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Van Wert High School

CEO Program

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Class of 2021 CEO Spotlight




The intent of the Career Education Opportunity (CEO) Program is to provide "real-life" exposure and experiences for seniors who have an interest in a respective career field. The businesses then assign a supervisor for the interns and serve as the teacher for the student. The senior intern reports every day for one semester during his/her scheduled time of the day. The time of the day varies and is coordinated with the student's schedule in an effort to match the time of day that works best for the business. The total time a student reports is roughly 75-80 minutes per day. It is mutually decided among the student, business, and the CEO Director if the student continues with the internship for the second semester. 


In addition, the goal is to respond to local business demand by utilizing student talents and skills. Likewise, the partnerships also lend the opportunity for students to enhance soft skills, technical skills, and overall employability skills. The hope is to create and /or foster relationships for students to gain employment as an extension of the internship experience, whether that opportunity provided in a full-time employment capacity or in a summer internship experience while the student is enrolled in a post-secondary college or university. The potential for both the student and business to network locally proves beneficial as well. 




The CEO program is offered to current seniors attending Van Wert, Crestview, and Lincolnview High Schools.  These students must be in good academic standing and on track to graduate.  All students and participating businesses are located in Van Wert County.


Through the internship experience, students may have the opportunity to acquire credentials within a given career field, prior to graduation.  Specifically, students who have participated in the past have acquired certifications or “CEU’s” in areas such as STNA, real estate licensure, dispatching (law enforcement), and EMT Basic credentials to name a few. Others have developed skills within his/her internship areas including firefighter training, tax accounting, social work, business organization and management, marketing, graphic design, education, and insurance. Finally, CEO student interns have participated in “special events” in working with businesses.  Such events have included students attending professional workshops with his/her company supervisor, special training events/exhibits, and have participated in company exercises/drills. 


Some notable examples included students interning with the fire stations attended the all-day workshop held in Indianapolis. They were able to attend FDIC, Fire Departments Instructor Conference.  Also, two students traveled with the YWCA to Wright State University and participated in an awareness event called RAINN DAY ... Rape Assault Incest National Network.  These two students intern with our YWCA in the area of Social Work.  The intern working with a local realty company had the opportunity to walk through homes with a realtor in order to access property valuation.  In addition, the student enrolled in a real estate licensure program (Hondros located in Dayton, OH) and the company served as his sponsor.


Students are making positive contributions among three entities; the businesses, the community and Van Wert High School.  During the second year of the CEO program (34 students), approximately 7,000 hours were recorded through internships.  Last year (2018-2019 / third year; 56 students) contributed just shy of 11,000 hours to our business community through the CEO program. For our fourth year (2019-2020) we have over 70 students participating (county-wide) interning with over 50 businesses.  In all, the students will have close to 15,000 hours of internship experiences. 


The CEO Program receives praise among our community leaders, including the Van Wert Economic Development Office, County Commissioners, Chamber of Commerce and the Mayor of Van Wert.  Additionally, the BAC (Business Advisory Committee) and the BDC (Business Development Corporation) share great insight and vision for the future of Van Wert County.  It is evident that the Career Education Opportunities (CEO) Program involves all participants in the Van Wert Community in order to be successful. 


Kerry Koontz

Kerry Koontz, CEO Program Coordinator
Van Wert High School
(419) 238-3350 [CONTENT_REVIEW InternalLink]




“I intern at three locations during the week in the area of dentistry and orthodontics. CEO has helped me realize that I believe I am going down the right path. It helps me feel better about the field I am going into and allows me to have more knowledge and exposure then others might have. My instructors help me determine what my path would be, and tips and tricks in the field.”


“At Braun Industries I help fix problems associated with IT.  I help diagnose and resolve technical issues and collaborate with the IT team. I love working there because of the in-depth information and inner working of large companies. I have the opportunity to learn real-world business experiences. Interning for friendly people doing something I love is one of the best experiences of my senior year.”


“Currently during my sixth and seventh period, I go out to Cooper Farms for the CEO programs. I help in the safety management aspect of the business. Before going into the CEO program I was unsure of what I wanted to do after school, but after a semester of working with the CEO program, I know my career direction for next year.”




  • Advanced Biomedical Marketing 
  • Alexander & Bebout, Kitchens Inc.
  • Alliance Automation
  • Alspach-Geahart Funeral Home 
  • All Temp Refrigeration
  • Bee Gee Reality & Auction Co. 
  • Best Little Hairhouse
  • Braun Custom Ambulances
  • Calvary Preschool
  • Central Insurance Companies
  • CHP Home Care & Hospice 
  • CNT 
  • Common Pleas Court 
  • Cooper Farms
  • CQT Kennedy Manafacturing
  • Custom Audio Concepts
  • Deitemeyer Brothers
  • Dental Center of Northwest Ohio 
  • Distinct Creations
  • Dr. Jeffery-Mohr Family Dentistry
  • Dr. Nygren Chiropractic
  • Dr. Parrish Orthodontics
  • Family Health Care of Northwest Ohio
  • Foster Family Chiropractic 
  • Francis Furniture
  • Greve Chrysler
  • Hair
  • HB Salon 
  • JJ's Hair on the Square
  • KAM Manafacturing
  • Kim Hohman's Danceworks
  • Kitchens Inc. 
  • KFG
  • Lee Kinstle
  • Lincolnview Elementary School
  • Marsh Foundation
  • Main Street Van Wert
  • McDonalds 
  • MOD Boutique
  • National Door & Trim 
  • Niswonger Performing Arts Center
  • NW Screenprinting/Welch's
  • Ohio Means Jobs
  • OSU Extension Office
  • PHD Precision Tool and Grinding Inc. 
  • Purmort Brothers Insurance Agency
  • Putman Law Offices
  • Ridgeview Behavioral Hospital 
  • Sealscott CPA Inc. 
  • St. Mary's Elementary 
  • Taco Bell 
  • TNT Tattoo
  • Total Reflections 
  • Touch of Grace 
  • Trinity United Methodist 
  • United Way of Van Wert County
  • Universal Lettering 
  • Van Wert Area Economic Development Office
  • Van Wert Chamber of Commerce
  • Van Wert City Schools (Therapy Group)
  • Van Wert City Parks Department
  • Van Wert Convention Bureau
  • Van Wert Common Pleas Court
  • Van Wert County Economic Devel.
  • Van Wert County Engineer
  • Van Wert County Humane Society
  • Van Wert County Sheriff's Office
  • Van Wert Early Childhood Center
  • Van Wert Elementary School
  • Van Wert Family Dentistry
  • Van Wert Family Physicians
  • Van Wert Fire Department
  • Van Wert Health
  • Van Wert Manor
  • Van Wert High School
  • Van Wert Middle School
  • Van Wert Parks Department
  • Van Wert Soil & Conservation
  • Van Wert Wellness Center/Therapy Solutions
  • Van Wert Vision
  • Vancrest
  • Walmart
  • Wassenburg Art Center
  • Wendy's
  • Wilkinson's Printing
  • Wendy's 
  • Westwood Behavioral Center
  • YMCA of Van Wert County
  • YWCA of Van Wert County