Is there anything more cozy than a Friday evening at home when it's pouring BUCKETS of rain outside? It's 9:50 p.m. as I start to write my blog for this week--I like to have it posted on Friday morning, but this week's schedule has not allowed my blog to be a first priority for today.
I just returned from the graduation ceremony at Ft. Jennings. What at outstanding evening! Actually this whole week was filled with some pretty awesome events, and I will share more of those later. After 19 years as a high school administrator, I have attended probably 30 graduation ceremonies, simply to represent career-technical education. No matter how many I have attended, every one of them leaves me with unspeakable joy and pride in students. Tonight's ceremony at Ft. Jennings will stay in my memory for the rest of my life.
The senior class produced an outstanding class video (the best I have seen) and included its members who attended Vantage. Their video captured our students working in their training labs and related classrooms--and it was excellent coverage and recognition of these students. I was proud to be in the audience watching that video. Another memory I will carry with me is watching every senior take off their robe at the close of the ceremony and exit the gymasium wearing t-shirts with various yearbook pictures of retiring superintendent, Mr. Frank Sukup, emblazoned on their chests. It was a touching gesture and one that I may never see again!
Vantage seniors participated in our annual Senior Award Ceremony this week. I think we had the largest group of home school representatives and parents that I have seen for the three years I have been at Vantage. I look forward to the event every year--parents will appreciate knowing that when our renovation and construction project is completed, there should be much more room to accommodate many, many more parents at this important event.
Our students continue to receive college scholarships and local, state, and national award distinction. Their recognition is also due to excellent instruction and staff members who care enough to teach them well, refer them for awards, and assist them with the scholarship application process. All seniors completing a career-technical program receive their performance certificate and individual career passport from their instructor. Special academic awards are also presented by the academic staff. It seems the list of high-achieving students grows annually, as should be expected.
Today was the last day for seniors, and as in past years, a few come by my office to say their goodbyes. I always encourage students to stay in touch with Vantage and let us know if they need anything--many have built close bonds with various staff members and already know that advice and encouragement will be there via a visit, a phone call or an email in the future.
This week I have witnessed a number of touching gestures and examples of people "going the extra mile" for students or staff. Efforts as simple as a staff member taking time to discuss an issue of concern instead of jumping to conclusions without verifying the facts, and huge special efforts such as throwing a graduation party or planning a farewell cookout for their class, or just staying to work late, because the work would result in something good for students, staff, or Vantage in general have all occurred this week. There are too many instances to note in this entry, but I am thankful to have gathered good memories, big and small, in this past week. Good luck once again to our Vantage seniors--I know you have great memories to take with you!