GSC’s current Principal, Dr. Renate Ludanyi, will retire at the end of this school year after 40 years of dedicated service to the school. Back in 1978, driven by a decrease in German instruction in the State of Connecticut, Dr. Ludanyi and a handful of concerned parents and colleagues had the ambitious goal to create a German Saturday School. Due to her leadership, the support of dedicated teachers and enthusiastic volunteers, the school has remained successful to this day. One of Dr. Ludanyi’s key achievements was the introduction into the USA of the Deutsches Sprachdiplom or DSD 1 and 2 (German Language Diploma), for which she was awarded the Bundesverdienstkreuz (Germany’s Cross of Merit). Under Dr. Ludanyi’s guidance, Saturday schools were granted the privilege to offer the AATG (American Association of Teachers of German) exams. GSC also pioneered the Saturday school chapter of the German Honor Society Delta Epsilon Phi. She and her teaching staff can be especially proud that in 2018 the GSC was awarded the prestigious designation of German Center of Excellence by the AATG. Dr. Ludanyi is the recipient of many national and international honors and recognitions including the coveted AATG Friend of German award.
Going forward, Dr. Ludanyi will continue to support GSC in a position of Director Emerita. She will remain president of the German Language School Conference (GLSC), the national umbrella organization for German Saturday Schools, and a core member of the Washington-based National Coalition of Community-Based Language Schools. She will continue with her research into heritage language education, her publishing and lecturing activities, her affiliation with Western Connecticut State University and her professional memberships.
The School is very pleased to introduce Dr. Stefanie Mischner as the new principal of the German School of Connecticut beginning with the 2019-20 academic year. Dr. Mischner is very familiar with the German School of Connecticut, having taught at our school for 16 years. She also previously held the role of Assistant Principal at the school for 11 years.
After Dr. Ludanyi announced her retirement last year, the Board of Directors appointed a search committee to find her successor. The search for a new principal included candidates from a variety of backgrounds and consisted of several rounds of interviews by the search committee, as well as faculty and administration stakeholders. Dr. Mischner stood out among the candidates and was unquestionably the individual best qualified to serve as principal of the GSC moving forward. She has the experience and skills to lead the German School of Connecticut into the next 40 years.
Dr. Mischner holds a Ph. D in Economics and Education from Columbia University, and a degree in Linguistics, Visual Arts and Education from the Otto-Friedrich University in Bamberg, Germany. She has taught at universities in the US and Germany and has worked as a research assistant for the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education and the World Bank, and as a research consultant for the German Language School Conference. Dr. Mischner is a Board Member at the Columbia University Club of Fairfield County (Marketing and Technology) and has published several papers on education.