Former student Erica Nemeth certainly learned from Vanc. Nemeth is from Newtown and lives just five miles from where the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre took place on December 14, 2012.
"I felt truly, completely helpless, but I couldn't let my town fall apart," she said. "I decided to do something about it."
Nemeth and friends organized the Strides for Sandy Hook 5K memorial run. She drew upon experience from Vanc's classroom to promote the event, which was a huge success.
"Our original plan to get Newtown involved to keep the spirit of Sandy Hook alive attracted supporters from across the country," Nemeth said. "Had it not been for your campaigns and preparation, I would not be able to handle this role. It was extremely overwhelming, but relieving to have something to throw myself into and know I'm helping the community somehow. I just wanted to express how grateful I am to have had you as a teacher."
Vanc remains humble.
"All I do is give students guidance and introduce them to everything someone in public relations does," she said. "It's remarkable to see students create something from the knowledge they accumulate in the classroom."
Vanc, who enjoys painting, gardening, photography and traveling with her husband, Costel Calin, said she never thinks about the what-ifs of her tennis career.
"This is the perfect place to continue working with students doing what I love," she said. "I believe we have the most perfect department on campus, with the smartest students and the greatest colleagues."