Each year, the National Council for the Social Studies holds elections to fill positions on their Board of Directors and leadership team. Voting for 2019-2020 Board of Directors will begin after the annual NCSS conference this December. The NCSS Board of Directors oversees the mission and vision of the organization and sets the policy that supports not only the organization, but social studies educators around the country and the world.
The Maine Council for the Social Studies, at its October 4 meeting, voted unanimously to endorse Joe Schmidt as candidate for the At-Large position on the NCSS Board of Directors. Joe has served in a leadership capacity in a variety of social studies organizations both in Maine, Wisconsin, and nationally. This includes his current position as Social Studies Specialist for the Maine Department of Education as well as serving on the MCSS Board.
Joe has served the past four years as a member of both the iCivics National Educator Network and the Teaching Tolerance Advisory Board. He currently serves on the Government and Public Relations Committee and previously chaired the select subcommittee for Social Studies for NCSS. Other distinguished recognition and positions include:
K-12 Social Studies Teacher Leader for Curriculum & Instruction at the Madison Metropolitan School District
Vice-President and Business Manager for the Wisconsin Council for the Social Studies
Social Studies Advisory Council for the Wisconsin Department of Instruction
Item and Content Reviewer for the Wisconsin Forward Exam
Fellow at the Center for the Study of the American Constitution
Teacher Study Abroad Program for the European Union Center for Excellence
2017 Snavely/Michalko Memorial Award for outstanding service to social studies community in Wisconsin
2014 NCSS Summer Leadership Institute
Joe believes that social studies is the curriculum for how we live our lives and can be the cure to what ails us. Not only does it prepare students for tackling larger and deeper issues as they grow older, but it also sets the stage for well-rounded students who are not afraid to ask questions and explore their own curiosity about our world while also raising literacy rates and test scores. He believes deeply in social studies, but understands that educators need more support. There is so much potential, but we all realize there are barriers to successful implementation. As a former classroom teacher, who became a district level curriculum leader, and now as a state specialist, he has the background experience to address these barriers.
Joe believes that we must encourage all educators, including elementary teachers, to provide meaningful Social Studies education for all students. For example, demonstrating how literacy learning is stronger when history content is included and how mathematics in the context of even basic economics deepens those mathematical practices. He knows there is more work to do in our social studies classes and curriculum, but the leaders we will rely on in the future, need to be shaped in the K-12 classrooms of today.
The MCSS board knows that Joe has been a leader for social studies throughout his career and serves as a strong advocate for supporting not only social studies educators in Maine but throughout NCSS.