Editor's Note: With the first ever St. Louis Park High School All-Year Reunion approaching on Saturday, we're helping kick things off with a week's worth of stories. Today, we profile former Park teacher Camille Schroeder and former principal Paul Schroeder. Earlier this week, we , which is putting on the event. Tomorrow, look for a history of the high school.
While they both had strong connections to St. Louis Park schools, it was the game bridge that brought Camille and Paul Schroeder together.
Both played regularly, and when Paul's first wife died, mutual bridge friends helped set the two up—they eventually married. However, they learned that their mutual interests didn't end there.
Camille taught in the Park for more than 20 years, spending the last 18 years at before retiring in 1998. And after a few years teaching at the , Paul became the first principal at Westwood Junior High—now the district's lone —in 1959. He retired in 1983.
“He never knew who I was (in school)," Camille said with a laugh.
But they shared similar thoughts on their experiences all these years later.
“The quality of the education was top-notch," Camille said. "I think the school district, when I was there, it was one of the top ones around.”
Paul, who first taught in rural Westbrook, MN, and then in La Crosse, WI, said St. Louis Park was the perfect fit for him.
“It was the best move I possibly could make," he said. "It was great coming here.”
They also share a family of Orioles—Camille's two children graduated from St. Louis Park, as did Paul's three.
These days, the Schroeders live in Excelsior, but they stay connected to Park in their own ways. Camille volunteers with the , where she oversees a school supplies program. And Paul routinely meets former teachers during weekly get-togethers.
The couple said they're looking forward to more reminiscing on Saturday at the All-Year Reunion.
“It will be fun to see other staff members I haven’t seen in a long time," Camille said, adding that it will be fun to try to ID former students, too.
"They’ll be doing the same thing," she said. “And that’s fun, because they’re adults now. You can meet on a different level.”