Sherman — Growing up in Sherman in the ’90s, Matt Vogt enjoyed hanging out with friends and meeting the teachers at the Sherman School.

Vogt, now 35 and with children in school, has come full circle. He was appointed chairman of the school board.

“I am honored to have been given the opportunity to assume a leadership role.

He assumes the role during a period of district change. The school has adapted to having a part-time interim superintendent and has embarked on several projects, including making sure the school is able to drink water.

Vogt, who has served as vice chairman of the seven-member board since last November, assumes his new position after former school commissioner Brian Berlandi resigned when he moved to Poring, New York. vacancy.

Vogt, whose elections are scheduled for next November, said a new vice-president will be elected at the next school board meeting on Sept. 7.

Voigt has long been active in towns and schools. He serves on the town’s building committee and the school’s policy and curriculum committee.

Previously, he was chairman of the school’s Capital Planning Committee and also served on the Facilities, Repairs and Renovations Committee, neither of which now exist.

He was also a member of the school’s Special Education Transportation Committee.

Going forward, one of the school board’s goals will be to work on developing a new strategic plan for the school, Vogt said. The current plan, drawn up about five years ago, is coming to an end, he said.

A strategic plan sets the goals the district wants to initiate in the future.

“This is a plan to be kind of a roadmap to get there,” he said.

He added that there is a lot of community input that will help shape future plans.

school project

The school is also working on several projects, including a new playground that will be installed in the coming months.

Other school restoration projects include improving the water system. He said the school uses water coolers because the water in the building is not drinkable because of the chlorides in the water.

“New wells have been drilled, but we also have the problem that the water is very hard,” Voigt said. “It had a major impact on the machinery and plumbing systems within the school, just the buildup of minerals.”

Additionally, the school has a lot of “dead-end plumbing,” he said.

“Schools have dead-end plumbing because it’s a product that has been added to many times over the years,” Voigt said. “So you have a problem with bacteria infesting your water system, which can be hard to find, and you have to turn off the water.”

He said the district is discussing putting in a water softening system to help with the mineral problem.

“But the reality is that for most of the buildings that require a lot of work, it all needs to be addressed collectively to solve some of these problems,” he added.

Some of the buildings require completely new mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, “they’re outdated and not working,” Vogt said.

Schools also need ventilation work to comply with the state’s new post-COVID-19 heating, ventilation, and air conditioning requirements.

In addition, roof issues should be addressed at school. Last December, residents voted 49 to 1 against a temporary roof repair that had been a major problem in town.

Vogt said he looks forward to working with all of the school’s new administrators, including interim part-time superintendent Pat Cosentino and principal Mary Fernand.

Out-of-district Danbury resident Jeff Melendez played both of these roles. Vogt said he felt it was a conflict of interest for one person to hold both positions.

“The superintendent is like the business manager of the school and the principal is like the leader of the school in my opinion, so it is difficult to combine the two roles,” he said. rice field. “Superintendents are supposed to oversee principals and administration. So you don’t get the checks and balances that come with having two separate roles.”

Vogt said he was “really honored” to have the opportunity to give back to the school.

He added that every board member brings a unique skill and experience to the table.

“We have had a very positive and productive working relationship, which I think is great for the town and the school,” he said.

grow up shaman

Vogt was born in Sherman and lives in the house where his parents still live, about four miles from his childhood home. The house was purchased by his grandparents in his 1950s.

When Vogt attended The Sherman School, the population grew and a major addition to the schools built.

“There were probably 500 or 600 students back then,” he said of the school, which now has about 270 students.

Growing up, his father was president of a non-profit organization now called the Northwest Connecticut Land Conservancy. Voigt said he was proud of his father for playing the role.

“It’s important to see our kids doing what we can to get involved and give back,” he said.

After graduating from New Milford High School, Voigt served in the National Guard for five years. He was sent to Nangarhar, Afghanistan in his 2000. Shortly before he was dispatched, he and his wife were married.

While in the National Guard, Voigt served in the infantry and was an armored vehicle machine gunner.

After returning home, he started a lake and pond maintenance and restoration company called New England Aquatic Services.

After living in New Milford for a while, I returned to Sherman in 2014.

“We were renting a house, but after our school experience, we decided that we wanted to buy at Sherman,” says Vogt. “That’s where we wanted our family to grow forever.”

Some of Voigt’s former teachers still work at the school and some teach his children. Many of his former classmates now have children of his own and are classmates.

“Overall, I really appreciate the school and the town of Sherman. As a kid, you said, ‘Take me out of this little town. I want to see the world.'” “Then you grow up and become an adult…and you feel like, ‘This is great.'”

He said he was very proud to have grown up watching his children grow up in a small town like Sherman.

“My best memories are all the relationships I made in school. Some of my best friends to this day are the kids who went to Shaman with me,” he said. How close are you to a group of people over nine or ten years, and you can look back on growing up in that environment and say, ‘We all had to go through that together’ There’s something about the place.”

sandra.fox@hearstmediact.com 203-948-9802



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