Dr. Joe Schroeder is a Wisconsin native raised to value hard work, education, and fair dealing.  Through God’s Almighty grace and providence, the joys and trials of Joe’s personal and professional life deepened his faith in immeasurable and unforeseen ways, which ultimately prompted this book.


A love of learning and a deep-seated desire to positively impact others spurred Joe on to pursue his secondary education-English teaching degree as well as two graduate degrees in educational administration from the University of Wisconsin (BS, 1988; MS, 1995; PhD, 2001). Joe is working in his 30th year in education, having worked in a variety of roles including high school teacher and coach, principal, director of instruction, superintendent, and university instructor. Joe currently serves as the associate executive director for the Association of Wisconsin School Administrators (AWSA), where he is blessed to facilitate the learning of educators at every level of leadership while he learns alongside them. 


Since raising their three daughters, Joe and his wife Annie continue a multi-year renovation of their small farmstead in Delafield, Wisconsin that is filled with all sorts of critters and which provides virtually endless opportunities for functional fitness as well as abundant ongoing humility training. 

Joe can be reached at joes2326@gmail.com or via Twitter @joeschroeder23

Professional Experiences

  • Associate Executive Director, 2012 - Current

            Association of Wisconsin School Administrators                           (Madison, WI)

  • Superintendent, 2007 - 2012

            Muskego-Norway School District (Muskego, WI)

  • Assistant Superintendent for Educ. Services, 2005 - 2007

             Elmbrook School District (Brookfield, WI)

  • Principal, 1999 - 2005

            Brookfield East HS/ Elmbrook SD (Brookfield, WI)

  • Principal / Associate Principal, 1995 - 1999

             Evansville HS (Evansville, WI)

  • English Teacher / Basketball & Football Coach, 1991 - 1995

             Menasha HS (Menasha, WI)

  • English Teacher / Basketball & Football Coach, 1988 - 1991

              Parker HS (Parker, AZ)

University Adjunct Faculty Member / Graduate School Instructor

  • University of Wisconsin - Madison

  • Aurora University 

  • Viterbo University 


The Development and Maintenance of Leadership Credibility by Wisconsin Public High School Principals

        University of Wisconsin-Madison (2001).

Awards / Recognition

  • 2011 Wisconsin Superintendent of the Year

  • 2010 AWSA Distinguised Service Award for Contributions to the Profession

  • 2010 Wisconsin Forward Award-Mastery Level Recognition (led Muskego-Norway Schools to receive this award, only the third K-12 school district ever to be so honored in this program of organizational quality based on the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence)

  • 2003 Principal of the Year, WASC Region 1

  • 1995 Golden School Bell Teaching Excellence Award, Menasha High School

  • 1989 Iowa-Grant High School, Football Hall of Fame Inductee

  • 1987 University of Wisconsin School of Education, Wackman Scholarship Recipient

  • 1984 Wisconsin Scholar-Athlete, State Award Recipient

A Philosophy for living, leading, and serving

Dr. Joe Schroeder

"I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God, who is sending a

love letter to the world."

           -Saint Teresa of Calcutta

It is so easy to get intimidated and even paralyzed by the looming responsibilities and complexities of living, leading, and serving these days. At such times, we can feel compelled to throw up our hands in defeat and declare, "I am not worthy to the task" or "This all is far too much for me!" But God does not call the prepared; he prepares the called!  And we are never alone when we answer the call to serve His children.

For years in my leadership journey and throughout the entire process of writing this book, I have taken great strength and encouragement in a quotation from a cherished spiritual hero, Mother Teresa (now Saint Teresa) of Calcutta: “I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God, who is sending a love letter to the world.”

When I focus upon that simple image and give it all up to the Spirit, I find that my anxieties and fears and unnecessary concerns dissipate—time and time again. Perhaps such an image can be similarly consoling and strengthening in your daily living, leading, and serving, too. You don’t have to be great; you just need to be faithful—and willing to earnestly serve as but a humble little pencil in the hand of a great and loving God.