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Compass Profiles: Christina Schneider

posted Wed, Jun 20, 2018

Categories: Compass profiles

This summer, we will be highlighting members of the Compass Community.  This could include staff members, founding families, volunteers, board members, school designers, students or community partners.

Get to know us.


Staff: Christina Schneider


Six Word Memoir: 

Flâneur noticing beauty in small things

What’s your educational specialty/background?

*MEd from CSU with a focus on Career/Technical Education in Business/Marketing and Internship Coordination *

I completed my student teaching at Rocky Mountain High School and continued as their PACE Coordinator (assisting students with job and internship placement and guidance while teaching career skills) until joining the Compass team. Utilizing my connections from being a native in Fort Collins and working in the area professionally for many years, I was able to build invaluable relationships with community members to support student engagement in experiential work-based learning opportunities. I cannot wait to share the Compass world of creativity with our community!

Why Compass?

My parents were both junior high teachers in Poudre School District. I remember when I was ready to begin planning for college and they both told me to avoid teaching. They were extremely passionate about their professions and supported many a student in need over their combined 60+ years of teaching in the district so you can imagine my dismay. The reason - the fabric of teaching was beginning to turn into a world of politics and red tape where the focus was being shifted away from students and what was truly best for them. So, I didn’t go into teaching when I went off to college. I got a degree from UW - Parkside in Business with a focus on Management Information Systems (and, believe me, while equipped to do programming from a skill standpoint, I would much, much, much rather be problem-solving and conversing with other humans!). I began my professional career for Harley-Davidson headquarters in Milwaukee working first as a computer support intern and then on their data warehousing team. I knew Fort Collins was calling me home so I returned and furthered my career at CSU in Human Resources managing the Personnel/Payroll System for 14 years. I woke up one day and realized that I wasn’t passionate about IT any longer and did some deep soul searching. I thought about what made me feel the most fulfilled and realized I had an intense passion for passing along knowledge to others and learning from them at the same time. I began my Masters of Education at CSU and began teaching at Rocky Mountain High School. I cannot even begin to put into words the intrinsic benefits of being able to watch students experience potential careers and have that ‘a-ha’ moment of knowing what types of careers they could find passion within. Because, let’s face it, at the end of the day it is all about passion. And loving what you spend 40 years of your life doing. And knowing that it is absolutely okay if that ends up changing as life experiences stack up and life evolves. And I have found my passion not in a traditional school setting but in an environment where the team believes the minds of our students should be set free to explore the world around them with their eyes wide open through experiences. The value of internships extends into all areas of life - soft skills that are lacking in our technology-laden lives of today truly being of the essence. The relationships that come out of meeting community members are invaluable and often show up at the most opportune moments in the future. I love the mission of Compass and am absolutely thrilled to be on this journey with our team and our students. Together, we truly will change the fabric of learning in this community by immersing our students in the community itself. It is with much gratitude that I have found my true passion.​​​​​​​

Besides your specialty, what other talents and interests do you want to share with our community?

The love of the outdoors, being adventurous and open to new experiences, literature (especially local authors)

What previous life experiences are you bringing to the Compass Community?

I’ve never been afraid to step off of a ledge even if it means that I am turning my life upside down. I truly believe in going after what it is you desire in all aspects of life while showing everyone you come across kindness and compassion.

What is your dream project/partnership at Compass?

A project with the CSU Energy Institute

What do you believe?

I believe that life is short and we need to embrace every opportunity that is in our path. Everything happens for a reason even though we may not understand what that reason is in many of our life experiences.

What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?

My daughter, 13, and my son, 10.

For what in your life do you feel the most grateful?

The relationships I have built personally and professionally

What would constitute a “perfect day”?

Spending time outside in the mountain air finding beauty in the simplest of things​​​​​​​