Lady Cougars Tip Off Against Hunger

The Lady Cougar basketball team opens their 2018-2019 season at home against Ottoville on Friday, November 23. In conjunction with Van Wert High School’s recent Student Council food drive, all spectators are invited to donate two canned goods to receive $1 off the admission price. All donations will benefit the Ohio City Food Pantry and the Cooperative Ministries Food Panty at First United Methodist Church in Van Wert. Regular tickets are $6 at the door with JV tipping off at 6:00 p.m.

 2018-2019 Lady Cougar Varsity Basketball Team

Recker Named Northwest District Coach of the Year

Van Wert head football coach Keith Recker has been named Division IV Northwest District Coach of the Year by the Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association.

Recker’s Cougars 8-2 during the regular season, then defeated Huron in the regional quarterfinals before falling to St. Marys Memorial. It was the first playoff appearance for Van Wert since the 2000 season.

 Coach Keith Recker

After being named Western Buckeye League Offensive Back of the Year, Van Wert’s Nate Place earned first team All Northwest District honors, but not as a quarterback. Place, who rushed for 1,591 yards 27 touchdowns received accolades as a running back.

Also named first team All Northwest District: Van Wert defensive lineman Keagon Hammons, who finished the season with 14 sacks.

Fellow defensive lineman Joey Schaufelberger earned second team All Northwest District honors, along with teammates Parker Conrad (linebacker) and Jalen McCracken (defensive back). Drew Bagley was named honorable mention All-Northwest District as a defensive lineman.

Crestview quarterback Drew Kline was named first team Division VII All Northwest District, while Wade Sheets earned the same honor at defensive back.

Crestview offensive lineman Micah Snyder was named to the All Northwest District second team, along with linebacker Brody Brecht. Isaiah LaTurner was named honorable mention All Northwest District.

VWMS 8th Graders Visit Vantage Career Center

Approximately 150 students and 14 adult chaperones from Van Wert Middle School visited Vantage Career Center on Wednesday, November 7. This annual trip for 8th grade students allows them to gain exposure to the various opportunities Vantage offers. Students spent the afternoon rotating between 17 different programs, getting a hands-on glimpse of the career fields they can choose to study as high schoolers right here in Van Wert County including:

  • Ag and Industrial Power Technology

  • Auto Body

  • Auto Technology

  • Carpentry

  • Construction Equipment Technology

  • Cosmetology

  • Criminal Justice

  • Culinary Arts

  • Early Childhood Education

  • Electricity

  • Health Technology

  • Industrial Mechanics

  • Interactive Media

  • Medical Office Management

  • Network Systems

  • Precision Machine

  • Welding  

As 8th graders, students participate in a program called Career Connections each day at Van Wert Middle School. The purpose of Career Connections is to expose students to a variety of career paths on a daily basis with the hopes of sparking an interest in a particular occupation. This helps students determine the best educational path for themselves as they begin their transition into high school. Career Connections introduces students to the fields of Marketing, Engineering, Health Care, Business and IT, as well as several other professions. Career Connections works closely with Mr. Koontz’s CEO Program at the high school level, opening doors to internships and local business connections. The goal is that each and every student finds their passion and begins to build the foundation for the knowledge needed to continue to thrive in that particular career.


VWHS Honors Veterans

Van Wert High School hosted a Veterans Day assembly this morning to honor our local veterans and their families. This assembly was open to the public. Several speakers were invited to the stage, offering words of wisdom to the students and sharing their experiences. The assembly concluded with a standing ovation to all Veterans in attendance.

Thank you to those who took the stage this morning:

  • Commander David Beck - U.S. Army

  • Bobby Switzer - U.S. Navy “Heritage and Honor to Serve”

  • John Walls - U.S. Army “Service Dogs and What They Are Used For”

  • Bill Marshall - U.S. Air Force “What the Service Has Done For Me Personally”

  • Libby Gardner - U.S. Army “Being a Female in the Service”

  • Kent Long - U.S. Air Force “Americanism”

  • Bill Bird - U.S. Air Force “Children and Community”

We also extend our deepest gratitude to our Van Wert City School staff members who have served or are currently serving in the military:

  • Chris Gemmer - Middle School

  • Todd Keller - District

  • Tom Losh - VWCS Board of Education

  • Scott Pollock - High School/Middle School

  • Tom Sanford - Elementary School

  • Bob Spath - High School

  • Jen Trittshuh - High School

Happy Veterans Day to all who have served, and continue to serve, our country. We appreciate your dedication and sacrifice!


VWHS Theatre Announces Fall Play Cast

 Cast members of the VWHS fall play “Little Women” rehearse

Van Wert High School Theatre members are preparing for their upcoming production of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott and adapted by Scott Davidson. This classic, written in 1868, shares what family, love, life, and tradition mean. As we journey with the March family through milestones, we continue to learn lessons that ring true today as they did 140 years ago.

The cast and crew for the production include the following students: Aeris Blakeley as Meg March, Michaella Johnson as Josephine March, Anna Wasson as Amy March, Nicole Palazzolo as Beth March, Cassie Welker as Marmee, and Josh Reichert as Mr. March. Other family members include Alli Morrow as Aunt March, Storm Matthews as Hannah, the maid, Dane Chiles as John Brooke, and Devon West as Theodore Lawrence. Friends of the Marches include Hannah Kraner as Mrs. Gardener, Shayenne Bojanowski as Sallie Gardener, Grace Doctor as Belle Moffat, and Sydney Maller as Annie Moffat. Stage crew consists of stage manager Erienne Cassidy, assistant stage manager Clayton Doctor, Zach Lape, Elise Klausing, Isabella Smith, Anna Cassidy, Brendan Browning, Sophie Rutkowski, Jaryn Pierce, Allison Hauter, Cal Wolfrum, Gracie Price, Aubree Baer, Tiana Groves, Max Laney, and Devoney Sidle.

Show time for the production is set to begin at 7:00 p.m. this Friday, November 16, and Saturday, November 17, 2018, at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center. Tickets may be purchased by visiting or calling the box office at 419-238-NPAC. Tickets will be available at the door also. All tickets are $6. Little Women is produced with special arrangement by Pioneer Drama Service, Inc. in Englewood, Colorado. Thank you for supporting the students of Van Wert High School Theatre as we strive to create, perform, and inspire the Van Wert community.

Caylee Phillips to State and Cougar Football Takes on St. Mary's


Caylee Phillips heads to the State Cross Country meet in Hebron, Ohio on Saturday, November 10th to finish her outstanding season. Caylee led her as Captain this season and earned the following achievements: Delphos St. John’s Invitational Champion, Marion Invitational Champion, Van Wert County Invitational Champion, WBL Champion, District Champion, Regional Champion and Individual State Qualifier. Caylee also crushed Van Wert’s previous school record this season, becoming the new school record holder with a time of 18:34, the eighth fastest time clocked by any girl at any meet this season in the entire state of Ohio in Division 2. Good luck at State, Caylee!

The football team also competes on Saturday, taking on the St. Mary’s Roughriders in the Regional Semifinals at 7:00 at Spartan Stadium in Lima, Ohio. The Cougar football team finished the season third in the WBL with a record of 7-2 (8-2 overall), the winningest record since 1988. The team finished second in the league in total offense and scoring offense, and first in the league in rushing defense. Individual accomplishments include Nate Place leading the league in rushing with 1,319 yards, as well as having the highest completion at 66.8% of his passes, and the number one scoring offensive player in the league with 140 total points. Keagon Hammons lead the entire WBL with 14 sacks and 4 TFL on the year. Jake Hilleary also rushed for 1,057 yards with 16 touchdowns, which was fifth in the league in scoring. Drew Bagley was sixth in the league with 56 receptions for 441 yards. 

Thank you to Mayor Jerry Mazur for speaking at today’s pep assembly, offering words of encouragement and even placing a bet with the Mayor of St. Mary’s. If the Van Wert Cougars beat St. Mary’s, then St. Mary’s Mayor McGowan will attend a Van Wert City Council meeting where he will be presented with a Van Wert jersey to wear! Let’s GO COUGARS and show those Roughriders that everyone looks their best in scarlet and grey!

Also at today’s pep assembly, student representatives from Mrs. (Samantha) Fleming’s 4th grade class presented Noah Riggenbach with a check for $1,703.14. Noah, a student at neighboring Crestview High School, recently suffered a serious helmet-to-helmet injury during the Crestview-Defiance game. The week leading up to the Van Wert-Defiance game, VWCS held a fundraiser to help Noah and his family, challenging staff and students to pay-it-forward with donations called “Coins for a Cause”. Mrs. Fleming’s 4th grade class was awarded a pizza party for the homeroom with the most donations! Best wishes for Noah’s speedy recovery and thank you to all who donated to this great cause!


VWHS Students Present Educational Outreach to Elementary Students

On Friday, November 2nd, 82 chemistry students from VWHS presented a science educational outreach program to approximately 150 Van Wert Elementary students in the NPAC lobby. This was the culminating event to the high school students’ project, “Show Us What You’re Made Of.” The title was chosen because the unit dealt with the properties of matter, which is what makes up all things.

Presale Ticket Info For Football Regional Semifinals

The Van Wert Cougars will take on the St. Mary’s Roughriders at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 10 at Lima Spartan Stadium. Football player and cheerleader parents may purchase presale tickets Wednesday night from 5:00 - 6:00 p.m. and season ticket holders may purchase on Wednesday from 6:00 - 7:30 p.m. in the high school Commons. All other presale tickets will be on sale Thursday and Friday at Brewed Expressions’ downtown location at 109 W. Main Street. High School and Middle School students may purchase presale tickets during their lunch times on Thursday and Friday. Elementary students may purchase presale tickets by submitting their money to their homeroom teacher. Presale will end at Brewed Expressions’ closing time Friday night (7:00 p.m.) Tickets are $8 dollars presale, $9 at the gate. There will be a $4 parking fee.

 Eggerss Stadium

 The Cougar’s advance to the Regional Semifinals after beating Huron 33-14 at Eggerss Stadium.

VWHS To Host Veterans Day Assembly

To honor our local veterans and acknowledge their sacrifices, Van Wert High School will be hosting a Veterans Day assembly in the Niswonger Performing Arts Center at 9:45 a.m. on Monday, November 12. All local veterans and their families are invited to attend. Should there be a two hour delay, the assembly will begin at 10:05 a.m. and if there is a three hour delay, the event will unfortunately be cancelled. 

 Honor and remember the brave veterans graphic

2017-2018 VWHS Academic Award Winners Recognized

Van Wert High School recently honored 125 students with an Academic Award for the 2017-2018 school year. This award recognizes students who can maintain a specific GPA throughout the school year. As students progress through high school, the expectation is that their classes become more difficult and it is through this understanding that freshman must maintain a 3.6 GPA, sophomores 3.5, juniors 3.4 and seniors 3.3 in order to receive the award. Students must also earn a Renaissance Card at least one semester that same year. Renaissance is a tiered program that recognizes students for their academic, attitude, and attendance excellence.

A luncheon was hosted on Tuesday, October 30 for the 2017-2018 freshmen, sophomore and junior award recipients with last year’s graduates receiving their award in the mail. First-time recipients were presented with their academic letter, lamp of knowledge pin, service bar, and certificate. Those who had received the award in previous years were presented with a certificate and service bar. Congratulations to all the students who continually work hard to earn this prestigious award. A tremendous thank you to Central Insurance Companies for sponsoring the luncheon catered by Willow Bend.

2017 – 2018 Academic Award Recipients: Seniors 

  1. Kylee Bagley

  2. Mikayla Hernandez

  3. Camryn Nouza

  4. Madison Turnwald

  5. Cassidy Meyers

  6. Briana Kesler

  7. Erin Gemmer

  8. Nicole Clay

  9. Erin Richardson

  10. Chloe Brake

  11. Austin Voors

  12. Michael Etter

  13. Emma Verville

  14. Wesley Wagner

  15. Bethany Mandeville

  16. Anna Reichert

  17. Katie Able

  18. Lauren Cooper

  19. Cloey Spry

  20. Abby Lawson

  21. Jonathan Lee

  22. Darius Eddins

  23. Julia Springer

  24. Rebekah Fast

  25. Kassey Miller

  26. Lexi Allmandinger

  27. Austin Carnahan

  28. Brayden Cox

  29. Brock Blythe

  30. Eric Workman

  31. Lilian Geething

  32. Laine Spoor

2017 – 2018 Academic Award Recipients: Juniors 

  1. Reagan Priest

  2. Noelle Heffner

  3. Nathan Bidlack

  4. Gage Chiles

  5. Kathryn Wray

  6. Emma Rutkowski

  7. Alisha Terhark

  8. Michaella Johnson

  9. Jalen McCracken

  10. Cassie Welker

  11. Allison Hauter

  12. Jaclyn Sroufe

  13. Storm Matthews

  14. Lawson Blackmore

  15. Noah Carter

  16. Chelsey White

  17. Avery Cowan

  18. Caton Williamson

  19. McKayla Money

  20. Andrew Bagley

  21. Isaac Alvarez

  22. Nate Place

  23. Sierra Shaffer

  24. Blake Henry

  25. Mason McHugh

  26. Aeris Blakeley

  27. Erienne Cassidy

  28. Calahan Wolfrum

  29. Deep Patel

  30. Joe Schaufelberger

  31. Kara Caldwell

2017 – 2018 Academic Award Recipients: Sophomores 

  1. Kathryn Hauter

  2. Ryan Chen

  3. Stephanie Geething

  4. McKenzie Berry

  5. Nathan Ruger

  6. Colin Place

  7. Delaney Eyanson

  8. Elizabeth Tomlinson

  9. Natalie Schreiber

  10. Evelyn McKeddie

  11. Paige Moonshower

  12. Sydney Moore

  13. Zane Fast

  14. Alixandra Gemmer

  15. Sydney Maller

  16. Benjamin Lange

  17. Ryan Pratt

  18. Kaylee Jennings

  19. Jenna Covey

  20. Jamison Clouse

  21. Allison Morrow

  22. Parker Conrad

  23. Peyton Sidle

  24. Tanner Barnhart

  25. Rachel Verville

  26. Jackson Eddins

  27. Lydia Carter

  28. Madison Bracken

  29. Mason Moreno

  30. Kaylena Kelly

  31. Carley White

  32. Nicholas Carter

  33. Keaton Brown

  34. Cody Gamble

  35. Clayton Doctor

2017 – 2018 Academic Award Recipients: Freshmen

  1. Grace Doctor

  2. Jamie Burenga                                                                                     

  3. Elizabeth Rutkowski

  4. Sophie Rutkowski

  5. Rachel Spath

  6. Jacob Wasson

  7. Owen Treece

  8. Isabella Carr

  9. Rebecca Rigdon

  10. Kylie Cloninger

  11. Alex Etter

  12. Andrew Li

  13. Lyrissa Laukuf

  14. Devon West

  15. Carly Rollins

  16. Tayvia Havill

  17. Sara Gallagher

  18. Janie Trejo

  19. McKenna Gilbert

  20. Zachariah Mason

  21. Shayna Dull

  22. Allison schaufelberger

  23. Coltin McCloud

  24. Dayna Cross

  25. Kaylee Jennings

  26. Jenna Covey

  27. Jamison Clouse

OHSAA Postpones State Cross Country Tournament to Nov. 10

The Ohio High School Athletic Association has postponed Saturday’s state cross country tournament and is moving the championships to Saturday, Nov. 10, due to flooding conditions on the course at National Trail Raceway in Hebron, Executive Director Jerry Snodgrass has announced.

 “While I wholeheartedly understand the impact this move has for all those involved in the event, this is the best solution for the safety and well-being of our participating student-athletes,” Snodgrass said. “National Trail Raceway has closed the course due to flooding with the on-going rain we have had in central Ohio, so the conditions will hopefully be much better by next weekend.”

 The schedule for the championships will be as follows:

                Saturday, Nov. 10, National Trail Raceway, Hebron

                11:00 a.m. – Boys Division III

                11:45 a.m. – Boys Division II

                12:30 p.m. – Boys Division I

                1:30 p.m. – Girls Division III

                2:15 p.m. – Girls Division II

                3:00 p.m. – Girls Division I


The OHSAA will continue to update information on the cross country tournament on its website ( and Twitter and Facebook accounts.

We wish Caylee Phillips GOOD LUCK as she represents the Van Wert Cougars at State next week!

 Caylee Phillips

VWHS To Sell Tickets for Saturday's Playoff Game

Van Wert High School will host Huron this Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. for the first-ever home playoff game. Season ticket holders can purchase presale tickets for their reserved seats on Wednesday from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. in the High School Commons. All other presale tickets can be purchased on Thursday and Friday at Brewed Expressions during normal business hours. High School and Middle School students may purchase presale tickets during their lunch times on Thursday and Friday. Elementary students may purchase presale tickets by submitting their money to their homeroom teacher. All presale tickets are $8 with tickets at the gate for $9. No season passes of any type, including staff passes, will be accepted at this game as this is an OHSAA hosted event.

  The Cougars are playoff bound after beating Defiance 37-0. 

The Cougars are playoff bound after beating Defiance 37-0. 

VWHS Seniors Participate in Mock Disaster Drill with Van Wert Health

Van Wert High School BioMed seniors and CEO students participated in a mock disaster drill day at Van Wert Health on Wednesday, October 24th. The drill simulated how the hospital would respond with a county-wide influx of patients with influenza. The 14 senior students were given a variety of scenarios to role play and hospital employees deployed an action plan to care for the influx of patients. Van Wert Health worked in conjunction with the students to provide “real life” cases in an effort to better prepare for unique situations should the need arise.

In addition to identifying and treating the patients in the ER, Van Wert Health formed a team in a command center. In all, approximately 20 representatives from Van Wert Health and 14 Van Wert High School seniors participated in the drill. A special thanks goes out to Paula Stabler and Kerry Koontz in helping organize the event. 

Van Wert BOE reviews State grade card and gifted education program

VAN WERT – Chris Covey, Curriculum Director, presented a quick snapshot of the Ohio School District Report Card to the Van Wert City Schools Board of Education Wednesday evening. New this year was the overall district grade, of which Van Wert received a “D”. Districts and schools report information for the Ohio School Report Cards on specific marks of performance, called measures, within broad categories called components. The schools receive grades for up to ten measures and six components.

“There are flaws in the system and in the way the State grades the data,” stated Covey. “The one thing I am most proud of our school district for is that we serve all students, every single one; whether they are easy to work with, or difficult; whether they are advanced, or they struggle. We are doing the best we can and working really hard to make sure each and every one of our students succeed, whether or not the data gets reported correctly. The State doesn’t see that when they assess the data.”

Covey went on to show the board all six grading components and presented ways the data reporting can be improved for next year.

“Every Superintendent in the State of Ohio right now is struggling with the results of the State testing and the report cards,” stated Superintendent Vicki Brunn. “It is not a good measure for how our school and students are doing, in Van Wert or across the State. We are going to take a good look at the data, but in the end, we are going to keep doing what is best for our students. I applaud our entire staff for all of their hard work. They are taking the data very seriously, but in the end the students are what matters most.”

 Chris Covey, Curriculum Director at Van Wert, reviews the State Report Card at the Van Wert Board of Education meeting Wednesday night.  (DHI Media/Julie Keirns)

Chris Covey, Curriculum Director at Van Wert, reviews the State Report Card at the Van Wert Board of Education meeting Wednesday night. (DHI Media/Julie Keirns)

Also during the meeting, Darla Dunlap, Tricia Ridenour and Ruth Ann Dowler spoke about the gifted component on the report card and why VWCS did not meet the gifted indicator. They presented a little history on gifted education at VWCS and a vision for the future of the program. The standards for gifted education change yearly and VWCS does not currently have a coordinator to oversee the program.

“The low grade isn’t because we are not servicing our gifted children,” said Dunlap. “It’s because it hasn’t been reported correctly and there has been a lack of coordination.”

“We currently have 215 gifted children in our school district,” stated Ridenour, current gifted intervention specialist. “I cannot service them all alone. We need to find a different and better way to serve these kids.”

“Our gifted children need more,” stated Ruth Ann Dowler. “We need to do what is best for our kids, and at the same time we need to learn how to report our data correctly and follow the regulations so we can get a higher score.”

“The three of us are doing the best we can,” Ridenour went on, “but our students need and deserve more. We are asking the Board to hire a Gifted Coordinator, someone who can come in and wrap their arms around all of the chaos, help us identify the needs and serve the kids, and teach us to report the data correctly so we can get the higher points.”

In other business, the Board approved several Treasurer Agenda items including the Five-Year Forecast, and acknowledged the following entities and individuals for their generous donations to different areas of VWCS – Central Mutual Insurance Company, State Wide Ford Lincoln, Alliance Automation LLC, 1st Federal, Harold Miller, Miller Precision Mfg. Industries Inc, Armstrong Air & Space Museum, United Way of Van Wert County Inc, VWCS Elementary PTO, Midwest Sportswear, Sparetime LLC, Cooper Farms, The Scott Equity Exchange Co, Rhoades Insurance Agency Inc, Van Wert Propane Inc, Keister & Baker LLC, Kleen Pro, and Northwest Ohio and Welch Trophy.

Assistant Superintendent Bill Clifton reported on the Comprehensive School Safety Plan. Every three years the plan must be updated and submitted to the State. This year it is due by November 6. The Evacuation and Reunification Plan was the most critical component that needed to be planned out thoroughly this year.

“We do have a plan in place now should there ever be a need for the school to evacuate or relocate,” stated Clifton. “SecureCom has installed panic buttons and additional cameras. A solution for securing the classroom doors has been reached and will be in place on each door in the very near future. As a district, we want to continually remind our students, staff, parents and community that school safety and security continues to be a top priority in our day to day operations.”

Clifton continued with an Eggerss Stadium update. The construction is almost completely finished. An additional 1,000 handicap accessible bleacher seats have been installed on a concrete slab. The south fencing is now in place, new emergency security lights have been installed, and the parking lot was stripped down and retopped. Clifton also recognized and publicly thanked all bus drivers in light of Bus Driver Safety Week.

During her report, Brunn notified the Board of her decision to place a staff member on paid leave.

“I do want to notify the board that I have placed Craig Hershey, our Athletic Director on paid administrative leave,” stated Brunn. “We have begun an investigation, actually just yesterday, so I can’t give you much more information than that at this time. I will keep you informed as that moves forward, but I did want the board to know that he is on paid administrative leave at this time.”

There was no further information on why or what the investigation was regarding.

Brunn continued by announcing a survey regarding Open Enrollment. Letters have been mailed to parents, as well as reaching out by telephone seeking information as to why families have chosen to open enroll their students in other districts. Brunn is optimistic that communication with families will be positive. She is looking to gather information regarding reasoning in hopes of improving issues.

Final Consent Agenda Items approved were as follows –

*Accept the resignation of Matthew Miller, Assistant Soccer Coach, effective October 2, 2018.

*Approve Diane Tobe as Assistant to the Treasurer, effective November 12, 2018.

*Approve the following supplemental contracts for the 2018-19 year: Krista Baer – HS Multi-Media Manager; Brenda Smith – HS Multi-Media Manager; Drew Bittner – Elementary Echo Administrator; Zane McElroy – Middle School Echo Administrator; Bob Spath – HS Echo Administrator (.5); Jeremy Kitson – HS Echo Administrator (.5).

*Approve Ty McClain as Volunteer Assistant Coach for Middle School Girls’ Basketball, effective 2018-19 school year

*Informed the BOE that the following employee be advanced on the pay scale due to additional college coursework, effective February 1, 2019 – Debra Chiles – Masters +15 to Masters +30.

Superintendent Vicki Brunn moved that the Board adjourn into executive session for the purpose of discussing personnel matters, and considering matters required to be kept confidential by Federal Law.

The next scheduled meeting is Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 5 p.m.

VWHS Brings Home Runner-Up Award at MakerFest Competition

82 Van Wert High School students participated in the annual MakerFest Event held in Lima on Friday, October 19. MakerFest is a three-day event for the Greater Allen County Region to promote career opportunities and awareness. Thursday consisted of competitions in the area of Skilled Trades. Friday included breakout sessions in a multitude of career areas, competitions in STEM challenges, and a Main Exhibit with over 100 companies represented. The event wrapped up on Saturday with a Career Fair.


Over 30 high schools and 1,300 students were in attendance on Friday. Schools competed for the MakerCup Trophy with the top five places earning points for their respective schools. Van Wert High School hoped to defend their championship from last year but fell just one place this year, earning the Runner-Up award. Congratulations goes out to Van Wert High School for their 2nd Place finish. The competition results are listed below. Van Wert coaches include Kerry Koontz, Zane McElroy and Bob Spath.


Van Wert High School MakerFest Results – October 2018


Bike Physics Challenge
2nd place (Ali Gemmer, Jerica Huebner, Caylee Phillips)
6th place (Connor Pratt, Elizabeth Tomlinson, Ries Wise)


Build a Tower

1st Place (Jamie Burenga, Ali Hauter, Spencer Pauquette)


Business Simulation
8th place (Victoria Etzler, Stephanie Geething, TJ Reynolds)
9th place (Jordan Dundas, Nathan Ruger, Jacob Wasson)


Cupcake Catastrophe
2nd place (Max Laney, McKenzey Sanderson, Jaden Wagner)
8th place (Aeris Blakeley, Storm Matthews, Caton Williamson)

Coding Challenge
2nd place (Jaclyn Srofe, Alisha Tearhark, Cassie Welker)
6th place (Bobby Spath, Ethan White, Turner Witten)
7th place (Andrew Hamblett, Alison Hauter, Zach Lape)
9th place (Macy Purmort, Hannah Say, Hunter Sherer)


1st Robotics Faceoff
6th place (Nick Carter, Noah Carter, Zane Fast)
8th place (Zach Mason, Billy Ogden, Ian Rex)


Pallet Building
4th place (Nathan Bidlack, Garret Black, Brad Fuerst)


Network Assembly
2nd place (Alex Black, Andrew Hamblett, Ryan Pratt)
4th place (Eli Rollins, Troy Weaks, Calahan Wolfrum)


Math Madness
4th place (Ryan Chen, Katie Hauter, Emma Rutkowski)
7th place (Ryan Pratt, Nathan Ruger, Calahan Wolfrum)


1st Place (Madison Jarrett, Emma Rutkowski)
4th place (Jordan Dundas, Adrianna Grothause, Sydney Moore)


Retro Tinker Toy
1st Place (Michaella Johnson, Spencer Pauquette, Tyler White)
2nd place (Brodie Kerns, Sydney Moore, Colin Place)
3rd place (Nick Carter, Zane Fast, Hunter Sherer)
9th place (Ali Gemmer, Lizzie Rutkowski, Rachel Spath)


STEM Trivia
4th place (Drew Bagley, Elizabeth Tomlinson, Kathryn Wray)
9th place (Gage Chiles, Grace Dowler, Kayla Krites)


Paper Airplane
3rd place (Gage Chiles, Lyrissa Hammons, Turner Witten)
5th place (Kayla Krites, Ethan Mann, Katie Mc Vaigh)
9th place (Alex Black, Jena Covey, Zane Fast)

VWFT Reports Successful Scholarship Supper

The Van Wert Federation of Teachers recently hosted their annual scholarship supper at the Goedde Building prior to the homecoming football game, raising $3,439.00 in scholarship money for the class of 2019. The picnic supper is overseen by Anita Zuber, a middle school English/Language Arts teacher and chairperson of the Van Wert City Schools Ways and Means Committee.

Money raised at the annual supper goes to supporting students in the graduating class who choose to pursue a major in education. Those who apply have the opportunity to be awarded a scholarship totaling anywhere from $500 to $1,000. Those awarded receive the scholarship at the beginning of their sophomore year in college. “Our children are the future of America and we enjoy supporting many of our own as future teachers,” says VWFT president Jeff Hood. Currently, there are thirteen Van Wert alumni employed at area schools who were awarded this very scholarship upon their graduation.

 Anita and her team would like to thank all of the VWCS employees who gave of their time and finances by selling dinner tickets, donating items for the dinner, and volunteering their time preparing and serving the dinner, as well as cleaning up at the end of the night. VWCS staff members Randy Baer and Todd Keller also lend a big hand setting up and tearing down tables and chairs for the event. VWFT appreciates the continued support of our community and those who came out to enjoy an evening dedicated to our graduates and future teachers.


Former VWFT Scholarship Winners

1983-1984  Mary Ann (Allen) Falk  *Vantage Career Center Technology Integration Specialist

1984-1985  Dennis Lindsay

1985-1986  Sonia (Purmort) Newbright

1986-1987  Jetta (Kramer) Kaune

1987-1988  Tracy (Werth) Wahl

1988-1989  Jill (Dunlap) Fast *Van Wert Elementary Second Grade Teacher

1989-1990  Kristi Griffith

1990-1991  Marty (Minnig) Hohman *Van Wert Middle School STEM Teacher & Nancy (Reyman) Eberle

1991-1992  Ruth Ann (Black) Dowler *Van Wert City Schools Special Services Coordinator & Heidi (Knodel) Arney *Van Wert Middle School Intervention Specialist

1992-1993  Carrie (Parrish) Waid & Kristin (Wolke) Whitlock

1993-1994  Terry Hauter  & Angie Rittenour

1994-1995  Erin Shelby & Rebecca (Schnepp) Doctor *Van Wert Early Childhood Center Preschool Teacher

1995-1996  Carrie (Okuley) Geers & Kendra (Parrish) Clementz

1996-1997  Nick VanAusdall; Melissa (Davis) Krendl; Erika (Rhoades) Berner & Erin (Schiedt) Lynch

1997-1998  Andrea (Edwards) Sealscott *Van Wert Elementary First Grade Teacher & Lydia (Clay) Mendenhall

1998-1999  Rebecca (Covey) Strickler; Alisha (Geissler) Buchanan & Mandy Army

1999-2000  Rachel Rohrs *Lincolnview Jr./Sr. High Math Teacher & John Shell

2000-2001  Sara (Smart) Lehman & Brian Johnson

2001-2002  Sarah Kleinhenz & Ashley Blair

2002-2003  Emily Rohrs & Emily (Sealscott) Holliday

2003-2004  Aubri (Long) Rench & Ella (Manken) Stoller

2004-2005  Aaron Mills & Katie Bagley

2005-2006  Kayla (Manken) Stiles

2006-2007  Alissa (Prichard) McDonald & Nehemiah Murphy

2007-2008 Molly Steele & Aaron Bagley

2008-2009 Britni Dunlap *Van Wert Elementary Intervention Specialist & Jared Army *Van Wert Elementary Intervention Specialist

2009-2010 Becca Hurless & Katie Adelblue  *Van Wert High School Social Studies

2010-2011 Courtney Barna & Katie Bono

2011-2012 Kelsey Rodman & Samantha (Heppeard) Fleming *Van Wert Elementary Fourth Grade Teacher

2012-2013 Scott Turner; Colton Royer *Van Wert Elementary Intervention Specialist & Matt Saunier

2013-2014 Holly Lawson & Andrea Foster

2014-2015 Elizabeth Keirns & Ethan Williams

2015-2016 Chris Kraner ($1,000); Skylar Senters ($1,000); Jakob Schaufelberger ($500) & Courtney White ($500)

2016-2017  Mackenzee Dunning ($1,000); Sarah Vogt ($750) & Madison Buecker ($500)

2017-2018 Miranda Sinning ($1,000); Julia Springer ($1,000); Kaylin Bledsoe ($500) & Maddux McCray ($500)

VWHS Homecoming

 2018 VWCS Homecoming Queen and Attendants

Van Wert High School held its Fall Homecoming during Friday night’s game against Shawnee, a game the Cougars won 39-6 for its second Western Buckeye League win of the year. Shown above is Homecoming Queen Noelle Heffner (center) with senior attendants Adrianna Grothause (left) and Arianna Adkins. Below, longtime Cougar athletic booster Mike Pettijohn, who was grand marshal of the Homecoming Parade on Wednesday, was also honored during Homecoming ceremonies at Eggerss Stadium. photos by Bob Barnes/Van Wert independent

 Mike Pettijohn honored at VWCS Homecoming

8th Grade Cougar Leaders Visit Central Insurance

Van Wert Middle School’s 8th grade Cougar Leaders visited with their community partner, Central Insurance Companies, on Wednesday, September 19th. Central’s President, Bill Purmort, spent over an hour with students discussing what leadership means and the qualities of a strong leader. The day ended with a question-and-answer session, engaging the students and allowing discussion amongst the group.

 Central Insurance is an integral part of the VWMS 8th Cougar Leader program. As they enter their third year as community partners, Cougar Leaders can expect Central employees belonging to the Central Cares Committee to participate in a variety of events throughout the school year, including monthly student meetings, luncheons, and mock interviews.

Annual Scholarship Dinner This Friday!

Before the next home game, the Scholarship Tailgate Party will be hosted by the Van Wert Federation of Teachers. They will be serving Brats, Burgers, and Hot Dogs along with baked beans, potato salad, applesauce, chips, and desserts. 

The Supper will be on Friday, September 21 from 4:30-7:00 in the Goedde Building Gymnasium. Proceeds benefit scholarships given to high school seniors. The Cost is  $7.00 for Adults; $4.00 for 10 and under. Tickets available at the door.