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8th Graders Tour Vantage

Over 850 eighth graders from area schools were able to get a taste of what their future could look like as they experienced hands-on activities in seventeen different Vantage programs, during a recent visit.

Eighth graders toured the Culinary Arts lab and restaurant as students prepared homemade noodles and desserts in the kitchen for the annual Thanksgiving buffet. The Cup and Saucer restaurant is open to the public on Tuesdays and Thursdays weekly, and takes reservations throughout the school year. In the Industrial Mechanics lab, eighth graders were able to operate RAMTEC (Robotics & Advanced Manufacturing Technology Education Collaborative) robotics machines and engage in the same equipment and technology as industry leaders. Criminal Justice students demonstrated proper techniques when handcuffing and allowed eighth graders to operate some of the features in the cruiser. Eighth graders also had a chance to test their fabrication skills by fusing two pieces of metal together using the virtual reality welder.

This exploration activity is especially helpful by allowing students to gain a perspective of career options available to them and what skills are being used. Students also become more aware of how their interests and abilities can be developed into a rewarding career.

It’s great to host these 8th graders and give them a chance to see what career technical education at Vantage is all about! 

CAPTION 1:  Parkway 8th graders program the FANUC robot in an attempt to pick up blocks in the Industrial Mechanics lab.


Vantage welcomes new staff for the 2018-2019 school year  Pictured left to right:  Audrey Stechschulte, Math, Melissa McClurg, OTC Adult Education Director, Dianna Ashbaugh, Assistant Treasurer, Anna Baker, Superintendent Secretary, Mickey McConahay, School Counselor, and Gary Cearns, Welding Instructor.



First Place Winner in MLK Jr. Writing Contest is a Vantage Junior


Congratulations to Cody Gaham, a junior in the Criminal Justice program from Parkway.  He took first place in the state-wide 2018 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Art, Writing & Multimedia Contest sponsored by the Ohio Ciivl Rights Commission.  Only one winner is selected to receive recognition from each grade level!  Cody will be formally recognized and his essay showcased at an award ceremony in Columbus on Feb. 2nd.  



It’s time to get ready for the new school year @ Vantage! There will be two orientation meetings to welcome new students and their parents to the school.  The first orientation meeting will be held on MONDAY, AUGUST 7 at 7:00 p.m.  This is for students who are enrolled in Ag & Industrial Power Tech, Auto Body, Auto Technology, Construction Equipment Technology, Carpentry, Electricity, Industrial Mechanics, Precision Machining, and Welding. 

The second orientation meeting is set for TUESDAY, AUGUST 8 at 7:00 p.m. and is for students in the following Business and Human Services programs: Network Systems, Cosmetology, Criminal Justice, Culinary Arts, Interactive Media, Early Childhood Education, Health Technology, and Medical Office Management.

Both meetings will be held in the Commons Area at Vantage.  The evening will include a brief general session as well as an opportunity for students and their parents to re-acquaint themselves with the Vantage building, talk to the teachers, complete electronic forms, pay program fees, put money on lunch accounts, pick up class schedules, and get measured for uniforms.  ALL STUDENTS NEW TO VANTAGE AND THEIR PARENTS SHOULD ATTEND THIS MEETING.  

Students who attended Vantage last year can pick up their schedule and pay program fees from 8 a.m.–4 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, August 7 and 8.  Parents should have received a letter in the mail with instructions on how to fill out the required “beginning of the year” forms using the Oneview parent portal. 

Returning students who are unable to pick up their schedule on the above dates should call Vantage Student Services at 419-238-5411 or 1-800-686-3944 ext. 2126 to make arrangements to get your schedule before school starts.

The first day of school for new students is Monday, August 21, starting at
8:23 a.m. The first day of school for returning students is Tuesday, August 22.  The school day runs until 2:40 p.m.

If you have any additional questions, please call Vantage Student Services at the number above for more information.

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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