William S. Schmidt was superintendent of Prince George's County Public Schools from 1951 through 1970. His personal and professional activities are documented through awards, clippings, correspondence, memorabilia, photographs, publications, research material, audio recordings, speeches, and an interview transcript. Correspondents include Spiro T. Agnew, Lawrence J. Hogan, Marvin Mandel, and Charles McCurdy Mathias, Jr. Mandel and Wilson H. Elkins are pictured in photographs. The majority of the collection is comprised of correspondence Dr. Schmidt received from superintendents, principals, teachers, and politicians regarding his retirement and honorary doctorate.
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1.50 Linear Feet
The William S. Schmidt papers span the years 1946 to 2003 with the majority of the material dating between 1969 and 1979. Schmidt's personal and professional activities are documented through awards, clippings, correspondence, memorabilia, photographs, publications, research material, audio recordings, speeches, and an interview transcript. Correspondents include Spiro T. Agnew, Lawrence J. Hogan, Marvin Mandel, and Charles McCurdy. Mathias, Jr. Mandel and Wilson H. Elkins are pictured in photographs.
The majority of the collection is comprised of correspondence Dr. Schmidt received from superintendents, principals, teachers, and politicians regarding his retirement and honorary doctorate.
William S. Schmidt was born in Frederick, Maryland, on May 8, 1908, to Jacob H. and Cora M. Schmidt. He graduated from Frederick High School in 1925 and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in 1929. After graduation, Dr. Schmidt began his professional career at Manor Junior High School in Manor, Pennsylvania, as a social studies teacher from 1929 to 1933 and principal from 1933 to 1944. He earned a Master's degree at Columbia University's Teacher's College in New York in 1936. Dr. Schmidt married Lois Mary Sloan in 1934; they had one son, William Earl, born in 1939.
In 1944, Dr. Schmidt accepted a position as principal of Oxon Hill High School in Oxon Hill, Maryland. Two years later, he became director of instruction for Prince George's County Public Schools (PGCPS). He served as assistant superintendent of PGCPS from 1948 until January 1951, when he was appointed superintendent. Dr. Schmidt worked as superintendent of schools until his retirement in 1970.
Throughout his life, Dr. Schmidt was actively involved in numerous professional and civic organizations. He was a lifetime member of the National Education Association, the National Congress of Parents and Teachers, and the Maryland Congress of Parents and Teachers. Additional professional affiliations included the American Association of School Administrators; the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development; the Federal Schoolmen's Club of Washington, D.C.; the Maryland Association of Public School Superintendents; the National Association of Secondary School Principals; and the Washington Area School Study Council.
Schmidt was also involved with the American Red Cross, the Boy Scouts of America, the Heart Association of Southern Maryland, the Prince George's County Scholarship Fund, the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA), and many other community organizations. He was a member of the College Park Rotary Club and served as an Elder at Grace Reformed Church in Washington for three terms and was president of the congregation on two different occasions.
He received numerous honors and awards including College Park Rotary Club Rotarian of the Year (1960); National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Award of Merit (1963); Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree, University of Maryland (1969); Distinguished Service Award in School Administration, American Association of School Administrators (1971); Dedication of the William S. Schmidt Outdoor Education Center in Brandywine, Maryland, by the Prince George's County Board of Education (1972); Boy Scouts of America Scouter of the Year Award (1973); Distinguished Citizen Award, "M" Club University of Maryland (1976); and Distinguished Pennsylvania Educator Citation, All Pennsylvania College Alumni Association (1979).
Dr. Schmidt's wife Lois died in 1974. In 1976, he married Elizabeth Griffith Beveridge, who had two daughters from a previous marriage, Susan Sohn and Lynn DeMeester. Dr. Schmidt and Elizabeth lived together in College Heights Estates, Hyattsville, Maryland, until his death on October 3, 1986.
The collection is arranged in four series:
Elizabeth Schmidt and Lynn DeMeester donated the William S. Schmidt papers to the University of Maryland Libraries in October 2004.
Materials were organized by format and arranged chronologically. Attachments were retained in place. Duplicates were discarded. Metal paper clips and staples were removed and replaced with plastic clips. Newspaper clippings were photocopied onto acid-free paper. The materials have been placed in acid-free folders and stored in acid-free boxes. All photographs have been placed in Mylar sleeves.