2016 Staff: Lesnoe Ozero

Get acquainted with our wonderful 2016 program staff!

Credit Teachers

Two-Week Program Staff

Administrative Staff

Kitchen Staff

Camp Nurse


Credit Teachers

Hi! My name is Andrei. I was born and raised in Russia, but now I live in Chicago, Illinois, where I am pursuing my PhD in Russian literature at the University of Illinois, Chicago. I used to be an English teacher and I am glad to switch to my native language. It's my first year at Lesnoe Ozero and I am sure we'll have a lot of fun!


Hi! I’m Margosha. I just moved back to the US after living in Pyatigorsk, Russia for four years, where I studied Russian translation. I've been learning Russian for 10 years, and I also study German and Polish. As a child I went to the German Language Village (Waldsee) for seven years, and have been working at Lesnoe Ozero for three years. Starting Fall 2016, I will be a Russian teaching assistant at the University of Kansas, where I am pursuing my PhD. In my free time I like to read and listen to music.


Privet vsem! My name is Olya, I am from Novosibirsk, Russia. I am a professor at Novosibirsk State University. This is my first year at Lesnoe Ozero. I am a 4-week program teacher and a song leader. I love Russian poems and songs, so this is a great opportunity to share them with everyone!


Hello everyone, my name is Yulia. I was born and raised in Togliatti, which is often called the car capital of Russia. I graduated from Togliatti State University with a degree in linguistics. I've been teaching English for almost ten years and I know quite a lot about the process of foreign language acquisition. I spent one year as a Fulbrighter (Foreign Language Teaching Assistant) teaching Russian at Grinnell College, Iowa. I love my job and I’m proud of my country and I’m delighted to share these passions with everybody.


Hello! My name is Sasha. I am from Cherepovets, Russia. There, I am a teacher of Russian language and literature at a local high school. Last year I worked in the United Kingdom where I taught woodworking at a middle school. I like playing the guitar and balalaika. I love Russian food, culture, and music.


Two-Week Program Staff

Hi! My name is Katya! I study environmental science at the University of Minnesota. This is my 4th year at Lesnoe Ozero. At camp, I teach the heritage class, drama, and art. I like to incorporate the natural world into my lessons. In my spare time, I enjoy theatre, painting, music, and dancing.


Hi! My name is Iza and this is my fourth year on staff and my 10th at Lesnoe Ozero. I teach the balalaika classes and help with day camp. In the fall, I'll be a freshman at the University of Iowa, where I'm planning on double majoring in marketing and Spanish, minoring in Russian, through the business school. In my free time, I like to sing and color!


Hello! My name is Boris. I'm from St. Petersburg, Russia. There, I have worked as a teacher of geography, biology, and ecology for many years. This is my 6th year at Lesnoe Ozero. At camp, I lead culture hours about nature, hiking, camping, fishing, and the Russian banya.


Hello! My name is Kristina and I am from Kentucky. I studied in Kiev, Ukraine for a year as an exchange student in college and graduated with a degree in International Relations in 2012. That year, I began work in Kyrgyzstan with American Councils for International Education. I’ve also worked in international education in Russia, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan. Recently, I spent a year in Moldova, where I taught at a university on the Fulbright program. My hobbies include riding horses, running, drawing, and reading.


Hi! My name is Gosha. I am from Petrozavodsk, Russia. My interests are diverse, and include sports (I’ve done track and field, soccer, and swimming), Russian folk dancing (which I’ve been doing for five years), music, film, and technology. At the moment, most of my free time is spent studying so that I can enter university. I’m very much looking forward to spending my summer here at Lesnoe Ozero and teaching the villagers about my home country!


Hi! My name is Lera. I grew up on the coast of the White Sea in northern Russia in a big family - I have three brothers and two sisters. For this reason, I have a lot of experience working with kids in nature. I just finished college at the Russian State University for the Humanities in Moscow. I love dancing, music, playing ukelele, reading, and learning foreign languages - so far Spanish and English. I am excited to work with kids and teach them about my country and culture!


Hello! My name is Komron. I am from Dushanbe, Tajikistan, and currently I am a student at the Dushanbe branch of Moscow State University.I love being active and playing soccer. I have traveled a lot and because of this I have come to know the diversity of cultures of the world. I am so excited to talk about our fascinating world with the villagers at Lesnoe Ozero this summer!


Hi! My name is Oksana. I was born and raised in Boston. I just graduated from Reed College in Portland, Oregon with a major in Russian language and literature. During my studies, I studied in St. Petersburg for seven months as an exchange student. I like to sing and go camping. I am also very interested in folk art of Ukraine and Russia and in Eastern European culture in general.  I traveled to Ukraine in January 2016 and received a Fulbright award to teach English there for the 2016-2017 academic year.


Hi! I’m Elena. I studied German and Russian language instruction at Moscow Linguistic University. After I moved to Wisconsin in 1998, I founded a Saturday school for Russian-speaking children. Now, I live with my family in Eugene, Oregon. Upon completion of my Masters, I taught internationally focused courses at the University of Oregon. In addition, I test new exams and check the oral and written tests of North American students in Russian language programs.


Hi! My name is Anton. I live in Moscow, where I work as a teacher of Russian language and literature. I began to work with kids in camps and schools when I was still a student. Working with kids is incredibly inspiring and encourages constant self-growth. I love learning new things and singing, and I dream of someday taking a trip around the world!


Hi, my name is Yan. This is my third summer at Lesnoe Ozero. I majored in Russian language and literature at St. Olaf College. I have worked as an English teacher in Moscow and will be working with youth groups in San Francisco starting this fall. I’m originally from San Diego, California. I love running, hiking, and watching thought-provoking films.


Hi, I am Valya! I live in St. Petersburg, Russia. There, I’m the assistant director at an orphanage. This is my seventh summer at Lesnoe Ozero. I’m a teacher in the two-week program and live in the cabin Odessa. 


Hello! My name is Ekaterina. I am from North Carolina, but I study Earth Science and Russian at McGill University in Montreal. I would like someday to study other planets, possibly with the Russian Space Agency. I was a villager for two years at Lesnoe Ozero, and this is my third year working as a counselor. When I am not studying Russian or reading about space, I love to dance contra, blues, swing and waltz. I play Irish music on the fiddle, and I also love Russian folk music because it's so unique and beautiful. My favorite Russian folk song is "Moscow Nights."  


Hi! My name is Dasha. I’m a sophomore at the University of Chicago, where I study international relations. I love to dance, and I’ve been dancing traditional dances of Russia, Georgia, and Ukraine for four years. Last year, I began ballroom dancing. I also love to play guitar and sing, read history books, and travel.


Hello! My name is Edik. I am from Chicago, Illinois. This is my third year at Lesnoe Ozero. I am a sophomore at Cornell University studying philosophy and Russian language. I enjoy reading, playing sports, and playing the piano. I am so excited to be at Lesnoe Ozero this summer!


Privet! Menya zovut Lev! This is my second year on staff. I teach 2-weeker Russian language classes and culture hours. I have just graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison with a degree in Russian Language and Literature. Next year I will be studying abroad in Almaty, Kazakhstan on the Russian flagship capstone program and researching Kazakh history. I enjoying playing classical music, rock climbing and learning foreign languages.


Hi, my name is Kira! I studied Russian and Linguistics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. I then lived in Russia for two and a half years, working as an English teacher. I worked at Lesnoe Ozero 10 years ago and I am so happy to be able to return this year!


Privyet! My name is Sabina! I’m from Minneapolis. I study math and Russian at University of Minnesota. I'm especially interested in Russia's role in the UN and modern politics. I like to watch hockey and play with my dog, Spunky.


Administrative Staff

Hi, my name is Shura! I received my M.A. in Slavic Literatures and Linguistics from the University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign, after which I participated on the Fulbright Teacher’s Program in Windhoek, Namibia. I then spent a semester at the Gerzen Institute in St. Petersburg, Russia with ACTR (American Council of Teachers of Russian). I stayed in St. Petersburg for three more years working as resident director for University of Illinois’ study abroad program in St. Petersburg. At Lesnoe Ozero, I am a staff counselor and culture hour coordinator.


Hi, my name is Sara. At Lesnoe Ozero, I am a staff counselor and family liaison. I live in Portland, Oregon where I teach middle school Spanish. I studied Russian Language and Culture at Mount Holyoke College and Linguistics and Language Teaching at the University of Oregon. I studied abroad in St. Petersburg (2005) and Moscow (2009) and taught English in Kazan, Russia (2013-2014). I enjoy arts and crafts, and at Lesnoe Ozero I love making friendship bracelets, doing khokhloma, painting pisanki and learning how to braid hair.


Hi! My name is Zhanna. I am the business manager at Lesnoe Ozero. I live in sunny Turkmenistan, to which my family moved from Russia after WWII. I study international business at Minnesota State University, Mankato. One of my favorite Russian holidays is Easter. My grandmother, mother, and me bake pierogi, buns, and cakes on the eve of the holiday. We paint Easter eggs and then take them to church. On the day of the holiday, I visit my friends and share Easter eggs and cakes with them.


Hello! My name is Tatiana, and I am the assistant business manager. I am a senior at Luther College, where I study Russian and religion. I enjoy the Russian language and culture as well as playing rugby. This fall, I’ll be traveling to Vladimir, Russia to do extensive language study through the American Councils for Teachers of Russian. This is my 9th year with Lesnoe Ozero and my third year on staff. I am looking forward to an amazing summer here!


Hi, I’m Yasha! I am Lesnoe Ozero’s photographer, blogger, and social media & marketing assistant. This is my first year on staff, but I’ve been a villager here for 5 years. I am a junior at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, majoring in Russian and music composition. I am also in the Russian Flagship program. As part of this, I spent last summer in Almaty, Kazakhstan studying the Russian language. In my free time, I like to play piano, take photos, read, cook, and travel.


Privyet! My name is Sasha.  This is my 7th year on staff.  This summer I am a Staff Counselor and the Day Camp Coordinator.  In 2015, I taught English in Northern Thailand.  I hope to teach abroad again, possibly in a Russian-speaking country!


Kitchen Staff

Hi, my name is Tamara. I am the chef for Lesnoe Ozero.  I have worked for Concordia Language Villages since the summer of 1988. Most of those years have been with the Russian Village.   During the school year Concordia Language Villages caters meals for Schoolcraft Learning Community and I have had the privilege of managing that kitchen for the past 10 years.  In my free time, I like to work in my yard, play games and spend time with my family. 


Hi! My name is Alana and I am an assistant cook here at camp. I’m from St. Paul, Minnesota. This is my fifth year at Lesnoe Ozero and my second on staff. I study Russian and geology at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. In my spare time, I enjoy running, reading, and playing music.


Hi, my name is Lena! I work as an assistant cook at Lesnoe Ozero, and I have also worked in the kitchen at Sup Sogŭi Hosu, the Korean language camp. I’m from Iowa, but right now I study Russian and chemistry at Kenyon College in Ohio. I’ve been studying Russian for four years -- I started when I was 17. I’m very interested in Russian literature and politics. In my free time, I like to read, play piano, garden, and knit.


Hi, my name is Ivan, and I’m the village baker here at camp. I’m a freshman at the University of Minnesota, where I plan to major in history with double minors in business and Russian. This is my 6th year at Lesnoe Ozero and first year on staff.


Hi! My name Fenya, and I work as a kitchen helper here at camp. I am a going to be a senior at Colby college in Maine, studying Russian and computer science. In my free time I love to read and hang out with friends.


Hi! My name is Vitalik. I work as a kitchen helper here at Lesnoe Ozero. I will be starting my first year at Concordia University here in Minnesota, where I will be studying history and Russian. I like to read history books and play ping pong in my free time. Russian is my favorite language to speak and I hope to use it to teach someday.


Medsistra-Camp Nurse

Hello, my name is Sasha.  I was born in Zhitomir, Ukraine and moved to the United Stated with my parents in 1989.  I have worked as a staff nurse at the University of Minnesota Children's Hospital Intensive Care and Bone Marrow Transplant Units for 18 years. I like to sing folk songs around a campfire and very much enjoy Russian classical literature.  I love working as a camp nurse at Lesnoe Ozero because it gives me an opportunity to experience camp with my four daughters and work with children. Lesnoe Ozero reminds me of my motherland; it is my home away from home.


Hi! My name is Volk. I am a wilderness EMT and urban paramedic who is helping out in our health center, for the last two weeks of the summer. I was a villager for 10 years, and have been on staff for 13; this is my fourth year at Лесное Озеро. I am coming across the lake from Voyageurs, our French Wilderness program. I am happily learning as much Russian as I can and can't get enough of our wonderful new banya. The Russian Village steals my heart in so many ways, a very magical place. This fall, I'll be returning to college to start my RN.