Student to Alumna: Guidance counselor reflects on time at Miege as both staff and student


Guidance counselor Elaine Schmidtberger’s senior photo. She belonged to the class of ’76.

Isabel Copeland, Editor-in-chief

In high school, most people would describe guidance counselor Elaine Schmidtberger as the quiet twin, but from singing in the choir to STUCCO to being involved in theater and being a cheerleader for three years Schmidtberger made memories that would stay with her for a long time.

“One thing I loved was my homeroom, we stayed in the same homeroom all four years,” Schmidtberger said. “You get really close with your homeroom people and we did things together like going to mass.”

Schmidtberger’s freshman year there were only five hours of the school day, then they eventually added six hours which is different from the current block days with eight hours.

“We got done with school at around 2:30 or 2:45,” Schmidtberger said, “Because I remember starting practice early.”

According to Schmidtberger, the day-to-day school operations are not the only thing different since the campus has since added beautiful new features.

“The library is where the guidance office used to be, the faculty lounge is where the cafeteria was,” Schmidtberger said, “ And the commons I think was just a grassy area.”

The community, spirit, and enthusiasm of all things Stags are the same Schmidtberger says, the history of people who go here love it here and the friendships they build are strong.

“My best friend and I met in freshman P.E class and we are still friends to this day,” Schmidtberger said.

Schmidtberger loved her friends, cheering and the athletics part about high school but what she enjoyed the most was her family ties.

“My favorite thing was knowing that my whole family went here, my dad helped raise funds to build the school and my oldest three siblings went to St. Agnes high school and the other six to Miege,” Schmidtberger said.

Going out of high school Schmidtberger did not know what she wanted to do but she was influenced by her theater teacher in high school as well as an advisor at Johnson County when they talked about her talents and her ability to teach.

“I student taught at Shawnee Mission North, I was a speech and acting teacher, as well as coached debate and forensics,” Schmidtberger said.

Miege was not the first job Schmidtberger had, she taught at Blue Valley for three years then came when she saw an opening as a speech teacher.

“I missed Miege terribly and I have been here for 39 years, this is my 42nd year teaching,” Schmidtberger said.

When Schmidtberger first started working here, she had worked alongside all the Herd Legends who had all once taught her so it was something new for her.

“It was something I had to get used to,” Schmidtberger said. “Calling them by their first name, I just could not, it took me a while.”

While getting the chance to work with all the Herd Legends, Schmidtberger was also taught by some of the legends too.

“Sister Millie was my Spanish teacher and Sister Martina was my biology teacher and Miss Lucas my Senior Comp teacher and Mr. Reardon my Senior religion teacher and Mrs. Perrini was one of my dearest friends,” Schmidtberger said.

Going from having the Herd Legends as teachers to then working with them, Schmidtberger says that calling them by their first names was really hard but that did not change how she felt about them.

“Miss Lucas was the best administrator my first year teaching here,” Schmidtberger said, “I loved her.”

While having great role models in high school to help guide Schmidtberger down her path, she loves where she is today and what she is doing for her students.

“I love to see them [her students] grow from freshman year to senior year,” Schmidtberger said, “ I love to see their dreams come true wherever that is. . . and being there for their happy times and their sad times.”