Vogel: Ready to help this community

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 22, 1999

Sally Vogel knew the question was coming and she fielded it cleanly.

Wednesday, September 22, 1999

Sally Vogel knew the question was coming and she fielded it cleanly.

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What is a teacher in the Hayfield school district doing running for the Austin Board of Education?

"I’m happy to answer that question," Vogel said. "I live in Austin. I want to feel more a part of the community I live in."

Vogel, who like 16 others is chasing one of four school board seats up for election Nov. 2, is a fifth grade teacher at Brownsdale Elementary. She elaborated on her reasoning.

"As a teacher you’re expected to be a part of community you teach in," Vogel said. "Now I want to be a part of the community in which I live. What better way to do that than in an education aspect."

Vogel’s husband is a local ceramic tile contractor who grew up in Austin. The couple has a son in Ellis and a collegiate daughter who graduated from Austin High.

After years as the administrator at the YMCA in Rochester, Vogel, who held a health and phy-ed degree, decided to return to school and become an elementary educator. She now holds a Master of Education degree from the University of Minnesota which she received in 1997.

She has taught in the Hayfield district since 1991.

She has a clear outline of the positions she would take to the school board.

She believes Austin’s class sizes need to be dropped even further, down to around 15 per class in elementary schools. And she is a firm advocate of aides in the classrooms.

"I have some insight into where the needs are," Vogel said. "I’m right in the trenches. I know the importance of class sizes. I know the impact of cutting aides."

Vogel has called for a district-wide survey of parents, taxpayers, teachers, support staff and students, asking them what the district is doing right, what the district needs to improve on, and what the district’s goals should be.

Vogel compares it to the Austin City Council’s city-wide survey as part of its Comprehensive Plan. And she wants it to be anonymous so people "can be more open."

"We need to collect data before we do anything else," Vogel said. "We want to take the community’s input and create goals accordingly."

Finally, in reference to that opening question again, Vogel came up with another answer.

"It only makes sense to have an educator on an education board," Vogel said. "There are farmers on agriculture boards. It makes sense."