Board recognizes student achievements


PIQUA — Members of the Upper Valley Career Center’s FFA program were recognized during the March 27 Board of Education meeting.

FFA members Ben Goettemoeller and Gabby Griffith shared with the numerous activities which the agricultural education programs and FFA Chapter have completed this school year. The FFA officers shared photos from their participation in several career development events, as well as many volunteer opportunities including volunteering with the Salvation Army and running and agriculture awareness activities for several preschools in the community. The FFA officers thanked the board for their support of their FFA Chapter activities and for allowing them to farm the agricultural land around the school, the profits from which help to support FFA Chapter members. It was also noted that the on-campus FFA Chapter also works very closely with the seven satellite FFA Chapters of Upper Valley Career Center.

Board President’s Lee Harmon reported the evaluation of Anthony Fraley, treasurer, has been completed and the evaluation document for Mr. Jason Haak,superintendent, will be emailed out to board members.

Haak shared that seven students from the Landscape & Natural Resource program competed in the 47th annual National Collegiate Landscape Competition (NCLC). The event was held at Mississippi State University in Starkville, Mississippi. Over the course of five days, students were involved in a multitude of landscape/professional growth workshops, a career exploration event with over 100 employers looking to attract the nations top talent, event briefings, and lastly, the landscape competitions. The event had over 500 college students. Students involved were Brock Smith, Piqua, Wyatt Clark, Sidney, Boston Sherman, Piqua, Tommy Grise, Piqua, Cooper Gambrell, Troy, Jackson Hemmert, Piqua, and Michael Hohenstein, Miami East. Students competed in a variety of competitions. Some of our top finishes included: Brock Smith and Michael Hohenstein, fourth place Irrigation Assembly; Boston Sherman, 11th place Compact Excavator Operation, 13th place Skid Steer Operation, and 14th place Backhoe Operation. Sherman was also the 38th overall student, and Jackson Hemmert and Tommy Grise placed 11th in Safety First.

Haak congratulated the Veterinary Science Team that placed second in the Monroe Central Vet Science National Invitational. Students from 18 Ohio schools competed amongst many other states including New Mexico. The competition was online and included identification of veterinary equipment, surgical instruments, and animal breeds. It included skills such as wound treatment, injections, surgical prep of a patient, and husbandry. The team also placed fourth out of 35 teams in dairy judging at the Wilmington College Aggies Contest. There were approximately 200 students total that judged the Dairy Career Development Event. Gabby Griffith was sixth place individual; Jade Laux placed 11th; Grace Koenig placed 20th; and Rachel Hix placed 35th. UVCC FFA also placed sixth out of 32 teams at the Indian Lake Livestock Judging Invitational.

Haak thanked Sara Plozay and Tim Cordonnier for their pitch, “Salon @ 8811 Beauty in Motion”, at the Pitch Piqua event. They did an excellent job presenting their pitch and placed second at the event earning Upper Valley Career Center over $5,800.00 in grant funds.

Haak congratulated the UVCC SkillsUSA Chapter for having a very successful regional competition. The students have qualified for the State SkillsUSA Competition which is held in late April. They are Brennon Wells, Kristen Alexander, Samantha Marlow, Triston Skinner, Alex Boerger, Whitney Welch, Haleigh Smith, Jeffrey Vance, Jesse Johnson, Razziel Garber, Augustus Henry, Eddie Mahan, Chase Joyle, Trevor Jess, Camryn Edwards and Grant Poeppelman.

Haak congratulated Piqua Junior High students in Upper Valley Career Center STEM classes who competed at the first Aerial Drone Competition held at Greene County Career Center. Three teams from Piqua JH/UVCC participated in the competition, and out of 24 teams were able to walk away with one team placing first and another team placing second. Students worked hard on programming their drones to navigate a course as well as compete in head to head piloted matches against the other schools. Advisers Greggory Koth and Steve Stamper were instrumental in the students’ success.

Haak congratulated Jaeden Cole, a senior Sports Medicine student from Covington, who placed second at the Science Fair District competition and earned $50 while qualifying for the State Science Fair. His topic is Dynamic Stretching and he is being coached by UVCC staff Mitzi Clark and Megan Geise.

Mr. Haak shared that all of the Jackson Center/UVCC FCCLA teams earned GOLD ratings at regional competition. Teams were: National Programs in Action- level 3: Maleah Kipker and Carleigh Ross; Professional Presentation-level 2: Avery Jackson; Food Innovations- level 2: Cortney Copeland and Corinne York; National Programs in Action- level 1: Kendall Hilbun and Laynee Shields; Chapter in Review Portfolio- level 1: Maycee Kipker, Samantha Metzger and Isabella Warner.

In other business, the board:

• Approved the Miami County Solid Waste grant in the amount of $1,500 to be used for the purchase of recycling receptacles for offices, classrooms, and the cafeteria.

• Approved the Ohio K-12 School Safety Grant from the State of Ohio in the amount of $100,000 to be used for safety upgrades.

• Approved the FY24 rates established by the Joint Budget Commission as presented.

• Approved the revision to the Board Policy BDDA – Notifications of Meetings.

• Approved donations 0f a 2004 Honda Pilot, donated by Mr. and Mrs. Lucas Bowden, to be used by the Automotive Technologies/SkillsUSA programs; Lennox Elite Series Gas Furnace, donated by Lochard Inc., to be used by the Adult Division HVAC-R program; $1,680, donated by Sidney Electric, to be used to purchase tool kits for students in the HVAC-R Technologies program; $1,260, donated by Waibel Energy Systems, to be used to purchase tool kits for students in the HVAC-R Technologies program; $840 each from Burns Heating and Cooling, Eck Refrigeration, ChillTex LLC, Slagle Mechanical, Applied Mechanical Systems, Rieck Services, Regal Plumbing and Heating, Morris Heating and Cooling and Logan Services Inc., to be used to purchase tool kits for students in the HVAC-R Technologies program; and $420 each from Lochard’s Heating and Cooling and Hobbs Piping, to be used to purchase tool kits for students in the HVAC-R Technologies program

• Approved Joe Spangler, Information Technologies instructor/BPA adviser, Sidney High School satellite, and five students to participate in the BPA National Leadership Conference in Anaheim, California, April 26-30, 2023. The cost to the District for the instructor and five students for registration, travel, lodging, meals, and miscellaneous expenses will not exceed $9,500.

• Approved the 2023-24 high school program/patronage fees.

• Approved the 2023-24 high school tool/supply/uniform lists.

• Approved Patrick Gibson, director of Business Operations, to advertise for bids for paving project(s).

• Approved the MOU as presented between Edison State Community College and Upper Valley Career Center for facility usage for the First Responders Academy.

• Approved the employment of Braxton Donaldson, Career Tech Instructor – First Responders Academy.

• Approved a special service contract for Braxton Donaldson, Career Tech Instructor – First Responders Academy.

• Approved the Adult Education intermittent/hourly employment: for Mariana Patton, Adult WD Instructor – In-House – Industrial and Adult WD Instructor – Off-Site – Industrial; and Zachary Friend, Zachary, Adult WD Instructor – In-House – Industrial.

The next meeting of the Upper Valley Career Center Board of Education will be held on Monday, April 24, 2023, at 6 p.m. in the Adams Board Room- Main Instructional Building.

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