DAVE MOSIER/independent editor
There are lots of programs each year that honor area students for their hard work and dedication. Not many programs, though, honor teachers who go above and beyond for their students. One such program, sponsored by the Van Wert City Endowment Fund for Educators, held its 18th annual banquet Thursday evening at Willow Bend Country Club.
Retired school psychologist Randy Gardner, who was, himself, inspired by three teachers — his grandfather, Ralph Gallapoo, Glen Livingston and Gil Smith — created a format in which students to honor their favorite teachers with an essay telling them how they have made a difference in their lives.
Thursday’s edition of the banquet featured tears and laughter as the six VWHS students with the top grade point average (this year, all 4.0s) and another five students selected at random by a committee read their essays to their favorite teacher.
The six top students and their favorite teachers included Caleb Markward/Deb Chiles, Joey Hurless/Bob Spath, Melissa Bono/Kathy Fleming, Sarah Aurand/Bob Sloan, Alex Bair/Mary Kramer and Nik Wolford/Bob Priest.
There was one precedent set on Thursday, as senior Colten Royer, one of the five chosen at random, selected his mother, first grade teacher Sarah Royer, as his favorite teacher.
Two other rare occurrences included Kylie Allenbaugh reading her essay to teacher Tiffany Werts over the phone, since Werts was out of town chaperoning the eighth grade trip to Washington, D.C. (done once before) and senior Scott Turner chose a non-teacher, guidance office secretary Lynette Westgerdes, for his essay subject. That also happened in 2004 when now-retired custodian Dave Horine was honored.
Lincolnview High School held its senior awards day Thursday in the high school gymnasium. Recognition included departmental honors, as well as scholarship awards. Here, American Legion Post 178 Commander Kenneth Schutz is shown presenting an Americanism Contest award to Hayley McAbee. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)
Head Start program news
Young children need to be ready for kindergarten and the Head Start part-day preschool program in Van Wert County is taking applications now for its kindergarten readiness classrooms!
Head Start is a federally funded preschool program at Kids Learning Place in Van Wert. To be eligible for this no-cost preschool program a child must be between 3 to 5 years old and the family must meet federal income guidelines. The program also provides services to children of families that are homeless and children with disabilities are also considered.
There are two options; either part day classrooms or our home visiting program for more rural areas of the county. Our centers provide children with safe and nurturing classrooms and the home base offers weekly visits and periodic group days. The Kids Learning Place program provides every child with a positive education experience that includes:
- Teachers with degrees in every classroom
- Developmental testing throughout the year
- Individualized services for children and families
- Bus transportation in most areas
- Only highest three star rated “Step Up to Quality” centers in the county
For more information about this program and to enroll call the local toll free number at 866.627.4557. Also check the website at www.kidslearningplace.org and “like” our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/kidslearningplace.
Council on Rural Services provides education, support, and volunteer services through Kids Learning Place™, Head Start and Early Head Start in its nine county service area.
Starting this week, seniors all over the Buckeye State will be graduating from high school. Agents with the Ohio Investigative Unit are taking an active role in enforcing Ohio’s alcohol laws, to ensure that these young adults are celebrating responsibly and within Ohio’s laws.
“As graduates, your high school accomplishments as well as your decisions made over the next several weeks will follow you throughout your lifetime,” said Agent-in-Charge Eric Wolf. “Make sure those decisions are the right ones. Remember, if you’re not yet 21, you booze, you lose.”
As with prom season, agents are reminding liquor permit premises to watch for underage individuals attempting to purchase beer – often with a false identification. Clerks should also lookout for individuals 21 and over purchasing alcohol for a person who is not yet 21. In Ohio it is illegal to share in the cost of purchasing alcoholic beverages, or attempts to do so – even if the sale is refused.
Parents who are hosting a party for their child’s friends should also be aware of Ohio’s laws and how they could impact them. In the state of Ohio, parents cannot give alcohol to children who are under 21, even with the other parents’ permission. Parents also cannot allow minors to consume alcohol in their home.
Anyone convicted of attempting to purchase alcohol as a minor, sharing in the cost, using false identification or furnishing alcohol to a minor may face a maximum sentence of six months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
Agents are also asking for local hotels and limousine companies to be vigilant and report underage drinking and parties to local authorities.
Those who have information about a bar, store or carryout selling beer or liquor to persons under the age of 21, can notify the Ohio Investigative Unit by calling #677 on their cell phone.
YMCA of Van Wert County news
The YMCA of Van Wert County’s Camp Clay Nature Committee will be hosting the presentation “Everything Bees” on Sunday, June 9, from 2-3:30 p.m. at the Camp Clay Nature Center.
Beekeeper Tim Arhiet will be explaining the intricacies of bee life during the program, which was originally set to be held June 2 at 2 p.m., but was moved to June 9, due to scheduling conflicts. The program is free and open to the public.
Information about this and other programs available at the Van Wert YMCA can be found by calling 419.238.0443 or visiting the YMCA’s website at www.vwymca.org. The YMCA of Van Wert County is partially funded by the Van Wert County Foundation and United Way.
CINDY WOOD/independent feature writer
There’s one question that remains in Dave Froelich’s mind. “I really don’t know where I’m going to sit next year,” he said with a laugh.
The longtime Van Wert boys’ basketball head coach’s regular courtside seat will be filled by replacement Mark Bagley after Froelich announced his resignation earlier this year.
Capping a 34-year coaching career that began at Colonel Crawford in North Robinson and ended at Van Wert, the man known for his signature vest and passion for the game of basketball has passed the torch.
“I just knew it was time,” Froelich said. “It was tough, but I just felt that it was the right time for everybody. I have no second thoughts whatsoever at this point.”
Even still, Froelich finds himself in unfamiliar territory as the summer creeps up and, for the first time in more than 20 years, he’s not coordinating schedules and scrimmages. “All of those ‘firsts’ are going to be different for me,” he said, adding, “it’s the first time I’m not planning our summer calendar or planning the next shoot-out, so it’s absolutely going to be different for me.”
As it will for players and fans alike, who have come to respect the man who mentors his players not only on the court, but off as well.
“It’s easy to get consumed with the basketball part of it, but in reality it’s just one small part of life,” Froelich said. “I’ve had a lot of quality people to work with, not only the kids but their families as well.
“That makes it a whole lot easier to work with kids when they have the right values and right intentions of what they want to do with life,” he added. “If any of these kids can use what they’ve learned here as they move forward and move on, then that’s great.”
Hundreds of players have come and gone through the program, but Froelich’s coaching style and his passion for the game have remained a constant. Calling himself “old school,” Froelich admits he’s tough, but also says he’s never asked for anything other than 100 percent from his teams.
DAVE MOSIER/independent editor
Van Wert City Board of Education honored longtime boys’ basketball coach Dave Froelich for his contributions to the district and later chose his successor during its May meeting held Wednesday in the Van Wert Elementary School commons.
Board of Education President Ken Markward presented a plaque to Froelich honoring him for his more than three decades of coaching experience (see story above). The board also hired Van Wert Middle School Principal Mark Bagley, Froelich’s longtime varsity assistant, as the programs new mentor.
The vote wasn’t unanimous, though, with Markward casting a “no” vote on the motion, although he stressed that his vote wasn’t personal, but merely reflected his belief that district principals should not be head athletic coaches.
In other personnel items, the board accepted the resignation of Shawn Deitemeyer as director of the LifeLinks Community School and later approved a new contract for him as a high school special education teacher. The resignation of middle school science teacher Travis Guggenbiller was also accepted, while the board approved a one-year leave of absence for high school language arts teacher Michelle Stoller.
In addition to Deitemeyer, the following teachers were hired for the 2013-2014 school year: Ryan Parrish, high school special education teacher; Natoshia Wilhelm, high school language arts teacher; Mitchell Neal, high school social studies teacher; Ben Laudick, middle school math teacher; Drew Golden, middle school science teacher; Erin Lee, middle school language arts teacher; Thomas Sanford, fifth grade teacher; Jared Army, elementary school special education teacher; and Regina Brenneman, Early Childhood Center education of the handicapped preschool teacher.
DAVE MOSIER/independent editor
The Lincolnview Local Board of Education honored two retiring teachers, discussed district security measures and also applauded excellent Ohio Graduate Test results turned in by the district’s sophomores.
Lincolnview Superintendent Jeff Snyder provided plaques to Kay Wilusz and June Young. Wilusz is retiring after 33 years in education, while Young is completing her 34th year of teaching.
An item on Snyder’s building and grounds report noting that Secure Com has completed installation of 9 of 11 security cameras intended to eliminate “blind spots” in the district’s building security also prompted a brief discussion on building security.
Snyder reported on a recent teacher inservice that included a speaker from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, as well as local law enforcement and first-responder representatives, noting that he felt the inservice went very well.
During the discussion, Snyder stressed the importance of maintaining the best security possible, with the superintendent further noting that recommendations on what students and teachers should do in the event of an armed intruder has changed radically from what it used to be.
Snyder said the newest recommendation calls for students and teachers to move around as much as possible to make themselves a harder target, to fight back, and evacuate a building, if possible, if a gunman enters the school, rather than sit passively.
Public Utilities Commission of Ohio news
COLUMBUS – With lots of questions arising from the increasing number of utilities trying to sell consumers on a variety of electric and natural gas plans, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio has announced a seminar to be held in Van Wert next week.
On Wednesday, May 29, the PUCO will be educating Van Wert area residents regarding electric and natural gas choice. The event will take place at 6 p.m. at the Van Wert YWCA (408 E. Main St.).
Jack Keegan, a representative of the PUCO’s Office of Retail Competition, will help explain residents’ rights in choosing an electric or natural gas supplier. Energy choice in Ohio allows consumers to have greater control over their electric and natural gas options and may result in valuable consumer savings.
Topics that will be covered include:
- What electric and natural gas choice means (Who are these marketers contacting me?)
- What to consider when shopping for an electric or natural gas generation supplier
- How to use the free tools available through the PUCO, like their Apples to Apples charts
- How to switch electric or natural gas generation suppliers
In addition to presenting valuable information to attendees, Keegan will also be available to answer questions about Ohio’s emerging energy market.
For more information about energy choice, visit the PUCO’s website at www.puco.ohio.gov.
The PUCO Office of Retail Competition
With a number of legislative changes in the electric utility industry in Ohio over the past 13 years, the PUCO recognizes the need to educate consumers on the retail competition of utility services. With this recognition the PUCO created the Office of Retail Competition (ORC) in July of 2012. The mission of the Office of Retail Competition is to improve awareness, trust and understanding of market-based utility service in Ohio.
American Red Cross news
TOLEDO — The American Red Cross of Northwest Ohio offers its thoughts and concern to everyone in Oklahoma following the horrific tornado early this week. Red Cross staff members and volunteers are working around the clock to provide food and shelter to all those whose lives were affected by these storms.
Red Cross disaster services volunteers and staff members throughout the country are responding to the area, assessing damages, providing food and supplies to first responders, and support to the people affected by the storm. More than 25 emergency response vehicles are on their way to the area from all over the country, and we expect that the number will increase. The Red Cross is also sending in kitchen support trailers to support the upcoming operation to provide meals to those forced out of their homes.
The local American Red Cross of Northwest Ohio is offering the following ways people can help:
The Red Cross will be holding information sessions on Thursday, May 23, at 6 p.m. for community members interested in volunteering to assist those affected by a disaster in northwest Ohio and around the country. Participants will learn the processes and procedures involved for disaster services volunteering including local, regional, and national responses. Following the session, interested parties will receive further volunteer information and background checks before registering for operational training.
125 Fair Street, Findlay, OH 45840
610 South Collett Street, Lima, OH 45805
419.227.5121 extensions 6 or 8
3100 West Central Avenue, Toledo, OH 43606
SAFE AND WELL
People with loved ones in the areas affected by the tornado are encouraged to search for them at www.redcross.org/safeandwell. The site is available for people in the areas affected by the storm to let loved ones know that they are safe. It’s important during a disaster that victims of the storm let family and friends know they are safe which can bring others great peace of mind.
People should download the free Red Cross Tornado app, available in English or Spanish for all Apple and Android devices. The app allows individuals to prepare for a tornado by testing their skills, offers best practice and tips to respond during a tornado, a list of open shelters during a tornado, and much more. The app also features a high-pitched siren and tornado warning alert that signals the user when a tornado warning has been issued regardless if the app is open. People can call **REDCROSS to receive a download link to their mobile phone.
This has been a major disaster, and the Red Cross will be there for the people in Oklahoma and their local community. People who wish to make a donation to support the Red Cross response can visit
www.redcross.org, dial 800.REDCROSS or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
Van Wert Solid Waste Management District news
Van Wert County residents normally receiving recycling service on Monday, May 27, will have an adjusted collection schedule to for the Memorial Day Holiday.
Van Wert city residents with Monday scheduled curbside recycling collection will be collected on Tuesday, May 28. Convoy residents with Monday scheduled curbside recycling will be collected on Wednesday, May 29. All other curbside recycling collection days will be as normally scheduled.
The Jennings Township drop-off has been moved to Tuesday, May 28, to compensate for the Memorial Day holiday, while the Recycling Center and Compost Facility will be closed on Memorial Day.