Neil Schmidt

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Former Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Superintendent Neil Schmidt died Dec. 15 at his Fillmore, Calif. home after collapsing from what was reported to be a heart attack brought on by a bee sting. He was 63 years old.

Schmidt first became involved in education as a teacher in 1965. He later became an administrator, eventually taking the top post with the SMMUSD in the early 1990s. Schmidt served as district superintendent for nine years until he retired in 2001. He was replaced by current Superintendent John Deasy. Schmidt’s retirement did not last long, as he soon became interim superintendent for the Conejo Valley Unified School District before it found a permanent replacement in 2002.

Following his second retirement, Schmidt concentrated his life on his avocado farm in Fillmore, which he did until his death.

Schmidt is survived by his wife, Julie, and two daughters, Corrie and Sarah.