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Mrs. Carey's Jr. Health Technology class at Vantage learns the importance of how to use protective gowns, masks, and gloves correctly.


38th Annual Vantage Senior Awards Assembly


            Family, friends, and home school representatives, gathered at the annual Awards Assembly on Wednesday, May 20, 2015 to recognize the achievements and accomplishments of senior students enrolled in Vantage career technical programs. Awards of Distinction and scholarships highlighted the event and juniors put technology to the test as they watched the assembly via “live video streaming” from classrooms.

      The student speaker for this year’s assembly was Cole Ketchum, a senior in the Precision Machining program from Parkway.  Cole shared how coming to Vantage provided him with opportunities he never realized were possible and the news that he will begin a permanent full-time job @ Nidec Minster Manufacturing thanks to his technical training at Vantage. He also thanked teachers, staff members and classmates 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:  Tyler Foust, Auto Technology (Delphos Jefferson), Tyler Talboom, Auto Body (Delphos Jefferson), David Leathers, Building & Grounds (Delphos St. Johns), Derek Schroeder, Precision Machining (Kalida), Austin Schulte, Welding (Kalida), Arik Mitchener, Ag & Industrial Power Tech (Lincolnview), Caleb Bender, Carpentry (Lincolnview), Nicholas Grote, Industrial Mechanics (Ottoville), Cole Ketchum, Precision Machining (Parkway), Marty Kessler, Network Systems (Paulding), and Jill Ross, Medical Office Management (Wayne Trace).

            Kennedy Manufacturing Plant Manager Mike Pond announced the Kennedy Manufacturing Precision Machining and Industrial Mechanics "Senior of the Year" award.  For a second consecutive year, Kennedy Manufacturing presented a Machinist’s Rolling Chest to an outstanding Precision Machining senior and a Maintenance Rolling Chest to an outstanding Industrial Mechanics senior.  This year’s recipients are Derek Schroeder (Precision Machining) and Nicholas Grote (Industrial Mechanics.

            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 Jill Ross (Wayne Trace), Alysha Moran (Continental), and Samantha Hinchcliff (Wayne Trace). 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 Arik Mitchener.  The Robert Brandt Scholarship 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 Karlee Trammell (Crestview). 

            The Van Wert Rotary Club provides an annual scholarship to students at all Van Wert county schools.  The year, the Dee Whitcraft Memorial Rotary Scholarship was awarded to Hannah Smith by Rotarian Dave Roach.  Marianne Hardesty of the American Red Cross awarded the ARC High School scholarship to Alysha Moran.

            In March, 2014, Vantage Welding junior Robbie Seffernick lost his life in a car accident.  His family has established the Robbie Seffernick Memorial Award to be presented to a junior Welding student.  This year, there were two recipients – Brooke Brown (Van Wert) and Hunter Blankemeyer (Lincolnview).

            All student scholarship recipients were recognized at the Awards Assembly.  This year, Vantage students received over $200,000 in scholarships to continue their education.  Also honored were national BPA contestants, state skill contestants, National Technical Honor Society members, students receiving academic awards, students with perfect attendance, and student ambassadors.

            CONGRATULATIONS to the Vantage Career Center class of 2015!


Back to Business

Of the 16 different high school career tech programs available at Vantage, 3 are specialized business programs. 

For the technologically creative and artistic student, the Interactive Media program offers exciting opportunities.  Students learn a combination of elements such as animation, sound, and computer-generated graphics used for purposes of entertainment, presentation, advertising, or public relations.  Careers in Interactive Media involve creating, designing, and producing interactive multimedia products and services, including websites, and the development of digitally-generated media used in business.  A new 3D printer enhances project creativity.  Students become skilled in manipulating images and information from a variety of sources including audio, video, still photos, animation, text, soundtracks and digital data using computer applications and visual and sound techniques.  Internet applications and website creation are also included in this program.         

Students interested in the Medical office field can get a head start in the Medical Office Management program, where they will learn business skills, office techniques, accounting, specific business software applications, medical terminology, abbreviations and Anatomy/Physiology.  Students develop skills in medical transcription, utilize medical coding, billing and accounting systems and procedures.  The demand is great for students with this educational background.

Interested in seeing how a computer and its systems work from the inside out?  The Network Systems program provides students the opportunity to work on state-of-the-art equipment while learning to make basic repairs, network management and troubleshooting within the system.  They design, build, install and repair complex computer network systems, develop programming skills for and apps game creation, and apply computer forensics and information security software to keep systems safe.   Some of the most recent technology they are using includes Google Glasses, Motion Capture, and Oculus Rift Virtual 3D Reality.  Other areas of study also include programming, computer architecture and forensics, information and network security, workstation management and business applications.

If you want to find out about career opportunities in any of these fields or have questions about the Business programs at Vantage, please call Mike Knott, Student Services Supervisor at 419-238-5411 ext. 2032 or email him at

The annual Open House will be held Monday, Feb. 9, 2015 from 5 – 7:30 pm.
  If you haven't been to the new school yet, this is your chance!  Tour the building, see the labs, check out the new equipment, talk to the staff and students.  Do you have a sophomore who's interested in attending Vantage?  There will be a Parent Information Session in the Community Room @ 6 pm to help answer questions you may have.  Interested in going back to school yourself? Adult Education/Ohio Technical Center representatives will also be there to answer questions about Vantage Adult Ed classes.  No time to cook?   Help support school-wide student activities by eating dinner @ Vantage.  
This year, several local eating establishments will be set up in the Commons and have sample size portions of food for you to try. We're calling it “A Taste of Vantage”!  Mark it on your calendars for Monday, February 9, 2015 from 5:00 - 7:30 pm. Tickets for the Taste of Vantage will be available at the door for just $5 for 6 tickets.  Enjoy some tasty treats from Fricker’s, Baked to Perfection, Puckerbrush Pizza, Main Street Market (Ottoville), Remedy Sports Bar & Grille, and Paulding Dairy Queen.  It's gonna be a great night - You won't want to miss it!


            Vantage Network Systems seniors demonstrate Oculus Rift Virtual 3D Reality to a student at the Global IT Club at Rhodes State College in recognition of Computer Science Education Week and Hour of Code.

Vantage Students Share the Christmas Spirit

Vantage junior and senior Health Technology students adopted a family for Christmas!  Here, some of the juniors show the gifts they bought. 



Vantage Health Technology students also visited the Country Inn Assisted Living and Nursing Home in Paulding to spread some holiday cheer.


Vantage Top Students for Fall 2014

VANTAGE Blue Chippers –Vantage Blue Chippers are students who have perfect attendance and a 4.0 GPA for a 9 week period.  Congratulations go out to the following Blue Chippers for the first quarter of the school year:  front row: Marcy Shoppell, Jr. Culinary Arts (Lincolnview), Valdalia Geren, Jr. Health Tech (Continental), Allie Mihm Jr. Culinary Arts (Van Wert).  Back row: Derek Schroeder, Sr. Precision Machining (Kalida), Jacob Sukup, Jr. Ag & Industrial Power Tech (Antwerp), Jonnathan Krouse, Jr. Network Systems (Crestview), and Nick Grote, Sr. Industrial Mechanics (Ottovill

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.


“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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