Barbara Ecker - President
I am mom to two boys - one a recent graduate of Die Rasselbande and another who will start his adventures here in 2020. I am a former family law attorney and am currently spending most of my time taking care of our two children. In my limited spare time, I enjoy cooking, knitting and all manner of crafts. My husband is from Austria, so we are a German-English dual language household. We both feel truly fortunate to have found such a wonderful preschool here in San Diego and our lives have been enriched by being a part of the “Rasselbande Familie”. From the excellent teachers, to the outstanding curriculum and supportive parents, the community I have experienced at Die Rasselbande is unlike any other. I am pleased to serve on the board doing my utmost to keep Die Rasselbande a great place to play and learn for our children.
I’m originally from Austria and a happy Papa of two sons. I grew up in a small town in the north of Austria and came to the U.S. for graduate studies at the University of Oregon. There I met my wife Amanda and after spending some time in Bend, Oregon, and Boise, Idaho, we moved to San Diego in 2019. I’m an assistant professor at UC San Diego’s Department of Communication.
From the first moment I visited Rasselbande, I loved its focus on play-based education and its keen interest in cultivating cultural traditions from the German-speaking world. It’s important to me that my sons stay connected to their Austrian roots and I couldn’t think of a better place where they can experience the best of two worlds. I’d like to offer my time, passion and enthusiasm to support the community as a board member.
I grew up in Bochum, Germany, which is a town in a densely populated area called "Ruhrgebiet", or "Ruhrpott," that used to produce lots of coal after the war. I studied Mechanical Engineering in Bochum and Darmstadt before making my way to Berkeley, CA, as an exchange student who eventually would not return (at least for now). I did a doctorate and postdoctoral work at UC Berkeley, then moved to Tucson, AZ, for five years and then landed in San Diego in 2020 (what a year!) as a Professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. My wife, Andrea, is a web developer from Colombia and at home we speak German, Spanish and English with our 3.5 year old daughter Mia. The three of us enjoy everything with water - beach, swimming, snorkeling, surfing - and ride bikes and we play a lot (often soccer, of course). I like being a Board member to keep Rasselbande as great as it is (or make it even better).
I was born and raised in Buxtehude, Germany which is sometimes called the ‘“Fairytale Capital of the World” and also the setting of, The Hare and the Hedgehog by the Brothers Grimm. My wife is a San Diego native, so we are a German-English dual language household. I got my degree in computer networking while living in Freiburg im Breisgau and moved back to the states soon after graduation with our son Liam. I enjoy running, indoor rowing, and camping at the beach with my wife’s family and two dogs. It is important to us that our son stays connected to his German roots so he can communicate with his grandparents. We both love the school’s philosophy of play based and child led learning, which our son has thrived in. I’m looking forward to being involved in this wonderful community that Rasselbande has built.
My name is Leila Oberdorfer and my three kids are all Die Rasselbande alumni. We all enjoyed our experience with this amazing preschool and loved the combination of play based learning and German language and culture. I also served on the board for a couple of years and that gave me an even bigger appreciation for the level of dedication and passion that the teachers and staff have for this school.
A little about me, I learned an appreciation for cultures and travel at an early age with an unconventional childhood travelling the world with my hippie parents. I graduated from Purdue University with a degree in Interior Design and then moved to Miami where I practiced as a designer and it is where I met my now German husband. We moved to San Diego in 2010 and discovered Die Rasselbande shortly before our daughter turned 2 years old. We were so grateful to find this treasure!
I have my own business as a wedding and event planner I bring my creativity and problem solving skills to this board position
I grew up in Southern California with a German mother and have lived in San Diego for the past 11 years. Our two children have benefited immensely from the caring and enriching environment at Die Rasselbande. Our daughter is now at Albert Einstein Academies and I want to give back before our son moves on as well. By day, I’m a pediatric Allergist & Immunologist, and one of ways I can be an asset to the board is by helping to interpret the County’s every-changing COVID guidelines and being a resource during surges as we start to move forward from the pandemic. I’ve also been on the yearbook committee for the past 3 years and enjoy all the fun events that we’ve documented. As a board member, I will help bring the spirit of those events from our old place to the new place and make them even more special and unique.
For the past 3 years, I have been a dedicated volunteer to the school by participating in the yearbook committee, organizing a teacher breakfast, helping with the school fundraising Gala and the recent school relocation.
For the past two years, I have been working as a part-time operations manager for a small biotech start-up, where I manage the day-to-day business operations, budgeting, presentations and grant writing. I am well versed in wearing multiple hats to get the job done.
My husband and I spent 2 years at the University of Marburg in Germany. My husband finished his PhD in Chemistry, while I enrolled in the University's German Language program. I have a BS in Business Administration from Albright College in Reading, PA.
I am excited about the opportunity to serve as governing member of the school.
My name is Jil Pia Rudolf-Vazquez and I am a former Rasselbande teacher. I was born and raised in a small town near Frankfurt am Main, Germany. In 2008 I moved to Innsbruck, Austria for my undergraduate studies in Psychology and Political Science, while working as a public relations assistant for the Austrian sister team of the Oakland Raiders and an event manager. As a student I had the opportunity to work with children in different settings, which made me realize that I wanted to work with children for the rest of my life. In 2012 I moved to San Diego for my graduate studies in Political Science at SDSU. After graduating in 2014, I joined Die Rasselbande as an Assistant Teacher (Bären group), which motivated me to take further classes in Early Childhood Education to compliment my Psychology Bachelor. In September 2017 I became the lead teacher in the Löwen group and in Spring 2020 I graduated from SDSU with a M.S. in Child Development and a Graduate Certificate in Early Childhood-Transdisciplinary Education and Mental Health.
In September 2019 my husband and I became parents of a little girl named Ida, who is growing up in a multicultural, -generational and -lingual (German, Spanish, English) household. Although I had planned to come back to Die Rasselbande after my maternity leave, our personal situation did not allow me to do so. Die Rasselbande will always hold a special place in my heart. I loved working there, miss my preschoolers, and would love to give back to the community. I am a huge defender of play-based learning, free-play, child participation and including children in decision-making. As a former employee, child development expert and multilingual parent, I think I am a great addition to the Rasselbande board.
I was born in Croatia but grew up and spent most of my life in Nürnberg, Germany. In 2012 I decided to do a semester abroad at UCSD. During my first week in San Diego I met my husband Greg and decided to finish my Master‘s here and stay. Like most of you, I immediately fell in love with Rasselbande’s play-based approach and caring teachers. We are very grateful to have met - and hopefully continue to meet - wonderful families who share their passion for the German language and culture. This is our daughter Mia’s third year at DIe Rasselbande and her younger brother can’t wait to soon be a Rasselbande child too. As a family we love being outside, go on hikes, runs, walks, the beach and travel. I love cooking and weightlifting.I am excited for the opportunity to help shape the schools decisions and future while maintaining the core values.