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May 16, 2020

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The BBIS Boarding mentors and administrators provide comprehensive pastoral care in order to support BBIS Boarding school students as they strive to reach their academic and life goals.

The BBIS Boarding staff members come with backgrounds primarily in international education. The live-in mentors reside in the boarding facility in apartments adjacent to the student rooms. Bringing with them multifaceted and global experience, the BBIS Boarding mentors and administrators are native or near native English speakers – well suited to support the BBIS Boarding students in Germany.

Boarding School Mentors

Rachael Bennett is from Wales in the UK, and she joins BBIS Boarding for the 2019-20 school year. Ms. Bennett has been a houseparent for an international school in Bath and for the Welsh gymnastics Commonwealth team in Cardiff running the house and looking after 11 talented, young inspiring athletes. She has travelled and spent a year in Australia. Ms. Bennett used to be a professional swimmer and represented Wales at many international swimming competitions. Ms. Bennett studies Sports performance in Bath University. Her hobbies are spending time with her family and friends and organising fun activities and adventures.

Felipe Buitrago at sixteen years of age travelled from Bogota, Colombia to New Mexico, USA to participate in a wilderness program run by the United World Colleges. Eating and sleeping well, keeping warm and sticking together were the program’s primary goals. Mr. Buitrago is dedicated to the process through which the student is at the center of her or his own experience and feels empowered and supported to take appropriate decisions suited to his or her own needs and context, while keeping in mind the responsibility towards the group and community. After finishing studies at Earlham College in the USA and a MC in Outdoor education with Phillips Universität in Germany, Mr. Buitrago joined BBIS in May 2017 and now hopes to apply all that he has learned and root it within the values of accessibility and social justice. 

Boris Fatic was born in Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro and joined BBIS Boarding as a live-in mentor for the 2018-2019 school year. He attended the Mediterranean University, Faculty of Foreign Languages. During his 4th year of studies he also worked for a local NGO for human rights. From January 2017 until the end of June 2018 he worked as a boarding coordinator for Knightsbridge Schools International, an IB school located in Tivat, Porto Montenegro. He enjoys working with young people, leading them so they can reach their full potential and teaching them to always act with honor, integrity and compassion. Mr. Fatic takes great pleasure in reading books, watching movies, going to the theater, cooking and playing sports.

Julia Frommhold is a native of Weimar, Germany. She studied and trained as a make-up artist at one of Germany’s leading theatres (The German National Theatre Weimar) and has worked at a number of theatres and on different film sets in Germany and Europe. Ms. Frommhold also worked in schools, cultural organisations and even prisons with the aim of bringing theatre to entirely new audiences and combining art, culture and social work. After spending three years working and living in London, England, she moved back to Berlin in 2016 and began working as a mentor and German language assistant at BBIS Boarding in the spring of 2017. Ms. Frommhold loves spending her free time outside in nature, going climbing, and playing beach volleyball and badminton.

Kyle van Hall is originally from Northern Virginia in the United States and joined BBIS Boarding as a live-in mentor for the 2014-15 school year. Mr. van Hall has lived and traveled throughout the world. As a high school exchange student he fell in love with Germany and considers Germany his second home. As a teacher he has worked over ten years in IB and bi-lingual schools teaching history, geography and English. Outside the classroom he was an international youth worker and a wilderness guide. In his free time, he canoes on the nearby lakes, bikes through the local forests or experiments with cooking gourmet meals.

Hanna Lignell was born in California, raised in Colorado, received her BA and MA in the UK, and has now joined the BBIS boarding team as a live-in mentor for the 2019-2020 academic year. Throughout her higher education, she worked at different summer camps in the US and at a social integration charity in the UK. There, she helped young people from varying socioeconomic, religious, and cultural backgrounds work together and develop their trust, responsibility, understanding, and empathy, as well as lead them on team building, volunteer, and social action programs. Alongside her dedication to helping others, Ms. Lignell has devoted much time to her other passion – music. She loves choir of all genres and has sung in ten different groups in the US, UK, and Germany. Learning guitar, hiking, singing, and snowboarding are activities she enjoys and hopes to get the opportunity to do with boarding students at BBIS this year.

Shane Ogilvie is originally from Saskatchewan, Canada and joined BBIS Boarding as a live-in mentor for the 2018-2019 school year. He studied in the USA, where he received a scholarship to play soccer and completed a B.Sc in Biology. In 2012, Mr. Ogilvie moved to Germany to play and coach soccer. Meanwhile, he gained experience teaching English and science in primary schools and summer camps. Since then, he has completed his M.Sc in Sport Performance Analysis, in which he was able to spend time studying and interning in Germany, Portugal, Lithuania and The Netherlands. Mr. Ogilvie has deep interests in youth athletic development and is interested in organizing various sporting activities and projects with the students.

Rachael Price is originally from Liverpool in the UK and, since graduating from the University of Wales in Bangor, has worked across the USA, the UK and Switzerland as a camp counsellor, boarding mentor and substitute teacher. She joined BBIS Boarding as a live-in mentor for the 2018-19 school year. Whilst working, Ms. Price has been studying for an MA in Diplomacy and International Law and is passionate about educating and inspiring young people to value internationalism, sustainability and human rights. Students are often interested to hear about her experiences as an immigration officer at London’s Heathrow Airport. In her free time, she enjoys jogging, sports in general, and spending time with friends and family.

Boarding School Counsellor

Marcea Eckhardt is a native of a small town in Colorado, USA and joined BBIS Boarding as the boarding school counsellor for the 2018-19 school year. She worked in the US for 15 years as a middle/high school/college counsellor before moving abroad six years ago. Since then she has worked in Germany, the UK and, most recently, Thailand as a high school/college counsellor. She has a B.A. in German and a dual MA in Secondary/Post-secondary School Counselling and Agency Counselling: Marriage & Family Therapy - both from the University of Northern Colorado. She loves to read, travel, attend the theater, go to museums, hike and take her miniature Dackel, Gus, for walks and on adventures. She thoroughly enjoys working with teenagers and is looking forward to working with all of the boarding students at BBIS. She has two grown children, Mikhaila (24) and Andrew (23).

Boarding School Administration

Margit Schmeißer was born and raised in Lower Bavaria (Germany) and grew up as the fourth of six children. She started working at BBIS Boarding school in July 2014. Before joining BBIS Boarding, she was working for industrial companies like Siemens either as a team or management assistant. Mrs. Schmeißer likes to sing, read, travel, and get to know different cultures and she enjoys helping the boarding students and their families with all things that come up in daily life at BBIS Boarding.

Angelika Heidt was born and raised in Wolfsburg, in northern Germany. She started working at BBIS Boarding school in June 2017. In Göttingen and Nürtingen she studied economics and journalism and worked for consulting companies. From Nürtingen she moved to Stuttgart and Karlsruhe and later with her family to Istanbul, Turkey where she lived for 10 years. Ms. Heidt is also a qualified German teacher and a breathing coach. She is passionate about cars and loves to read, bike, travel and walk with her dog.