Jennifer Schmitz

Schmitz Named Waubonsee “Fabulous 40” Alumna

Waubonsee Community College is honoring Jennifer Schmitz, seen here in Waubonsee’s Erickson Hall Gymnasium, as one of the college’s “Fabulous 40” alumni. While a student at Waubonsee, Schmitz excelled both in the classroom and on the basketball court.
Sugar Grove — Jennifer (Ruh) Schmitz excelled in and out of the classroom as a student at Waubonsee Community College. For her service to the college, Waubonsee is honoring Schmitz as one of the college’s “Fabulous 40” alumni.

As part of the college’s yearlong 40th anniversary celebration, Waubonsee is honoring 40 alumni and students who embody the mission, vision and values of the college. These individuals represent the diversity of Waubonsee’s students and the college district, as well as the diversity of the college’s mission as a comprehensive community college.

After exploring going to a four-year school, Schmitz decided to come to Waubonsee for its proximity to home and family, but also for its academics.

“Although I was already on a positive path, Waubonsee helped me to remain excited about college and make me excited to continue my education and earn my degree,” she said.

Schmitz credits Waubonsee for helping her find her niche.

“I didn’t know what I wanted to get into,” she said. “Waubonsee gave me the time to find out what my path was.”

Waubonsee’s college district is comprised of large urban areas such as Aurora, suburbs such as Geneva and Oswego, and smaller towns and villages such as Schmitz’s hometown of Big Rock. At Waubonsee, students from all over the area coalesce around their new connections.

“What I loved about Waubonsee was that while there were still a lot of hometown kids around, it was also so easy to meet new friends from other communities,” she said. “My friendships really grew across town boundaries.”

While at Waubonsee, Schmitz was an involved student. She was a Lucile Gustafson Scholar, a student trustee on the college’s board of trustees, and played basketball and softball for the college. She was a part of a women’s championship basketball team and also won the Dick Durrant Award in recognition of student-athlete academic excellence.

After leaving Waubonsee, Schmitz earned her bachelor’s degree in health education from the University of Wisconsin — La Crosse. Currently a stay-at-home mother to her two young daughters, Evelyn, age 3, and Sydney, age 1, Schmitz most recently taught health education at Waubonsie Valley High School and coached volleyball at the school. She began her teaching career at Hinckley-Big Rock Elementary School teaching health and physical education.

“I’m very proud that I became a teacher,” she said. “Using your own talents and strengths to help kids is one of the most important things you can do as an adult — to positively influence younger children.”

Schmitz and her husband, Anthony, live in Batavia.