Chardon High School Unveils A Beautiful Senior Project
In September, the administration was approached by a senior who wanted to model the core values of Chardon High School within the Senior Project goals. The student shared her vision of creating the core values logo using the principles of project-based learning. The student designed, modeled, and created a meaningful rendition of our values and presented her project to her teacher and the committee.
The project was accepted and the sequence of the design was to create the most meaningful impact in assigning a proper location. The building was assessed, and it was determined that the ideal location was within the cafeteria. The Chardon High School Hilltopper mural was in poor condition. The paint was flaking off, stains were unable to be removed, and student markings were taking away from the original purpose of the mural. The design could not be restored without a complete sanding, priming, re-design, painting, and sealing of the logo.
The administration made the decision to place the senior project in this location. This project epitomizes what it means to be a Hilltopper: Designing, collaborating, innovating, and creating are the elements of a hard working student within the halls of Chardon High School. The sheer volume of grit, and overcoming obstacles emulated this project. This design, along with the work that went behind it is what it means to be a Hilltopper.
As a graduate of Chardon High School, I also value the timeless history and values instilled within our past, present and future students. Four decades run in our family who walked through these halls. The decision to cover and replace the Hilltopper logo from 1986 wasn’t decided lightly. The placing of the senior project is the just the beginning. As we transition to next school year, I am purchasing 1,000 glass tiles (1x1) that will shadow the exterior of the design which represents our community, our staff, and our students. Together, we shape our school. We shape our values, and we shape our future. This truly is what a Hilltopper means. We are more than a figure on a mountain.
A Reflection: Sarah Siefert
My senior project was a huge 8x8 circular chalkboard that was to be hung in the Chardon High School’s cafeteria. The chalkboard read “Before I Graduate from Chardon I will Achieve…”, where it is available for students to write on with chalk and finish the statement. My senior project was a giant learning experience for me, and will be inspirational and interactive for Chardon’s future students.
I spent more than 60 hours on this project, which added to my learning experience. This made me organize my priorities to make sure I was getting something done each day. I came to Principal Murray with this idea of a chalkwall, inspired by the “Before I Die” chalkwall in New Orleans, and my idea evolved into something that would represent the core values. I met with many people who gave me advice which got me through the project. Mr. Murray helped me design the board and pick what the statement inside would say. Mr. Hauber helped me pick out color schemes; what lines would be black, white, or red. My boyfriend, Seth, taught me how to use drills, sanders, sawzalls, and any other tool we used to put this together. My mom taught me how to paint with getting straight lines, no mess, and no streaks.
I ran into a few stresses along the way while creating the chalkboard. I had to wait for warmer weather so I could paint the project in the garage. This stalled the project until around March, which later became stressful because I was racing the clock.
I tested the clear chalk paint I was planning to use, and it was awful. It sprayed like a broken hose and left a yellowish tint on the paint. I did have a backup paint, but it became impossible to find. My dad drove to Hudson Joann Fabrics to pick me up two cans, which ended up being chunky, like tofu, paint which I was unable to use. I then had to find cans elsewhere, which I found in Warren. These cans were good, and worked well.
While painting the top coat, it went on hazy and left a white tint. I was worried that this tint would remain, and my black paint would be forever grey. As it dried and as we added another coat every 4 hours, the clear coat looked more clear and even.
While painting over the letters that I stenciled with painter’s tape, it would bleed black under to the white letters, This was frustrating because I would then have to touch up the letters with another coat of white paint.
If I could’ve changed anything about this project or the way I did things, I would’ve been more picky about the spacing of my letters, and I would’ve further researched all my products before I bought them.
Although my project does not relate to my future career in medical, it does relate to my hobbies and academic plans. I enjoy being artistic, and doing something this grand was extremely exciting. I’m glad that I was able to leave behind something interactive and inspiration for the future classes of Chardon High School. I think the project was new and different, and I hope it encourages other students to think bigger.
I’m not a famous-worthy artist, but I believe I have always been more artistic than most people. It was definitely a challenge, because I haven’t done any large projects. I also was not familiar with painting, working with wood, power tools, or most things this project involved. I did, however, create the idea and work with what I learned to develop the product that best represented what I had imagined for this project.
I am proud of my project, and I hope that the students will accept it and find it inspirational. I hope future students enjoy expressing their goals and reading everyone else’s on this large chalkboard.