s. rita marie schmitz
Sister Rita was born in St. Louis, Mo. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet in 1961 and was received into the novitiate in 1962 as Sister Paul Noreen. She received a bachelor’s degree in home economics from Fontbonne College in 1966, a master’s degree in home economics from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and a doctorate in family and child development from Ohio State University in 1974.
Sister Rita is a professor of education at Fontbonne University, where she has dedicated her service for the past 42 years. Notably, she chaired the Education/Special Education Department from 1980-1995.
She has served on several boards including the Carondelet Day Care Center, St. Joseph’s Institute for the Deaf, and the Lewis & Clark Institute. Presently, she serves on the board at Avila University in Kansas City, Mo. For the past 10 years, Sister Rita volunteers at St. Louis' Fabulous Fox Theatre.
Her special achievements and recognitions include several awards from Fontbonne such as the Founder’s Award (2010), Recognition for Enlightened Service (2010), and the Alumni Association Service Award (2007). She was also the recipient of Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award (2005) and the Joan Goostree Stevens Award for Excellence in Teaching (2004-2005).