Chardon Local Schools News

Deeper Conversation Event

In partnership with the Geauga County Sheriff Office’s LOSS Team and the Educational Services Center of the Western Reserve, Chardon Schools is hosting an adult-only event featuring a speaker panel looking to help break the painful silence of suicide and share information on intervention strategies. The keynote speaker is Lisa Cardina who will be sharing lessons she learned from her son Blakely Cardina’s suicide in Oct. 2017.

One of the noted pillars of the upcoming conversation will be “ask a question, save a life”.

In addition to Ms. Cardina, the speaker panel will include Tracy Jordan and Kimmy Farone from the LOSS Team and Karen Lackey of the ESCWR.

The meeting will be held on April 26 at Chardon Middle School (424 North Street) 6pm-7:30pm. Registration is not required but is encouraged. Community members interested in attending can register with Chardon High School social worker Joan Blackburn at or by calling Mrs. Blackburn at 440-285-4057. Please note that only adults may attend this event.

Rotary Speech Contest

Chardon High School students (l to r) Charlotte Jons (sophomore) and Sarah Douglas (junior) displaying their third and first place certificates, respectively, just after competing in the Chardon Rotary’s annual four-way test high school speech contest at The Lodge at Bass Lake on April 4.

Chardon High School students Sarah Douglas and Charlotte Jons had the opportunity to compete in the Chardon Rotary’s annual four-way test high school speech contest held at The Lodge at Bass Lake on April 4. Sarah, a junior, won first place, a standing that qualified her for the April 9 regional; while sophomore Charlotte tied for third place.

“Both students competed against two strong orators from Notre Dame Cathedral Latin,” stated CHS English language arts teacher Dawn Weaver who accompanied the two Hilltopper students at the event.

Sarah and Charlotte each have a track record of exceptional success in the speech arena. Just last month, Sarah medaled in the Academic Decathlon state tournament’s speech event, while Charlotte placed sixth out of 51 competitors in the program oral interpretation event at the Ohio Speech and Debate Association’s state contest, marking her second year as a state competitor.

CHS faculty member and long-time Academic Decathlon coach Allen Herner served as Sarah’s coach in preparation for the April 4 Chardon Rotary contest while Charlotte was coached by her mom, Amy Roediger, who is a Mentor High School chemistry teacher, long-running OSDA coach, and a pioneer of the speech and debate program here in Chardon.

“I’m very proud of our Chardon students,” said coach Herner. “Their success really speaks to the fact that, led by the English department, CHS puts a cross-curricular emphasis on presentation and public speaking skills.”

Young Entrepreneur Finalist

Chardon Middle School sixth-grade student and innovator Ben Majetich gives a lively contest entry sales pitch describing D.A.N. (Drone Assistant Nifty), his modern day drone solution concept that advanced to the final round of the Young Entrepreneur Institute’s Pitch Challenge for K-12 students earlier this month. (YouTube Photo)

Chardon Middle School sixth-grade student and innovator Ben Majetich and his D.A.N. drone concept advanced to the final round of the Young Entrepreneur Institute’s Pitch Challenge sales pitch contest earlier this month. CMS submitted 15 student videos to the contest this year, and out of 1,000 participating students in all of Northeast Ohio, Ben was identified as a finalist, representing one of only 20 in his age tier (grades 5-8).

“I am so excited and incredibly proud of him,” said CMS social studies teacher Rachel Holub.

The YEI Pitch Challenge, a sales pitch contest for K-12 students in Northeast Ohio, is designed to help students acquire and apply creativity, problem-solving, critical thinking, and presentation knowledge, thereby promoting essential workforce readiness skills.

Ben developed his D.A.N. (Drone Assistant Nifty) concept earlier this school year when Mrs. Holub and CMS English language arts teacher Ellen Bostwick partnered their sixth-grade classes for the implementation of the YEI Pitch Challenge as a capstone project to a cross-curricular economics unit.

In his sales pitch video submitted to the contest,, Ben described D.A.N. Drone as a solution to modern day problems, including help in locating your misplaced keys, a recognition mode to sense when you need comfort after a bad day, Internet connectivity when your Wi-Fi cuts out, and immediate charging for your phone when the battery dies. With great enthusiasm in the video, Ben summarized the D.A.N. drone as functioning as both a smart and nice personal assistant that can be with you at all times.

Online voting for the finalists was open to the public until April 8. All 60 finalists will receive an Amazon gift card, while the 15 winners — five from each of the three grade ranges — will earn additional prizes. Winners will be announced by YEI later this month.

District Newsletters

The Open Lines printed quarterly newsletter and Topper Talk e-newsletter are two primary forms of written communication produced by Chardon Schools on a regular basis to connect the school community with the latest news from the district’s schools and departments.

Did you know Chardon Schools produces a quarterly printed newsletter and a quarterly electronic newsletter? Both newsletters — Open Lines and Topper Talk — are designed to help keep the school community informed of the latest news from Chardon Schools.

The Open Lines spring 2022 edition was delivered to nearly 11,000 home and business mailboxes the week of April 4. This newsletter is typically a six-page print publication with key information from the district’s administrators while also featuring highlights of student achievements. Community members are encouraged to check their Chardon home or business mailbox for the spring 2022 Open Lines.

The Topper Talk e-newsletter, which provides a more in-depth publication presented in an easy-to-skim, bullet point format, delves into news from all five of the district’s schools, as well as administrative and departmental updates and special features. Community members can sign up for a free subscription to the Topper Talk for auto-delivery through email.

Visit the communications department page of the district website at for the Topper Talk sign-up link and to access the latest and archived editions of both Topper Talk and Open Lines, among other communications resources.

Questions and feedback are welcome and can be submitted to the district communications director Kelly Misch at or 440-286-0409.

Happy Retirement Mrs. Schlappal

Bus driver Rose Schlappal retired from Chardon Schools on April 1 after serving the district for nearly 24 years. (photo: Pastor Photography)

No April Fooling — the first day of April marked the start of the much-deserved retirement chapter for Rose Schlappal, a Chardon Schools bus driver who has served the district since August 1998. Chardon Schools’ April 1 note of gratitude to Mrs. Schlappal on the district’s social media platforms generated no shortage of notes of appreciation from the community to Mrs. Schlappal.

“One of the best bus drivers ever,” wrote Chardon High School junior Justin Friedman on Twitter. “Gonna miss when she says hi to me when I get on the bus to go home from CEVEC. I was so thankful to have her as my bus driver. Especially having me, my brother and sister. Thank you for being a nice person, and we will miss you.”

Mrs. Laurie Bevington, who retired from the Chardon Schools Transportation department earlier this school year commented on Facebook:

“Congrats Rose! You are truly the best example of what a bus driver is! You are so caring and involved with your kids! Really enjoyed being your aide!”

To view more notes of gratitude for Mrs. Schlappal or to write your own retirement wish, visit the April 1 retirement post on the district Facebook page at

Full Windows Replacement at Middle School

On the scene at Chardon Middle School on March 29 is Capitol Aluminum & Glass Corp. embarking on a full windows replacement for the building, a project estimated to cost approximately $370,000 and funded by ESSER (federal) monies.

The windows replacement project at Chardon Middle School launched on March 29, one of 11 spring/summer facilities improvements outlined by assistant superintendent of business affairs Steven Kofol during the Feb. 22 regular board meeting. The school’s existing windows are the originals to the building, which was built in 1965 with additions constructed in 1974.

The project entails the removal of all of the building’s existing windows and installation of 29 new windows and 10 new curtainwalls, representing a full replacement for the building on both the first and second floors. Among the issues with the aging windows were energy inefficiency due to single-pane glass, as well as broken hardware, few screens, inability to open some windows, and leaks.

The total estimated cost of the project is approximately $370,000 and will be paid for by ESSER (federal) funds.

Questions regarding the windows project can be directed to Mr. Kofol through email at or by calling the business affairs department during school hours at 440-286-0507.

Marching Band Performs at Disney

Hilltopper marching band field commanders (l to r) Joseph Joaquin and Michael Meleski, both Chardon High School seniors, lead the Hilltopper marching band in its performance at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in Orlando on March 21. (photo: Jonathan Williams)

The Chardon High School Hilltopper Marching Band had the honor of performing at Walt Disney World over spring break March 19- 24. To audition for this honor, the band submitted three recent performance videos as well as photos of the group.

“The Hilltoppers did an outstanding job marching in the Magic Kingdom on March 21 at the 6:00 p.m. parade,” said CHS band director Ms. Melissa Lichtler. “The parade was one-mile long and approximately 1,000 people from all over the world were in attendance.”

Other highlights of the trip included a stop at Buc-ees, morning swimming at the hotel, and time spent in each of the Disney parks.

“Thanks to the Chardon board of education and Chardon High School administration for approving this trip,” said Ms. Lichtler. “A huge thank you also to our wonderful chaperones Lorrie Beil, Gloria Koritansky, Michelle Watson and Todd Watson, Jennifer Squires, Barb Breznay, Christine Clark, Cindy Nells and Bill Nells.”

CHS Senior Named National Merit Finalist

Congratulations to Chardon High School senior Charlotte Bennett on being named a 2022 National Merit scholarship program finalist, a prestigious recognition that also makes her a candidate for significant scholarships.

Congratulations to Chardon High School senior Charlotte Bennett on being named a 2022 National Merit scholarship program finalist. Of the 1.5 million entrants each year, some 50,000 with the highest PSAT/NMSQT Selection Index scores qualify for recognition in the National Merit Scholarship Program. Charlotte is among the approximate 15,000 semifinalists nationwide to advance to finalist standing. 

Charlotte’s post-graduation plans include attending college to study biochemistry/ medical research. She has applied to several schools, of which her top picks are the University of Maine, University of Vermont, Penn State University, and Lehigh University.

Academic Challenge Quiz Show

Chardon High School students (l to r) senior Josie Aitken, junior Jake Schneider and senior Morgan Fisher together with Academic Challenge host Rob Powers at News Channel 5 on March 9 for the quiz show contest that pitted Chardon team against Riverside and Avon Lake. Tune in to News Channel 5 (WEWS-TV) on May 21 at 11:30a.m. to see these three dynamic CHS students in action.

Chardon High School junior Jake Schneider and seniors Josie Aitken and Morgan Fisher traveled to downtown Cleveland and the News Channel 5 (WEWS-TV) studios with faculty member and advisor Allen Herner on March 9 to compete on the long-running high school quiz show Academic Challenge. The contest pitted CHS against teams from Riverside High School and Avon Lake High School. Jake served as Chardon’s team captain, and CHS senior Sebastian Marker was on deck as a team member alternate.

The Academic Challenge quiz show incorporates questions from most aspects of the high school curriculum, including history, geography, literature, math, and the sciences. In addition, there are questions on mythology, music, art, sports and current events. 

“We can’t divulge the outcome but suffice it to say it was a fast-paced, competitive show,” said Mr. Herner. “Host Rob Powers made the students feel right at home on set, engaging them with lively banter between segments.”

The community is invited to tune in to News Channel 5 on May 21 at 11:30a.m. to see these three dynamic CHS students in action.

CHS Honor Society Inducts 70 New Members

Chardon High School senior and National Honor Society secretary Charlotte Bennett (at right) presents CHS senior and NHS member August Daugherty with a senior cord of distinction during the school’s March 14 NHS ceremony that inducted 20 juniors and 50 sophomores.

Congratulations to the 70 Chardon High School students — 20 juniors and 50 sophomores — who were inducted into the school’s chapter of the National Honor Society on the evening of March 14 in the school’s gymnasium, an event that was well attended by students’ families, as well as administrators and other staff members. 

NHS, a nationwide organization, recognizes students who have an overall cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or higher and are role models of the four NHS pillars:  scholarship, leadership, character and service. To learn more and view a full listing of the March 14 NHS inductees, visit the district news page accessible from the homepage.

Parent University a Success Thanks to Community Partners

Chardon Middle School administration and counselors hosted a Parent University during the months of February and March in order to support students’ parents and caregivers. There were four total sessions designed to help families better understand parenting post-pandemic, how to keep students safe online, how to identify and support students impacted by mental illness, and how to protect your family from the dangers of human trafficking. 


CMS partnered with community supports such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the Geauga County Prosecutor’s Office and Geauga County Job & Family Services as well as others, including Jacquelyn Lazo, the author of the book “Comeback Kids”; Melanie GiaMaria; Amanda Berry; Human Trafficking Task Force; and our own Sergeant Derek Carlson. 


“G-TV was kind enough to support these presentations so more families could attend virtually or watch at another time for our recorded sessions,” said CMS guidance counselor Karin Hillman.


Approximately 85 parents registered to attend the Parent University sessions either in-person or online.

Geauga News
Author: Geauga News