Every educator has the goal of producing high school graduates that academically succeed and achieve in extracurricular activities; in pursuit of these goals, Jason Schroeder wants his kids to not just meet goals for the future, but establish strong links to the past.
“What I’m about is giving all our student athletes the opportunity to succeed where they feel a sense of personal accomplishment they can be proud of,” said the new AD and assistant principal of Atchison High School. “So when they get their degrees and leave, they have those fond memories that anyone involved in our activities can achieve for themselves, fond memories of what they were a part of.”
Succeeding Matt Renk following the new principal’s selection over the summer, Schroeder has established ties in Northeast Kansas from his previous academic and athletic work in Holton and McLouth, as well as his own high school athletic career years before that.
“One of the things we’re really trying to do here is create a family culture,” Principal Renk said. “We see that in our teams and in the family culture that we’re all a part of. We know they will come back in 15, 20 years from now and still have those memories.”
One of the key duties across Redmen athletics for the imminent season of fall sports is to have each student go through a battery of awareness and logic tests so that trainers will have data to refer to if an on-the-field injury has caused a potential concussion. It’s representative of how in just the last 10 years, the task of looking after the health of high school athletes has, by necessity, become much more advanced.
“Schools have started working with hospitals, working with doctors across the country,” Schroeder said. “We do everything that we can that’s in the best interest of our student athletes, to protect them to the best of our abilities.”
To guide students through their high school careers successfully, the AD must relate to kids on a personal level at least as much as a coach, with an emphasis on concerns such as academic eligibility and personal health.
“The principals always make sure I keep my head straight and my grades straight and that I stay eligible so I can do the best that I can do for the team,” said junior Chris Wilson, who went through fall season preparation with Schroeder ahead of his coming season with the AHS boys soccer team led by head coach Alex Supple. “I know you got to be able to balance your school and your team. I’ve learned you won’t have a chance to succeed on the court if you don’t succeed academically.”
Renk is optimistic about the coming years with Schroeder backing him up.
“Jason is very qualified in this position,” he said. “He’s been in this environment before, he’s got a lot of great ideas, he fits in with us very well, not just as our AD, but our assistant principal.”