‘A genuine professor’ with amazing ability to connect with students, Schneider to retire after 39 years of service 

“A teacher’s influence doesn’t stay in school. It goes out into the world and cannot truly ever be measured. Every student you inspire to do something great goes on to inspire others. There is no limit to your impact.” – George Couros

By Dr. Bobbi Buchholz ’02, Professor of Mathematics

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Shown here in 2002 when Dr. Bobbi Buchholz graduated from Hastings College are Dr. Mark Hall (now retired), Buchholz, Dr. John Schneider and Dr. Dave Cooke.

I first met Dr. John Schneider as a student at Hastings College. Even though I was a double major in mathematics and computer science, I didn’t have my first class with Dr. Schneider until my senior year in the fall of 2001. He still gives me a hard time about that being my one and only class with him. I remember him as being a fun and engaging teacher who made mathematical concepts easy to understand.

After Hastings College I went on to graduate school, and I can honestly say that I wouldn’t have earned my Ph.D. if it weren’t for the encouragement and continued support I received from John and Dr. Dave Cooke. They helped me apply to graduate school, gave me the encouragement and motivation to continue after earning my master’s degree and were present when I gave my dissertation defense. Their belief in my abilities is what got me to where I am today and for that I will be forever grateful.

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Schneider in a classroom on campus in 1987.

This kind of support of a student is not unique to me.

Seven years after graduating from Hastings College, I was hired as a faculty member. To be able to come back and teach alongside my academic mentors has been such a blessing.

Being a colleague of John has opened my eyes even further to his amazing gift of teaching and connecting with students. You will find very few professors who care more about their students than John. I’ve watched him year in and year out pour himself into giving the best classroom experience for every student in his classes.

If students are struggling, he does everything possible to change and adapt to make the environment one that allows for success. It doesn’t matter the time commitment or level of work required. He also goes beyond the classroom and gets to know his students as people, helping them achieve their goals in life. It is no surprise that he is well-loved by students.

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Schneider with his children – Leah, Emma and Jack – at Fenway Park in Boston in 2008.

John has influenced the lives of countless students who have been a part of the Hastings College community. Many who have gone on to become high school mathematics teachers continued to stay in contact with him and ask for his advice. He was always willing to mentor them through that transition to teaching. Many have also commented how they model their classrooms after his — he has no idea how wide his impact really is.

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Schneider with his fabulous dogs, Freddy and Penny.

John joined the Hastings College faculty in 1985. He has participated in all aspects of the campus community throughout his many years serving on the Faculty Affairs Committee, Tenure and Promotion Committee, and Academic Affairs Committee. He also spent time as the Associate Dean of Math, Science & Business and chair of the Mathematics and Computer Science Department. He also helped start the Hastings College Mathematics Invite for high school students and served as its co-director for 22 years.

The most important thing to John are his children: Leah, Jack and Emma. He is known for his stories of his children and his dogs, and also for his love of pop, Hagoromo chalk, motorcycles and jean jackets. John is a genuine professor who has an amazing ability to connect with students and make mathematics fun and engaging.

His relationship-building skills, along with holding students accountable, has modeled a great classroom environment for many future mathematics teachers, which continues to positively impact students in high school classrooms far and wide.

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Schneider said this is his favorite photo — which we made usable with just a bit of editing.

After 39 years of being a faculty member at Hastings College, John plans to retire at the end of this month. He will be missed, but his legacy will continue on in the former students he inspired.

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