Chris Schmidt is a full-time student services person acting as counselor and interventionist at South Prairie Elementary School in Grimes. She works with students who need extra assistance. She does less counseling now and more intervention.
“I do miss counseling some. That is what my master’s degree is in, earned at Drake University in 2002,” Schmidt says. “But I do what they need the most. I mostly work with individuals or small groups with academic concerns. I also brainstorm with teachers to help them work with their students.”
Schmidt grew up in Klemme and attended K-12 at what is now Belmond-Klemme School District. She attended Wartburg College for her freshman year. However, her high school sweetheart was attending Iowa State University, so Schmidt transferred to Iowa State for the remainder of her college years. They were married right out of college while he was farming with his family.
“I taught for three years at Klemme Elementary School, first a gifted and talented class and then two years as a Title One Math teacher for second graders. The talented and gifted was for K – eighth grade, one section of each grade. It was a small school, and I even shared a class room with a gal who taught Spanish.”
Schmidt and her husband moved to Grimes when he started working for Pioneer-DuPont. She worked for one year before substitute teaching at Woodward-Granger and Ankeny Schools. She started to work as administrative assistant at the Iowa United Methodist Conference office.
During the nine years with the Methodist Conference, Schmidt and her husband, Steve, had two daughters, Kari and Jaci.
“It was ideal for raising my daughters, as I had mother’s hours, 8:30 – 2:30,” she says.
The next three years she substituted at Dallas Center-Grimes School District and now is in her 12th year as full-time student services.
“I believe our district is doing a much better job now in helping students as soon as we see they need assistance.” Schmidt says. “We try to meet students where they are. South Prairie has three full-time and one part time interventionist. We each have our own space, so the kids come to us. It can be for a short time, or a long term. It varies on the needs of the student. I have about 50 regular students. There may be a part of my day where I see a different group of kids every 20 minutes. I have to manage my time well and keep organized.”
Schmidt wants people to know that they want to be supportive for families, not just the students.
“I’m the resource person for families for whatever they need,” she says. “Families can go to our website, www.dcgschools.com, go to my link and contact me. I’m passionate about that, if families come I want to help them in whatever way I can.”