VWCS Staff Give to Local Summer Programs

For the eight year in a row, the Van Wert Federation of Teachers donated $1,250 to both The Brumback Summer Reading Program and the YWCA Youth Enrichment Program, which includes the After School and Summer Food programs. Through their annual end-of-year fundraiser, Van Wert City School employees are encouraged to donate to the fundraiser in exchange for the opportunity to “dress casual” the last week of school.

VWFT President, Jeff Hood, said, “The very nature of school teachers is to pour their resources into our children and by collecting pocket change for one week, we are able to promote our community and children of Van Wert. Our people have really done a great job of that.”

  A group of children from the YWCA Summer Food Program enjoyed a morning of activities at The Brumback Library.

A group of children from the YWCA Summer Food Program enjoyed a morning of activities at The Brumback Library.

  Children participating in The Brumback Library’s Summer Reading Program ended their morning with a “Music and Movement” session.

Children participating in The Brumback Library’s Summer Reading Program ended their morning with a “Music and Movement” session.

VWHS Named Ohio’s Top 100 High Schools

U.S. News ranked Van Wert High School #74 in the state of Ohio and #1,841 in the nation, awarding them a silver medal for Best High Schools. 28,813 schools were considered nationwide with 313 Ohio schools making the rankings.

To determine the list, U.S. News considers factors such as student performance on state-required tests, graduation rate, and college readiness.

Van Wert High School boasts a 61 percent Advanced Placement® participation rate and a 98 percent graduation rate.

Click here to see the full list: U.S News Best High Schools.

 Van Wert High School

VWHS Names 12 Graduates of Distinction

A total of 12 students at Van Wert High School’s Class of 2018 have been named as Graduates of Distinction, according to VWHS Principal Bob Priest.

 VWHS 2018 Graduates of Distinction

Graduates of Distinction for Van Wert High School’s Class of 2018 include (top row, from the left) Briana Kesler, Nicole Clay, Erin Gemmer, Emma Verville, Mikayla Hernandez, Chloe Brake; (bottom row) Austin Voors, Madison Turnwald, Camryn Nouza, Michael Etter, Erin Richardson, and Cassidy Meyers.

Students so honored include Chloe Brake, Nicole Clay, Michael Etter, Erin Gemmer, Mikayla Hernandez, Briana Kesler, Cassidy Meyers, Camryn Nouza, Erin Richardson, Madison Turnwald, Emma Verville, and Austin Voors.

To qualify as a Graduate of Distinction, VWHS seniors must be in the top 10 percent of their graduating class, have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.85 or higher, have successfully completed a minimum of three Advanced Placement (AP) courses (seven are offered at VWHS), and have no incidents of cheating or plagiarism reported to the principal’s office.

Brake, the daughter of Traci Brake and the late David Brake, will be attending The Ohio State University majoring in human nutrition on a pre-med track.

Clay, the daughter of Scott Clay and Sherri Clay, plans to major in sociology at Ohio Wesleyan University.

Etter, the son of Brad and Laura Etter, will major in architecture, with a minor in business, at Ball State University.

Gemmer, the daughter of John and Christine Gemmer, will major in fine arts at Wright State University.

Hernandez, the daughter of Matt Hernandez and Amanda Atkinson, will major in interior design at The Ohio State University.

Kesler, the daughter of Kent and Diane Kesler, will attend Ball State University majoring in finance.

Meyers, the daughter of Jeff and Tracy Meyers, will major in geographical information science at Eastern Michigan University.

Nouza, the daughter of Rich and Tammy Nouza, will major in marketing at the University of Mount Union.

Richardson, the daughter of Michael and Michelle Richardson, will be majoring in nursing at Wright State University in Dayton.

Turnwald, the daughter of Tom and Michelle Turnwald, will major in nutrition science at The Ohio State University on a pre-med track.

Verville, the daughter of Mark and Tonia Verville, will major in nursing at Xavier University.

Voors, son of James Voors and Alicia Voors, will major in biology, with a pre-veterinary track, at Ball State University.

All 12 Graduates of Distinction will receive special recognition at VWHS commencement exercises, to be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 20, in the high school gymnasium.

VWHS Students Get A Reality Check on Finances

Van Wert seniors and Lincolnview juniors got a big dose of financial reality on Thursday as part of the “Our Money, Our World’ program simulation held in the VWHS gymnasium.

Heather Gottke, Ohio State University Extension educator and “Our Money, Our World” coordinator, said the program is a four-point education series taught in government class that deals with real-world financial information, including how a person’s career choice impacts how money they have to spend on life needs such as housing, insurance, child care, food, clothing, and other expenses.

 Students participate in the Our Money, Our World simulation.

Two VWHS seniors show government teacher Jeff Kallas what they have learned at the Our Money, Our World financial simulation on Thursday. photos by Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

Gottke added that Thursday’s simulation is the culmination of all the students have learned during the past few weeks of classroom instruction.

“Today is their actual chance to take everything they have learned and apply it,” she noted.

Unfortunately, what many of the students learn is that even good paying jobs don’t leave much money left at the end of the day if they don’t make smart financial decisions along the way.

VWHS senior Cassidy Meyers said she chose computer programmer as her occupation, thinking she would be well-set financially, but found that child care and other expenses still left her with little money left.

“It was a little bit of a reality check, especially with the future coming very, very fast,” Meyers said. “It was definitely eye-opening to see all the different (expenses) that accumulate over a month.”

Bradley Wilder noticed quickly that buying a car wasn’t as expensive as child care, so decided that kids were out, at least until later. The cost of housing was also a revelation to Wilder, who chose fitness trainer as his occupation. Wilder said, joking, that he might have to live in his car with housing costs so high.

To make the students’ experience even more realistic, Chet and Warren Straley of Straley Realty & Auctioneers, used actual houses that were either on the market, and had recently been up for sale locally in compiling their display on housing costs.

Senior Kory Oechsle pretty much summed up students’ reaction to the real-world financial simulation.

“It’s kind of an eye-opener,” he noted.

That’s the idea, Gottke noted: to provide students with financial information they can use to make good decisions when they get out of high school.

 Local realtors speak with students during the Our Money, Our World simulation.

Van Wert realtors (seated, from the left) Warren and Chet Straley talk to students about local housing costs.

VWHS marks second year of success for CEO program

A total of 34 Van Wert High School seniors — double the number who participated the year before — and their business mentors attended the second CEO (Career Education Opportunities) program breakfast Thursday morning.

Kerry Koontz, the VWHS guidance counselor who developed the program in 2017 as a way to provide internships and other career education experiences for high school seniors, emceed the event and introduced students who participated this school year in the program.

He also talked cited the Simon Sinek program, “How to Find Your Why”, in noting that the CEO program helps seniors find their “why” — their motivating factor – to help them decide “what” to do as a career. Sometimes, he noted, the VWHS program helps students find out what they don’t want to do, as well as what they do want to do for a living, adding that both are helpful to students looking for something to do after high school.

Each student received a certificate and a CEO t-shirt, while each business representative also received a small gift for participating in the program.

Students participating in this year’s program include Katie Able, James Acquaviva, Courtney Adams, Kaylin Bledsoe, Brock Blythe, Chloe Brake, Megan Braun, Lauren Cooper, Thane Cowan, Brayden Cox, Katlyn Dickson, Lilian Geething, Dalton Heppeard.

Also, Tabitha Howell, Jacoby Kelly, Grace Kline, Abby Lawson, Alexys Luich, Daniel Magowan, Bethany Mandeville, Ashley Matthews, Kassey Miller, Storm Pierce, Courtney Sanderson, Miranda Sinning, Laine Spoor, Trevor Spridgeon, Julia Springer, Madison Turnwald, Emma Verville, Bradley Wilder, Jakob Williams, Selena Witten, and Eric Workman.

Career areas explored included healthcare, engineering, human resources, teaching, sports management, general business, insurance, social work, physical therapy, psychology, accounting, marketing, graphic design, firefighting/emergency medical technician, cosmetology, and customer service.

  VWHS senior Emma Verville receives a certificate from CEO program counselor Kerry Koontz during a breakfast Thursday that celebrated the second year of the career education program.  Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

VWHS senior Emma Verville receives a certificate from CEO program counselor Kerry Koontz during a breakfast Thursday that celebrated the second year of the career education program.Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

Central Insurance Companies sponsored the breakfast event, which was held at Willow Bend Country Club.

Koontz thanked those who have provided assistance to him in creating and implementing the career education program, including former Van Wert City Schools superintendent Ken Amstutz and VWHS Principal Bob Priest, who both provided the support needed to get the program under way.

Koontz also thanked Van Wert County development director Stacy Adam for her support of the program; as well as Krista Baer, TV Production instructor at VWHS, who helped oversee a video production on the program; and Lynette Westgerdes, Student Services secretary who provided technical support for the program.

In addition to showing the local CEO program video, Koontz also especially thanked the business partners who provide internships and job-shadowing experiences for VWHS seniors. Businesses and organizations that partnered with the program this year include Alliance Automation, Van Wert Health (formerly Van Wert County Hospital), Vancrest Health Care Center, Van Wert Elementary and Middle schools, the YWCA of Van Wert County, National Door & Trim, Purmort Brothers Insurance, Bee Gee Realty & Auctioneers, Therapy Solutions, Van Wert Manor, Westwood Behavioral Health Center, Sealscott CPA Inc., Van Wert Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, Van Wert Fire Department, Best Little Hair House, The Kenn-Feld Group, Francis Furniture, and Central Insurance Companies.

Koontz also talked about the fact that the CEO program will be expanding to Crestview and Lincolnview school districts starting in the fall.

SUBSTITUTE BUS DRIVERS WANTED

Have you ever thought about becoming a substitute bus driver or know of anyone that may be interested? It’s a great way to earn some extra money and help out driving for country routes, classroom field trips or your children/grandchildren sports. Potential drivers must have a good driving record and pass a pre-employment drug/alcohol test. Van Wert City Schools will assist interested candidates in fulfilling the needed requirements for obtaining a bus driver’s license.  Training includes 16 hours of classroom training and 15-20 hours of on board bus training with our pre-service instructor. If you are interested in learning more and/or have questions please contact Rona Trammell at 419-238-3892 or r_trammell@vwcs.net.

Next Classroom Training May 21st – 24th at Van Wert High School 5:00 – 9:00 pm

Elementary School bussing

Athletic Fundraiser: Spring Flowers on sale through March 9th

The Van Wert Athletic Booster Club annual spring flower sale is underway. Click here to view this year’s selection of flowers, hanging baskets, vegetables and more. All proceeds benefit the Van Wert athletics programs and facilities. Orders are due to the High School or Middle School offices by 3:00 Friday, March 9th. Click here for a downloadable order form. Please direct any questions to Ben Laudick (419) 238-0727.

VWCS Hires New Superintendent

After almost a year of searching, Van Wert City Schools hired its new superintendent. During Wednesday's Board of Education meeting, Vicki Brunn was approved and hired as the Van Wert City Schools Superintendent.

Brunn began her educational work as a high school social studies teacher at Findlay High School.

Brunn comes to Van Wert with a history of educational achievements. She achieved National Board Certified Teacher status during her time in the class room, as well as an award for Social Studies Teacher of the Year.

In 2006 she moved to Oxford, Ohio, where she served as Talawanda High School principal for six years. There she was honored with the Crystal Apple Award as an outstanding administrator.

In 2012 she took a Central Office position as Director of Human Resources. She was honored with a Diversity Administrator of the Year award by the Oxford Chapter of the NAACP.

In 2013 Brunn moved back to Northwest Ohio to take the superintendent position at Central Local Schools and to be closer to her family. Under Brunn's leadership, Fairview Middle School became a National Blue Ribbon School for Gap Closing and was given the Momentum Award from the Ohio Department of Education.

  Vicki Brunn was hired as Van Wert City Schools Superintendent. (DHI Media/Kirsten Barnhart)

Vicki Brunn was hired as Van Wert City Schools Superintendent. (DHI Media/Kirsten Barnhart)

Brunn has a history of excellence – excellence she plans to continue at Van Wert.

"I really look forward to working with Van Wert because I really think Van Wert is on the cusp of being a great district," said Brunn. "I feel pretty lucky to be walking in at this point in time when we're this close to being one of the greatest districts in the State of Ohio."

"I believe in a small initiative called '212ing it' and to put it simply: at 211 degrees water is just hot water," continued Brunn. "I see Van Wert at being at 211 degrees, and if we just take it up one degree, we're going to be cooking. I'm excited to be part of that."

Brunn noted that the Van Wert superintendent selection process is the among best she's been a part of in her search. To begin the process she was invited to visit the buildings and meet key people in the district. She noted that the process sold her on the district right off. She explained that the people in the district have been the most impressive.

"I need to be in a district where I feel like people are here for the right reasons," said Brunn. "I've never seen anything like it. I love the project-based learning, the problem-based learning. I used to teach that way when I was in the classroom back in the 90s; I think it's one of the best styles."

Brunn explained that project-based learning helps students develop soft skills, critical thinking skills, and teamwork skills, and she is a big supporter of it.

"Van Wert's got it; they've got the right idea," said Brunn. "I believe in it, I love it, and I look forward to leading the district forward in that area too."

Brunn will officially start as Van Wert superintendent on Aug. 1, 2018, but plans to be involved in the district, learning about the community and the needs on the school, up until that point as well.

In other business, the School Board had a brief meeting where current superintendent, Staci Kaufman, asked the Board to consider raising the daily wage of substitute teachers in order to be more competitive.

"I checked with area districts, and we are the lowest paid substitute teacher rate in the area," said Kaufman who noted that most schools pay around $90 to $100 a day. "I would recommend that we stay competitive at the $100 a day."

Kaufman noted that it's been at least 10 to 15 years since that has been raised and felt that it was time to be more competitive to attract substitutes.

During his report, Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent Bill Clifton explained that the district has missed five school days do to weather which equals 32.5 hours. When the 18 hours worth of delay hours are added in, the district has missed a total of 50.5 hours. Clifton explained that missing another eight hours would require the district to use a make-up day which is planned for the Monday after Easter, April 2.

Also during the meeting, the Board approved a contract for classified staff that will allow for 3 percent raises for each of the three contracted years.

The Board also motioned to approve the following:

– Southwestern Ohio Educational Purchasing Council to advertise and receive bids for the purchase of two buses on behalf of Van Wert City Schools.

– Approve Whistler Plumbing and Heating, Inc. to make improvements to the Chilled Water System at the MS/HS as presented.

– Acknowledge Bob Sloan, Band Director, Van Wert City Schools, and Niswonger Performing Arts Center for hosting the District 3 High School Honors Festival.

The board went into executive session following the meeting for the purpose of considering the Sale of Property, since disclosure at this time would give an unfair competitive or bargaining advantage to persons whose personal, private interest is adverse to the general public interest, and also to consider the employment of personnel.

The next Van Wert Board of Education meeting will be March 14, 2018, at 5 p.m. in the district board office.

VWHS STUDENT TO PERFORM WITH THE ALL-STATE CHOIR

Anna Reichert, a four year member of the Van Wert High School Vocal Music Department, has been selected to perform in Columbus, Ohio on Saturday, February 10th, as a member of the 2018 All-State Choir of the Ohio Music Education Association. 

  Anna Reichert to represent Van Wert High School in Columbus as a member of the Ohio Music Education Association All State Choir on Saturday February 10th, 2018 at 2:00 pm.

Anna Reichert to represent Van Wert High School in Columbus as a member of the Ohio Music Education Association All State Choir on Saturday February 10th, 2018 at 2:00 pm.

Anna, the daughter of Gary and Julia Reichert, is a senior at Van Wert High School.  She sings soprano in the Concert Choir.  She has been chosen two times for the OMEA District III Honors Choir.  She has also received superior ratings at OMEA Solo & Ensemble contests.  She is a member of the Van Wert High School Select Choir, and cantors at her church. Anna has served as trainer for the high school athletic department for the past three years. She is a member of National Honor Society, Beta Club and 4-H.  Anna also participates in the school drama productions.  This spring she will play the role of Mary Poppins in the school musical.

Approximately 200 of the best high school vocalists from across Ohio will participate in the All State Choir.  They will perform at the OMEA State Convention at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.  The choir will be conducted by Dr. Sandra Snow who serves on the staff at Michigan State University and tours extensively conducting honors ensembles.

VWHS THEATRE ANNOUNCES SPRING MUSICAL CAST

Van Wert High School Theatre is preparing for their upcoming production of Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins, The Broadway Musical on April 12-14, 2018 at 7pm on the Niswonger Performing Arts Center stage. Original music and lyrics are by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, book by Julian Fellowes, and new songs and additional music and lyrics are by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. This production was co-created by Cameron Mackintosh. This musical is based on the stories of P.L Travers and the 1964 Walt Disney film. The audience will enjoy Mary Poppins and Bert as they visit characters and see the world while performing famous songs such as Spoonful of Sugar , Practically Perfect , Jolly Holiday , and Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. Bring the whole family to join in on their adventures!

The cast for the production include the following students: Anna Reichert, Mikayla Hernandez, Austin Carnahan, Marshall Healey, Michaella Johnson, Austin Voors, Emma Verville, Julianna Vanbrabant, Aeris Blakeley, Korey Oechsle, Dante Jones, Gabe Steyer, Bradley Wilder, Storm Matthews, Jenna Covey, Hannah Kraner, Kaylin Bledsoe, Madison Turnwald, Hannah Springer, Kaylena Kelly, Katie Able, Alli Morrow, Max Laney, Rebekah Fast, Wesley Wagner, Dane Chiles, Sydney Maller, Tayzia Havill, Sam Price, Alayna Cripe, Cassie Welker, Bethany Mandeville, Lainey Werts, Noelle Heffner, Sophie Rutkowski, Elizabeth Rutkowski, Josh Dorsch, Butch Eutsler, Grace Doctor, Kylee Bagley, Chelsey White, McKenna Gilbert, Delaney Golden, Keagon Hammons, Miranda Sinning, Cody Gamble, Arianna Adkins, Becky Rigdon, Janie Trejo, Alli Schaufelberger, Gracie Gunter, and Kendall Rauch.

Stage crew consists of stage manager Erienne Cassidy, assistant stage manager Erin Gemmer, Lexi Allmandinger, Camryn Nouza, Abbey Bradford, Reagan Priest, Devon West, Clayton Doctor, Cal Wolfrum, Theo Scarpelli, Isabella Smith, Steele Stabler, Jackie Sroufe, Hannah Hurless, Brianna Couch, Jacob Trejo, Kylie Cloninger, Brook Zimmerman, Sierra Shaffer, Sterling Rigdon, Allison Hauter, and Brendan Browning.

Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins, the Broadway Musical is being directed by Melissa Bloomfield, assistant director Katey Lloyd, pit orchestra director Bob Sloan, technical director Hugh Saunier, and lighting director and construction manager Matt Saunier. Parents of students in the cast and crew along with VWHS Theatre patrons can purchase tickets starting March 1st. Reserved seats in the Orchestra Center section will be available for $10 each. General Admission tickets will be $8 each. The general public will be able to purchase tickets starting March 8th. Tickets may be purchased by stopping by or calling the NPAC box office at 419-238-NPAC. Tickets may be sold at the door depending on availability.

Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins, the Broadway Musical is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. VWHS Theatre would like to thank Production Sponsor Van Wert Manor for their support!

 Van Wert High School Theatre spring play advertisement for Mary Poppins

VWHS Holiday Music Festival

 Van Wert High School Christmas Concert

The Van Wert High School Concert Choir recently traveled to Lima to record for the Channel 44 Holiday Music Festival.  Choirs from around the area recorded performances that will air starting on Christmas Eve and run through Christmas Day.  You can catch our performance on Channel 44 at the following times: December 24th at 4:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. and December 25th at 7:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.

VWES Turkey Trot and Pancake Breakfast

Join us for our Turkey Trot and Pancake Breakfast on Saturday, Nov. 4th from 8-10:30 a.m. at Van Wert Elementary School. Pre-register by Friday, Oct. 27th or register the day of the race beginning at 8:30 a.m. The race begins at 9:30 a.m. Registration fee is one can of food per participant to be donated to the Salvation Army. All proceeds support our wellness initiatives, especially the Roadrunners Program. 

Van Wert H.S. earns 1st place in the 2nd annual Makerfest STEM Competition!

Van Wert High School competed in the 2nd annual Makerfest STEM Event held in Lima, Ohio.  Over 30 schools from the area competed in 19 STEM-related events.  Over 1400 students competed in various competitions.  Van Wert High School was awarded 1st place overall among over 30 schools.  The competition event results for Van Wert are listed...

Business Simulation Challenge (2nd place):  Nicole Clay, Jared Hernandez, Dalton Heppeard
Cupcake Catastrophe: (1st place):   Aeris Blakeley, Anna Reichert, Storm Matthews
Engineering in a Box (2nd place):  Ryan Chen, Sydney Maller, Jenna Covey
Explosion Mindcraft (3rd place):  Andrew Hamblett,  Zach Lape, Angel Haller
First Robotics (3rd place):  Nick Carter, Noah Carter, Michael Etter
Video Game Design (3rd place):  Lauren Cooper, Wesley Wagner, Anthony Salcido
Pallet Furniture Assembly (1st place):  Brad Fuerst, Nathan Bidlack, Korey Oechsle
Math Challenge (3rd place):  Sterling Rigdon, Madison Turnwald, Zach Lape
Operation Challenge (3rd place):  Chloe Brake, Madison Jarrett, Madison Turnwald
Animation Design (1st place):  Angel Haller
Logo/Branding Design (3rd place):  Caton Williamson
Photo Manipulation (2nd place):  Heaven Winters
Photo Manipulation (3rd place):  Katie McVaigh
Photography (2nd place):  Brook Zimmerman
Engineering CAD (2nd place):  Nathan Bidlack
Engineering CAD (3rd place):  Nick Carter

This was Van Wert High School's first time attending and competing at Makerfest.  Coaches Bob Spath and Kerry Koontz were excited and proud of the students!!!

Complete the VW Football Stadium Survey

The Van Wert football stadium online survey is open! Please be sure to read the articles regarding all 3 options and make an informed decision now through October 10th.

Read Option A here: http://www.thevwindependent.com/…/vwcs-provides-info-on-op…/

Read Option B here: http://www.thevwindependent.com/…/stadium-option-b-build-n…/

Read Option C here: http://www.timesbulletin.com/…/Option-C-Buil…/-3/1168/211971

Please be mindful this is an online survey only. For those needing assistance, you may visit the Brumback Library or the Van Wert County Council on Aging located on Fox Road.

Click to take the survey! https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VanWert2017

Van Wert graduate illustrates first book

illustrator.jpg

Becca Johnson spent her youth drawing comics for fun, these days she’s making a career out of illustration, with a book, “Kindness in a Scary World”, recently released. The Van Wert High School graduate of 2013 spent a lot of her time in high school in the art room and knew she wanted to go into an art related career. “All four years of high school I took the art class,” said Johnson. “When I was younger I got really into graphic novels and comic books, and drawing was always a way for me to communicate.”

Johnson recalled drawing comics for her sister at a young age. After high school Johnson attended Huntington University for digital media arts and animation where she graduated earlier this year in May. In the summer of her senior year, Johnson was hired to illustrate a book. “I was hired by my author, Rebecca Hubbard,” said Johnson. “I met her through a past client I had.”

Johnson worked on the illustrations on and off during the school year and finished it shortly after she graduated. She noted that she was given artistic freedom to interpret what the author wrote. Hubbard would send Johnson the script of each page and Johnson would send layout sketches back. “They were in a sketchbook,” said Johnson. “It was drawings of what I had in mind, where the characters were placed, what the characters looked like, and then I would get them approved by her.” After approval, Johnson had to continue the process which included inking and re-sizing.

Hubbard, a practicing children’s psychologist, wrote the children’s book as the start of a series to help children cope with different issues in life. “The whole series aims to help families with kids who have gone through different types of trauma,” said Johnson. “In this case the book is focusing on terrorism.”

“Kindness in a Scary World” was released Sept. 8, 2017, and follows a young child who sees an act of terrorism on the news. The character doesn’t quite understand why their parents are feeling the way they are feeling. The book takes readers into the emotions of the child who is trying to understand what is happening in the world.

“I personally connected with the character because 9/11 happened when I was a young child,” said Johnson. “So trying to figure out those emotions I had, helped me connect with the character in this book.” The book also includes a guide to help parents talk to their children about things that are happening on the news.

Johnson had artistic freedom when it came to the images, and because she connected the character, Johnson found herself drawing the character’s home to resemble her family’s home growing up, and imagining the character’s actions as her own as a child. Currently three other books are planned in Hubbard’s series, all of which Johnson is set to illustrate.

These days, Johnson spends her time in Bloomington, Indiana. She advises any aspiring artist to keep practicing and to never be afraid to ask for help. She said the entire process has been surreal. “It’s really been crazy; the process moves really quickly,” said Johnson. “It’s weird to see the book come up on Amazon for people to order. The amount of supportive people in my life that have said they want to order it has really meant a lot to me.”

VW Football Stadium Survey Now Open!

The VW football stadium online survey is now open! Please be sure to read the articles regarding all 3 options and make an informed decision now through October 10th.

Read Option A here.

Read Option B here.

Read Option C here.

Click to take the survey! https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VanWert2017

 

Please be mindful this is an online survey only. For those needing assistance, you may visit the Brumback Library or the Van Wert County Council on Aging located on Fox Road.

VW Football Stadium Option 3 of 3

The Van Wert City Schools Stadium Facilities Committee is looking at three options to restore or replace the current Van Wert High School Football Facility and in creating a first-class, state-of-the-art facility that will serve the school system and the community for future generations.

This is the third of three options the committee is considering. Following the presentation of all three options, the committee will conduct an online survey of the community to assist the committee in making its final recommendation to the Board of Education. A link to the survey can be found at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VanWert2017.

The survey will begin on Sept. 30, 2017 and end on Oct. 10, 2017. For those who do not have access to the internet, the Van Wert County Brumback Library and the Van Wert County Council on Aging have agreed to allow concerned citizens to use their facility during regular business hours to complete the survey.

The Stadium Committee has determined that something has to be done. The current age and condition of Eggerss Stadium has compelled them to act, and that time is now.

Option C: Building a new facility at Van Wert High School

Building a new facility at the High School allows for the students and athletes to have their home field located at the same location as their school. The football team will be able to enjoy the simplicity of using the same locker room for games and practices. The construction will include a new 3,000 bleacher seat home stadium which will be enclosed with a brick facing and siding in the rear and sides and new press boxes (home and visitor).

Both home and visitor bleachers will be handicapped accessible. A new multi-functional building will include additional restrooms and concessions as well as locker rooms for football and other outdoor athletic teams. This option will allow for multiple users of the field, including the Band to practice on the field during the school day.

The game field will also be home to our daily practice facilities and locker rooms. There will be no need to transport equipment downtown on game days (Football and Band).

Additionally, having lights at this location will allow the track and soccer programs to host events which extend into the evening without concern of darkness. Furthermore, it will allow for the vast majority of varsity athletics to be played at the high school site (golf, swimming and bowling being exceptions). Eggerss Stadium would continue to be used during the fundraising and construction phase of the new facility. A new artificial turf field can be used by other sports, physical education classes and our marching band. Maintenance costs will be less expensive than at the current facility, and this is the least expensive of the options.

Things to consider with this option are that the facility will not be in the downtown area, thus making it more difficult for people to walk to the games. Wind may be more of a factor for games and spectator comfort. A new facility at the high school will put the fans further away from the game, and although adequate parking is available, the distance to the seats from the parking location may actually be a greater distance to walk. Finally, the concession stand/restroom complex will be further from the stadium than it would be at Eggerss Stadium.

Below is a list of the estimated costs:

  1. Locker Room, Toilet Room, 2-Ticket Booths, Concessions-Storage Facilities – 10,000 square feet at $155 a square foot for a total cost of $1,550,000
  2. Site Pavement - Concrete – 35,000 square feet at $6 a square foot for a total cost of $210,000
  3. Relocate Existing Bleachers – 2,000 seats for a total cost of $235,000
  4. New Home Bleachers – 3,000 seats for a total cost of $708,000
  5. Home and Visitor Press Boxes – $160,000
  6. Stadium Wrap (Three Sides Brick w/Aluminum Back – $150,000
  7. Football Field Lighting – $240,000
  8. Tear Down and Remove Existing Structure – $150,000
  9. “Cougar Wall” With Graphics – $30,000
  10. Artificial Turf – $699,000
  11. Fencing – $17,000

The subtotal thus far would be $4,149,000. Another $75,000 would be needed Permits, Soil Boring, and Due Diligence putting the subtotal at $4,224,000. A 5 percent ($211,200) Contingency and a 6.5 percent AE Fee ($288,288) would also be needed.

The grand total of Option C would be $4,723,488.

The survey will go live tonight at midnight. On Saturday, Sept. 30 committee members will be discussing the options on 1220 WERT Radio from 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

Read about Option A here.

Read about Option B here

VWCS Presents Football Stadium Option 2 of 3

Editor’s note: This is the second of three articles providing options for either the renovation or replacement of Van Wert City School District’s Eggerss Stadium football facility. Each article will deal with one of three options developed by a committee formed to research the issue.

The Van Wert City Schools Stadium Facilities Committee is looking at three options to restore or replace the current Van Wert High School football facility and in creating a first-class, state-of-the-art facility that will serve the school system and the community for future generations.

This is the second of three options the committee is considering. Following the presentation of all three options, the committee will conduct an online survey of the community to assist the committee in making its final recommendation to the Board of Education. A link to the survey can be found at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VanWert2017.

The survey will begin on September 30 and end on October 10. For those who do not have access to the Internet, Brumback Library and the Van Wert County Council on Aging have agreed to allow concerned citizens to use their facilities during regular business hours to complete the survey.

The Stadium Committee has determined that something has to be done. The current age and condition of Eggerss Stadium has compelled the committee to act, and that time is now.

Option B: Building a new facility at the current Eggerss Stadium location

Building a new stadium in the current location will allow many Van Wert fans to walk to the game and enjoy our downtown. It will be constructed close to the field as is the current stadium, allowing fans a view of the game unique to Van Wert football. Aesthetically, it will continue to be one of the finest venues in the Western Buckeye League.

The renovations will include a new 3,000-bleacher seat home stadium that will feature a brick facing and siding in the rear and sides and new press boxes (home and visitor). The construction of a new multifunctional building will include locker rooms, restrooms, concessions, and ticket sales. Additional parking and new fencing will be built on the lawn south of the current field. A new 2,000-seat visitor section, south end zone bleacher section for the band, an artificial turf field, additional parking area, and new fencing will complete the complex.

The proud tradition of the Cougar Pride wall, as well as the ability to stand along the south end zone fence, will continue to allow generations of players, students, and fans to enjoy Van Wert’s storied football tradition. This new facility will be up to code, have adequate handicapped seating on the home and visitor sides, and will be less expensive to maintain than the current facility.

This option provides limited parking and it will be used for football only. This is the most expensive of the three options (click here for a line-by-line cost analysis of Option B).

Tomorrow: Option C: Building a new stadium facility at the current high school-middle school site.

Be sure you don't miss option A! Click here for the article.