The Educational Directorate (Erziehungsdirektorium/ED)

The ED plays a strategic role in school matters. It is a guarantor of the school’s profile and mission. The ED is a unique committee within the Berlin public school system. Its duties and composition are stipulated in paragraphs 5 and 6 of the JFK School Law (in German).

Whereas the School Conference mostly deals with internal school issues, the central responsibility of the ED is to guarantee the particular binational and bicultural character of the JFKS as a German-American school which incorporates both school systems within its structures.

Members of the Educational Directorate (ED) in 2019-20:

  • Sandra Scheeres, Senatorin für Bildung, Jugend und Familie (SenBJF)
  • Grit Orgis, Referatsleitung zentralverwaltete Schulen (Alternate)
  • Christian Blume, Abteilungsleiter 1 (SenBJF)
  • Rainer Kistermann, Schulaufsicht zentralverwaltete Schulen (Alternate)
  • Frank Mückisch, Bezirksstadtrat
  • Jörg Weese, Fachbereichsleiter Schulamt Zehlendorf (Alternate)
  • Heather Watson, US Embassy Representative (Alternate ED Chair)
  • Genevieve Libonati, US Embassy Representative
  • Jenny Hoenicke, German Acting ES Principal
  • Brian Salzer, Managing Director – American HS Principal
  • Rasco Cortinas, American ES Principal (Alternate)
  • Steffen Schulz, Acting German HS Principal (Alternate)
  • Sarah Gross, American Parent Rep (ED Chair)
  • Anja Hollmann, German Parent Rep
  • Kristen Winkler,American Parent Rep (Alternate)
  • Hanne Defty, German Parent Rep (Alternate)
  • Chris Weiss, American Teacher Rep (HS)
  • Helge Martens, German Teacher Rep (HS) (Alternate)
  • Timm Jones, German Teacher Rep (ES)
  • Nora Epping, American Teacher Rep (ES) (Alternate)
  • Emma Xander, American Student Rep
  • Saphira Al Amry, German Student Rep

The School Conference (Schulkonferenz/SK):

This committee is composed of democratically elected representatives from the faculty, student and parent councils, as well as two principals. The SK is mandated by Berlin School Law to serve as a round table for these key school groups – to develop collaborative strategies for old problems or new projects on campus, including strategic planning and practical implementation. The SK meets at school every six to eight weeks.

Members of the School Conference (SK) in 2019-20:

  • Brian Salzer, Managing Director – American HS Principal
  • Racso Cortinas, American ES Principal (Alternate)
  • Jenny Hoenicke, German ES Principal
  • Steffen Schulz, Acting German HS Principal (Alternate)
  • Lars Bespolka, American Parent Rep
  • Kristen Winkler, American Parent Rep
  • Nelly Heidbrink, American Parent Rep (Alternate)
  • Kristina Pedersen, American Parent Rep (Alternate)
  • Stefan Berger, German Parent Rep
  • Carola Frege, German Parent Rep
  • Alexandra Albanese, German Parent Rep (Alternate)
  • Kathrin Völkner, German Parent Rep (Alternate)
  • Liz Geary-Mueller (ES), American Teacher Rep
  • Elizabeth Hoedt (ES), American Teacher Rep (Alternate)
  • Daniel Lazar (HS), American Teacher Rep
  • Phil Blessman (HS), American Rep (Alternate)
  • Timm Jones (ES), German Teacher Rep
  • Malte Schröder (ES), German Teacher Rep (Alternate)
  • Gabi Jendretzki (HS), German Teacher Rep
  • Christian Neumann (HS), German Teacher Rep (Alternate)
  • Daniel Delfs, American Student Rep
  • Lena Marzona, American Student Rep
  • Josphine Mueller, American Student Rep (Alternate)
  • Sam Atlas, American Student Rep (Alternate)
  • Isabel Tscherniak, German Student Rep
  • Johannes von Kleist, German Student Rep
  • Lauri Eckle, German Student Rep (Alternate)
  • Isabella Winger, German Student Rep (Alternate)
  • Betina Heyelmann , Hort Rep (permanent guest)

The John F. Kennedy Schule Trust Fund e.V.

The John F. Kennedy Schule Trust Fund e.V. is a non-profit organization founded in 1996 by an agreement between the Berlin Senat and the United States Embassy regarding the John F. Kennedy School. It is listed under VR 17709 B in the Registry of Associations (Vereinsregister) of the Berlin-Charlottenburg court. The Trust Fund supports the American program offered at JFKS by providing students and faculty with appropriate learning materials and support services similarly found in U.S. public schools but not otherwise provided by the Berlin Senate. Its sole income comes annually from U.S. Embassy contributions based on the number of U.S. Embassy students attending the JFKS.

The Trust Fund’s 2019/2020 General Membership consists of – and is limited to – the following nine members and meets annually in the fall:

  • The United States of America (Represented by a member of the U.S. Embassy); -Brian Pendergast
  • The Land Berlin (Represented by a member of the Berlin Senate Department for Education) -Grit Orgis
  • Three U.S. Embassy Representatives -Eric Flohr -Donna Edmonds -Genevieve Libonati
  • Two Principals of the JFKS -Brian L. Salzer -Racso Cortinas
  • One U.S. and one German legal consultant -Thomas Jürgens (German) -NN (U.S.)

The Trust Fund’s Board of Directors consists of the following six general members and meets semiannually in the spring and fall:

  • The United States of America (Represented by a member of the U.S. Embassy) -Brian Pendergast
  • The Land Berlin (Represented by a member of the Berlin Senate Department for Education) -Grit Orgis
  • Two U.S. Embassy Representatives -Eric Flohr -Donna Edmonds
  • Two Principals of the JFKS -Brian L. Salzer -Racso Cortinas

The Trust Fund has fiduciary responsibility for financial resources solely provided by the U.S. Embassy based on the number of U.S. Embassy students attending the JFKS in a given year. The amount of the contribution per student, paid by the U.S. Embassy, is based on comparable Berlin private school tuition expenses. All students enrolled at the JFKS benefit directly and/or indirectly from Trust Fund expenditures.

The Trust Fund expends the contributions, for the most part, throughout the designated school year, with any remaining funds rolling to the next year. All transactions are required to be reviewed and approved by two board members (a Principal and U.S. Embassy Board member).

The Trust Fund Budget is broken down into the following categories:

  1. Personnel – Both mini-job and part-time positions
  2. Elementary School materials, equipment, and supplies
  3. High School materials, equipment, and supplies
  4. Technology services, software, and equipment
  5. Extra-Curricular Programs – For example, the Trust Fund supports BERMUN, THIMUN, Odyssey of the Mind, as well as travel for teachers related to these programs and for the Texas Exchange, Ft. Collins Exchange, ISTA, and AMIS music festivals.
  6. School Publications/Advertisements
  7. Institutional Memberships- ECIS and NEASC
  8. Professional Development
  9. Recruitment of new U.S. teachers/administrators
  10. Administration – This includes expenses related to bookkeeping, annual audit, bank fees, translations and legal/consulting fees for the Trust Fund.

Per the original agreement, the Trust Fund is prohibited from using its resources for the purpose of capital improvements or facility repairs to the JFKS.

In addition, the John F. Kennedy School also receives funds from the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Overseas Schools (OOS) in Washington, which are deposited into the Trust Fund account. In the past, these funds have provided additional support for U.S. educational materials, professional development, recruitment, and students with special needs; however, the Trust Fund does not have fiduciary or budgetary responsibility for the OOS funds.

The Trust Fund is audited every year by a tax consulting firm located in Berlin. This firm prepares the annual financial statements and submits them to the Finanzamt in order for the Trust Fund to maintain its non-profit status.


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John F. Kennedy School

Teltower Damm 87-93
14167 Berlin, Germany

Elementary School (EC-6)

Phone: + 49 30 90299 5711
Fax: + 49 30 90299 6377

High School (7-12)

American Secretary:
+ 49 30 90299 5758
German Secretary:
+ 49 30 90299 5710
Fax: +49 30 90299 6868