Cheerleader of Pride and Champion of Success


Jonas Dargis '22, Sports/Entertainment Editor

Dr. Joe would be Saint Patrick High School’s mascot if we had one. Arguably the most well- known face of our school, and for good reason. He has served for an unprecedented 54 years. A cheerleader of our Shamrock pride and a champion of our school’s success, Dr. Joseph G. Schmidt, AFSC will be retiring as president of Saint Patrick at the end of this school year. 

After a teaching strike in 1967, Dr. Joe was hired in the new wave of teachers to replace those fired that year. Dr. Joe had originally planned to become an accountant and enter the financial sector like his father. However, just out of college, he found a calling to St. Pats. His interest in sports and will to positively impact kids, led him to switch paths and become a teacher. He was hired in the new wave of educators after the strike fall-out and this began Dr. Joe’s long and successful career.

He would go on to teach for five years and then serve as dean for 15 years. From there, he was principal for 26 years, rounding out his tenure at eight years as president. Dr. Joe was the first lay person to become president of Saint Patrick in the school’s history, a bold move, but one that has panned out to progress and success in a constantly changing world.

One of the reasons Dr. Joe became the first lay president and was entrusted with the role was his relationship with faith. Dr. Joe has always had faith at the center of his priorities, specifically with the Lasallian values and traditions since he was in high school at St. George, a Lasallian institution, where he learned the importance of those values. “Faith has a path for all of us.” is one of his favorite sayings. It guided him to Saint Patrick, and has since guided him through his administrative roles. Saint Patrick principal, Mr. Jon Baffico, captured Dr. Joe’s personality perfectly, saying, “He is a jovial, Lasallian spirit who is empathetic to the students, faculty, staff, and larger community we serve.”

Dr. Joe lives out the Lasallian traditions on a day to day basis. His example has an infectious influence over the other administrators and students. When asked what he would find in the ideal Shamrock, the first thing Dr. Joe said had to do with following the Lasallian faith. “A loyal young man who follows the Lasallian mission.” he said, “A young man who upholds their three pillars of faith, service, and community and acts on them.” Dr. Joe went on to explain the importance of how Shamrocks grow together and then stick together, throughout their lives. He spoke of a community like no other that grows and believes in something more. 

Dr. Joe cares about the student body of Saint Patrick like no other. When asked what he will miss the most, he didn’t hesitate. “The students,” he said. “Without a doubt, I will miss the students the most.” He added that nothing brings him more pride than watching class after class graduate and go out into the world as young men who will change the world. He truly believes that every student at Saint Patrick has the potential to do great things, change our world, and be productive members in our communities.

Dr. Joe, although sad to retire, is looking forward to many rounds of golf and quality time with his new wife. However, Dr. Joe is hardly leaving. He plans to stay on to help with the transition between his presidency and the next president. He also plans to help at fundraisers and continue to raise and donate money to the school. Dr. Joe has been involved with the Western Golf Association for a number of years and plans to stay an active member, helping to acquire caddy scholarships for Saint Patrick students. He said, “I will be as active as possible [in the school] without being overbearing.” Although he is retiring, we will still be seeing a lot of Dr. Joe around campus. 

Mr. Baffico believes Dr. Joe has created a positive, lasting legacy, saying, “The culture he has helped build over time will leave a lasting impact on Saint Patrick High School for years to come.” A legacy that shows in his influence over faculty, staff and the remarkable young men of Saint Patrick.