Faculty & Staff SpotlightDonald Helmstetter

Donald Helmstetter, Ph.D.

Education Doctorate Programs

Dr. Donald Helmstetter has been the Dean of Education and Science at Concordia since 2010. Prior to that, Don served as a public school superintendent, where he was twice selected as Minnesota Superintendent of the Year (by MN School Counselors Association in 1994, and by MN Association of School Administrators in 2007). With a BA in English and an MS in Counseling and Guidance, he has served as high school teacher and coach, chemical dependency and high school counselor, principal, athletic director, and superintendent. He also directed summer leadership institutes for high school students for over thirty years. All of these experiences shaped his personal and professional philosophy, which is to make a positive difference each day, and all the while, insisting that every individual is treated with dignity, is provided due process, and is assured of fairness and justice in all transactions.

In addition to his administrative duties, he continues to teach leadership courses at the graduate and post-graduate level. He has provided workshops in school board/superintendent relationships for the MN School Board Association, and he has also presented at state and national conferences on a variety of other topics, including leadership, stress management for school leaders and families, and youth development. He mentors a number of emerging leaders, and he also works with churches, schools, and school districts, facilitating a strategic planning process, as well as providing group and organizational leadership training.


  • Ph.D. Educational Administration, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
  • M.S. Secondary School Counseling and Guidance, Minnesota State University, Mankato
  • B.A. English, Minnesota State University, Mankato
  • Minnesota Licenses: Secondary School Counseling and Guidance; Secondary School English and Language Arts; Secondary School Administration; District Superintendent


Educational Leadership; School Law and Ethics; School Finance; Human Resources Management; Systemic and Organizational Leadership; Leading Change in Organizations; Public Policy