Opening Message: We are Chardon. We are Resilient
A New Year.
Optimism is a cornerstone to one of our values...and we are a model for being resilient.
2023 started off with literally a cleansing of the building. In the aftermath, countless plans and communications have driven our safe return to in-person learning at CHS. The best part of the hundreds of hours placed into the plan was two-fold: Returning to a school that was safe to learn in, and seeing the energy of smiling faces eager to see familiar friends. Communications have littered your inbox. We understand. However, it was important to be transparent and provide up-to- date information. If this is the first time you are reading about the events that took place on December 26, please update yourself to message sent on January 6, 2023. Likewise, you can read the message that was sent on January 9, 2023 and the message that was sent on January 10, 2023.
Typically, at the beginning of any new year, we have the opportunity to reflect on moments from the past semester and make meaningful resolutions for the upcoming year. It should be obvious what I am longing for to achieve this year. However, in order for any resolution to come to fruition, we need to make changes to our routines or habits. Research states that it takes 21 days to create new habits. Creating new habits, or breaking old ones is challenging but the outcomes can be transformative to the person making meaningful changes.
Oftentimes, we make resolutions for our health and by the time that spring break rolls around, we are back to our old habits. This year, after once again all of the things that we have faced, I challenge everyone to look at one way that you can make an impact on your life. For students, it could relate to organizational effectiveness--study habits, homework, test prep, etc. It could also connect to putting down technology each night at a certain time. For parents, it could relate to wellness, or it could relate to scheduled dinners, or even putting your work away at a certain time to be with your children. For staff, it could relate to trying something new within instructional practices each unit, or finding extra patience in the classroom or with technology.
Reflecting on the first semester, I am so proud of our students and our teachers' efforts to focus on the core value of achievement. Throughout the school year, students could generally experience our energy and focus on our core values during class meetings, our focus on high achievement, hanging out at school events, and/ or all of the community experiences.
Being optimistic is the one thing that we can all long for in our lives. Last semester gave us the opportunity to reflect on ourselves. Mindfulness of self and others became an important barometer of 2022, and it should be a sense that we continue to apply into this new year. We need to be mindful of our pulse--personally, mentally, and socially. Likewise, we need to be active listeners and mindful of the needs of others and use our resources to assist others.
The compass, road map, and GPS to all that we do is our mission statement which is enhanced through the magnifying lens of our core values. All of the outcomes in which we gauge learners filter through the creativity, communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and community connections that all of our educators emphasize in the day to day interactions with students. Through this daily encounter of learning, our students become exposed to programs, supports, and pathways that help guide them to find their individual purpose.
This new year is up to us. Live it to the fullest. Every single day is an opportunity to seize the day to the fullest. Make today great! Here are some key areas to focus on towards establishing new goals this semester.
Anyone that knows me can share that I wear my emotions on my sleeves. Whether it is a blessing or a curse, there is complete transparency to my emotions. People who live a life of purpose have core beliefs and values that influence their decisions, shape their day-to-day actions, and determine their short and long-term priorities. They place significant value on being a person of high integrity and in earning the trust and respect of others. The result is that they live with a clear conscience and spend more time listening to their inner voice than being influenced negatively by others.
Make the Right Stuff, the Right Stuff
I learned the value of hard work from my parents, and definitely from my wife who is the ultimate multi-tasker. People who live a life of purpose identify those activities that matter most to them and spend the majority of their time and effort in those areas. Otherwise, it’s too easy to drift away in the currents of life. There is a clear connection to the statement: How we spend our days parallels how we live our lives. They work hand in hand---reminding us of the important marriage of choices and priorities.
My entire life I have found value in pursuing what my passions were. From working outdoors at Sand Ridge to Kirtland Country Club, to teaching, and coaching...I have always loved pursuing areas in my life that I enjoyed. People who live a life of purpose wake up each morning eager to face the new day. They pursue their dreams with fervor, put their hearts into everything they do, and feel that they’re personally making a difference.
Finding a balance is essential and challenging. The key is reflecting often and demonstrating your care and commitment to those that you love along with balancing your passion(s). People who live a life of purpose put their heart into their career and into building relationships with friends and family. They also reserve adequate time to satisfy their personal needs. Achieving balance means living up to one’s potential in all facets of life.
Happiness is a choice – not a result. Nothing will make you happy until you choose to be happy. No person will make you happy unless you decide to be happy. Your happiness will not come to you. It can only come from you. – --Ralph Marston
I have lived by this mantra my whole life. People who live a life of purpose have inner peace. They’re satisfied with what they have and who they are. To them, the grass is greener on their own side of the fence because of the time spent nurturing and cultivating their purpose.
Living a life of service has taught me so much about myself. It has humbled me, guided me, and grounded me in my values. People who live a life of purpose make a meaningful difference in someone else’s life. They do things for others without expectation of personal gain, serve as exemplary role models, and gain as much satisfaction witnessing the success of others as witnessing their own. As the old proverb says, “A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.” Caring your candle and go light your world in the service of others.
Many years ago, there was a movie titled, Dead Poet's Society. In the film there is a scene where Robin William challenges the students to Carpe Diem- Seize the day--and make their lives extraordinary! He was changing the students' perspective and experiences to live beyond the status quo. People who live a life of purpose cherish every moment and seek to live life without regret. They take joy in the experiences that life gives and don’t worry about keeping score.
Choosing our response to the event that we are facing in a proactive way is the only choice that we have. We can all live this quarter in despair and sulk in the sorrows of things we cannot control, or we can put our boots on the ground and live our mission regardless of the barriers that we face. This senior class is the most resilient group that has ever walked the halls. They all deserve to be encapsulated into the hall of fame as a grade. They have faced the first adventure of being in the high school as 8th graders, Covid-19 learning in 9th grade with cancelled events in the spring season, hybrid learning in 10th, loss of friends, adjustments to the schedule, and a flood. How did they respond? They have the highest recorded GPA for an entire class, been a part of 3 State Championships and several league titles, and have the most recorded service hours, and will blow the doors off with graduation seals. They bought into the system. We have so much to be grateful for as we embark on a new year. We will overcome this barrier, and will be better as a school because we know how to respond.
CHS Principal Podcast: S4 E11 Q/A Regarding the State of the Building Restoration
The CHS team invited Dr. Hanlon and Mr. Kofol to our podcast to answer questions regarding the state of the restoration. The document enclosed is referenced in the podcast.
CHS Asbestos Abatement Plan Overview