The German School of Madison is an incorporated 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, led by a Board of Directors. All directors volunteer their time. Directors normally serve for two years and can be re-elected. If you are interested in supporting the school in this capacity, please let us know. Our Board is supported by school administrator Mary Ellen Rutemeyer, who is also one of our teachers.

Board of Directors

Elisabeth Berkelman (Treasurer) is a freelance technical writer, working mainly for the German software company SAP AG.  She lived in Munich for several years in the 1990s, and recently spent a semester in rural Bavaria with her husband, Jim, and two sons, who attend our school.

Krista Bultmann Spiro is from Madison and works as a physical therapist. Her father is German and she lived in Germany for a year after high school and college. Her two children have participated in classes at the German School of Madison for the last four years and this has been a wonderful way for her family to maintain the connection to the German language and culture.

Iris Hengst was born in Frankfurt/M, Germany, and has lived far and wide around the world before moving in 1994 with her American husband to beautiful Madison. Iris and Robert have two German speaking daughters at East High School. Iris also served the school as a co-teacher of the Youth Group and as teacher of our preschool class in the past.

Axel Junker (President) was born in Bonn, Germany, and has been living in Madison since 1988. He works as an outreach specialist for the UW Waisman Center and has two children, who have taken classes at the German School of Madison as long as they can remember.

Philipp Müller was born and raised in Germany and moved to Madison in 2004 to study at UW Madison. After graduate school he settled in Madison and now works for a healthcare company. His wife and two kids are all enrolled in classes at the GSOM and enjoy getting immersed in the German language and culture. 

Silke Schmidt (Secretary) was born in Rostock, Germany, and moved to Madison from North Carolina in January 2012, mostly because her American husband really wanted to live in the Midwest again. She is a statistician by training and now works as a science writer. She has two bilingual children, who happily attend our school.

Anja Wanner (Vice President) moved from Göttingen, Germany, to Madison in 1999 to join the University of Wisconsin as a professor of English linguistics. She is also affiliated with the German department and the Linguistics department. Her bilingual daughter attends the Eulen class.

If you would like to get in touch with the Board, please email


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