Profile: Norwich's Women's Club's Margo Doscher

Submitted a year ago
Created by
Arline Rotman

Margo Doscher has always considered herself a Vermonter even though she was born and raised in New Jersey. Her Vermont identity, she says, grew out of her family’s spending every summer in Newfane.
The youngest of three girls, Margo was the only child to ask to go to private school. In 7th grade her parents enrolled her in an all-girls day school because they thought she should be free to follow her own path. When she was ready for college, she applied only to the women’s schools then known as “the seven sisters,” a label distinguishing them from the all-male Ivy League group of colleges. At Wellesley College, she majored in Political Science and noted that the vibrant and supportive environment of a women’s school allowed for full intellectual growth and independence. Graduating in 1967 (two years ahead of another Wellesley graduate named Hillary Rodham), her Wellesley experience  undoubtedly influenced who she is today:  an exuberant, self directed and assured woman who has always taken an active role in public life. One year after graduation Margo married her first husband and moved from Boston, where she had taught in a private school, to Maryland. There she taught 5th grade in a public school in Prince George’s County while her husband worked at NASA. In 1971, when her husband got a job at CRREL and they moved to Thetford,Margo became a true Vermonter. Her husband started a well-drilling company and Margo managed his office until his tragic death from an accident in 1978. Their sons were seven and three at the time. Always interested in social services, Margo also worked part time at Planned Parenthood and taught Human Sexuality at the New Hampton School. Margo moved to Norwich in 1980 when she married Paul Dosher, who worked in executive education at Tuck. Leaving teaching behind once again for social services, Margo worked at Upper Valley Youth Services as Coordinator of Public Relations from 1985-1989. At the same time she ran successfully for the School Board in 1984, where she served for five years, chairing it from 1985-1988. “ I wanted to serve on the School Committee because my children were in school then and I strongly supported teachers.”  Uncertain of what she wanted to do next, she flirted with the idea of running for the State Legislature and rejected it. She also considered going to law school but thought that would be too tedious and required too much sitting! After much thought she realized she had always loved teaching. She interned at the Upper Valley teacher Training Program in 1989-1990 and became certified to teach.  She did not seek re-election to the School Board and applied for a job at Marion Cross. She was hired to teach 4th grade by Milton Frye, who wisely told her he appreciated her liberal arts education. She taught 4th grade from 1990-2006. Deb Hall told me “parents always hoped their children would be in Margo’s 4th grade class!” By all accounts she was a great teacher. Margo said, “teaching at Marion Cross was a fabulous experience. Great kids, great fun, great parents. It was a very supportive environment where teachers had more freedom than they have today. This was before the days of continual testing that constrain the role of teaching. If it was a beautiful day, I could take them outside and have a nature lesson.” She gives a lot of credit to Milton Frye for creating such a warm environment. Her older son lives in Montana with his wife and two girls. Her younger son lived in France for three years and, although Margo misses the trips to France, she is thrilled that he now lives in Norwich with her two grandsons, ages four and six. Like most grandmothers she joyfully helps with childcare. Although Margo is always exuberant about everything, she really lights up exclaiming, “The boys are a total delight!  Laughter increases exponentially with children.” Margo joined the Women’s Club about five years ago, saying that the women were interesting—and fun—and good cooks! Always ready for new experiences, she knew that the women cared about the town, and she thought the scholarships were great. She particularly remembers the museum trips to Art in Bloom and the Peabody Essex in Salem. Who could not like the great mixture of culture and the fun on the bus? She currently serves as the Women’s Club voter information chair, responsible for our Candidates Forum. In addition to serving on the school board, Margo was on the Police Study Committee appointed in the wake of the controversial handling of a highly publicized domestic violence case. She later co-chaired a diverse group appointed to study and make recommendations about the Public Works department. Margo often seems to chair committees, which she attributes to her skills in moving things along, being pragmatic and result oriented. She also volunteered at the Haven for many years, working at the food shelf, and enjoyed getting to know people there. Margo loves Norwich and considers herself very lucky to live here. “It is a wonderful town, filled with caring, welcoming, casual and down to earth people. It has wonderful trails which private property owners open for walkers, it is dog friendly, beautiful and feels very safe. In fact, she says, “The Women’s Club epitomizes all the wonderful things in the Upper Valley."
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