LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Thomas Schroeder

Position: High School Counselor
School: Frankfort Schools
School District: USD 380 Vermillion
City, State: Frankfort, KS

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Thomas Schroeder was nominated by his principal, Dean Dalinghaus.

Mr. Schroeder is the quintessential teacher.  He loves and adores all aspects of teaching.  Everyone in the school knows that he has their best interest at heart.

"I don't believe there is another counselor in the state or even the country that will work as hard for their students and school as Tom does," said Dalinghaus. "He will work to find scholarships for kids and encourages students to apply for them, especially when he knows they can receive them if they put in the work."

Mr. Schroeder is a champion for kids.  He is in constant defense of students; when an someone says something negative about a student, he is right there to say something positive and explain why that student might be acting a certain way.

"Our students are very comfortable with Tom and come to him with all kinds of issues. Tom is the guy teachers also go to when they need help with a student and want to know how he would handle them," said Dalinghaus.

Mr. Schroeder serves on the Student Improvement Team and always has lots of great suggestions on working with any student in the K-12 building. Speaking of serving on committees, he is always willing to serve on any committee because he knows it is important.  He pushes his colleagues to get better at things they aren't comfortable with or don't have a lot of interest in. He will remind colleagues of "What is Best for Kids."

Mr. Schroeder was also essential in starting his school's MTSS process. He sees that teaching basic math and reading skills to students is going to enhance their lives and make school life better. He's also the first one to be in a skit, get the faculty together to do something for kids, work on a faculty float for Homecoming, put up posters welcoming students, sit with students at breakfast to start their day right, and advertise Frankfort Schools and the Frankfort Community to anyone that will listen.

"Tom is the champion of Frankfort Schools and its students, and we are lucky to have him with us," said Dalinghaus.

Comments (17)

Johnsons Posted over a year ago

Tom is an absolute wonderful person inside and out! He is always there to help out and encourage our kids! Three of my children got a lot of help with schooling, scholarships and friendship! He puts everything Into making the school the best!

Mara Olson Posted over a year ago

Tom is fantastic! He truely cares for the kids and it shows when he is helping them get college ready. He is persistent and pushes them and that is sometimes a hard thing to do, especially with teenagers. The kids respond well to them because they can see how much he cares and the things that he is willing to do for them to take them to the next level in their lives.

Paul and Judy Studer Posted over a year ago

We have had four children graduate from Frankfort High School and we were thrilled to learn that Tom had been nominated for such a well-deserved award! Tom is the glue that keeps Frankfort Schools, parents and students, and the community working together toward the same goal of preparing the future generation of men and women of integrity. Tom works tirelessly to support students during their years at Frankfort Schools and well after their graduation. He goes above and beyond what his job description requires. Our family, our school and our community have been richly blessed by Tom.

Koch's Posted over a year ago

Tom has been a wonderful teacher, coach, mentor and friend to our kids. He truly cares about all the students at Frankfort. My kids graduated from Frankfort, but still keep in contact with him. He is a great role model. Tom goes above and beyond in helping students with their future plans after high school, setting up job shadowing, college visits, notifying students of scholarships opportunities even when in college,, etc. He encourages students to be their best and go outside of their comfort zone. He truly deserves this award.

Linda Roeder Posted over a year ago

Tom has been instrumental to the Frankfort Schools. He has implemented reading programs and strategies that have definitely increased our student's abilities. He motivates our students with integrated projects and fun field events. In our small town he is instrumental in promoting our school and getting the community involved in the activities. He directs our upperclassmen into investigating their career choices through job shadowing experiences, job fairs and career days. Tom makes a difference to many lives and the community appreciates his hard work and determination.

Vickie Posted over a year ago

Life-changer! Tom certainly is one! This man is a force of good for a small community, one that he truly loves. He is focused on helping and guiding his students each day and that is admirable to witness. He goes above and beyond for his community even for those of us who have moved away. When I would visit he would always ask about my Dad in the Care Home, and while attending any event if I might wonder out loud whose kid was running the ball or at bat a quiet voice would answer me ... with a smile of pride in his voice. This man deserves this award for his dedication! And a Big Thank You, Tom for all you have done and continue to do. Frankfort is lucky to have you.

Suzy Parthemer Posted over a year ago

As the school nurse, I witness Tom actively involved as mentioned. Including riding his bicycle along side his runners coaching & encouraging them. Providing healthy snacks and promoting health & wellness. Tom also contributes to the community through his church by organizing & attending Mission trips. Tom is dedicated & deserving as he is a friend & life changer to many across the life span.

Angie Armstrong Posted over a year ago

This nomination is so very fitting! My first experience with Tom was when I married a Frankfort boy and moved to town. Tom sent him a pack of gum every year for New Years until he quit smoking - even years after he graduated! He didn’t do this because he was close to the family or anything - it was because he CARED about his past student. Fast forward and we now have two children that attend Frankfort schools. Let me tell you, these kids know that Tom is their champion as well. He pushes ALL of them, talks to them about their futures at a young age, and makes education fun! What does my teenage daughter do when she is upset? She goes straight to find Tom. And I can say the same for most students at Frankfort Schools. They know they have a trusted adult at school with their absolute best interests at heart. My 12-year-old would like to add, “All the kids love Tom! I don’t know how he does it, but he can be strict and fun at the same time.”

Erin Owen Posted over a year ago

Tom is and amazing example for all people of our community from doing Swim for Heart to the incredible HS counselor that he is. I makes sure every student is taken care of weather with a smile, kind words, support or helping them get scholarships so they can continue their education. He would help anyone and any activity that supports our students or our town. One in a million!

Keller’s Posted over a year ago

Tom is an absolute champion for kids. He’s patient. We have had 7 kids under his care at school. That’s just it, he cares so much. What a blessing to not only know Tom but to have such a positive Influemcer for our children!

Amy Adams Posted over a year ago

This award captures the overall spirit of Tom: “life changer.” He is so personable and reaches out to everyone around him in a positive way. My children are amongst the many that look up to him as an outstanding member of our team of teachers at Frankfort. He is welcoming, approachable, and has the drive it takes to make a better school and a better community!

Kim Stewart Posted over a year ago

I have known Tom for years as a friend, but now that I have children of my own, I get to see him in a completely different light. He has taught and worked with/for my kids for years in the school system at Frankfort. Tom is the kind of person that worries and tends to all the different needs of the kids. He is always offering them fruit and encouraging them to eat right. He attends and supports the kids with each different type of extra curricular activities, we can be at a game 2 hours from home and there he is clapping and supporting them. He has coached my daughter in Cross Country the past 3 years. What a joy to watch, he coaches with respect and builds the kids up. Even the ones that test his patience to the limits. He makes it fun and makes them want to do better. My twins are now seniors and he is helping them make decisions for their future, with help on colleges, majors and lots of help on getting scholarships to help them get through with out any more debt than necessary. He just ALWAYS has my kids back and that is such a wonderful thing to know. This award would be so deserved!!

Laura Roeder Posted over a year ago

I've known Tom for a very long time. He was two years behind me in school. My husband and our family moved back to Frankfort when our kids were starting the 8th and 4th grades. Tom was so helpful and welcoming to our family. Both of our kids and now my husbands grandson have graduated from Frankfort and have gone on to have many successes in college and in life. I attribute much of that to Tom. He has always been there to help guide the students of Frankfort and takes a real interest in helping them achieve great things. He goes out of his way to get to know each individual and to help each one become the best they can be. Tom is also very active in our community. He also helps our community see how important the school and students are to our town. I am very grateful to have Tom as a member of our school and community.

K'Lyn Bergman Posted over a year ago

I have gotten to know Tom through serving on the Frankfort Community Foundation Board, and he is very dedicated to the Frankfort Community and the youth programs. He goes above and beyond to support the youth in this community, and has been instrumental in establishing multiple funds to benefit youth. He works hard to see that students succeed, and that is why I nominate Tom Schroeder for the LifeChanger of the Year award.

Linda Fincham Posted over a year ago

I've known Tom for years, both of his parents were my teachers in High School, they were well thought of community people and they instilled that in Tom. For the past 10 years I have sat on the Frankfort Community Foundation Board with Tom. He has served as our Secretary and next month we are planning our first Match Day. The committee asked Tom if he would be willing to be the chairman. Tom took on the position and he has done a terrific job at planning the Match day, he has visited with people thru out the community, making meetings and explaining this process. He has reached out to and helped 22 organizations to establish funds for this Match Day. Of those 22 at least 12 deal with and are a direct benefit to students in FHS, and all youth and children in our community. Tom has worked diligently for years to encourage students to reach their personal goals by obtaining scholarships. He is the lead force behind the Frankfort Alumni Association, ordering and selling FHS shirts, jackets, etc. where the profits go to build Scholarship funds given by the Alumni Association. He is a Cross-Country Coach and gives of his free time to help the students and youth of Frankfort. Tom would be a very deserving recipient of this award!

Alice Jones Posted over a year ago

When my kids were in school, I knew I could go to Tom with concerns and he would always take them seriously and made steps to solve the problem. He personally cares for each student and parent. My kids are grown now and I am director of the Frankfort City Library. I am still seeing how Tom is so motivated to give each student personal time. He is continually ordering books about careers. He does this in junior high to get the kids thinking about their future. He allows them to make the choice of careers - several for each person- then they discuss the one they particularly like. He makes arrangements for authors to talk to kids at school. Next week he has invited Debra Seely to conduct a workshop for junior high and high school. Before that he had Nancy Sprowell Geise, author of Auschwitz #34207. It opened the eyes of many students the reality of Worl War !!. Tom works hard to obtain scholarships for each senior. He helps students and parents with financial aid issues, always helping with the paper work. He encourages them to help motivate them to try harder and tells them he believes in their abilities. He knows each individual well enough that he can point out their assets, strong points and character. He truly is an exceptional teacher and counselor

Connie Musil Posted over a year ago

Tom Schroeder has been instrumental in the success of our students in all grades of our school, but especially the high school students. Since he became our counselor, the grants and scholarships that our students receive have more than quadrupled. He has worked very hard to make sure that a post high school education is not out of reach for any of our students. He also knows each student personally and works with all ages (K-12) to make sure they have what they need to succeed. He is an advocate for every student in our school and our school is so much better because of his involvement.