Looking back at the thousands of words that have been recorded this semester in this weekly blog- it is easy to see the volume of greatness that has walked the halls, fields, and arenas this semester. Coming into this school year, we had so many opportunities for growth. With new faces, and new opportunities, Chardon's rich tradition was able to transcend without interruption.
Robert Frost has played a significant role in authoring the numerous decisions that I have made in my life. His writings, along with other writers- Fictional, Philosophical, and Sacred have inspired me to find my purpose. As we close a new year, consider the hills and valleys that you have faced along with your decisions along the way.
The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference
As I have shared with every student, staff, and parent that I have talked to over the years---we all have a story. It is through this story that we find ourselves and live with a defined purpose. Finding our call in life has no timeline or playbook. The more we open our eyes to the beauty in us, around us, and beyond us- the more we define who we are.
Cherish these moments that you have with your children. The days have come and passed so quickly as you have watched your children grow. These four years of high school are pivotal in the maturation of your children. Often, you may wonder, do they hear me? Do they know that I care? The answer is complicated and simple...yes. Your children hear you, need you, and love you...even when they make decisions that ask the question if they ever have heard a word that you have shared. Remember, you were in their shoes. The lines of communication are always open- and when you dial them with your love--they will hear.
The last four months have gone by so quickly. It doesn't matter what grade level that you are in---you have faced a lot of choices. What I love about high school is the diversity of experiences that you face through your four years. Whether you are a freshman walking the halls for the first time, or you just were accepted into college--these four years draw into deep memories. Cherish today, for tomorrow is never granted. Live for the simple moments in life. Unplug from data and plug into real communication with your friends and family. A text will always be there waiting; never bypass a simple embrace, hello, or opportunity to give of yourself.
One of the most overlook careers in the world is the one that creates careers. Being a teacher is a sacrifice, a gift, and often a thankless job. We appreciate the gifts that our teachers provide each day at Chardon High School. We have tremendous educators that not only live their content--they teach about living. Thank you for all that you do to train the future leaders--today.
As we transition into a new year, my wish for you is that of continued, hope, joy, and happiness. Enjoy this time with family and friends. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a have joyous New Year!
Douglas Murray, Principal
Jeremy's Kids: Giving is the meaning of the season
No matter how you celebrate the holiday season with your family and friends, there is no denying that this snowy time of year is also one of the most heartwarming. Regardless of your age, there are so many memories that this season provides to the young and seasoned. One of the most visible core values that we demonstrate at Chardon High School is community. Such a sense of community is what causes Chardon high school students to band together to bring happy holidays to people in need of a helping hand.
Jeremy’s Kids, in its seventeen year, is a fundraiser named after Jeremy Mizen, whose life was tragically cut short in an auto-accident during the holiday season. In his memory, Mr. Mizen and his friends in many departments, created this service learning project to help families in need during the this season to create sustainable memories.
Students and staff across all grade levels help collect money, purchasing and wrap gifts, and deliver these memories to families. This year, ten families are able to benefit from the generosity of our students, staff, families, and businesses. Special thanks to Geauga Coatings LLC for their very generous donation. Reading the letters, emails, and seeing the joy in the eyes of these students truly move me to tears. Thank you!
The Annual CHS Giving Tree project has experienced another transformative season. Students in FCS celebrate the season with an emphasis on compassion. As a school, we are assisting the Department of Job and Family Services by sponsoring Geauga County (GCJFS) families for food, clothing, gifts and household items. On Wednesday, Jack Bradley, Alex Hamilton, Genna Gabanic, Jessica Liechty, and Kaley Gregg delivered these gifts to GCJFS. This engaging experience is a memory that the students will never forget. Mrs. Butala shares, "Seeing GCJFS in action is a whole other experience for our students. It will impact them and tug at their hearts-- they will walk away with an experience they probably have not encountered before. " Thank you, to our FCS Department for demonstrating our values in transformative ways.
Today marks the last regular schedule prior to exams. The second quarter ends on December 21. To improve upon your planning, and student preparation for their midterms- please be mindful fo the schedule posted. All students are required to be present for ALL academic class time, but may treat study halls and their lunch period as an open campus. Please review the schedule below.
Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) came in a worked with the Health classes to provide information about the importance of abstinence and good decision making. TPP helped students become more assertive in there communication skills in hopes of building transparent relationships with people close to them.
The health classes also invited WomenSafe to present in the classes this past week. Discussions in class revolved around the differences between healthy and unhealthy relationships, what causes them, what are the warning signs, how to avoid them and what action they can take if they are in or someone they know is in an unhealthy relationship.
These two programs provided the students some very important life skills to utilize as they grow. Thank you to Mr. Armelli and Mr. Long for opening this dialogue for our students.
Back in October, I shared that Students in the ABC’s of Investing began the Ohio Stock Market Competition, which ran through December 9th.
Congratulations to Kayla Schikowski and Nick Yerick on placing 5th out of 659 teams participating in the Ohio Stock Market Challenge. They began with $100,000 and grew it to $120,378 in just two short months. I think each us would love that return in those investments! Wow!
Coping With Test Anxiety
Experiencing test anxiety is natural. In fact, most people – even those who have prepared extensively – experience some level of anxiety before and during tests. While a certain level of test anxiety is beneficial (as it motivates students to adequately prepare), too much can be detrimental if it prevents them from studying, preparing properly, or concentrating during a test.
These following strategies can help you control extreme test taking anxiety:
On Monday, the spirit of the season was filling the hearts of our Chardon community at the Mentor Fine Arts Center. What a transformative evening for our students. Special thanks to teachers Fritz Streiff and Melissa Lichtler for conducting such a beautfil night. Enclosed in the CHS' traditional closure with the Great Hallelujah
With all of the recent weather-related cancellations, be sure to visit http://www.chardonathletics.org/ for any re-scheduling.
Follow us on Twitter for the latest about Chardon High School:
Mr. Murray, Principal: @chs_dmurray and @chardonhs
Ms. Kisabeth, Assistant Principal: @k_gilbert22
Mr. Bandiera, Assistant Principal: @Mr_Bandiera
Mr. Snyder, Athletic Director: @toppernation
Next week's publication of the Week in Reflection will be sent on Wednesday, December 21 due to winter break. Thank you for sharing your children with us! Stay Warm!
Douglas Murray, Principal
Let it Snow
Today, Chardon High School is closed due to inclement weather. Be careful if you go out today. The roads are slick, snow covered, and many areas have snow drifts across open roads. Further communications will follow about extra-curricular events later today. Below is a reminder about how the district determines days like today.
With winter weather now here we want to remind you again of our procedures for school closing or delayed start in the event of dangerous conditions. The decision to call off school due to inclement weather begins at approximately 3:30 AM and includes analysis of the following information:
When all of this information is gathered, the Superintendent, Business Manager, and Transportation Supervisors jointly make the decision to close the schools or keep them open for students. Our objective is to make this decision no later than 5:45 AM as school buses are beginning to depart for their morning runs at that time. However, it may be necessary where the decision has to be made after that time. Weather conditions can change abruptly, for better or for worse, but our intent is to determine that it is safe for students and staff to attend school.
The district uses a delayed start rather than canceling school should weather conditions allow for this option. In order to ensure greater safety during a delayed start, the opening of schools will be delayed two hours. The following is information concerning how the delayed opening will be implemented and a school-specific schedule:
Again, safety is our highest priority and we strive to make the best possible decision with the information available at the time. Parents can always choose to keep their children home if they truly feel there is a weather-related safety risk. These absences will be recorded as excused, with make-up work provided to the student, if the Superintendent designates the day as a Severe Weather Day in the school district.
Please do not hesitate to contact the district if you require additional information in this regard: 440-285-4052
CHS Schedule on a 2 Hour Delay
0 8:55-9:25 (30 minutes)
1 9:30-10:00 (30 minutes) w/PA Announcements
2 10:04-10:32 (28 minutes)
3 10:36-11:04 (28 minutes)
4 11:08-11:36 (28 minutes)
5 11:40-12:03 (23 minutes)
6 12:07-12:30 (23 minutes)
7 12:34-12:57 (23 minutes)
8 1:01-1:24 (23 minutes)
9 1:28-1:56 (28 minutes)
10 2:00-2:31 (31 minutes) w/PA Announcements
This week, over 120 students took sections of the AIR test for students who may need to retest for graduation points. Today, Biology AIR was supposed to test. Due to school being cancelled, Biology AIR will test on Monday and make-ups will continue on Tuesday. Students who need to test have met with Guidance and Assistant Principal, Kathleen Kisabeth. The students have received a reminder that they should be in the media center at 7:30 AM with a fully charged Chromebook. It is important that students arrive on-time to school on their testing days.
The bell schedule will NOT change due to testing. It will be a normal day for all students and staff.
The schedule for the remainder of the week is:
Monday, December 12: Biology
Next week (December 12-16) will be used for makeups as needed.
Locks of Love
Jorge Orozco, an Auburn Career Center advanced manufacturing student from our own Chardon High School, decided that after three years of growing his hair out, it was time to get it cut. He wanted to donate it to Wigs for Kids and took to social media to ask for locations that would handle the donation.
Lindsey Pucella, a fellow Chardon High School student in Auburn’s cosmetology program, saw the Facebook post and informed Orozco that Auburn’s student-run salon could accommodate this service for him. Justine Malvicino, Auburn’s cosmetology instructor, worked with the students on the procedure for a hair donation.
Pucella cut Orozco’s hair; 12 inches was donated. “I love knowing that I am donating my hair. It feels absolutely wonderful to know I’m helping someone out,” said Orozco. “I love it. They did a really good job, and my mom is absolutely going to love it.”
We are so proud of Jorge for not only his purposeful act of kindness, but his consistent character driven choices that he makes in and out of school! Doesn't he look great!
Which Letter are YOU?
In The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne is forced to wear the letter “A” at all times to symbolize her shame and guilt for her sinful actions. All of us have done something, said something, or have some aspect of our personality of which we are not so proud.
On Wednesday, ENG 302 wore a letter of his or her own choosing to indicate a personal fault, sin, vice, or bad habit. The students made notes on observation logs of people's reactions and questions, as well as their own reactions. Ultimately, they will be writing about and discussing these experiences making connections to The Scarlet Letter and our own society. The assignment, which Mrs. Monaco started years ago, is a transformaice experience for our students that we suggest discussing with your children.
Mrs. Weaver expressed, "Hopefully, this experience will spark conversation and shape attitudes that are related to our CHARDON core values."
Girls Hoops Update: Coach Harris
"The Varsity is 4-0 with wins over some very good programs. The girls are playing hard and working together. They truly play together and for one another. They work hard every day to get better and play the game the right way."
Boys Hoops Update: Chad Murawski
"I'm very proud of how hard this team has worked over the past couple of months. They have committed to the weight room, off-season skill development, and summer training. I am impressed with their energy and competitive spirit in practice and from our first game. "
Gymnastics: Kasey Eichele
"Our 2016/2017 CHS gymnastics team has incredible talent. The team has a fantastic work ethic. These athletes come ready to train day in and day out. The CHS athletes are extremely motivated to succeed with their goals for the season. Goals for the upcoming season include: maintaining a healthy team, carry on the WRC championship title & qualify for the STATE competition in March. The first gymnastics competition of the season is on Dec 16th 6:30pm @ Lake Erie Gymnastics School (home). The team would love for you to come cheer them on--GO TOPPERS!!!"
Wrestling: Nick Salatino
"Hilltopper wrestlers competed at the 26 team Solon Comet Classic where the team finished in 10th of the 26 teams and with 7 individual place winners. Placing for the Toppers were Matt Klingbergs (2nd at 220 lbs.), Jake Hamulak (4th at 106 lbs.), Sam Rocazella (4th at 170 lbs), Ethan Ducca (7th at 145 lbs), Mike Lobosky (7th at 195 lbs), Sam Eldridge (8th at 182 lbs) and Dustin Clute (8th at 285)."
Swimming: Matt Parrish
"On Dec 5th our team had their first swim meet . It was a phenomenal night! The girls team won every event--and in many cases placed in the top three spots. The majority of our point scorers were freshmen and sophomores. The boys team, anchored by three seniors, Everett McFarland (captain), Devin McDivitt's (2nd year), and Presley Frietags (1st year) demonstrated great leadership and determination. This Saturday features our biggest meet with 640 swimmers representing 28 different teams from all over Northeast Ohio. We have started a great journey. Keep an eye on those swimming Toppers!"
Free Harmony: Rich in Sound
Free Harmony kicked off the holiday season with their annual participation in the tree lighting on Chardon square. This year's group features 28 singers and dancers and students on the bass and drums. Decked out in new attire, the group has performed twelve shows for members of the Chardon community, including elementary and middle school students, seniors, and civic groups over the last week. Free Harmony's show includes classics such as "Merry Christmas, Darling", "Christmas Waltz" and "We Wish You the Merriest", along with new favorites "Holiday Road", "White World of Winter", and "Candy Cane Lane". Happy Holiday!"
Video Link: https://g-tv.smugmug.com/Holidays/16-Free-Harmony-at-Chardon/
The second video in the first line is fun. "Candy Cane Lane"
Complete and Total Play: December 15
On December 15, the ASAP group, in alignment with their mission, is bringing the original play- Complete and Total to CHS during a morning assembly. Complete and Total is an original play by local playwriting Greg Vovos about the dangers of heroin and drug addiction. It follows the story of a high school student with a bright future ahead of him, but heroin and addiction quickly become his top priority. The Mind, the only sober part left of his brain, believes in his ability to become clean, but it’s not that simple.
Student Publication: Allison Wilson
As a segway to this section, I asked Mr. Allen Herner if we could challenge his Writing For Publications students to choose an article twice a month to be featured in the Week in Reflection. His students were excited for this opportunity. This course offers real life application of 21st Century Skills. I am proud of his leadership, and the students diligence in providing meaningful publications. Below is our first student entry.
Heroin Epidemic Spreads Through Ohio (Part I)
By Allison Wilson
The headlines are everywhere. “174 heroin overdoses in six days in Cincinnati.” “Ohio leads the nation in opioid overdose deaths.” “Heroin epidemic in Akron becomes even more disturbing with record number of overdoses.” It’s clear that Ohio is facing a heroin epidemic. In 2014, the state had the second largest amount of opioid overdoses, California being the only state with more. To quote sophomore Emily Tonks, “It honestly terrifies me. I knew it was a problem in Ohio, but I didn’t know it was that big of a problem here.”
One thing I found to be striking when doing research and interviews for this article were the number of people who thought that Chardon was hardly affected by this epidemic. In fact, several Chardon High School graduates have died of heroin overdoses in the past few years. I was recently at a production of Complete and Total, a play meant to bring awareness to the current drug problem. The show was followed by a panel discussion of what can be done about this issue. A question asked of the audience was “how many of you have a friend or family member dealing with a heroin addiction, or have dealt with one yourselves?” Over half of the audience raised their hands. It may not seem like it on the surface, but the epidemic is everywhere, which is something many people need to understand.
A large number of heroin related deaths are due to an opioid called carfentanil, which is 10,000 times stronger than morphine and slows the breathing. It is used to sedate elephants and other large animals, and has never been approved for human use. Only two milligrams can knock out an African elephant. Carfentanil was the cause of 174 heroin overdoses in Cincinnati, which took place over six days and stemmed from heroin laced with the sedative. Fentanyl, a painkiller often prescribed to cancer patients, is also proving to be a problem. The drug is 30 to 50 times more powerful than heroin, and 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine. It was responsible for 10 deaths and 48 overdoses in California after being passed off as Norco, a painkiller, and led to at least 90 heroin overdoses over five days in Cincinnati. Fentanyl is often passed off as any other prescription drug, or as heroin, and has been shown to be responsible for about 40% of Ohio’s overdoses. Drug dealers have been known to lace heroin with it. It was also responsible for the death of the pop star Prince.
It’s not uncommon to hear of people moving to heroin from prescription painkillers. Someone was prescribed painkillers for whatever reason, became addicted, and found that heroin offered a similar high for significantly less money. The person then becomes addicted to heroin. They find themself lying to their family, stealing from them and manipulating them in order to get money for more drugs. For many, the only thought on their mind is their next high. Friends and family are driven away, and even after the person sobers up (which quite often only happens after the person is put in a situation where it is physically impossible for them to get high) it may be difficult for them to find help. Even after the person gets help, there’s always the possibility of a relapse. This is the truth of heroin addiction. It only goes in a downward spiral, until you no longer control your own life. Awareness needs to be spread on this subject and how deeply it impacts the community, as well as information on getting help if you’re addicted, or helping an addicted friend or family member, and how easily a person can become addicted. When I asked people what they thought could be done to combat the issue at hand, the most common answer I got was “go into more depth when educating the students. All we ever really hear is ‘this is bad and you shouldn’t do it.’” Sophomore Lydia Spangler spoke her mind on painkillers, saying “Definitely tell doctors to chill it with the painkillers. Usually they are over prescribed, and people can deal with some amount of pain after surgery. It is better to suffer for a little while after surgery, than have your life destroyed by an accidental addiction to heroin, and not all people know this, so it should be part of the doctor's job to limit painkillers, and inform their patients of all the risks involved in taking too many.”
Several students at Chardon High School have already established a drug and alcohol education and prevention program at Chardon Middle School, and have hosted two community picnics in order to raise money and awareness for their cause. Next, they will be bringing the aforementioned play, Complete and Total to Chardon High School. The logic behind their work is simple. “People are dying, and that’s not acceptable.”
Next week: Part II
For more student authored articles. Go to http://www.thehilltopecho.org/
Attention Seniors! Cavaliers Huntington Scholarship Program
The Cavaliers and Huntington Bank will award ten (10) Northeast Ohio high school seniors with a $2,000 college scholarship. To be eligible for this scholarship, graduating seniors must submit a 500 word essay, perform a high level of service in their communities, provide a high school transcript, ACT and/or SAT scores and a letter of recommendation. For more information please download the scholarship rules and application.
All applications must be received by Friday, February 10, 2017 to be considered.
It is hard to believe that I am talking about the end of the semester. To improve upon your planning, and student preparation for their midterms- the following schedule is now set for the end of the quarter. All students are required to be present for ALL academic class time, but may treat study halls and their lunch period as an open campus. Please review the schedule below.
Facilities Advisory Committee - Call for Volunteers
The District is currently organizing a Facilities Advisory Committee (FAC) to begin the work needed to update and implement the District's Facilities Master Plan. Parent and community input remains a vital component of our facilities process so we hope you will consider participating.
Moving forward, the primary work of the FAC will include:
and plan to attend the committee's first meeting on Tuesday, January 10 at 6:30 PM in the Chardon Middle School library. Thanks in advance for your consideration.
Stay Warm, Keep Smiling, and have a great weekend!
Douglas Murray, Principal