Gogel takes top spot on North Spencer school board


LINCOLN CITY — For the first time in three years, the North Spencer School Board has a new president.


Lori Gogel was elected to the group’s top position at the board’s first meeting of 2018 Monday night, marking the end of Elaine Daubenspeck’s term.

Daubenspeck, 69, said the group tends to traditionally bring members up through the board’s secretary and vice president ranks before they take the helm as president and said Gogel will be a great leader for the board in the years to come.

“She has, I think, a terrific intellect and her heart’s in the right place when it comes to North Spencer,” Daubenspeck said. “I think we’re in good hands with her.”

Extra responsibilities the president carries include leading the group’s biweekly meetings, acting as a liaison between the board and Superintendent Dan Scherry, and attaching his or her name to the district’s financial endeavors.

Though she was never secretary, Gogel, 52, joined the school board in 2009 and held the board’s vice president title for the past three years. Daubenspeck said she would have passed the president position to Gogel sooner, but her replacement just wasn’t ready to take the reigns. Now, she is.

“I’m just going to start slow and use Elaine as my mentor,” Gogel said. “Just soak it all in and see what I’m supposed to do.”

Gogel is the executive director of guest experience at Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari in Santa Claus, where she has worked for two decades. She lives outside of town with her husband, Dan, and son, CJ, who is a sixth-grader at Nancy Hanks Elementary. Gogel also has a daughter, Amber Hobby of Evanston, who has sons, Mason and Austin. Mason is a sophomore at Heritage Hills High School and Austin is a fourth-grader at Lincoln Trail Elementary.

Gogel graduated from Shoals High School and then Indiana University with a bachelor’s degree in education.

In the past year, North Spencer Schools has launched and completed major construction projects, including renovations and additions to its facilities. Gogel is excited to be a part of the continuing work in the district. Construction is ongoing on a $5-million expansion to Heritage Hills High School, and upcoming projects include a $1.8-million facelift to the football stadium and the construction of a new, metal athletic training facility on the Heritage Hills campus.

“I think it’s very exciting to think that we as all the board have been able to be a part of all of that,” Gogel said. “To be able to increase the value to our students and our parents and our community with all the new renovations.”

Former president Daubenspeck echoed the sentiment. She is unsure if she’ll run for re-election to the board in November, but reflected positively on her 11-year run. She advocated for the necessity and importance of all of the board’s members — regardless of rank — and praised Scherry’s leadership for contributing to a great deal of the group’s success.

“In my opinion, being the president of the board is no more important than being a member of the board,” Daubenspeck said.

The North Spencer School Board will meet at a new time in 2018 — 6 p.m. CDT on the second and fourth Mondays of the month at the corporation office, 3720 E. State Road 162, Lincoln City.

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