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The Lazoski Family Graduates Their Fifth Child After 26 Years at Vanguard

It was fall 1996. Vanguard Charter Academy in Wyoming, Mich., opened its doors for the first time. On that day Travis Lazoski was one of those first kindergarteners. On June 7, 2022, the fifth and last Lazoski child graduated from eighth grade.
 The Lazoski family at the graduation party for Dylan.
Most of the Lazoski family was able to attend Dylan's eight-grade graduation.
(L to R): Alex, DeLaine, River, Nick, Jane, Dylan, Dave, Sara, Travis, and Andrea; two kids, front right, Riley and Conner.
That’s 26 years, or 4,680 days, of school Jane and Dave Lazoski have had at least one child at Vanguard. Their children, Travis, 31; Sara, 28; Zachary, 27; Nick, 23; and Dylan, 14; have many good memories from their time at Vanguard.
“I am so very proud of all of my children and thankful they have all turned out to be wonderful adults; well Dylan isn’t an adult yet, but he is turning out wonderful, too,” Jane Lazoski said. “My husband and I are very thankful they got their education at Vanguard. The memories we all have there will be with us all forever!”
Jane and Dave Lazoski have been married for 32 years. Dave works as a truck driver for Estes Express Lines. At one time, the three older boys worked at Estes as well, Travis, Zachary and Nick. Now just Dave and Nick work at Estes. Jane is a stay-at-home mom, who often volunteered at Vanguard and was Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) President for five years.

Zack and Miranda smiling. Zack and Miranda were not able to attend the graduation.
Lazoski Children Update
Travis, 31
R.O. Division Manager, Plummers Disposal
Married to Andrea with two kids, Karter and Keira
Sara, 28
Dental Assistant, Aspen Dental
Married to Alex with two kids, Connor and Riley
Zachary, 27
Salesman, Irish Roofing & Exteriors and Realtor, Five Star Realty
Married to Miranda
Nick, 23
Truck Driver, Estes Express Lines
Married to DeLanie with one child, River
Dylan, 14
Will attend Grandville High School
“The family has had a wonderful presence here at Vanguard,” Principal Mark DeJong said. “They have always been very supportive of the school. All of the Lazoski students have been a great representation of Vanguard and have demonstrated our moral focus virtues in the school building and out in the community. It has been a true pleasure and honor to have the Lazoski family at Vanguard and we are looking forward to future generations, too!”
 Jane, Dylan, and Dave smiling.
Jane, Dylan, and Dave get a picture after the eighth-grade graduation ceremony.

Jane and Dave had three children when the time came to decide on a school for their children.
“I was raised in a Christian school, but we knew if I was going to be a stay-at-home mom that we could not afford that,” Jane said. We were not interested in sending them to a public school or home schooling the kids. Then someone mentioned the charter school that was being built not very far from us. I loaded up the car and we drove up to check it out. It was still being built and the parking lot was all mud.
“I went from there straight to the main office for NHA to pick up the paperwork that I needed to complete. We got one of the two spots left for the kindergarten class.”

Jane, Dylan, and Dave with Mrs Halka.
Jane, Dylan, and Dave surround their favorite teacher, Mrs. Halka, sitting on the clawfoot bathtub she gave Travis Lazoski when she retired.

The Lazoskis have enjoyed their time at Vanguard. The family’s favorite teacher is Mrs. Halka, the third-grade teacher, who has since retired. Jane and Mrs. Halka were good friends. When Jane found out she was pregnant with Dylan, she told her good news to Mrs. Halka, who promised to continue teaching until she had also taught this Lazoski baby.
Mr. Halka, like a lot of the other Vanguard teachers, had a clawfoot bathtub in her classroom. It was filled with quilts and pillows and was used as a special spot for students to do their reading. If the kids found the little yellow rubber ducky in their desk on any given day, then that student could spend as much time in the tub reading and doing their work as they wanted.

Adults sitting at desks with Mrs Halka.
Signing out as the third-grade teacher for the last time is Mrs. Halka with some of her favorite students.
“When Mrs. Halka retired, she wanted to give that tub to my oldest, Travis, to put in his home,” Jane said. “So, I got all my kids together so we could do one last visit and reminisce. Mrs. Halka would make up songs about everything and my kids still remember them. She also took her class to the Heritage Park in Grandville to Schoolhouse #10.”
The kids would dress as pioneers holding class in the one room schoolhouse and write on small slates with chalk. They had to bring their lunch in a pail. This was an annual event for Mrs. Halka’s class.
A faded photograph of students standing in front of Vanguard sign.The first Vanguard kindergarten class on their first day of school. Travis Lazoski is in the front row, second from the left.

Jane and Dave are thankful for the education and Moral Focus virtues their children received at Vanguard. With Dylan’s decision to attend Grandville and his love of sports – bowling, basketball, and baseball – they are eager to see what the next several years bring. And who knows, a Lazoski grandchild might just find their way to being a Vanguard student!
Vanguard Charter Academy is a free public charter school in Wyoming, Mich., serving students in Young 5s through eighth grade. National Heritage Academies (NHA), a charter school management company in Grand Rapids, Mich. has over 95 tuition-free, public charter schools across nine states, serving more than 60,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade. For more information, visit