Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Media Center Book Fair

Christmas is that time of year when people are looking forward to some time off, gathering with friends and family or just taking it easy over the break. Small children are eagerly awaiting the arrival of Santa Claus and the stores are jam packed with people looking for a great bargain. Well speaking of great bargains...I want to inform you that the Media Center Book Fair is right around the corner. The book fair will start this Friday, December 6th and run through the 13th of December. This is one event that I look forward to each year. First of all, I love reading. Second, I find it very convenient to choose a few stocking stuffers for my wife and grandchildren.

So, you may be asking yourselves what the Media Center Book Sale actually is. Well each year, Mrs. Knodel will pre-order hundreds of books (there may be close to 1000 books) that she will display in the media center. They will all be laid out on the tables in the media center and organized by different categories. The books are all for sale and they are all brand new. Now here is the good part, all of the books are 30% off and there is no sales tax. Now try to find a better deal than that this year. There will be books for all ages and all interests. There will be magazines and also calendars available.

I hope everyone will take some time and go browse around the book sale. There are so many ideas for great Christmas gifts. Mrs. Knodel does such a wonderful job at putting this on and works hard to get a great variety of books and magazines. As I just walked past the media center, I noticed about 30 big crates loaded with books that will have to be sorted and put out on the tables. That is not an easy task but Mrs. Knodel does it because she also loves reading and knows how much it can help our students. Books are a way to improve your reading skills, allow you to travel to far away places using your imagination or give you the opportunity to experience events that happened long ago. Now if that isn't reason enough to shop the sale, I don't know what is. Thanks Mrs. Knodel for putting this on.

Monday, November 18, 2019


I stated in an earlier post that I was anticipating a couple more students would be earning their Eagle Scout classification. Well I am proud to announce that Preston Browning (Parkway) and Zach Herman (Ottoville) both became Eagle scouts within the last few weeks. Zach is a member of Scout Troop #266 and Preston belongs to Troop # 98.

In the earlier post I mentioned that according to the National Eagle Scout Association, only about 5% of all Boy Scouts earn the rank of Eagle Scout and here at Vantage, we have had at least 4 in the last couple of years. Well this year, we have three already and possibly one more coming up. I am so proud of these young men. It is not easy to become an Eagle Scout. You must earn a total of at least 21 merit badges, including the following: First Aid, Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation, Citizenship in the World, Communication, Personal Fitness, Emergency Preparedness, Environmental Science, Personal Management, Swimming (Hiking or cycling), Camping, Cooking and Family Life. They also must complete a service project.

Preston Browning built a covered bus stop in Willshire, Ohio. Currently the students had no cover as they waited for the bus to pick them up. It didn't matter if it was raining or snowing, they had to stand out in the elements and wait for the bus. Preston stated that the cost of the project was $7000. 100% of the money was earned from local businesses. Preston also held a doughnut day at his church where he raised $500. The project took him seven months to complete. He said he had a lot of help from family, coaches and community members. Preston has been in scouts since he was in 2nd grade. Just speaking with Preston I could hear the passion in his voice for this project. He really hated to see the young students have to stand out in the elements. If you know Preston, that wouldn't surprise you. He is a kind and caring young man. We are proud of you Preston not only for your work with the scouts but for your work ethic here at Vantage.

Zach Herman was asked to build picture frames for the Ottoville History Museum. The museum was looking to display several items and they needed some way for this to be done. They asked Zach if he could build them twenty frames to display various items in the museum. Zach told me that the entire cost was paid for by the museum. Zach said that it took him about two months to complete the frames. As you can see in the picture, the frames turned out absolutely beautiful. I myself like to do a little woodworking and I can tell you that these frames are perfect. In fact, the museum liked them so much, they are having Zach do ten more frames. Zach said that he had help from his Dad, Grandpa and brother. Zach has been a scout since 1st grade. I really enjoyed speaking with Zach because he is one of those quiet leaders. Zach is one who leads by example. He is always hard at work, doing what he is told and working on his assignments until they are complete. He is a great student to have around at Vantage and all of us are proud of you for earning the rank of Eagle Scout.

If you happen to see these two fine young men around the halls at Vantage, or in your community, please stop them and congratulate them on a well earned accomplishment.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Let's Get Real

Today I want to speak directly to the students about a very serious matter. The subject is vaping and all the problems associated with it. Okay, so you want to stop reading because you think you know it all and you have all the answers. I'm telling you, there are a lot of new reports from the medical industry that are scary and should wake you up. We have tried over the last year to educate the students. We have signs in or near all the bathrooms giving facts about vaping and what is actually in that vape you are using. We have spoken to the students about the problems with vaping and the serious addiction that can come from vaping. It seems like no one listens and thinks we are just old people who don't know what we are talking about. Well, let gets real and list some real facts.

Vaping is becoming an epidemic across the state and across the country. According to the U.S. health officials, the number of vaping-related illnesses has surpassed 1000 and there is no sign the outbreak is fading. Recently there have been more than a dozen deaths from vaping-related lung injuries. Doctors say the illness, which first appeared in March, resembles an inhalation injury. Symptoms include severe, shortness of breath, fatigue, and chest pain. Most who got sick said they vaped products containing THC, the marijuana ingredient that causes a high, but some said they vaped only nicotine. In October, a 17 year old Bronx boy died of a vaping-related illness and Governor Cuomo stated in his announcement that "You are playing with your life when you play with this stuff".

The Center for Disease Control is working hard to address this problem and figure out what exactly is causing the deaths. Their investigations have increasingly focused on THC (tetrahydrocannabinol oil vaping products, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana) but until a cause is found, the CDC continues to advise Americans to refrain from using any vaping products. Some of you may be thinking that you have vaped for a couple years and you don't see any of the effects. Well, the problem with that thinking is you may now be addicted and the effects won't show up for awhile, usually when it's too late.

I wish I could truly convince everyone of you how serious this is. Students, listen... PEOPLE ARE DYING from vaping. That's a fact! They are suffering serious lung injuries from vaping. All of this is just now starting to appear from vaping. Vaping with THC is ruining your life also. More and more are using THC in their vapes and it is harming you. I don't understand why you would chose to come to Vantage, where you can set your entire future career in motion and make great money in a job you love, and ruin it all by vaping. We are going to get real serious about this in the near future. Do you want to ruin the great opportunity that you have here at Vantage. Continue to vape and you will lose that opportunity. One last fact, did you know that THC stays in your system for 3 days to a month or longer in urine. You will be caught. Please start to make good choices. If your friends are doing this, please talk them out of it. If you or a friend are having problems quitting, please see me and we will get you help. Make the choice now that will change your entire future. Don't ignore the facts, it is time to get real.

Here are some links that explain in more detail:

Friday, November 1, 2019

Veterans Day

Monday, November 11th, is Veterans Day. That is a day in the United States where we pay our respects to those who have served. This holiday started as a day to reflect upon the heroism of those who died in our country's service and was originally called Armistice Day. However, in 1954, the holiday was changed to "Veterans Day" in order to account for all veterans in all wars. The difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day is that on Veterans day we honor all service men and women, both living and dead. On Memorial Day, we honor those that gave their lives for our country. There is a short video called "5 things you don't know about Veterans Day", I think it is worth watching. Click here to view the video.

For the student's here at Vantage, we are honoring all Veterans by selling flags to create a "flag field" of 250 American flags. Flags will be on sale on the stage during both lunches until November 8th. The cost of each flag will be $0.50 cents each. When you buy a flag, please write a message on a large white signature board that will be on display with the flag field. On Monday, November 11th, the Flag Field and signature board will be moved outside on the front lawn for the public to see All proceeds will benefit the Rockford American Legion. Each year when we do this, a different group is selected. Please remember a grandparent, parent or friend by purchasing a flag for our flag field. As you can see by the picture, we have just started this a day ago and it is filling up fast.

I personally want to thank each and everyone of our staff members who have served. I don't care how you served, where you served or what your duty was. The idea that you gave up at least two years of your life to keep our country safe is worthy of my deepest respect. We have our freedom today because of brave men and women like you. That is something that we can never take for granted. You have battled for our freedom and our rights. The right for free speech, to practice our religion openly without fear of punishment, the right to vote and the right to live free among our brothers and sisters. You only have to look at other places in the world and you begin to respect and love what we have here in this great country.

One final link for all you veterans: This link will show you all the places that you can go to on Veterans Day to receive discounts and deals and even freebies. Click here to see your discounts. In closing, I just want to say "Thank you for your service".

Monday, October 21, 2019

Eagle Scout

One of my favorite things to post about is when one of our students earns the rank of Eagle Scout. In the past few years, we have had several young men reach the rank of Eagle Scout while they were attending Vantage. Well I am proud to say that once again, we have another outstanding student who has obtained the rank of Eagle Scout. Please keep in mind that according to the National Eagle Scout Association, only about 5% of all Boy Scouts earn the rank of Eagle Scout and here at Vantage, we have had at least 4 in the last couple of years. To become an Eagle Scout, you must earn a total of at least 21 merit badges, including the following: First Aid, Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation, Citizenship in the World, Communication, Personal Fitness, Emergency Preparedness, Environmental Science, Personal Management, Swimming (Hiking or cycling), Camping, Cooking and Family Life. They also must complete a service project.

This year we are proud to announce that Evan Meyers has earned the rank of Eagle Scout. Evan is an Ottoville High School student attending Vantage and is part of Troop 221 in Kalida. For his service project, he installed a flag pole for the soccer field in Kalida. In speaking with Evan, he stated that the project cost around $3500 and that all of this money came in through donations. The donations came through many sources and many people. Evan said that the VFW, American Legion, Kalida School Board and many individuals contributed financially to this project. He also said it couldn't have been done without the help and donations from BK Trucking who provided the stones and K&L Ready Mix who provided all the concrete. I could tell Evan was very thankful for the support he received from the community.

As far as the back breaking work and hard labor, Evan stated that his Grandpa, Dad and fellow scouts all helped him out tremendously. It really takes a lot of people to pitch in and support someone when they are doing their service project for the Scouts. I had to wonder how Evan found any time to work on this project because he is one of the busiest students I know. Evan works three different jobs during the school year. He works as a machinist for Unverferths, a farm hand at Horstmans Dairy and pours concrete for Wannemancher property services in Cloverdale. I will say that Evan stated that it took almost a year to complete the project because of the terrible spring weather we had and also a few other hiccups he had along the way.

If you get a chance, please let Evan know what a fine young man he is and congratulate him on this great achievement. Evan, I personally am proud of you and feel very lucky I have been able to meet such a fine young man and be a small part of your life these last two years. Congratulations Evan!

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Baby It's Cold Outside

I don't know about you but these last few mornings have been pretty chilly. I think we had our first frost warning last night and the temperature driving in this morning was in the upper 30's. Now that is a shock to the system. Well it won't be long before that dreaded white stuff starts falling and we long for those lazy hazy days of summer. This morning I actually had to grab my coat for the first time this school year but as I did, it reminded me that several of our students may not have a coat to grab. This is when I decided to write this blog so that the word can get out that there is help available around our communities. I will list several agencies that are available to help with food, clothing or other winter items that may be needed. If you are not in need, please let others know about these agencies. There may be other students around you that may be in need and you don't even realize it, so pass the word.

These are the agencies that I am aware of that will provide help in one way or another. It may be with clothes such as coats and gloves or food supplies:

Paulding Area Support Society (P.A.S.S.) - Eligible Paulding County Residents. Determined on a case by case basis. Contact #'s are: 419-399-5520 or 419-587-3651 or 419-399-3127

Trinity Friends Church across from Vantage - Tuesday from 10:00 am until 12:00 noon and Thursdays from 4:00 - 5:30 pm.

Van Wert County Dept of Jobs and Family Services - 419-238-9100

Salvation Army: 419-238-9100 They can help and also lead you to others who can.

Delphos Interfaith Thrift Store: Combination thrift store, food pantry and financial assistance. Many winter items available like coats, gloves, hats, etc. 419-692-2942

West Ohio Food Bank: A great resource. They work with churches all over Allen, Mercer, Paulding, Putnam and Van Wert counties.They will help. 419-222-7946. Click here for Paulding county West Ohio Food Banks.

2-1-1 This is a phone number you can call anytime and they will get you help. If you are unsure of how to find services to help then make sure you call them. Just dial 2-1-1 and they will lead you to the best place to get help.

Remember, you can also stop by my office anytime to discuss your issue or your friends issue, and I will do everything to get you the help you need. There is no reason for anyone to go without a hat and coat in this cold weather. Please see me if that is the case. Let's make sure everyone stays warm this winter.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

National Technical Honor Society 2019-2020

On Tuesday evening, October 1st, Vantage Career Center held our annual National Technical Honor Society banquet and induction ceremony. The National Technical Honor Society (NTHS) is a way to honor student achievement and leadership in career and technical education, promote educational excellence, award scholarships and enhance career opportunities for the NTHS membership.

To become an NTHS member, a student must first be carrying a 3.5 GPA or above, have 95% attendance for their Junior and Senior years, no discipline problems in both years and have passed all of their End of Course Exams. If the student meets the above mentioned criteria, then they must write an essay stating why they feel they belong in the NTHS, have three teacher recommendations, submit a resume and complete their application. Once all of this is turned in, a committee of teachers and staff meet to discuss each candidate and determine which students best represent the National Technical Honor Society.

As a member of the National Technical Honor Society, each member has met the seven character attributes, and at the induction ceremony, vowed to continue these attributes. They are: Skill, Honesty, Service, Responsibility, Leadership, Citizenship and Scholarship.

I am so proud of these students because they have made so many great choices in their lives. They not only have been successful here at Vantage and their home school, but I know they will be successful in their future college or work careers. If you happen to see these students in the hallway, in your classes, or in the community, please congratulate them on a great high school career and a great honor in being selected for the National Technical Honor Society. This is a very small percentage of our student body, but they truly are the best of the best.

These are the NTHS members for 2019-2020:

Reagan Akom (Paulding), Kaleb Allenbaugh (Lincolnview), Emily Barricklow (Crestview), Rachael Beair (Parkway), Rachel Breese (Parkway), Virginia Brotherwood (Jefferson), Preston Browning (Parkway- not shown), Michael Burgei (Ottoville), Desteni Contreraz (Van Wert), Jasmine Contreraz (Van Wert), Corbin Cox (Parkway - not shown), Alayna Cripe (Van Wert), Kasey Denman (Lincolnview), Megan Garrity (Paulding), Nolan German (Ottoville - not shown), Zoe Gile (Van Wert), Rieley Hanneman (Kalida), Mya Isbell (Van Wert), Kaitlynn Keller (Continental), Shiann Kraft (Lincolnview), Bridget Martin (Jefferson), Evan Meyers (Ottoville), Jacksyn Nichols (Ft. Jennings), Alexandria Parks (Van Wert), Kane Plescher (Jefferson), Gannon Prowant (Continental), Wyatt Richardson (Crestview), Miah Rue (Paulding), Joel Schneider (Paulding), Trevor Siefker (Kalida), Spencer Smith (Van Wert), Hannah Springer (Van Wert), Gunnar Stemen (St. John), Violet Taylor (Parkway), Kaitlyn Titus (Antwerp), Kaylie Tressler (Paulding), Sabastian Umfleet (Jefferson), Leia Verhoff (Kalida), Samantha Wagner (Paulding), Emily Wentland (Antwerp), Libby Wenzlick (Wayne Trace), Elisabeth Wolf (Antwerp)