Today Matters, Vantage Superintendent Blog

Superintendent

Superintendent

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Volunteer of the Year Award

It is a pleasure to live and work in Van Wert, Ohio. The community offers many ways to get involved, and I was recognized by one of the organziations I work with last evening. Van Wert's Economic Development annual banquet took place at Willow Bend Country Club, recognizing 10 years of successful effort to improve our community. Our Vantage Board of Education members from Van Wert county were present, as well as several friends and colleagues. The recognition of my efforts is truly appreciated.
Volunteer of the Year Award and proclamation by Governor John Kasich

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Do You Know CTE?

I've worked in career technical education since 1991--and taught business education skills to students since 1981. Because I identify so closely with the practical benefits of CTE,  I still forget that not everyone knows what CTE does for students and adults.

In short, CTE provides skilled training so people can earn a living.

But people can learn that in college, you may be thinking. Yes, certainly. But why not learn entry-level skills in one of the 16 career training programs which Vantage Career Center offers, while you are still in high school? Then a person can work in the field and pay down their college debt while they are still in college, and gain advanced technical training to move up in their chosen trade after.

Vantage students in training in Ft. Worth, TX at FWT
Vantage Career Center, Van Wert, Ohio 45891
Vantage is located in Van Wert, Ohio, and is one of 49 joint vocational school districts, strategically placed across the state to offer workforce training.

Check out our website  www.vantagecareercenter.com

Follow me @VantageSupt  #careerteched #gettheedge

Get the Edge at Vantage!


Best of the Blogs to Feature an Excerpt of my Blog, Today Matters!

Excited to learn via email this morning that an excerpt from one of my blogs has been picked up by a national education magazine, School Administrator, published by the American Association of School Administrators (AASA)! This is the leading professional association for our nation's school administrators. For those of us in career-technical education, we also count on ACTE, the Association for Career Technical Education's national magazine "Techniques" to offer specialized topics in CTE training and leadership.

I look to AASA's School Administrator magazine to keep up on national education issues and find undying support for public education. Check out the Best of the Blogs page to find excerpts from superintendents across the nation in each month's issue. Other favorite "reads" of mine in the magazine are the "My View" articles, which are packed with leadership lessons learned by administrators. The Ethical Educator series always features thought-provoking instances to guide administrators trying to navigate the sometimes turbulent sea of school administration. The Board Savvy Superintendent series consistently provides good advice for walking that line of leading and developing your school district, while working within the realm of support from your board of education.

Will I continue to read AASA's School Administrator? Sure. But perhaps I will be more careful in writing my superintendent's blog!  Follow me @VantageSupt #gettheedge #careerteched #IamCareerTech



Monday, September 29, 2014

A New Week--A New Opportunity

What will your week contain? If I could predict the future, I would choose not to do so. But I plan to start my week full of energy and ready for anything! Having recently moved to a different home, I start this week being mostly unpacked--finally. Lots more boxes to unpack, and loose ends to tie up, but it's feeling like home. A workout at the YMCA at 5:30 a.m. will hopefully become a habit!

This Thursday Vantage will host its October Board of Education meeting. I'll attend the Herb Monroe Community Park Dedication in Paulding on Tuesday. The Paulding Chamber and its county Leadership in Action members for the past two years have spearheaded this downtown beautification project. I can't wait to see it.

Tuesday evening is the annual City of Van Wert Economic Development dinner, where Mark Barbash will be the keynote speaker at Willow Bend Country Club. Last week I attended the Paulding County annual economic development dinner with Vantage Board member Greg Reinhart. Director Jerry Zielke has headed up economic development efforts for the past year, bringing much enthusiasm and activity to the Paulding area.

This week at Vantage will find students busy in training for the workforce--and staff hard at work encouraging the young people who choose our school. The good news stories of students employed in their field and earning a living renews all of our energies to make each day matter. Today matters.



Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Exciting Project Starting Soon

Glad to be moving forward with signage, hopefully indoors and outside, to identify our building's "green" features for students and our visitors from the community, We will be working with project architects from Garmann-Miller, Minster in the coming months. All should be done by June 1, 2015.

The samples I've seen are exactly what I was looking for and will dress up some of the bare walls in hallways and the commons area, while providing timeless information about our conservation efforts Solar information will be included also to help get the word out about how much power the field generates and how it works.

Our building, completed in January, 2013, recently earned Gold LEED rating in the co-funded Ohio School Facilities Commission project. The 18 months (and then some) from groundbreaking to the dedication were intense, exhausting, and yet so fulfilling. Every day I see students and staff, as well as our many community guests, utilizing the new Vantage training facility. It feels especially good because I was able to work in the former building, which lacked so many attributes for student learning. The transformation is still amazing to many of us spend our days and nights here.

We are incredibly pleased that we earned a Gold rating, and will soon place a LEED plaque, which declares our rating near the bronze building dedication plaque near the high school office. Stay tuned for some previews of  green signage!

Today Matters! @VantageSupt #gettheedge @vccstudents #Iamcareertech

Friday, September 5, 2014

TWEET? YES, I DO!

Look out world, I've joined Twitter! Follow me @VantageSupt

Thanks to Vantage Integrated Technology Specialist Mary Ann Falk, who spent time teaching me "all things Twitter" this afternoon. (No, it wasn't in 30 minutes or less!) But it was time well spent, and I am excited about sharing news about CTE and Vantage to followers.

It's the end of a busy week, but a productive one. I can literally see a lot more of my desk than I could on Monday, so I must have pushed a lot of paper. While we are moving toward "paperless", a lot of reading, via trade magazines and printed CTE-related articles, which I receive via email, tend to be simpler to print and read later.

A highlight of our Board of Education meeting last night was hearing from two of our 2014 construction trades seniors, Ben Schnipke, Ottoville, and Austen Stukey, Parkway. They were national Skills USA winners in Kansas City this past June, Austen taking 5th in carpentry, and Ben winning second place in cabinetry. Vantage Instructor Jerry Robinson joined them at our Board meeting and spoke of the importance of the state and national competitions for students. Vantage is proud of our students for these awesome national accomplishments!

Here's a great link to a video we showed all staff the day before school started in August. Its message reminds those of us working in CTE that our service is much needed and can benefit so many people and employers. Check it out:    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcNSpKX8kVs

Today Matters at Vantage Career Center.

Pictured is 2014 senior Ben Schnipke with his cabinet built during national Skills USA competition in Kansas City. Looking on (l-r): Supt. Staci Kaufman, High School Director Ben Winans, Board member Pat Baumle, Wayne Trace Local Schools.

Friday, August 22, 2014

And Here We Go. . .

Four days of school just ended as the last bell of the day sounded a few minutes ago. Evidence so far points to a good year ahead--a building full of students, staff reporting to work and full of new ideas, and equipment maintained (and the AC works too!).

Adult Director Pete Prichard and I represented Vantage at the monthly economic development advisory group meeting. Dave Krendl, Cool Machines, Inc. gave the program today, followed by a tour of his business, which designs and assembles various "cool machines" which are shipped all over the nation and to other countries. No fabrication is currently done onsite, just design and assembly. Among his employees are at least two former Vantage students, one who travels frequently to troubleshoot equipment sold, and who was recently in Hawaii, to troubleshoot for a client of Cool Machines. What an awesome opportunity for our graduates.

 Mr. Krendl's business has many facets, but one which brings some notoriety to Van Wert, Ohio is the equipment they design and assemble for Snow Business, based in the UK. Snow Business supplies "snow" (paper shavings) for all the James Bond movies, Band of Brothers, and many other movie and special events requiring snow effects. Cool Machines' equipment was also used to create the massive dust storm in a recent Tom Cruise movie for a desert scene. The desert sandstorm was really fibrous shavings, or cardboard particles, being blown onto the movie set.

Cool Machines, Inc. is located in the former business incubator site, at 740 Fox Road. Mr. Krendl sums up his business by stating, "We help other businesses by designing the processes they need to accomplish their goals". If a client knows what their end goal is, Cool Machines can make it happen--asphalt application and earth bricks are also emerging processes. Cool Machines is something to see, right here in Van Wert!