German International School Toronto Board of Trustees

The German International School Toronto is a not-for-profit corporation under Ontario law. The Board of Trustees is the main governing body of the German International School Toronto, as mandated by the guidelines for German Schools Abroad and set out in the corporation’s By-Laws. While the day-to-day operations of the school are entrusted to the Principal and the School Management Team, the business affairs of the school are managed by the Board of Trustees. In particular, the Board is responsible for fiscal oversight, management of the school’s assets and resources, provision of the means to operate the school and support of fundraising activities.

The Board also provides the strategic direction for the school and ensures that it continually strives to accomplish its vision.
The current Board members are parents and friends of the school who generously devote their time and effort to the school’s success. They are elected Directors for a term of two years by the corporation’s members at the Annual General Meeting. A maximum of 9 Directors are provided for by the By-Laws. The current Directors and Officeholders are:

Current Directors & Officeholders

  • Dr. Philipp von Witzendorff

    President & Chairman

    Philipp is a GIST Board Member since 2016. He holds the position of Vice President & Head of Toronto Retail Operations at Mercedes-Benz Canada. He has one child at GIST in Grade 4.

  • Dr. Marco Schmidt


    Marco joined the GIST Board in 2015. He is Executive Vice President at Dr. Oetker Canada Ltd. Marco has one son in the GIST Kindergarten.

  • Petra Robson


    Petra joined the GIST Board in 2007. She holds the position of Finance Director at Global Mining Research Pty Ltd., based in London, UK. Her four children attended German Schools Abroad in Australia, Canada and UK.

  • Egmont Schäfer

    GIST Board Member

    Egmont joined the GIST Board in 2015. He hold the position of Managing Director, Head of Financial Institutions Group, at HSBC Bank Canada. Egmont has three children at GIST in KIGA, Grade 1 and Grade 4.

  • Dr. Luigi Castagna

    Gist Board Member

    Luigi joined the GIST Board in 2002. He works at the Scarborough Hospital in the field of Paediatric Neurology. One of his two children attended GIST from Kindergarten to Grade 8.

  • Noella de Souza

    Gist Board Member

    Noella joined the GIST Board Member in 2017. She worked as Marketing Director for American Express and is currently a full-time mom to her two daughters. Both of them attend the GIST Kindergarten.

  • Ted Overton

    GIST Board Member

    Ted joined the GIST Board Member in 2017. He works as a Freelance Film and Television Professional and has one son in Grade 1.