PTA Board 2021-2022
IVONNE VAN ARKEL
PTA Chair, 2021-22
Ivonne was born and raised in the Netherlands. She got her Masters in International Business in Maastricht. Here she also met her husband Meeuwis. After five years on his family farm and a fulltime job at a bank, she moved with husband and dog to Philadelphia in 2005. As a family of four they returned to Europe, living near Frankfurt am Main in Germany, where their third son was born. After a five-year stint back in the Netherlands, they came to Kleinmachnow in July 2019.
Ben will start the 2021-22 school year in grade 9, Jan in grade 8 and Tom in grade 3. She has been active at all schools her children attended, and she continues this at BBIS. Ivonne loves to travel, read books, cook and work in the vegetable garden. She enjoys walking with her dog, yoga and swimming. Her preferred means of transportation is her bike.
She is a member of the PTA Book Club.
Jeany is from Goslar, Germany (a small town in Lower Saxony which is totally worth a visit). With a degree in economics, she worked several different jobs in marketing in Hannover and Stuttgart before she moved to a Chicago suburb with her family. Being a stay-at-home mom she then joined the PTO as a chair for a 5k run and later as treasurer. After 8 exciting years they moved to the Berlin area two years ago. Her daughter Chiara looked at schools and picked BBIS. She will be an eleventh grader.
Jeany likes going to concerts, museums, and taking care of her garden. You can see her taking her road-bike around town racing Dennis, her husband, to practice for the next triathlon.
Raised in West Yorkshire, in northern England, Marie has lived in many different places and most recently moved with her family to the Berlin Brandenburg area in October 2020. She has two children, Cecily and Robin, who will be in grades 3 and 1 at BBIS this year.
In her professional life Marie is a translator, and privately she has many interests including music and singing, dance, reading, walking and riding. She loves spending time with friends old and new, and is looking forward to getting to know new people and supporting the school community as a member of the BBIS PTA Board.
Itziar was born and raised in Mexico City but was fortunate to have lived in four other countries (Spain, El Salvador, Colombia and Germany). In January 2021 she and her husband Juan Carlos moved to Berlin with their two kids Mikel (3rd grade) and Nerea (1st grade).
Itziar is an Economist but found her true passion in alternative healing and functional medicine.
She loves cooking, traveling, reading, dancing and photography. Having moved so many times, she knows the importance of finding a community, building strong relationships and supporting the school and parents for the greater good of our kids.
PTA Events & Volunteer Coordinator
Sayali is super excited to join the PTA Board team. When she moved to Berlin with her husband and 3 children- Saanvi (15), Sanat (12), and Amiya (9) in July 2019, her family had never lived anywhere outside of Northern California. Sayali (pronounced SAI-lee) found the BBIS PTA community very friendly and helpful as her family adjusted to life in Berlin. Now, by joining the PTA Board she hopes to support the BBIS community, make new friends and socialize!
Sayali has paused her career as a pediatric endocrinologist in the US to fully enjoy her time in Europe. She and her family have been traveling, cooking, learning German and making unforgettable memories together.
PTA New Families
Gillian is from the U.S. state of Maine, and has been in Germany for 4 years . Her husband, Andy, is from (near) Manchester, UK, and they have two children - Oliver (9th grade) and Maddie (7th grade, at a different school). Long ago, Gillian was a high school teacher, with a Master's degree in Education.
Now starting her fourth year on the PTA Board, Gillian also leads the BBIS Players, a parent club she formed to facilitate fun, game-related get togethers where it is super easy to make friends; Mahjong is a club favorite! She is also an enthusiastic member of the Mamma Mias, the Museum Club, and the Book Club.
Outside of school, Gillian loves jumping on a train and exploring the city, cycling, reading, and traveling. She's making progress with the German language, and also studied Russian. She’s looking forward to a wonderful year with this great school community.
Boarding School Liaison
Manuela, originating from Romania, has a BBIS Boarding son in grade 9 and a daughter aged 12. She shares her time between Berlin and Bucharest/ Romania. Her professional background includes a Master Degree in Economics, 10-year experience in banking system and another 10-year experience in Entrepreneurship. Manuela’s hobbies are traveling, new cultures discovering, Real Estate and reading good books.
Boarding School Liaison
Otto, originally from South Germany, also has a son boarding in grade 10 since summer 2021. Being an international hotelier with 25 years expat / 10 countries work experience, he currently lives in Kuwait. As hobbies he loves talking about cooking food or taking his family across Europe and the Middle East (or sometimes as a soloist on his motorbike) to explore new cultures and countries.
Otto and Manuela are sharing the role of Parent Representative for Boarding Students / Parents. They are motivated to help Boarding students and their parents, crossing the distance and cultural distances especially under the current Corona situation. As they are both not often in Berlin, they will rely on distance communication tools instead of personal meetings to liaise with students, teachers and locally based parents. While most of the PTA activities are naturally organized around the geographic venue of the school, the Boarding Liaison Parents will cast their net wider to enhance specific benefits & activities for boarding students and their parents.
Secondary School Liaison
Originally from the former Soviet Union (Moldova), Svetlana immigrated to the United States with her family at the age of 11. She studied Journalism, Comparative Literature and Slavic Languages and Literature in college and then went on to law school, where she became interested in immigration law, in part due to her own experiences of coming to America. Since graduating in 1996 and passing the bar, she has been practicing exclusively in the area of US immigration law, which she has continued to do since moving to Berlin with her family in July 2019 in connection with her husband’s work.
Svetlana has two sons, Daniel (16) and Ethan (13) , who both attend BBIS. Svetlana loves traveling and exploring new places, reading, classical music and movies.
Tong, originating from Beijing China, worked as a business manager in Urs Meile Galerie before she moved to Berlin in 2013. Currently, she works part-time in the field of senior-care (Ambulant Procurand) and as a private Yoga therapist (certificated by School Yogi yoga Beijing). Her daughter will be in 8th grade and is a sailor and football player.
Tong likes to help the PTA board in any way she can with a dedicated mind to support BBIS and the parents´ community.
INGE VAN MIERLE
Inge, born in the Netherlands but raised in different countries and places, has a Master Degree in Public Administration and Policy. Having worked in the public and private sector for 10 years, Inge moved with her husband and two small children to the Frankfurt area in 2008, then to
Philadelphia (US) and moved to Berlin in 2016. A truly memorable learning experience was building their own home in Kleinmachnow. A great way to learn German, law and government agencies really fast!
Inge has a daughter in grade 10 and a son in grade 8. Our family loves cooking and grilling, hiking, tennis and traveling. She is looking forward to working with an amazing group of enthusiastic parents on the PTA board and wishes for nothing more than a normal school year including all the fun social activities!