Three distinguished Vantage graduates were inducted into the Alumni Hall of Fame during the All Boards Dinner on April 4, 2019.
The inductees include Mr. James (Jim) Shaffer, a 1977 Mendon-Union graduate, who was enrolled in the Ag-Business program at Vantage. Jim worked for his father on their 300-acre farm, where he still farms today. Jim also worked for Aeroquip (kna, EATON) until 1992, then moved to GKN Sinter Metals and was a UAW worker for eight years, until 2000. When the plant moved, Jim decided to further his education, earning his Realtor’s license. To date, Jim has sold over 700 homes and farms in the Mercer and Van Wert counties. Jim served on the Parkway School Board and the first Vantage graduate appointed to the Vantage School Board. He also served on the Mercer County Education Service Center Board, is currently the Vice President of the Mendon Lions Club, secretary for the Grand Lake Toastmasters Club, and is President of the Mendon-Union Alumni Association.
Ms. Christina Gonzalez is a 1981 Early Childhood Education graduate from Paulding Exempted Village. For the past 30 years, Christina used the skills learned at Vantage to work with children and adults with developmental disabilities. At PC Workshops, Inc., she was Director of Operations and CEO, incorporating the QS9000 and ISO9000 quality management systems to help those with developmental disabilities maintain production work and earn wages. Christina states, “I am very blessed to have attended Vantage Career Center. I believe the training I received at Vantage started my career path working with people with developmental disabilities for 30 years. Vantage gave me the tools I needed to make many someone specials a better life and quality of living.” Christina is involved in the Paulding Chamber of Commerce, Paulding Economic Development, Mandale Church of Christ, John Paulding Days, Paulding County Special Olympics, and Paulding youth sports.
Mr. Randy Warnecke, Vantage Carpentry Program and 2004 graduate of Ottoville High School, has continued to support and bring positive light to Vantage Career Center. Randy earned great recognition for his cabinet making, a recognition he still earns today. During his junior year, Randy placed second at the SkillsUSA Ohio State competition, and placed first the following year, earning him a trip to SkillsUSA National competition in Kansas, where he would place fourth overall. Currently, Randy is employed at Lima Millwork in Elida, using his skills to design and create custom cabinetry, along with building and construction layout and framing. Randy dedicates much of his time back to Vantage by serving on the carpentry advisory committee for the past 13 years, has suggested equipment for the carpentry lab, and was instrumental on the levy campaign to build the new building. Randy is an usher at the Ottoville Catholic Church and is men’s auxiliary life member of the VFW Post 3740 in Ottoville.
All inductees received a plaque and will have their picture hung on the Alumni Hall of Fame wall inside the Vantage building.
The Vantage Career Center Alumni Hall of Fame recognizes graduates who have, through their performance and achievement, brought credit and honor to themselves and to Vantage after graduation. Their exemplary public, personal, and career achievements inspire and provide leadership to future graduates to achieve and serve in the same distinguished manner.