Final Reflection of 2023
Reflection is an important act that regardless of your profession or role, is something that we all need to take part in regularly. On a daily basis, the interactions we have, the actions we take, and the decisions we make, likely have an impact on someone else, ourselves, or others that we may never be aware of. Personally, reflecting was not something that I had always done. Nowadays it is all that I do. Lucky for you [eye-roll intended] my thoughts come once a week in this newsletter. However, as a student in high school and growing up, the only time that I felt like reflecting was on Sunday mornings. Little did I know that reflecting once a week would begin a journey for me.
As a teacher, for many of my beginning years, colleagues would ask for my thoughts on a lesson that I had taught, or my principal would discuss an observation with me and ask me to reflect on my lesson. But other than those experiences, reflecting was not something that I could say I did on a regular basis. I was not intentional about it and did not fully realize the importance of doing so for many years. No single event transformed me into a reflective learner--but a culmination of many things: teaching, coaching, working, and children. My eyes began to open to a much bigger world and my place within it.
In 2003, I began to write more and I modeled this for my students as they began to journal, I made sure that every assignment had a purpose of engagement and my students began to blossom as readers, thinkers, and writers. It was that year that I was nominated to speak to the students at Commencement.
From that point forward, almost everything that I did was reflective. I became very involved in community engagement while reflecting on each experience as an opportunity to grow as a person. It just became my thing.
In order to bring our personal best into our classrooms each day, we (students and staff) must evaluate our own practice and use a reflective process to grow as people. We also need to help each other develop these skills. It is important that we model reflection and provide different ways for our children to reflect as well. Not only will we help them build their skills, become self-aware and develop a greater understanding of their interests and needs, but we will also provide them with learning experiences that will benefit them in the future regardless of where their education takes them or which careers they pursue later on in life.
Looking back at this year, it is hard to reflect upon the tens of thousands of printed pages from the Week in Reflection this year. It is a daunting novel, with a true beginning, a flood in the middle, and the 150th finish line next week. This first finish line doesn't have an ending for the Class of 2023. A perfect reminder was a phone call that I took this week while talking to a member of the Class of 1973. This call reminded me how connections, community, and traditions never graduate. This first finish line allows for new stories to develop from the class of 2023 while the rest of the student body writes their story. I really love and appreciate all of our students for who they are, where they are, and where they are going.
Reflecting is important for all of us because it’s how we evaluate our actions. We can explore who we are, whether looking at the qualities and traits that we convey to others, our behaviors, and how we interact with other people. It’s important that we continue to understand ourselves and work on bringing our best selves to our families every day and to those with whom we work. When we work on this together, we will have it become a regular part of our daily practice and will continue to grow. I believe in all of you and my hope is that you take time after exams to regroup, re-energize, and renew your purpose!
Thank You from Chardon After Prom
Thank you to ALL of the parent & student volunteers who helped to make After Prom 2023: Game Night a success! Whether you worked the concession stand to help raise funds, helped with event planning, set-up, tear-down, or working a station at After Prom on Saturday, your contributions are greatly appreciated. Thank you to Mr. Murray, Mr. Higham and the CHS custodial staff for accommodating us in so many ways. Thanks to Dave Jevnikar of G-TV for capturing the night, and event emcee, Greg Jahnke. Thanks to our event committee chairs: Cori Bruce, Lisa DeMore, Beth Felger, Heather Kilfoyle, Maureen Liechty, Jen Murray, Tiffanie Petty, Gina Piotrkowski, Debi Robie, Tonia Seese, and Kathi Tierney. Also, a big thanks to our many sponsors and donors for their generosity!
We appreciate your time, energy, and hard work!
Marijana Benjamin & Michelle Fisher
Want to get involved?
Many of our After Prom volunteers are "retiring" this May as their youngest child will be graduating from CHS. We are looking for the next round of parents to bring new energy and ideas to our organization. In addition to hosting After Prom, our committee funds scholarships and other student engagement activities that benefit all CHS students. You don't have to wait until your student is a junior or senior to start volunteering for After Prom. The money that we raise this school year will be earmarked for the next 4-5 years of After Prom events.
We have some key roles to fill for the upcoming school year. All of these roles (except treasurer) can be split between two co-chairs
Visit our website for more details about each of these positions
Don’t wait until your student is a senior or junior to start volunteering with Chardon After Prom. Many of our volunteers are parents of sophomores, freshmen, or even alumni! Money raised through next year’s concessions will be earmarked for future events.
For more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of the most moving moments of my week was chaperoning 130 seniors watch the sunset at Chardon Memorial Field one last night. I cannot express how moving this was for me. These kids are so amazing, so kind, and so inspirational. They have truly left their legacy!
The Schedule for Next Week: Finals
Underclass Finals Schedule: May 22-May25
Please review this information with your child and help us emphasize the importance of setting a positive legacy for the Class of 2023.
Please know how much we appreciate your flexibility, and patience as we plan and create meaningful experiences for your children.
Here are a few links that will help assist additional questions.
Future Plans- Social Media Slide
Grad Gratitude- Thank a Staff Member
Topographical Map of Commencement
I have also created a screencast of information--specifically for commencement.
The time that we have with our seniors is closing in to expose a ton of emotions. Embrace these moments, I have commenced 23 years of seniors---it hits differently when you have your own crossing the finish line.
May 25: Baccalaureate (Chardon Methodist Church) 7:00 pm
May 26: Graduation Rehearsal 10 AM (Chardon Memorial Field)-Ticket Distribution - 8 tickets to each graduate. (All debts must be cleared)
May 26: Class Picnic–Munson Township Park 12:00 – 3:00 pm
May 27: Graduation - (Chardon Memorial Field) Saturday 1:00 pm ---Rain Date (Chardon Memorial Field) Sunday
Because commencement exercises are conducted in a formal, ceremonial fashion, it is mandatory that all seniors be in attendance for rehearsal. *Seniors who do not attend rehearsal will not be permitted to participate in the graduation ceremony. Rehearsal is scheduled on Friday, May 26, 2023, at Chardon Memorial Field beginning at 10:00 am. If it rains, we will be inside the gym for rehearsal. Let's hope the forecast stays as predicted for next week!
Because there is so much organizing to be done to make the ceremony a positive experience, we need to have the cooperation of all students involved.
Graduation exercises will be held at Chardon Memorial Field on Saturday May 27, at 1:00 p.m. Each graduating senior will receive (8) eight tickets to be issued at commencement practice on Friday, May 26, 2023.
As we transition to the last full week of the school year, it is important that parents/guardians review any outstanding school fees prior to the end of the year. I appreciate you going through Infinite Campus and administering payments throughout the year. Every year that fees are not addressed they can add up to a fee total that can be overbearing. By the end of the senior year, the district must close out all fees that are remaining. Please review any outstanding fees and make payment by the end of the school year for grades 8-12.
Chardon High School can hold transcripts upon graduation to a post secondary institution for non-payment of fees,.
Please review the statement and continue to use Infinite Campus to review and pay fees. If you need access to Infinite Campus, please go to the Chardon Schools website under the resources section to learn more about access information to Infinite Campus and paying fees online.
If you have questions about your invoice, please contact Erin Koehler, Chardon High School Clerk at 440-285-4057 X. 1441 or email her at email@example.com
If you are planning on attending a college or trade school please do not forget to request your final transcript on Naviance. This will notify CHS where to send your Final Transcript that is needed to enroll in the secondary school you plan to attend in the fall. To do this follow these steps:
1. Go to https://www.naviance.com/ and log in
2. Click the tab "Colleges I'm Applying to"
3. Scroll to the bottom of the page to "College that I'm Attending"
4. Click the arrow and find the college you are attending and click it
5. Press the update button once your college is listed as the college you are attending.
6. We will send your Transcript to your college once they are finalized, and we review that all fees have been paid for.
Message from Our School Nurse
Tweet of the Week
Class of 2023: Parting Words
During the last year or so, after your parents first realized that the rest of your life had inexplicably sped past, they tried not to be obvious. But maybe you noticed. In spite of all that you were going through in school, sports, and even at work, your family tried to slow the calendar, stop the clock. They were trying, of course, to hang on to you.
The very thing that they committed to year’s ago- rearing, raising, training you for independence- your parents now began to fear. I’m sure some may have been emotional; they may have been firm, or even built walls between you. Every sign that indicated you had learned and matured and were ready to face the world only reminded them how young you seemed.
But your parents couldn’t run from the truth. You were leaving and the day was coming soon. Some of your parents may have been so desperate to hang on that they couldn’t even exult in your growth and progress. Why, you ask, a lot of it was due to your maddening independence, that I-can-do-it-myself attitude that reminded both of them so much of their own adolescence, or even that look that asked, “Why do you have to know everything?” or “What does it matter to you?” may have cemented in their aching heart the truth: You had become your own person.
It’s what they had wanted. But, your time together this year went by too quickly. There may have been days when they didn’t want it at all. Yet, throughout all the fights over applications, and deadlines, your parents knew that this was for the best. It’s time. And maybe from their perspective, there will never be a good time. Your parents have realized that the longer they hang on to you, the more they protect you from the real world. If you don’t jump in, you’ll never find yourself. And so they must nudge you from the nest.
Seeing you leave for college or your career may remind them of the first time they let you go in the water. Only this time they are not going to be at arm’s length, ready to grab as you panic. They will not stand by with reassuring words that say, “I’m just seeing if you can float alone.” For this is the real thing. Your parents will let you go; you will be on your own, and they will back away.
The other metaphor that may come to mind is your first time on two wheels. Mom or dad ran along beside, reaching, adjusting, holding the seat, helping you gain momentum and speed. Soon you were on your wobbly way, unable to turn, riding through puddles, over curbs, slowing to painful, tumbling stops before leaping up to try again.
Now they will give your two-wheeler one last shove and watch. No more running alongside. You had enough of that. You won’t admit it, but there will be times when you whirl around expecting your parents to be there. They won't be, and you will think twice about calling, about asking to be bailed out of a jam.
There will be bumps and bruises and as much as they would like to protect you from them, your parents will walk away to see you grow. You may be swindled, maybe even endangered because of your own innocence. Your parents could intervene, could warn you, or could slow you on a headlong path to believing someone because “he seemed like a great guy, or she seemed like a great girl.” They could urge you to let time be the test of relationships, to think twice, even three times, before investing in anything. But you must learn from your own mistakes.
Your parents and teachers know because they have been there. We all have gone against our own better judgment, so why shouldn’t you? Even I knew better, or should have. I have been told enough times by my own parents. But some things you must learn on your own. You may fail, and you will kick yourself and wonder why you forged ahead. There will come a time that you will know that your life was shaped by the lessons you could learn only from your own mistakes.
Graduates of 2023, I am at an age, where I finally can realize the wisdom, encouragement, and love that a parent gives to a child. As a parent of two beautiful daughters--the love shared between parents to their children is never a superficial root that may drive you away from their love, but a permanent foundation that grants you the opportunity to blossom into an adult. You must realize that as you transition into a new chapter of your life, your parents, brothers, sisters, and even your friends are going through the same transition. I know that your parents are so proud of you. Even through the good and bad times of this year, you have grown in such a way that radiates the beauty of every one of you.
Graduates, look around. You are so gifted and talented. Your class emulates success. Academically, athletically, socially, and within the community, Your parents, and teachers have watched you grow daily and we are so proud to honor you today in your accomplishments. Many people state that you are the future. You are more than that. You Are The Strength Of Today.
Forever in my heart,
As we close out a successful year and transition into final exams, please know how much I appreciate you and wish for you a restful and relaxing time with your family and friends. All communications next week with come in direct communications to parents and grade levels. The Week in Reflection will return in August. If you need anything after we close out the year, I will be in the office all summer.
Douglas Murray, Principal