March 12, 2017
Dr. Joe bio via Saint Patrick Website:
Dr. Schmidt began his teaching career at Saint Patrick High School in the fall of 1967. After graduating from Purdue University majoring in Management, he earned his Master’s Degree in School Administration from Loyola University in 1975 and his doctorate in School Administration from Northern Illinois University in 1989. Dr. Schmidt was named principal in 1987, becoming the first lay-principal under the new administrative model. After a decade of serving as principal, Dr. Schmidt was honored in 1997 with the Christian Brothers’ Midwest District Lasallian Award and also was inducted into the Saint Patrick High School Hall of Fame that same year. In 1998, the high school recognized him a second time with its Distinguished Educator Award. In 2009, he was inducted into the East Suburban Conference Hall of Fame. This year Dr. Schmidt serves as the first lay President of Saint Patrick High School.
The third of four sons, he and his family have had a long association with the Christian Brothers. Dr. Schmidt, as well as his father and two of his brothers, were graduates of St. George High School. His father, Carl, later served as a member of the St. George School Board and his mother was an officer in the school’s Parents’ Club.
Dr. Schmidt has been on the following committees: Saint Patrick High School Board of Trustees, Christian Brothers’ Pension Board of Trustees; Plano Retreat Facility; Belmont/Central Chamber of Commerce member; Chairperson to the Executive Committee; Archdiocese of Chicago, member of the National Association of Secondary School Principals; member of the National Catholic Educational Association; member of the Northern Illinois University Society of Educational Administrators; and member of the Board of Trustees of the Illinois High School Association. Dr. Schmidt currently serves on the Board of Governors with the Western Golf Association and maintains the position of Caddie Chairperson.
Dr. Schmidt resides in McHenry, Illinois and is a member of McHenry Country Club.
Article from St. Patrick Today 2017:
Dr. Joseph G. Schmidt, AFSC, never planned on a career at Saint Patrick High School.
He did not expect to be a teacher or dean, and certainly never dreamed of becoming a principal or president. Fresh of graduating from Purdue University with a Business Management degree in 1967, Dr. Joe was on his way to a career in business after landing a job with Inland Steel out of college.
That path was quickly changed when Joe received his “calling” from the Christian Brothers.
As a graduate of Saint George, a fellow Christian Brothers school, the entire Schmidt family had developed a tight-knit relationship with the brothers. So when Brother Cormack—a former Saint George teacher who had gone on to become an assistant principal at St. Pat’s—invited Joe and his brother, Charlie, to join the Saint Patrick faculty following a teachers strike in 1967, it didn’t take the Schmidt brothers long to jump on board.
Joe had already developed a trusting, meaningful relationship with the Christian Brothers over the years, and was eager to give back to them in any way he could.
“The Christian Brothers have always had a big influence on me,” said Joe, who considers his Affiliation as a Christian Brother one of the most meaningful things in his entire life. “They are good guys, they are great educators and they always treated me and my family with the utmost respect.”
The year 1967 turned out to be a big year for Dr. Joe, who graduated from college, married his wife, Lynn, and started his job at St. Pat’s within the span of a few months. In the midst of all those monumental events, there was no way that the man hired as an accounting teacher, basketball coach and tennis coach could have pictured himself here half a century later—with two more degrees, three new positions and a countless number of students impacted by his caring, energizing and powerful presence.
But looking back on his career thus far, it’s easy for Joe—and all those surrounding him—to see that Saint Patrick High School is where he was always meant to be.
“So many things have gone right for me to be here for so long,” Dr. Joe said. “I believe that the Lord does have a path for everybody, and I do believe that my path has been a providential one.”
Northwest Side Irish Parade