Jack Schreder, a noted Shasta County educator for more than six decades, a former county superintendent of schools and the namesake of Redding’s Schreder Planetarium, has died.
Schreder passed away on Sunday surrounded by his loved ones, said his wife, Redding Councilwoman Kristen Schreder.
He was 88.
A celebration of life will be held on Sunday, June 26 from 3 pm to 6 pm at Riverview Golf and Country Club in Redding, 4200 Bechelli Lane.
A Michigan native, Schreder moved to Redding in 1967 to become the first principal of Nova High School, a pioneering ninth-grade-only public school that operated as part of the Shasta Union High School District from 1967 until 1991.
Following their freshman year at Nova, all 1,000 students returned to their geographical high schools to complete the 10th, 11th and 12th grades.
A statement from the family said Schreder’s shared goal with teachers at Nova was to learn the names of each student in their classes by the end of the first six weeks of the school year.
“Jack was the right fit for this sort of innovative program,” said Shasta Union High School District Superintendent Jim Cloney, who said he’d known Schreder for 15 years.
For over 50 years Jack and his family operated a cattle ranch in Igo, his wife said. In the 1970s Schreder belonged to the Shasta County Sheriff’s Posse and rode a horse named Jet with the Parade and Drill Team.
Longtime family friend Dave Scott described Schreder as “very charismatic” and “a really fun guy to be around in a social setting, just a great wit and always optimistic.”
Schreder received an undergraduate degree in economics from Michigan State University, earned a master’s in school administration from San Francisco State University and got a Ph.D. from Stanford University in education and business.
He started his career as a high school teacher and coach in Michigan. To attend SF State, he moved to California and went on to teach in the Bay Area’s Sequoia Union High School District for several years while attending Stanford.
In 1974, at the age of 40, Schreder was elected as one of the youngest Shasta County Superintendent of Schools, his wife said.
During that time, he established a countywide bookmobile service, secured grant funding to build science rooms and was a founder of the local Shasta-Trinity Regional Occupational Program, which provides high school students and adults with training to meet the entry-level employment needs of Shasta and Trinity counties.
Schreder also obtained initial funding for the construction of the Schreder Planetarium, a frequent destination for students and families that’s managed by the Shasta County Office of Education. The planetarium was named in his honor in 1979.
Following his tenure as a school superintendent, Schreder became a lobbyist, advocating on behalf of the Association of California School Administrators, San Diego City Schools and other groups.
With his wife, Kristen, he founded the Jack Schreder & Associates consulting company that specializes in the procurement of funding to modernize and construct schools.
He also made time for volunteering with The Friends of Schreder Planetarium, a nonprofit organization formed to support the purchase of programs and maintenance of the planetarium’s equipment.
While educating young people was his life’s work, Schreder’s biggest triumph and proudest moments included his family.
He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Kristen, and their children, Andrea Fountain (Kyle) and Bryson Schreder, all of Redding.
Schreder is also survived by children with his first wife, Caroline: Seward Schreder of Redding; Elona Cunningham (Andy) of Sacramento, Sabrina Kikut (Shane) of Redding, Skovran Schreder (Sarah) of Connecticut and Zane Schreder (Karen) of Chico.
He is survived by 15 grandchildren: Rose Schreder, Skovran Cunningham, Lily Schreder, Aidan Cunningham, Adeline Kikut, Claire Schreder, Aksi Kikut, Garrison Cunningham, Jackson Schreder, Buster Schreder, Caroline Kikut, Buddy Schreder, Brodie Schreder, Charlotte Schreder, Sabrina Schreder.
He was preceded in death by one grandson, Henry Schreder.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his memory to the Schreder Planetarium c/o the Shasta County Office of Education, (write Schreder Planetarium in the memo line), 1644 Magnolia Ave. Redding CA, 96001.
Those wanting to remember him can also donate to the new Jack Schreder Scholarship Fund at the Community Foundation of the North State. Donations can be made online at cfnorthstate.org/donations/jack-schreder-scholarship-fund.
Scholarship fund donations can also be sent to the foundation at 1335 Arboretum Dr., Suite B, Redding, CA, 96003.
Michele Chandler covers city government and housing issues for the Redding Record Searchlight/USA Today Network. Follow her on Twitter at @MChandler_RS, call her at 530-225-8344 or email her at [email protected] por favor support our entire newsroom’s commitment to public service journalism by subscribing today.