Katie Shogan—a Wexford resident with teaching credentials and a master's degree in education policy and management—was tapped Thursday night to fill a vacant seat on the Pine-Richland School Board.
The board voted 7-0 for Shogan to fill the Region 1 seat vacated by
During a two-hour special meeting, the school board interviewed Shogan, Jennifer Kraus, Greg DiTullio and Dan Crnarich.
"Obviously three people are going to be disappointed," board President Stephen Hawbaker said before the vote. "At the same time, all seven of us (board members) will be disappointed that all four can't serve."
The school board members asked the candidates a variety of questions, including how they view the district's budget and what they perceive as the district's strengths and weaknesses.
For the budget, Shogan said she wanted to see more benchmark data and information about what comparable districts are doing, considering all are facing raising tax rates or cutting programs because of economic constraints.
She said she sensed a tension between what the school district can provide and what parents with school-age children want. Navigating between the needs of the schools and taxpayers who do not have children in the schools "is a very delicate line," she said.
"I really care about public education. Student achievement is paramount to me," said Shogan.
When Shogan and her family moved to Wexford five years ago from the San Francisco Bay Area, they were directed by friends and family to look in Pine-Richland School District, referring to it as "the place to be," she told the school board.
She said the Pine-Richland School District is "hands down" better than the ones she saw when she lived in the San Francisco Bay area.
Since moving to Wexford, Shogan has worked with other education professionals to create The Pine Academy, which offers enrichment classes to children in elementary grades during the summer and after school.
She described herself as a transplant who has the experience of seeing how education is handled in different places.
Shogan began her career as a member of Teach For America, a nonprofit group that works with children living in poverty. She also taught at a small autonomous school in Oakland, CA.
While at Think College Now, Katie was named a RISE Rewards recipient for her students’ outstanding academic gains.
Katie earned a bachelor's degree in American Studies from Middlebury College and a master's degree in education policy and management from Harvard University. She received her California Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from San Jose State University.
Katie and her husband, Andrew, live in Wexford with their two young children, Drew and Anabel.