Today Matters, Vantage Superintendent Blog



Wednesday, October 24, 2012

October 24, 2012

Vantage has just completed the third public auction of its loose furnishings and equipment. The last and final auction will be held at Vantage in the new bus barn on January 12. We had a wonderful response from the community and several out of town businesses who purchased items. The remaining auction will be quite small compared to the others, but there will be a great variety of items sold. Trust me, the new bus barn will be full of items to sell, and we hope they do, so we can use the building for its intent: storing school vehicles and busses over the winter!

We are gearing up for the Grand Open House on February 25, 5 p.m., and making plans for parking, tours, the ceremony, and of course, some refreshments! "Tons" of cupcakes are sure to be there. . . frosted in red and white! I may have to nix my idea of creating the Vantage logo in mini cupcakes, though--(I know, I am disappointed, too!).

In between then and now, though, numerous school activities continue--parent-teacher conferences will be here before we know it on Nov. 19 and 20. Our annual Haiti Carnival is also on November 19, and raises important funds to provide hand tools and supplies for the carpentry program we established in Bourdes, Haiti.

Much of my time has been spent negotiating a solar power purchase agreement, which to date is not yet complete, but we are getting close. Adult workforce development operations across the state have been in limbo due to impact from the USDOE and its issues with accreditation by long-time provider North Central accreditation. We received good news just this week that currently accredited adult workforce programs will be allowed to expand, which means we can proceed with taking our pipe welding program to Licking county. Certified welders are needed there, particularly due to the shale and gas industry needs. Vantage will expand our program temporarily and certify welders in that county to assist workforce needs, until there are certified programs operating in their area.

More later, but check back in and see what we are up to next. . .

Thursday, October 4, 2012

October 4, 2012

The days go by way too quickly--tonight is our annual Advisory Committee Dinner, as well as the October Board of Education meeting, and my annual Business Advisory Committee meeting. Likewise, across the school, our teaching staff will be hosting their own training program's advisory committee meeting. Over 100 people will enjoy dinner prepared by our Culinary Arts students and instructor Robin Burns. It is certain to be an excellent dinner to conclude a busy instructional day for our staff.

This week, and for several days over the summer, I have been working on our solar power purchase agreement, which we hope to soon finalize so the district can move forward with up to 80% of our power being provided by the sun. I believe we are in the final stretch and will soon see construction of the 1 MW ground-mounted solar array to the north and west of our property. My goal is for it to be operational by January, 2013. As with most change, something new brings many questions and warrants digging deep into "what if's" and "why should we?" While it is tedious, it is absolutely necessary work.

The solar power purchase agreement is an extensive document which spells out clear answers to the "what if"  concerns. Almost all potential issues have been clarified or "ironed out" by Solar Planet, the company we have selected to work with. Why should we? Vantage is interested in the instructional value for our students in the field of renewable energy, which encompasses much more than the wind farms which literally surround our campus. Solar Planet has proposed a "green lab" to accentuate students' awareness of solar power. I hope this can be located near the science courtyard, between the health and trade and industry wings.

I believe the addition of solar power at Vantage will serve the district well in the long-term. It's certainly been  an informative experience to date, and one that I hope soon comes to fruition.