Pickaway-Ross Pride

Pickaway-Ross Pride

Pickaway-Ross Pride: A district blog
Students recognized for exemplifying GRIT
Posted 5/18/2022 at 2:32:41 PM by Jeremy Davis [System User]

     Pickaway-Ross' GRIT program ended the year last week with more than two dozen kids selected as a GRIT student of the week, with some students receiving the designation multiple weeks.

      Staff members nominate students whom they see exemplifying the tenets of the program: gratitude, respect, initiative and tenacity. Students get to select a GRIT-themed prize each time they win. 

      Weekly GRIT winners selected from January through May are (first row, from left): Mark Brunner, Sera Caetta, Cate Caudill, Destini Chaney, Emma Clemons and Kaleb Cross; (second row, from left): Maddy Dingess, Kaitlyn Echard, Heaven Fisher, Adrian Ford and Kaylin Harris; (third row, from left): Hailey Howard, McKenzie Howard, Cierra Hurlburt, Tyler Light and Kaitlin Likens; (fourth row, from left): Zayden Lutz, Ariah McWhorter, Josh Mumaw; Carson Putnam and Cam Ray; (fifth row, from left): Amber Thompson, Justin Vance, James Vaughn, Evan Werr and Caleb Whitt. Kayden McWhorter and Landon Wilburn are not pictured.

Students learn history of radio at VOA museum
Posted 5/11/2022 at 8:02:05 AM by Erika Konowalow [staff member]
Students in Mr. Pentecost and Mr. Johnston's Radio Mentoring group visited the VOA museum.

     Pickaway-Ross’ Radio Mentoring group, with teachers Dave Pentecost and Mark Johnston, went to the Voice of America (VOA) museum in West Chester, near Cincinnati, last month.

     The museum has exhibits related to the history of the VOA, WLW radio and TV, and the Crosley Corp. Crosley was a significant player in the early part of radio and television and developed many technologies used in industry and the home.

     The building that houses the VOA museum used to be a relay station where VOA content was sent to be beamed to various parts of the world. In the 1990s the station was deactivated and the antenna arrays demolished and removed. The building remained with its transmitters and other equipment still in place. This equipment now serves as part of the historical exhibits in the museum. Other exhibits outline the history of VOA and its current operation, which is believed to reach more than 400 million people via radio, online streaming and other technologies 

     Students were first given an orientation of the mission of the VOA and then visited an amateur radio station housed in the VOA building. A licensed amateur radio operator was present who discussed aspects of amateur radio technology and operation. 

     The students then moved on to the historical exhibits to view how the station’s control equipment was used to relay content and how the antenna arrays could be configured to beam transmissions to specific targeted areas in other parts of the world. 

     The portion of the museum dedicated to the Crosley Corp. interested the students who learned how Crosley developed powerful transmitters, home appliances and other forms of communication equipment. The exhibit on WLW radio and TV was also viewed by the students, who were amazed at the number of celebrities who got their start at that station.

     The students asked many questions and had a wonderful day at the museum. The group is looking for other museums related to radio and TV to visit next year. 

Allied Health senior making the most of opportunities
Posted 5/4/2022 at 9:38:06 AM by Erika Konowalow [staff member]
Adena Health System has been hiring many Pickaway-Ross students. Above, from left, are Jasmine Crocker and Carmen Barr, who are in Catherine McVicker's Allied Health program, and Alicen Davis, who is in Tammy Tipton's program.

Adena Health System has been hiring many Pickaway-Ross students. Above, from left, are Jasmine Crocker and Carmen Barr, who are in Catherine McVicker’s Allied Health program, and Alicen Davis, who is in Tammy Tipton’s program.

      If Carmen Barr wasn’t pursuing a career in nursing, she could teach a master class on time management. 

     The 18-year-old Allied Health senior has earned all 35 industry credentials available through instructor Catherine McVicker’s course. She has done so while completing her academic classes, working multiple jobs and taking Pickaway-Ross Adult Education’s EMT-Basic course.

     Carmen, whose home school is Unioto, decided to go into health care after considering careers in medicine or law. 

     “During COVID was when I started to research what being an attorney is like and I was like, you know, I don't know if this is actually for me.”

     She said she watched some videos on YouTube that explained what lawyers do. 

     “And I was like, yeah, not for me, but the medical field is something that's always come natural to me,” Carmen said.

     Her mom is a nurse pursuing a doctorate in nursing leadership, her father is a clinical research associate and her stepmom is a physical therapist assistant.

     While her mom, who lives in California, promoted the financial benefits of nursing, Carmen said she loves helping others.

     She is a patient care assistant at Adena Health System, alternating three- and two-day weeks there and picking up shifts at Traditions, a nursing home, on the weekends.

     “Traditions was my first health-care job. And I actually leave work every shift feeling, you know, gratified, knowing that I'm helping people and I'm providing the best care to people who need it.”

     On Monday and Wednesday evenings she is in the Adult Education EMT-Basic class at the Industrial Drive campus. By the end of the month, she will have graduated from Unioto, completed Allied Health and EMT-Basic. She also is a certified phlebotomist.

     “Carmen has always been eager to learn,” McVicker said. “She is excited to perform the skills she acquired in the classroom. It is exciting to see my students get started on their career path.”

     But Carmen isn’t finished with her education. She has applied to Shawnee State and Columbus State and after a year at Adena, she will be eligible for tuition reimbursement.

     “My end goal is to be a nurse practitioner and either focus on emergency care or pediatrics. I'm not sure yet. But that's why I'm taking EMT, because I want to be a tech in the ER,” Carmen said. “I'm also thinking about getting my paramedic and then to get my RN, but I haven't really made that decision yet.”

     Regardless of her decisions, she said she knows Pickaway-Ross put her on the right path. 

     “My stepmom, she would always tell me ‘When you work in health care, you take on the mantle of caregiver.’ And I didn't really know what she meant by that until I started working in health care and I started feeling, like, love toward my patients and knowing that I'm playing a role in this hospital system.”

Job placement soars for seniors; area employers hiring juniors for the summer
Posted 4/27/2022 at 11:34:35 AM by Erika Konowalow [staff member]
Maxwell Kempton (Commercial Carpentry) works at ACP.Maxwell Kempton (Commercial Carpentry) works at ACP.

     Afternoon visitors to the program labs at Pickaway-Ross may wonder where the seniors are. Those students haven't developed senioritis. Pickaway-Ross seniors are being placed in work-based learning experiences in record numbers.  

     The regional demands for human resources and skilled workers have opened the door to opportunities for students from every pathway. There are more than 150 seniors on job placement with many being added daily.

     Automotive Technology, Diesel & Heavy Truck, Electrical Technology, Outdoor Power and Visual Communication & Design have the majority of seniors on job placement as of this month. 

     Cosmetology students will be taking state board exams in the weeks ahead and many of them will enter full-time placement once they have passed that test. While many Health Science students remain on campus to earn their Medical Assisting license, several students have been placed in nursing homes and medical facilities. 

     Perhaps the newest development for Pickaway-Ross students has been the offers pouring in for juniors to begin summer jobs that will continue into job placement during their senior year. In fact, 14 juniors have been offered jobs with the IBEW and several Machining & Manufacturing students will begin gaining experience in a machine shop during the summer. 

     Aaron McManes, Commercial Carpentry instructor, has scheduled a job fair May 5 with more than a dozen employers committed to attending and offering students employment.  

     Program instructors not only provide students with the skills they need in the classroom but as the job-placement numbers show, they are preparing them for their careers that will help them contribute to the success and vitality of the local economy.   

Zane Trace programming students create code with Cornell University students
Posted 4/20/2022 at 9:05:26 AM by Erika Konowalow [staff member]

     This week, many of Zane Trace High School's programming students will complete a monthlong fellowship with Cornell University via CodeBozu. 

     Teacher Sarah Thornton, a satellite instructor for Pickaway-Ross, said several students created a Connect Four game using the Python programming language and a junior in her class performed a stock market analysis.

     Zane Trace students worked with Rishi Malhotra, a sophomore Computer Science student at Cornell. Each Zane Trace student received a 1-on-1 mentorship from Ivy League students, adding to the Discord community. Go to https://codebozu.com/ to learn more about the computer science fellowship. 

     Thornton said upon completion of this fellowship, the project can be added to the high school students' portfolios and included in college application essays. 

Area leaders get inside look at career center through B.I.G. class
Posted 4/6/2022 at 11:18:26 AM by Erika Konowalow [staff member]

     Pickaway-Ross was proud to be a host site recently for the Chillicothe Ross Chamber of Commerce’s B.I.G. class. 

     B.I.G. stands for business, industry and government and an annual cohort assembles to bring county leaders together to learn leadership skills, build local networks and tour locations throughout the area.  

     Jason Vesey, director of Secondary Education, is a member of the 2022 cohort. In addition to touring the career center’s campuses last month, B.I.G. participants have visited Adena Health System, Chillicothe Ross Chamber of Commerce, InfoTech, Kenworth and the state Capitol. 

     As a strong provider for workforce needs, Pickaway-Ross was selected for class members to learn about programming, credentialing, work-based learning and other opportunities available to students here. Kim Graves and Allen Koker, job placement coordinators, provided the group with a brief presentation and then the group was given a tour of main campus and the RAMTEC lab.  

     Perhaps the greatest highlights of the tour were students the group met as they stopped in classrooms and labs. Several students were willing and able to discuss their programs, their plans for the future and the opportunities Pickaway-Ross students have in career-technical education. Many students were proud to discuss their participation in CTSO competitions and some of the community-service projects they have been involved in.  

     Jason said that several classmates told him how impressed they were by the students and the programs at Pickaway-Ross and how far the school has come in recent years. 

Two free community events have Student Council members hopping
Posted 3/30/2022 at 3:04:31 PM by Erika Konowalow [staff member]

     Two free community events are back on the calendar this spring in large part thanks to the career center's Student Council.

     English Teacher Katie Hewitt, Student Council advisor, said her group has missed the opportunity to engage with the community and are excited to bring back Art Expressed and the Pickaway-Ross Eggstravaganza.

     Art Expressed, created by Katie in 2018, is an opportunity for students and staff members to showcase their creativity. Past displays have included photography, oil paintings, woodwork and metal work, airbrushed designs and needlework.

     For this year's event, scheduled for 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, April 6, alumni have been invited to display their work. Exhibits will be displayed in the commons on main campus, 895 Crouse Chapel Road, Chillicothe.

     Just three days later, Katie and her 20 Council members will be back at work for the EGGstravaganza, a family-fun event for ages 12 and younger.

     Activities will take place outside on main campus and include a bunny hop (sack race), egg-in-spoon race, egg toss, face painting, story time and, of course, an opportunity for kids to find plastic eggs filled with candy.

     The Saturday, April 9, event is from 10 a.m. to noon. Children 6 and younger will enjoy the bunny hop and looking for eggs at 10:30 and 7- to 12-year-olds will start at 10:45. 

     Pickaway-Ross programs are creating themed baskets for a silent auction. The baskets can be bid on during Art Expressed and EGGstravaganza. Money raised from the auction will go to Student Council for prom expenses. The program that raises the most money will get donuts.

     For more information, questions can be sent to connect@pickawayross.com.

Law & Public Safety senior to compete in firefighting at state SkillsUSA competition
Posted 3/23/2022 at 8:26:59 AM by Erika Konowalow [staff member]
Waylon Brannon is a volunteer firefighter with the Clearcreek Township department.

      There will be at least one new undertaking by Pickaway-Ross’ SkillsUSA chapter when the career center fields a contestant in the Firefighting competition at the state contest in May.

      Waylon Brannon is a senior in Rex Cockrell’s Law & Public Safety (LPS) program. He enrolled in Adult Education’s Firefighter 1 program in January but class conflicted with the regional contest for Law & Public Safety.

      “My goal as a SkillsUSA advisor is to give students opportunities and I felt like he was missing out even though it was for a good cause,” SkillsUSA co-advisor Jennifer Widdig said. “Because he spends half his day in LPS and half his hours in the Adult Firefighter course through our school, I thought that maybe that would qualify him to be allowed to compete in the firefighting competition.”

      Waylon was disappointed that he couldn’t compete for LPS. He had been active in SkillsUSA, serving as an officer his junior year.

      “Then they pitched the … fire competition and I was excited. I was really excited. I was kind of bummed that I couldn’t go to the law enforcement (contest) but this is definitely making up for it. This is going to be good. It's going to be fun.”

      The Firefighting contest is fairly new as a high school competition, Jennifer said. 

      “It is a great opportunity for Waylon, Rex and the Adult Ed instructors (Jan Siders and Kevin Andrus) to collaborate.” 

     The Firefighting competition will test Waylon on his general knowledge of firefighting and a skills assessment.

     A few weeks after starting the Adult Education program, he joined the Clearcreek Township Fire Department as a volunteer firefighter.

     He is confident going into the competition that he’ll use what he’s learned in class.

     “Everything from ladders, how to extend a ladder properly, how to climb up it properly; ropes and knots, how to tie those knots properly. It all kind of seems simple. But there are a lot of things that for safety reasons … make sure we do it right because something can go horribly wrong if we don't, so it does take skill.”

     Jennifer said Waylon competing is an opportunity for the chapter.

     “He is possibly opening a door for us to annually collaborate with our Adult Ed instructors and compete in firefighting,” 

     Waylon’s initial plan when enrolling in LPS was to enlist in the military.  

     “After coming here, I (found I) enjoyed law enforcement. I started doing ride-alongs with Pickaway County and Circleville Police Department. And I just fell in love with that. And now it's just something I really want to do,” Waylon said.

      Waylon is in the process of being hired at the Pickaway Correctional Institution after he finishes high school. But he also is enjoying his firefighter class so his post-secondary plans include more education. After completing Firefighter 1 in May, he would like to take Adult Education’s EMT-Basic course.

     Waylon credits instructor Rex Cockrell — an alumni of the high school’s Carpentry program and multiple Adult Education Public Safety programs — with helping him on his path. He said entering LPS, students may not know what they’re getting into. 

     “So he gave us that training and a little bit of that foot in the door of what you're going to really see. Everybody looks at the public safety world, a lot of lights and sirens, you know, fast-paced movement, and that's all fun. 

      “But you know, there's so much more to it and he goes above and beyond … to help all of us here and get us somewhere that we want to be.”

Grants let Adult Education offer more career pathway opportunities
Posted 3/16/2022 at 9:52:03 AM by Erika Konowalow [staff member]
Students in Adult Education's Practical Nursing program work with Lucina, a birthing mannequin.

    Grant opportunities are providing Pickaway-Ross Adult Education with avenues to assist high school students on a career path. 

     Adult Education has applied for the Regional Education Partnership Grant that will bring to life two curriculum pathways. High school students can receive a one-year head start in earning an advanced credential in nursing through a dual-enrollment nursing pathway. 

     Dual-enrollment programs that award post-sec­ondary credit to high school students are not new, but students, and the region as a whole, will reap greater benefits from this concept if the dis­trict and its part­ners work together to leverage the unique character­istics of the career-tech education (CTE) system for a dual-enrollment nursing pathway. 

     Specifically, Picka­way-Ross second­ary students could add post-second­ary credit to the diploma/creden­tial package they currently receive and get advanced placement within Adult Education’s LPN-to-RN (depending on typical or accelerated pathway) program. 

     The CTE system’s practical, jobs-focused ap­proach to education means that, at each tier in the nursing profession, students will always have the option to step directly into a career or pursue more education if needed. Further, the district will work with local post-secondary institutions such as Ohio University-Chillicothe, Rio Grande and Shawnee State to ensure that Pickaway-Ross’ Adult Educa­tion LPN and RN completers can then apply their existing education toward degree-track nursing programs at local degree-awarding institutions. 

     Adult Educa­tion also is participating in a grant program that helps students overcome financial barriers to short-term pro­gramming. The program provides no-cost credentialing op­portunities for unemployed individuals and under­employed incumbent workers to pursue new careers. 

     To be eligible for program funding, a credential must be shorter than one year and address a worker shortage within the local labor market. 

     For the proposal, Adult Educa­tion chose to fund eligible cre­dentials (STNA, NCCER Core, Phlebotomy) with high regional demand and the greatest reported likelihood of labor gaps in the next five years. 

     Pickaway-Ross administrators believe that offering no-cost short-term credentialing for these in-demand jobs can help increase the region’s average education level, improve workforce participation and partially alleviate labor shortages within the eligible careers.

SkillsUSA members advance to state contests
Posted 3/9/2022 at 5:09:41 PM by Erika Konowalow [staff member]

     It’s the season of competition for members of Pickaway-Ross’ career and technical student organizations.

   Students in the Allied Health, RAMTEC and Sports Medicine magnet programs participated in the SkillsUSA local competition for the Chillicothe campus. 

       Students who won first place automatically advanced to the state competition this year. Those students (above) are juniors James Beatty, Madison Harrod, Maeryn Hill, Macie Rann and Schyler Scree. 

     Seniors advancing are Paris Debord, Nya Hamed, Kaylee McVicker and Amadeus Morris. 

     First place winners were awarded handmade plaques made in the RAMTEC class.

     At the SkillsUSA Regional Competitions held March 5 at Eastland Career Center, students who advanced to state (left) are: Mason Willis, senior, Auto Refinishing; Payton Whitley, junior, Collision Repair; Lacey Farley, junior, Cosmetology; Savannah Givan, junior, Esthetics; A’Mya Wingfield, junior, Nail Care; Braden Sabine, senior, Welding; and the Welding Fabrication team of juniors Xavier George, Zahne Lilly and Sydney McGlone. 

     Students in other competitions will learn where they placed March 17.

FCCLA chapter's projects benefit community
Posted 3/2/2022 at 9:42:38 AM by Erika Konowalow [staff member]
Early Childhood Education students deliver meals to a shelter in Chillicothe.

     Early Childhood Education juniors in Pickaway-Ross’ FCCLA chapter completed service projects that helped the community and will provide them with a foundation for competition next year.

     Hannah Rinehart and Alexis Stonerock brainstormed ideas before deciding to create meal bags that they took to a domestic abuse shelter.

     The pair funded the project by requesting gift cards from area businesses. A $100 gift card to Walmart went a long way to buying supplies.

     Junior Karina Magda created a book and toy drive to benefit Creative Kids Childcare in Chillicothe.

     “I know most day cares don’t have extra money to buy the children new toys and books. It’s important for child development for children to play and look at books,” she said.

     Like Hannah and Alexis, Karina sought help to make her project a success, asking PRCTC staff members for donations. 

     Last month, juniors gave presentations to the program’s advisory committee members who scored their work using a rubric from FCCLA. Early Childhood Education instructor Missy Brown said the scores provide feedback that the students can use in their senior year to help them at competition. 

     Seniors Camie Harber and Nevaeh Harris organized a giving tree to benefit preschoolers at the Ross-Pike Educational Service District.

BPA chapter members to compete at state
Posted 2/23/2022 at 8:05:58 AM by Erika Konowalow [staff member]

     Members of the school’s BPA chapter have excelled in regional competitions with many advancing to the state contest March 10 and 11 in Columbus.

     The podcast team of Trinity Benner, Alison Fuller and Jackson Ratcliff placed second at regionals to advance to state. The team of Mikayla Kittell and Kayley Slaughter placed third at regionals.

     At regionals, Natalie Kangur placed first, Hannah Waggoner placed fifth, Roxanne Storts-Berio placed sixth and Andrew Canter placed seventh in Fundamentals of Desktop Publishing and all will advance to state. 

     In Advanced Desktop Publishing, Lydia Yates and Kloe Poynor placed third and fourth, respectively, to advance to state.

     In Device Configuration and Troubleshooting, Brennen Hatfield and Hayden Hatmacher placed first and second, respectively, to advance to state. Braxton Matthews and Justin Vance placed fifth and sixth, respectively, at regionals.

     In Computer Network Technology, Jack Wrinkle, Hayden Spencer, Aidan Scranton and Joseph Lyons placed first through fourth to advance to state. Taylor Pummel and Caleb Layton placed fifth and sixth, respectively, at regionals.

     Serving as voting delegates at state will be Brayden Clay, Makayla Davis, Morgan Kisor, Kayley Slaughter and Orion Wiley.

     Also at regionals, Morgan Kisor and Natalie Kangur placed third and fourth, respectively, in Graphic Design Promotion. Hannah Waggoner placed fifth in Interview Skills.

Adult Education instructors offer collaborative lesson to Maintenance, Welding students
Posted 2/16/2022 at 8:21:16 AM by Erika Konowalow [staff member]
Adult Education students from the Maintenance and Welding programs collaborate during lab.

     Pickaway-Ross Adult Education lab instructors have years of experience in their fields. That experience is what makes them valu­able to our institution. They share their knowledge in those fields with our students to ensure they are successful in their future careers. 

     Maintenance instruc­tor Tim Smith and Welding instructor Kenny Cottrill recently com­bined their industry experience and their programs for a collaborative lesson. The Maintenance program covers a variety of trade skills that makes it a great program for collaboration with other Adult Education trades pro­grams. 

     For this particular lesson, students cross-trained on brazing, a soldering technique. They studied a variety of brazing and weld­ing techniques while learning what metals could be bonded together correctly. 

     The students enjoyed the cross-training because it allowed them to share knowledge and skills among themselves.

     Multiple programs in the skilled trades will begin in March. Go to  

register.pickawayross.com for information.

Chillicothe film production company partners with program to hire students
Posted 2/9/2022 at 9:20:15 AM by Erika Konowalow [staff member]
In addition to being a videographer for D44 Films' SVC Network, Alison Fuller also designed this year's Student Council shirts.In addition to being a videographer for D44 Films' SVC Network, Alison Fuller also designed this year's Student Council shirts.

     An invitation to serve on a Pickaway-Ross advisory committee and budding videographers have culminated in a partnership between D44 Films and the career center’s Visual Communication & Design (VCAD) students.

     Chillicothe native Derick Borland started D44 Films in early 2020, but when the COVID shutdown hit in March, there wasn’t a big need for video production, he said. He created SVC Network as a subset of his company, as a way to bring local games to the community. 

 “I noticed that there was a need that I could provide during all the COVID stuff. A lot of the high schools were having issues with sporting events (because of having to limit attendance) and I thought maybe I could do some streaming,” Derick said.

     He contacted Adena High School and his streamed games were a success that caught the attention of other schools.

     “Everyone loved it and I saw it as a really good opportunity to do something really cool for the community and build something up that I always wanted when I was in school.”

     Derick had been asked by Erica Cormany, Pickaway-Ross’ IT instructor at Adena to be on the career center’s advisory board. Derick met Tony Eallonardo, one of the VCAD instructors at the main campus, and talked about student interns.

     “I wanted to bring on student interns for us to have some people with experience doing this and also to help these kids who are in the program get experience on real broadcasting work,” Derick said.

     Alison Fuller, a Paint Valley senior, has been working for Derick since the fall, shooting video at volleyball, football and basketball games at Adena, Huntington and Paint Valley. 

     She was interested in the Pickaway-Ross program as a great opportunity to learn more about videography, which she plans to pursue after high school.

     “I love filming. It's just a really big passion of mine.”

     Derick said Pickaway-Ross’ interns are doing well. 

     “I didn't expect them to know how to do everything but so far they've been pretty great,” he said, calling Alison an MVP.

     “She got extremely good at our camera work and she's become our most reliable person. So I send her to the games that usually require the best camera person and she does a fantastic job.”


Student Spotlight: Anna Betts
Posted 2/2/2022 at 8:06:30 AM by Erika Konowalow [staff member]

     As a cheerleader at Adena High School, Anna Betts is a flier. “We do stunts and I get to go up in the air with the girls. You just can't be nervous or look down.”