Meet our powerful, German speaking team!
Barbara Rellstab, Founder
Barbara was born and raised in Zurich, Switzerland. Growing up in a theater family sparked her interest for the performing arts early on. After the Matura and several stints at German Theaters, she went to ZHDK.ch, which at the time was under the direction of her late father, Felix Rellstab. After winning several performance based grants and graduating as the valedictorian, Barbara performed 5 years at German and Swiss “Stadttheater”.
Since 1997 when Barbara came to New York, she performed extensively Off-Boradway (lead role in “The Donkey Show”), founded the International Department at the International Fringe Theater Festival, and taught voice and Gyrotonic. Barbara also spent 6 years as a Manhattan Real Estate Broker and traveled the world as a producer for Bugatti International.
When her son Oliver was born in 2009, Barbara sensed the need for a “Mommy and Me” Story Time Format in German. And in 2011 Lieder & Geschichten was born, first as picnic in Central Park, then at the CentralHarlem Library and soon in various studios from Brooklyn to White Plains.
Today, together with Manhattan’s first German Language Immersion Day Care Rella’s Spielhaus, and the Summer Courses and One-Day Intensives the Team offers of the UWS, Barbara is honored to be part of the German Language Community and looks forward to growing together with the Bi-and Tri-lingual German families in the Tri-State Area.
Sibylle, Head Teacher
Sibylle was born and raised in Switzerland. In 2002 she started an internship at the Montessori Zentrum an der Aare in Brugg and decided in 2004 that she wanted to become an early childhood educator. She started her vocational training that year and finished with her Bachelor’s Degree in early childhood education in 2007.
From 2007 to 2008 Sybille was a head teacher at the “Montessori Zentrum an der Aare” with various Courses in Montessori und Pikler Pädagogik. An education and license to be an early childhood education trainer followed. From 2008 to 2010 Sibylle worked as the Deputy Director of the “Montessori Zentrum an der Aare”. In 2010, she relocated to The US and became an Au-Pair in Holliston MA. 4 yrs of Studies in Psychology at CUNY in New York followed. In 2014 Sibylle started her work at Rella’s Spielhaus and is since 2015 the Day Care’s Head Teacher.
Since 2015 Sibylle is the proud mother of a super curious little boy.
Csilla, Assistant Teacher & Kids Classes Instructor
Csilla, a native of Zurich, Switzerland graduated from the Zurich Dance and Theater School (former Colombo Dance Factory) in 2008. During her studies, she opened her own dance studio in Zurich where she taught children between the ages of 3 to 15. “Kindertanz” was the gateway for Csilla’s students to be introduced to both the joy and discipline of dancing.
In 2009, Csilla moved to New York to study Musical Theater Dance and received her Dance Certificate at “Steps” in 2012.
Since moving to New York, Csilla has worked with many German-speaking families as a German tutor, and nanny. In 2012, Csilla joined our Rella's Kinderklassen as teacher and also became an licensed assistant at our Day Care. Csilla has taught the first and second season of our German Summer Courses and has taken over most of the kids classes starting in the Fall of 2015. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor's Degree in Bi-Lingual Studies.
Csilla’s dedication to the New York German language community is deep; something you will feel immediately when you and your child meet her.
Regina, Assistant Teacher
Originally, Regina stems from southern Germany near Lake Constance. After graduating from the Wirtschaftsgymnasium with the Abitur she started an an internship at a pre-k in Germany. She realized that working with children was her passion and she started an Internship at a Pre-Kindergarten in Germany. In 2005 she traveled to the US which then led her to work as an Au-pair. She continued to be a full time caregiver (this time for twins) and German tutor while working on her Associate Degree which she obtained in 2009.
In the meantime Regina is happily married and works full time at Rella’s Spielhaus. She also went back to school and is now working on her Bachelor Degree in early childhood education.
Sylvia, Kinderklassen Instructor
Growing up in a bilingual environment Sylvia always had a passion for teaching and passing on the German language and culture. She started her studies as an Ethnic German Minority Primary School Teacher in 2002 in Hungary. In 2003 she received a scholarship to study at the Pädagogische Hochschule Ludwigsburg, Germany for two semesters and she also studied at the Goethe Institute in Schwäbisch Hall, Germany. She completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education with German Major in 2006.
Shortly after getting married, Sylvia and her husband moved to New York City where she continued to gain teaching experience working with German-speaking families as a private German tutor. In 2010 Sylvia pursued a Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language from The New School, New York, NY and obtained further professional experience from various Academic Skills Programs through Hunter College and the Cambridge School. After relocating to Boston, she had the opportunity to teach at the Brookline Adult and Community Education as German language teacher and at the Boston Public Library as an English teacher.
Sylvia moved back to New York City in 2012 and became an active member and a leader in the Rockefeller University Family Association community where she took the opportunity to put her professional experience in practice. Over the last several years, Sylvia has been leading childhood enrichment programs such as music and movement classes and as a Co-President of the Association, she has co-organized various children events and playgroups. Sylvia is also an enthusiastic mother (and passionate German tutor) of her own 3 young children.
Jessica, Assistant Teacher
Jessica split her childhood growing up both just outside of Munich, where the majority of her family still lives and the US. She graduated with a BFA in Musical Theater in 2008, working in regional theater around the country for several years after. Jessica has always loved children and started nannying during the summer’s of college. Since coming to New York in 2010, Jessica has been a full time nanny and babysitter for several german and english speaking families. Jessica joined Rella’s in the summer of 2016 as an assistant and absolutely cherishes the time she gets to spend with the children, sharing, playing and passing on the german language.