Former Lakewood teacher now works for county

Former technology teacher Ronald Schnell has left Lakewood – but what came after?



Former Lakewood technology teacher Ronald Schnell poses for a photo in the Lakewood hub on Sept. 7.


Former technology teacher Ronald Schnell walked away from Lakewood High School for summer break in May and never returned. Schnell decided it was time to stand down from his teaching position to take his professional growth in a new direction.

Lakewood Principal Erin Savage sent Schnell to a leadership summit for Pinellas County Schools prior to his leave.

“It really was one of the most difficult decisions in my life,” Schnell said.

In June, he entered a new position as the CTE (Career Technical Education) coordinator. He is in charge of handling compliance for the Perkins V Grant and Florida’s CAPE funding. Florida CAPE is the Career and Professional Education Act, bringing businesses and education as partners in the economy.

While working at Lakewood, Schnell also worked part-time teaching ESOL with adult education and ran his own martial arts business.

Schnell was a sponsor for FBLA, The Future Business Leaders of America. He shared various travelling experiences for FBLA and senior trips with the CAT teacher and Network Administrator, Chris Borg, as well as the Athletic trainer and ALMA teacher Erika Miller.

“One of the major challenges teachers have comes from an income standpoint. Now, I have one job,” he said.

Undergoing his many life changes, Schnell said that the biggest change was his commute as his new job is in Largo, and he lives closer to Lakewood.

“The impacts are too many to state. I worked for an amazing principal who is still my mentor for the Ed Leadership program,” he said.

Schnell originally intended to keep his position at Lakewood until retirement, but he learned that he would need more schooling to teach Advanced Placement classes. Schnell has now returned to college to earn a master’s degree in Educational Leadership.

“I thought leaving the students was going to be easy, and then I came back for opening day this year,” he said.

The educator who now fills Schnell’s shoes is technology teacher Kevin Ketcho. Schnell said he works with Ketcho “to make this transition seamless.”

He said he looks back at Lakewood with fond memories.

“I have developed great friendships with my coworkers, and many are regarded as my best friends,” Schnell said.