The Van Wert County Courthouse

Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020

Wiseman, Taylor honored by Vantage

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

Vantage Career Center inducted two new members into its Alumni Hall of Fame during its 40th annual All Boards Dinner held in the Vantage commons on Thursday evening.

Vantage Career Center Alumni Hall of Fame inductee Keith Wiseman talks during Vantage's All Boards Dinner on Thursday. photos by Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent
Vantage Career Center Alumni Hall of Fame inductee Keith Wiseman talks during Vantage’s All Boards Dinner on Thursday. photos by Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

“The purpose of the Alumni Hall of Fame is to recognize Vantage alumni who have, through performance and achievement, brought credit and honor to themselves and to Vantage Career Center…,” said Vantage High School Director Tony Unverferth. “Their exemplary public, personal, and career achievements will serve to inspire and provide leadership to future Vantage alumni to achieve and serve in the same distinguished manner.”

The word “inspiring” was used often to describe this year’s inductees in the Hall of Fame’s second class: Keith Wiseman, a 1978 Vantage graduate in the Auto Body program who is currently owner of Superior Collision in Van Wert, and Kent Taylor, a 1979 Vantage graduate and Electricity instructor at the school for 30 years prior to his retirement in 2014.

Former Vantage high school director Bob Brinkman provided comments about both inductees, who he knew as students, and Taylor as a fellow staff member.

“You could say Keith was a model vocational student,” Brinkman said of Wiseman. “He took complete advantage of his job skill training while here at Vantage. As a result, he is a very successful businessman and deserves to be honored with this induction into the Vantage Hall of Fame.”

Unverferth also noted that Wiseman, who was also a member of the National Honor Society at Van Wert High School while at Vantage, has always been willing to provide assistance to the vocational school in the years following his graduation.

Wiseman said Vantage provided him with a foundation on which to build his career, for which he was grateful.

“I believe in education, I believe in Vantage, I believe in vocational education,” Wiseman added.

Taylor, who passed away last year, was inducted posthumously into Vantage’s Alumni Hall of Fame.

“I have to admit that, as I stand here, this is a very bittersweet moment,” Brinkman said. “He (Taylor) was truly a very special person, and a teacher to many Vantage students he met in his lifetime.”

Hall of Fame inductee Kent Taylor's daughter, Sarah Perrott (left) accepts his Hall of Fame plaque from Vantage Superintendent Staci Kaufman, while former Vantage high school director Bob Brinkman looks on.
Hall of Fame inductee Kent Taylor’s daughter, Sarah Perrott (left) accepts his Hall of Fame plaque from Vantage Superintendent Staci Kaufman, while former Vantage high school director Bob Brinkman looks on.

Brinkman said Taylor, like Wiseman, was a model vocational student.

“By that, I mean he was inquisitive, he wanted to know how things worked, he was always very focused. He was thoughtful,” the longtime Vantage director explained.

Brinkman said Taylor had only been out of Vantage for five years when he was sought out by the school to take an opening as an instructor in the Electricity program. Brinkman noted that Taylor was one of the youngest vocational instructors in Ohio, adding that his training during his two years at Vantage had to be used to meet the state requirement that teachers have a minimum of seven years of vocational experience before they could be certified to teach.

Taylor also appreciated Vantage and his time at the school, both as student and teacher.

During the induction ceremony, Unverferth read a statement Taylor made prior to his retirement: “Vantage is a wonderful place to work for over 30 years, and as a former student, it taught me a trade that has given me the knowledge to be successful now, and in the future.”

“(He) was an inspiration to many of us, but he was a great inspiration to all of his students,” Brinkman said of Taylor.

“Kent was a wonderful husband, father, and grandfather,” said Taylor’s wife Diana. “I know his students were important to him. His students would continue to call Kent for questions and support (and) he was always there for them.”

Taylor’s daughter, Sarah Perrott, spoke briefly after accepting the plaque honoring her father as an inductee into the Vantage Alumni Hall of Fame.

“Vantage has always been a huge part of my dad’s life,” she said. “I mean, since I was born, that’s all I knew, and, of course, since I was born he was always trying to get me to come to Vantage.

“You guys have all made a huge impact on my dad’s life, just as my dad did to many students and many other colleagues, and many other kids,” she added. “I can’t even begin to explain what it means that my dad’s going to be remembered forever at Vantage.”

Rick Turner, a 1979 Vantage graduate and 2016 Vantage Alumni Hall of Fame inductee who was recently hired to replace Staci Kaufman as the school’s superintendent, knew both Wiseman and Taylor while a student at the school, and said they were both inspirations to today’s Vantage students.

During a brief meeting prior to the All Boards meeting, the Vantage Board of Education took the following actions:

  • Accepted the resignations of Brenda Wurst, Building and Grounds aide, and Mary Ann Hall, Career Technical supervisor, for the purpose of retirement.
  • Approved Community Reinvestment Area agreements for Theresa Kile, 252 Prairie Lane in Van Wert; Fox Investments LLC in Van Wert, and Kirk Stoller Enterprises Ltd. In Paulding County.
  • Hired the following Ohio Technical Center instructors: Mary Roof and Tami Blanton, medical assistants; and Brett Jacob, welding instructor and certified welding instructor.
  • Hired the following Vantage high school employees: Zacharia Miller, criminal justice instructor; Diana Font, Medical Office Management instructor; Ray Gibson, social studies teacher; Larry Davis, Auto Technology instructor; David Delano, Construction Equipment Technology instructor; Samantha Heckler, intervention specialist; and Susan Smith, Senior Cosmetology instructor.
  • Went into executive session to discuss personnel items, with no action taken following the session.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Vantage Career Center Board of Education will be at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 4, in the district conference room.

POSTED: 04/07/17 at 8:00 am. FILED UNDER: News