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Tom Schlimpert

Recenently Retired Educator

B.S. in Education, Masters and Specialist in Secondary Administration

Graduated in 1975

Explain your career path

My wife (Sherrill Roof, 75) and I both had meaningful careers in education. She in elementary and then as reading consultant, me in middle school science and administration. After retiring from public education I worked for 12 years at The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in The Leadership Academy, school counseling and STEM education. Retired August 1 after 43 years of service.

What was your major at Southeast and what led you to that?

I am proud to have 3 degrees from Southeast! BS in education, then masters and specialist in secondary administration. I had no clue as an entering freshman but a friend recommended Earth Science. Took my first geology course and loved it. Taught 8th grade Earth Science for 12 years and then moved in to administration in Poplar Bluff and Columbia.

Why did you choose to attend Southeast?

Southeast was affordable and attainable. My dad grew up near Jackson so we had family near. It was a pretty campus and drivable from St Louis. (I wasn’t too concerned about education at the time.). My wife and had many wonderful experiences at Cape and still have fond memories and appreciate the quality education we received. We loved going to SEMO!

Who influenced you most during your time at Southeast?

I had multiple positive influences, including several professors in my major, new friends in the dorm (Towers South then RA in Group Housing). Ultimately the most beautiful girl I dated and married was and still is my greatest influence! After forty four years of marriage, we can still tell stories of those college years!

Share your best college memory.

I had a lot of fun at Cape! Best memories all revolve around dating and falling in love with my wife! She was and still is sweet and hot!

What is the most important thing you learned while you were at Southeast?

Probably the most important thing I learned was don’t be stupid! Self discipline, hard work and integrity were instilled in me at home and certainly reinforced at SEMO.

Describe Southeast in three words.

Beautiful, quality, fun

What is your greatest professional accomplishment?

Becoming Principal at Poplar Bluff Jr High School and then at Lange Middle School in Columbia were both high water marks.

How did your education at Southeast prepare you for what you are doing today?

As described above, a quality education with a personalize touch as well as all the “experiences” did provide a solid foundation for our careers.

What advice would you give current students or recent graduates interested in pursuing a career in your professional field?

We are proud to have been educators and would encourage anyone to investigate and pursue with eyes wide open. Public education is the foundation of our democracy and is essential, challenging and rewarding. Salaries are good in many areas and the retirement system is one of the best in the country!

What do you wish you had known before graduating and entering the "real world"?



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College of Education, Health and Human Studies
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Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701