Chardon Schools News

CMS Celebrates Kindness Month

As part of Chardon Middle School’s activities celebrating Kindness Month, the school’s mental health team assigned top secret kindness missions to students during their advisory classes the week of Feb. 8. Pictured here in fun-themed incognito mode are (l to r) CMS social worker Marissa Griesmar, CMS guidance counselors Janelle Stuart and Erika Barnett, CMS psychologist intern Julia Pilla and CMS school psychologist Emily Ringler.

The celebration of Kindness Month has been in full swing by Chardon Middle School students and staff. As part of the month’s festivities, the school’s mental health team assigned top secret missions to students during their advisory classes the week of Feb. 8. Each student had lessons on kindness and then engaged in various kindness challenges throughout the week.

“The catch is that students are encouraged to keep their kindness acts top secret,” said CMS guidance counselor Erika Barnett.  “At the end of the week, we reflected upon the acts done, but we also emphasized doing good simply because it feels good.”

Other CMS activities capturing the month’s theme included Kindness Spirit Week organized by the school’s student council. For example, “Twice the Kindness” was the title of twin attire day and “Ride the Wave of Kindness” day served as beach and surf attire day.

In addition, CMS encouraged families to make item donations in support of the school’s chosen community partner for the month of February – WomenSafe Inc., a domestic violence shelter in Chardon. A shelter needs item list was provided as guidance to interested families through one of the school’s weekly newsletters.

“We choose a different community service project each month,” said Lisa Bross, a member of the CMS main office team. “So far we’ve held a food collection drive for the Pilgrim Christian Church Pantry. For the holidays we did video challenges to help our families in need for Christmas. We’re looking at possibly doing a community cleanup/beautification project next.”

ACADEC Team Earns 28 Medals at Regionals

The Chardon High School Academic Decathlon team earned 28 individual medals in this year’s regional competition with the team garnering at least one medal in each of the event’s ten disciplines. Pictured here are team members (l to r) senior Ben Perry, sophomore Jacob Schneider, senior Lachlan Koenen, sophomore Nathan Bender, senior Brendan Sarbach, sophomore Austin MacCartney, junior Paige Yamamoto, sophomore Nathan Eads, senior Abigail Breznai, senior Abigail Atchley, team coach Allen Herner and senior Bradley Duchon. The team also includes sophomore Betsy Lessick (photo n/a).

Academic Decathlon is offered as a humanities course at Chardon High School and meets regularly to study a targeted curricular theme in the areas of economics, social studies, science, language arts, math, art and music and compete in various academic events with other Ohio school districts. The major competitions for which the team spends many months preparing are the regional and state events.

Each year, a new themed curriculum is selected for Academic Decathlon team members to study with the Cold War serving as the current school year’s curricular theme.

“Students have been studying topics such as the economics of the Cold War, a science focus on the space race between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, and the Cold War as represented in music, art and literature,” said Allen Herner who is the CHS Academic Decathlon coach and also a business teacher at the high school.

While Academic Decathlon competitions are traditionally held in-person, this year’s competitions are being held virtually in response to the pandemic.

Over the course of the last few weeks, the CHS Academic Decathlon team has been competing virtually in the regional events. After completing objective tests the first week of February, the regional competition culminated in a virtual speech and interview round on Feb. 6 wherein students met online with judges from as far away as Dayton.

“The team did very well picking up a total of 28 individual medals consisting of eleven gold, eleven silver and six bronze,” said Herner. “The team garnered at least one medal in each of the ten disciplines.”

The 2020-21 Chardon Academic Decathlon team comprises the following students:  seniors Benjamin Perry, Lachlan Koenen, Brendan Sarbach, Abigail Breznai, Abigail Atchley and Bradley Duchon; junior Paige Yamamoto; and sophomores Jacob Schneider, Nathan Bender, Austin MacCartney, Nathan Eads and Betsy Lessick.

Although Academic Decathlon is offered as a class, since students meet both in class time and after school, students may opt out of the class and take the extracurricular option if they have scheduling conflicts.

Herner added that the 1:1 initiative that provided Chromebooks for every student at CHS has allowed for materials that are much more portable and user-friendly.

“Much better than the twelve-pound binder we used to have,” said Herner. “Because of this, I order materials that are in an electronic format and are more economical than hard copy.”

The CHS Academic Decathlon team is generously funded by Chardon Schools Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission has been funding educational grants for the district since the Foundation’s establishment in 1989. Via Herner’s diligent research and presentation to the CSF board each spring, he has been successful in securing funds from CSF for the team’s materials and entry fees for each of the past several years.

Vaccination Clinic Note of Gratitude

Under Phase 1b of the vaccination roll-out, Geauga Public Health and the ESC of the Western Reserve led Chardon Schools and St. Mary’s School in a scheduled COVID-19 vaccination clinic on Feb. 5 for adults working in the school setting. The district is grateful to GPH and the ESC for the well-executed vaccination clinic.

“The nurses and staff with the Geauga County Public Health Department were fantastic,” said Assistant Superintendent Dr. Ed Klein. “They were well-organized and knowledgeable. The day went seamlessly. With the support of the staff of the Geauga County Public Health Department and the flexibility of our custodial, teaching and support staff, we were able to operate the vaccine clinic without closing the schools.”

District National School Counseling Week

During the American School Counselor Association-sponsored National School Counseling Week (Feb. 1 – Feb. 5), Chardon Schools proudly recognized both its guidance counselors and school psychologists who serve the district’s 2,800 students. Top row – Erika Barnett (CMS guidance), Jessica Harmon (Maple psychologist) and Nikki Hetrick (CHS guidance); middle row – Karin Hillman (CMS guidance), Tim Hurlbut (CHS guidance), Kyle Kovac (CHS guidance), Julia Pilla (CMS intern psychologist); and bottom row – Emily Ringler (CMS and Park Elementary psychologist), Janelle Stuart (CMS guidance), Dawn Tupaz (CHS guidance) and Meghan Wozniak (CHS and Munson Elementary psychologist). Joan Benedejcic – photo n/a – is a psychologist for CHS and non-public Chardon students. [staff photo credits: Pastor Photography]

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