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Second try and new career path for St. Scholastica grad – Duluth News Tribune

DULUTH – In 2018, Samuel Schlater started recognizing the writing on the wall.

Then 33, he knew he wouldn’t be a stay-at-home dad forever to his three children, who were then 8, 6 and 1. He enrolled at the College of Sainte Scholastique, where his wife, Amber Schlater, is a biology teacher, to obtain a diploma in elementary education.

“I thought it was important to get back into that,” he told the News Tribune. “I needed a new career path. And as difficult, as daunting as it may seem, going back to college seemed like the right decision at the time.

He is expected to be among approximately 480 people who will graduate from the university on Saturday. Both of Schlater’s parents are retired teachers, he said, and he felt the pull of the profession after his eldest child was born.

“That call just got louder and louder,” Schlater said.

He embarked on higher education earlier in 2006 at the University of Cincinnati, but “life just happened,” as Schlater put it, and he didn’t complete his studies. In 2008, Schlater met Amber and started a family with her in Fort Collins, Colorado, and moved with her to Ontario, Canada, then to Duluth after he was offered a job at St. Scholastica in 2016. .

Schalter worked part-time as a caretaker at St. Luke’s Hospital, juggling parenthood and studying. Amber worked during the day while Sam was a stay-at-home parent, and they swapped responsibilities in the afternoons. Or they would orchestrate childcare between their classes, handing over their youngest while one parent finished one class and the other started another.

Somewhere in the middle of all this “synchronized shuffling,” Sam Schlater said, he was studying for his classes, often around midnight after his shift at the hospital, or for about an hour before Amber got home from school. education. His senior year at St. Scholastica, when his youngest child was old enough for kindergarten classes, was the first where he didn’t have to coordinate his responsibilities so precisely.

The arrangement was stressful, Sam Schlater said, and the previous four years seemed to have passed in a blur. But college, he found, came more easily to him in his 30s than in his 20s.

“I don’t know if I had that drive and that passion or even that understanding of what it meant to graduate from college and where it would take you later in life,” he said, “and now I know exactly why and how.”

Beyond the accomplishment itself and the career it will open up for him, Schlater’s degree has also helped him win a bet with his brother. Earning his bachelor’s degree put Schlater’s brother on the hook for $1,000, a sum he paid early on by taking Schlater, a fan of the Cincinnati Bengals football team, to watch the team play — and win – the AFC Championship Game last January en route to their first Super Bowl appearance since 1988.

“It was,” Schlater said Thursday of the Bengals game, “the crowning glory.”

Sam Schlater of Duluth is graduating with a diploma in elementary education on Saturday.

Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune

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