People to Know: Dr. Scott Voss


Dr. Voss

Photo courtesy of Scott Voss

“I love school, I love reading and, really, I could sit and listen to a good professor for hours.”

As typical high school students, it might be hard to relate to Dr. Scott Voss on that statement. But he hasn’t always been this eloquent, well-dressed gentleman you see today. In reality, don’t be fooled by this facade! He’s a huge goofball.

Growing up in the small college town of Mankato, he was surrounded by college students. “I went to a small Catholic school that had a ridiculously big speech team,” says Voss.  ‘Small’ isn’t the word to describe his school–it was miniscule. There were only 150 students! Because of these tiny numbers, students did everything.

I was editor of the newspaper, in jazz band, regular band, student council, National Honor Society, golf, marching band, speech, debate and theater. We were expected to wear many hats.”

— Dr. Scott Voss

“I was editor of the newspaper, in jazz band, regular band, student council, National Honor Society, golf, marching band, speech, debate and theater. We were expected to wear many hats.”

After graduating in 1987, the long journey through college began and Voss had a few bumps along the road–in his words, “I was floundering.”

“I started out at Vitterbo, which offered me a theater scholarship, because they weren’t a lot of boys going into theater. I was there for about a year.”

And before you know it, he was gone. “I had a change of heart. In high school, I always had an interest in theology; I wanted to become a priest.”

Well, Father Scott never got the opportunity, because in 1989 his old high school speech coach came calling. Pam Cady Wycoff moved up from Mankato to Apple Valley that year and wanted her old student to come help her coach.

While at St. John’s studying theology, Voss made the decision to move to Apple Valley. “I told Ms. Cady, ‘I’m going to school in St. Cloud–that doesn’t really work,’ and she goes, ‘I’ve worked it all out, you can go to Mankato State and they’ll give you a scholarship to compete in speech and credits for coaching. You can commute.’” And with that, Scott Voss finally finished his undergrad. After five years, he moved into English and education and found his true love: reading.

Oh, and Mrs. Voss.

When Mr. Voss was coaching and teaching Apple Valley, Tzitel Sperry became a student teacher for Mrs. Wycoff; they were married in 1999, and the rest is history.

Dr. Voss and his family in Hawaii
Scott Voss
Dr. Voss and his family in Hawaii

After a few years teaching and coaching at Apple Valley, Voss went back to school. He got his doctorate degree in reading research. “After ten years, I decided I wanted to shift to students who struggle, were disenfranchised with school and didn’t like it.” Today, Dr. Voss works with teachers, and students making sure that reading remains a pillar in our educations.

At Apple Valley, Dr. Voss has also worn many hats. From a speech coach to reading specialist, he has an impact across our entire community.  He usually gets to school at 6:30, and his school day is divided into three parts. “I am the school’s reading coordinator, so a third of my day is teaching students, another third is working with staff to implement more reading strategies in their classes and the last third is assessing students.” Reading isn’t just his hobby, it’s a way of life.

In case you didn't notice his t-shirt says 'Read'
Jacob Voss
In case you didn’t notice his t-shirt says ‘Read’

Outside of school, He loves downhill skiing, reading and taking long drives on his motorcycle with his family. Oh, and of course, coaching speech. Dr. Voss, currently, works with Original Oratory and Creative Expression students, even though he did Humor in high school.

He says, “They saw me as this goofy, skinny kid. I had a lot of fun doing it, and they had fun making me say and do silly things.” That’s still mostly true, but now he makes his students do silly things.

Dr. Voss and his Oratory students
Tzitel Voss
Dr. Voss and his Oratory students

Scott Voss is an extraordinary man, who will always have an amazing book to recommend. He’s not only Apple Valley’s reading specialist, but one of the wisest people I’ve ever met. So in conclusion here are some fun facts about Dr. Scottie V:

  • Favorite board game: Trouble
  • Favorite Movie: The Godfather
  • Favorite color: Depends on the week, today it’s black
  • Favorite food: Recently, the cheesy rolls at Taco John’s
  • Favorite vacation: Florida, on the beach with a book
  • Favorite store: Apple, but he really tries to avoid shopping.
  • Worst job:  Cashier at SuperAmerica  
  • Family: Wife Tzitel, Son Jacob, and Daughters, Cece and Lydia.
  • Favorite Book: “A prayer for Owen Meany”
  • Life Lesson: “It rarely goes as planned.”
  • Personality Type: Introvert, concrete and sequential.