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Jefferson County JVS
Longtime JVS Fixture to Retire
Posted 9/19/2019 at 1:53:36 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
JVS September Board Meeting

BLOOMINGDALE-Dorothy Blaner has served as administrative assistant to six superintendents at Jefferson County Joint Vocational School, but this January she will hang up her hat after more than 40 years of service.

   Blaner, of Toronto, submitted her resignation for purposes of retirement during the Sept. 17 school board meeting and thanked officials for allowing her to be part of the school’s fabric. She began in January of 1978 and served with the likes of George Hargrove, John Oguish, Burchard Sheehy, Dana Otis, Thomas Dale Edwards and Dr. Todd Phillipson, while she has watched the school’s landscape evolve with the times.

    “I’ve really enjoyed working for the superintendents and the staff,” she added. “There’s been a dedicated number of board members I’ve also enjoyed working with. I see my primary job here as a communicator by preparing board agendas with the superintendent’s direction and taking care of items the board approved.”

   Her tasks have also included handling BCI/FBI background checks for staff, teacher licensures and transcripts, statistical research and more.

   “I will miss the sense of accomplishment I get from achieving our goals and will also miss being part of the team effort,” she continued. “We’ve developed new programs from Computer-Aided Drawing to Health Tech and we’ve written grants to assist the science classes. We’ve also had over 14,000 students go through the programs during my time here.”

   Additionally, Blaner has taught business and photography classes for the JVS’s adult education program and her service has also extended to her community. She followed her father Andrew J. Blaner’s footsteps and was a member of the Toronto City Council for a quarter-century until she opted not to run again in 2017. Her father was a councilman and later mayor while her brother, David, was once a borough manager in Pennsylvania. Meanwhile, she has been the village representative to the Joint TEMS Ambulance District Board but her tenure ends on Dec. 31.

   Blaner will formally retire from the JVS on Jan. 1, 2020, but plans to assist her successor during the transitional period. As she reflected upon her years at the school, she also looked forward to the next chapter of her life. She hopes to take a winter vacation—something she’s never done since she worked at the school—and possibly pursue a doctorate degree, but she may also work part-time as a substitute teacher or in a clerical post to remain active.

    Dr. Phillipson thanked Blaner and said she was a true asset to the school and education as a whole.

    “She’s been a dedicated and loyal employee, an advocate for education for the last 20-plus years I’ve known her, and for many years she’s been the face of JVS. She’s built relationships with the staff and has been a very good employee,” he noted.

  Board President Larry George said the JVS was fortunate to have such a dedicated employee supporting the students.

 “Dorothy has been here with us almost from day one. She’s always helped us with events and her family has provided scholarships for our students, George said. “She has been an excellent employee and we won’t be able to replace her. It will be some time before [her successor] will have Dorothy’s vast knowledge.”

   Meanwhile, the board approved a five-year contract extension for Dr. Phillipson which will keep him place through 2025.

    School board members awarded Dr. Phillipson a contract during the Sept. 17 session which runs from Aug. 1, 2020, to July 31, 2025, and has no salary changes. Dr. Phillipson has served with the JVS for 24 years, beginning as a social studies teacher before becoming assistant principal and then principal at the school. He was named superintendent in 2014 and cites changes in academic requirements for students and staff licensure among the highlights. He also noted that this year’s student enrollment was around 400 pupils.

   “It’s always been a goal to add programs, maintain the building and provide students with the best equipment available. At this time, career technical education is being recognized for how important it is to the economy of the country and the need for skilled trades for people in the job market, which is a change,” he said, adding that he was pleased to continue his work at JVS to make things happen. “I’m really excited about getting my contract extended. I hope to make a positive impact on the students and staff’s success.”

(Photo Cutline: Longtime administrative assistant Dorothy Blaner will retire in January after more than 40 years at Jefferson County Joint Vocational School. Blaner submitted her resignation during the Sept. 17 school board session and said she was grateful to be part of the school’s tapestry. She is pictured with JVS Superintendent Dr. Todd Phillipson, the sixth leader she’s worked with during her tenure. Dr. Phillipson also received a five-year contract extension at the board meeting.)

Preschool Playtime
Posted 9/10/2019 at 10:43:08 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
JVS Preschool Orientation

Harper Bloome, 3 ½, of Steubenville, plays with early childhood education student Hailey Hanson during preschool orientation at Jefferson County Joint Vocational School on Aug. 6. Class is now in session at the ECE preschool with a full roster of 24 tykes attending Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. JVS students assist instructor Becky Kelley and aide Deanna Hines to gain hands-on skills for working in the field. For more information about the program, call (740) 264-5545, Ext. 408.

Custom-Built Equipment Donated to JVS Program
Posted 9/10/2019 at 10:39:50 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
JVS Power Mechanics Donation

Jefferson County Joint Vocational School’s power mechanics program has another tool to prepare students for the workforce after receiving a custom-built truck axle training module from Fraley and Schilling Trucking of Brilliant. Ben Schilling, a JVS program graduate and current director of maintenance, training and development for the company, supplied the equipment to help students learn how to change wheel bearings and wheel seals as well as make brake adjustments and other repairs without the need for an entire semi-truck in the lab. The company also employs two current program students as truck technicians. Pictured are, from left, instructor Fred Jones and Ben Schilling with the training module.

Crestview Inn to Open Sept. 17
Posted 9/10/2019 at 10:34:48 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

BLOOMINGDALE-Patrons looking for a different dining destination are invited to stop by the Crestview Inn Restaurant at Jefferson County Joint Vocational School.

   Operated by culinary arts students at the school in Bloomingdale, the restaurant will open its doors on Sept. 17 and offer a variety of scrumptious breakfast and lunch meals. Instructor Glenn Zalenski said 12 juniors and seniors will oversee all aspects of the eatery from cooking to service and management, and the site will be open on Tuesday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Breakfast will be available until 11 a.m. with lunch provided until 1 p.m. and the students are also selecting which dishes they will offer.

   “Our target date to open is Sept. 17 and we will have a new menu. The students are working on the menu and pricing,” Zalenski added. “They are also taking shifts to run the restaurant and seniors will be divided into groups to help instruct the juniors.”

   Diners can enjoy appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches, breakfast and lunch entrees and even some homemade desserts.

   “We’ll also work on home canning and items will be used in the restaurant,” he continued. “Several students are focusing on baked goods and we’ll have some different desserts to offer.”

   A carry-out menu will also be available and soup may be ordered by the pint or quart to take home. Meanwhile, one new addition is the Coffee Café for staff and students. Zalenski said the café will be open from 7:30-8 a.m. to provide freshly brewed coffee, hot tea, hot chocolate and seasonal beverages and proceeds benefit field trips, classroom socials and guest speakers for the culinary program.

   For more information or to place an order, contact the restaurant at (740) 264-5545, Ext. 602.

JVS Renewal Levy Aids Facilities, Equipment
Posted 8/28/2019 at 2:20:18 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

BLOOMINGDALE-Voters will be asked to support a 1-mill renewal levy this November to help maintain facilities at the Jefferson County Joint Vocational School.

    Superintendent Dr. Todd Phillipson said board members have held discussions throughout the summer and a levy committee will soon plan promotions for the measure. The levy renewal for a period of seven years and supports ongoing improvements to the four-decade-old building as well as new equipment purchases. Dr. Phillipson said the levy first passed in 2013 and would certainly benefit the programs and students.

    “This is the first time it’s up for renewal and we have several more opportunities in May and November of 2020,” he added. “It’s for Jefferson County but also parts of Harrison, Carroll and Belmont counties and is no additional cost to taxpayers.”

   Students travel from such school districts as Buckeye Local, Indian Creek, Edison, Steubenville, Toronto and Harrison Hills and interest has grown in educating for trades. Currently, JCJVS has about 390 juniors and seniors enrolled in auto collision, auto service tech, carpentry, computer networking, cosmetology, criminal justice, culinary arts, early childhood education, electrical trades, health technologies, multimedia and design, power mechanics, small animal science, Transition to Work and welding programs in addition to academic classes, plus adult classes are held on the premises.

   Dr. Phillipson continued that the previous levy helped finance an estimated $3 million upgrade of the school roof and more recent work included adding a CNC lathe for the carpentry lab, robotic simulators for welding, a simulator for health tech, a new playground for early childhood education and a small animal science lab. Officials also repainted the welding lab and added new lockers and want to improve at least one lab each summer. He noted that future funding could aid such projects as blacktopping, security measures, exterior work, more modern equipment for classes and labs and other ongoing improvements.

   “We don’t receive funding for equipment and to maintain programs, and we need to maintain up-to-date equipment. It helps instructors teach students for jobs,” he said. “These projects would not be possible without the levy.”

Criminal Justice Students Earn CPO Certification
Posted 5/22/2019 at 9:02:48 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
JVS Criminal Justice

Criminal justice students at Jefferson County Joint Vocational School are now certified protection officers after completing examinations. Pupils were credentialed through the International Foundation for Protection Officers, a non-profit organization based in Florida, and allows them to work in security. Pictured are, front from left, Courtney Jones, Mackenzie Wedlake and Jenna Reed. Back: Jeremiah Morris, Bryce Gaston, Paige Layman, Nathaniel Granatir and Blayke Malone.

ECE Students Gain Credentials
Posted 5/22/2019 at 8:59:37 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
JVS CDA Credentials

BLOOMINGDALE-Seven early childhood education students at Jefferson County Joint Vocational School have earned specialized credentials which will benefit them in the workforce.

   Seniors Brooke Mitchell, Abbi Smith, Maysha Mullins, Tressa Howard, Brianna Sheets, Greg Kelley, Amber Anderson, Kayla Habbit and Natasha Fedorka received a national Child Development Associate (CDA) credential and may now work with preschools in the U.S. and abroad under the program. ECE instructor Becky Kelley said the group spent months completing the many requirements, which included creating a portfolio and obtaining 480 hours of experience working with young children plus 120 hours of professional development in eight subject areas.

   “They had to complete resource collections and competency statements and build portfolios before they could take the test,” said Kelley. “We all had to be observed by a professional development specialist and then went to take the test.”

   The exam was taken at Belmont College and the credential is industry-recognized for early childhood education, while the students also earn 12 points towards graduation. This marks the third year that the ECE program has participated and it certainly will give the soon-to-be graduates an advantage should they work in education. As of now, Anderson, Mullins, Sheets and Fedorka plan to have careers in the field and Kelley said having a CDA makes them more employable.

   “I am very proud of them,” she said. “This is quite an accomplishment for high school seniors. They worked hard to achieve this goal.”

    Several of the students said it was a benefit whether or not they sought careers in the classroom.

   “I feel excited to have the opportunity to get my CDA and pass it,” said Mullins. “It makes me feel better to know that I have this to help in my future in teaching.”

 “I am proud of myself for getting my CDA. I feel accomplished that I passed the test and completed every part that I needed to,” added Mitchell. “Even though I am not going into teaching, I am still wanting to work with young children.”

   “I’m happy and it makes me feel good about myself,” Smith noted. “I am proud of myself for getting my CDA and it was a big accomplishment!”

(Photo Cutline: Seniors in the early childhood education program at Jefferson County Joint Vocational School gained Child Development Associates credentials, which will benefit them when working with preschool-aged children in the U.S. and abroad. Pictured are, from left, Greg Kelley, Abbi Smith, Maysha Mullins, Kayla Habbit, Brooke Mitchell, Tressa Howard and Amber Anderson. Not pictured are Natasha Fedorka and Brianna Sheets.)

JVS Students Certified on Forklifts
Posted 5/17/2019 at 1:09:33 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
JVS Students Certified

BLOOMINGDALE-Dozens of students in the carpentry, power mechanics, electrical and welding programs are now certified after completing safety training at Jefferson County Joint Vocational School.

   Sixty-one juniors in seniors in the trade programs underwent the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)-compliant forklift safety test to earn the certification, which will help those planning to operate forklifts and other industrial lift trucks. The process took three days and included safety training with a written exam provided by U.S. Forklift as well as and a maneuverability test where students were graded on their correct use of safety procedures. Chuck Layman, a former power mechanics student and current supervisor at H&K Equipment of Pittsburgh, supplied the forklifts for the activity.

   At the conclusion, the students received a certificate as well as a certification card to carry whenever they operated a forklift. The training counted for one credential point towards graduation and the certification also gives students an advantage when they enter the workforce. Some of the participants said they gained plenty of knowledge from the session.

   “They taught it in a way for us to easily understand, but it was still very comprehensive,” said Chris Young, a senior in the power mechanics program. “They also told us about our limitations when using the forklift such as how to use it and how not to use it.”

 Senior carpentry student Aidan Sammut said he learned a lot while senior electrical student Joe Shook commented that it was different from other trainings he has received.

   “It was a little difficult at first, like getting used to a new car, but after a while I got used to it,” Shook added.

   This was the first year for the forklift training and the JCJVS plans to provide OSHA-compliant aerial lift and man-lift trainings next year.

Culinary Students Trek to Cleveland
Posted 5/17/2019 at 11:22:26 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
JVS Culinary Arts Trip

Students in the culinary arts program at Jefferson County Joint Vocational School traveled to Cleveland on May 9-10 to explore career paths. The group toured a meat packing plant where they learned about harvesting cattle and preparing meat for distribution, plus they visited the Sysco Cleveland warehouse to gain an understanding of its operations. Pictured are, from left, Erin Freed, Mekenna Johnikins, Sara Rager, Damar Jackson, Troy Huber, Brendan Frey, Sysco Vice President Howard Raber, culinary arts instructor Glen Zalenski and chaperone Dale Palmer.

Small Animal Science Students Visit Zoo
Posted 5/14/2019 at 12:47:39 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
JVS SAS Visits Columbus Zoo

Juniors and seniors in the small animal science program at Jefferson County Joint Vocational School traveled to the Columbus Zoo on May 10, where they got a closer look at some of the facility’s furry and feathered tenants including a baby wallaby, clouded leopard cubs and a penguin. The group also toured the veterinary hospital and animal productions and had an opportunity to see where diagnostic and surgical procedures are done on zoo animals. 

JVS NTHS Inducts 35
Posted 5/8/2019 at 9:02:47 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
JVS NTHS Induction

BLOOMINGDALE-Thirty-five new members were welcomed into the fold as the Jefferson County Joint Vocational School National Technical Honor Society held its induction ceremony on May 7.

 Family members and school representatives gathered in the commons area for the event, which featured a welcome by advisor Barb Pieniazek and comments from current members who highlighted the history of the NTHS and listed the eight attributes of knowledge, skill, honesty, service, responsibility, scholarship, citizenship and leadership. The ceremony also included a candle lighting and recitation of the NTHS oath, followed by the presentation of new members.

   Among the inductees are Shayla Agin, Chris Aubrey-Biggie, Megan Bickerstaff, Allyson Burkett, Jared Findlay, Nathaniel Granatir, Salenna Hoover, Bailey Jarman, Jon-Paul Lavoie, Jacob Lockhart,, Catalina Mazzaferro, Nitara McDonald, Dashel Mumaw, Jaiden Plunkett, Daniel Sammut, Meghan Stackhouse, Torrie Winland, Zoey Young, Hannah Armstrong, Emily Bickerstaff, Gracie Blackburn, Nikita Ferrell, Cameron Garcia, Logan Hanchin, Damar Jackson, Farashae Johnson, William Lewis, Ryan Maple, Lance Jeffrey McAfoose, Brooke Mitchell, Autumn Nile, Abigail Saffell, Jessie Sands, Karen Strickler and Charles Wise. Current members include Michael Banovsky, Mara Burress, Natasha Fedorka, Jeff Fogle, Stephanie Kinney, Emily Manley, Anthony Perrino, Kiersten Reese, Brianna Sheets, Zanea Van Horn, Cheyenne Bryan, Brooke Edwards-Miles, Domenick Flenniken, Kayla Habbit, Alison Lynn, Haley Moore, Cassandra Reed, Aiden Sammut and Dalton Sindeldecker.

   A small reception with light refreshments immediately followed the event.

(Photo Cutline: Thirty-five new inductees were named to the National Technical Honor Society during a ceremony at Jefferson County Joint Vocational School on May 7. Pictured is advisor Barb Pieniazek welcoming the latest members at the event, which was attended by family and school representatives.)

Mitchell Attending National FCCLA Contest
Posted 5/8/2019 at 8:58:38 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
JVS Mitchell FCCLA Nationals

BLOOMINGDALE-Jefferson County Joint Vocational School student Brooke Mitchell is West Coast-bound this summer as she represents her school in a national competition.

   Mitchell, the daughter of Larry and Delena Mitchell of Hopedale and a senior in the early childhood education program at JCJVS, is the first to represent her school at the Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) National Leadership Conference in Anaheim, Calif., on June 29-July 4. FCCLA is a national career and technical student organization that provides personal growth, leadership development, and career preparation opportunities for students in Family and Consumer Sciences education.

   Mitchell and ECE instructor Becky Kelley will head to the National Convention Center where Mitchell will square off against teens from across the country, as well as attend workshops and other venues. She earned the opportunity after winning first place in the early childhood education category at the state FCCLA contest on April 25-26 in Columbus. Mitchell, who attends Harrison Central High School, gained the top spot after completing an assignment within an allotted timeframe.

   “I had to create a portfolio, add my certifications and have five lesson plans with kids in the class [to take to states],” she explained of her initial preparation, saying she designed lessons from math and science to art and literacy and worked with the preschoolers she tends to in Kelley’s program at JCJVS. “I had 20 minutes to make a lesson plan and had a certain age group to work with, and the topic was math. Once I was done, I presented it to the judges.”

      Not only did she succeed with her lesson plan, but she also scored a 99 out of 100 from judges on her Rubric. She faced off against 10 others in her category, six of whom received gold medals, but only the top two contestants advanced to the event in Anaheim. She earned a trophy for the career development event and now looks ahead to the nationals with a mixture of pride and nerves.

   “I was very proud,” she added. “I’m the first one for early childhood to go to the nationals. I’m excited and nervous because someone from every state will go.”

   But she said Kelley’s encouragement and the lessons she’s learned in the ECE program have helped prepare her for what is to come.

 “Creating lesson plans is hard, but doing lessons with the kids [at the preschool] for the past two years has made it easier.”

   While in California, she and Kelley also plan to tour Los Angeles and maybe have some fun at Disneyland. Kelley was equally proud of her pupil and said it was a milestone for the school program.

   “This is the first time I’ve had a national qualifier and we’ve been competing for seven years. I couldn’t be happier. It’s exciting,” Kelley noted.

   She added that anyone who would like to donate to assist Mitchell with trip expenses may send a check in care of Jefferson County Joint Vocational School with FCCLA on the memo line. Donations may be sent to the JVS at 1509 County Highway 22A, Bloomingdale, Ohio, 43910.

   Meanwhile, Mitchell hopes to work with children in a different capacity in the future. Upon graduation, she plans to study exercise science and pre-physical therapy at the University of Akron and eventually earn a doctorate. Mitchell wants to become a physical therapist and either assist kids in children’s hospitals or schools.

(Photo Cutline: Brooke Mitchell, a senior in the early childhood education program at Jefferson County Joint Vocational School, will head to Anaheim, Calif., this summer for the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) National Leadership Conference in June. The Hopedale resident earned first place in the state competition in April and is the first in her program to go to the nationals.)

Student Places Second at State Welding Contest
Posted 4/30/2019 at 9:24:45 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
JVS Sindeldecker Second at State SkillsUSA Contest

BLOOMINGDALE-Jefferson County Joint Vocational School welding student Dalton Sindeldecker put his abilities to work and earned a high score during a recent state contest.

   Sindeldecker, a senior in the JVS welding program, placed second during the Ohio SkillsUSA competition at the Downtown Columbus Convention Center on April 16-17. More than 6,000 students from across the state took part in the overall event and Sindeldecker was among 25 contestants competing within his category. He completed a five-hour test using various gas metal arc welding process such as metal inert gas (MIG), tungsten inert gas (TIG), flux-cored and Oxy-fuel and was judged by experts from the likes of Lincoln Electric and ESAB welding equipment company.

   “It was rewarding,” he added. “The hard work definitely paid off.”

   Sindeldecker, a Rayland resident and student at Indian Creek High School, plans to attend an apprenticeship through the United Association Local 495 Plumbers and Pipefitters in Cambridge upon his graduation. He said he learned a lot from his time at JVS and plans to utilize that knowledge as he enters his career path.

   “I definitely learned a lot between my junior and senior year. You take a reality check on your welding and figure out the concept of it and become more detail-oriented. My skills have grown.”

    Instructor Todd Parker said Sindeldecker was an excellent student and he wished him well in his future endeavors.

   “He’s been a huge complement to our program and it’s easy to work with somebody that’s hungry to learn,” Parker concluded.

(Photo Cutline: Dalton Sindeldecker, a senior welding student at Jefferson County Joint Vocational School, earned second place during the Ohio SkillsUSA competition in Columbus on April 16-17. Sindeldecker, a student at Indian Creek High School, was among 25 contestants in that category and said his time at the JVS helped prepare him for the event and his future.)

Biannual Blood Drive Set at JVS
Posted 4/30/2019 at 9:11:06 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

BLOOMINGDALE-The health technologies program at Jefferson County Joint Vocational School is joining forces once again with the American Red Cross for a biannual blood drive on May 15.

   The event will be held in the health tech lab from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and students will man various stations from registration to the canteen while Red Cross medical personnel will oversee the blood collection. Tammy Sismondo, health tech instructor, said 43 viable units were collected during the previous campaign in December and a similar goal has been set for the upcoming drive.

   Registered and walk-in donations will be accepted from school and community members while donors must provide a photo ID. Additionally, those aged 18 and under have to meet requirements and a student must be at least 4 feet 10 inches in height and weigh 146 pounds to take part. About 40-60 people have contributed in the past and the Red Cross provides scholarships for $250 to $500 based upon student participation.

   To register, call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or go online to www.redcrossblood.org and enter JVS.

JVS Students Earn Private Security Certification
Posted 4/30/2019 at 9:08:11 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
JVS CJ Private Security Certification

Juniors in the criminal justice program at Jefferson County Joint Vocational School received Ohio Peace Officer Training Private Security certification after completing a 124-hour course and subsequent exam. Students tested in Ridgefield in February and toured the Bureau of Criminal Investigations afterward. Pictured with their certificates are, front from left, Faith Cook, Paige Layman, Mackenzie Wedlake and Jenna Reed. Back: Blayke Malone, Jeremiah Morris, Bryce Gaston and Nate Granitir while Farashae Johnson is absent from the photo.

Students Gain Boating Certification
Posted 4/30/2019 at 8:59:11 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
JVS CJ Boating Certification

Juniors in the criminal justice program at Jefferson County Joint Vocational School underwent boating certification training with officials from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources on April 26. Officers Andrew Gatto and Brian Stamp reviewed regulations during the lesson and five students received their licenses to operate a watercraft. They include, front from left, Mackenzie Wedlake and Paige Layman. Back: Blayke Malone, Bryce Gaston and Nate Granitir.

Waggoner Places Third in Welding Contest
Posted 4/17/2019 at 9:59:33 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
JVS Waggoner Places Third in Weld-Off

BLOOMINGDALE-Jefferson County Joint Vocational School student Cody Waggoner proved his mettle by capturing third place during a recent welding contest.

   Waggoner, a junior in the welding program, attended the Mid-East Career and Technical Centers’ 15th Annual Weld-Off Contest hosted by the Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 495 in Cambridge. He was among 18 contenders and completed performance-based tests to showcase his hands-on skills.

    Todd Parker, JVS welding instructor, said Waggoner had to pass a D.15 certification test before he could move on. That required performing two vertical and overhead position exams and his work had to undergo a visual inspection by a judge. Parker noted that that JVS students have attended the competition for the past 15 years with first-place winners named during the last two events.

   “I’m proud of Cody,” he added, saying that Waggoner gained certification recognized by the State of Ohio which gives him an advantage when he enters the workforce.

   Waggoner, a Toronto-area resident and student at Edison High School, was also surprised by his honor and said it was his first time to participate.

   “It was definitely a shocker for me,” he continued. “I always thought [welding] was pretty cool and I knew welding would never go away.”

   He added that he has gained some great experience at JCJVS and enjoys the hands-on training he’s received. Waggoner plans to pursue a career as a welder or ironworker upon graduation.

(Photo Cutline: Cody Waggoner, a junior welding student at Jefferson County Joint Vocational School, recently earned third place at the Mid-East Career and Technical Centers’ 15th Annual Weld-Off Contest which was hosted by the Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 495 in Cambridge. Waggoner was among 18 students who completed hands-on skills tests and earned state-recognized certification that will aid him in the workforce.)

JVS Students Lauded for Creativity
Posted 4/17/2019 at 9:56:24 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
JVS MAD Fest Honorees

BLOOMINGDALE-Three students in the multimedia and design program at Jefferson County Joint Vocational School gained recognition after participating in MAD Fest 2019 at West Liberty University.

   Junior Therman Gross and seniors Chris Morale and Corbyn Behrendt were among students from 16 high schools in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio who attended the media, art and design festival on April 12 in the College Hall auditorium, where they also got to network with creative peers, attend workshops and meet industry and education professionals. JVS Instructor Cody LaRue said it was the first time his class took part and he was proud of the honorees’ achievements.

   “It’s something we’ve tried to do for the past couple of years. We got to go and it was definitely something we were excited to be part of,” said LaRue. “It was good for the students to meet people in the field and network. It was a giant collaboration of creativity, art and design.”

    Students were asked to submit original projects in various mediums, from the traditional such as painting and sculpture to the more modern mixed media and digital imaging. LaRue added that the projects were completed in class and his pupils incorporated the skills they learned through the program. The works were judged by guest jurors Reagan Heller, vice president of Art with Schell Games; Chris Russell, founder and executive director of PopShopWV; and Brandon Jennings, graphic designer with KBK Enterprises, and an awards ceremony followed the event.

   Gross, a student at Indian Creek High School, earned first place in graphic design for “Let’s Start a Riot,” a piece which used imagery and typography in a double-exposure format; Morale, who hails from Edison High School, placed second in the same category with his “Batman” rendering which superimposes the caped crusader with the Gotham City skyline; and Behrendt, who attends Toronto High School, received honorable mention in animation with her work, “Bury a Friend,” which incorporates kinetic typography animation.

   “It was interesting,” noted Gross. “I didn’t expect it. It was a side project but it was one that I was the most proud of.”

   Morale added that he was surprised to gain recognition, while his education at JCJVS will enable him to carve a successful path for his future. He plans to continue in the field and study videogame design.





   “It was exciting,” he said of the event. “All of my computer skills came from class.”

   Behrendt echoed those remarks, saying she was thrilled to earn accolades.

   “I didn’t expect it,” she added, noting that she also plans to further her education in graphic design.


Photo Cutline: Multimedia and design students at Jefferson County Joint Vocational School fared well during MAD Fest 2019 at West Liberty University. The students attended for the first time and earned recognition for their entries in graphic arts and animation. Pictured are, from left, Corbyn Behrendt, honorable mention for animation; Chris Morale, second place for graphic arts; and Therman Gross, first place for graphic arts.

Health Tech Students Heading to Nationals
Posted 4/17/2019 at 9:53:02 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
JVS HOSA Students to Nationals

BLOOMINGDALE-They’re going to Disney World!

   Junior health technologies students Azrielle Pratko and Sam Shrock will represent Jefferson County Joint Vocational School this June when they head to Orlando, Fla., for the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) 42nd Annual International Leadership Conference. There they will join about 10,000 students from 47 states and Puerto Rico for a series of competitions and conference events.

   Pratko, who hails from Indian Creek High School, and Shrock, who attends Edison High School, were part of the CPR/First Aid team and squared off against 18 other teams from across Ohio during the state HOSA competition at the Columbus Convention Center on April 9-10. They first had to complete a written knowledge test and the top 10 teams went on to perform hands-on skills tests, with Pratko focusing on CPR and Shrock showcasing his knowledge of first aid. They were among the top three teams selected to advance to the national event on June 19-22.

  Both were excited to move on, but for various reasons.

   “I’m ecstatic,” said Pratko. “I just moved from Florida and August and I’m excited to go back.”

   “It’s two of my biggest dreams come true: to fly and go to Florida,” Shrock added.

    Both said their interest in the health field was sparked by medical issues that hit close to home and they now plan to pursue careers in that sector. Pratko is eying a future in pharmacology and may serve the in the military as a corpsman or with the Navy Reserves while Shrock said he may pursue nursing.

   HOSA Advisor Tammy Sismondo, who also instructs the health tech program at JCJVS, was proud of the duo and said they toiled in preparation of the contest.

   “It takes a lot of dedication to get to that point,” she added. “They worked really hard to get there.”

    She added that the JVS has had students attend the nationals for at least a decade and they learn a lot along the way.

   “It’s going to be a great opportunity. They get to meet other students from across the United States, go to symposiums and have leadership opportunities.”

(Photo Cutline: Sam Shrock and Azrielle Pratko, junior health technologies students at Jefferson County Joint Vocational School, will head to the 2019 Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) International Conference in Orlando, Fla., this June and join students from 47 states and Puerto Rico. Shrock and Pratko took part in the First Aid/CPR team at the regional contest in Columbus this month and are one of three Ohio schools attending the conference. For its part, JCJVS has had HOSA members attending the conference for more than a decade.)

Health Tech Students Pass Nurse Aide Exam
Posted 4/9/2019 at 10:04:44 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
JVS Health Tech Students Pass Exam

BLOOMINGDALE-The health technologies program at Jefferson County Joint Vocational School is marking another successful year after all of its seniors passed the state nurse aide exam.

   Instructor Tammy Sismondo said her class gained 100-percent passage rate on the test, which is provided by the Ohio Department of Health and administered at the school by D&S Diversified Technologies.

   “All 15 students passed that state nurse’s aide exam,” she said, adding that students have passed every year. “I’m very proud of them. They work really hard and it shows.”

   The students completed the exam when officials from D&S visited the site at the end of December. Sismondo said the class had to complete a written test and hands-on clinical portion to share their knowledge, and now they are able to work in health care facilities. She commented that many of them are already gaining some on-the-job experience.

   “Most of them are doing a school-to-work program,” she added. “They work at least 15 hours per week and are graded on their performance at work.”

     She noted that pupils are participating at Trinity Medical Center and in area nursing homes and getting some real-world experience before officially joining the workforce.

Delicious Dishes
Posted 4/5/2019 at 8:56:38 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
JVS Culinary Salads

First-year students in the culinary arts program at Jefferson County Joint Vocational School completed their practical for creating salads in their lab, which is instructed by Glenn Zalenski. Pictured with their dishes are, from left, Sarah Fox, Sarah Rager, Daylynn Anderson, Andrew Constantini, Dashel Mumaw and Mekenna Johnikins.

Practice Makes Perfect
Posted 4/5/2019 at 8:54:15 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
JVS Cosmo

Senior cosmetology students Cassie Wertenberger, pictured at left, and Haelyi Eakle practice on manikins as part of their class lesson. Students learn a variety of methods from cuts and coloring to manicures and also provide salon service to the public. The program takes appointments on Tuesdays from 11:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and prices range from $3 for shampoos and partial cuts to at least $30 for spiral perms. For more information about enrollment or appointments, contact the JCJVS at (740) 264-5545.

Modular House Takes Shape
Posted 4/5/2019 at 8:51:54 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
JVS Carpentry Modular

Carpentry students at Jefferson County Joint Vocational School add siding to the new modular home they have been constructing on the campus since the start of the school year. Carpentry and electrical trade students have been involved in creating the three-bedroom, two-bath structure—the second one built in over two years—with additional assistance from professional plumbing and HVAC contractors. Once completed, the home will eventually be sold and moved offsite. 

JVS Power Mechanics Students are MST Certified
Posted 4/3/2019 at 10:27:02 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
JVS Power Mech Students MST Certified

Juniors in the power mechanics program at Jefferson County Joint Vocational School passed their Briggs and Stratton Master Service Technician (MST) exam and gained certification to aid them in the field. The students had to pass six tests and also received six credential points towards graduation. Pictured are, front from left, John Hojonski, Daniel Sammut, Dakota Kernen and Malcolm Walker. Back: Seth Fitzgerald and Robert Batson. Absent from the photo is Damon Petrosino.

ECE Students Headed to FCCLA State Conference
Posted 4/3/2019 at 10:24:22 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
JVS ECE to FCCLA State Conference

BLOOMINGDALE-Five early childhood education students at Jefferson County Joint Vocational School will head to Columbus this month to take part in the Family, Career and Community Leaders (FCCLA) State Leadership Conference.

   Events take place at the Ohio State Fairgrounds on April 25-26 and seniors Brooke Mitchell, Kayla Habbit and Brianna Sheets will take part in competitions while senior Emily Manley and junior Hannah Mitchell will represent the group at the conference. Brooke Mitchell will compete in the early childhood education category while Habbit will take part in curriculum unit and Sheets will participate in the job interview portion. Meanwhile, Habbit and Sheets will also compete in the lesson prep team category.

   It is the second time the trio has been part of the event and they are ecstatic to return. Participants submit projects to a panel of judges, who then score them based on the student’s presentation. Entrants are ranked with other competitors in that category to determine who receives a medal and the top 10 move on to the nationals.

   “I’m excited to go again,” said Brooke Mitchell. “The states are more intimidating. You are in an open room with people competing.”

   “I feel at ease this time because I know what to expect,” Sheets added. “I feel more confident than last year since I know what the states are like.”

   Habbit added that she and Sheets would work together on the lesson prep team and they have to provide an organized and themed project for review. Meanwhile, Manley and Hannah Mitchell will attend a series of sessions at the conference, which is attended by thousands of other FCCLA members statewide.

Students Gain Private Security Certification
Posted 4/3/2019 at 10:21:39 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
JVS CJ Students Gain Private Security Certification

Juniors in the criminal justice program at Jefferson County Joint Vocational School passed their state certification examination through the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission (OPOTC) in Ridgefield and are now certified after completing the private security basic training program. The group also toured the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) facility during their visit. Pictured are, front from left, Farashae Johnson, Paige Layman, Mackenzie Wedlake and Jenna Reed. Back: Blayke Malone, Jeremiah Morris, Bryce Gaston, Nathaniel Granatir and Faith Cook.

Criminal Justice Students Learn about Human Trafficking
Posted 4/3/2019 at 10:19:12 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
JVS JC Refuge for Women

BLOOMINGDALE-Criminal justice students at Jefferson County Joint Vocational School learned how close to home human trafficking really is and what signs to look for during a special lecture.

   Theresa Golden, city director of Refuge for Women Ohio Valley, a non-profit, faith-based organization that specializes in long-term care for women who escaped human trafficking and sexual exploitation. Refuge for Women offers up to 12 months of safe housing at no charge to the resident and around-the-clock therapeutic care. Golden addressed juniors and seniors about the growing issue and said Ohio is fourth in the nation in the crime’s occurrence. Men, women and children are exploited across the nation and the local organization has aided roughly 166 people alone. Golden said Refuge for Women Ohio Valley provides a three-step process to help victims heal and start anew.

   “We have a safe house for human trafficking victims,” she said. “We have a full-time residential program and they have to be detoxed.”

    The program includes safety and healing, which includes trauma-informed care, as well as Bible studies; job preparation, schooling and life skills; and gaining employment. Golden added that clients are considered graduated from the program after nine months but remain in the residence for three more months while employed, then they can transition into the community and use local resources.

   “The community’s been great in their support,” she continued. 

   Refuge for Women has been active in the U.S. since 2009 and the local chapter began in January. The goal is to have an organization in every state while the local site currently plans to add more safe houses that could lodge up to six women, in addition to an emergency shelter.

   “It’s not just international, it’s here locally. Ohio is fourth in the U.S. in human trafficking because there are a lot of interstate highway systems and an ease of transport.”

   She added 90 percent of the victims are between the ages of 12 to 14 years old and may have been traumatized by childhood abuse. They are left vulnerable by that experience and could become easy prey for traffickers.

 “It gives them a feeling of hopelessness and they may miss love and relationships with family and friends,” she added. “Traffickers know how to manipulate them by using their weaknesses.”

   Students also watched a video about trafficking victims who escaped and are working to regain their lives. One woman in the video said her trafficker gained her trust before transporting her around the country to do his bidding. She noted that it was important to tell someone if they are in trouble and to get help. Golden also conducted a question-and-answer session with the students and said traffickers are not just online but also in local malls and other public areas. She said cases have been on the rise and since many criminal justice students could enter law enforcement, she offered advice on potential signs of exploitation including signs of physical abuse, depression and sexualized behavior.

  For more information about Refuge for Women Ohio Valley, go online to rfohiovalley.org or the Refuge for Women Ohio Valley Facebook page.

(Photo Cutline: Theresa Golden, city director for Refuge for Women Ohio Valley, speaks to criminal justice students at the Jefferson County Joint Vocational School about human trafficking and sexual exploitation. Golden said Ohio is fourth in the nation in the crime, largely due to the interstate highway system and ease of transport. She also discussed what signs to look for to help stop incidents.)

Birney Parlaying Animal Studies into Career
Posted 3/27/2019 at 12:49:38 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
JVS TJ Birney

BLOOMINGDALE-T.J. Birney is getting a jumpstart on his future by parlaying his studies into a career.

   Birney, a junior in the small animal science program at Jefferson County Joint Vocational School, has earned awards for showing cattle. The son of Sherri and the late Phillip Birney Jr. of Hopedale and a student at Harrison Central High School, he has busily groomed animals for county to national events and earned accolades for his efforts. Among his recent events were the Ohio Beef Expo, where he earned grand champion main Anjou heifer and 10th overall heifer; the Michigan AGR, where he earned reserve champion market heifer and reserve champion maintainer heifer; and the Holmes County Preview, where his entry won grand champion high percentage maintainer heifer.

   “I have been showing cattle my whole life,” he said. “I do 50 shows a year and have gone through Ohio, Michigan, Kansas, Colorado, Indiana and Iowa. I groom, file and get them ready for a show and started when I was 12.”

 Birney also enjoys showing cattle and hogs at the county fair level. He also works with Schroeder Show Cattle, which is owned by Nick Schroeder of Columbus Grove, to prepare cattle for national level shows on weekends and has attended such events as Michigan State Beef Expo. Birney added that winners receive an array of prizes in addition to show points, the latter which are tallied at the end of the year to potentially gain even larger rewards. His primary role is to groom the animals so they look their best for competition, and that comes naturally since he   spends much of his time at the JVS studying veterinary science and animal anatomy but also participates in the school program’s pet grooming service.

   “You learn about basic grooming skills and how much work it is and large and small animal science use it in the same way. I love the school program and how hands-on it is and how nice the customers are,” he added. “You learn how to work and are able to get a real-life situation in high school.”

   Upon graduation, Birney plans to attend The Ohio State University ATI to study large animal science and management. For now, he prepares himself through the cattle shows and working with 500 head of Angus beef cattle on his family’s 250-acre farm in Harrison County and uses the knowledge and skills he’s gained from JCJVS.

(Photo Cutline: T.J. Birney, a junior in the small animal science program at Jefferson County Joint Vocational School, is using the skills he’s gained in the program for shows and his future career. Birney, of Hopedale, grooms cattle for local to national competitions and plans to study large animal science and management at The Ohio State University ATI. He is pictured at far left during the Holmes County show with Tucker Shepard, Schroeder Show Cattle owner Nick Schroeder, in black, and presenter Caitlin Schaub with judges and friends.)

Service Project Brings Smiles, Sweet Rewards
Posted 3/27/2019 at 12:45:08 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
JVS SHeets Toy Drive

BLOOMINGDALE-Jefferson County Joint Vocational School student Brianna Sheets’ labor of love has put smiles on the faces of sick children at Akron Children’s Hospital.

   Sheets, a senior in the early childhood education program, led the campaign from Jan. 7 to March 1 as part of a community service project and collected items at JCJVS and her home school at Edison. She was inspired after attending a Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) leadership workshop in October with fellow members Brooke Mitchell, Hannah Mitchell and Sasha Mitchell. They were among an estimated 400 FCCLA students from middle and high schools statewide who heard lectures and learned how to work together in addition to being leaders.

   Sheets selected the hospital for her project because she plans to attend the University of Akron and study early childhood education, after which she hopes to become an intervention specialist. Over the next few months, she accepted items which met hospital criteria. The toys must be in their original packaging and must not depict violence or have loose materials, mirrors, glitter, feathers, sand, synthetic animal hair, food or fragrance. She, her FCCLA group and ECE instructor Becky Kelley delivered the items on March 22 and Sheets was pleased with the outcome.

   “This is the first community service project I have done,” she said. “For starters, I began this project due to an FCCLA Leadership Camp I attended. But as time went by, I realized it was more than that. It was an opportunity to give some sort of joy to others who face hardships daily.”

   Sheets collected a total of 166 toys during the campaign and said the rewards were exceptionally sweet.

   “The opportunity to help Akron Children’s Hospital makes me feel very blessed to be in a position to give back,” she added, thanking everyone who advertised and contributed to the drive. “I feel gratitude. My very helpful lab teachers, Ms. Kelly and Mrs. [Deanna] Hines, helped me a lot with stepping up and becoming a leader. Without their help, I don’t believe any of this would have been possible.

   “Being able to give donations gives me a sense of a beginning of community service and what it means to lead in your community.”

(Photo Cutline: Brianna Sheets, a senior early childhood education student at Jefferson County Joint Vocational School, collected more than 160 toys for sick children at Akron Children’s Hospital. Her campaign included the JVS and her home school at Edison and she was grateful to everyone who helped her put a smile on the little ones’ faces.)

JVS Open House on April 10
Posted 3/27/2019 at 12:39:36 PM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

BLOOMINGDALE-Jefferson County Joint Vocational School will hold its biannual open house for new and prospective students on April 10.

   The event is set for 3:30-6:30 p.m. and coincides with the school’s parent-teacher conferences. Principal Dan Hartman said incoming juniors and other attendants can meet teachers, view classrooms and learn about any of the 15 programs including auto collision, auto service, computer networking, cosmetology, criminal justice, culinary arts, early childhood education, electrical trades, health technologies, multimedia and design, power mechanics, small animal science and welding, as well as the HVAC course eyed for the fall. In addition, refreshments will be served.

   “We have this two times a year and it is our spring event,” Hartman said. “We get kids who have attended the JVS and kids who have not, but we want all the kids who are interested in the JVS to attend and the teachers will show off our programs.”

   Hartman expects to see the enrollment increase and said there were more than 190 applicants as of now. If that figure rises, he anticipates seeing roughly 350 juniors and seniors in the school’s classrooms and labs during the fall semester.

   “I want to see it go over 200 and I think we will be there,” he said.

    For more information, contact the JCJVS at (740) 264-5545.

JVS Students Pledge to End the Word
Posted 3/12/2019 at 11:01:08 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]
JVS Spread the Word

BLOOMINGDALE-Students at the Jefferson County Joint Vocational School have pledged to “Spread the Word to End the Word” as part of a national campaign to remove the R-word from society’s vernacular.

   Spread the Word to End the Word encourages people to stop using the word “retard” because advocates believe it is hurtful and dehumanizing to people with special needs. The Transition to Work program conducted an event on March 7 in observance of DD Awareness Month and had their peers sign a banner and make an online pledge as part of the initiative. 

   Instructor Christina Henderson said a similar activity was held five years ago and her developmentally disabled students also educated schoolmates on the importance of removing the term from their lexicon since it has a negative reference.

   “This is the first time we’ve done it electronically,” she said. “In the past, we’ve made a banner and had people sign it. We want to make this an annual event because March is National DD Awareness Month.”

   Henderson noted that it was important to inform others about the harmful impact of the word, but also to show how vital it was to include special needs people in the community.

   “We had them sign a pledge to spread inclusion because everybody has value.”

    For more information about the initiative, go online to www.r-word.org.

 (Photo Cutline: Students at the Jefferson County Joint Vocational School signed a pledge as part of the “Spread the Word to End the Word” campaign and eliminate the R-word from the vernacular when it comes to the developmentally disabled. Transition to Work instructor Christina Henderson, pictured here, had students sign a banner and an online pledge while her TTW pupils also educated their peers on the subject. The event was held March 7 in observance of DD Awareness Month.)

JVS Students Earn Medals at FCCLA Contest
Posted 3/12/2019 at 10:56:01 AM by Kristina Ash [staff member]

Students in the early childhood education program at Jefferson County Joint Vocational School earned medals during the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America regional competition on March 9 at the Buckeye Career Center. Among those receiving honors were, from left, Brianna Sheets, gold for job interview and silver for lesson prep team; Kayla Habbit, silver medal for prep team and silver for curriculum unit; Emily Manley, silver for language and literacy; Brooke Mitchell, gold medals for language and literacy and early childhood education; and Hannah Mitchell, silver for curriculum unit.  The state competition will be held on April 25-26 in Columbus.

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