Thank you, Dr. Schmitt


Brendan Hawkins

Every school can be said to have a beating heart, and the beating heart of Lincoln-Way West High School is undoubtedly Dr. Monica Schmitt. After starting her career at LW Central in 1989 and becoming coordinator of deans and principal during her time as a Knight, this EIU graduate transitioned to become the first, and, as of yet, only principal of Lincoln-Way West. After making her way over to the WESTSIDE in 2009, our orange-boot clad leader has never looked back, consistently going above and beyond in showing her love and admiration for each individual student.

From the beginning, Dr. Schmitt did not stay in her office all day but could be seen all around the building. In addition to her leadership duties, the former algebra teacher could be found filling in outside, helping direct traffic, sponsoring Homecoming Olympics teams, subbing when the need arose, tutoring students, and visiting classes (especially English, which is her favorite). She is also visible at pep assemblies and sporting events, from pumping up the students and celebrating their accomplishments to participating in musical chairs to having one-on-one conversations that let each person know that they are seen and valued.

Since its opening in 2009, Lincoln-Way West has flourished under the leadership of its first principal. Under this former poms coach’s leadership, we have sent many individuals and teams to state and watched the LWMB perform across the country. The former Thornridge Falcon has also led the Warriors to academic achievement in the classroom, and also on the ACT, SAT, and AP tests. When she finally has time to unwind and at her lake house this summer, hopefully she can reflect on the high bar of excellence she has set for our great school.

I firmly believe that I speak on behalf of all the alumni, students, and faculty of Lincoln-Way West when I say this: thank you, Dr. Schmitt! Thank you for being more than just a principal. Thank you for always going out of your way to be a member of the Lincoln-Way West community first, making all students feel at home and seen. Thank you for sticking with us when our extended spring break turned into the two-and-a-half-year-long nightmare of a worldwide pandemic–for taking the reins, spearheading our school through the endless restrictions and mandates that followed. But truly, most of all, thank you for being our principal. You have left your mark on every student that has passed through the hallways in this building, past and present, and I believe that with the appointment of Dr. Robbins as our next principal, the legacy you have left on this school will be palpable in young Warriors for generations to come.