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After 35 years: Thomas Mandl says goodbye to the adult education center - "Not ready for the island"


Thomas Mandl worked for the adult education center for 35 years, most recently as a member of the board. Now he is retiring - and giving a farewell interview.

Thomas Mandl worked for the adult education center for 35 years, most recently as a member of the board.

Now he is retiring - and giving a farewell interview.


– Thomas Mandl, who studied theology and philosophy, was hired by the adult education center in the Tegernsee valley in 1988.

35 years later, the now 65-year-old, most recently on the board of vhs Oberland, is leaving his post on March 31.

Before he retires, Mandl talks to our newspaper about his successes, an unfulfilled wish and his private plans.

Mr. Mandl, you have dedicated your entire professional life to vhs.

Was that planned?

Thomas Mandl:

It was fortunate that I was able to start in Tegernsee right after my studies.

At first glance, it seems a bit far from vhs - but I was able to give philosophy courses and benefited a lot from my studies.

Because politics, sociology and dealing with people were also taught in the course.

Six years later I was allowed to move to Holzkirchen, the largest vhs center in the district.

Another stroke of luck: I had more opportunities to express myself there.

Over the years, no day has been like the other.

I will miss the challenges and the team very much.

Training courses in IT have changed significantly

A lot has certainly changed in 35 years.


Digitization affected me right from the start.

I was the chairman of the vhs district in Upper Bavaria and part of the Internet support group.

We built the first website for the Bavarian association.

I was allowed to take part because we already had a website in Holzkirchen.

I stayed true to my passion for IT.

We already had webinars in 2016, long before the pandemic.

Today it is indispensable.

But needs have changed in this area.

We used to train Agatharied Hospital in Word and Excel.

Today it's more about photo editing.

Were there also constants during this time?


The courses are still democracy in action.

The focus is on the person, not the curriculum.

And the adult education centers are a meeting place where people from all walks of life meet.

Mandl hopes that vhs Gmund and Bayrischzell will join them

Why are you stopping now?


At 65 I'm not ready for the island (laughs).

But the merger of five adult education centers is now complete.

This is a good time for someone else to set new accents and break new ground.

I think it's a shame that vhs Gmund and vhs Bayrischzell didn't go down this path.

But I hope that they will join at some point.

I will continue to support my successor with advice.

But that won't be necessary for too long.

And then?


I will continue to offer courses as a lecturer.

I can intensify my work in the AWO Miesbach-Tegernsee and in the Tegernsee City Council.

And then I have a small house in Italy with a large garden.

I never get bored, even if I leave with mixed feelings.

Successor Dominik Schmidt "the right man"

What are you particularly proud of?


I have established new course formats, more family courses and well-attended country themed evenings.

What I regret is that the vhs Holzkirchen-Otterfing does not yet have its own house.

This is being discussed when the station is being redesigned.

I really hope that I experience that.

What do you want to pass on to your successor?


In the vhs we not only have to pick up trends, but also anticipate them.

Staying awake and curious is most important.

Dominik Schmidt seems the right man for this.

I wish him and the vhs all the best.

Jonas Napiletzki conducted the interview.

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Register here for Tegernsee, here for Miesbach and here for Holzkirchen.

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2023-03-23

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