Chardon Schools News

Scouts Earn Prestigious Medal of Merit

(l to r) Chardon High School sophomores Ryan O’Reilly and Jake Gabanic, West Geauga High School junior Nicholas Cochran, and CHS eighth-grade student Anthony Baioni — all of whom are members of Newbury Boy Scout Troop #99 — were each recognized with a Medal of Merit for Meritorious Action Award by the Boy Scouts of America’s Lake Erie Council during the March 15 Court of Honor ceremony.

In the summer of 2020, when the unexpected occurred during Newbury Boy Scout Troop #99’s backpacking trip in West Virginia’s Monongahela National Forest, the courageous scouts, including three Chardon High School students and one West Geauga High School School student, rose to the occasion, putting their many years of learned skills to use and gaining experience in the uncharted territory of a real-life emergency situation.

Chardon High School students Anthony Baioni, Jake Gabanic and Ryan O’Reilly, together with WGHS junior Nicholas Cochran and two of the troop’s adults, had hiked about four miles into the forest’s Dolly Sods Wilderness on July 17 when one of the adults experienced an accidental fall, resulting in a broken leg.

In response, half of the six-member crew hiked the four miles back out of the trail to reach a cell signal in order to contact emergency medical services while the remaining half of the group tended to the injured adult, providing wilderness first aid to stabilize the injury.

Several hours later, all six troop members reunited deep in the forest — now with EMT personnel on-hand and ready to travel together on foot while carrying the injured party on a stretcher for eventual vehicle transport to a local hospital.

“The entire process took just over nine hours, most of it in the dark,” said Troop #99 scoutmaster Phillip Baioni in a March 16 email correspondence with Chardon Schools.  “We finally got out of the woods just after 12:30 am. The boys were outstanding during this event. Each of them had a role, and they carried it out without complaints.”

Phillip added that at all times one or more members from the troop were helping carry the stretcher, and the trek traversed very rough terrain.

“We are very proud of our son Jake, his cousin Anthony, and Ryan and Nick,” said Robert Gabanic in a March 16 email correspondence with Chardon Schools.

Robert, who serves as a committee member in the troop said the scouts showed great courage and were able to use many of their Scout skills they have learned and worked as a team.

The scouts’ heroic efforts were formally recognized by the Boy Scouts of America’s Lake Erie Council during the Court of Honor ceremony held on March 15. Each of the four scouts and the two adults from the trip earned the Medal of Merit for Meritorious Action Award.

“Between the initial hike, traveling to get help, and transporting the injured scout, some members hiked more than 14 miles that day,” said Lake Erie Council service and growth team leader Kevin Wassie.

Kevin explained that this award is presented to those who have performed an act of service of a rare or exceptional character that reflects an uncommon degree of concern for the well-being of others.

“We had to navigate streams, fallen trees, and rock formations,” added Phillip. “At times the trail was no more than two-feet wide with slopes on either side covered with dense vegetation. I am extremely proud of these boys. We train for emergency situations, and when it counted, their training paid off.”

Financial Literacy Virtual Visits

Thank you to Middlefield Banking Company Newbury branch manager Brian Cain for his March 2 financial literacy presentations and Q&A sessions for students enrolled in Chardon High School C.R.E.W. Foundations and Transition courses taught by (l to r) teachers Tracey Britt and Kim Butala.

Chardon High School’s C.R.E.W. Foundations and Transition courses, taught by teachers Tracey Britt and Kim Butala, kicked off their Financial Literacy curricular unit on March 2 with virtual visits by Brian Cain, the Newbury branch manager for Middlefield Banking Company.


Students in each course, comprising sophomores, juniors and seniors, generated questions about checking accounts and savings accounts prior to Cain’s visit, thereby allowing him to tailor his presentations to the interests of the students.


Hilltoppers’ desire to learn was plentiful with checking account questions ranging from age requirements for opening an account to consequences of overdrafts to the pros and cons of debit cards, while savings accounts inquiries included how savings accounts are protected by the bank, navigating direct deposit setup, and whether the age at which you start saving money matters.


“As a community bank we’re always looking for new ways to improve the financial literacy in every community we serve,” said Cain in a March 4 Facebook post and shoutout to Chardon Schools. “Thank you to Chardon Local Schools for the opportunity to meet with your students. Go Hilltoppers!”

Sweet Victory in Yearbook Contest

Congratulations to Chardon Middle School seventh-grade student Walter Sweet on winning the school’s yearbook cover design competition for the 2020-21 school year. [photo credit: Pastor Photography]

Congratulations to Chardon Middle School seventh-grade student Walter Sweet on winning the front cover contest for the school’s 2020-21 yearbook, which will be published and distributed later this spring. In addition to having his submission featured on the front cover, Sweet will receive a free copy of the yearbook.


Students in all grade levels at the school were eligible for entering their original artwork into the contest with “virUS” — the positives of regular handwashing in particular — serving as this year’s theme.


“The competition was fierce,” wrote principal Tim Velotta in the school’s March 10 newsletter to families. “And many of the runner-up submissions will be incorporated throughout the yearbook.”


Sweet’s design is being kept under wraps to ensure a surprise for all when yearbooks are distributed at the end of the school year.

Wit & Wisdom® Review

In accordance with the Chardon Local Schools Board of Education Policy, the community is invited to review potential curricular materials that are under consideration for adoption by the district — prior to approval.


For its English Language Arts department, the district is currently considering Wit & Wisdom® for grade levels kindergarten through 7. The community is invited to review a synopsis of the content of these materials, which can be found on the district’s News page at


Community members who do not have digital access may contact the Chardon Schools curriculum supervisor, Dr. Kelly Moran, at 440-285-4066 for more information.


Comments and questions regarding Wit & Wisdom® can be directed to Dr. Moran at the above phone number or through email to

Beginning on March 9, Tiny Toppers students in Miss Beth’s pre-Kindergarten class undertook a two-day observation and coloring project wherein they worked on drawings each day to match what they saw in clear cups with white flowers first before and and then after Miss Beth added a different food dye to each cup.


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