern Germany. After she graduated from university with a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration she emigrated to sunny San Diego in 2009.

For the past 6 years she's been working as a German translator with a major video game company and started teaching German to children in 2012. She has enjoyed working with children for many years in this country and abroad, whether as a tutor for different subjects or as a nanny, and when the possibility arose to combine this, her great interest for languages as well as teaching her native language and about her home country and culture, she seized the opportunity with pleasure.

In her spare time she can usually be found somewhere outdoors - running or hiking the trails with her dog, climbing up mountains or exploring new areas of this beautiful city.


Eva Vallon

Eva Vallon joined GPSSD in November 2017 as a German language instructor. A native German speaker from Stuttgart, Germany, Eva moved to San Diego in 2003, along with her husband and two girls, both current graduate school students. Eva and her husband ensured that their children would be raised bilingually and continued to expose them to the German culture, with numerous trips back to the homeland. Eva earned a Master Degree of Economics from the University of Pforzheim, and has since worked for a German globally-operating company as an event project manager.

Eva has always greatly enjoyed teaching, from being a classroom assistant throughout her daughters' schooling to preparing high school students successfully for their AP German exam and helping them foster the love of the German language.


Eva Fischer

Eva Fischer, a German native, holds an advanced degree in teaching grades K-9. During her studies she had the opportunity to apprentice in both Australia and later the United States, teaching German along with the core curriculum to elementary students. Upon completing her degree she was offered a position in Stuttgart teaching 3rd and 4th grade until moving to San Diego, with her husband and children where she earned a teaching certificate in Redirecting Childrens Behaviour. Since arriving in San Diego she has worked at the Kinderwerkstatt and German Pacific School. Eva continues to tutor, mentor and teach children of all ages.


Heather Sander-Heinz

Heather, a California native, worked, lived and taught in Germany as a student, teacher, translator, mother, and as an human resource manager for many years. After returning to the USA her desire to share the German language and culture with her children and other children grew. She has taught in the German language: at a preschool, led after school culture and language classes, ran summer camps and has given private lessons. Heather enjoys using art, music, theater, manipulatives, meaningful tasks and fun to make the language come alive. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and interest in the German language and culture with children and adults alike. She is a proud mother of two bilingual children.