Meet Mr. Schroeder

Andre Sydnor: What is your hometown?

Schroeder: Born in Milwaukee, raised a little bit in Wauwatosa, and moved out to Hartland when I was four. I went to private school for grade school and Arrowhead for high school.

Why did you decide to stay in Wisconsin?

I have no idea… that is a wonderful question. Because I enjoy the bitter cold.

Do you actually?

No, I don’t. I do like some aspects of winter. I think I wanted to stick around and be close to my family. I’ve thought about moving a lot — mostly due to weather, but I think family trumps weather in my book.

When you were in high school, what did you think you were going to be or what did you think you would major in?

I thought I was going to do something more TV or radio related, or comedy related. I had some aspirations of doing something with radio or TV. I went to Oshkosh, Cardinal Stritch for my master’s, and I’m at Marquette right now to finish up my administration’s license. But yeah that was something I looked into, radio/TV/film.

What was your favorite class in college?

I really liked my Understanding the Arts class. It was a pit class, so there were 200 people in there. I learned a ton and it got me thinking, “How is this one human for this understanding the arts class getting me, Mr. Nobody, to actually be interested in this?”, and everybody was interested in it. That’s pretty remarkable. It was the way that he designed the class; it was the way that he set up the class. And it wasn’t anything spectacular. For all the paintings he introduced, we had to have a separate note card, and we actually drew the painting ourselves. It’s funny the amount of the paintings, the painters, the different art movements, styles that I remember from that class because of the way it was designed.

What activities do you like to do outside of school?

I am a pretty big reader, I love reading, I love the outdoors, I coached soccer for the last 17 years, and I still coach my kid’s teams for Brookfield. I coach my kids’ basketball teams, I help coach my kids’ baseball teams, so I do a lot with my kids. I read, I used to play basketball but I hurt myself. Ultimately, I’m here [at school]; I leave; I go home; I quick change; just about every night of the week I grab one of my kids, and we go to soccer or basketball or baseball practice; and then we come home and it’s like 8:00pm and we put the kids to bed and I’ll either do more work, read, do something for the class that I’m taking at Marquette or I’ll watch a TV show.

What kind of stuff do you like to read?

I like mystery, thriller. There’s sometimes where I’ll read professional development stuff or things that pertain to work. But if I’m looking for a good, fast read, I’ll devour mystery or detective fiction.

If you could solve any world problem, what would it be?

Words like equity, the achievement gap, some of the things that go on in schools… I think more of equal opportunity, equal access to resources. We have so many different opportunities for kids to learn, some good and some bad, to provide all kids with the same access to education would be huge for me. That’s just how much I believe in the power of education.

Do you consider yourself a leader or a follower?

I consider myself more of a leader.

What qualities does a leader possess in your mind?

I think a leader has to be able to relate and engage a lot of different people. Different ages, just a wide variety of humans. I have a sense of humor that I try to use to my advantage. A leader has to be confident, knowledgeable, a hard-worker; that in relation has a lot to do with communication. You need to be able to communicate well. You need to be able to speak well, you need to be able to write well, you need to be able to read well, you need to be able to listen well. Those four… listening is something I really try to focus on over the last 4 years.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Spain. I love Barcelona, I spent some time there… while I was a Spanish teacher at East, I was able to go on a couple trips there.

If I gave you $1000 right now, what would you do with it?

My quick reaction is I would buy a scooter. Could the money be put to better use? Absolutely. But I am dedicated to finding a scooter.