Sheila Greenwood and Mary Vogt

Longtime Monticello administrator Mary Vogt, right, will be Bement’s next superintendent, a job being held on an interim basis this school year by retired leader Sheila Greenwood, left.

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BEMENT — After a wide-ranging search, the Bement school board found its new superintendent 9 miles down the road.

Mary Vogt, a school administrator in neighboring Monticello for 17 years, will start in her new role on July 1, 2022.

Vogt, a Champaign Centennial High School and Illinois State University graduate, has longtime ties to the Bement community.

“Actually, my great-grandparents moved from Ireland to the Bement/Ivesdale area,” Vogt said. “I have my grandmother’s autograph book from Bement Township High School from 1933. So extended family through the years have attended Bement schools and lived in the area.

“I feel, as a first-time superintendent, what better opportunity could I have?”

Bement is also the one post that could entice her away from Monticello.

“It’s not that I necessarily had a desire to leave Monticello. But this is the (one) job I’ve applied for. I’m not out looking for jobs, but this is the one job that could take me away from Monticello,” Vogt said.

Bement school board member Trixie Stoerger-Flavin could see Vogt was comfortable from the start of her interview.

“She was very easy to talk to. We loved spending time with her. The time passed very fast during the interview,” Stoerger-Flavin said.

Denise Strack, another school board member, agreed.

“I feel as a board like we were on the same page with her on things,” she said.

“She was a very good fit. She was very comfortable,” added board member Janice Fogerson.

The board searched for a new superintendent last spring but did not find anyone to their liking. So they lured recently retired Superintendent Sheila Greenwood back to serve as interim for the 2021-22 school year and began the search anew.

Board President Todd Scott said the candidates were stronger this time around. Five were interviewed in late October and early November before the board decided to offer the job to Vogt.

The new superintendent said she is excited for the challenge and for the opportunity to work closely with the board.

“I’m looking forward to getting to know the job. I feel very fortunate to work with this board. It was evident from the beginning this was a board that works together cohesively,” Vogt said.

Steve Hoffman is editor of the Piatt County Journal-Republican, a Community Media Group newspaper. For more, visit journal-republican.com.

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