Wow! It's been awhile (almost 3 months now). It's been a busy, but excellent, couple of months in and around Vantage Career Center. I have learned a lot about the end of a school year and all of the work that goes into making sure our Seniors have everything they need to graduate, and the rest of our students get everything they need to move into that position next year. As always, we're looking forward to all of the challenges that the 2017-18 school year is certain to bring along with it.
Before getting into that, though, I'd like to take a few moments to Congratulate the entire Class of 2017. You've worked for 13 years, and put in AT LEAST 13,013 hours (based on the state minimums) of your lives preparing yourselves to graduate high school; and now you can officially say you've earned it! As I told the Vantage seniors just a few short weeks ago, no one can ever take that away from you. Be proud of that accomplishment, and use it to prepare for your next endeavor, no matter what that might be.
For Vantage, the next hurdle we're looking forward to is simply preparing for our next school year. As a kid, I can honestly say I had no idea how much work actually went on in a school during the months of June, July, and most of August. I'd walk back into school after summer break feeling like I never left (which was always comforting, in a way), and thinking the building pretty much just sat empty while the Principal talked on his phone and made out the schedule in his office all summer long...boy, was I mistaken!
Our maintenance staff is currently working each day to clean and reorganize every room, strategically maneuvering items throughout the building to ensure a safe and healthy start to the new school year, and repairing any items that may need fixing. In a building as big, new (and impressive) as ours, that's a huge responsibility which takes a lot of planning, preparation, and hard-work to accomplish in the roughly 90 days of summer break. So...to Dave Young, Tom Bowersox, Richard McKanna, Karen McGilton, and Penny Baucom...THANK YOU!
Our technology department is also hard at work "wiping" hard drives (I'm told that means they're clearing memory and storage space) in all of our computers, as well as installing new technological equipment in several classrooms and labs to help make sure our students have the best technology at their disposal. When you're in a "Career-Tech" center, it's even more imperative that your technology is up-to-date and ready to go! Again, this wouldn't be possible without hours and hours of effort from our technology department led by Stacie Leiter, Luke Compton, and Mary Ann Falk. We've also got two "summer-tech" helpers who are Seniors-to-be in our Network Systems program. Crystal and Willy; thanks for being willing to put in all of the hard-work so your peers are ready to rock and roll come August 21st...yes, that's almost only 2 months away.
Finally, there's an old myth that teachers get their summers off. While that may be technically true, I'm always amazed at how much time our teachers spend in the building throughout the summer. Whether it's working with their supervisors on standards, uniform orders, and scheduling; or tinkering with the set-up and signage around their rooms (when their room is available); our teachers really do come in a great deal to help make sure they're ready to give Vantage students everything they need when August gets here.
As the Director of the building, I've really come to respect the process of preparing for the new school year. It's kind of like the eye-opening experience of being a first time parent around Christmas-time (or any other major holiday you and your family might celebrate together). By that, I'm talking about that feeling when you realize how much time and effort it takes to make that "magical" experience happen for your child/children. Our staff behind the scenes really does do a wonderful job of helping our returning students feel like they never left, and showing our incoming students there's nothing to be afraid of at their new school. And that is one of the many things I appreciate today! Have a great summer (which officially starts tomorrow), and enjoy the extra sunlight!