Today Matters, Vantage Superintendent Blog



Thursday, February 18, 2010

February 19, 2010

Greetings, everyone! I'd like to start this entry by noting how proud I was to see math instructor Kelly Horstman's photo on the front page of the Lima news last Sunday! Mrs. Horstman has been stretching her comfort zone to include using a Facebook fan page to help students better understand the concepts she is teaching. Kelly has also regularly used our SmartBoard technology to present information to students. Vantage employs a lot of talented staff members, and Kelly is just one example of our staff who gives endless effort (and time) to improve their teaching methods which results in increased achievement for students.

February has been an exceptionally busy month, so I thought I would share with you some of the activities requiring my time as superintendent. Any school district superintendent finds community contact to be a vital responsibility. The Van Wert community has a long history of including, and valuing, the participation of the Vantage superintendent in its activities. I participate in similar activities in Paulding county as well as Putnam county, and have contact with Mercer county entities. Some of this service includes the Van Wert Economic Development Advisory Board, the legislative committee of the Van Wert Chamber of Commerce, (Vantage is also a member of the Paulding Chamber of Commerce and the Delphos Chamber of Commerce),the Van Wert Rotary and its Board of Directors, and Wright State University's Western Ohio Education Foundation Board. The Vantage superintendent also sits on the Van Wert Area School Insurance Group (VWASIG) Board. I represent Vantage on the Van Wert City Community School Board, which is developing its educational delivery plan. When possible, I attend City Council meetings in Van Wert on Monday evening, but unfortunately, I can count on one hand the number of those that I have been able to attend! As a private citizen, I serve on the Community Health Professionals Board, and recently accepted initiation in Delta Kappa Gamma International, Beta Eta chapter in Putnam county. Vantage also has three Educational Service Centers in our district--I attend the monthly meetings for the Western Buckeye Educational Service Center, which covers Van Wert and Paulding counties. Whenever possible, I attend events sponsored by the Putnam County ESC, and stay in touch with the superintendent at the Mercer County ESC.

Many people have the impression that superintendents at Career Centers don't have evening obligations since we don't offer athletics and music. Adult Education is a huge initiative for Career Centers, and naturally the bulk of these activities takes place in the evening when many adults are able to train. On Wednesday evening I attended our Medical Assistant class graduation. The graduates spent the last year adapting to full time requirements for this program, struggling to balance work and family, not to mention doing homework! They are to be commended for their effort--and as I hope they already know--their new training is well worth all they put into it in the past year. If you want to know more about our adult education programs, contact Adult Education Director Pete Prichard, at

The point of this week's post is meant to help readers understand the variety of commitments which are a regular part of the Vantage superintendency. The items mentioned are certainly not all of the obligations of the superintendency. Somewhere in the course of every week, at least a few community commitments appear and challenge my ability to be as visible and accessible in the school building as I prefer. But the regular work of the superintendency goes on--staff and committee meetings, construction project meetings, student suspension and expulsion hearings, early morning weather delay and cancellation calls, answering parent phone calls regarding calamity day decisions, and keeping up with the email "in-box" battle. When I have less than 3 pages of inbox emails, it's a good day!

I rely on staff members to know their roles and perform their duties. Vantage has an incredible staff who are concerned about students. We also have a great advantage in that the majority of our programs are housed under one roof, making personal communication fairly easy to achieve. Even though we live in a world influenced so heavily by technology, it's nice to work in a school district with a good team of people who care about students and each other. Have a great week, everyone!