East Central College announced this week that Union resident Ann Schroeder will serve as this year’s commencement speaker Saturday, May 12.
“Ann has made a significant impact in Franklin County throughout her career,” said East Central College President Dr. Jon Bauer. “We are honored to have her be a part of the ceremony.”
A lifelong resident of Union, Schroeder attended Union High School before pursuing an associate of arts from East Central College. She later transferred to the University of Missouri where she received her bachelor’s degree in parks and recreation administration.
In her professional career, Schroeder served as the Director of Parks and Recreation for Union for nearly 20 years. She also spent seven years as the Recreation Director for Webster Groves, where she helped complete the construction of a community center, ice rink and outdoor aquatic center.
In 2001, she made a career change and ran for public office as the Second District county commissioner in Franklin County. She served in this role, as only the second woman ever to hold the office as county commissioner, until 2012.
“I am most proud of the Putting Kids First tax initiative,” Schroeder explained. “It helped fund comprehensive school-based prevention programs, initiated professional mental health service providers to move to Franklin County and created temporary shelter for abused, neglected and homeless people.”
Outside of her career, Schroeder has dedicated her time to making a difference. She brought her leadership skills to the Missouri Parks and Recreation Association (MPRA), where she served as a board member, state conference chairperson, secretary and president. She also received the Associate Fellow Award and the Fellow Award for her work on the MPRA.
Additionally, Schroeder spent a decade as a board member for the Missouri Association of Counties and served as a board member for the Great Lakes Region of the National Parks and Recreation Association. She was named a board member for the Franklin County Youth Fair and Franklin County Children’s Resource Board. She also is a member of the Union Kiwanis, Daughters of Isabella and Immaculate Conception Parish Choir.
She has been honored by the Union Chamber of Commerce with the Distinguished Service Award and by East Central College with the Outstanding Alumni Award. She is married to her husband Norman and they have two daughters, Kate and Abby, as well as two granddaughters, Kassidy and Elly.