PIQUA — Upper Valley Career Center kicks off the 2015-16 school year with Jump Start Day for new students only on Friday, Aug. 21. Jump Start Day activities help orient new students with the building, their schedule, and the culture. New and returning students attend class on Monday, Aug. 24.
There will be several new and realigned staff this fall including new supervisors Tim Cordonnier, Fort Loramie, and Roger Voisard, Minster. Voisard has been a counselor at the Career Center since 2001. Kendra Kemmere, Kenton, came on board in July filling the counselor position. These three are joined on campus by Randall Sears, Covington, who coordinates the Learning Resource Center and Miami County Deputy Brian Peoples, who will serve as the Student Resource Officer.
New teachers at the Career Center are Megan Nickles, Troy, Math; Keara Mangus, St. Paris, Culinary Arts Paraprofessional; and Joe Karafit, Celina, Social Studies. New Upper Valley Career Center staff teaching in satellite programs are Taylor Adami, Troy, Information Technologies, Sidney High School; Gregory Koth, Botkins, Pre-Engineering Technologies, Piqua Junior. High; Amanda Grear, Vandalia, Pre-Engineering Technologies, Troy Junior High; Jessica Sommer, Minster, Family and Consumer Sciences, Bradford; Debora Rezabek, Huber Heights Family and Consumer Sciences, Piqua.
Upper Valley Career Center students have benefitted from the school’s one-to-one laptop program since 2012-13. Funds received through recent grant awards have allowed the school to purchase Chromebooks for use by satellite students in Ag programs operated at Covington and Newton high schools.
“We are very pleased to expand the integration of technology in the classroom. The grant covered 63 percent of the total cost and places 50 additional devices in the hands of our Career Center students off campus,” said Jason Haak, executive director.
Upper Valley Career Center continues to partner with local school districts to implement state initiatives which extend the impact of career and technical education to younger students. Both Troy and Piqua Junior High Schools will host the Career Center’s Pre-Engineering Technologies program, and a new Information Technologies program will be available at Sidney High School.
The school lunch costs $2.60 per day. The popular option of soup and salad bar returns this year at a cost of $3.50. Both lunch options are available at a reduced rate for students who qualify. Breakfast is offered for $1.25. These prices have not increased from the previous year.
Each career tech program has separate fees and tools/supplies lists. Students and their parents have received itemized lists, but the information is also available on the school website www.uppervalleycc.org.
Eight-hundred fifty juniors and seniors will attend on campus this fall and nearly 2,000 high school and junior high students will participate in Upper Valley Career Center sponsored satellite programs.
Upper Valley Career Center has a record of 100% student participation in Career and Technical Student Organizations which relate to their field of study. Business Professionals of America; FFA; Future Teachers Association; Family, Career and Community Leaders of America and SkillsUSA provide leadership development and allow students to network and compete at the local, regional, state and national levels. Additionally the Student Senate performs community service and represents the student body at school sponsored events throughout the year.
Superintendent Dr. Nancy Luce welcomed staff in the opening session on Wednesday morning, Aug. 19, and encouraged each individual to help give students their very best year.
“We create the environment and provide the support that can help students earn a diploma; build the employer-valued technical, academic, and interpersonal skills; and earn industry credentials. Career and technical education works, and the work you do makes a real difference,” said Luce