The Vantage Point
By: Vantage Career Center
When students think of summer, they think of sleeping late, lazy days, and fun nights. But getting a chance for real-world experience in what you’re studying in school AND getting paid for it trumps the former.
Internships provide incredible opportunities for high school students to gain significant work experience while exploring career options. Although we mostly hear about internships for college students, one local business has started internships for high school students who have the right skills.
Two Vantage students Nick Grote (Ottoville) and MiKenzie Luginbill (Parkway) had the right skills and earned a summer internship opportunity at Kennedy Manufacturing in Van Wert.
Both young men competed with their classmates in Industrial Mechanics and Precision Machining for the two internships. That meant writing up a resume, completing an application and interview, and passing a drug test. And then Kennedy Manufacturing talked to their lab instructors and others for recommendations!
Nick worked in the Maintenance department from 6 a.m.-2:30 p.m. each weekday during the summer. He worked on presses, forklifts, and sheers. Then he tore apart motors, worked on hydraulic pumps and did troubleshooting on electrical issues, alongside full-time Kennedy employees who were his mentors.
MiKenzie worked in the Machine shop, 5 a.m.-1:30 p.m., where he ran mills, made stops for the brake press, and worked on the punch. When I asked about his unusual summer work hours, he replied, “Sometimes you have to wake up pretty early to go to work! I stayed because I wanted to work, learn more, and I needed the money.”
School started last week for these high school seniors who spent the summer working in their field and getting more experience. They agreed that it was a little hard to come back after seeing what it would be like in the real work world (and getting a paycheck)! But they both realize that their summer internship was an amazing opportunity. “I was so excited when I got this job,” Nick said. “It was such an advantage to have had a year of Industrial Mechanics class. A lot of the things I did we learned in lab. Hopefully, I can go back to Kennedy for Early Placement and, if I do a good job, get hired permanently.”
“The best part of my summer internship was knowing that I was working on a piece that was real that someone was going to use to build a part. At work, I learned some things that we haven’t covered in lab yet, so it was a little more challenging, but I loved it,” MiKenzie said.
Plant Manager Mike Pond told Vantage Career Tech supervisor Ted Verhoff ”It was a great experience for our entire plant. Both MiKenzie and Nick helped us get some of the bigger projects done ahead of time. It was also a good teaching and learning experience for our senior technicians. We’re planning on doing it every summer going forward.”
In high schools around the area (and the rest of the country too), it’s the time of the year for awards ceremonies, baccalaureates, and graduations. Vantage Career Center recently had the opportunity to congratulate 17 seniors who had perfect attendance this year. That is just about 12 percent of the senior class. More incredible is that seven of these students had perfect attendance for the entire two years they attended Vantage.
To honor these students, a Senior Perfect Attendance Luncheon was held. Superintendent Staci Kaufman spoke to the students about their outstanding accomplishment. Darrell Miller, Vantage attendance officer, congratulated the students and reminded them that employers always ask about or check on a student’s attendance even before inviting them for an interview.
Students with perfect attendance realize that school is their first and most important job. They’re learning how to show up for school on time every day, so that when they graduate and get a job, they’ll know how to show up for work on time every day. Students who attend school regularly are more likely to graduate and find good jobs. In fact, a high school graduate makes, on average, a half million dollars more than a dropout over a lifetime.
Many of these students are active in their home school activities and hold part-time jobs after school and on the weekends.
After lunch, each student was given a certificate to be included in their Career Passport that will document their perfect attendance for future employers.
Vantage seniors with perfect attendance for two years are: Shana Brincefield, Sr. Cosmetology (Lincolnview), Thad Carter, Sr. Industrial Mechanics (Van Wert), Layna Mihm, Sr. Medical Office Management (Van Wert), Austin Ricker, Sr. Precision Machining (Kalida), Alyssa Romero, Sr. Cosmetology (Antwerp), Wyatt Saam, Sr. Precision Machining (Lincolnview), and Ben Schnipke, Sr. Carpentry (Ottoville).
Seniors with perfect attendance for this school year are: Bryan Buck, Sr. Building & Grounds (Delphos Jefferson), Regan Cunningham, Sr. Cosmetology (Continental), LaShawne Granger, Sr. Cosmetology (Van Wert), Brooke Hesseling, Sr. Health Technology (Delphos Jefferson), Nathan Hooker, Sr. Network Systems (Continental), Adam Jurczyk, Sr. Auto Body (Van Wert), Clirissa McMonigal, Sr. Auto Body (Continental), Quintin Mengerink, Jr. Ag and Industrial Power Tech (Van Wert), Haley Sinning, Jr. Health Technology (Van Wert), and Jereka Spieth, Sr. Culinary Arts (Crestview).
The past few weeks have been incredibly busy for Vantage students competing in SkillsUSA and FCCLA competitions. Here are the results.
Congratulations to Carpentry seniors Austen Stukey (Parkway), who placed first in the SkillsUSA Carpentry contest and Ben Schnipke (Ottoville), who placed first in the Cabinetmaking contest at state. They advance to the National SkillsUSA contest in Kansas City this summer. A big shout out to all the other SkillsUSA contestants: Evan Prowant (Continental) who placed third in the CNC Turning contest; the team of Alex Schnipke (Ottoville) and Jacob Blair (Paulding) who competed in Mechatronics; Clirissa McMonigal (Continental) who competed in the Collision Repair Technology contest; Isaac Nichols (Ft. Jennings), a contestant in the Automotive Refinishing Technology contest; Derric Shisler (Paulding), who competed in the Electrical Construction Wiring contest; and to the team of Kyle Honigford (Kalida) and Mason Gerken (Antwerp) who competed in Robotics and Automation.
Vantage FCCLA Satellite students are headed to San Antonio, Texas, in July for their National Contest. Van Wert High School Family & Consumer Science students Kiley Wortman and Samantha Rohrbacher received Gold for their Chapter Service Project which was to make blankets and present them to veterans taking Honor Flights. Paulding High School students Kelsi Manz and Tiffany Spangler also
received Gold for their National Programs in Action event called Bookin’ It to Ethiopia. They raised money to build a library in Ethiopia. Receiving a Gold rating was the Vantage Culinary Arts Meeting Event Set-up team of David Fisher (Paulding), Derek Foy (Continental), and Zach Wilkes (Paulding) and the Vantage Early Childhood Team of Bethany Dunderman (Antwerp), Asia Flinn (Antwerp) and Andrea Longwell (Ft. Jennings). Other competitors from Paulding were Kristen Schilt in the Power of One, Jordan Shull and Kacie Karlstadt in the Focus on Children Star Event, and Bridgett Moore, Jenifer Switzer, and Michelle Young in the Chapter Service Portfolio Star Event.
Oops, we did it again! The 34th annual Vantage Bloodmobile was held on Thursday and Friday, April 10 and 11 to help the American Red Cross keep up with the urgent need for blood. The bloodmobile is a team effort with students and staff from several different programs working together to get organized and set up for a bloodmobile. The Vantage bloodmobile has grown so much in recent years that it has become a two-day event.
It takes many people to put together a successful high school blood drive. Special thanks to Mr. Larry Mengerink from Building and Grounds for unloading the Red Cross truck at 6:30 p.m. in the morning and being happy about it. The members of the junior and senior Health Technology classes set up the donor room and also served as staffers, assisting with registration, first aid, and escort duties. A very special “Thank You” to Health Tech teachers Reesa Rohrs and Leigh Carey for doing an amazing job coordinating and scheduling student and staff donations.
Vantage is one of the largest high school bloodmobiles in the region and has one of the highest numbers of first time donors. This year’s blood drive was excellent. Nearly 200 students and staff members registered to donate blood. A total of 131 pints of blood were collected over the two days. Thanks to everyone who made this year’s Vantage bloodmobile a huge success.
And then there were nine… Thirty Vantage business students competed at the Ohio BPA competition in Columbus and nine will advance to the national contest in Indianapolis!
Several Medical Office Management students will be competing in Indianapolis. Senior Layna Mihm (Van Wert) placed first in the Advanced Word Processing contest while her classmate Amber Sloan (Continental) placed second. Junior Jill Ross (Wayne Trace) placed first in the Fundamental Spreadsheet Applications contest and senior Karrisa Carder (Lincolnview) placed second. Junior Maranda Bigham (Lincolnview) placed first in the Advanced Office Systems contest and Cailah Rickard, a senior from Continental, took second place. Junior Courtnie Laney (Wayne Trace) took second place in the Basic Office Systems contest.
Tiffany Romero (Antwerp) a senior in the Interactive Media program placed first in the 3D Computer Modeling competition. Rounding out the crew going to nationals is Dmitry Billingsley (Continental) a junior in the Network Systems program who placed first in the PC Servicing and Troubleshooting contest.
These students, along with their teachers Jill DeWert, Paula VanTilburg, and Larry Regedanz, will be a part of the 2014 Business Professionals of America Leadership Conference “Accelerate Your Future” in Indianapolis, Indiana April 30 – May 4. Approximately 5,500 students from throughout the United States will participate in Business Professionals of America’s 47th National Leadership Conference. Activities will include general sessions with keynote speakers, business meetings, leadership workshops, contests, and the election of national officers.
Vantage Early Childhood Education and Culinary Arts students competed in several contests during the Regional FCCLA contest at Vantage on Saturday, March 1, and six students earned the right to advance to the state competition.
The Culinary Arts Meeting Event Set-up Team is headed to Columbus for the state competition. Team members David Fisher (Paulding), Derek Foy (Continental), and Zach Wilkes (Paulding) joined forces to prepare a meeting room according to a Banquet Event Order that meets industry standards and anticipates guest needs within the specified time.
Three senior Early Childhood Education students are also heading to Columbus. The Early Childhood Team of Asia Flinn (Antwerp), Andrea Longwell (Ft. Jennings), and Bethany Dunderman (Antwerp) earned the gold medal plaque for their work.
In this contest, the team was required to plan a 2 ½ hour block of lesson plans and graphics which revolved around the theme of “Farm Animals”.
Asia said she is “really excited” about competing in Columbus.
Bethany added, “We worked really hard and our proud of our accomplishment.”
FCCLA state contests begin April 23 in Columbus.
Vantage Career Center SkillsUSA students recently competed in the first round of the Northwest Region skills contests at Sentinel Career Center in Tiffin. Five students will advance to the state competition held in Columbus in the spring.
Bringing home the gold was Carpentry senior Austen Stukey (Parkway) who placed first in the Carpentry contest. Continental senior Evan Prowant received a silver medal for placing second in the CNC Turning competition. Electricity senior Derric Shisler (Paulding) also earned a silver medal for his second place finish in the Electrical Construction Wiring contest.
Receiving bronze medals for their third place finish were a pair of Auto Body seniors. Clirissa McMonigal (Continental) placed third in the Collision Repair competition, while her classmate, Isaac Nichols (Ft. Jennings) took third place in the Automotive Refinishing contest.
These five students qualified for the state SkillsUSA contest and will compete in Columbus at the end of April.
A very different kind of competition was also held at Vantage on Thursday, Feb. 13. Vantage is proud to announce the top three winners of the school Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest. First place honors went to Cosmetology senior, Melody Gibson from Delphos Jefferson. Melody recited the Elizabeth Bishop poem, One Art and earned rave reviews from the judges. Second place went to Cosmetology senior LaShawne Granger (Van Wert) for her recitation of Sara Teasdale’s Since There Is No Escape. Electricity senior Harley Miner (Paulding) placed third with David Ignatow’s Self Employed.
The Vantage English Department organized the event and was very pleased with the 23 students who participated. From the podium, English teacher Mary Ann Falk told the students that “Poetry is universal. This experience will not be about tonight. It will benefit you for the rest of your life. You are stepping out and showing yourselves as leaders who can communicate and dedicate yourself to learning something.”
The competition, presented in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, is part of a national program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition.
Poetry Out Loud uses a pyramid structure. Beginning at the classroom level, winners advance to a school-wide competition, then to state, and ultimately to the National Finals in Washington D.C. Nearly 375,000 students from more than 2,000 high schools nationwide took part in last year’s program. Judges evaluated student performances on criteria including voice and articulation, evidence of understanding, level of difficulty, and accuracy.
“We’re very proud of this year’s participants and, as always, impressed by the dedication and talent of our Vantage students,” commented English teacher Sonya Yenser-Hammon.
Each champion at the state level will receive $200 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, DC, to compete for the national championship on April 29-30.
The top 3 winners of the Vantage Poetry Out Loud Contest are LaShawne Granger, Harley Miner, and Melody Gibson.
After several delays due to bad weather, Vantage hosted over 700 sophomores r for Sophomore Visitation Day on Monday, Feb. 10. Each sophomore had the opportunity to investigate and explore two different career technical programs of interest to them. During each one-hour visit, there were hands-on activities, demonstrations and presentations prepared especially for the sophomores.
Vantage Cosmetology students prepared a style show for the 10th graders, while those visiting Welding and Auto Body got a chance to try out the new virtual welder and virtual painter. Students visiting Carpentry built and took home a wooden stool or toolbox. In Auto Technology, students learned how to use the tire balancer and the rim clamp. Sophomores in Network Systems worked on Computer Modeling, programming, and internal computer components.
Monday also happened to be the annual Vantage Open House too! Many sophomores who are considering attending Vantage for their junior and senior years came back for the evening’s event and brought their parents. Community members and alumni also came out in force to celebrate Career and Technical Education Month.
Below are a few frequently asked questions and answers about coming to high school at Vantage.
Q: Can I go to college after Vantage?
A: About 41 percent of Vantage graduates continue their education immediately after high school graduation at a two or four year college. This year’s class is expected to be over 50 percent. Students are urged to check with their guidance counselor to be sure that all requirements for college entrance are met.
Q: Can I receive college credits through my high school class at Vantage?
A: YES! Almost all of the Vantage programs have articulation agreements with local colleges, which provide some college credit for Vantage coursework. A dual enrollment opportunity is offered through Northwest State Community College also.
Q: Can I participate in home school sports and activities?
A: YES! Students are encouraged to stay involved in extracurricular activities at their home school, such as sports, drama, etc. Vantage has very active student organizations – BPA (Business Professionals of America), FFA, FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America), and SkillsUSA, along with the Rotary Interact Club and Student Ambassadors.
Q: What is the tuition to attend Vantage?
A: Vantage Career Center is a public high school, open to 11th and 12th graders in the participating school districts. There is NO tuition to attend Vantage. Each program has a fee of $75, which covers the cost of tools, supplies, equipment, and one full uniform.
Q: When are applications due at Vantage?
A: Sophomore and junior students who are considering attending Vantage should be aware that the priority application deadline is March 5, 2014. This year, a new online application form may be submitted. Enter this address http://tinyurl.com/lec2nqa to access the application form. Students may continue to enroll throughout the spring and summer however, first choice programs may already be filled.
Vantage Career Center offers 16 different high school career technical programs to choose from. If you have any questions, please talk to your home school counselor or call Student Services at Vantage at 419.238.5411 or 1.800.686.3944 ext. 2032.