Vincent Schmidt has been selected as the Diocese of Trenton’s new superintendent of Catholic schools.
“The Diocese is pleased to welcome Dr. Vincent de Paul Schmidt as its new superintendent of Catholic schools,” Bishop David O’Connell said in a prepared statement. “His extensive background, experience, energy and enthusiasm for Catholic education will be a wonderful addition to our schools in the four counties of the Diocese.”
Schmidt will fill the position being vacated by JoAnn Tier, who is retiring at the end of June. Tier has served the Department of Catholic Schools for 20 years, 11 of which as superintendent.
Schmidt’s appointment comes after months of work by a search committee made up of principals, educators and pastors. National search firm Carney-Sandoe of Boston assisted in the process.
Schmidt currently teaches organizational leadership as an adjunct professor at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles.
He is coming to the Diocese of Trenton after serving as associate superintendent of Catholic schools for the Archdiocese of Detroit. He previously served as the senior director of Catholic education in the Diocese of Toledo, Ohio; as superintendent of Catholic schools for the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, West Virginia, and was the associate superintendent of Catholic education in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Montana.
For 14 years prior, he served in various administrative capacities in Catholic schools within the Archdiocese of St. Louis and the Belleville and Springfield Dioceses. He has served in roles such as director of academic affairs, school principal and chief operating officer and has administrative experience at the high school, middle school and elementary school levels.
Schmidt completed a doctoral degree program in educational leadership in May 2015, earned an educational specialist degree in 2008 and a master’s degree in educational leadership in 2002, all at Saint Louis University in Missouri.
He completed bachelor’s degree studies in secondary education and business administration at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville in 1991. Schmidt has been a leader in curriculum development, educational technologies, continuing education for teachers, marketing, special education in Catholic schools, fiscal management and resource development.
“I hope to bring to my role a real sense of community, where the schools and the various departments in the Diocese all work together for a common cause, which is to maximize our students’ potential,” Schmidt.
Known for his community service with special-needs children, Schmidt is also executive director for the Jensen-Schmidt Tennis Academy for Down Syndrome. This nonprofit organization has grown to provide tennis instruction in cities across the country, and its operational model has been adopted and implemented on a national scale. He is a professional tennis coach and has worked with many players on professional tours while also serving as a varsity coach at the high school level.
He and his wife, Dana, have been married for 26 years. They have three children: August, who just graduated from the University of Chicago; Jonas, and Maxim, who is enrolled at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa.
Schmidt said he plans to continue the legacy being left by Tier, including her efforts to communicate with and support school staffs during the coronavirus pandemic.
“I have nothing but respect and admiration for her hard work—work I knew she would be putting in on this issue [coronavirus], because I know the hard work she puts in on every other issue. We are in uncharted waters, and we don’t know how far those waters go. We may be in this for a while,” he said.