The Van Wert County Courthouse

Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018

Congratulations to Olivia Rutkowski, Abbi Phillips, and Meghan Jensen of Van Wert Middle School. These band students will perform this Saturday, February 17, at the Ohio State Middle School Honors Band Festival. The students were nominated and selected to represent Van Wert Middle School at this annual band festival held on the Ohio State University campus in Columbus. photo submitted

POSTED: 02/17/18 at 12:32 am. FILED UNDER: Youth

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The registration of kindergarten children attending Van Wert City Schools for the 2017-2018 school year will be held from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. Monday, February 26, through Thursday, March 15. Registration will take place in the superintendent’s office at the S.F. Goedde Building, 205 W. Crawford St. in Van Wert. Those registering children should enter through the main entrance doors of the Goedde Building on Crawford Street. Kindergarten registration forms can be found on the school website at

Those who want their children to attend kindergarten at Van Wert City Schools, but live outside the district, should plan to register at the Goedde Building as well. Open enrollment spaces can be limited, however.

To attend kindergarten, a child must have attained the age of 5 by August 1. No student shall be admitted to first grade who has not successfully completed kindergarten. Kindergarten students will attend school all day, every day.

If a child is new to Van Wert City Schools, officials will need the following information at the time of registration: a copy of the child’s birth certificate, immunization record, and social security card; and, in case of divorced parents, a copy of a child custody court order.

POSTED: 02/15/18 at 8:38 am. FILED UNDER: Youth

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A free kindergarten developmental readiness screening for all children will be held in the St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic School gymnasium. Any child who will be 5 years old by September 30 and lives in Van Wert County or the surrounding area is invited to attend. Screening appointments can be set up for Thursday, March 8; Tuesday, March 13; or Thursday, March 15, between the hours of 4 and 6 p.m. Call the St. Mary’s School office at 419.238.5186 between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday to set up a screening appointment. Time slots are limited.

This free assessment is sponsored by St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic School. Children will be assessed using the Developmental Indicators for the Assessment of Learning, Fourth Edition (DIAL-4). The DIAL-4 program assesses children in the areas of speech and language, gross and fine motor, cognition, hearing, vision, self-help, and social-emotional skills. The screening process usually takes 45 minutes to an hour to complete.

Each child is unique; however, this assessment provides parents with an opportunity to see how their child is progressing in relationship to children of the same age. School officials feel it is important that they provide the screening results to parents in a timely manner. Since the school will have its administrator on site each day, it will be reviewing the results with parents the day of a child’s screening.

School officials also encourage the screening even if parents plan to keep their child in preschool another year due a late birth date or development.

St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic School’s faculty and administration are looking forward to meeting with parents and their children for the kindergarten screening.

POSTED: 02/15/18 at 8:37 am. FILED UNDER: Youth

Synergy Learning Center Director Tony Langhals (left) congratulates and thanks Dave Alt for his 45 years in education on his retirement from teaching. Alt has had a positive influence on thousands of students’ lives since 1973, starting at Delphos St. John’s School from 1973-97. He has also taught at New Knoxville (1997-99), Crestview (1999-2001), Van Wert (2001-04), Fostoria St. Wendelin (2004-06), Wayne Trace (2006-18), and Synergy Learning Center (2017-18). Synergy photo

POSTED: 02/14/18 at 8:50 am. FILED UNDER: Youth

The First United Methodist Preschool, 113 W. Central Ave. in Van Wert, will be hosting an art show and fundraiser at Wassenberg Art Center, 214 S. Washington St. in Van Wert, on Thursday, February 22, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Preschool students are working hard on several masterpieces that will be available to their families by donation. There will also be many items donated by local artists that will be available to the public by silent auction. The event is open to the public. For more information on the art show, donating, or preschool, contact Administrator April Ellerbrock at 419.238.0631, extension 308, or email at photo submitted

POSTED: 02/12/18 at 8:09 am. FILED UNDER: Church, Youth

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4-H grows leaders! Van Wert County is host to a wide variety of clubs that can help local youngsters get there! From learning how to make healthy snacks, bottle rockets, scrapbooking, and fishing there are over 200 project workbooks to choose from. With a diverse variety of clubs there is sure to be one to fit a family’s needs. Take some time to look over this listing and feel free to call an advisor to get started today! 4-H would love to have young people join 4-H- the nation’s largest youth development organization. Learn more at or check out local 4-H on Facebook at

Barnyard Buddies is an all interest 4-H club that meets throughout the year. With many years of experience in all sorts of projects, advisors Kendra Heffelfinger (419.203.9012 or and Robin Schumm (419.203.2656 or can help members be successful with helping members find the right resources to succeed. This club is especially talented with livestock and also selects a club educational activity based on the member’s interests. Their next meeting will be February 18 at Zion Lutheran Church on Schumm Road.

Clever Clovers 4-H Club is an all interest club based in Van Wert. They meet at Van Wert Middle School in Mrs. Thompson’s Healthy Choices Room. The club has a primary focus on non-livestock projects, but all are welcome to join. Marie Markward is the club advisor. She can be reached by calling 419.238.5957 or emailing Clever Clovers 4-H Club’s first meeting will be held February 26, from 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Harrison Jolly Boosters 4-H Club is a historic club in Van Wert County that celebrates over 100 years of existence. The club meets at the Harrison Township House. Club advisors Mandi Scarlett (419.203.2531 or or Ashley Showalter (567.259.8443 or welcome all types of members, but are especially talented with projects for sheep, turkeys, and natural resources. Projects of all kinds can be found at the Harrison Jolly Boosters Club, which will meet March 11 from 3:30-4:30 p.m.

Hoaglin Farmers is the county’s largest 4-H club. It meets on Sundays at 4 pm at Zion Christian United Methodist church. Members take a huge variety of projects, but advisor Beth Evans (419.203.2974 or can especially help with horses, hogs, and other livestock projects. Hoaglin Farmers’ next meeting will be either February 18 or 25. Contact Evans for confirmation.

Jackson Lively is a long-standing club in the county. New advisors Molly and Ernie Welch (419.302.9529 or are working to turn over a new leaf and grow their membership for 2018. Their first meeting will be at 2 p.m. February 25 at the Jackson Township House. Anyone interested should stop by and visit.

Leaders of the Future is an all interest 4-H club. Club advisors Angie Hatfield (419.605.885 or and Jodi Spear (419.203.2321 or have a long history of 4-H experiences both as members and as parents. They can help members with a variety of projects and have one of the largest memberships of Cloverbuds in the county.

Ohio Challengers 4-H Club is Convoy’s biggest 4-H club. With meetings held at Crestview schools (and right after school lets out) the flexibility that advisor Judy Wortman (419.238.9830) provides allows youths to get involved and not stress out over meeting times. Members take lots of projects especially livestock and clothing. During the summer months the club meets at the community building. Their first meeting will be February 21 at Crestview Schools in the study hall.

Ohio City Blue Ribbon Workers is an all interest project club based in Ohio City. It meets on Sundays at 4 p.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church. Advisor Brenda DeLong (419.203.3598 or helps members with a variety of projects with her extended knowledge of the 4-H program and events. Advisors Anna Kolb and Hilary Arn provide a welcoming and fun environment that youths will enjoy as they explore their first 4-H projects.

Shooting Stars 4-H Club is one of the fastest growing clubs in Van Wert County. Club advisors Mia Keirns (419.238.6248 or and Greg Gamble (419.513.1098 or  have helped many youths with a variety of projects through their club. Youth interested in poultry projects can gain insight from this club (although not a specialty club), and the club hosts a variety of older youth involved as camp counselors, ambassadors, and Junior Fair Board members. Shooting Stars will host their next meeting on February 18, from 1:30-3 p.m. at the Wee Care Learning Center.

Venedocia Lads & Lassies is led by advisor Nancy Bonifas (419.771.8611 or This club is a general club that meets at the Venedocia Lions Club building. Members from this club take everything from nutrition to livestock to rockets! This club is close for many Delphos area and Spencerville youths.


POSTED: 02/12/18 at 8:06 am. FILED UNDER: Farm, Youth

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CONVOY — Crestview High School juniors and seniors welcomed 17 recent alumni back to the halls of Crestview this past Friday to help give them insight into life after high school in regard to college and career choices.

The graduates shared their individual experiences at various colleges across the state and country with the students. They also answered questions from students about dealing with roommates, choosing a major, study habits, meeting new people, class sizes, and moving away from family, among others. The graduates gladly shared their insights and tried to enlighten students and ease some of their concerns related to college.

“I believe this program is very valuable as it’s not teachers and counselors talking, but students whom they might know; and their personal experiences assisting fellow Knights with the future,” said Crestview High School Principal Mike Biro.

“I thought it was nice to hear from different perspectives on college life, those involved socially and those not involved,” said junior S. Chorvas.

“I’ll be commuting, so it’s a bit different for me, but I thought they shared some good information,” added senior B. Engelman.

This is the second year in a row that Crestview has invited a group of recent grads to talk with students.

Several recent graduates returned to Crestview High School recently to share their college experiences with the juniors and seniors. Students were able to ask questions and get some insight from the graduates on topics like financial aid, choosing a major, daily schedules and much more. Crestview photo

POSTED: 01/15/18 at 8:54 am. FILED UNDER: Youth

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Crestview and Lincolnview school districts recently completed United Way campaigns. Administration and staff of both schools made pledges in support of the 27 agencies funded by the United Way of Van Wert County. This year, the staff became a part of the annual Rivals United by starting the competitions with United Way pledges going towards the event. This year saw a great increase for both schools, but Lincolnview led by $1,500.

The United Way and Lincolnview Local Schools work together to house the Lincolnview Latchkey program, an agency of the United Way. Both schools are supporters of the United Way of Van Wert County, the community, and many organizations.

To continue in this support and have some fun, Crestview and Lincolnview student representatives have teamed up to hold a friendly competition, known as Rivals United, between the student bodies to see who can raise the most money for the United Way of Van Wert County.

The second annual Rivals United fundraising event will be held during rivalry week, January 29-February 2; each school’s student body will conduct various activities, while more activities are lined up for the girls’ basketball game between the two schools on Thursday, February 1, and the boys’ basketball game on Friday, February 2.

New to the event this year is a t-shirt design contest sponsored by First Financial Bank, which is giving $500 to the winning schools design that will go towards the money raised for United Way agencies. The t-shirt design was selected by a United Way committee and will be printed on nearly 600 t-shirts for this year’s event.

Rivals United t-shirts are on sale now, and are available through pre-sale only. For more information, contact the United Way office at 419.238.6689 or email

POSTED: 01/15/18 at 8:50 am. FILED UNDER: Youth

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Central Insurance Companies has announced applications are now available for the scholarship program of the company’s Educational and Charitable Foundation. This scholarship program was developed to reward and support graduates seeking careers in the property and casualty insurance industry. Central has provided financial security, protection, and peace of mind to policyholders for over 140 years, and believes that by providing assistance to career-minded individuals, it can perpetuate this legacy.

Scholarships of up to $5,000 per student are available. To be eligible, students must be graduating in 2018 from one of the Van Wert County school districts (Crestview, Lincolnview, or Van Wert High School or Vantage Career Center, with a home school association to Crestview, Lincolnview, or Van Wert high schools). Dependent children of current Central Insurance Companies’ employees and retirees, regardless of the school attended, are also eligible. The scholarship may only be used toward tuition, books, other related school fees, and room and board. It is an annual scholarship that may be renewed up to three additional years.

While not exclusively an academic scholarship, applicants must demonstrate academic promise and good character. A minimum 3.0 GPA in high school is required. Applicants are asked to complete an extensive application and provide a personally written essay, two sealed letters of recommendation, and a current official high school transcript.

The student must be planning to attend an accredited two- or four-year post-secondary educational institution on a full-time basis by the end of 2018. The school of choice must have a program leading to a degree, diploma, or certificate in the student’s chosen major. The school may be a college, university, business, or technical school. The student’s major must have a specific use towards a career position within the insurance industry.

This scholarship will be awarded on an objective and non-discriminatory basis without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, or sex. The names of scholarship recipients will be posted on the Foundation’s website as soon as the recipients have accepted the scholarship.


POSTED: 01/11/18 at 8:36 am. FILED UNDER: News, Youth

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The Marsh Foundation School held its annual holiday celebration before Christmas break. The day included performances by The Marsh School choir, as well as 15 individual and group performances. Students were encouraged to choose holiday and winter songs for the audience to enjoy.

Principal Robbie Breese is shown with The Marsh Foundation School winter graduates Xavier Puterbaugh (left) and Zildgian Galliher. Marsh photo

In addition to the musical program, a graduation ceremony was held and two students were honored for receiving their high school diplomas.  Zildjian Galliher attended The Marsh for 2½ years and plans to enlist in the military. Xavier Puterbaugh also attended The Marsh for 2½ years and has returned to his home county and enrolled in an independent living program.

Many of the youths’ friends and families, as well as community members, joined in the celebration. Following the program in the auditorium, everyone in attendance enjoyed a holiday-themed luncheon in the cafeteria.

The Marsh Foundation is a not-for-profit children’s services agency that provides services in a variety of settings. Services include group homes, family foster care (ages birth-17), an intensive treatment program, adoption and independent living. \

Located in Van Wert, the organization’s group homes are licensed for up to 36 children ages 7-17, offers an on-campus school for grades 2-12, and provides a variety of clinical services to group home residents, foster care children, and community members.

POSTED: 01/10/18 at 8:36 am. FILED UNDER: News, Youth