Teacher Talk: Getting to know Ms. Schendel


Sydney Olsen

Ms. Schendel can be found in her classroom, 319, or in her office, San Juan.

Ms. Schendel is an English and Drama teacher at Rocky Mountain High School. Schendel has been a teacher at Rocky for her whole 16-year teaching career. In addition, she also student taught at Rocky and is a former Rocky student. Schendel was born in Boulder, Colorado, and moved a few times before entering college. She said, “I grew up primarily here, in Fort Collins, but I was born in Boulder and lived there and moved to the Denver area when I was 8. My family then moved out of state, first to Kansas then to Virgina and when I was in 8th grade, we moved to Fort Collins and have been here ever since.”  


Growing up, Schendel always wanted to be a teacher. “I was the kid that had a classroom in my basement. I had a chalkboard down there and my mom would take me to supply stores to get work books and grading books. I forced my little sister to be my student and I would assign her homework when we would go on vacation,” she said.


Ms. Schendel went to University of Colorado in Boulder for her undergrad and then went to Regis University in Denver, Colorado, for her Master’s degree. She majored in English while in college, “English was always something that I enjoyed. I love reading and it helps me look at English at a different level in a more literate way.”


As well as teaching English, Schendel also teaches a drama class here at Rocky. Every year she is the director for the spring play and has done many fascinating shows. “I love drama because it gives me a creative outlet. It allows me to get away from the everyday academics at school. Drama also gives me the opportunity to work with different students in a different way,” she said.


One of the shows that holds a special place in my heart is probably Of Mice and Men–it was a truly special cast and I had been teaching that novel for years. So to see it ‘come alive’ on stage, and to watch the audience react with so much emotion, was really spectacular.” Schendel then added, “My favorite musical was definitely Urinetown–how many times do you get to put on a show about pee! It was such a different show from anything we had ever done; it was so full of energy, and the audience loved it. In terms of a show I dream about doing someday, I’d really love to do Footloose, or West Side Story, or even something new and edgy like Funhome.”


When asked about the Rocky community, Schendel said, “Rocky is my home. I went to school here and I student taught here. My family went here. My siblings and my step kids went here, so I really do consider Rocky to being my home. I like being a part of Rocky because it has a reputation. Everyone here really is family and we have the Lobo Nation. Whenever I say to people that I work at Rocky Mountain High School, they always say how they hear good things about this school.”


Schendel said she had one main goal after high school, “I always said, throughout high school, that my goal was to come back to Rocky and teacher here. That is just how much Rocky has impacted me.”


Ms. Schendel can be found in her classroom in San Juan, Room 319, or in her office in the San Juan teacher’s office. She would love to talk to students and answer any questions that might have about English or drama.