School Board Recognition Month
Chardon Schools joined more than 700 school districts throughout Ohio in celebrating January as School Board Recognition Month.
“Our school board members are citizen-servants who shoulder critical responsibilities and volunteer hundreds of hours and an immeasurable amount of energy,” said Superintendent Mike Hanlon. “Their focus is always on the future success of our Hilltopper students, and celebrating School Board Recognition Month is just one way to show our gratitude for all they do.”
Serving as a link between the community and classroom, the Chardon school board is responsible for an annual budget of $57 million dollars (all funds), over 2,800 students, nearly 400 employees, and five schools.
Over the past 10 extraordinary months, the board members have further demonstrated their exceptional leadership and commitment, overseeing the district’s successful implementation of new instructional formats and protocols in response to the COVID pandemic.
During the Jan. 11 board meeting when School Board Recognition Month was announced, Assistant Superintendent of Business Affairs, Steven Kofol, spoke of his appreciation for the board.
“I too want to underscore board recognition month,” said Kofol. “Thank you for all your time, commitment and leadership to us. As an administrative team during these challenging times, it certainly has been a road that we’ve been navigating with the wind at our back and our sights focused on the end game.”
Board members currently serving Chardon Schools are as follows: Mrs. Madelon Horvath, 8th year; Mrs. Karen Blankenship, 12th year; Mr. Keith Brewster, 2nd year; Mr. Paul Stefanko,16th year; and Dr. Guy Wilson, 10th year.
As a district-wide celebration of School Board Recognition Month, Chardon Schools staff and students created tangible gifts, cards, digital slideshows and videos in step with the Ohio School Boards Association’s identified theme for 2021, Building the Future of Public Education.
Among the gifts bestowed were shelf-size rustic houses made from wood and adorned in red and black as home decor items. The houses were made by Tiny Toppers Preschool along with handmade cards and drawings from the students.
Maple Kindergarten staff and students put together a video and photograph-filled slideshow for the board, complete with messages of gratitude, while a selection of third-grade Park Elementary students, led by music teacher Samantha Puterbaugh, recorded a song of thanks for board members while holding signs with each of the board members’ names.
Munson Elementary displayed its gratitude publicly with a note of gratitude to board members on its outdoor marquee, and Chardon Middle School staff and students created a Lego-embellished photo frame for each board member, complete with a group photo of the board members.
At the high school level, student liaisons Mary McCauley and Cade McDevitt, both seniors at Chardon High School, dedicated a portion of their Jan. 11 board meeting presentation to School Board Recognition month.
“We just want to thank you and everyone else for keeping us safe and keeping school effective and for making sure extracurriculars still happen and just making everything is as normal as it can be,” said McCauley.
To learn more about Chardon’s board members and the district’s January celebration, we invite the community to check out the special Jan. 2021 edition of the district’s e-newsletter, Topper Talk, which can be accessed at the following link: http://bit.ly/Chardon_
Recent retirements in the district have been of employees with exceptional longevity in our schools and include Diane Jewell, Anne Brazis, Diane “Dee Dee” Jeavons, Margie Kreft and Nancy Taylor.
Ms. Jewell and Ms. Brazis, hired in Aug. 1994 and Aug. 2003 respectively, retired from the Transportation department, effective Jan. 1. Both had served as Chardon Schools bus drivers.
Ms. Jeavons was hired in Sept. 1993 and served Chardon Schools in numerous departments over the years, retiring Jan. 1 from her position as head custodian at Chardon High School.
After having worked in the district’s elementary, middle and high schools since Jan. 1996, Ms. Kreft has retired as of Jan. 31. Ms. Kreft served as an educational aide at Chardon High School since 2011.
Ms. Taylor was hired by the district in Jan. 1997. She retired Feb. 1, from her position as child-specific educational assistant at Chardon Middle School.
While it is always bittersweet to say farewell to retiring employees, Chardon Schools is grateful for their many years served in our district and wishes Ms. Jewell, Ms. Brazis, Ms. Jeavons, Ms. Kreft and Ms. Taylor the very best of health and happiness in this new chapter of their lives.