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Extended Leadership Team

Head of School, Petra Palenzatis, OStD'

Ms. Petra Palenzatis has been the Head of School at the German International School Washington D.C. since 2015, after having served as office-holder in several schools in northern Germany. Furthermore, she worked for 11 years – full-time and part-time - as a business employee for the nationwide technical engineering department store Ernst Brinkmann.

Born and raised in Hannover, Germany, Ms. Palenzatis graduated with an Abitur from the a High School emphasizing the study of economics, the Wirtschaftsgymnasium der Handelslehranstalt I. She majored in English and History with minors in Philosophy and Education at the Georgia Augusta University in Göttingen, Germany and concluded her studies at the Studienseminar in Leer, Germany.

Shortly after the beginning of her teaching career in 1987, Ms. Palenzatis jumpstarted an internship program working closely with the IHK (Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce). At the same time, she graduated from the University of Oldenburg with the certification to teach both secondary levels in the subjects of Economics and Politics. Other positions she held over the years were: Head of the English Department, coordinator of the substitute schedules, coordinator for middle and high school and Deputy Head of School. Before her move to Washington, she was the Head of School at a boarding school for several years.

In her position as Head of the English Department she spent a decade taking care of guest students from other countries and was actively involved within the German-American-Partnership-Program (GAPP). She planned and implemented exchanges with schools in California for short and long-time periods. During her time as Head of School in Germany, she successfully founded a virtual school for distance learning which supported students on East Frisan Islands in certain subjects.

As in-service teaching education Ms. Palenzatis studied “School Management” at the University of Kaiserslautern.

Frau Palenzatis is married and has two adult children who followed in her footsteps and also chose to become teachers.


Deputy Head of School, Marc Aurel Löckmann

Marc Aurel Löckmann is teaching Mathematics and Latin at the German International School in Washington D.C. since August 2015. From 2015 until 2017, he was the Coordinator of grades 7 through 9 and since the 2017/18 school year, he is the Deputy Head of School.

Having completed his school career with the Abitur, Latinum, Graecum and Hebraicum at the Schiller-Gymnasium in Münster in 1993, he began to study Mathematics, Latin and Greek at the University in Münster. In 1999, he graduated with a teaching degree and started his teacher’s traineeship at the Helmholtz-Gymnasium in Bonn where he continued to work for the following 13 years. During this time period, he exercised a variety special functions, such as guidance teacher, member of the Teachers’ Council, Head of the Mathematics and Latin departments, supervisor for teachers in training and Coordinator for grades 5 and 6. From January through August 2015, Mr. Löckmann was the Coordinator for grades 5 and 6 at the Freiherr-vom-Stein-Gymnasium in Rösrath.

In addition to his commitment in K through 12, he officiated as an examiner for qualifications in Latin (university students) at the District Council Cologne and a juror for the Federal Foreign Languages Competition in Latin and ancient Greek.


Principal of the Elementary School, Monika Rodrigues

Mrs. Rodrigues is the principal of the Elementary School since 2011/12 and has been the Deputy Principal of the Elementary School from 2007 until 2011. From 2003 until 2007 she was responsible for the coordination between the Elementary School and the Orientation Level.

Since 1997 she is a full-time teacher at the Elementary School of the German School Washington, D.C. She is a graduate from the Pedagogical College in Vienna, Austria, with specialization in Elementary Schools Education and an advanced degree in Pedagogy.

Phone: 301.767.3827

Deputy Principal of the Elementary School, Britta Scholl

Mrs. Britta Scholl started teaching in 1998. She worked as a teacher and Deputy Principal in Lower Saxony and Bremen, Germany, before continuing her work at the German School Washington D.C.  Over the past years she was Head of the German Language Department  and the Sports Department of the Elementary School, she coordinated the cooperation between the Elementary School and Grade 5 and organized the fundraiser “Sponsorenlauf”.

Mrs. Scholl received her Masters of Arts in Education from the Carl-von-Ossietzky University in Oldenburg and the teacher training college in Verden, Germany.

Phone: 301.767.3849

Principal of the Preschool, Mojdeh Khojasteh

Since 2008 Ms. Khojasteh is the Preschool Principal at the German International School Washington, D.C. She has graduated in psychology and education. Ms. Khojasteh opened a preschool in Germany and has worked in several private and public schools all over Europe and in the US.

Ms. Khojasteh is an active member in the following orgranizations:

- Organization of Child Care Directors of Montgomery County, Maryland (OCCD), former Member of the Board of Directors
- Maryland State Child Care Association (
- National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAECY)
- Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), Division for Early Childhood (DEC)
- World Organization for Early Childhood Education- United States National Committee (OMEP-USNC)

Phone: 301.767.3838

Director of Administration, Delores Dean

A short bio will be posted here shortly.

Phone: 301.767.3833

High School Coordinator (grades 10/11/12), Rainer Tack, OStR

Since August 2016, Rainer Tack teaches the subjects Music and Physical Education at GISW and he is also the Coordinator for grades 10 through 12.

After graduating from the Ostendorfgymnasium Lippstadt, he studied the subjects Music and Physical Education from 1994 until 2002 at Dortmund University. After his studies, he completed his teacher training at the Landrat-Lucas Gymnasium in Leverkusen. The following 12 years, he worked at a comprehensive school in Bergheim, where he was teaching Physical Education and was instrumental in shaping and coordinating the Department for Arts, Music and Theater.  During that time he paid particular attention to creating a more open school through cooperating with non-scholastic partners.

Mr. Tack completed a number of professional development courses that also certify him to teach drama.    

Phone: 301.767.3803

Coordinator for the Realschule, Ralph Seesing

Ralph Seesing joined the German International School Washington, D.C. in 2018 as a physics and fine art teacher.  After studying physics, fine art and Ancient Greek at the Universities of Münster, Edinburgh (Scotland), Mainz and Cologne, he worked as a high school teacher for physics and art in Aachen, Germany, as well as for mathematics and physics in Jerusalem, Israel. Furthermore, he held consecutive lectureships for Ancient Greek at Aachen University. Mr. Seesing is responsible for coordinating school careers of students in the Realschule in grades 5 through 10.


Coordinator of grades 5 through 9, Antje Linnenbrink

Mrs. Linnenbrink teaches protestant Religion and Music at the German International School Washington D.C.. In 2003, after studying in  Nordrhein-Westfalia and teaching in Bavaria she moved to Washington D.C. and started working at the German School. In addition to teaching, she is also the coordinator for grades 5 through 9 and for the Realschüler through tenth grade.


Coordinator of the School Entry Level, Dörte Hardage

Dörte Hardage has been teaching at the GISW since the school year 2007/08. She is the coordinator of the School Entry Level, the representative of the SEL within the cooperation between Preschool, SEL and 1./2. Grades and she is a SEL classroom teacher.

After studying English and Social Sciences at the University of Bonn to teach grades 11,12, and 13 in the German school system, Ms.Hardage worked as a Program Director for German and American Civic Education Foundations until 1998. Ms. Hardage moved to Washington D.C. in 1990. After additional studies in Early Childhood Education, Ms. Hardage has been primarily teaching SEL- age children. She lives in Arlington, Virginia with her husband and her three children.


Counselor, Klara A. Fabina, M.Ed.

Klara Fabina has been working at GISW since the year 2000. She had graduated from the German School Washington and received her Bachelor and Master of Education in School Counseling from the University of Maryland, College Park. The main goal of the counseling program is, to create an environment, which will foster and support the students’ psychological and physical needs.

Klara Fabina is at the school Mondays to Fridays from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Appointments can be arranged by email or phone.

phone: 301.767.3805


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