Life of a Brave: Ms. Jen Schnorr Becomes the First Female Vice Principal in St. John Bosco’s History
by Matthew Parsons
As the first female Vice Principal of St. John Bosco High School, Ms. Schnorr is paving the way for more diversity in the Bosco community.
Ms. Schnorr grew up in an active household in the South Bay. She is the oldest of four children, with two sisters and a brother. She and all of her siblings were involved in many sports and activities throughout their upbringing, which perhaps planted the seed for her to become a fun and dynamic leader.
Ms. Schnorr participated in an abundance of extracurriculars in her school years, including volleyball, basketball, soccer and softball at the varsity level in high school. She even participated in boy’s baseball her senior year. Not only was she a student-athlete, but she was also a member of her school’s ASB every year.
Ms. Schnorr attended St. Margaret Mary for elementary school, St. Anthony High School and then went on to attend college at California State University, East Bay for a year before transferring to UC Santa Barbara. She double majored in Global Studies and Spanish Literature.
After graduating from UC Santa Barbara, Ms. Schnorr joined the Peace Corps, and she travelled to Africa to live in Mozambique for three years. In Mozambique, she taught English, which was her introduction to teaching. When she returned to the United States, she pursued teaching further, being a substitute teacher at her high school alma mater, St. Anthony.
Being a teacher wasn’t Ms. Schnorr’s original intention in life. Even as her “dream job” changed over the years, it was never teaching. As a child she wanted to become a doctor, but as she grew into her high school years, she changed her pursuit to becoming an Athletic Trainer for the Los Angeles Lakers. Then, after college, Ms. Schnorr’s goal was to join an international non-governmental agency, which ultimately led her to the Peace Corps.
“I love traveling. I love the world, and I love learning about cultures and meeting new people,” said Ms. Schnorr.
After a period of teaching at St. Anthony High School, Ms. Schnorr heard about an open position for a Spanish teacher at Bosco from friends who worked here. Growing up in the Long Beach area, Ms. Schnorr already knew many people from St. John Bosco, so when she learned of the position, she already knew of the school.
“I had friends that went to Bosco. I actually knew Mr. Negro and Mr. Cordero. And when I heard that they had a Spanish position open, I was very excited. Mr. Salmingo and I had worked at a previous school together, and when he said there was an opening, I applied,” said Ms. Schnorr.
Since, Ms. Schnorr has been a mentor and role model to many of her students. She is a great teacher, and students at Bosco have nothing but praise for the job she does.
“She was really helpful as a teacher. She kept the work very practical and constantly related the Spanish that we were learning to reality and situations that we would be faced with in real life, rather than just teaching from the textbook,” said senior Michael Carbone.
In the very short time that Ms. Schnorr has been a member of the Bosco community, she has been allotted a lot of responsibilities. She has gone from the role of a Spanish teacher and Activities Director to Vice Principal of Student Affairs.
“I went from just teaching Spanish to taking over activities. And now, with the Vice Principal of Student Affairs, I’m in charge of leading the three main teams, all of ASB, campus ministry and Christian service,” said Ms. Schnorr.
Along with everything that she has accomplished, Ms. Schnorr is the first female Vice Principal of Student Affairs, a historic landmark for the Bosco community. To Ms. Schnorr there’s a lot of honor that comes with the position and achievement of being the first woman to become it.
“I think that’s a big deal, to be the first female administrator at Bosco, and I’m honored and humbled. I think it’s good to have a diverse group in the administration to have everyone’s different inputs and perspectives on things,” said Ms. Schnorr.
Ms. Schnorr has done a great job with handling all of her responsibilities and new position. Even though it’s a much larger workload, she has not let up her efforts in the slightest.
“Ms. Schnorr is not only our Vice Principal of Student Affairs. She’s a teacher, a mentor, a friendly peer and a motherly` figure at Bosco. She’s always on the move serving students’ needs. Working alongside Ms. Schnorr is a privilege. I’ve learned to be a leader, public speaker and a better student from her. Any moment I’m with Ms. Schnorr, I know it will be filled with smiles and laughter,” said senior Kaimana Storch.
Ms. Schnorr loves the Bosco community and brotherhood. For her it’s been a great experience and an opportunity for her to learn many new things. When she first came to Bosco, she didn’t really know what she was getting herself into but it’s proven itself to be the right choice for her.
“I didn’t really know what to expect when I started here because I had never been on the actual campus before,” said Ms. Schnorr.
Ms. Schnorr has worked at Bosco for four years now. She’s watched many students come and go and watched freshmen grow into becoming seniors. She loves watching the students grow up and become young men.
The COVID-19 pandemic greatly shifted the landscape of teaching and Ms. Schnorr’s job. For her, it was very challenging to teach and organize activities.
“It was challenging, not having any students to provide activities for, but when we returned to campus last March, we hit the ground running,” said Ms. Schnorr.
Ms. Schnorr, while only being part of the Bosco community for a short time, has become a key piece of the community. She looks forward to helping students and continuing to watch the community grow every day.