Will speak at CHS graduation ceremony
The Clintonville Public School District has announced this year’s recipient of the distinguished Alumnus Honoris award is Jerald Schoenike, Ph.D.
Schoenike has distinguished himself in his professional career and his lifetime of achievements makes him a deserving recipient of this great honor.
Schoenike graduated from Clintonville High School in 1953 in a class of 100. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Stout (then known as the Stout Institute) and completed a B.S. degree. After teaching in Park Falls for three years he returned to Stout as an instructor and graduate student and completed a M.S. degree in Industrial Education in 1960.
He taught Industrial Education at Sheboygan South High School in Sheboygan until 1965 when he was given the responsibility of administrating all vocational technical programs in the school district.
He was awarded a national competitive congressional scholarship to attend the University of Illinois-Champaign and completed a doctorate in vocational technical education in 1974. He returned to the Sheboygan School District as Director of Administrative Services and served in that capacity until 1983. He continued postgraduate work at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and taught classes at the university and also for the University of Wisconsin-Stout.
Schoenike accepted the position of Superintendent of Schools in Clintonville in 1983 and served in that capacity until his retirement in 1996. During his tenure numerous improvements were made to school facilities and a return to a four year high school.
He was instrumental in establishing the first fiber optic distance learning network in Wisconsin and served as its first president. This was the first such installation by AT&T in the United States and became vocal point of educational and technical visitors.
During his service in Clintonville he was elected to the Fox Valley Technical College Board of Trustees and served for more than ten years in that capacity and as Chairman of the Board for two years. He was named Technical College Trustee of the Year in Wisconsin and also Board Trustee of the Year in the central region of the U.S. He also held offices in the Wisconsin Technical College Boards Association and in 2002 co-authored a book on the history of the Technical College Boards Association in Wisconsin.
Schoenike served on numerous state education committees and commissions for the Wisconsin Department of Instruction and was recognized by State Superintendent Dr. Herbert Grover for work in negotiating agreements with the University of Wisconsin System on Advance Placement credits and in the development of aspiring school superintendents in Wisconsin schools.
In 1994 he was instrumental in the organization of the Clintonville Area Foundation and was its president for many years. The assets of the foundation today are now approaching $1 million in endowments which support nonprofit programs in the community and the school district.
He is currently president of the Clintonville Public Library Board of Trustees and has been a member of the board for 31 years. He is a member of Clintonville Rotary Club and has received the Rotarian of the Year Award on two occasions.
Outdoor activities have been an ongoing interest of his since childhood. As a sophomore in high school he was the State Junior Archery Champion. He has authored several magazine articles about woodlands and has been recognized as a Master Woodland Steward.
Schoenike has taken the opportunity to travel throughout the United States and Canada, as well as backpacking and high altitude hiking. He was able to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa, hiked to the base camp of Mt. Everest in Nepal, hiked to Machu Picchu, the northern Andes Mts. in Peru and numerous treks in the Wind River and the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming. However, Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior remains a favorite. All things considered he believes Wisconsin is a great place to live and go to school.
Schoenike and his wife of 59 years, Julie, live in Clintonville and have three children; Jenny, James, Jonathan and four grandchildren; Benjamin, Elizabeth, Katelyn and Audrey. All were part of this adventure.