By Brenda Erdahl
The best kind of reward is the one you don’t expect, and Paula Schmidt, a long-time activist for Maple Lake Schools, was as surprised as anyone could be when she heard she was chosen as this year’s commodore for the City’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Schmidt is now numbered among 45 dedicated individuals who have been honored with this award for their outstanding service to the community.
“There are so many people out there that are way more deserving than myself, it wasn’t even a blip on the radar. I just love what I do,” Schmidt said.
And what exactly does Schmidt do? Among the lengthy list is founder of the parent organization Irish PATHS at Maple Lake High School, of which she is currently president. She is also the Post Prom Committee president, a group that organizes various fundraisers throughout the year to create a safe and fun night for students after prom. Before moving to the high school, she held the position of PIE President at the elementary school for seven years, was the Band Boosters Secretary, and CCD teacher at St. Timothy Church. She is the recipient of the Maple Lake Schools Volunteer of the year award in 2010 and the Central Minnesota Conference Volunteer of the year award in 2015.
“It’s never been about any kind of recognition, it’s always been about what I like doing,” Schmidt said. “I love the kids. I love the school and the teachers and the staff and the community that pulls together when it needs too.”
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