Active in COG and community, member elected to school board
By John Warren

ALBERT LEA, Minn.--Nine and a half years ago, when Jolinda Schreiber moved to this Minnesota town, she made a decision about her children's education.

"I really wanted to be involved with the kids' education," she explained. "I became involved from day one."

Mrs. Schreiber lives in Albert Lea with her husband, David, and two children: a 16-year-old daughter, Kelley, and 18-year-old son, Jamie.

Began as a volunteer

Mrs. Schreiber began by volunteering as a classroom helper at her children's elementary school and became involved with the Parent Teachers' Organization (PTO). School officials later asked her to serve on a "citizenship committee."

"As soon as I began volunteering, they gave me all I could handle," she said. "I became the volunteer coordinator, and they sent me to workshops to learn how to set up volunteer programs."

Mrs. Schreiber understood how important parental involvement is to the success of children as students, other people's as well as her own.

"When parents become partners in their children's education," she said, "children do better in school and go to better schools.

"Parent involvement also enables the teachers to teach better. My involvement was a way to be active in my own children's schools and support the classroom teachers."

As the Schreibers' children progressed through school, Mr. and Mrs. Schreiber developed PTO groups in the sixth- and seventh-grade middle school and the eighth- and ninth-grade junior high.

She served as PTO president for three years while her children were in junior high. Once her children advanced to high school, she figured her role would change--and it did.

"Some board members' terms were up, and they decided not to run," she told The Journal. "I thought this was a way to stay involved and continue to serve in the school district and the community. I was elected in November 2002 to serve a four-year term. I will be there through my daughter's graduation."

Mrs. Schreiber says she is thankful she does not have to work outside her home and can volunteer to help her children's schools.

"When David and I married, I didn't have to work, so I had time to volunteer. David was very encouraging to me. He also was active in school activities, and he also coached summer youth sports teams."

Replaced her husband

Mr. Schreiber had also served a term on the board. He was elected in 1996 and served three years at his alma mater, the high school in Albert Lea.

During Mr. Schreiber's term the school district was involved in a $30 million building project. Because of job commitments and the growth of his business, Mr. Schreiber decided not to run again for a school-board position but encouraged his wife to seek the office.

"He felt that he could not make the commitment," Mrs. Schreiber told The Journal. "He encouraged me to run this time. If I hadn't had his support and encouragement, I could not have done it."

Mrs. Schreiber, who grew up as Jolinda Jenkins in the Worldwide Church of God and attended Ambassador College in Big Sandy, Texas, attends Sabbath services of the United Church of God in Austin, Minn.

She is active in church services and other church activities and says she is glad she can also serve her community.

Strong belief

"I am excited because I can contribute, and there are two areas I want to focus on.

"I have a strong belief in parent involvement.

"I would like to continue to fan the flames to keep that going. I have a passion for parents becoming active partners in the children's education at all grade levels.

"I would also like to work with the teachers. They carry such a heavy load, and they need more help from parents.

"I want to continue working on the programs we have started to give the teachers more support and, hopefully, help them feel appreciated."

Mrs. Schreiber explained that the Sabbath is not an issue that affects her service on the school board.

Because her children have been so active in school sports, the school district knows the Schreibers don't do certain things on Friday nights and Saturdays.

She readily acknowledges the support she has received in the school district of around 3,900 students with its six campuses:

"They know I am all about the kids."

This issue of The Journal includes many photos and several other graphics, besides the Connections advertising section. Don't forget to subscribe to the print version of The Journal to read all the news and features previewed here.

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