LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Robert Schroeder

Position: Retiring Fourth Grade Teacher
School: Swasey Central School
School District: SAU #16
City, State: Brentwood, NH

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Music that Describes Robert

Robert Schroeder was nominated by his colleague, Lisa Zack-Swasey.

"I have worked with Robert at Swasey Central School for 21 years," said Zack-Swasey. "As a special educator, I case manage some of the most challenging children who attend our school. The children all love Mr. Schroeder."

As an incentive for good behavior, students are given the opportunity to visit Mr. Schroeder in his classroom. He creates opportunities for students to assemble new furniture or school equipment, organize a toolbox, or participate in some other hands-on scenario where they feel useful and needed. His calm demeanor works for children of all abilities. Mr. Schroeder can be both stern and appealing to children with behavior problems. While he is not considered the school disciplinarian, his fellow teachers depend on his assistance with class management of those students who might otherwise be suspended. He has been making this kind of difference for years.

"I first met Robert Schroeder years ago, when my son was in his fourth grade," said Zack-Swasey. "He was an awesome teacher who taught my son to write, to read all kinds of books, and to develop confidence for oral presentations. Bob has a respect for nature and a love of science. When my son was in his class, Bob's students built a nature trail in the woods behind Swasey Central School. That same year, students attended a leadership institute where community service was the theme. It is because of Mr. Schroeder's love of the environment that my son majored in ecotourism."

His former students, who are now adults, still visit him today. Many of these visitors were the children who would have ended up with criminal records had Mr. Schroeder not shown them his stern compassion. He made school a welcoming place to be. He made these individuals feel worthwhile and respected, and that impression lasted with them for years.

All kids love Mr. Schroeder. His class puts on an annual play. For the play, the children make their own costumes, props, and sound effects producing an authentic piece of art from start to finish. Mr. Schroeder also offers chess club and "take apart" club, where students use tools to dissemble broken technology and small appliances to investigate their electrical systems. Under his direction, the fourth grade students collect all the paper recycling throughout the school on a weekly basis as a community service project.

Mr. Schroeder is a veteran with great respect for our country and flag. Every Memorial Day, he and his fourth graders lead a flag ceremony around the flagpole in the front of the school building. They invite every student and staff member to come and show respect for those service members who gave their lives for our country. HIs class is responsible for raising the American flag every morning and taking it down before the students leave at the end of the day. Rest assured, each member of his class knows flag etiquette.

In 2014, Mr. Schroeder and the fourth grade team received the Outstanding Educator Award from the Oregon-California Trails Association for the fourth grade's westward migration unit. The unit simulated life on the Oregon Trail through historical role-playing, analyzing primary sources, journal writing, experiencing a day on the trail that included "roping" cattle, trail cooking, hearing stories on the trail, building sod houses, and seeing a blacksmith in action. Mr. Schroeder embraced this hands-on opportunity for his students. 

Another notable undertaking was an Archaeological Roots Inquiry-Based Learning opportunity spearheaded by Mr. Schroeder. It was designed to give students a hands-on real-life archaeological experience. Students used tools to sift through the soil of uprooted trees in a wooded area next to the school. Students read about archaeology and what archaeologists do, and they took a look at the area before coming up with driving questions. They rotated jobs, spent time journaling about their experiences, and found artifacts that told something about the people that lived in Brentwood long ago. The fourth graders earned an Archaeological Roots badge for their efforts.

Mr. Schroeder is the kind of teacher who accepts students at their own level and recognizes and appreciates their individual growth and development. Grades are based on individual improvements, not a standard or normal curve. He expects all students to grow and achieve and celebrates each student's capabilities. And yet, over the past 40 years, Mr. Schroeder has made his teaching a new and fresh experience. He is always ahead of the curve, using best practices before they become a commercial experience. He provides authentic, hands-on, memorable experiences for his students. Mr. Schroeder lends a hand to his colleagues and the community. He is a legend. He is one of a kind!

Comments (46)

Lisa Posted 4 months ago

The staff at Swasey Central School presented Mr. Schroeder with his own parking spot (personalized sign to that effect)! What a way to celebrate this LifeChanger!

Sue Mayo Posted 4 months ago

Swasey is going to have a huge hole next year. For decades, you have been an anchor for kids and teachers alike. You were always someone who could be counted on to help others. You were always selfless and put others first. You have been transformative in the classroom and out. We will miss you. THANK YOU for all your help through the years. You will be missed.

Diane Alden Posted 5 months ago

Mr.Schroeder has been such a huge positive part of our school. From his never ending willingness to help any student that he comes in contact with, to helping his fellow coworkers whenever needed. He will make you laugh and always has a story to share. It’s been a pleasure and honor to work with Archie!

Rosemary Posted 5 months ago

Children love Mr. Schroeder. Even those who do not have him as a teacher respect and trust him. He is one of the kindest people I know. He taught many, many children to do what is right and to be their best self. Congratulations on your retirement. Well deserved. I hope you will spend many days sitting on your porch eating ice cream.

Bethany Constance Posted 5 months ago

One of a kind!!! Our son Caleb was a Mr Schroeder student and what an impact he made !!! Caleb sent postcards to him from vacations many years after Swasey! Eliya-Quaye loved the recycling projects ! Yesterday I thought about how Mr Schroeder would want Caleb to know the amount of change due back to us before the register showed it! A legend! A forever part of the Constance family! Thank you for the gifts only MR SCHROEDER could give!

Robin Posted 5 months ago

When I started at Swasey School 16 years ago as a paraprofessional I was assigned to your class, and it was an eye-opener for sure! As a mom with no experience in the classroom, I was immediately taken with your teaching style. You gave each of your students exactly what they needed to succeed and showed me that there are so many different ways children can learn. You taught me to be flexible in my thinking, to approach each student differently, and to meet them where they are, not where they're supposed to be. I appreciate your patience, guidance, and friendship. I will miss being a part of your classroom!

Dan Haugh Posted 5 months ago

I have had the honor of working with Mr. Schroeder over the past four years and I am sad that I will not have the opportunity in the years to come. Mr. Schroeder greets me, and every person who crosses his path, each morning with a "Good Day!" He has a tremendous ability to make all of us feel welcome and is able to make connections with everyone. In my eyes, his goal as a teacher is to mold contributing members of society. For over 40 years, Mr. Schroeder has challenged his students to face their academic and daily life challenges with vigor and grit. He encourages them to persevere and to keep trying and has helped mold the entire Brentwood community. His presence will surely be missed but his lessons never forgotten.

Kimberly Woods Posted 5 months ago

It has been wonderful to be part of the fourth grade team with Archie. He has fantastic ideas, supports his colleagues and always has whatever is needed, from wrenches to poster board. The students thrive in his classroom and the whole fourth grade looks forward to spending time with him because he is so enthusiastic about his lessons. Our whole Swasey community benefits from the recycling project he started to our traditional Memorial Day remembrance around the flagpole. Archie is certainly a life changer! Congratulations and thank you for always having my back and supporting me!

Eliya-Quaye Constance Posted 5 months ago

Growing up at Swasey, Mr. Schroeder was an absolute legend. Being in his presence was like being in the presence of a celebrity. I felt honored just to be around him. Though I was never lucky enough to have him as a teacher, my brother Caleb Constance did and adored him. There are so few people out there like Mr. Schroeder, people who are truly passionate about helping children and excited every day to be able to teach them. Thank you for everything!!

Kathy (Raymond) Schreiber Posted 5 months ago

I have such great memories of being in Mr. Schroeder’s fourth grade class almost 40 years ago. The chapter books, the walking field trips in town, the gentle but firm guidance with all things hat go in in school....I am presently a Kindergarten teacher and have so much respect and admiration for Mr. Schroeder and all his accomplishments. He has touched so many lives. Happy Retirement!!!! So very well deserved.

Marty Wilcox Posted 5 months ago

Thank you, Mr Schroeder, for finding unique, interesting, fun ways to opening the minds of our children. I was so fortunate that one of my sons benefited from your teaching techniques. I loved supporting his adventures while he occupied your classroom. AND, now I and my granddaughters enjoy the Nature Trail that you and he and many other of your students designed, created, and maintain. Go forth...your retirement buddies are waiting for the ventures you have in mind for them!

Ally Regan Posted 5 months ago

Mr. Schroeder was an amazing teacher and mentor to me. He was always there for everyone in his classroom and he always knew how to put a smile on my face. He has taught me life skills that no other teacher has taught me (especially household systems.) He always got everyone excited to lean. I will never forget him or his class. Congratulations on a well deserved retirement!

Crystal E Buswell Posted 5 months ago

It has been my privilege to have taught with Mr. Schroeder for the last 16 years. He is always willing to lend a hand, fix whatever is broken, help you see a problem from a different perspective, make a witty comment to make you smile but most importantly he's there for our students!

Jamie Marcello Posted 5 months ago

I worked with Mr. Schroeder for over 25 years. We collaborated on a writing program with his fourth grade students and my first grade students. Mr. Schroeder always pushes students to achieve their best. He looks at each child individually and encourages them to strive for the goal. His energy and love of learning is reflected in his teaching.

Ashley Posted 5 months ago

He is a wonderful person! Every time I see him, he is smiling and has a positive attitude. I hope he has a wonderful retirement :)

Zoe (Ritter) Van Kirk Posted 5 months ago

Mr. Schroeder, you are a profoundly talented teacher. My kids loved being your students and they'll always carry the stamp of your tutelage. And I'm privileged to have been your colleague at Swasey.

Dianna Lundberg Posted 5 months ago

Simply an amazing teacher. His enthusiasm for teaching is unbelievable.

Jen Cooper Posted 5 months ago

Mr. Schroeder is an incredible teacher. I was lucky enough to have him as my 4th grade teacher and 32 years later, my daughter, Kaelyn had him for 4th grade as well. She still talks about how his teaching style challenged her to think differently and he made learning so fun and interesting, in addition to how much he helped prepare her for a middle school that pushes their students academically. I too have such fond memories, from the reading of The Hobbit, to weekly square dancing sessions, our own astronomy dome in our classroom, and seeing Halleys Comet with my class to name a few. Thank you for being so instrumental and memorable to both of our lives, Mr. Schroeder!

Deb O'Connell Posted 5 months ago

He really is one of a kind. A great educator and overall wonderful human.

Kama Evans Posted 5 months ago

Congratulations Mr. Schroeder! I have so many great memories in your class! I’ll never forget you reading The Hobbit. You had the best Gollum voice! I was just telling my son about the trash-a-thon the other day! Thank you for the wonderful lessons and memories! Enjoy your retirement! It’s well deserved!

Jessica (Rollins) Winchenbach Posted 5 months ago

You Sir are the most amazing teacher! The year of the trash-a-thon to brush clearing and yurt building to setting a completely vivid picture in all of our minds of what the hobbit characters should sound and be like, You taught us usable life skills and tapped into who each of us was individually. I thank you for that. I hope retirement is amazing!

Scott Rollins Posted 5 months ago

Thank you! I have taken the simple concept of learning you taught us through my entire life it’s how I teach my 6 kids every day. Take what interests you and apply science, math,writing a positive attitude, imagination and now you have a composting worm farm or a field trip to your house that you mapped out, planned and had a pizza luncheon in your back yard with your class and on the way back to school you pick up your pond samples for your class aquarium those are some of the amazing ways I was blessed to learn from Mr. Schroeder Gods speed and many blessings for you in your future Endeavors Thank you for leaving an everlasting impression in my daily life

Jess Zollver Posted 5 months ago

Congratulations, Mr. Schroeder! You were such an inspiration to me. From your deep respect for mother earth to your love of books and writing. I have so many fond memories of your class: The Hobbit, Bag-a-thon, charting our heartbeats, the dome you created of the night sky. Your passion and love has been so far-reaching Thank you!

Beth Rollins Posted 5 months ago

I can't believe its been nearly 40 years since I had you in 4th grade and still, to this day you are and will always be my favorite teacher!!! Congrats on your retirements and decades of being a wonderful teacher!! Thank you!

Amy Rollins Posted 5 months ago

Wow! What a shame so many young minds will miss your creativity and curiosity. I was blessed to cross your path in my life and you definitely left your mark on my heart. I think of you when I look at constellations and when harvesting in the forest. YOU where the one that brought the Hobbit to life for us, not the twenty first century. Thank you Mr. Schroeder for being the teacher I will never forget. For being a voice I long to hear and a true inspiration for my youthful years.The world ?? is special because of teachers like you so I hope you can keep up the amazing task. I wish you a fulfilling retirement and eternal happiness. Thank you again for the best smile and approachable personality.

Darlene Fuller Posted 5 months ago

Mr Schroeder is a great teacher. My youngest son Aaron loved Mr Schroeder he was a great influence on him

Catherine Caron Posted 5 months ago

Mr. Schroeder was a fantastic teacher for my daughter, now a HS senior. We especially enjoyed chess ? club with him, and made a chess board cake as a thank you, with pieces made of white chocolate and chocolate. I believe he shared it with the staff! He’s a great teacher, and I hope he enjoys a long retirement. Ride on, Mr. Schroeder!

Sheila Lane Posted 5 months ago

I am honored to know this wonderful teacher and had the privilege of teaching with him for 26 years. He is an invaluable go to person for everyone, and will always help you out. Thank you Lisa Swasey for such a well written nomination for Bob Schroeder.

Holly Posted 5 months ago

Mr. Schroeder is an amazing teacher! I was fortunate to work beside him as a para for a student with special needs. He took her in and treated her just like everyone else. He had his students take turns reading to our student and would make sure they used expression when they read. He also had her classmates create a tactile board using all different kinds of tools. He truly is an amazing teacher and just a wonderful person to know!

Carolyn Johnson Posted 5 months ago

Robert Schroeder is truly legendary in so many ways. I’m proud to have watched him change the lives of so many students.

Scott Posted 5 months ago

You welcomed me on my very first day and have been there every day since then. You are never too busy for a question, comment, or joke. You’ve meant more to my career than anyone else. My life is better because you’re in it. Thank you eternally Mr. Schroeder.

Paula Posted 5 months ago

And that’s only the tip of the iceberg!

Lisa Zack-Swasey Posted 5 months ago

I forgot to mention Chess Club and Take-Apart Club!

Audrey Gerkin Posted 5 months ago

Mr Schroeder, we are so grateful our oldest experienced your vivacious zest for teaching while you were at Swasey. It’s no mistake Lexi found a way to wheel or walk herself into your room to participate with whatever you had going on, and even if she wasn’t your specific student in other grade years! We still tell stories to others of Lexis inclusion in class. She really loved getting in trouble and being treated as an equal. Thank you for all your years as a teacher. You really made a difference.

Michelle Spiller Posted 5 months ago

First of all, congratulations! My daughter, Camryn, was in Mr. Schroeder’s her first year at Swasey. Honestly, I could not have asked for a better teacher for my shy and quiet little girl. He helped her boost her self-confidence. One of the very first projects they did was to build a circuit. Camryn was beside herself when she was the first one to successfully complete their circuit. Thank you for always being a source of encouragement!

Teresa Frank Posted 5 months ago

The greatest teach. Out family had fun with the take apart appliance . also we we helped with the conservation trail. So many memories. Thank you! And do me a favor? ENJOY RETIREMENT!!

Elza Silva Posted 5 months ago

Both Mr. Schroeder, and Mrs. Swasey have helped my son thrive at Swasey Central. Mr. Schroeder took a challenging year and has made the school day and learning experiences for his class meaningful and fun. We are so thankful our child was able to be a student of Mr. Schroeder on his last year at Swasey. He is a legend in Brentwood and his passion for his students and country have spanned the decades. He is most definitely a life changing educator!

Joan Ostrowski Posted 5 months ago

The best! I'm honored to have had his support as a leader in the school. He is an example for all people offering an environment promoting equity and educational challenges to all of his students.

Ashley Swasey Posted 5 months ago

One of my favorite teachers! Learned so many unique things in his class (what fourth grader learns to write a check properly?). I was just talking to my parents two weeks ago about our field trip to Pawtuckaway. Definitely a well deserved nomination! I also fondly remember how he would eat the snack popcorn from the wax paper bags...

Cindy Posted 5 months ago

Congratulations on a much deserved award. The Brentwood children have been so lcky to have you all these years. Enjpy your retirement!

Kim Denman Posted 5 months ago

My son Matt was fortunate to have you as a teacher 7 years ago. I remember him be so scared to start that school year as the rumor was going around that you were a strict teacher. He would tell me during the 1st week that he wasn’t sure if he could make it the whole year. Well I have to say you by far have been the most memorable teacher he has ever had. He still keeps his daily calendar to stay organized. For years in was on paper, now he has gone digital, but the root was planted so to speak in your classroom on how staying organized is important in life. From reading maps to appreciating the outdoors, and to really learn how something works by taking it apart and studying it, all fantastic life skills just to name a few. Thank you for years of service and commitment to our youth. I truly hope you know that you made a difference in my sons life and I’m forever thankful

Ron Kew Posted 5 months ago

Natural teacher with instincts, experiences and endless energy. I will miss working with Mr. Schroeder!

Jessica Paul Posted 5 months ago

What a well-deserved honor! My daughter did not have Mr. Schroeder as a classroom teacher, but she did join him for Take Apart Club. As a budding engineer, this was an interesting opportunity for her to explore how things work. She loved the hands-on experience. As a volunteer in Swasey Elementary School, I always found Mr. Schroeder to be friendly and welcoming. The accomplishments and traditions listed in his nomination were enjoyed by all, from the Nature Trail to the Flag Ceremony. Mr. Schroeder was so beloved by his colleagues, one year the Brentwood Teachers Association crafted a scarecrow in his likeness to submit in the town library's Scarecrow Festival! I don't recall for certain, but it may have one the People's Choice Award that year!

Kristen Goodrich Posted 5 months ago

Mr. Schroeder is such an incredible teacher, and is so deserving receive this award. We were fortunate to have him for our oldest, and years later we still hear funny anecdotes and stories from his time in Mr. Schroeder’s class. He taught real life, hands-on skills that will last a lifetime. My kids also did Take It Apart and Chess Club with him and learned so much in there as well. Thank you for all of your years of service, Mr. Schroeder!! Well miss you.

Lisa Zack-Swasey Posted 5 months ago

I could have gone on and on with my nomination, but didn't want to make it too lengthy for this website. I could have mentioned Mr. Schroeder's "Take Apart" Club and Chess Club too.

Robert Schroeder Posted 5 months ago

Thank you, sch