Washington High School industrial technology teacher Sam Schmidt might be a familiar face to his students. But, the man who has inspired countless young minds with the art of woodworking and stagecraft recently found himself at the center of NFL fanfare. 

Sam Schmidt

At the age of five, Sam’s dad taught him how to play guitar, igniting a lifelong passion for music. Sam’s musical skills continued to grow as he played tuba in his high school band and guitar in the Jazz Band. It wasn’t long before Sam considered following a musical path professionally. After graduating high school, Sam’s original plan was to pursue a career as a high school band director. However, his path took a turn midway through college when he changed to industrial technology because it better aligned with his interests and skill sets. But despite this change in his career path, his love for music remained undiminished.

Fast forward a few years, and Sam has flourished into an educator and accomplished musician. He is currently teaching woodworking, construction, manufacturing, and stagecraft as an industrial technology teacher at Washington High School. When not in school, Sam performs in the band he co-founded with his two talented siblings called “The Schmidt Brothers.” The trio has become a beloved fixture in the Iowa music scene, known for belting out crowd-pleasing cover songs at events, festivals, weddings, and bars across the state.

As an avid Minnesota Vikings fan, Sam was ecstatic when the band was asked to headline the official tailgate party before the Chargers vs. Vikings game in September. The band’s infectious energy and undeniable talent won over the hearts of the fans and the organization. They were asked to return to perform in the pre-game kickoff concert with country star Chris Janson for the Chief vs. Vikings game. But it didn’t stop there. The team also asked if Sam would kick off the team’s entrance into the arena with a self-written guitar solo! 

On Sunday, October 8th, in front of sixty thousand screaming Viking fans and TV audiences from around the country, Sam took to the field wearing a custom-made Vikings jersey. From the first note, his fingers danced across the fretboard, sending shockwaves of excitement through the crowd. His dream had come full circle, from learning guitar with his dad to playing a solo at his beloved Vikings’ NFL game. 

Sam’s journey from shop class to the NFL stage serves as an inspiration for all of his students, showing how passion, dedication, and hard work can lead to incredible opportunities in life.