Hilltoppers Welcome the New School Year
The district kicked off the 2021-22 school year on Aug. 18, welcoming students in grade levels one through 12 and initiating Kindergarten screening. Kindergarten students embark on their first official day via a phase-in schedule beginning Aug. 23, the same day that pre-Kindergarten students commence the school year.
Grade level building assignments remain the same as the previous year: Chardon High School (8-12), Chardon Middle School (4-7), Munson Elementary (1-3) and Park Elementary (1-3).
Tiny Toppers Kindergarten and pre-Kindergarten students continue to be educated at the 308 Maple Ave. building now formerly known as Maple School. This summer, the school was officially renamed Chardon Early Learning Center to unify the school’s Tiny Toppers programs.
New staff members welcomed to the district this year include: Chardon High School assistant principal Amanda Bondi; CHS physical education and health teacher Brad Hilliard, Ph.D.; CMS instrumental and general music teacher Michelle Watson; CELC intervention specialist Sarah Gatto; business affairs secretary Michelle Jokinen; CHS clerical assistant Alyssa Smalley; bus driver Bonnie Vyner and bus assistant Melvin Forbes; latchkey program staff members Kelley DeFranco and Leah Nashand; and cafeteria monitors Mindy Haines, Christine Moore and Amie Walland at CMS, CELC and Munson Elementary, respectively.
At the high school level, CHS seniors Morgan Fisher and Sebastian Marker have been named the 2021-22 student liaisons to the Chardon board of education and were formally introduced to the BOE by Superintendent Hanlon at the Aug. 16 board meeting.
Staff members and students alike have shared that there is much to look forward to in Chardon Schools.
“My Kindergarteners’ giggles, great imaginations, and witnessing so many of their aha moments,” said Kindergarten teacher Patty Kingzett.
Gina Pumphrey, an English Language tutor at all five of the district’s schools said having a common goal of doing what is best for each student, according to their needs, is a powerful alliance as the students navigate their journeys in Chardon.
CHS science teacher Daniel Robertson said he enjoys getting to know and work with new students each year.
Park Elementary head custodian Michelle Adams said being a Hilltopper staff member gives her the opportunity to help others and inspires her to reach for more.
“I enjoy working in a great community,” said Bob Francis, CMS math teacher and Hilltopper athletics coach.
CMS art teacher Kristie Heron shared that she looks forward to seeing students get excited about their art and seeing students proud of themselves for how well they did.
“No matter where you are — building(s) — within this district, you will be surrounded by excellent people,” said technology teacher Patty Pinckard who moved from CMS to teaching at the elementary level this year. “I am looking forward to working with all the elementary staff.”
In the school cafeterias and on the school playgrounds on Aug. 18, seeing friends, going outside for recess, and having new teachers ranked highly on students’ list of first day favorites.
CMS seventh-grade students Madelyn Hughes and Brooke Peterson shared a table at lunchtime and said that the best part of the first day is seeing each other while Park Elementary first-grade students Norah Dowd and Jaylyn Scott hung out together for recess and agreed with each other that outdoor recess is their favorite so far.
“Seeing familiar faces and seeing familiar faces that I haven’t seen for a long time,” said Munson Elementary second-grader Mikey Bice II while sharing a lunch table with classmate Vincent Marotta.
Vincent said what he likes best so far is his new teacher, Mrs. Turk.