"I just love working with the children," Vogel said, "and would do anything to help them, in any capacity that I can."
In the past year, Roosevelt School Principal Anthony LaBruno has looked to Vogel for a variety of tasks. He has asked Vogel to serve as the school's representative for the state series on professional development hours. She also sits on the committee for the Math District Task Force, attending workshops that would help achieve higher math scores for the students.
"She has also been gracious enough to serve as a mentor for one of my newest teachers," LaBruno said. "Barbara has been showing the new teacher the ropes. She's done a fantastic job doing a variety of things, all for the benefit of the children."
Vogel is also an after-school tutor, helping the students who are preparing to take the Elementary State Proficiency Assessment (ESPA) test.
With that in mind, LaBruno has selected Vogel as the Roosevelt School Teacher of the Year for the 2002-2003 school year. Vogel will be the school's representative at the Hudson County Teachers of the Year luncheon at Schuetzen Park in North Bergen May 9.
It marked the second time that Vogel has received the honor, having previously been named in 1991.
"It's always good to be honored," Vogel said. "It's nice to be recognized. I would do the same job no matter what, but it's a good feeling to receive the honor. I'm very pleased that I am thought of that highly."
Vogel said that she had no idea that she was being considered by LaBruno to receive the award.
"I was absolutely surprised, totally shocked," Vogel said. "I didn't expect it."
Vogel said that the last time she received the award, it was voted on by the teachers themselves.
"This time, it comes from the administration, so it's a little different," Vogel said. "Both are honors. You never know how people look at you until times like these. You realize that what you do is appreciated."
LaBruno, who has now selected eight different teachers in the eight years he's served as Roosevelt School principal, said of his most recent choice, "It was a very simple decision. You determine who has gone far and beyond the call of duty as a teacher. Barbara fits that bill all the time, but especially this year. I felt that it was a very worthy selection."
LaBruno said that the other members of the Roosevelt School faculty "seemed delighted for Barbara."
"She's well-liked and well-respected by everyone at the school," LaBruno said.
Vogel said that she has enjoyed her career, especially now that she teaches basic skills, especially math and English.
"I've taught practically every grade and every class, so this has been a change," Vogel said. "But it's a great feeling when you see these kids light up, when the light goes on and they understand something. It's really rewarding. I enjoy teaching these kids. It's a great school."
Vogel said that she has no plans of even thinking of retiring.
"I enjoy it too much," Vogel said. "When I become burned out and dread coming in, that's when I'll consider it, but I haven't even come close to that point yet. I love what I do."