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Vantage Career Center

Imagine a Non-Traditional Career!

Sometimes people choose a career because it fits the traditional image of boys growing up to be fire fighters or engineers, while girls become teachers or nurses. But that no longer is the case. There are no limits when it comes to choosing a career. Challenge yourself… It’s about who you are and what you can become! 

Careers which have traditionally been dominated by females – healthcare, education and social work – are fast becoming occupational choices for many males. Healthcare is one of the most in-demand career areas in the nation.  Males are finding career opportunities in the healthcare field including nursing, medical assisting, medical billing and coding, physical therapy, phlebotomy and so many more. 

Do you know any middle school guys interested in a career in the health field?  Think they would like to see how an EMT works in the back of an ambulance or learn what a lab technician does?  Maybe they’ve even talked about becoming a surgical tech, nurse or physical therapist…

If so, they need to check out “Step Into Your Health Technology Future” at Vantage Career Center on Saturday morning, April 5, 2014 from 9 am – 12 noon!  This is an awesome opportunity for guys in grades 7 and 8 to learn about exciting careers in health technology from men working in these careers right now.  The event is FREE!  A light breakfast, lunch and a T-shirt are provided.

To register online, just go to and fill out the “Step Into Your Health Technology Future” form.  Or send an email to  You can even call 419-238-5411 or

1-800-686-3944 ext. 2169.  But hurry – space is limited to the first 40 students who register!  The registration deadline is March 28, 2014.  Don’t miss out on a chance to check out your future now!

CAPTION: Surgery Technician Kevin Mendenhall and the guys were all suited up for the operating room as they examined different types of medical instruments during a previous “Step Into Your Health Technology Future”.


Technology at their Fingertips – Literally!
By John Upole, Sr. Network Systems and Network Systems Instructor, Mr. Larry Regedanz

his year, the Network Systems class received a new piece of technology: The Platform Touch Table.  It’s a 55” active 3D LED (light emitting diode) LCD (liquid crystal display) HD (high definition) touch table with a powerful integrated PC.

It comes in virtually any color the consumer could want, but the class preferred the sleek, black color. It’s 2” thick and has a 1080p display. You have probably heard that term if you have ever shopped for large screen TVs, but basically 1080 is the number of vertical lines of resolution on a screen and 1080 is currently the top of the line for consumer products whether it be a television or computer monitor or Touch Table PC. The "p" stands for progressive which means that each pixel is refreshed progressively or "one after the other" but this happens at a rate of up to 60 times per second so normally the human eye can't tell the difference when watching a movie. "p" is better for computer screens with user interaction.

The Platform has up to 40 simultaneous touch points for multiple users to access it at the same time. This is probably the coolest thing about the Touch Table computer. This means that it can basically react to 40 different touch inputs at the same time. So one student could be moving an object on one end of the screen, and another student could be resizing an object on the other end, and technically 38 other students could have their fingers on the screen doing other things, and the Touch Table computer would respond to all of them at the same time.  “Our class was excited and very thrilled to acquire this new piece of technology. Personally, I’ve witnessed it used to explore earth, space, other planets, even the Sun. It can have various apps and games that come in all forms. I look forward to using this new device to learn new things in the Networking field this year,” said senior John Upole (Wayne Trace).

“In an educational scenario, having the Touch Table computer is great for working together in teams on a project” commented instructor Larry Regedanz.  “A good example for networking functions would be 2 teams working together to build and then troubleshoot a virtual network in real time where one team creates problems in the network while the other team tries to resolve them. I’m planning to use a lot of virtualization this year in Network Systems so the students can practice building computers and networks so they are comfortable with the process before working on real equipment.”

Pictured: antage Network Systems instructor Larry Regedanz (left) and seniors Dustin Carter (Van Wert), Harley Sturgill (Van Wert) and Chanse Ebel (Van Wert)  check out some of the apps on the new Touch Table computer.



Vantage Cosmetology Salon to Open!
The Vantage senior Cosmetology class is proud to announce that the Avantage’ Salon will open on Tuesday, September 24! This year brings more specialty services than ever before! New spa services include” Spa pedicures”, “Gel Polish”, "Paraffin Dipping" for extremely dry hands, “Tea Tree Experience", deep conditioning treatment and aromatherapy. The salon will now be open from 8:30 – 11:00 a.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and
Thursdays. A variety of cosmetology services including hair care, skin care, manicures, pedicures, permanents, hair cutting and styling are being offered. Groups are always welcome. It's a great way to have a ladies morning out. Please be sure to call 419-238-5411 ext. 2003 to make an appointment. Please note that if school is on a delay, cosmetology services are cancelled for the day.

In addition to serving customers, students are also taught salon management skills, retailing practices and communication skills. Students also study the specifics of anatomy and chemistry related to the hair care industry. This year’s instructors are Mrs. Amy Grothouse, (a Vantage Cosmetology grad herself) teaching the junior class, Mrs. Susie Smith, the senior Cosmetology teacher.

Students completing the cosmetology course of study and meeting the required competencies have the opportunity to graduate with a diploma and a license issued by the Ohio State Board of Cosmetology.
Enjoy a morning just for you! Schedule an appointment in the salon for a haircut, manicure, or pedicure and then enjoy a delicious homemade lunch in the new Cup and Saucer restaurant! Call 419-238-5411 ext. 2003 to make your appointment TODAY!

Pictured: Vantage Cosmetology senior Ashleigh Deleon (Parkway) gives her classmate Samantha Gibson (Wayne Trace) an eyebrow wax as she prepares to welcome clients to the Avantage’ Salon on Tuesday, September 24!

Vantage Students Lend a Hand at the Fair

he Van Wert County Fair is over but Vantage Early Childhood Education students have some extra special memories of it this year.

On Senior Citizen Day and Veteran’s Day, about 25 Early Childhood Education students assisted residents of Vancrest maneuver through all the booths in the Commercial building at the Van Wert County Fair and helped them get their lunch.  The residents shared stories with the students about how the Fair was years ago.

Early Childhood Education instructor Marcia Osenga was very happy with the field trip.  “This is the kickoff event for our intergenerational project with Vancrest and it went really well, despite the heat.”

“We absolutely love working with the Vancrest residents in our intergenerational project.  We’ve been working with them for at least 15 years.  It is one of my favorite activities”, says Donna Myers, Preschool Teacher.

The ECE students will continue their relationship with the seniors at Vancrest through the intergenerational project. The project will include monthly visits to Vancrest with the preschoolers and their teachers reading stories, performing finger plays and playing games. 

For more information about the Early Childhood program at Vantage, please visit the website or call Student Services at 1-800-686-3944 ext. 2126. 

Pictured: Vantage Early Childhood Education juniors Crystal Maroney (Crestview) and Ericca Jacomet (Delphos Jefferson) visit with Vancrest residents Betty and Mary as they finish their lunch at the Van Wert County Fair.

Parkway 8th Graders Visit Vantage

Eighth graders from area schools got to take a peek at what the future might look like in several different career areas, as they visited the career technical labs at the completely renovated Vantage Career Center. 

Each school in the Vantage district is invited to bring their 8th graders to Vantage for a career exploration activity, which involves a two-hour hands-on demonstration tour.  Eighth graders receive a “mini-brochure” which describes the career-technical programs and explains what a typical day is like for students who attend Vantage.  The eighth graders spend a little time in each lab and return home with a better idea of what goes on behind those big doors.     

This career exploration activity is especially helpful by informing the students about all the options available to them.  During the visit, the eighth graders are able to see what skills are being used in different career areas.  Students may also become more aware of how their interests and abilities can be developed into a rewarding career. 

It’s always a pleasure hosting the 8th graders and giving them a chance to see what career technical education at Vantage Career Center is all about! 

The annual Culinary Arts Thanksgiving Feast luncheon, is just around the corner.  Mrs. Robin Burns and her class invite you to this popular event.   It will be held two days this year – Wednesday, November 13th and Friday, November 15th from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.   This year’s buffet will include a delicious variety of salads, meats, vegetables, breads and desserts all for just $8.95.  Reservations are necessary for this special event.  To reserve your spot, call 419-238-5411 ext. 2425.

A reminder to Vantage parents that Parent/Teacher conferences will be held on Monday, November 25 from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. and on Tuesday, November 26 from 10:30 a.m. until 8:30 p.m.  Please call 419-238-5411 ext. 2126 to schedule your appointment.



Vantage Board Reviews End of School Year
June 6, 2013

The Vantage Board of Education met in the District Conference Room on Thursday, June 6, 2013. The minutes from the May 2, 2013 regular Board meeting were approved along with financial statements for the month of April, 2013. Treasurer Lori Davis updated the Board on Refunding Bonds.

Superintendent Staci Kaufman presented education and community updates, which included that work has begun this week constructing the solar array. The majority of the construction should be completed in 30 days, with solar power production expected tentatively on August 1. Employment needs continue as applicants are screened for the positions of Attendance Discipline Officer and Technology Support Specialist. She gave a summary of the first reading of NEOLA policy revisions recommended. Vantage will be present in several communities this summer as the parade and festival season is in full swing. Ben Winans reported on the end of school year activities and retirement and staff recognitions. Adult Education Director Pete Prichard reported on a pending ABLE partnership with Apollo Career Center, Northwest State Community College Custom Training Solutions shared programs with Vantage, state accountability, and accreditation through ACCSC, as well as upcoming classes and events.

In new business, the Board:
1. Approved employment of the following, as needed, as schedule: Sarah Wurth, Social Studies; Mike Knott, Student Services Supervisor; Karen McGilton, Penny Baucom, Jessica Farr, Kaleb Baucom, all Summer Maintenance; Austin Meyer and Dustin Carter, Summer Technology; and John Ringwald and James Martin, Custodial/Maintenance;
2. Employed the following list, as Adult Education instructors, as needed, as scheduled: Pete Weir, T & I Programs Manager; Kevin Taylor, Doug Weigle, Glenn Schenk and Vicki Bidlack, all Police Academy assistants; Lynn Schweitzer, Health Careers; Justin Cornewell, Pharmacy Tech 2012-2013 and 2013-2014; Kristie Jones, Instructional Leader; Shirley Jarvis, Health Careers/STNA Coordinator; Cynthia Krizan, Transitions Coordinator; Diane Jones, Guidance and Assessment Coordinator; Trent Sprow, Alternative Energy; Alex Rompilla, Alternative Energy; Brent Wright, Pat Vogel, Jeff Stittsworth, AWS Testing; Ted Daniels, Kim Haas, Connie Drake, Health Careers; Bruce Showalter, Police Academy Commander; Jackie Brandt, Public Safety Programs Manager; Ron Schumm, Small Business and Green Farming; Annette Klinger, Stephanie Calderon, Michele Prichard, Substitute Secretary; DeeDee Meringleo-Dirksen, Transitions Enrollment Coordinator; Michael DeMoss and Robert Hogan, Truck Driving; Brent Wright, Rylee Carlisle, Larry Longwell, Welding;
3. Resolution to approve an overnight stay for Mike Miller, Ag & Industrial Power Tech Instructor,
for a Briggs and Stratton seminar in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin from July 15 - July 18. (School vehicle & meals expense only);
4. Resolution to accept the resignation of Adam Lee, Attendance Discipline Officer effective at the end of the 2012-13 school year. [Attachment I];
5. Resolution to approve the Rothacker Lampe Bequest equipment list for 2013-2014. [Attachment J];
6. Resolution to accept the resignation of Eric Vennekotter, Computer Technician effective July 31, 2013. [Attachment K];
1. Resolution to approve locally developed interim end of course exams for American Government per Senate Bill 165;
2. Resolution to approve the list of Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES) certified evaluators effective July 1, 2013 - June 30, 2014: Ben Winans, Director;
3. Resolution to add the position of Trade and Industry Programs Manager to the list of Adult Education Instructional Leaders and Coordinators that receive an additional 50 cents per hour above the highest pay rate for instructors;
4. Resolution to approve the Memorandum of Understanding between Apollo Career Center and Vantage Career Center for the ABLE/GED Program effective July 1, 2013;
1. Resolution to approve an overnight stay for the 2013 National FCCLA Conference in Nashville, TN from July 5 to July 11, 2013 for Paulding FCS satellite advisor Rose Krietemeyer and 3 students;
2. Resolution to approve the following new and revised job descriptions:
Adult Education Instructional Leader (Revised), Trade & Industry Program Manager (New), ABLE Coordinator (Revised), Transitions Coordinator/Student Support Specialist (New), Technology Support Specialist (New);
1. First reading of NEOLA new and revised policies.

The Superintendent requested that the Board adjourn to executive session for the purpose of considering the employment of an employee or official of the School District. No action was taken.

The next board meeting will be held on Thursday, June 27, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. in the district conference room.


Vantage Team Visits Haiti
written by Staci Kaufman, Superintendent

The 2013 Haiti team returned safely a few days ago, and accomplished much good work in the past week. The Vantage Interact Club, affiliated with the Van Wert Rotary Club, sponsors a carpentry program in the mountain village of Borde, Haiti. Vantage students raise funds throughout the school year to pay the carpentry teacher's salary ($100 per month) and furnish supplies and hand tools for the students. The furniture made by the carpentry program is sold in Cap Haitien, Haiti, and the funds are returned to the customer service account to buy more supplies.

Social studies teacher Peg Bollenbacher, the club's advisor, has traveled to Haiti annually for 10 years. She will retire this year, and is turning over the Interact Club to science teacher Matthew Miller. Ms. Bollenbacher will continue to return to Haiti annually on her own, as she has a deep bond with the local Haitians involved in our project. This was my first trip to Haiti, as it was for Mr. Miller. Seeing the carpentry school and surrounding facilities, which include another school building for multiple grade levels, a church, and a small kitchen building and small administration building really affected us—all are cinder block buildings with holes to let in light and air. Vantage will continue to target resources to meet their instructional needs. As incoming president of Van Wert Rotary, my service project will likely be constructing a green structure, or Earthship, (google Earthship Haiti) to supply solar power and sanitized water to some degree. Several of Ohio’s Rotary club’s incoming Presidents have indicated possible interest in helping accomplish this important goal.

As I expected prior to going to Haiti, words cannot express what I saw and experienced during the seven days I was there. I have memories for a lifetime, a lot of photos of the culture and people, and a renewed commitment to our Interact Club's project in Haiti.

CAPTION 1: Ann, who runs the medical clinic in Borde, with one of the microscopes donated by Vantage.

CAPTION 2:Vantage Superintendent Staci Kaufman with Jocelyn, a kindergarten student at the Borde school in Haiti.


Senior Awards Assembly held at Vantage

Awards of Distinction and scholarships highlighted the annual Awards Assembly on Wednesday, May 29. A packed house, including home school representatives, family and friends, joined together at this event to recognize the achievements and accomplishments of senior students enrolled in Vantage career technical programs. Juniors put the new technology to use as they watched the assembly via “live streaming” from their classrooms.
Student speakers for this year’s assembly were Mikayla Stetler (Parkway) and Eric Durre (Wayne Trace). Mikayla, a Medical Office Management student and national BPA competitor, motivated her classmates by urging them to “use the knowledge that we have learned at hard for the goals you want to achieve, be grateful for all that has been given to you and be confident in yourself...and never take anything for granted.” Eric, an Interactive Media student and also a national BPA contestant, asked the class of 2013 to capitalize on their choice to attend Vantage. They both thanked teachers and staff members for their guidance, friendship and support.
Each year, career technical teachers select outstanding students to receive an “Award of Distinction”. To be eligible for this award, a student must demonstrate leadership qualities at school, have outstanding achievement in their program area, show exceptional skills in the subject area, participate as an active member of a school career technical club and demonstrate cooperation, initiative and responsibility.

This year’s “Award of Distinction” winners are: Cora Finfrock (Culinary Arts), Josh Dempsey (Auto Body), Nick Dealey (Ag & Industrial Power Technology), Tressa Ringwald (Interactive Media), Caleb Blankemeyer (Precision Machining), Alexandria Strickland (Carpentry), Lucas Manns (Welding), Matt Burgei (Industrial Mechanics), MacKenzie Hanenkratt (Medical Office Management), Eryn Watson and Samantha Stose (Health Technology), and Destiny Hines (Cosmetology).

Scholarship recipients were also recognized at the assembly. The Robert C. Stevens Scholarship is given by the Vantage Teacher’s Organization in memory of Bob Stevens, who taught Occupational Work Experience (OWE) at Vantage from 1976 until 1984. Students who are awarded this scholarship have shown outstanding achievement in their program area, while demonstrating initiative and perseverance. This year, the Robert C. Stevens Scholarships were awarded to Nick Dealey (Crestview), Tressa Ringwald (Lincolnview), Caleb Blankemeyer (Lincolnview).
The Joshua Ralston Memorial Scholarship was established in 2003 in memory of Josh Ralston, a Vantage Ag Diesel student from Parkway. This scholarship is given to a student pursuing a career and further education in mechanics. Josh’s father, Scott Ralston presented this scholarship to Nick Dealey (Crestview).
The Robert Brandt Scholarship was was established in 2011 in memory of Bob Brandt, the very first Vantage superintendent, who stayed at the helm of the school for 27 years. This year’s scholarship recipient was Nick Dealey. Ms. Staci Kaufman, Vantage Superintendent and Mrs. Lisa McClure, Executive Director of the Paulding Area Foundation, presented the scholarship.

The Van Wert Rotary Club provides an annual scholarship to students at all county schools. Rotarian Dave Roach presented the scholarship to Nick Dealey.

All student scholarship recipients were recognized at the Awards Assembly. This year, Vantage students received over $75,000 in scholarships to continue their education. Also honored were national BPA contestants, state skill contestants, National Technical Honor Society members, award of merit winners, students receiving academic awards, students with perfect attendance, student ambassadors and Girls and Boys State delegates.
CONGRATULATIONS to the Vantage Career Center class of 2013!

Pictured at left: Vantage class of 2013 Award of Distinction winners: Front row: Tressa Ringwald (Interactive Media/Lincolnview), Alexandria Strickland (Carpentry/Lincolnview), Destiny Hines (Cosmetology/Van Wert), Samantha Stose (Health Technology/Delphos St. Johns), Cora Finfrock (Culinary Arts/Crestview), Josh Dempsey (Auto Body/Crestview) Back row: Nick Dealey (Ag & Industrial Powert Ech/Crestview), Lucas Manns (Welding/Ottoville), MacKenzie Hanenkratt (Medical Office Management/Paulding), Eryn Watson (Health Technology/Paulding), Caleb Blankemeyer (Precision Machining/Lincolnview), and Matt Burgei (Industrial Mechanics/Ottoville)

Pictured above top: Vantage Superintendent Staci Kaufman and Lisa McClure, Executive Director of the Paulding Area County Foundation, present the Robert Brandt scholarship to Nicholas Dealey (Crestview).

Vantage Senior Places 5th in Nation!

Tressa Ringwald, a Vantage senior Interactive Media student from Lincolnview brought her “A game” to the National Business Professionals of America Leadership Conference “Uncover Your Magic” in Orlando, Florida from May 8 – 12, 2013. Tressa placed fifth in the nation in the Graphic Design Promotion competition!

In this competition, Tressa had to develop a theme for the 2014 National BPA conference in Indianapolis, illustrate that theme in a logo design, then utilize the logo in a promotional flyer. Since Indianapolis in known for racing, Tressa’s theme was “Race to Success.”  “At first when I competed, I thought I didn’t do very well, but after finding out that I placed in the top 12, I was overjoyed.  The best part of it was going on stage, receiving my award and making my teacher, Mrs. DeWert proud of me.” said Ringwald.  “Last year, I went to nationals only as a voting delegate.  I wanted to compete so badly, so I set a goal for myself to do well enough at regional and state contests this year so I could go to nationals and compete.”

"Graphic Design Promotion is a very stiff competition at all three levels - regional, state, and national. Tressa is a very dedicated individual and I could not be more proud of Tressa for her accomplishments", said her teacher, Mrs. Jill DeWert.

Eight other Vantage students also competed at nationals.  Erice Durre, an Interactive Media senior from Wayne Trace competed in the Computer Modeling contest.  Four senior Medical Office Management students - Alyssa Pollock (Lincolnview), Mackenzie Hanenkratt (Paulding), Julie Seidenstricker (Crestview) and Terin Rankin (Continental) - joined forces to compete in the Administrative Support Team contest.

Parkway’s Mikayla Stetler, a senior Medical Office Management student competed in the Medical Office Procedures contest, and junior Medical Office Management’s Layna Mihm (Van Wert) competed in the Fundamental Word Processing contest.  Medical Office Management senior MacKenzie Schleeter (Lincolnview) competed in the Advanced Word Processing contest. The students were accompanied to nationals by their teachers, Mrs. Jill DeWert and Ms. Paula Getz.

Approximately 5,500 students from throughout the United States participated in Business Professionals of America’s 46th National Leadership Conference. Activities included general sessions with keynote speakers, business meetings, leadership workshops, contests, election of national officers, and some time at DisneyWorld. The highlight of the conference was the presentation of the awards to the winners of the national contests.
Congratulations Tressa on your Top 5 finish, and to all the students who earned the right to advance to National competition. 

Pictured: Vantage BPA National Top 5 finisher, Tressa Ringwald.

Network Systems Students Help Re-wire Courthouse Technology

Built in 1876, the architects of the Van Wert County Courthouse never could have imagined the technology that would be used 150 years later. So naturally, when Vantage Board member (and Van Wert County 911 Coordinator) Kim Brandt found out that the courthouse network wiring was going to be updated, she contacted Network Systems instructor, Larry Regedanz to see if the class would like help out.

The two discussed the project at the Vantage Grand Open House in February.  The courthouse technology network was out of date, and they were having some trouble with their internet due to internal wiring problems.  Regedanz and his senior class went through the building – from the basement to the clock tower - checking out switches, hubs and network wiring for the 45 courthouse computers.  They found some wiring that needed to be replaced and set up a schedule that would have them work at the courthouse on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, replacing Cat 5 wiring with Cat 6 wiring.  This is a wiring upgrade which future-proofs the courthouse for faster internet speed and helps protect against electrical interference. 

“There are some unique experiences on this project that students would never get in lab.  For example, they were standing on a piece of plywood in the attic of the courthouse, it was relatively dark, and they were making Cat 6 cables. The students discovered that making those cables on site is much more difficult than making them while sitting in a classroom,” said Regedanz. 

“We’re all very excited to have the opportunity to work with the Vantage students on this project.  Mel Nomina is the lead person on the project and he’s glad to provide the students with the experience of running the new cable,” commented Brandt.

Senior Jaquobe Markward (Lincolnview) stated, "This project is a great learning experience for us to help us get ready for future jobs.”  Other seniors working on the courthouse project are Dylan Boroff (Lincolnview), Austin Meyer (Ottoville), and Wyatt Sawyer (Paulding).

For more information about the Vantage Network Systems program, please contact Vantage Student Services at 419-238-5411 or 1-800-686-3944 ext. 2140. 

Pictured: Vantage Network Systems seniors Wyatt Sawyer (Paulding) (left) and Dylan Boroff (Lincolnview) check out the network cables in the attic of the Van Wert County Courthouse.

Governor Kasich Visits Vantage Display @ Student Showcase

Governor John Kasich attended the 2013 Ohio ACTE Student Showcase on March 7 in the Statehouse Atrium. He stopped at the Vantage display and spoke to several members of the “Ed Gee” project team. Also stopping by were Representative Tony Burkley and Lynn Wachtmann, and Senator Cliff Hite.
Ed Gee is a metal sculpture the students designed and fabricated, to represent all 16 career technical programs Vantage has to offer high school students. His permanent home will be in the large display case at the new student entrance. Ed Gee was unveiled at the Vantage Grand Open House held this past February 25. This project was selected as one of 30 projects to be on display at the Ohio Statehouse.

Seven members of the junior Industrial Mechanics class, and their teacher, Mr. Kevin Van Oss, had been working on the project with local artist (and Vantage alum), Connie Boley since early fall. Team leader, Dominic Ardner from Delphos Jefferson said, “Working on the Ed Gee project taught me responsibility, teamwork, and leadership. We used everything that we learn in Industrial Mechanics to build Ed Gee – welding, electricity, milling, fabricating and even CAD with the new Torchmate. It was pretty cool that the Governor stopped at our display too.”

“I watched these students become a cohesive unit throughout the Ed Gee project. They had to work under a timeline and they met often to make sure they were on track. These guys had to learn how to compromise and also be open to ideas from other team members”, said their teacher, Kevin Van Oss.

Parkway junior Michael Miracle summed it up best when he said, “We are very thankful for the opportunity and the experience of taking Ed Gee on his first “road trip” to the Statehouse and having the Governor stop at our display. It was awesome!”

Gov. Kasich spent about half hour at the Showcase, talking to students and viewing their displays. He also addressed the 150 students, teachers and guests in attendance. The purpose of the Showcase was to show legislators and lawmakers the projects and programs that students work on through career technical education and the value of CTE to Ohio’s students and economy. The timing of the Showcase was set to coincide with State budget process as lawmakers review the Governor’s proposed budget, which includes a new education funding formula that will impact career technical education.

CAPTION: Ohio Governor John Kasich talks to members of the Vantage “Ed Gee” team (from left) Kurt Hoersten (Delphos Jefferson), Aaron Contreraz (Paulding) (back), Chazz Hahn (Paulding), Scott Pohlman (Delphos Jefferson), Jacob Blair (Paulding), Dominic Ardner (Delphos Jefferson), and Michael Miracle (Parkway).

“What We Did on Our Spring Break”
Spring break will hold special memories for 3 members of the Vantage Interact Club and their advisor. Club Advisor, Ms. Peg Bollenbacher, Interact Club President, senior Danielle Taylor (Lincolnview), senior Tiffany Hahn (Paulding) and junior Samantha Spangler (Wayne Trace) all travelled to Cap Haitian, Haiti. The purpose of this trip was to deliver hand tools for the Vantage carpentry class in Bordes.  This year, 10 Haitian students graduated from the carpentry class that is sponsored and sustained by the Vantage Interact Club and their Rotary partners.  Since Haiti is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, it is necessary for the Club to not only teach the Haitians a skill, but to also provide the hand tools.
The Interact Club also collected and delivered 20 boxes of medical equipment and supplies, which was given to a Haitian medical clinic that treats orphans for free. While they were there, Bollenbacher and the students worked to sort the tools and medical supplies. They also visited the carpentry class at Bordes, Haiti, where the carpentry students, told the Americans to continue the educational program because it is just too important to end. “Seeing what little they had at their school made me feel very fortunate for what we have. They don’t focus on what they don’t have, but are grateful for what they DO have,” said Tiffany. On Easter Sunday, a graduation ceremony was held, at which diplomas and hand tools were distributed to the graduates.
The Vantage crew spent the week visiting friends, exchanging educational and cultural ideologies and visiting Haitian historical sites.  At Milot, Haiti, the team visited Christophe’s Palace. The Haitians built the palace in appreciation of Christophe’s leadership to repel the French from Haiti. The palace was destroyed by an earthquake around 1840. The students were impressed with the Haitian’s ability to carve and their other art work. As a reward for their labor throughout the week, the team spent a day at the beach, near Labadee, Haiti.



As usual, the students were initially shocked at the standard of living that Haitians must endure. It is difficult to imagine what daily life is like in Haiti. No running water, sewage systems, garbage pick-up or traffic laws, were just a few of the things that Haitians live with every day. Danielle said, “Looking out the window of the plane when we first arrived, and only seeing shacks and garbage, I just wanted to cry. But the people are nothing like what they live with – they are amazing and so friendly.”
New friendships were made, and a better understanding of other cultures was learned. The three American students said that they would NEVER take their standard of living for granted ever again!

Pictured above: Vantage students Danielle Taylor, Samantha Spangler, and Tiffany Hahn are surrounded by young Haitian children during their visit over spring break. One of the youngsters in the background holds Danielle’s smartphone.
Pictured at left: Vantage Interact club advisor, Peg Bollenbacher, hands out a Certificate of Completion to a graduating member of the Bordes, Haiti carpentry class.

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