The Van Wert County Courthouse

Sunday, May. 27, 2018

VW independent/submitted information

BLUFFTON — Clarissa Clay of Van Wert earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations with a marketing minor during Bluffton University’s 118th annual commencement ceremony held May 6. Clay was the recipient of the Distinguished Scholar in Public Relations award and is a member of the 2017-18 Pi-Delta Society.

Bluffton University is a residential, liberal arts campus with more than 90 undergraduate majors, minors, and programs; adult degree-completion programs in accounting, organizational management and RN to BSN; MBA programs; and master’s degrees in organizational management and education.

Founded in 1899 and affiliated with Mennonite Church USA, the university is located in northwest Ohio. It has an enrollment of around 1,000 students and has 16 NCAA Division III athletic teams. Bluffton’s 100-year legacy is expressed today in its enduring values of discovery, community, respect and service, which are woven into the academic program and campus life. Bluffton students go into the world prepared for life as well as for their chosen vocation.

POSTED: 05/17/18 at 9:24 pm. FILED UNDER: Youth

Submitted information

As the Marsh Foundation Foster Care and Adoption Division continues to grow, a grand opening and ribboncutting was held last week at its new downtown location. The Foster Care and Adoption Center, 102 W. Main St. in Van Wert, will now house office space as well as a training and visitation area.

Local residents tour Marsh Foundation’s new Foster Care and Adoption Center in downtown Van Wert. photo provided

“We are so grateful to the Van Wert community for their ongoing support,” said Melissa Snyder, foster care supervisor. “There are so many children needing help and our community has really stepped up to help us meet that need.” In the past year, The Marsh has licensed an additional 10 foster families. “This is incredible, and crucial to our mission,” Snyder added. 

As May begins, the agency will be celebrating National Foster Care Appreciation Month. “We are so appreciative of our foster families, their dedication, and the sacrifices they make in order to give kids a loving home,” said Kim Mullins, executive director of Child and Family Services at The Marsh. “The month of May gives us an extra opportunity to show them our appreciation.”

The Marsh Foundation is continuing to grow. In addition to their consistent effort to recruit more foster families, they are also hiring another licensed social worker for the downtown Van Wert office. For more information, visit 

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, Ohio, 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: 05/03/18 at 8:38 am. FILED UNDER: Youth

VW independent/submitted information

Van Wert Lodge 1197, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, has selected Haley M. Michaud, a senior at Crestview High School, and Alexandra P. Crow, a senior at Lincolnview High School, as recipients of the Students of the Month for April.

Elks Student of the Month Chair Linda Stanley (left) with Haley Michaud.

Students are nominated by their high schools to receive this award. Each Student of the Month receives a monetary donation, along with a certificate from Van Wert Elks Lodge 1197 with the possibility to be named the Student of the Year. Students are judged on the basis of multiple achievements — volunteerism, character, leadership, service, citizenship, and scholastic achievement.

Alexandra Crow (left) with Linda Stanley, Elks Student of the Month chairperson.

This program is designed to recognize outstanding young men and women for their achievements in school and community. The Elks want to recognize and praise these students for their accomplishments, their activities, and their contributions to society through this program.

POSTED: 04/30/18 at 7:07 am. FILED UNDER: Youth

VW independent/submitted information

ARCHBOLD– Northwest State Community College will be hosting three weeks of STEM camp for area middle school students in June and July.

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Manufacturing) is the focus of a summer camp opportunity for area junior high students. Northwest State STEM educators and volunteers will provide a fun and interactive experience for students who will be going into grades 5-8 in the 2018-2019 school year.  The camps will be hands-on and cover a variety of subjects, including drones, SolidWorks/3D printing, virtual reality, rocket building, chemistry, physics, advanced manufacturing, and much more.

Session 1, Maker-Facturing is for students in grades 6-8 and will be held June 25-28 with a focus on manufacturing skills. Session 2, Discovering STEM is for students in grades 5-6 and will be held July 9-12 with a focus on pre-engineering and Session 3, Exploring STEM is for students in grades 7-8 and will be held July 16-19, with a focus on engineering skills.

“STEM Camp is an exciting way for students to step into the world of Science, Technologies, Engineering and Math (STEM),” stated Tori Wolf, camp coordinator. “Each year we offer new adventures to STEM Camp. This year’s new adventures include a Drone Obstacle Course, Virtual Reality, Junk Modeling and an Escape Room.

“We are looking forward to another successful STEM camp,” Wolf continued.

The NSCC Summer STEM camps are sponsored in part by CK Technologies, Altenloh, Brinck, & Company, Edgerton Forge, Community Improvement Corporation of Henry County, Nuts, Bolts, & Thingmajigs Foundation, Sauder Woodworking, and the Ohio MEP.

Maker-Facturing Camp runs from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. daily, while the STEM Camps run 9 a.m.-3 p.m. daily. There are still seats available for interested students. For more information, visit email

POSTED: 04/21/18 at 7:19 am. FILED UNDER: Youth

VWindependent/submitted information

The Bunny Hoppers 4-H Club will be conducting a quality assurance seminar at the Van Wert County Fairgrounds from 9-11 a.m. Saturday April 21.

The class will quality for any livestock project but will place on emphasis on rabbits. Quality assurance training is a required yearly class for all junior fair exhibitors taking livestock to the county fair. This will be the second of three QA classes offered by the Ohio State University Extension Office. The last class for this season will be a general class on Thursday, May 31.

For more information, contact the OSU Extension office or club advisor.

POSTED: 04/21/18 at 7:13 am. FILED UNDER: Youth

VW independent/submitted information

The Van Wert Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) recently presented its largest gifts of the year to Van Wert Elementary School and Van Wert Early Childhood Center. A total of $10,000 was presented to VWES and $3,700 to VWECC for the purchase of books for the Reading Collaborative initiative at each school.

Van Wert Elementary PTO President Julie Burenga presents a check for $10,000 to VWES Principal Justin Krogman and Literacy Coach Donna Clark. photo provided

Each year, the PTO holds one large fundraiser in the fall and, with the money raised, purchases items teachers and students need and would otherwise not be able to afford. In addition to the books, PTO paid for field trips and t-shirts for all students this year, funded the elementary Robotics Team, the VWES wellness program’s 100 Mile Club, supported the fifth grade DARE graduation, and gave teachers stipends to cover classroom costs. Donations to the schools totaled more than $29,000 this school year.

In addition to monetary support, PTO provides lunch for teachers during parent-teacher conferences and volunteers for many events.

The PTO appreciates the community support of its fundraiser each year, which allows this kind of substantial impact on the schools.

POSTED: 04/17/18 at 9:44 am. FILED UNDER: Youth

VW independent/submitted information

The fourth round of Crestview High School RMA Award recipients were recently announced by Principal Mike Biro and Greg Kulwicki of the Convoy Community Foundation.

The Foundation, in conjunction with Crestview High School, has established the “Crestview High School RMA Award” this school year. The recipients included freshman S. Kline and sophomore foreign exchange student A. Balimbingan.

Students are nominated for the award by fellow classmates, faculty, staff, and administration for exhibiting strong character, leadership, service, and school pride — all vital pieces of the Right Mental Attitude (RMA).

The Foundation, led by Kulwicki, funds the purchase of t-shirts for the recipients, along with gifts from the following Convoy community merchants: Knight Pizza, D’s on Main, Pizza Hut, Shear Magic, the Sophisticut, the Secret Garden, and Convoy Tastee Freeze, along with individual donors. Parents of the winners receive dinner from Gibson’s Barnyard BBQ in Convoy.

RMA Awards are presented weekly and are recognized in small groups throughout the year.

A Balimbingan, an exchange student at Crestview High School, earned an RMA Award. photos provided

S. Kline was awarded the RMA (Right Mental Attitude) Award at Crestview High School.

POSTED: 04/14/18 at 6:46 am. FILED UNDER: Youth

VW independent/submitted information

Shelby Barnett

BOWLING GREEN — Mr. and Mrs. Shawn and Emily Barnett of Rockford announce that their daughter, Shelby Barnett, graduated college with a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Bowling Green State University during commencement exercises held in December.

Barnett finished her degree on BGSU’s dean’s list.

In addition to earning her degree, Barnett completed the NCLEX licensing examination in February to become a Registered Nurse in Ohio. She also applied for, and received, an Indiana endorsement because she is beginning her career as a nurse at Adams Memorial Hospital in Decatur, Indiana.

Barnett is the granddaughter of Barbara Decker of Rockford and Jerry and Sheryl Ellis of Mendon. She was encouraged by other grandparents, Butch and Linda Davis of Mendon, and many aunts, uncles, and cousins who are so proud of her accomplishments.

POSTED: 04/12/18 at 8:16 am. FILED UNDER: Youth

Big Brothers Big Sisters announces that Diana Creekmore is a new member of the organization’s Board of Directors. Creekmore is from Van Wert and currently works at Central Insurance Companies. She noted that she is excited to assist in any way that will strengthen the organization. She is also a “Big” in the Supper Club program. BBBS photo

POSTED: 03/24/18 at 7:30 am. FILED UNDER: Youth

VW independent/submitted information

First United Methodist Preschool, 113 W. Central Ave. in Van Wert, is now accepting registrations for the 2018-2019 school year.

First United Methodist Preschool is a Christian-based school that prepares children to succeed in all areas of life. The curriculum is driven by Ohio Department of Education standards and each teacher is there to provide a positive and nurturing environment for all children as they begin their educational journey.

The preschool offers two mornings per week for students who are 3 and 4 years of age. A child who is at least 4 years old, and is planning on attending kindergarten the following school year, may attend the pre-kindergarten classes. A student attending a pre-kindergarten class has the option of choosing three or four mornings per week.

Classes meet Monday through Thursday, from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Register online at or contact Administrator April Ellerbrock at

419.238.0631, extension 308, or by email at

POSTED: 03/22/18 at 7:54 am. FILED UNDER: Youth