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Alumni Spotlight: Tony Schmoll '77

Tony Schmoll returned to Scecina to teach this fall. He cites his own teachers and coaches at Scecina as among his mentors, including John Henninger Sandy Tilton, Ken Leffler, Ott Hurrle, Bob McCoy and Mark Steinmetz 

Name: Tony Schmoll
Year of Scecina graduation: 1977
Degree:  B.A. in English Education, Purdue University, 1981; M.S. in Secondary Education, Butler University, 1987
Current Position: English teacher, Scecina Memorial High School 
 
 

By Beth Murphy, Director of Marketing Communications 

For Tony Schmoll '77, the Scecina community has always been home. So his return to his alma mater seems destined. This fall he began teaching AP English Literature and Composition, senior English and etymology to Scecina students. "I jumped at this opportunity for many reasons, but primarily to have the opportunity to work with some really great people and with some very nice kids," he said. 

Schmoll actually began his teaching career at Scecina but left to be a head coach and teach at Bishop Chatard High School and then Franklin Central. All along he kept his Scecina roots. He has been a Crusaders assistant football coach for 10 years. He also was assistant and then head coach of the Crusaders wrestling team until a couple of years ago "when my body was telling me that 35 years involved in this sport was more than enough wear and tear on the joints." 

Schmoll also stayed in touch as a parent. Schmoll and his wife, Julie (Cangany) ’78, have two sons who graduated from Scecina. Eric '05 graduated from Purdue University and then served his country as a commissioned officer in the Marine Corps, serving in Afghanistan as an executive fire officer at Camp Leatherneck in Helmund Province. He currently is in his second year of law school at the University of California Hastings in San Francisco where he lives with his wife, Megan. 

Kevin Schmoll '08 also graduated from Purdue and now is a paralegal in Indianapolis.

Tony Schmoll grew up attending Little Flower Catholic Church and School. He and Julie, a teacher's aide for Our Lady of Lourdes preschool, live in Irvington and attend Lourdes church.

At Scecina, Schmoll feels called to teaching more than ever. 

“Coming from the 11th-largest public high school in Indiana, I really can perceive the benefits of a small, faith-based school in serving young people's spiritual and emotional needs in addition to academics,” he said.

“I always have felt that education is a vocation, as my supervising professor at Purdue University always told me, but here at Scecina, especially with all of the incredibly gifted and dedicated teachers, administrators, and support staff modelling the Christian role to serve, I feel the seriousness of the responsibility of this voice calling me to serve more than ever before.” 

What he enjoys about the teaching profession, he says, “is the opportunity it provides to create my own strategies for instruction in what I feel very passionate about: human creativity and the crucial role of the written word in improving the human condition. I have always thought that my job is to try to inspire in young people the profound respect one should feel for human thought and experience and that all I can do is to somehow hopefully aid them on their way to a lifetime of discovery, especially with literature and their own language expression.” 

He didn’t realize while he was a student at Scecina how he was influenced by his own coaches and teachers, mentioning John Henninger, Sandy Tilton, Ken Leffler, Ott Hurrle, Bob McCoy and Mark Steinmetz, among others.

“I personally experienced what a powerful impact teachers and coaches can have, and hopefully I have done some good over the past 35 years as a consequence of their influences,” he says. “I also received a first-rate education that has served me very well in so many ways.” 

3 comments (Add your own)

1. Angie Therber wrote:
Thank you for all you have done for me and our family!

Sat, November 5, 2016 @ 10:13 PM

2. Sister Barb James Graduated in 1960 wrote:
I too was touched by the Sisters, lay teachers, and priests. I felt at home and liked the spirit at Scecina I was grateful to be able to be there. at that time my family couldn't afford the private schools. It really makes a difference to see someone like you to come back to teach. I'm sure it means so much for the youth to see a real person to be so dedicated.

I don't know if you had Sister Laurencia to teach you, she was a joy and had a great sense of humor. She lived to be 101. Mentally she was young, very much alive, read constantly and kept up with the times. Her sense of humor was still there till the end. She was a real person. I hope I can follow in her footsteps.

Thank you for your note, you will be in my prayers keeping up the spirit for the youth as an example,

Peace to you

Sister Barb James

Tue, November 8, 2016 @ 4:04 PM

3. Joseph Smith '77 wrote:
Scecina is blessed to have such a good and caring man like Tony Schmoll as a teacher and mentor to kids.

Tue, March 28, 2017 @ 2:15 PM

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