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Alumni Spotlight: Ted Vollmer

Ted VollmerBrookfield Central Class of 1968

Ted Vollmer is a Lancer graduate who has worked as a journalist across the U.S. for nearly 50 years. In addition, Ted continues to impact his school community through the facilitation of a popular Facebook group Brookfield Central Lancers - In Memoriam, which totals over 3,000 members.

Ted began his Elmbrook education in 1955 at Brookfield Elementary #4 (currently Brookfield Elementary), which served Kindergarten through eighth-grade students. Ted's love of reporting began in fifth grade when his teacher, Jim Garvin, named him editor of the school newspaper, The Brookfield Reporter. After moving on to Brookfield Central, he was actively involved in the Legend yearbook as the editor-in-chief and sports editor, and in the Lancer Ledger newspaper (now called the Tyro) as a sports reporter and copy editor. Ted also played tennis, football, was involved in Key Club, and served as Student Council Vice President! "Central offered me so many opportunities to explore choices that went beyond just belonging to a group or club," reflected Vollmer. "Those opportunities helped influence my life and career pathways."

He recognized longtime English teacher and yearbook advisor Diane Doerfler for the impact that she made on his life. During Ted's senior year, his family moved to California and he stayed at Central to finish his education. That same year, Diane named him editor-in-chief of the Legend yearbook and that Spring, it placed among the top in the country in a national competition. Following his graduation from Brookfield Central, Vollmer enrolled in Los Angeles City College where he immediately joined the Collegian school paper and eventually became the executive editor. He later transferred to California State University - Los Angeles where he served as the Managing Editor for the University Times and President of the Society of Professional Journalists. He graduated from California State University with a degree in journalism and a Political Science minor.

Ted's first professional job was as a reporter at City News Service (CNS) in L.A. where he covered stories ranging from the Los Angeles School desegregation trial, to Richard Nixon's last speech before resigning, to two one-on-one interviews with Ronald Reagan. In 1978, the Los Angeles Times began to expand and Ted was the first reporter hired to help start a 20-member daily edition in San Diego. It was at this position that he met his wife, Sandy, whom he married in August 1979. A few years later, Vollmer was promoted to the Times' Metro section in L.A. where he covered local government and politics before moving to La Crosse, WI for a reporting position at the La Crosse Tribune.

At the Tribune, Ted was named Opinion Page Editor and wrote editorials and columns, in addition to editing thousands of Letters to the Editor and designing and paginating pages for the press. After five years in that position, he became the Tribune's News Editor where his focus shifted from news gathering to news production and being responsible for final editing and laying out of the daily paper. In 1997, the Vollmer family decided to move back to California and Ted accepted the Editor position for the daily Vallejo Times-Herald in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Ted retired in 2014 and has since created two Facebook groups for Brookfield Central alums to connect. The first being BCHS Lancers of '68 +/-  which was established as a 50th class reunion page, but has since expanded to more than 240 members from other classes. The second being Brookfield Central Lancers - In Memoriam, which recently became the largest Brookfield Central alumni group on Facebook with nearly 3,100 members, allowing Lancers to share memories of those that have passed and reconnect with old friends. Members of the group include graduates that live in more than a dozen countries, are from nearly all 50 states, and come from nearly all 61 of Central's graduating classes dating back to 1958, as well as many former BC teachers.

"Communicating and informing people was a passion that I was lucky to find while at Brookfield Central," stated Ted. "I've loved showing people through journalism that 'bad news' can lead to positive change. I've learned so much about our country and have met thousands of incredible people through my professional experiences. And the impact that the Facebook groups have had on our Lancer community is wonderful beyond what I could have imagined."

Brookfield Central Alumni are invited to join the Memoriam Facebook group here.


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