Posted: 12:00 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013

Focus on our Schools

Tipp City Schools Grad Tackling Administrative Post



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Tipp City Schools Grad Tackling Administrative Post photo
Jim Witmer
Mike Vagedes, a Tipp schools grad, is moving from being a popular fifth-grade teacher and coach to assistant principal at Middle School he once attended. JIM WITMER / STAFF

By Nancy Bowman

Contributing Writer

TIPP CITY –Mike Vagedes, who has spent a lot of time over the years in the hallways of Tipp City schools, admits to being excited but also a bit anxious as the 2013-14 school year approaches.

Vagedes, a 1995 Tippecanoe High School graduate and fifth- and sixth-grade teacher in the district 11 years, heads to school in a new role as Middle School assistant principal and school athletic director.

Last week he was getting organized for a job whose responsibilities also will include teacher evaluations, Individualized Education Programs and student discipline.

Vagedes was working toward a possible job in federal law enforcement using science skills when a job tutoring changed his career path.

“A few of those nights after tutoring, the light bulb just kind of clicked and I said, ‘This is what I want to do,’” he said. “I fell in love teaching and watching the kids learn. I felt like I connected really well as a teacher.”

He received elementary teaching certification from Wright State University and has a master’s degree and a principal license from the University of Dayton.

He taught in the Dayton Public Schools for one year before landing a job back home. Vagedes and his wife, Carey, who is in the nursing profession, live in Vandalia with their infant daughter, Isabella.

When Vagedes joined the staff, he was familiar not only with district facilities but several staff members. A count showed nearly a dozen teachers and coaches who had Vagedes as a student still are employed by the district including Middle School Principal Greg Southers.

Southers, himself a Tippecanoe grad, coached Vagedes in basketball in junior high and high school. He described him as “a great kid who worked hard, who really developed into a very good athlete.”

Southers considers working with a former student a great experience. “There are not many professions that you can see people grow and mature and develop into young people right before your eyes. I really enjoyed working with Mike when he was a student and athlete and I really think I am going to enjoy working side by side with him in this position,” Southers said.

The same desire to help young people that led Vagedes to teaching propelled him into an administrative role.

“With kids it is just so neat to try different things until you find something that works,” Vagedes said. “I really like teaching the work ethic. We all don’t have the same level of smarts, if you will, but I think if we work hard that anything is possible. I’ve always thought a student’s character is equally important, if not more important, than how smart they are.”

 
 

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