Chardon Local Schools News

Sophomore Secures Solon Manufacturing Internship


Chardon High School sophomore Jeffrey Kline (center) signs a letter of intent on Feb. 16 in the school library as presented by (l to r) Solon Manufacturing Co. (Chardon) marketing and brand manager Brianne Norcini and engineering manager Thomas Burg, marking the launch of Jeffrey’s student internship with the industrial solutions producer. The school’s CREW program (Creating Reliable and Educated Workers) and Solon Manufacturing formed a partnership earlier this school year to help create career-navigating opportunities for students, with Jeffrey’s internship making history as the first one generated through the program.

Congratulations to Chardon High School sophomore Jeffrey Kline who signed a student internship letter of intent presented by Solon Manufacturing Co. of Chardon on Feb. 16 during a brief ceremonial event held in the school’s library. This career-learning opportunity for Jeffrey also represents a milestone for the CHS CREW (Creating Reliable and Educated Workers) program, which is co-advised and co-taught by CHS faculty members Mrs. Tracey Britt and Mrs. Kim Butala, in that it is the first student internship generated through the newly established career-navigation program.


The internship offer came about following Jeffrey’s participation in a full-scale interview with Solon Manufacturing on the morning of Feb. 10. The Hilltopper student had devoted much time preparing for the interview both at home and practicing in class with Mrs. Britt and Mrs. Butala in the days beforehand. Solon Manufacturing offered him the internship the same day as the interview.


The Feb. 16 letter of intent clearly expresses Solon Manufacturing’s excitement as the staff looks towards helping to teach and mentor Jeffrey in a manufacturing environment. The company’s marketing and brand manager Brianne Norcini and engineering manager Thomas Burg, who were in attendance for the Feb. 16 ceremonial signing, likewise expressed great enthusiasm to have Jeffrey aboard.


The sophomore’s first day on the job began subsequent to the signing.


Jeffrey will gain production and engineering experience by interning one to two days per week. Solon Manufacturing is a producer of industrial solutions that include washer products, pressure switches, pneumatic valve actuators and gas density monitors for a wide variety of markets.


“The CREW, Chardon High School and the school district are excited for our partnership,” said Mrs. Butala. “Thank you to Solon Manufacturing for this wonderful opportunity for Jeffrey. And thank you to our school administrators for their support in helping to make this part of the CREW begin happening for Chardon High School students.”


The CHS CREW program is founded upon an industry-driven, work-based model that is designed to assist students as they navigate their futures, identifying their own personal 4E’s pathway after graduation whether through direct Employment, Enrollment into continuing education, Enlistment in the military, and/or becoming an Entrepreneur.


CREW currently comprises two classrooms of Hilltopper students in grade levels nine through twelve. Career-navigating opportunities are provided throughout the school year via in-class workshops, in-house businesses, service projects, and visits to local companies. The classes visited Solon Manufacturing on Oct. 21 with the opportunity to listen to a presentation on the company’s early beginnings, product development, family culture, and future goals. Students also toured the company to learn about the production machines, internships and mentorships.


To learn more about the CHS CREW program, email Mrs. Britt at or Mrs. Butala at

Geauga Growth Entrepreneur Success Event


CHS CREW classes attended the Geauga Growth Partnership, Inc. Entrepreneur Success breakfast on Feb. 11, an event hosted by local entrepreneur Lisa LaBanc at Elements Fitness Studios in Chester Township. Through GGP’s Entrepreneur Success breakfast series, successful Geauga County business owners serve as inspiring keynote speakers for area high school students throughout the school year.


Ms. LaBanc is the founder, president and CEO of PSI Product Specialists, a diversified manufacturer in Chester Township serving multiple market sectors; and owner and operator of Elements Fitness Studios. As an entrepreneur, manufacturer, landlord, and business owner and operator, Ms. LaBanc spoke to students about how the two businesses started, challenges and opportunities, and plans for the future.

“Wow what an opportunity for CHS students and teachers this was,” said Mrs. Butala. “This entrepreneur is an inspiration, wealth of knowledge, and a go-getter. Thank you to GGP for inviting The CREW and gifting each student in attendance with an inspirational book.”


Mrs. Butala said Hilltopper students will be not only reading the books but sharing summaries with the class and later paying forward the books to fellow classmates.

Academic Decathlon Team is State-Bound


The Chardon High School Academic Decathlon team is advancing to the State competition in March after garnering 20 medals at regional events held earlier this year. Team members are (l to r) junior Austin MacCartney, sophomore Colin Youdath, freshman Danny Greene, sophomore Joey Grano, junior and team captain Jake Schneider, freshman Drew Dellaria, freshman Kayla Schneider, junior Sarah Douglas and junior Meghan Kekish.

Congratulations to Chardon High School’s nine-member Academic Decathlon team on garnering 20 regional competition medals, including six gold, at speech and interview competitions held virtually over the past two months. Coach Allen Herner said the team, which has been preparing for competition since August, demonstrated a balanced effort at regionals with at least one individual medal in nine of the ten disciplines.


Team members, which comprise CHS students in grade levels nine through twelve, gave both prepared and impromptu speeches and completed job-like interviews with judges from as far as Dayton with regional events concluding on Feb. 5 and medals announced on Feb. 11.


“Next up is the state competition in mid-March with a plan to return to an in-person format held at John Carroll University,” said coach Herner. “Thank you to the Chardon Schools Foundation for their continued funding of Academic Decathlon study materials.”


Academic Decathlon is offered at CHS as a humanities course studying a different scholastic curricular theme each school year as identified by the United States Academic Decathlon organization. The 2021-22 theme is “Water: A Most Essential Resource” with concentrated elements of study in the areas of social studies, economics, science, language arts, music, art and mathematics.


To learn more about the nationwide program, visit Inquiries related to Chardon’s team can be directed to coach Herner at

Park Elementary Students introduced to French Horn


Park Elementary first-grade student (right) Lilly Hardesty is in awe of the French horn her classroom teacher Mrs. Klembara holds out for her to explore on Feb. 15 as first-grade student (left) Maggie Keegan eagerly looks on, awaiting a turn in line with her classmates. Mrs. Klembara brought her French horn to class to accompany music teacher Mrs. Puterbaugh’s recent lessons introducing musical instruments.


Good Weather Provides Opportunity to Remove Winter Grime


Unseasonably warm temperatures exceeding 50 degrees Fahrenheit on Feb. 16 provided an opportune time for some extra cleaning of the district’s bus fleet from the winter’s grime and salt. Hosing down the front end of bus 14 is district bus driver Beth Vizer who has been a staff member of Chardon Schools for over 20 years.



Geauga News
Author: Geauga News