Topper Talk

News from Chardon Schools 1.15.2020


JANUARY: School Board Recognition Month

  • Mrs. Madelon Horvath, President
  • Mrs. Karen Blankenship, Vice President
  • Mr. Keith Brewster, Member
  • Mr. Paul Stefanko, Member
  • Dr. Guy Wilson, Member

Chardon Local School District joins more than 700 school districts throughout Ohio in celebrating January as School Board Recognition Month. The Ohio School Boards Association's chosen theme for 2020 is Planting the Seeds of Success.

Our District's school board members exemplify local citizen control and decision-making in education. They volunteer hundreds of hours and an immeasurable amount of energy to ensure that our schools are providing the best education possible for the children of our community. For all their dedication, we are taking this opportunity to express our appreciation during School Board Recognition Month.

Gratitude Cards for Board Members

"Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant." ~Robert Louis Stevenson

[A Chardon Middle School student wrote this famous quote in a card for Chardon Board of Education members in honor of School Board Recognition Month. The card was one of several student cards read aloud by Mrs. Blankenship at the Jan. 13 BOE meeting.]


Mr. Keith Brewster, Board Member

At the Jan. 13 Board of Education Organizational meeting, newly elected Board member Mr. Keith Brewster was sworn into office by Geauga County Court of Pleas Judge David Ondrey. Thank you to Judge Ondrey for presiding.

Board member Mr. Brewster has been a Chardon resident since 2001 and was elected to the Chardon Board of Education in November 2019. He and his wife April are the proud parents of a son (CHS '18) and daughter (CHS '23). Daisy, a West Highland White Terrier, is also a beloved member of their family.

Mr. Brewster is a Case Western Reserve University graduate with a Bachelors of Science degree in Engineering. He has been employed as an electrical controls engineer since 1992. Since 1994, his career has also provided him with a breadth of project management experience, including the development of and adherence to budgets.

In the Chardon Local School District, Mr. Brewster's service activities have included Science Olympiad coaching.

As a graduate of public schools, Mr. Brewster supports the belief that every child deserves an outstanding education. He recognizes the critical role public schools play in preparing children for the jobs of today and tomorrow.



On Dec. 19, each Tiny Toppers Preschool class presented a choral performance, which included homemade props and drums as the Tiny Toppers enthusiastically sang songs about winter and the holidays. "Christmas Cookies in My Drum" was one of several crowd favorites!

Thank you to music teacher Miss Carol for her dedication to Tiny Toppers each week and to all of the Tiny Toppers teachers who helped prepare the students for their performance debut.


NOTE: Do you have a Tiny-Toppers-related note of gratitude you would like to submit for publication in an upcoming edition of TopperTalk? Simply type Note of Gratitude in the subject line of your email and send the details to

We love Miss Katherine [Tiny Toppers teacher, see photo]!
She's the best. ~Mrs. Beatrice Evvs, Parent

Mrs. Loncar (Tiny Toppers Preschool secretary, not pictured here) is so sweet! I remember the first time I met her. I was so nervous starting my second child at a new school, and she made us feel so welcomed and calmed our anxious fears. Her smile is contagious!

~Mrs. Christine Kelley, Parent

Soaking up my last official day with this amazing educator (Miss Sarah Gatto). I have no doubt that she will go on to do amazing things. I hope our paths cross again soon!

~Ms. Kristen, Tiny Toppers Preschool Teacher

[Miss Gatto served as a long-term sub. at Tiny Toppers Preschool from Aug. 2019 through Dec. 2019.]

The staff appreciates all of the volunteers who have given their time and encourage a love of reading. Students have been enjoying having Mystery Readers surprise them with their favorite stories. ~Ms. Andrea Ryan, Special Education Supervisor

Munson Hilltoppers logo

Kindergarten: A Wedding for "Q" & "U"

Mrs. Patty Kingzett's Kindergarten class recently held a wedding ceremony for the letters "Q" and "U". Each wedding attendant (student) was assigned a letter several days beforehand and was asked to dress as that letter, if possible, for the occasion.

A few examples:

  • "A" had pictures of letter A items attached to his shirt
  • "D" wore a dress
  • "K" wore a karate uniform
  • "P" wore a Pittsburgh Penguins jersey
  • "S" wore a striped shirt

Girls carried mini bouquets and boys wore bowties featuring the letters "Q" and "U" on them.

The marriage certificate for "Q" and "U" was signed by a local judge several years ago and has been used in this event by Mrs. Kingzett ever since.

Of course we had cake and "ring" pops! A BIG thanks to Mrs. Regina Colombi (parent) for helping us during the alphabet letters' Q+U wedding! Everyone did a great job "dressing up" as their letter for our event! Thank you for all the details and fun touches you thought of!

~Mrs. Patty Kingzett, Munson Elementary Kindergarten Teacher

Economics & Community Service: Pet Toy Sale

As part of their Economics curricular unit, Munson Elementary third-grade students created handmade pet toys for sale to fellow students and their families during the months of November and December. The third-grade students handcrafted such items as:
  • cat teasers
  • braided toys
  • scarves
  • bottle crunchers

Profits from the sale were donated to Marilyn's Voice, a non-profit animal rescue, rehabilitation and adoption services organization located in Mentor.

Mr. Brian Buemi, a third-grade teacher at Munson Elementary, reported that the students’ project was a tremendous success, resulting in a donation of $702.00 to Marilyn’s Voice.
Thank you to all the parent volunteers who assisted with this event.

3rd Grade Munson Elementary Pet Toy Sale Project - students have a special visitor in the classroom (a dog wearing a sweater).
Munson Elementary 3rd grade students with a giant check for $702.00 for Marilyn's voice - money raised via the students' pet toy sale.


NOTE: Do you have a Munson Elementary-related note of gratitude you would like to submit for publication in an upcoming edition of Topper Talk? Simply type Note of Gratitude in the subject line of your email and send the details to

Big thanks to our stellar PBIS team of volunteers that go above and beyond for our students! This Silver award is a big deal and we are very proud of receiving it!
~Mr. Mathew Prezioso, Munson Elementary Principal

Thank you to Andrea Clark for spearheading the “Just Run” club that officially began this school year! It was great to see such involvement with the kids getting out there and running! And thank you to Laura Snyder and additional parents who took the time to help out for this healthy activity!

~Munson Elementary PTO

Student recipients of Just Run certificates at Munson Elementary

Students, parents and staff at Munson Elementary - thank you for your generous donation of $852.58. The fact that you would think of us with so many charities to donate to is both flattering and humbling. We will use the money to reach and warm a lot of people in your honor.

~Al "Sarge" Raddatz, CEO of The Sub Zero Mission

The Sub Zero Mission helps homeless stay warm during the winter months by providing hats, coats, gloves, boots, sleeping bags, new socks, tents and other warming items.

The Munson Elementary PTO stocked the staff lounge for the second half of the year with snacks and coffee to show our appreciation for all they do not just for all students but also for the support they give the PTO! ~Munson Elementary PTO

What a special surprise! Thank you Munson Elementary.

~Mrs. Meggan Maniche, Parent

[Mrs. Maniche's son Anthony was one of 4 Chardon Schools elementary school students who won a brand new bike in a cafeteria prize drawing just before winter break.]

Thank you Munson Elementary PTO for our super cool CONNECT FOUR incentive! FUN!

~Mrs. Leigh Ann Ferguson, Grade 2 Teacher

Students stand and play a life-size CONNECT FOUR game - provided as an incentive by Munson Elementary PTO.
Chardon Middle School Hilltoppers logo

Power of the Pen

What is Power of the Pen?
Power of the Pen is Ohio's original interscholastic creative writing program for middle school students.

The Chardon Schools team, which competes as part of the program's Lake Erie Region, is open to Chardon Middle School sixth- and seventh-grade students, as well as eighth-grade Chardon High School students.
Special thank you to Mrs. Shannon Monsman, Chardon's Power of the Pen adviser, for her dedication to this year's Power of the Pen Hilltoppers (aka Quilltoppers).
Shoutout to Amy Roediger, parent of Power of the Pen member Charlotte Jons, for her creativity in designing t-shirts for the team. [Power of the Pen team members coined the Hilltopper team's clever name "Quilltoppers" several years ago.]

Power of the Pen District Tournament - Jan. 11
Quilltoppers Charlotte Jons (Gr. 8) , Evelyn Kennedy (Gr. 8), Sadie Kuhnle (Gr. 7) and Rose McGreevy (Gr. 7) competed at the district-level Power of the Pen competition at Lake Erie College on Jan. 11. The students wrote on multiple prompts throughout the tournament. Round of applause to all four Quilltoppers for their leadership and talents in representing Chardon Schools at the event. Congratulations to Quilltopper Sadie Kuhnle who took home the 4th place medal for seventh grade!
Chardon Middle School Power of the Pen Quilltoppers (l to r) Charlotte Jons, Evelyn Kennedy, Sadie Kuhnle, Rose McGreevy


NOTE: Do you have a Chardon Middle School-related note of gratitude you would like to submit for publication in an upcoming edition of Topper Talk? Simply type Note of Gratitude in the subject line of your email and send the details to

Thank you Ms. Tammy Schreffler and Mrs. Becky Mele for letting Spanish V come in and sing some Christmas carols in Spanish!

~Mrs. Carrie Korenke, Chardon High School World Languages Teacher

Thank you Chardon Middle School PTO for organizing the school's Lost and Found items.

~Mrs. Melissa Efantis, Chardon Middle School Teacher

Thank you to the students and parents who provided snacks for our coffeehouse today. Sharing our reading and writing + delicious treats = a great day in English Language Arts!

~Ms. Kathleen Haeberle, Chardon Middle School ELA Teacher

Park Hilltoppers logo

Introduction to Musical Pitches with Mrs. Monarchino

During their Jan. 8 music class with Mrs. Monarchino, Mrs. Setzer's Kindergarten students learned about musical pitch variations through a song that incorporates chimes to symbolize the falling of snow:
The young Hilltoppers experienced this seasonal song through:

  • active listening
  • singing
  • engaging in movement to represent each verse of the song

Next, students had the opportunity for hands-on exploration of musical pitches through:

  • varying the arrangement of magnets on a musical staff
  • creating different pitches on xylophones
Music teacher Mrs. Sharon Monarchino demonstrating magnetic notes on a musical staff for Park Elementary Kindergarten students in Mrs. Setzer's class.

Woolly Mammoth Bones

Monday Dec. 16 was not only "Wear Your PJs to School Day" at Park Elementary, but Mrs. Whiting's Park Elementary first-grade students got an up-close view (and hands-on exploration) of woolly mammoth bones discovered right here in Geauga County. Ms. Beekman’s students had the opportunity to attend the Dec. 16 revelation as well. And Mrs. Whiting shared this once-in-a-lifetime workshop with all first-grade classes at the school that week too.

The woolly mammoth bones were discovered by the grandfather of Mrs. Whiting's husband on the Whiting family farm in Chesterland in 1942. Cool fact: Mrs. Whiting now lives on that property with her husband Mr. Whiting and their children.

Students were a-m-a-z-e-d to see how tall just one leg of a woolly mammoth would be!

Thank you to the Whiting family for allowing the students to have this very memorable educational experience, and gratitude to Geauga Park District for sharing a slideshow on the 1942 discovery of the bones.

Park Elementary 1st-grade teacher vertically aligns woolly mammoth bones to give students an idea of the height of the woolly mammoth.


NOTE: Do you have a Park Elementary-related note of gratitude you would like to submit for publication in an upcoming edition of TopperTalk? Simply type Note of Gratitude in the subject line of your email and send the details to

Park Elementary received the Silver award for PBIS. We continue to implement a program and meet quarterly to check in and promote positive behavior supports. This is truly a team effort.

~Ms. Rhonda Garrett, Park Elementary Principal

Thank you to Mrs. Puterbaugh and Mrs. Monarchino for a wonderful Christmas music program.

~Ms. Rhonda Garrett, Park Elementary Principal

Thank you to everyone who helped at the holiday parties!
~Mrs. Amanda Jo Jonovich, Park Elementary PTO President

A big shoutout for the person/people who created the school directory! Thank you.

~Mrs. Stephanie Wiencek, Park Elementary Parent

Mrs. Rebecca Klembara is an amazing teacher! We are so lucky to have had her at Park!

~Ms. Brandy Ratka, Title I Tutoring Staff Member

[Mrs.Klembara served as a long-term Kindergarten sub. from August 2019 through December 2019.]

Mrs. Rebecca Klembara, long-term Kindergarten sub. at Park Elementary from August 2019 - December 2019 with her students.

Thank you Mrs. Samantha Puterbaugh for another great concert & for four years of memories! Your 3rd graders will miss you when they graduate Park!

~Mrs. Christina Buynak, Park Elementary Parent

Thank you crafters. Kids love to shop at the Annual Sugar Plum Shoppe.

~Ms. Rhonda Garrett, Park Elementary Principal

My daughter still talks about Mrs. Amy Ridgeway (Park Elementary Kindergarten teacher) four years later. She’s a very special teacher! ❤️

~Mrs. Monica Arnold, Parent

Thank you Mrs. Peine for hot lunches every day!

~Ms. Rhonda Garrett, Park Elementary Principal

Park Elementary winners Dexter Clark and Addison Hope: Congratulations on your new bikes!! Thank you, Mrs. Peine, for a great job. ~Ms. Josephine Culliton, Director of Food Services

Park Elementary kitchen assistant Mrs. Tamara Peine with bike-winning students Dexter Clark and Addison Hope.
Chardon High School Hilltoppers logo
New Year's Resolution letters stamped and sealed and ready for the post office.

Return to Sender

In this case, receiving your own letter back in the mail is a welcomed event! These New Year’s Resolution letters, individually written and prepared by Chardon High School English Language Arts 8th graders in January 2019, were headed to the Chardon post office last week so that students can re-read their own letters, now one year later.

"Enjoy, Chardon High School Freshmen!"

~Ms. Tara Kaiser, CHS English Language ArtsTeacher

Chardon Service Learning Class

Mr. Rob Mizen, Chardon Service Learning Adviser

On Jan. 8:

  • Senior Isabella Byrne cleaned Christmas decorations from the Lake Metroparks Farmpark's Country Lights display.
  • Senior Allison Sutton returned to her volunteer project at Lake Metroparks Farmpark after winter break to discover one of the cows she has been caring for had a baby calf. Bull calf Duncan was born on Dec. 29.
  • Senior Hannah Holbert assisted Tiny Toppers with their music lesson led by preschool music teacher Miss Carol.

Junior Model United Nations Conference

Winter Junior Model United Nations Conference

(at John Carroll University Jan. 8 & 9)

The following three (3) eighth-grade Hilltoppers participated in this event:

  • Lauren Lester represented Ireland in the UNICEF committee
    CONGRATULATIONS LAUREN on winning top honor (the Gavel Award) in your committee!
  • Julia Ellington represented Japan in the U.N. Commission on Human Rights
  • Megan Robie represented Japan in the U.N. Commission on Human Rights

"All three students made Chardon proud!"

~CHS Model U.N. Adviser Mrs. Kristen Niedzwiecki


NOTE: Do you have a Chardon High School-related note of gratitude you would like to submit for publication in an upcoming edition of TopperTalk? Simply type Note of Gratitude in the subject line of your email and send the details to

Thanks Chardon High School students for sharing your musical talents with us! What a great way to celebrate the season! ~Mr. Tim Velotta, Chardon Middle School Principal

Thank you Free Harmony for the performance this morning!

~Mr. Christopher Aurand, Chardon Middle School

My favorite day of the year - when Free Harmony entertains! Wow! What a fabulous group of young men and women! I’ll see some of you on Broadway!

~Ms. Barb Rosengard, Chardon Middle School English Language Arts Teacher

Shoutout to Walmart for being so generous and giving so much to our community. Thank you for all that you do for Geauga County. ~Chardon High School AfterProm Committee



Chardon High School Class of '15

Ohio University Class of '19

Bachelor's Degree - Design and Communications, Interactive Information Design

Hobbies: I love volleyball, traveling, digital illustration and volunteering. I just signed up for a volunteer position with a local dog shelter in Dallas.


Playing volleyball at Chardon High School taught me so much about how to interact with teams in the real world. It also gave me a foundation for work ethic and maintaining a positive attitude in stressful situations. I always look back at high school volleyball and how much I wish I could play at the competitive level again.


About a year ago, I made a presentation to the Chardon High School Art Department to help show students that there are fields of study that can guide you to a creative career. I showed my previous work ranging from my Ohio University VisCom projects, to NASA event photography, and freelance magazine layout design/digital illustration.

While I started my journey as a designer hoping for a way to express my creativity, I have found a love for user-focused design and front-end development. I often look for ways to engage both my creative and problem-solving skills. As a digital native, I am looking to blend interactive capabilities with storytelling and education. I am a people person. Everything I create aims to bring deeper understanding and impact. Everything I build aims to combine empathy, context and purpose.

[4E's in Action: Jessica Koynock, cont'd]
Unlike the traditional path most take, I actually took an internship with Southwest Airlines after graduating from college. I wanted to know how a corporate environment differed from government, ad agency, and publication. I felt taking one more internship would help me understand what I wanted in a workplace long-term. Taking an extra 3 months to explore a different work environment has brought me down a much different path than I had expected.

I am currently freelancing for a publication called Den of Geek as a multimedia producer. I started as an intern my junior year of college and continued to freelance throughout undergrad. I primarily create social media posts, edit video, design magazines, and occasionally write captions and scripts. Since we are a magazine that focuses on pop-culture entertainment and technology, I was even able to join the team at San Diego Comic Con this past summer.

My end goal is to go back into corporate visual communication but freelance on the side. I recently moved back to Dallas, TX and decided the geographical part of my future was a part of my deep-rooted happiness.

[4E's in Action: Jessica Koynock, cont'd]
In a career, I am looking for a workplace that focuses on culture and people and also maintains a strong brand image. I have my eyes on a few companies here in Dallas and a few in Austin.

While I do plan on going into a corporate workspace with an established brand identity, I don’t plan on pushing my personal creativity to the side. I will continue to freelance for publications that push boundaries with layout design and typography. No matter what they say, print is not dead. There are so many people that remain passionate about print design.

Currently, freelancing allows me to roam freely as I don’t commute to an office everyday. Wherever I land long-term, I hope to build art communities, where ideas can flow and creatives can work in a collaborative environment. The collaborative aspect and critique is the part I miss out on being a freelancer. Building or finding a network that allows collaboration to thrive is a major goal.

[4E's in Action: Jessica Koynock, cont'd]

I definitely gravitate towards designing for a science background. Working at both NASA and Southwest, I have developed an appreciation for the role design can play in communicating STEM concepts to the general public. Visualization communication has a place in many industries, including science. You don’t have to be a rocket-scientist to work at NASA (although sometimes, it might help).

I do plan on returning to school after I am more grounded. I learned that you can work with both the creative and logical side with website development. Front-end development is a career I have been looking into pursuing and continue to take small steps to see if it is for me.

Inspiring experience - I was on the Hubble Space Telescope public outreach team with a fellow intern named Stephanie Zeller. Stephanie is easily one of the most passionate and driven people I have been given the privilege to meet. She takes everything she learns and finds ways to apply it to real-world scenarios and constantly finds ways to bring art and science together.

For example, she recently did a research project on how color is visualized in data and how different color ranges showed different trends. Most often, you see a heat maps in bright colors, but with a different approach, you could see the data in a new way. Stephanie constantly showed me how to look at everything with a new perspective and challenge how things are traditionally done, in order to learn more about the world around us.

[Chardon Schools Editor's Note: Deep gratitude to Jessica for taking the time to so thoughtfully share her inspiring post-graduation path and photos with our readers.]

Jessica Koynock waving outside the cockpit window of a grounded Southwest Airlines aircraft.


Congratulations to Anne Ciszak and Halle Parrish!

Anne's photo titled "Newsboy'" and Halle's ink drawing titled "Envy'" were awarded medals in this year's Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. The works of art will be professionally displayed at Cleveland Institute of Art with a great shot at moving up to being presented in a gallery at the national-level award show in New York City.

~Mr. Doug Murray, Chardon High School Principal

[CLICK the photo below to view the ANIMATION - may take a few moments to load.]

Our hand-drawn animation is edited and complete! The project consisted of drawing nearly 500 frames between roughly 40 of our art students which we completed in 3 weeks. Very proud!

~Mr. Erik Hauber, Chardon High School Art Teacher




Grade 3 Teacher

Munson Elementary

Inspiration for Teaching:

When I was younger, becoming a teacher was probably the last thing I thought I would do. At age 25, I became a substitute teacher, and it was during that time that I realized I wanted to become an elementary teacher.
Teaching Experience:
This is my 10th year teaching in Chardon. I have been teaching 3rd grade at Munson for my entire career.

Favorite Subject:

I always enjoyed math as a student, and it is my favorite subject to teach.
What I Love Most About Teaching:

I love that I have the opportunity to make a meaningful difference in a child’s life.
Favorite Memory as a Teacher:

One of my former 3rd graders (now a senior in high school) reached out to me at the beginning of this year. She wanted me to know that she has been performing in musicals in high school. She said that a project from third grade was what sparked her confidence, and if I had not pushed her out of her comfort zone all those years ago, she may have never gotten into musicals. Hearing that something I did 10 years ago made such an impact on her was one of the best feelings I’ve felt as a teacher.
A Favorite Children’s Book:

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
A Favorite Other Book:

A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah
A Favorite Movie:

Pirates of the Caribbean

  • playing flag football and softball - My flag football team has competed in several nationwide tournaments.
  • relaxing with my wife and dogs while watching TV
  • hiking - two of my favorite places are Sedona, Arizona and Asheville, North Carolina
Special Interest:

I love helping animals, especially dogs. For the past 11 years, my wife Megan and I have been fostering dogs for an animal rescue group called Marilyn’s Voice. During that time, we have fostered a total of 28 dogs. Our 2 dogs, Piper and Gia, were former fosters of ours.

[featured in the photo below are Mr. Buemi and his wife Megan
along with Chip (who passed away in May 2019), as well as Piper and "nephew dog" Dawson]

Munson Elementary Grade 3 Teacher Mr. Brian Buemi and his wife Megan along with furry friends (dogs) Chip, Piper and Dawson.



Clerical Assistant

Munson Elementary

Years of Service in Chardon Schools:
  • Clerical Assistant - 6 ½ years
  • Recess Monitor 6 months
  • Cafeteria 6-9 months
Typical Work Week:

I handle attendance, create the school's newsletter, assist with nursing duties, and take care of other day-to-day activities.
What do you enjoy most about your role at Chardon Schools?
Being part of something bigger.
My Children in the Chardon School District:

Luke - senior

Trent - sophomore

A Favorite Book:

I don't have a favorite.

A Favorite Movie:
Stand by Me


  • reading
  • scrapbooking
  • hanging out with my family

Favorite Life Advice:

Nothing works right the first time!

Favorite Wintertime Activities:

  • hiking
  • reading
  • watching movies


We wish Transportation Director Mr. Mark Desmond well in his transition and thank him for his dedicated service to Chardon students.

~Dr. Michael P. Hanlon, Superintendent

Thank you to the Chardon Middle School and Tiny Toppers Preschool students who recognized our Board of Education members with personalized cards and creative gifts at the Jan. 13 BOE meeting. Special shoutouts to Kristie Heron, Kathleen DeFoe, Andrea Ryan and Linda Elegante for their leadership with these gratitude projects. ~Chardon Schools

Thank you to our student liaisons, Chardon High School seniors Caleigh Dawson and Kaylie Malloy, for dedicating a portion of their Jan. 13 presentation to the Board of Education with heartfelt expressions of gratitude in honor of Board Recognition Month.

~Chardon Schools

Thank you School Resource Officer Derek Carlson for your dedication to Chardon Schools students. Officer Carlson met with the 6th and 7th grade students on Jan. 10 to discuss Internet safety, dangers of sexting, and the importance of making healthy decisions.

~Chardon Schools

Thank you Region 4 State Support Team for a productive Regional Literacy Leaders Network session! What a day (Dec. 18)! Guest speaker, book study discussion, picture book preview, professional development in explicit instruction, and Ohio Department of Education literacy updates.

~Dr. Kelly Moran, Curriculum Supervisor

NOTE of GRATITUDE from the Board of Education to Mr. Sheldon Firem...

Sheldon Firem has been a wonderful member of the BOE. He took on the job of legislative liaison, which is not easy but is crucial for our understanding of the larger issues in the state. In that position, he developed a relationship with State Representative John Patterson to learn more about State procedures and to give us the clearest picture of extremely complicated issues.

He approached the job with a calm and thoughtful demeanor and absolute integrity. We make many tough decisions that will have big impact on our community and having Sheldon’s input has consistently helped us do the right thing. And I will remember his warm smile as he arrived at meetings, coffee In hand. We wish him all the best, and we will miss him.

~Mrs. Madelon Hovath, Chardon Schools BOE President



[Note: Additional athletics highlights are posted on the CHS Athletics Twitter page @toppernation.]


Perrysburg Invitational Tournament - Jan. 11
Team finished 14 out of 48 teams.

  • runner-up: senior Jake Hamulak,113
  • 5th place: junior Jaden Farris, 126
  • 6th place: Kaz Rajko, 132


Nine (9) Hilltoppers traveled to Nordonia Jan. 11 and placed 28 out of 43 teams. Individual placers were:
  • 2nd place: junior Liam Downs, 220
  • 3rd place: sophomore Vaughn Fink, 138
  • 4th place: freshman Charlie Bates, 132
  • 4th place: freshman Kason Greenwood, 106


@Kenston Jan. 10

Hilltoppers = 2nd place team
Individual Placers:
All around: 2nd place: Margaret Hamulak, junior

Vault: 5th place: Lizze Beaubien, sophomore; 1st place: Margaret Hamulak

Bars: 6th place: Margaret Hamulak, 3rd place: Lauren Phillips, senior

Beam: 6th place: Margaret Hamulak, 3rd place: Brigit Morgan, senior & Lauren Phillips

Floor: 1st place: Margaret Hamulak

CHS Gymnastics Team



  • 2020 WRC swim/dive champions (see group photo)
  • Perry Invitational 200 free final heat: junior Lachlan Koenen (see individual photo)

  • 2020 WRC swim/dive champions (see group photo)
  • Perry Invitational team champions
CHS Boys Swim Team - 2020 WRC swim/dive champions
CHS Girls Swim Team - 2020 WRC swim/dive champions


NOTE: Do you have an Athletics-related note of gratitude you would like to submit for publication in an upcoming edition of TopperTalk? Simply type "Note of Gratitude" in the subject line and send the details to

Shoutout to Pastor Photography for the banner. Thank you!

~Chardon High School Gymnastics Team

Grateful for our local wrestling sponsor & world class service/facilities at Precision Orthopaedic Specialities who provide our athletic trainers... they are ALWAYS there. Topper wrestlers say thank you! ~Chardon High School Wrestlers

Special shoutout to all wrestlers who had to push away from the Christmas cookies the past few weeks & perhaps an extra mile or two to make weight.

~Mr. Bob Francis, Chardon Middle School Wrestling Coach

Special shoutout to Mr. Higham and Mr. Snyder who orchestrated an extremely efficient day for the Joe Novak Wrestling Tournament and to the Takedown Club for the hospitality room and concessions work. Record cleanup time.

~Chardon High School Wrestling Team(s)

Humbled by the community support for our program. Proud to display these wonderful companies in the Barn.
~Chardon High School Wrestling Team

ALWAYS a great time when we get to hang out and compete with our friends at Empower Sports. Thank you for hosting us!

~Chardon High School Varsity Basketball Team


Since 2018-19, Chardon Schools’ faculty has been studying Universal Design for Learning principles and implementing those UDL practices in the classroom.

The District’s debut of UDL was made possible last year when Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, Ed Klein, Ph.D, together with Chardon High School Assistant Principal Ryan Bandiera, secured a $100,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Education for Innovative Strategies for Differentiated Instruction. The grant has enabled Chardon Schools to fund professional development and implementation of UDL in recognition that there is not a one-size-fits-all learning style for students.

The goal of UDL in the classroom is to remove obstacles to learning by customizing curricular activities and assessments to fit the individual learning styles of students.

Megan Wessels, a Chardon High School math teacher in her fourth year of teaching - and in her first year with the District - is an example of a Chardon teacher who is implementing UDL.

“Ms. Wessels is knocking it out of the park,” said District Special Education Supervisor Ms. Andrea Ryan. “For example, she had a student carve math notes into a piece of wood as an alternative to re-taking a math assessment. The student was engaged in the project and learned the skills on the assessment in a unique way."

Together with Intervention Specialist Ms. Tracey Britt, Ms. Wessels has offered students a chance to display their understanding of parabola transformations in a manner of their choice. The teachers provided required elements and a project planning format, but students created their own rubrics, proposals, and subsequent steps.

For example, students took the class on a wild adventure of sorts, to solve a problem before a (hypothetical) “device detonated”, while another group showed off their craftsman skills by creating a wood-burning display. Another group inserted the content into a Monty Python skit, while other students incorporated essays, board games, development of assessments, or use of Kahoot!, a game-based learning platform.

“It’s inspiring to see students reach beyond what they thought they were limited to, simply because they have a choice," said Ms. Wessels.

Universal Design for Learning wood carving math assessment


Dedicated to Hilltoppers' Endeavors Outside of Chardon Schools

This NEW section of Topper Talk is dedicated to Hilltoppers' participation, projects and/or achievements in organizations outside of Chardon Schools. Hilltoppers are multi-talented and are often active participants in organized activities outside of school, including 4-H, fine arts programs, scouting, and more. We would like to showcase those experiences whenever we can.

To assist us with this, we invite parents and guardians to contact us at if you have a photo and caption of your student that you would like us to consider for sharing in an upcoming Topper Talk newsletter. Please type "Beyond the Hilltop" in the subject line of your email. Thank you!

Colin Patterson and Haidyn Bunker

Thumbs up to Chardon Middle School sixth-grade students Colin Patterson and Haidyn Bunker on their impressive individual pursuits beyond the classroom.

During winter break, Colin, who periodically serves as a junior correspondent for the Geauga County Maple Leaf newspaper, wrote an outstanding feature story, "The Secret Life of a Sixth-Grader" , about his classmate Haidyn's incredible luge talents and exciting adventures with the USA Luge Team.

To read the ARTICLE, click the photo of Haidyn Bunker below. If you do not have a Geauga Maple Leaf subscription, you may not be able to view the entire article. We also invite you to view Colin's corresponding INTERVIEW of Haidyn HERE, which is available to the public via YouTube.

Charlotte Jons

Congratulations to Charlotte Jons on finishing in 3rd place in Middle School Intepretation at the Kenston Speech Tournament on Dec. 21.

Also a shoutout to Charlotte for her role as Belle in Fairmount Center for the Arts' Youth Theatre November production of Disney: Beauty and the Beast Junior.

"Charlotte has been in our Youth Theatre program for many years. She is not only talented but intelligent and caring as well."

~Ms. Patti Sussman, FCA's Youth Theatre Director

Chardon High School Grade 8 student Charlotte Jons as Belle in Fairmount Center for the Arts' Disney:  Beauty and the Beast Junior production


FEB. 1: IN-DISTRICT Online Registration Begins HERE

FEB. 3: INFORMATIONAL MTG for parents/guardians SEE FLYER

MAR 1: OPEN ENROLLMENT Online Application Process Begins HERE


JAN 17...NO SCHOOL (Professional Development Day)

JAN 20...NO SCHOOL (Martin Luther King Day)

FEB 17...NO SCHOOL (Presidents Day)
FEB 18...BOE Meeting (Regular Meeting - 6:30pm at 428 North Street)

MAR 23...NO SCHOOL (Spring Break: March 23 thru March 27)

Chardon Local Schools

OUR MISSION: High achievement for all students, where learning is our most important work.