The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you on to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called truth.
  • 66 years old
  • Born on January 14, 1952 in Scranton, Pennsylvania, United States.
  • Passed away on March 1, 2018 in Lakeville, Pennsylvania, United States.

You're invited to use this site to offer your tributes, share photos and stories of our beloved Joanie. 

For offerings in memory of Joanie, please consider a donation to the "Joan Schneider Memorial Fund."  Donations can be sent with a check made out to:

WAHS Fine Arts Boosters
Attn: Alison Hoffmann
2552 Rt. 6, Hawley, PA 18428

A Celebration of Joanie’s Life Was Hosted on March 24th
Wallenpaupak Area High School Auditorium
The service included a memorial blessing as well as special tributes and performances from former students, colleagues and friends

Posted by Lacey B on 18th May 2018
I am so very sorry for your loss. Our Creator purposed for us to live forever, so having to cope with the death of a loved one feels very unnatural. Soon, we will be able to experience the truthfulness of Gods promise "And the last enemy, death, is to be brought to nothing" (1 Corinthians 15:26). What better hope than to know that God will very soon bring an end to death and all the pain we face (Revelation 21:4). My sincere condolences to all who knew and loved Joan.
Posted by Terry Nolan on 24th March 2018
Joan — or Ms. Schneider as she was to me — was one of my most influential teachers. She, along with Ellen Strauskaulage, launched the WAHS forensics program just as I entered WAHS in 1982. Those two tireless teachers and coaches somehow managed to put up with me for four years, creating a foundation upon which I’ve built a very satisfyingly career. I trust I’m one of many, many students whose lives she influenced for the better. May she find eternal grace with God.
Posted by Christel Pauliks on 22nd March 2018
Thank you for being a great teacher who followed her passion and passed it on to all "her kids". So many lives have been enriched by having you be a part. Rest in peace Joanie.
Posted by Julia Takahashi on 17th March 2018
I didn’t know Joan or your family but wanted to share some words of encouragement. It’s never easy to lose our loved ones. Reading over your comments I can tell she really was proof of this scripture in Ecclesiastes 7:1 that the day of one’s death can be better than the day of their birth if they have accomplished a lot. We can take comfort in knowing that in the near future God will fulfill His promise in Revelation 21:3,4 to eliminate death, tears, and pain. Until that time —- deep sympathy— Julia
Posted by Tracy Hintermister on 15th March 2018
A little over a year ago, I had the video from Annie (1987 WAHS Players) put into digital form. I shared it with Jack Kahn on Facebook and comments flowed on that post about how fantastic it was to be a part of that show. Here is a link to the video of that entire show (links may not work from here so cut and paste into your browser): http://share.yesvideo.com/s/aUiLr9PbuQiB2kZg Ms. Schneider's last words to me were these: "Oh my god,what great memories ,I would do it all again with you guys.BEST OF TIMES!" She couldn't be more correct. The memories of being on her stage in various productions (The Miracle Worker, Peter Pan, Annie, Harvey, Romeo and Juliet and more) are truly some of the very best memories that I have of my life. The phrase "glory days" makes me think of that time and that stage. Joan meant so much to me as a teacher, a director, a woman, and a friend. She saw so much in so many people, including me. That experience was truly formative and the lessons and confidence from that time have been carried throughout my life. The proudest I ever saw my Grandpa was after the Miracle Worker (I was Annie Sullivan). I still sing Little Girls and Easy Street (I was Miss Hannigan) at the top of my lungs more often than perhaps I should. My most epic teenage tantrum happened when I did NOT get the role of Juliet. I'm still best of friends with Lisa Zettwoch, who got that part. I was Lady (F) Capulet - I inserted the F myself ;). I probably learned more from that experience than from the "bigger" roles that I played. I wish I could attend this memorial next weekend. I absolutely would if my own son Finn were not taking the stage for the first time in his first middle school production. I'm thrilled that one of my kids has an interest in theater, as I know so well the benefits that will be with him throughout his lifetime. I can only hope that he finds a director along the way with a quarter of Joan's incredible ability. Every one of us that took the stage under her direction is one of her kids and the generations that follow will benefit from her lessons, her enthusiasm, and her awesomeness. I love you, Ms. Schneider and will miss you. -Tracy Finney, class of '87
Posted by Michelle Chierichella on 15th March 2018
"Thank you for the great life lessons and the wonderful memories you have given to so many...May the Angels lead you to Paradise!
Posted by Clarisa Otway on 12th March 2018
Words can't describe how deeply saddened I am over the loss of such an inspiring teacher. She was there for me as far more than a teacher and for that I am eternally grateful to have even known her.
Posted by Steven Dennis on 9th March 2018
Thank you for always telling me I can do whatever I put my mind to thank you for always being there for me through my years in school I will never forget you rip
Posted by Richard Rusnak on 9th March 2018
“I will always have fond memories of our time together with our Arts team. Joanie, Alice, Pat, Bob, Lori, Marty, & myself have so many great times & stories to tell of our years working the school musicals together. We are all forever bonded together & friends forever. Joanie always did a tremendous job with any endeavor she set out to accomplish. This is evident in the respect shown to her by her students, peers, & the entire Wallenpaupack Community. So many funny anecdotes come to mind. I was blessed to be part of Joanie’s team in our Arts Department. Joanie, I thank you for all the great times! In closing, I would like to apologize for my absence from memorial service. Previous plans have me out of the country with a family event.”
Posted by Amy Harding on 3rd March 2018
My heart broke today when I learned of your passing. You played such a huge roll in my teen years...You have molded so many lives and touched so many hearts. You gave us the gift of courage, encouraged our voice, allowed your passion for the stage to infect us, and taught us that our imagination was a weapon of strength. YOU have left your mark on this world Drama Momma....and left your mark in all our lives. This world certainly is much dimmer today that you are no longer here.....but now your name shall forever be in lights, shining bright in all our hearts. You will be very missed!
Posted by John Gilleeny on 2nd March 2018
I meant to see her. For years, I really wanted to catch up, to thank her. I always thought of her and asked for her, and now I’m so very sad I never got to reconnect. She saw my potential and believed in me when few did. I wanted to tell her so badly what I accomplished in my life. I wanted her to know that I did ok and that I credited the confidence and tenacity I needed along the way to her and others like her, a small cadre of kind, caring, and visionary teachers. I wanted her to know that I lived up to the expectations she set for me, expectations that, at the time, I didn’t really deserve, and that few others cared to set. But she did, in spite of me and anyone else. She will never know it, but I’ll miss her and she did more for me than most anyone. She was special and purposeful and talented and kind. She left a legacy beyond what most is us could ever hope.
Posted by Fran Kretchik Martin on 2nd March 2018
Joanie was the first teacher that ever made me feel important and special. When I was in ninth grade (1975) I had major surgery on my knee, she had all my peers sign a card, bought a beaver and attached a balloon and sent it to the hospital with my boyfriend. I bet if I look hard enough I can find that stuffed animal. Unbeknownst to Joanie, she later did the same for my son! When I reflect on all the lessons she has bestowed upon her many students it cuts me to my core. A famous quote, "It takes a village" (HRC), Joanie took that and became the head of that village for so many students. She always would say to me, "you did such a great job raising Grant." I would wink at her and tell her she was like his other mother and thanked her for always being there. Again from one mother to another, thank you so much for having such a wonderful impact on my life and our son's life. Much love my wonderful friend, watch over us all from the front row of the grand theater.
Posted by Jim Willow on 2nd March 2018
Few people contribute to the arts on the level that Joanne has. Her legacy will be strong and enduring. Many students now know that settling for mediocrity will not do. She set the bar high, and her students will, also. Her shoes will be incredibly hard to fill...should anyone succeed, Joan would be proud of them. Some of the most outrageous and hysterical scenes of my life were shared with Joan. I have very vivid memories to fall back on.

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