New Kid’s World director settles in

Joseph Schmitt, shown here holding his daughter, Ryoko, is the new Kid’s World director. Photo / Per Peterson

By Per Peterson

Joseph Schmitt might have never settled down until just recently, but he’s home now — and that home has a familiar feel.

Schmitt, the son of Ken and Kathleen (Gervais) Schmitt, is the new director at Tracy’s Kid’s World, joining his wife, Naomi, a teacher at Kid’s World, and youngest daughter, Ryoko Meena, a 4-year-old who is a student there. The couple also has an older daughter, 9, Sarah Emi, who attended Kid’s World back in 2015. Joseph and Naomi met in Japan, while he was in the service.

“Last time I counted, I’ve lived in 20 different places,” said Schmitt, who was born in Sioux Falls, SD. “When I was growing up, we moved a lot. Then I joined the military and I moved a lot more. It’s been southwest Minnesota the last few years, but I grew up in the Twin Cities; I’ve lived in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Colorado, and Japan for 10 years. Now I’m back out here.

Schmitt, who moved to Tracy after living in Slayton, jokes about his nomadic lifestyle, but has seemed to have found a place to put down roots in Tracy. He earned his degree in Education from Southwest Minnesota State University. He has a K-8 Minnesota teacher’s license, with a 5-8 math endorsement.

“My family’s really happy here — my wife works here, my kids go to school in Tracy, and they weren’t ready to uproot and move,” Schmitt said.

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