In the spirit of giving, Chardon High School senior English language arts classes integrated their writing practice into a community service project last month.
Students penned thoughtful holiday notes and decorated wall art. The notes and artwork were then sent on to Chardon nursing homes to bring holiday cheer to residents and mailed to the Support Our Troops non-profit organization to express gratitude to deployed military troops.
Free Harmony Returns Live
Following a one-year live performing hiatus due to the pandemic, Chardon High School’s Free Harmony student show choir, led by choir director Fritz Streiff, is back in full swing for live audiences.
The 24-member, energized chorale group kicked off its holiday tour on Nov. 30 via the annual tradition of performing seasonal songs for the district’s schools during the school day. Students performed tirelessly in back-to-back shows for each grade level of the schools.
At the end of each grade-level performance, Free Harmony students each took a turn introducing themselves to the student audience, and Mr. Streiff emphasized the diverse interests of the show choir students, explaining that many are also involved in athletics, drama, student council and other extracurriculars as well as managing part-time jobs outside of school.
Chardon High School service students launched the Jeremy’s Kids Foundation’s 2021 holiday fundraiser on Nov. 22.
The Foundation was established in 2001 in memory of Jeremy Mizen, son of Chardon High School science teacher Rob Mizen and his wife Dee Mizen. Jeremy tragically passed away in 1999 at the age of six after suffering head trauma from a car accident en route to a Christmas Eve church service.
Through the Jeremy’s Kids annual fundraiser, CHS service students, under the leadership of Mr. Mizen,, traditionally raise funds to purchase holiday gifts for local families in need.
Among the CHS students who gain service experience through this yearly endeavor are the high school’s service classes, as well as Interact Club, National Honor Society and Actively Caring for People Club.
In recent years, Hilltoppers have raised almost $10,000 annually, helping over 70 Geauga county individuals in need each holiday season.
Mr. Mizen said the need in Geauga county is even greater this year and added that, due to the ongoing pandemic, students must rely on an online — versus in-person — fundraiser just as they did in 2020.
Community members interested in learning more are invited to visit the student-designed Jeremy’s Kids website, which includes a link to the 2021 GoFundMe page. The website can be accessed at https://jeremyskids.weebly.com
Bus Assistant Retires
Laurie Bevington retired from Chardon Local Schools effective Dec. 1 after nearly 25 years of dedicated emploment under contract with the district. Mrs. Bevington, who initially began her Hilltopper career as a substitute staff member was officially hired in 1997 as a recess monitor and later began working in the Transportation department as a bus assistant.
“We are grateful for Mrs. Bevington’s many years of service to students and staff and wish her the very best in her next chapter,” said communications director Kelly Misch.