Running with History

Erin Schoenfelder continues to stay active in the Antioch community even after her college endeavors.


Joseph Kestian

Former ACHS student Erin Schoenfelder makes an impact on not just the school but the world.

For 103 years, Antioch Community High School has been home to many great students and athletes which people are reminded of by their pictures hung up in the school. One person that is featured on the walls of ACHS for her achievements is Erin Schoenfelder.

During her time at ACHS, Schoenfelder was tremendously involved in both athletics and academics throughout her four years. She was a member of the cross country, basketball and track team, along with being actively involved in National Honor Society and Spanish Club. Being involved in school was one of Schoenfelder’s favorite aspects of ACHS and believes it is something every student should try to pursue.

“My favorite part of ACHS was how we had so many opportunities for all students to be involved in something,” Schoenfelder said. “I see now that there are even more opportunities than when I was in school which I think is so cool and something that every student should take advantage of.”

After high school, Schoenfelder attended the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire where she studied Elementary Education and Spanish. While attending UW- Eau Claire, she was involved in the Partner Reading Program where she would partner with and assist elementary students with their reading.

“I went to an elementary student’s house once a week and would read with him for an hour,” Schoenfelder said. “I grew really close with the family and read with the brother for three years and then with his younger sister for my last year of college.”

Schoenfelder was also involved athletically as she was a member of the women’s track team at UW- Eau Claire and was considered a strong asset to the team.

“I ran the 60-meter hurdles, 400-meter hurdles and four by 400 meter relay,” Schoenfelder said. “During my four years, I earned five All-American trophies in addition to a few academic awards my senior year.”

Following college, Schoenfelder moved to La Coruña, Spain and taught English in an elementary school for a year. She also competed for the city’s weightlifting team which continued her competitive drive after college athletics. Once she came back to the states, she got a job teaching fourth grade Spanish for a dual language school in Woodstock. That same year, she began coaching track at ACHS, hoping to bring a positive attitude and impact to the program. Senior Noor Abdellatif shares her experience with Schoenfelder as a coach.

“She cares about each individual athlete and their own needs and skills,” Abdellatif said. “I wouldn’t be the athlete I am today if it wasn’t for her pushing me to improve my weaknesses to make me a better athlete.”

The weight lifting program Schoenfelder makes her athletes stick to during the season is an aspect she has brought to ACHS, which has helped produce a couple state qualifiers within the track program. Junior McKenna Kalisz explains how the weightlifting helps with improving her results on the track.

“The program Erin has us on is very intense,” Kalisz said. “It is very specific, paying a lot of attention to detail and works out the muscles that many athletes decide to ignore. It’s helped improve my form for when I’m racing, ultimately helping me run faster in meets.”

Reflecting on her time at ACHS, she explains that she would advise students to avoid the normal day-to-day mentality most high school students have.

“Don’t take the day-to-day life stuff too seriously but do take your future seriously,” Schoenfelder said. “High school is fun and a great experience but the most exciting part of your life is ahead of you. Keep in mind what is most important to you, whether that be family, school, sports, music, the type of career you want, etc., and make sure that every decision you make is helping you get to where you want to be in the future.”

The memorable name that Schoenfelder made in her career did not just end at the conclusion of high school. She carried her success into college and then brought her lessons and experience back to impact the lives of today’s generation. Her presence continues to inspire young athletes and students to strive to their fullest potential.