Board of Directors

Johanna Hartsel - President, Board Chair

Johanna is a current and former Pusteblume parent and has know the school for many years. She has a background in international business and currently runs her own real estate investment business.

Ralf Oberbannscheidt - Co-Founder, Treasurer

Ralf founded the school together with his wife Lauren in 2012, NYC’s only licensed preschool offering German (and later Spanish) language immersion. Ralf was born and raised in Germany, studied internationally and works in international finance. He is the father of four German/English bi-literate children who fueled the passion to make this school a reality.


Carola is an entrepreneur and long-time volunteer on the German language school building project and helped realize Pusteblume. Born and raised in Germany, Carola came to New York in her early 20′s as an au pair. She built up and managed her own successful international jewelry company for the past twenty years and gained extensive knowledge in business and human resource management. Carola also serves on the leadership team of Every Girl Is Important and is the mother of a trilingual (German/Spanish/English) son.


chiara gorodesky - board member, Secretary

Chiara is a current and former Pusteblume parent and a member of the Pusteblume board of directors. She is a lawyer by trade, an accomplished dancer by passion and in addition a dedicated member of the Turtle Conservancy.