Family First

Coaches Kim Schmidt, Andrea Reed and Jeff Stoffey juggle home and work life throughout the year.


(From left to right) Hadley Schmidt, Lincoln Stoffey , and Cameron Schmidt recently went trick-or-treating in Kimmswick.

Austin Williams, Staff Editor

Every day, students can be heard talking about the struggles they have balancing their lives in and out of school. Whether it’s their homework, job, or life at home, high school students have a lot on their plate; however, many fail to recognize the numerous challenges their teachers face at the same time as them.

Many teachers at Windsor High School are not only teachers, but also parents and coaches. They not only have their duties as teachers, but they also have to take care of their children at home and coach their athletes at school. Teachers Kim Schmidt, Andrea Reed and Jeff Stoffey are no strangers to these challenges.

The three educators coach girls basketball, respectively, along with other duties throughout the year. This is a big responsibility that causes them to be away from their homes countless days and nights during the school year. Although time consuming, it is also something, like their families and jobs, that is important to them.

“I grew up with my dad coaching and that’s one of the biggest reasons I came into teaching. I remember going to my dad’s practices when I was a kid and I loved it,” Stoffey said. “I love teaching, but I also love coaching. Basketball is one of my favorite sports to coach. There’s a lot of strategy involved. It’s something that I can’t give up just because I have a family. When my kids get a little older, they will hang out at my practices more, too.”

The coaches enjoy having a family-first atmosphere. When necessary, Reed, Schmidt and Stoffey bring their children to practice. Interestingly, the children’s ages are two months, one year, two years, three years,  four years and five years old. 

Schmidt said, “My children enjoy coming to games and practices and hanging out with the girls on the team.  The girls are always willing to play cars, superheroes or baby dolls with them. I am lucky to have great role models for my children, which is an added bonus to my job.” 

While the coaches love the sport of basketball, it’s the students that keep them coming back for more each year.

“It’s just fun whenever you can see the students outside of the classroom,” Schmidt said. “(You) see the kids in a different light, what they are capable of doing and how they work with other people. I just feel like you can be a bigger influence on them than you can (in the classroom). It’s a position in which you can have a big influence on them. I think that’s a great thing and totally worth it.”

Students who have Schmidt, Stoffey and Reed in class and/or are coached by them understand the impact they have.  These teams become second families for many of the students and the coaches. As teachers and coaches, these relationships with students are very important but also mean sacrifices have to be made at home.

Stoffey said, “During the school year and when basketball season rolls around, it gets really hectic. I’ll be gone 30 nights during basketball season and then track rolls around and there’s another 15 nights or so. I’ll be gone over a month worth of nights, so she’ll have two kids under the age of two with her. My wife is a saint for dealing with that.”

Luckily, the coaches have great support systems that allow them to continue doing what they love. Not only do they have friends and family members that help watch their kids, but other teachers at Windsor also help out.

Schmidt said, “This is my 13th year coaching basketball…Thankfully, I have some really reliable (people to help). We have some grandparents, extended friends, that perhaps play more like family. Ms. Kovach spends a lot of time with my kids as well during basketball season, as does her mom. That helps a lot. This is (my husband’s) first year as an athletic director. Prior to that, he also coached basketball, so we heavily relied on other people.”

The WHS teachers love what they do; however, being parents has changed their perspectives on how much of their time should be spent at school and at home. This is one reason why this is Schmidt’s second year of not coaching softball. Stoffey continues to coach multiple sports, but now loves his time at home more than ever. When Reed had her first child, she got out of coaching for a few years, but came back last season because her children are a little older. 

Teachers and students may at times seem like opposites, but they have more similarities than it appears at first sight. At the end of the day, teachers and students go home. When they go home, they are no longer teachers and students, but just people.

“(Being a parent) definitely makes me appreciate my time away from school more. Before, it was all about your job, and teaching and coaching. Now, I enjoy my time away from school and you kind of see there’s more out of life,” Stoffey said.