Meet the Staff: Waldsee | Concordia Language Villages

Meet the Staff: Waldsee

Waldsee staff come from across the country and around the world to celebrate the richness and diversity of German-speaking cultures using our unique community-based approach to learning. Our staff brings experience, talent, commitment and passion to our program. Some have grown up in our program, moving from villager to staff. Others are master teachers who captivate, motivate and nurture. Our kitchen, healthcare and administrative staff are fully committed to the Waldsee mission and ensuring an unforgettable experience.

Meet the Dean

Jon Berndt Olsen

Jon Olsen smiling outside.

Jon Berndt Olsen is dean of Waldsee, the German Language Village, during the first half of our summer. Berndt has been on staff at Concordia Language Villages for 33 years and was a villager at both the German and Norwegian Language Villages. He is fluent in German and has studied Norwegian and Russian. This is his 20th year as dean.

Berndt received his Bachelor's degree in German, Russian studies and history from St. Olaf College, his master's degree in German and European studies from Georgetown University and his doctorate in German history from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

He has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Fulbright Commission, the Robert Bosch Foundation and the Social Science Research Council. Berndt has held teaching positions at Texas Tech University, The College of William and Mary, George Mason University and is currently an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he specializes in German History and Digital History.

Angela Johanna Schneider

Johanna smiling.

We are excited to announce that Angela Johanna Schneider has been selected as the newest dean of Waldsee! Johanna has 15 years of experience at Waldsee where she has served in many roles, including Assistant Dean, Credit Facilitator, Credit Abroad Program Leader and Adult Program Leader. Johanna holds a degree in education with certification and licensure in German. She has lived in Austria as a Fulbright Teaching Assistant and worked and studied in Germany as well.

Johanna says, “Linking Waldsee’s rich history with its continuing mission is a task I am ready for. I am looking forward to a spring and summer with more opportunities for our community to grow and connect.  The challenges of the pandemic years have once again proven the strength and resourcefulness of our amazing staff, families and villagers.  

Over the next years, I hope to lead Waldsee towards greater sustainability.  As members of this community, we are also stewards of the village.  We take on the responsibility of caring for our people and our resources.  A high priority of mine is to continue the work of making Waldsee more inclusive and welcoming to learners of all kinds.”

Meet the Staff

Waldsee Staff Testimonials

Read staff testimonials from Katja and the Haines family.