The core values of Community, Humility, Achievement, Respect, Dignity, Optimism, and Nurture fully weave throughout this edition of the Week in Reflection! I am so PROUD of our students and staff!
A Wish Comes True
It truly was moving to see the support, love, and kindness as we celebrated the reveal of Katherine Lessick's Make-A-Wish in the choir room. No words can describe the joy, gratitude, and passion shared by the guests, workers, donors, Mr. Streiff, and Katherine.
Katherine lives our core values on point. She embodies the mantra of "it is in giving that we receive." We are a better school for celebrating her life and lasting legacy. Her faith and passion for music gave her hope during such a difficult moment in her life. Check out the beautiful footage shared from area journalists!
Maia Belay of Fox 8 writes:
The Chardon High School Choir is singing a new tune thanks to huge upgrades to the choir room, courtesy of a selfless classmate and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Senior Katy Lessick says she was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor in 2016 that forced her to miss nearly two years of school. When she was granted a wish, instead of keeping it for herself, she decided to do something that would improve her school and help future students for years to come.
"I hope it makes our music program more attractive," said Lessick. "I hope it makes people go, 'Hey, that’s a cool place to be. Let me see if that’s right for me. Oh wow this really great.' Let’s keep it up; let’s make this program the best that it can be."
Talking with her choir director, she decided to "wish" for fresh paint, updated risers, new posture chairs, acoustic paneling and a piano that stays in tune. Monday, the updated room was revealed and celebrated along with family and classmates in an intimate performance by the choir.
"She is an amazing individual and it doesn’t surprise me she would do something like this but we are certainly deeply honored by the fact that she wanted to pay it forward," said choir director Fritz Streiff.
Streiff says he has been helping Lessick find her voice since she was in middle school and they have made lots of musical memories together. While music brings so much happiness to Lessick it also brings pain.
"It’s incredibly painful for her to sing," said Stephanie Lessick, Katy's mother. "She’s got nerve damage in her face since her brain surgery, so it’s been very painful for her but it brings her so much joy."
Yet, it did not stop her from joining the choir with her peers and singing with a smile. Lessick is currently in remission but says she realizes her road to recovery will be a process. She says giving back to her community was driven by her faith and determination to give the gift of music to others to enjoy.
"I have a lot of deep faith in Jesus Christ and he’s helped me a lot on my journey and getting sick and dealing with everything that comes with that; Jesus says to love your neighbors more than you love yourself," explained Lessick.
Lessick says she hopes to continue singing when she goes to college next year; she is currently waiting to see where she has been accepted.
She was given a baton, music books, six months of voice lessons and a keyboard to round out her extraordinary day.
Maia Belay. "Chardon student pays it forward with Make-A-Wish Foundation dream come true." fox8.com. 14 Jan. 2019. Web. 14 Jan. 2019. <https://fox8.com/2019/01/14/chardon-student-pays-it-forward-with-make-a-wish-foundation-dream-come-true/>
Entire Presentation Via Periscope
It is in Giving that We Receive
The Greater Cleveland Food Bank (GCFB) is the largest hunger relief organization in Northeast Ohio having provided more than 57 million meals in 2018 to hungry people in Cuyahoga, Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake, Ashland and Richland counties.
Last Friday, students in Chardon Academy learned about the many programs that GCFB offers along with participating in servant leadership. We are so proud of the work that Mr. Dinko and Mrs. Zdesar provides our students in earning credit and learning life skills to better equip all of our students with life lessons to serve our local community!
Appalachian Service Project
Chardon High School students: Grace Powell, Cam Holt, Ryan Brown, Catherine Condon, Blue Veon, Anne Sweet, Will Piotrkowski and Ellie Ramos along with teachers -Scott Brown and Rob Mizen ventured to Jonesville, Virginia, to participate in service learning. The students spent from December 31st until January 4th working to build a deck and side a house for a family in need. This is the second time our students have participated in this project hosted by the Appalachian Service Project.
Numerous other schools were involved in this philanthropic venture. Additional schools that were involved included Willoughby South, Painesville Riverside, Kenston, and Wickliffe. This experience was led by Joseph Spiccia and Julie Ramos of Wickliffe Schools.
We are so grateful to Mr. Mizen and Mr. Brown who supported our students on life-changing service experience!
The Circuit of Success Goes National
Almost one year ago (during a snow day), I was pressed to design programming to include eighth graders at the high school- not only academically, but into our culture. The stress of coming up with the right idea (with intention) came to a crossroad. I began storyboarding with Mr. Higham and Mrs. Hetrick and had Mr. Bandiera on a conference call. Ideas were being passed back and forth until an idea to create a non-grading period connecting to our unique lunch period arose. Within a few hours the concept of creating soft skill courses that would benefit students in the short and long term titled Principles courses ensued.
We storyboarded key ideas that we were talking about all year: creativity, collaboration, design thinking, global connections, leadership, innovation, problem solving, music and art appreciation, entrepreneurship, and relationships. We thought about our Freshman Mentoring Program, the countless Topper Time experiences that were formed to build relationships and skills, along with our academic courses, the portrait of a Chardon graduate, and Senior Projects. We analyzed our purpose in education and our mission. From that moment, the birth of the Principles of: Leadership, Communication, Global Awareness, Innovation, Problem Solving, and Entrepreneurship were formed. The work was just beginning.
Designing over 7,000 course selections into 41 rooms with 78 adults became one of the largest tasks that we embarked on in the history of Chardon High School. We were making history and wanted to plan this right. Essential to the design of the Circuit was inviting and selecting teachers to join the creation process. We selected 10 teachers from various areas to co-create and program the foundational experiences for our students at Chardon High School. The work of our assistant principals, secretaries, counselors, along with our selected teachers for the Circuit: Jill Carpenter, Holly Mihalek, Amber Yeager, Kristen Niedzwiecki, Heather Biernacki, Scott Brown, Dan Chenoweth, Rob Mizen, Al Herner, and Mitch Hewitt commenced. Their vision, along with the vision and support of their colleagues was essential.
Last May and leading into the summer was our essential planning time. As we met with parents, students, and teachers we saw the plan coming together. Let's be honest, this was not easy and the anxiety of working with grade levels that we weren't used to was a real stress....then the first day of school began. Quickly we saw the plan coming to fruition. Students were collaborating, solving problems, innovating ideas and marketing them. Students were learning our core values, breaking barriers in communication, connecting cultures... and the best part was there was no grade attached. Kids were learning because learning mattered more than a grade.
In early October, Mr. Higham saw an opportunity to share our program at the EdExcellence Conference in San Diego, California. He proposed the idea to our Circuit teachers and they quickly jumped right on board to the idea. Our teachers worked over a few weeks to write the proposal.
In December, our proposal was accepted! Then came the difficult part. We have ten teachers in the Circuit. We have previously received grant money...but only a portion of the group could present based on the guidelines that we received. The EdExcellence Group requested student presenters on top of a select group of presenters. I am so appreciative of all of our teachers who collaborated on this initiative and will be forever documented as the authors of the Circuit.
As I have shared in previous communications, the Circuit of Success was born out of the mission of Edleader21 and the reality of reconfiguration. The work that our teachers are sharing with the 8th graders is paying off. The students LOVE these courses and the experiences that they are applying. The students shared that the most memorable moments of the Circuit thus far are the job and life skills that they are learning, the relationships that are developing with new peers and teachers, and the skills that they are applying to their day-to-day classes. All of these experiences, projects, and applied lessons are without academic credit. The students know this and quite frankly are putting more effort and pride into their learning. It really makes you think about education and the societal emphasis on grades. I am very proud of our teachers and the support everyone is providing to each of them.
This February, I have asked Al Herner, Jill Carpenter, Holly Mihalek, and Rob Mizen to join me and Mr. Higham to attend and present at this conference. We will be taking (4) 8th-grade students to attend and co-facilitate the presentation over two days: Maysen and Alexis Jahnke, Faith Kilfoyle, and Sydney Murray. We will also visit High Tech High. This school was featured in the film, Most Likely to Succeed.
We have been planning our presentation over the last few weeks and will be meeting after school twice a week until our presentation. We are planning on presenting a dry run rehearsal on Sunday, February 10 at 1:00 PM at Chardon High School that is open to our school community. All are welcome. Just a warning, it is going to be an active presentation with guest involvement to experience our circuits.
If you see Jill Carpenter, Holly Mihalek, Amber Yeager, Kristen Niedzwiecki, Heather Biernacki, Scott Brown, Dan Chenoweth, Rob Mizen, Al Herner or Mitch Hewitt-- give them some kudos for awesome recognition!
Images of the Week
Spanish IV and V students spent the day cooking typical dishes and desserts from Spanish speaking countries. It is always nice to put into practice what we study in class. They did great, we learned and had a fun day! Thanks, Mrs. Korenke for sharing this with us!
Core Value Team Presents: Teen Vaping, It's Not What You Think
Vaping has become a trend in high schools nationwide including Chardon High School. Please join us for this important conversation on vaping and the health risks for teens.
We are pleased to have Dr. Ellen Rome as our speaker. Dr. Rome has been the Head of Adolescent Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic since 1994. She received her BA from Yale, her medical degree from Case Western Reserve University, and her Master's in Public Health from Harvard University. She is a local, national and international speaker on a variety of topics impacting youth. She is also the co-author of two books with Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen, You: The Owner's Manual for Teens and You: Raising Your Child from First Breath to First Grade.
Please make plans to attend this important event on Teen Vaping at CHS. Officer Carlson, Chardon Police Department, and Missy Bell, Ravenwood Health Center will be on the Q &A panel to answer your questions about vaping. Officer Carlson has been with the Chardon Police Department for 3 1/2 years. Prior to this, he was on the police force at Bowling Green State University. Missy Bell is an Ohio Certified Prevention Consultant with Ravenwood Health Center and has worked with youth and parents in the drug and alcohol prevention field for over 14 years.
A Night At The Races
Costa Rica Trip
Sloths, monkeys, and zip lining, oh my! There will be an informational meeting for parents of C.H.S. students that are interested in traveling to Costa Rica in the summer of 2020. The meeting will be Thursday, January 24 at 7:00 p.m., at C.H.S. in room 209. Learn about this exciting trip to the tropics and the opportunity of a lifetime to experience a new culture. Email Mrs. Korenke at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. See you then!
Geauga County Maple Festival
Hilltoppers at Severance
The Hilltopper Bands have the honor of performing at Severance Hall on Sunday, January 27, 3:00 PM, as part of the Northeast Ohio Band Invitational. Symphonic Band will be performing:
Pan American by Karl King,
Chorale and March by Clifton Williams,
New Era Fanfare by Randall Standridge,
and Selections from The Sound of Music.
Wind Ensemble will be performing:
Entry March of the Boyars by Johan Halvorsen,
Risk Everything for a Dream by Richard Saucedo,
Four Dance Episodes by Gary Gilroy, and Mancini Magic.
Tickets are available in the high school band room and are $10 each. Checks payable to Crescendo Club.
Chardon Goes to the Musicals
Hundreds of tickets have been sold this school year to Chardon families taking advantage of the Chardon Goes to the Musicals group sales for Playhouse Square. As a reminder, it is not a fundraiser, simply a courtesy to the community. Please contact Elizabeth Fullerman at email@example.com with any questions or to reserve upcoming tickets. After School of Rock, remaining shows for the 2018-19 school year include:
A Bronx Tale - Sunday, April 28 at 1pm
Dear Evan Hansen - Thursday, June 27 at 7:30pm
Come From Away - Sunday, July 28 at 6:30pm
Lion King - Thursday, August 8 at 7:30pm
We Are Back!
An Important Message from the OHSAA
From The NFHS: A Message to Parents of Ohio High School Athletes
January 14, 2019
DEAR MOM AND DAD: COOL IT
By Karissa Niehoff, Executive Director of the National Federation of State High School Associations, and Jerry Snodgrass, Executive Director of the Ohio High School Athletic Association.
If you are the mother or father of a high school athlete here in Ohio, this message is primarily for you.
When you attend an athletic event that involves your son or daughter, cheer to your heart’s content, enjoy the camaraderie that high school sports offer and have fun. But when it comes to verbally criticize game officials or coaches, cool it.
Make no mistake about it. Your passion is admired, and your support of the hometown team is needed. But so is your self-control. Yelling, screaming and berating the officials humiliates your child, annoys those sitting around you, embarrasses your child’s school and is the primary reason Ohio has an alarming shortage of high school officials.
It’s true. According to a recent survey by the National Association of Sports Officials, more than 75 percent of all high school officials say “adult behavior” is the primary reason they quit. And 80 percent of all young officials hang up their stripes after just two years of whistleblowing. Why? They don’t need your abuse.
Plus, there’s a ripple effect. There are more officials over 60 than under 30 in many areas. And as older, experienced officials retire, there aren’t enough younger ones to replace them. If there are no officials, there are no games. The shortage of licensed high school officials is severe enough in some areas that athletic events are being postponed or cancelled—especially at the freshman and junior varsity levels.
Research confirms that participation in high school sports and activities instills a sense of pride in school and community, teaches lifelong lessons like the value of teamwork and self-discipline and facilitates the physical and emotional development of those who participate. So, if the games go away because there aren’t enough men and women to officiate them, the loss will be infinitely greater than just an “L” on the scoreboard. It will be putting a dent in your community’s future.
If you would like to be a part of the solution to the shortage of high school officials, you can sign up to become a licensed official at HighSchoolOfficials.com. Otherwise, adult role models at high school athletic events here in Ohio are always welcome.
Save the Date(s)
Well, if you made it this far, congratulations! You won a core values bracelet! The Week in Reflection was created as a means to communicate school from the lens of the principal to all of our stakeholders. I cannot even count the volume of words typed over the last several years. I created this because as a parent I wanted to know what goes on in my kids' school when we often get "eh, school was K" from our little lovelies. The more we collaborate and serve each other--the better we will be. Today, January 18th, I turn 41. It is hard to believe that this bald guy started back in the Fall of 2000. I have the same energy today that I did back then...just less hair and an Italian glow.
Jump in the snow this weekend! Keep in mind the life and legacy of why we have Monday off as a holiday.
Douglas Murray, Principal