2021 Hall of Fame Inductees

2021 FHS Alumna of the Year – Jamie Schmidt

Jaime Schmidt is an entrepreneur and the founder of Schmidt’s Naturals, a brand of natural personal care products that she started in her kitchen in Portland, Oregon in 2010. Jaime is known for modernizing natural personal care products, including the customer-favorite deodorant, and bringing them to the mainstream market. Under her leadership, Schmidt’s grew into a household name lining the shelves of retailers including Target, Costco, Whole Foods, Walmart and CVS across 30 countries. In 2017, Schmidt’s partnered with CPG giant Unilever, with Jaime continuing as the brand’s founder.

Jaime is the co-founder of Color, an investment portfolio that specializes in the consumer product industry, retail and ecommerce, brand positioning, and M&A. She is the author of “Supermaker: Crafting Business on Your Own Terms,” a personalized guide on how to put your business on the map, turning your passion into profit. Later this year, Jaime will serve as a mentor on Going Public, a new original series debuting on Entrepreneur Media that allows viewers to invest in IPOs.

She is regularly profiled in prominent press including Inc.EntrepreneurForbes and Fast Company. Jaime is an inaugural member of the Inc. Founders Project and has also been recognized as 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs (Goldman Sachs, 2017 & 2018), PNW Entrepreneur of the Year (Ernst & Young, 2017), Women of Influence (Portland Business Journal, 2018) and Executive of the Year (Portland Business Journal, 2017).

A 1996 graduate of Frankenmuth High School, Jaime was involved in Tennis and Venner.  

2021 Champion of Children – Jim VanDevelde

Jim VanDevelde graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Music degree in June, 1961. He would become Frankenmuth School District’s first full-time music teacher two months later.

Born and raised in Norway, MI, Jim had shown an interest in music at an early age, and received his first trumpet at the age of 9.  Private lessons enabled him to advance rapidly. He was a member of the high school band as a 7th grader, the high school dance combo in the 8th grade, and a member of the Norway City Band by the time he was a freshman.

While playing the trumpet was Jim’s main interest, his high school activities also included a stint at Golden Gloves boxing, two years of football, president of the Hi-Y Club, and president of the junior class and senior class. A variety of jobs – paper route, pin setter at the bowling alley, gas station attendant, and Asselin Creamery – also occupied his time as a teenager.

Jim entered MSU as an instrumental music major in the fall of 1957.  Three years in the marching band, 4 years in the symphonic band, and 1 term as a member of the Falcone Brass Sextet were among his performance experiences while an under-grad at MSU. The Master Degree from MSU would be acquired on a summer program from 1962-66.

Jim began his music teaching career at Frankenmuth School District in the fall of 1961 and retired in June, 1993.  

As Frankenmuth School District’s first full-time music teacher (previous music teachers also had an academic class and/or study hall), Jim’s teaching assignment included general music at the List School as well as instrumental music at both St. Lorenz Parochial School and the public school.   

This changed as the public school band program grew. 

Life from 1961-1993 was not all teaching, however. Jim became a member of the local JayCee chapter in 1962, and played trumpet with the Saginaw Symphony from 1962-65.  Jim married Verna Darlene Herzog in August, 1963. They were founding members of Blessed Trinity Catholic Church, and raised three boys, Mark, Mike and Craig, who graduated from FHS and went on to earn university degrees.  

Summer employment with Zeilinger Trucking from 1966-1980 helped Jim support his growing family, and he returned to Zeilinger in 1993 following his retirement from FSD. 

Denise Compton succeeded Jim as the band director at Frankenmuth School District.  In 2003, Denise asked Jim if he would consider helping out with the rehearsal of students preparing for performance in the solo and ensemble festival.  

Although somewhat leery about the knowledge that might have been lost during his ten years away from teaching music, Jim accepted Denise’s invitation – and ever since then, he has been having the time of his life assisting both Denise’s – and later Eric Clauder’s – prepare student musicians for their solo and ensemble performances.

It was only due to the pandemic, which caused the cancellation of the MSBOA state in March, 2020, has Jim missed a year.

Preparing for the solo and ensemble festival requires a fairly disciplined calendar.

Under normal circumstances, solo and ensemble activities would begin in mid to late October at EFR Middle School and continue until the Jr. High Festival the first Saturday in December.  

Jim’s commitment was for two class hours per morning – 7th grade band and 8th grade band.  With the band director coordinating the program, Jim would usually rehearse two events per class hour in whatever room was available.  This “2-class hours per day” schedule switched to FHS in January and continued until the high school district solo and ensemble festival in mid-February.  

A band member’s participation in the solo and ensemble program is optional.  Those students are involved because they choose to be, are eager for one-on-one instruction, and are the nicest, most courteous young people one could hope to meet.   

For the working band director who has a full class day of instrumental music instruction, finding the time to assist solo and ensemble events is difficult, often limited to a few minutes before school, noon hour, or after school.  

But for the retired Jim, it has been the best of all music teaching worlds, and he is happy to have been a part of it.  

God willing, there will be more to come.

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