When decisions are being made by elected representatives who truly understand their community’s unique issues, values, circumstances, and cultures, a school district has the opportunity to excel and go above and beyond for its stakeholders each and every day.
It’s community members like Matt Schiel who have helped elevate the success of Tomball ISD over the years and who really understand what being a resident of Tomball truly means
He joined the Tomball ISD School Board in 2016 but his connection to Tomball dates back well over 150 years when his family migrated to the area.
For a kid who grew up in Tomball, Schiel has seen growth surrounding the area but knows that despite all the growth, a sense of belonging and acceptance within the community still occurs to this day.
“I don’t know any place other than Tomball. I feel like we do a good job of making it feel like a small town. Everyone still treats Tomball as if it hasn’t changed and that’s nice,” he said.
He was a 1994 graduate of Tomball High School and really excelled in agriculture with his love of FFA. Following his high school career, Schiel left Tomball briefly to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science from LSU.
It was at LSU that he met his wife Summer and the two quickly returned to Tomball and still to this day, live on family land that his ancestors settled on. The couple has three boys who all attend TISD schools.
When asked about raising his children in the place he was raised, Schiel mentioned, “the connections and roots you build and have here are invaluable. We have a great support network of people that surround us and there are always friends looking out for each other’s kids.”
A true representation of a Tomball native, Schiel began volunteering in TISD long before his children walked into school. He has always been an active volunteer and supporter of FFA, but once his children began school, he started serving TISD through PTO, Watch Dogs, Leadership Tomball, and various extra-curricular clubs and activities.
He is actively involved in the School Board, Boy Scout Troop 113, Magnolia 4-H, Tomball FFA & Tomball Athletic Booster Club.
“It was always instilled in me to pursue community service work and give back what was given to me,” he remembers.
Schiel is deeply-rooted in this community and knew he could serve as a voice to the residents of Tomball by serving on the School Board when an open position came available in 2016.
“I felt like I had a skillset that was valuable and that I could contribute to the overall team. Ultimately, my responsibility is to serve our parents, kids, teachers of the school district and be a voice for them.”
But for Schiel, it really is all about the kids.
“My entire family has gone through this school system and found a successful path. As a father now, I have time to give and I wanted to use this time to give back to kids. Most of the things our family does already is for our kids through various activities, so serving TISD is just one more avenue that I can serve that’s for the kids and for the betterment of the entire community. I really enjoy doing this.”
Schiel plays an integral role in developing the future and vision for Tomball ISD as the current Vice President of the Board of Trustees. You will find Schiel and his family immersed in all that Tomball offers from the FFA Project Show to football games and celebratory community events.
When asked, what’s the most rewarding part of being on the School Board, he didn’t hesitate one bit.
“It has to be when we implement new programs into the district and the students and parents are really appreciative of the work. It is always rewarding to see a small idea turn into something great and new for Tomball ISD.”
Aside from his community involvement, Schiel works as a Commercial Appraiser in the community.
“I actually quit an old job due to the new laws associated with HB2 to stay on the School Board. That is how committed I am to serving this district and being a representation of this community,” Schiel said.
For Schiel, passion for family and love for his community is evident and Tomball is fortunate to have a resident that understands the values that this town so truly represents.
“You have a lot of opportunities to be successful in Tomball but you have to remember to embrace the cultures, experience what this place has to offer and value the people. It was a great place to grow up, raise my family and now provides me an opportunity to give back, which I very much appreciate.”