Thursday, May 13, 2021

Goodbye Class of 2021

 Well this will be my last blog of the year and as I usually do, I like to say goodbye to our graduating seniors. I don't really know how we summarize all that this class has been through. It started last year when they were sent home on March 13 to finish off their junior year at home. We came back with masks on and adjusted schedules and a whole new routine. The students were separated into four different lunches and only two people to a table. Each student got very good at wiping down their desk and computers after every class and using hand sanitizer throughout the day. This is a lot to deal with besides all the regular things a high school senior has to deal with. However, I will tell you that this class is so special to me and will be remembered for a long time. When we started back in August, I wouldn't have thought we would have made it through Christmas without having to shut down. I also thought we would have to deal with the students not wearing the masks or not wearing them properly. I can only say that this class acted so mature and so grown up through everything they had to deal with. Very rarely did we have to correct them about wearing their mask properly or having to tell them to sanitize their hands before lunch. They were so cooperative and abided by our rules that we are now finishing out the complete year without shutting down due to Covid. Truly from the bottom of my heart, I wish I could personally thank each and every one of you for what you had to go through and how you handled it. 100% class act!


Well as I also do every year, I like to include one of my favorite songs as a way to wish you all the best. This song goes way back, probably when most of you were about three years old. It was sung by Rascall Flatts. If you get a chance, listen to it on YouTube or Apple Music. It starts out:

 "I hope the days come easy and the moments pass slow, and each road leads you where you wanna go, and if you're faced with a choice, and you have to choose, I hope you choose the one that means the most to you. And if one door opens to another door closed, I hope you keep on walkin' till you find the window, if it's cold outside, show the world the warmth of your smile. But more than anything, more than anything... My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to, Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small, You never need to carry more than you can haul, and while you're out there getting where you're getting to, I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too, Yeah, this is my wish".

As the words say, I really do hope you enjoy life, take it one day at a time and don't get upset by some of the little things you will face. I hope you never give up when you run into trouble. You have proven this year that you can face troubles and survive. Please don't give up on your dreams, use them as motivation. I also want you to know that wherever you end up or whatever you end up doing, I do care for you and I do want the same thing for you. My door is always open after you leave. Feel free to call or email me anytime. I welcome it.

   "I hope you never look back, but you never forget, All the ones who love you, in the place you live, I hope you always forgive, and you never regret, And you help somebody every chance you get. Oh you find God's grace in every mistake, and always give more than you take".

Some pretty simple rules that will help you as you head out into the "real world". Don't hold on to grudges or hold on to your anger just because someone may have made you upset. You will find that when you forgive, you will be released and set free from an invisible prison. You will be a better person because of it. Please continue to give back to the community in which you live. You will not believe how good it feels when you reach out and help someone.

I know that some of you reading this may have been in my office because you were upset about a mistake you made or something you regretted doing. Remember that I have always told you that you learn from your mistakes. We all make them but it is the mature person who learns from it and grows as a person. Hold on to this bit of advice and don't forget it. I guarantee you will need it again some time in the future. We all make mistakes. Finally as the lyrics above started out with, I hope you never forget. Come back and visit us or send us a quick e-mail to let us know how you are doing.

So there it is, my wish for all of you seniors who are leaving us in a few short days. I thank you for trusting me with your friendship, your troubles and your last two years of high school. Good luck in all you do. You are an awesome class and a tough, resilient class. I hope to run into you somewhere down the road and we can hug, shake hands or just chat. Thanks again for making this a great year. To everyone else, thanks as always for reading the blog, the kind comments and the inspiration. Have a great summer!


Monday, April 26, 2021

HOSA & BPA Congrats!

 As I mentioned in my last blog the other day, I want to congratulate the Business & Industry students also on their great accomplishments in their respective fields of competition. We had several students compete in the Business Professionals of America (BPA) competition and also in the Future Health Professionals (HOSA) competition. 

In the BPA contest, the following students finished in the top 10 in the state, and several who are National Qualifiers. I have indicated which ones qualified for Nationals:

NETWORK SYSTEMS:

  • Brookelynee Lee (National Qualifier)
  • Jayden Buffin (National Qualifier)
  • Riley Boroff (National Qualifier)
  • Vanessa Krueger (National Qualifier)
  • Chet Miller (National Qualifier)

Jude Marshall, Garrett Martin, Zane Stephenson, Tanner Stinnett, Marcus Cox, Joseph McClure, A.J. Verhoff, Noah Verhoff




In the HOSA competition, the following are the top 10 State qualifiers with the students listed who will be going on to National competition:

HEALTH TECHNOLOGY:
  • Natalie Bostelman
  • Jordan Buerkle
  • Rylyn Lengacher
  • Ryan VanVlerah
  • Olivia Miller
  • Claudia Sinn

SPORTS EXERCISE THERAPY 

  • Wyatt Davis
  • Carson Rupp

HEALTH INFORMATION MANAGEMENT 

  •  Halie Davis (National Qualifier)
  • Tygre Troyer (National Qualifier)


 

Congratulations to all of those students who competed and also good luck to all of the ones going on to Nationals. All of you have worked so hard and represent Vantage so well. We know you will do great at Nationals. Thanks for being such shining stars and using every opportunity that Vantage has given you to excel and be your best. We are very proud of all of you! 

 

Friday, April 23, 2021

Congratulations All Around

 There has been so much happening around the school lately that it is hard to keep up with all the events. I wanted to take time and use this blog to send a great big Congratulations to so many students who have been involved in various sports or skills contests. Even though this has been a different type of school year, because of the Covid-19 virus, we were still able to get our students involved in their home school sports and several local contests. The other day we recognized our Spring sport athletes and had them all come down to the commons for a picture. WOW! If you remember our Fall sport athletes picture, this group has just as many students. It is so good to see all of them in their different color jerseys and all the different sports they are involved in. I hope you are just as impressed with the picture as I am.


We have also had three wrestlers compete at the State level this year, Jarrett Hornish (1st place Champion in the State), Hunter Long (4th place) and Chase Martin (7th place). Congratulations to all of these hard working wrestlers.



Just recently we have had our FFA skills competition in three different categories: Agricultural Power Diagnostics, Agricultural Mechanics Skills and Outdoor Power Equipment. As our Ag instructor told me today, "we hit the triple crown". Vantage placed 1st overall in all three competitions. In the Ag Power Diagnostics, the team of Sam Rager and Trevor Kill placed 1st and Sam placed 1st overall individually which earned him a $10,000 scholarship to UNOH. This is out of 78 teams and over 100 individuals. In the Ag Mechanic Skills, The team of Sam Rager, Noah Bibler and Eli Molitor finished 1st overall and Sam came in 2nd in the state, Noah 7th and Eli finished 10. This is out of 100 students and 53 teams. On Tuesday of this week, the team of Trevor Kill, Sam Rager and Tyler Sheets placed 1st overall out of 58 teams and Trevor Kill finished 1st overall, Sam Rager finished in 2nd and Tyler Sheets finished in 4th. This is out of 100 individuals. Congratulations to all.




And I would like to add one more student to the list and that is Jayde Ducheney who is on the Lincolnview Cheerleading squad as they placed 1st in the State competition this year. 



Congratulations to all of our students and all the great things you are doing. NEXT WEEK: I will be highlighting the students from the Business and Industry side and their BPA results. Thanks to all of you who make Vantage such a great school and by working so hard in everything that you do.



Thursday, April 8, 2021

Sexual Assault Awareness Month

 April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. There is a group that has a lot of great information on this topic, and it is called the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC). There is a lot of great information on their website at nsvrc.org. I would hope you take the time to visit their site. The reason that there is an awareness month is because sexual violence can be stopped if we all speak out and work together. Sexual violence thrives when we stay silent.


Throughout the month of April, NSVRC has offered all kinds of ways to get involved. Just some of the ways listed on their website are: Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest. Use #SAAM, #SexualAssaultAwarenessMonth, or #SexualAssaultAwareness to post on social media. Another way to participate this month is to wear the color teal to honor survivors and keep the conversation going. In April and every month after, people across the country are encourage to embrace their voices to show support for survivors, and speak out if they have experienced sexual assault themselves. One month isn't enough time to solve this serious issue, but it's a place to start. On the website "National Day Calendar" they give some astounding statistics:

1. Nearly 1 in 5 women in the U.S. have experienced rape (or attempted rape)

2. Every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted

3. Only 5 out of every 1000 perpetrators will end up in prison.

4. The majority of sexual assaults happen at or near the victim's home, often by someone they know.

5. Rape is the most under-reported crime; 63% of sexual assaults are not reported

This month the Student Ambassadors have taken up the challenge to make everyone aware of sexual violence and assault. We will have a jeans day at the end of this month and have opportunities to discuss this very sensitive topic. Sexual assault is a horrific problem, but the good news is that prevention is possible, and it's happening more and more. By ending the stigma and continuing support and awareness, sexual assaults have been decreasing each year. 

It is time to end the silence on sexual violence. Please speak up if you see one of your friends in a violent relationship. Please come see me if you are in that type of relationship, or if you aren't sure but have concerns. There is help and I want to help you. You do not need to take this abuse. Help a friend before it is to late and remember once is too many times.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Online Predators on the Rise

 This post was taken from an article I read this morning from "Know -Teachable Moments". I felt the article important enough to share with the readers of this blog. Please feel free to share with as many people as you can. Thank you!

It is no surprise that young people are racking up more time on their electronic devices for both work and play due to the pandemic. What you may not know is that the presence of online predators has also increased as well as their chances of gaining access to our children. 

Human trafficking is a $150 billion global industry that experts say is on the rise, especially online. Children between the ages of 11 to 14 are being highly recruited by sex traffickers. They say these abusers are master manipulators that seek out both girls and boys they believe to be vulnerable. They are commonly connecting with unsuspecting youth through online gaming and in chatrooms.

The abuser will coerce a child into sharing a risqué photo for example, and then the blackmailing begins. The child is then told to share more sexually explicit content or face the consequences. Out of fear, the young person may send another photo or video to comply, and just like that, they are pulled in even deeper. Many people find it hard to that believe human trafficking is occurring in their “bubble,” but the unfortunate reality is that it can and does occur in all types of communities, neighborhoods and homes. Young people must be told early and reminded often that they are not to communicate with strangers online; only with people they know. It may seem like a silly thing to have to say, since we’ve been telling them not to talk to strangers their whole lives. But there are sites and apps that encourage our children to do just that…talk to strangers.

One such site that has blown up in popularity since the pandemic is Omegle. Omegle is a free online chatting site that promotes itself as, “a great way to meet new friends, even while practicing social distancing.” The site says that users must be 18 + years old or 13 + and have parental permission.” But there is no age verification or place for acquired parental permission. The user has many options at this point. They can text or video chat with someone unknown, or go into spy mode, where they pose a question and quietly watch as two strangers discuss the answer. The user can also choose an “unmoderated” chat, which says, “by clicking on this button you are more than likely to encounter sexual behavior,” or “adult” mode that says “the user will encounter sexual material.” At the click of the chosen button, the site picks someone at random for the user to chat with by text or video. Names are not given. The users are referred to as “You” and “Stranger.” The site also states that predators are known to use Omegle.

Profanity, pornography and predators: The danger exists on Omegle and within a multitude of other sites and apps that lure young people in and links them with strangers of all ages. Human traffickers are shrewd and cunning. They know how and where to connect with and hook young people.

Aside from full parental lockdown of the internet, our best line of defense in protecting our children against the dangers that lurk online is being aware of what is out there and talking with our daughters and sons about it; having open, honest conversations on what may feel like a difficult topic. We are not suggesting scare tactics, but we are encouraging you to let them know there are dangerous people with criminal intentions who prey on unsuspecting youth. Children must also know without a doubt that if they do find themselves in an uncomfortable situation, however it is that they got there, that we as their parents and protectors, will be there to love them and help them through it always.

To report suspected human trafficking activity and get help, contact the U.S. Department of Homeland Security at 1-866-347-2423 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year, or submit a tip online at ice.gov/tips.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Enjoy The Moment

 I was speaking to one of our students today, Kaylee, who plays basketball for Delphos Jefferson. Tonight (Thursday) will be her last regular season basketball game she will play in her career. We talked about how many years she has been playing and how many practices over all these years she has been to. Then you realize that this is it. There will be sectionals and more games as she advances to the State tourney, but as far as playing regular season basketball, she is near the finish line. I have spoken with several of our students this past week who are in the same situation. Whether it is wrestling, cheerleading, bowling or basketball, this season is coming to a close.


I would just like to tell all of you athletes the same thing I told Kaylee; Time is measured in minutes; life is measured in moments. I hope you take this moment and enjoy it to your fullest. Look around at your teammates and your family in the stands. Feel the excitement when the buzzer goes off and play begins. Wrap yourself in the smells, the feel and the atmosphere. Take it all in. This is the moment. This is the moment you will look back on with fond memories. This is the moment that you will remember all your life. Be proud of all that you have accomplished and use everything you went through as a learning tool. Think about the times when you just couldn't take the two practices a day, or the weight training. Think about the times when you worked so hard you couldn't move the next day and the thought even crossed your mind that you wanted to quit. Realize that you overcame all that and now you are standing at the finish line. I hope you realize that you have accomplished something that a lot of people haven't gone through. That someday, these lessons will get you through some tough battles you will face in life. There will be times you just want to quit, but I want you to remember you are a fighter and you will make it through life's battles also. 

Tonight or some time soon, the minutes will tick off on the game clock and the game you love will be over. However, the moments will last a life time and you will have a life time of memories. Good luck to all of you competing over the next few weeks and please enjoy each and every moment. I know I will.

Monday, January 25, 2021

Business Professionals of America 2021

 Well like everything this past year, the Region 16 competition for the Business Professionals of America (BPA) was held on line rather than face to face. Vantage was represented by students in Mr. Larry Regedanz's Network System program and Mrs. Jill DeWert's Interactive Media program. There were approximately 58 students who competed from both labs, both juniors and seniors. Below is the picture of the students who placed in the top three in each of the categories. 


Of the student's who competed in the regional, we have several who qualified for the State competition in their category. The following student's who are moving on are:

Zackery Okuly (1st) - Payroll Accounting
Brookelynn Lee (1st) - Fundamental Word Processing
Riley Boroff (1st), Christapher Piske (2nd), James Hagaman (3rd) - Computer Network Technology
Jayden Renner (3rd) - PC Servicing & Troubleshooting
Anthony Butler (1st), Marcus Cox (2nd), Devin Nickols (3rd) - Server Admin using Microsoft
Christapher Piske (1st), Anthony Butler (2nd), Devin Nickols (3rd) - Network Admin using Cisco
Kay'l Sibold (1st), Wyatt Noffsinger (2nd), Orion Elick (3rd) - Computer Security
Quinn Ehinger (1st) - C# Programming
Andrew Hunter (1st) - SQL Database Fundamentals
Christapher Piske (1st), Riley Boroff (2nd), Allison Dingus (3rd) - Linux Operating Fundamentals
Chester Miller (1st), Jayden Renner (2nd), Makenzie Stephenson (3rd) - Python Programming
Asa Humes (2nd) - Fundamental Desktop Publishing
Tucker Franklin (2nd), Kaden Vielma (3rd) - Advanced Desktop Publishing
Marcus Cox, Joseph McClure, A.J. Verhoff, Noah Verhoff (1st Place) - Video Production Team
Makenzie Stephenson, Tanner Stinnett, Jude Marshall, Garret Martin(1st Place) - Computer Animation 
Jayden Buffin (1st) - Extemporaneous Speech

Congratulations to all of those students moving on to State competition. As you can see from the above list, several students made it in a couple different categories. I am so very proud of all the students who competed and are moving on. It certainly has been a different year because we had to go virtual but as usual, our students just roll with it and still are very successful. State competition will be the week of March 15th. Good luck to all of you and congratulations once again. Also a big thank you to Mr. Larry Regedanz, Mrs. Jill DeWert and Mrs. Paula VanTilburg for all the work they put into this event. What a bright light this year for Vantage Career Center.