South Bay Area School

Ascension Lutheran Church and School
17910 Prairie Ave,
Torrance, CA 90504

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KINDERGARTEN / PRESCHOOL: 4 to 5 year old children who are introduced to the German language with lots of singing, crafts, and other fun activities.

UNTERSTUFE / BEGINNING GERMAN CLASS:  6 to 8 year old students, beginners in German, as well as German speakers, are introduced to culture and skills through songs, crafts, games, and fun activities. The focus is on developing verbal language skills, in addition to writing and very basic grammar skills, while building vocabulary and skills necessary for the DSD A1 test.

MITTELSTUFE / MIDDLE LEVEL GERMAN CLASS: 8 to 12 year old students with basic knowledge of German, as well as German speakers, are building their vocabulary, writing, and grammar skills in preparation for the DSD A2 test. Cultural and language skills are taught through crafts, games, stories and crafts and music.

OBERSTUFE / UPPER LEVEL GERMAN CLASS: 10 to 16 year old students, with medium knowledge of German, as well as students who speak German at home, are preparing for the DSD1/ B1 test and DSD2/C1. Focus is on written use of German, as well as vocabulary enrichment and improving oral German skills.

Our Teachers

Kindergarten – Melania Issaeian

Melania was raised in Cologne, Germany she came to California at the age of 16 and finished high school here. She speaks German, English, and Armenian fluently and has worked as a teacher’s assistant at a German elementary school for the last year. Currently Melania is completing a B.A. in Psychology and working as a teacher at a German immersion pre-school in Santa Monica. Melania joined the South Bay School in 2017.


Unterstufe – Kathrin Birol

Kathrin was born and raised in a small town in Bavaria, Germany and lived in Munich for the last 10 years before moving to Los Angeles at the beginning of 2019. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Fashion and Design Management and worked in Sales and Marketing for many years. However, she realized that her true passion has always been education and working with children. She completed a German teacher program (DaF) from Goethe Institute and is currently working as an Assistant teacher at Goethe International Charter School.


Mittelstufe – Pascal Sprang

Pascal was born and raised in Berlin, Germany. Since 2015 he is living in the United States, first in Yuma, Arizona and since 2017 in Los Angeles. Despite his background in marketing and event management he decided to change his career towards education in his new life in the United States. Pascal worked for a NPO as a secretary and youth worker in Yuma and started as a teacher assistant in a multilingual Preschool in Santa Monica when he moved to Los Angeles. He currently teaches German to preschoolers at Nature Family School in Eagle Rock.


Oberstufe and School Director – Jennifer Rieg

Jennifer was born and raised in a small town in the Black Forest, Germany. When she was 10 years old, her family moved to Los Angeles. Jennifer graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in Psychology and graduated in 2015 from Loyola Marymount University with a M.A. in Elementary Education and a California teaching credential. Jennifer has been teaching for the South Bay School for the last eight years. Since 2015, Jennifer also teaches 2nd graders at the Goethe International Charter School.


Our Substitute Teachers

Patricia Escalante

Patricia was born and raised in Southern Germany and has been living in California for 20 years. Patricia worked for the German American Chamber of Commerce but has recently moved to Insides Sales. Patricia has a B.A. in International Studies and also studied French at the Sorbonne in Paris. Patricia joined the South Bay School in 2015.


Stefanie Kohl

Stefanie is a native of Germany, and lived in Stuttgart, Berlin and Köln. She studied English and Education at the University of Köln and Spanish at the University of Salamanca. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Spanish and French from Rutgers University, Douglass College and her mini Masters in International Business from Rutgers University. She is a seasoned communications, sales and marketing professional, but has also years of experience teaching German and English, at the German school of NJ and independently teaching German and English and cultural adaptation to professionals from Fortune 500 companies. Stefanie resides in the South Bay and has joined the South Bay School in 2019.


Nina Crecia

Nina was born and raised in Cologne, Germany, and has been living in the United States since 2009. She is currently pursuing her Master of Music degree and teaching credential at California State University, Fullerton. Nina speaks German, English, French, and Spanish (and a tiny bit of Chinese). She was a volunteer youth worker, a trained English and French tutor in Germany for many years, a live-in nanny in the U.S., and she is very happy to continue her work with children. Nina is also a private piano teacher.


About Us

Multilingualism is the norm in most of the world and we believe that children who speak and write more than one language will be better prepared for life in the 21st century with its growing global economy. The best way to master another language is to start learning at an early age.

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