2022-2023 PTA Board
IVONNE VAN ARKEL
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 full-time 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 2022-23 school year in grade 10, Jan in grade 9 and Tom in grade 4. 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, yoga and swimming. Her preferred means of transportation is her bike.
She is a member of the PTA Book Club.
Michael was born and raised in Germany. He holds a Master in Business Administration. Michael spent an additional 2 years in the US while working there. He travelled the world while working for a Consulting Company as well as after joining the Management Board of Rhenus Logistics as CFO back in 2002.
Since 2021, he’s taking care of his two kids, exploring and explaining the world with them. Both are happily enrolled at BBIS, now in 3rd and 4th grade. Michael enjoys structure, focus and plenty of sports.
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 (now 4th grade) and Nerea (now 2nd 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.
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.
New Families Liason
Priya was born and raised in the US. She got her law degree in 2001. She and her family lived in Zug, Switzerland before moving to Berlin during the summer of 2019. She has two children at BBIS in grades 9 (Ben) and 7 (Lily). She is excited to join the PTA and help welcome new families to the BBIS community! Priya is an avid traveler, reader and runner. She completed her first half marathon in Berlin in 2022
Primary School Liason
I am originally from the United States, born and raised in Iowa. My family came to BBIS based on the high standards of the primary education. I hold a PhD in Education in addition to having an MPA and an ED.M. in International Education Policy. Most of my life’s work is as an educator in service of others including in government, non-profit, or academia. Likewise, I have extensive international experience as both an avid traveler and lover of all things cross-cultural. A few of my favorite countries include USA, Brazil, Romania, China, Turkey, Japan, India, Germany – all places I have lived and worked. Given most of my adult life has been spent living and working abroad I like to think of myself as International, and therefore strive to provide my family with an educational environment that is based on discovery, cross cultural exchange, adventure, and kindness. I am especially interested in BBIS efforts to Go Green. I hope to support children and families to connect, have fun and learn. Moreover, during my parental leave years I retrained as a Balance Body Pilates Instructor and Mindfulness Practitioner; I love helping overstressed parent to slow down, destress, reestablish their mind body connection and find joy in movement. Please do not hesitate to be in touch.
Primary School Liason
I’m an entrepreneur and business angel.
I love Company Building, Brand Building and leading teams worldwide. And I love to inspire people and work with them to create new ideas to bring them to the market.
From my humble beginnings in East Germany I learned that teamwork makes you stronger and the moment the Berlin Wall came down I found myself in the driver’s seat to become an enthusiastic entrepreneur.
I started as a TV anchor & host in the 90ies and founded the venture capital holding quantumReality in 2011.
In 2012 I founded refund.me which was sold in 2018 to US Venture Capital.
Currently I’m serving as a board member of BACB - Berlin Brandenburg Business Angels and coaching startups as an investor.
I believe the best companies are founded because founders want to change the world.
Leaving a legacy is what I teach my 3 sons Jack, Max and Johannes.
Secondary School Liason
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 (17) and Ethan (14) , who both attend BBIS. Svetlana loves traveling and exploring new places, reading, classical music and movies.
INGE VAN MIERLE
Secondary School Liason
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 11 and a son in grade 9. 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!
Boarding School Liason
Manuela, originating from Romania, has a BBIS Boarding son in grade 10 and a daughter aged 14. 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.
Kirsten was born in Germany but has lived abroad most of her life due to her international upbringing and career. In 2001, Kirsten moved to New York City and met her husband, Kevin. Together, they have two children, Zoë, currently studying at Humboldt University in Berlin, and Tom, who started BBIS Boarding School this year. Over the years, Kirsten has always enjoyed serving in PTA-related roles at her kids' schools. She is excited to join the wonderful BBIS community and contribute as liaison for the Boarding School. In her free time, Kirsten loves exploring, reading, and pilates.
Sayali has 3 children at BBIS, now in grades 12, 9 and 6. She has been involved with the PTA for the last 3 years, serving in the roles of events and activities coordinator. She enjoys supporting the BBIS community, making new friends, and socializing. Sayali was practicing pediatric endocrinology in the US for 15 years before moving to Berlin. She is now a well-being coach for teens. She and her family love to travel, cook, explore new places, and make lasting memories together.