Today Matters, Vantage Superintendent Blog

Superintendent

Superintendent

Thursday, April 22, 2010

April 23, 2010

It's another beautiful spring day and one can sense the students' excitement about the school year drawing to a close. Perceptive staff members are also aware of how much Vantage means to several of our students; many students have expressed how much they will miss spending their days here with teachers and friends.

The R. K. Thompson Self-Reliance Awards banquet was held here this past week. It was the 40th awards program and it was noted that Mr. Jim Robey was in the crowd yet again. He has attended every one of the 40 R. K. Thompson awards dinners. Vantage was particularly proud to have four student nominees in the ten students honored on April 20. Both top award winners are Vantage students: Isabelle LeFever, Health Careers and Clint Myers, Industrial Mechanics. Vantage students also represented in the top 10 awards were Avery Etzler, Early Childhood Education, and Blaise May, Welding. Vantage is so proud of each of these students--as are their family members and our area's educators and community members who made it a priority to attend this event. It is an evening that validates the hard work, self-discipline, and perseverance exhibited by those who choose to succeed.

Vantage Adult Education staff have been involved in preparing for the North Central Accreditation Review, which is conducted every five years. The NCA team held their exit interview with the administrative and adult education staff this morning. More detail will be noted in a future blog, once copies of the final summary are available. For now, we were glad to note that one standard is rated as "highly functional"--clear vision and mission and strong communication of mission and vision internally as well as to the surrounding community. Vantage has particularly strong community awareness in both the secondary and adult programs, and we are glad the NCA team recognized this facet of the Vantage adult education program.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

April 16, 2010

Writing a weekly blog is occasionally bound to become a lesser priority when compared to other pressing issues and deadlines. After eleven consecutive blogs, I was unable to post one last Friday. I hope you find this one to be interesting.

Vantage Board members and our associate school district Boards of Education enjoyed a great program at the Annual All Boards dinner on April 8. Agriculture Education instructor Ryan Saxe presented a program on his school district's innovative ag education program and FFA activities in Lincoln County High School. Lincoln County HS is located in Hamlin, West Virginia, and Mr. Saxe currently serves as assistant principal for the district. He is an award-winning teacher, who received his state's Young Agriculture Education Teacher of the Year award in 2009 as well as receiving the Agriculture Education Program of the Year award that year. We met at the 2008 national High Schools That Work conference in Nashville, where we both attended a session on biofuels and alternative energy issues in education.

The audience was pleased to hear that our local Kennedy Kuhn sold and delivered the combine for this West Virginia ag program last year! Mr. Saxe indicated that people turned out on their front porches to watch the police-escorted combine come through town. His students had not seen a combine before, due to their rural terrain near the mountains.

The Lincoln County High School ag program operated a canola farm which provides the canola they use to produce biofuel. Students also enjoy veterinary education, livestock production, and operate a green house to fund their program. This and much more can be learned at www.LincolnFFA.com .

Special thanks are in order for our Culinary Arts program students and their instructor, Kristy Bidlack, who prepared a wonderful German dinner buffet for our 75 guests in the Cup and Saucer. The evening was enjoyed by all who attended, including District 75 House Representative Lynn Wachtmann.

In the midst of our construction project design phase work, Vantage is also preparing to apply and partner for Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) funds. This announcement of funding availability came on Easter weekend, with a one-week deadline to submit letter of intent to submit a proposal. Vantage has been working to identify interested partners in industry, postsecondary education, and associate high schools, who will further STEM education in Northwest Ohio for high school and adult students. The proposal deadline is April 30, 2010, and much remains to be accomplished by this date.

How appropriate to find this message inside a Dove dark chocolate wrapper earlier this week: "Perseverance is a synonym for success!"

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April 2, 2010

Senior Capstone Day at Vantage
was a great experience for students. On March 31, several community members, Vantage Board of Education members, and our advisory board members, as well as almost all staff gave their time to judge our seniors' projects. Posted are three photos of projects completed by students: Brian Voisard, Jr. a carpentry student from Parkway, built the poker table he is pictured with; Ashley Carr, Antwerp, created the injection mold of a fox for her Precision Machining project, which she is holding in the photo, and Breanna Ross, Cosmetology, Van Wert, established her own small business, Breanna's Bows, and donated her proceeds to the Student Interact Club's Haiti fund.

Students explored a wide range of areas for their projects, as would be expected when we train students in 17 different career technical programs. Some additional projects were: Jerod Schoonover, Van Wert, Interactive Media--Computer Video Game; Caleb Johnson, Carpentry, Crestview--Cabinetry; Paige Gamble, Van Wert, Early Childhood Education, The Effects of Domestic Violence on Children; James Dawson, Building and Grounds, Lincolnview, Ohio State Chair; Andrea Balderas, Health Careers, Paulding, Self Injury Awareness; Wade Haller, Ag Diesel Mechanics, Antwerp, Rebuilding a Motorcycle; Brandon Shuherk, Interactive Media, Paulding, Promotional Video for Vantage.

CTE teachers and academic instructors support the Senior Capstone experience at Vantage. Without the time and effort of our staff, students would not be pushed outside of their comfort zones to create and present projects to a panel of judges. Ideally the senior project integrates knowledge and skill learned in the CTE lab, with additional information and purposeful activity initiated by the student. The English department drives the research end of the senior project, instructing students on format, the hazards of plagiarism, and proper citing of references. Much more work goes into the implementation of senior projects at Vantage than can be explained here. Without the effort of all of our teachers and the commitment of the English department to prepare for the event annually, it simply wouldn't happen.

While evaluating student projects this year, I witnessed incredible student creativity, self-discipline and confidence. I also heard students speak of their personal satisfaction in completing what started out to be a daunting task. Several students start their senior capstone during their junior year--others, inevitably wait until they are too pressed for time to manage effectively the topic they selected. Regardless of which category students found themselves in, valuable life lessons and learning took place--and all students presented their project to a panel of judges.

Many thanks to each of our judges, staff members, and students for their participation in Senior Capstone day.