Tekamah Herman High School supports a club called i-Help, which is sustained entirely by the student body and directed by Juliet Jensen. Last year, the group achieved a unique milestone: a cumulative hour log topping 10,000 total hours of community service.
Also, last year, the group started a new monthly “Community Member of the Month” program designed to highlight and honor standout residents who are going above and beyond to support the Tekamah community.
The program continues this month. September’s Community Member is Rod Schmidt.
He was selected for his volunteer contributions to the Meals on Wheels program, where he has served as a driver; to the local baseball and softball teams, where he has served as coach; and to the Tekamah-Herman school board. Perhaps most impactful, however, has been his service to the local Tiger Pride Sports Boosters program.
For eight years, Schmidt has served as chairman of the booster club, in addition to hosting the annual sports banquet.
We interviewed him after his selection as Community Member of the Month to profile what he does and, more importantly, why he does it.
“Volunteering is very gratifying… and collaborating with other volunteers to make a better school and community has to be one of the best feelings a person can have,” he said.
He encourages everyone in the community to stay involved and continue to make Tekamah a great place to live, work, and play.
Schmidt says he started volunteering as a child, thanks to the positive influence of his parents, Melvin and Phyllis Schmidt.
“This is a place where my parents have led by example,” he said. “My parents have been volunteering in the community and school for as long as I can remember.”
Schmidt went on to explain how his parents kick-started his volunteering career with work in 4-H and later an assortment of school clubs, which he says gave him the opportunity to give back.
And “give back” he has—to the community which he says built him. He was raised in Tekamah and grew up in the Tekamah-Herman School system, and although he lived for a time in Omaha, he’s since lived for 20 years with his wife Nikki in the place of his roots. He adds that Tekamah is a caring community, always willing to help in times of need—which is why, he says, “I want to be able to contribute to the community and provide these same values for those who live here now and into the future”
Since returning to his hometown, Schmidt has given back to the community in a variety of ways, including his leadership of the Tekamah-Herman Sports Boosters.
“I was asked to be a member of the sports boosters quite a few years ago,” he said. “My kids were active in sports, and I wanted to help provide resources for the coaches and student athletes.
“Being a school board member made me realize that the sports boosters was a way to provide resources that the school may not be able to provide.”
He adds that he has learned many great life lessons while playing sports in high school, and wants to provide those same opportunities for students today.
The i-Help officers and members want to congratulate Schmidt on his selection for Community Member of the Month and to thank him for his willingness to support our school and community.