FVTC Outstanding Alum Pays it Forward

FVTC Outstanding Alum Pays it Forward

Retired police officer James Schuessler is a Law Enforcement Recruit Academy instructor

| By: Daley-Hinkens, Carmelyn M

James (Jim) Schuessler, an adjunct instructor in the Criminal Justice program has been selected as the recipient of the Fox Valley Technical College 2024 Outstanding Alumni Award.

Jim earned an associate degree in Police Science in 1985 and is a graduate of the college’s Law Enforcement Recruit Academy. Jim was a police officer for 15 years and then became a faculty member at Lakeshore Technical College. Retiring in 2015, Jim returned to Fox Valley Technical College as an adjunct instructor with the Law Enforcement Recruit Academy.

“I always wanted to be a police officer, from a very young age, like from age three on,” Jim explains. “But when I was young, I was diagnosed with an illness of the brain and in first grade, I only went to school half days. So, I started falling behind in school right away.”

Due to illness, Jim continued to lose ground throughout middle school, and by high school, he realized he would have a challenging time getting into college. That was until he connected with Fox Valley Technical College where he received direction on how to improve his reading and math skills.

“FVTC took a look and told me that I didn’t meet eligibility requirements but could meet those standards by taking a few extra courses,” Jim shares. “I took those initial courses that were suggested, and after completing them, I was able to enter the Police Science program and earn my associate’s degree.”

Jim then completed the law enforcement academy and worked as an officer for the Sheboygan Police Department for 17 years, which included positions as a department trainer and as a D.A.R.E. instructor. In 2005 Jim moved to higher education and worked as a full-time instructor at Lakeshore Technical College. He retired in 2017 but returned to FVTC as an adjunct instructor with the recruit academy.

Jim says he's honored to receive the 2024 Outstanding Alumni Award and his focus continues to be on paying it forward to future members of law enforcement.

“I was successful because of the FVTC staff, their care and dedication to seeing me succeed,” Jim explains. “And that’s what has opened up my door to the point today where I have a master’s degree in Education. I’m able to repeat the process now and help other people in the same way I was helped.”