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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Making the grade

Schmidt works for opportunities for all students

Capturing a woman like Joan Schmidt on paper is tough, but it’s even tougher to capture her in person. President of the National School Boards Association, she’s traveling most of this school year—as many as 250 days away from her hometown of Fairfield, Mont. For Schmidt, a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Fairfield, the job is only part of her superwoman routine. She also serves the congregation, works on the family farm and runs the occasional marathon.

“When I’m away I try to focus in on the issues at work, so when I come home I can pack in all the things I love and care about,” Schmidt says. “It’s hard, but I’m relishing the opportunity.” Schmidt admits she’s had to make some concessions, after serving as organist and choir director, teaching Sunday school and even controlling St. Paul’s lights and heat on Sundays. But, she adds, her faith has found a new focus in her work for the school boards.


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