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October 2013

Walk to School Walk to Town a Success Read more on page 12

Chagrin Falls SchoolS


Table of

Contents Messsage from Superintendent 1 board briefs 2 super reflections 3 Stratetic plan process update 4-5 middle school student council retreat 6 gurney “kick-it� event 7 Super spotlights 8 being of service 9 forbes best schools for housing buck 10 google chromebook update 11 walk to school walk to town 12-14 south africa students visit cfhs 15 super students 16-17 cfhs commended students 18 students engaged in strategic plan process 19 Lenny may baseball field gets uplift 20-21 Athletic hall of fame recipients 22-23 holthaus honored in d.c. 24 communicate with district 25-26

Message From

Our Superintendent This month a group of 18 committed Chagrin Falls Exempted Village School teachers and administrators attended the Building Better Schools Institute programmed by Solution Tree over the NEOEA weekend. This institute brought many American and Canadian thinkers and leaders in the forefront of educational reform together to present and work side by side with district teams committed to improving their school districts. This was a powerful experience. This work will serve as the foundation for the development of our district leadership team. The team made up of teachers, administrators and a representative from the board of education will have direct conversations on district improvement efforts and will be responsible for monitoring progress in the future. Two goals were identified by the group that will guide the work for the remainder of the school year. First, build a systemic structure (schedule, framework of meetings, identification of clear and common participant roles) that supports ongoing shared leadership at the district, building, and teacher levels. Next, create a systemic process (meeting protocols, process, progress-monitoring) to identify, approach and accomplish the problem-solving work within each established tier of shared leadership. There were many consistent themes that resonated throughout this conference. However, the importance of relationships and engagement, for me, became the overarching message of this experience. At every level of what we do in education relationships and engagement are central. It is most obvious at the classroom level as we know from both research and

personal experiences the best teachers invest in building strong relationships with their students and parents. They invest and care about a student’s success and work diligently to develop a positive connection first knowing students as individuals and then knowing them as a learner. This strong foundation is used to motivate and challenge students to improve academically, socially and emotionally. The importance of relationship and engagement transcends the classroom as these are also critical to the development and improvement of our school district through collaboration and planning. It is vitally important that we bring the collective talents and perspectives of our staff and community together to create a conversation about the future of our schools. This past week more than 100 community members attended a forum to review the results from the strategic planning survey conducted prior to the school year. The participation in this survey and level of interest at this meeting indicates our community is invested in our school district. It is very evident that the State of Ohio is attempting to dictate public education. It is through critical conversations about expectations, finances and values that we will preserve what we value in public education locally. It is imperative that we have determined local engagement from our Chagrin community in a systematic manner. It is that important dialogue from residents that provides balance and context for many of the state mandates we are asked to implement. The stage has been set to have this dialogue through the strategic planning process and encourage anyone interested in participating to sign up by going to the district main page under “Recent News.� Thank you for your continued support of our school district. Sincerely,

Robert W. Hunt Superintendent Chagrin Falls Exempted Village Schools 440-247-4363 @Hunt_Edleader

FLYER CENTRAL . . . NEWS YOU CAN USE Be sure to check out the new FLYER CENTRAL page of our district website for events, programs, and information from various community and school organizations. You can find the FLYER CENTRAL gray box located on the right side of the homepage at


A review of the Board of Education meetings

chagrin falls “board briefs” This section of the Super News is dedicated to providing the community highlights of the monthly Board of Education meetings. However, complete meeting agendas and minutes can always be accessed on the district website at It was a busy month for the Chagrin Falls Exempted Village Schools Board of Education. The board conducted a work session and regular meeting. All members also attended the strategic planning community forum. At the work session, Superintendent Robert Hunt provided the board of education with an overview of ongoing conversations with South Russell Village on the possibility of a water line extension that could address ongoing water issues at Gurney Elementary. These discussions are ongoing and Mr. Hunt will continue to update the board of education. At this meeting, the district also provided the board of education with an overview of a grant that they will be submitting to the Ohio Department of Education on Oct. 25th. The regular meeting of the board of education was highlighted by the approval of a resolution in recognition of National Principals Month. The following students introduced and spoke about the importance of the principalship from their perspective: Ava Latore, Gurney Elementary; Annie Mills, Intermediate School; Courtney Curtiss and Julia Crandall, Middle School; and Heidi Vidmar and Natalie Welch, High School. The board would like to thank Dr. Rachel Jones, Ms. Rebecca Holthaus, Mr. David Wessel, Mr. Steven Ast and Mr. Rob Winton for their hard work and dedication to the Chagrin Falls Exempted Village Schools.

Chagrin Falls Exempted Village Schools

Board of Education President: Anne B. Thomas, Ph.D. (440) 247-1227

Member: Mary Kay O’Toole (440) 338-8636

Vice President: Harry Cashy (440) 338-3510

Member: Michael Hogan (440) 543-5280 Member: Rob Weber (440) 247-7115

Technology committee meeting The first meeting of the district’s Technology Committee is on Thursday, November 7, 2013 from 7:30 – 9am in the Middle School Presentation Room M122. There will be an update on what has been accomplished over the summer, as well as to get everyone’s valuable input on how to move forward this school year and in the future.


super reflections

a strategy sandwich By Robert Hunt, Superintendent Recently, the former Superintendent of Public Instruction from the State of Ohio and current Assistant U.S. Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education, Deb Delisle, spoke to the Greater Cleveland School Superintendent’s Association. The update was overwhelming, as she commented on the state of public education throughout our nation and the various initiatives and politics dominating the national conversation. Mrs. Delisle presented a national agenda which included a push for increasing preschool for all in high poverty areas and an investment in leadership. In addition, she discussed the changing landscape of teaching due to student access to technology. Beyond the international comparative statistics and programs, two comments resonated with me throughout the presentation that may have been overlooked by those in attendance. She said that, “culture will eat strategy for lunch” and “leadership matters.”

Culture is the foundation for a successful school building and district. Again, Mrs. Delisle is correct in her second point that “leadership matters.” Before someone critiques me as self-absorbed due to my leadership position at the district level, let me define my interpretation of leadership specific to the area of culture-building. Every student, teacher, principal, parent, community member, and superintendent is a leader in the department of culture-building. Shared cultural leadership and development begins at the classroom level with a committed educator that is challenging students in a richly diversified curriculum in an environment that is safe, structured, and values the social and emotional growth of young people as well as academic achievement. We must facilitate and promote ongoing opportunities for student leadership within their classroom, in their school, and across their community. A principal develops these cultures one classroom at a time ensuring continuity throughout the building in classrooms, hallways, and on playgrounds. District administrators and parents foster this culture from building to building ensuring consistent expectations in every aspect of the organization.

There is an ongoing state and national reform agenda that is built around assessment. In other words, it is suggested that if we build a culture around standardized assessment, students will Education needs accountability. There has to benefit and achievement will increase. Admittedly, be a balance in how we go about creating these this comment is a bit misleading. Although accountability systems so we do not negatively assessment plays a critical role in the education of impact the culture of our school districts. It was a child, the high stakes testing environment that refreshing to hear from someone at the national we are creating has more to do with a “gotcha” accountability system for teachers and districts than level who truly understands what matters. It is my hope that we will be able to work to achieve a more positively impacting the education of our students. balanced diet in educational reform and initiatives Mrs. Delisle’s comments “culture will eat strategy which better supports our students, as the current for lunch” are very accurate. Our high pressure, strategy being pushed by our federal and state high stakes tests are having a negative impact on government is gorging itself in a truly unhealthy way the culture within our schools. We must be very by “eating our culture for lunch.” thoughtful and precise about the strategies we implement to improve student achievement, but we must be as thoughtful about building a culture of acceptance, risk taking, and creative problemsolving. Read more of Mr. Hunt’s Super Reflections blog posts at


SHAPING the VISION for our

KIDS’ FUTURE An update on . . .

Chagrin Falls Exempted Village Schools Strategic Plan Community Meeting Superintendent Robert Hunt and the Chagrin Falls school board discussed the findings from the recent online community survey during the Oct. 22 strategic planning community meeting. More than 100 people were in attendance. A total of 752 questionnaires were submitted, for a response rate of 13.7 percent, this past July. Hunt said the number of residents who responded was statistically significant, and the responses were “personally heartfelt.”

including its neighborhood atmosphere, parent and community involvement, teachers and staff, and high academic standards. · Most residents “agree or strongly agree” that the district is effectively educating its children, including preparing them for college and careers while acting responsibly with the public’s tax dollars and balancing state-mandated reform with local needs.

SHAPING the VISION for our

· Sixty-six percent said they vote in favor of nearly all school tax issues. This level of financial support is nearly 10 points higher than the level of support in the vast majority of other Ohio school districts, and is consistently high among all age groups.


“The number of residents who responded and the scope and depth of their comments indicate how strongly many of them feel about education and their schools,” he said. Insights from the survey include:

· Nine out of 10 residents, or 91 percent, report they are “very pleased” or “generally pleased” with the Chagrin Falls Exempted Village School District,

· While most residents feel that the majority of the needs of students in the district are being met, a significant number feel that some areas need to receive greater emphasis, including preparation for the workplace, study skills and tutoring, computers and technology, and writing.

Help define the future of our schools!


· A majority, or 57 percent, of residents “agree or strongly agree’ that the district is meeting the needs of gifted and talented students, while 22 percent of parents “disagree or strongly disagree” that the needs of the gifted/talented students are being met. · Among residents’ responses to the open-ended question, “In what ways could the Chagrin Falls Schools be improved?” were suggestions to bring the Intermediate School building up to standard, reduce spending and improve fiscal management, place more emphasis on writing, math, and science, improve technology and communications, focus on college preparation, and reduce the emphasis on testing and test scores. Residents demonstrated a strong confidence overall with the academic program. · Both parents and the community as a whole responded that the district website is the most important information source about the schools, followed by schoolchildren, the e-blast system, the telephone dial out system, school employees and the district newsletter.

· Most residents feel that the high school, middle school and elementary school are in good shape, but 60 percent think the Intermediate School is in “fair or poor” condition. Strong concern about the condition of the Intermediate School building is shared by every age group except over age 65. In addition, 10 percent of residents indicate the condition of the Intermediate School is the most important challenge facing the district. · Residents also listed other challenges facing the Chagrin Falls district, including the system of school funding and other financial concerns (31%), how federal and state mandates, testing and common core conflict with local vision of what should be taught and how it should be taught (18%), and life after graduation, including college, career and globalization (15%). Superintendent Hunt encouraged all those that attended the community meeting to continue their involvement by serving on a committee and play an active role in the next phase of the strategic planning process.

For those residents who could not attend the meeting but would like to participate in the strategic planning process, the district has created a volunteer form that can be filled out at


Chagrin falls middle school

hosts retreat for student council members On Sept. 18, the Chagrin Falls Middle School new student council officers and homeroom representatives participated in a retreat under the guidance of student council advisors, Mrs. Christie Briggs and Mr. Kyle Patterson. The goals for the retreat were to build group cohesion, share ideas, set group goals for the school year, brainstorm ways to accomplish those goals, and sign up for committees. Students participated in a variety of activities to help make connections with one another and understand the responsibilities of being leaders in the middle school. A variety of committees were established


to address school-wide events, including Walk to School/Walk to Town Day, the Halloween Dance, Spirit Week, Charities, and a Zookeeper committee directed at increasing student attendance and support at all middle school sporting events. Students left the retreat with a better understanding of their fellow student council members and an agenda of what they can begin working on to make our school an exciting and effective place for students to attend. “We have an excellent group of students this year and are looking forward to working with them,� said Briggs and Patterson.

gurney elementary

Progressive Field Kick-It event Last school year, Miss Kelly Shanaberger’s kindergarten class and Mrs. Jillian Langer’s second grade class won the opportunity to play kickball at Progressive Field this past September by raising more than $1,200 for Kick-It, a cancer-research charity.

“My class worked so hard to earn the most money for Kick-It. My students worked during the week by asking their families and finding change around the house, and they even worked on the weekends by holding numerous bake sales! We had a BLAST playing kickball on Progressive Field,” said Shanaberger.



Chagrin Falls Intermediate School Principal Rebecca Holthaus was selected to appear on the National Association of Secondary School Principals’ website for National Principals Month. When asked what her favorite part is of being a principal, she said... “The work we do within a school building changes lives. Regardless of all the tedious tasks, there are classrooms full of children who believe in and depend upon us. There is no more rewarding act than giving these children the skills they need to be successful.” The link to the photo/story can be found at: www. principalsmonth. org.

Do you have news to share? If you know of a staff member - certified or classified - that goes above and beyond the call of duty, please email your submission to Charlene Paparizos, Director of Communications, Chagrin Falls Exempted Village Schools •


being of service Tune in and Consider Others

As part of the Chagrin Falls Exempted Village Schools’ ongoing dedication to provide outstanding customer service, our classified teams have adopted the motto “Being of Service.” This reflects our value to “Tune In and Consider Others.” These qualities of providing excellent service are already areas of strength with our teams; it is a goal for us to keep it that way and even improve. Therefore, we are going to talk about these qualities, promote these qualities, and act on these values.

Each month throughout the year, we will recognize one specific classified team member that goes above and beyond in the area of customer service. This person will represent these qualities and will represent the hard work that each team member demonstrates on a regular basis. We are calling this award the “Master of Service Award.” The recognized employee will be given a token of thanks with a $25 gift card donated by Master Pizza. The district awarded the October 2013 “Master of Service Award” to Kelly Davis from our Transportation Department. Her nomination reads: Early in the school year it was a very warm day; the temperature was 85 degrees and the bus was sweltering. A school bus arrived at a home where three students lived. The parent was not home. The students were getting anxious. The transportation department was unable to reach the parent by phone and the very young students could not be unloaded without a parent at

the home. At this point, Kelly Davis who had heard the conversation on the radio offered her help. Kelly, who had driven the children in the summer, was familiar with a babysitter who lived across the street from the kids. Kelly located the sitter, went to the address, and stayed there with the children until the children were in the care of sitter. This was a great example of “Being of Service.” Kudos to Kelly for caring and acting. Thanks goes out to Kelly and to each of our staff for going above and beyond in the area customer service. Stay tuned for more great stories to come. If you have someone you would like to recommend that has truly gone above and beyond please email Brian McNally (brian.mcnally@chagrinschools. org) for Custodial, Grounds, and Maintenance; Marti DeSantis for Food Services (marti., Bill Holzheimer for Transportation (, Chris Woofter (christopher.woofter@chagrinschools. org) for Educational Aides and Building Secretaries.

Chagrin Falls dominates forbes

“best schools for your housing buck” list Chagrin Falls Exempted Village Schools was ranked 8th in’s recent survey of the “Best Schools for Your Housing Buck,” which found that the best high-performing public school districts in the country are housed in the Midwest. Forbes compiled performances of the schools on standardized tests and calculated percentile rankings for every school within each state. “We wanted full-service school districts with reasonably large student bodies, so we restricted our universe to districts that provide kindergarten through 12th grade, and have more than 1,000 students,” said Daniel Fisher, Forbes staff writer. “What we found is that most of our schools are in small towns within driving distance of major cities. They also tend to have highly involved and dedicated parents. Most have independent foundations to help cover school costs,” said Fisher. Link to the ranking/story on how the districts were selected can be found at:

“Chagrin Falls has once again been showcased to the world as one of the best places to live and raise a family. The strong partnership between our schools, village, and residents is one of the reasons why we have an award-winning school system that catches the eye of people around the country.”


- Superintendent Robert Hunt

intermediate school sixth graders

learning on google chromebooks Students in Katherine Owen’s sixth grade Language Arts class at Chagrin Falls Intermediate School are currently reading The Giver as their anchor book and are engaged in the online game, Quandary, using their Google Chromebooks. The central theme of “Utopia” connects the reading of the novel with the playing of the game. Quandary requires students to apply critical thinking, problem

solving, and decision-making skills to online game play and writing tasks. As they play the game they distinguish between facts, opinions and solutions. They collaborate with classmates to analyze situations from multiple perspectives and viewpoints as they demonstrate 21st century skills of global awareness, information literacy, communication and collaboration.

Progress of this initiative can be followed at


safe routes chagrin

walk to school • walk to town If you did a double-take Friday, Sept. 27 as you watched a chicken walking around in downtown Chagrin Falls, not to worry, your eyes did not deceive you. The chicken did cross the road in Chagrin Falls to celebrate the fifth annual Walk to School–Walk to Town Day with more than 500 students from the Chagrin Falls Schools. This annual event, organized by Safe Routes Chagrin, goes above and beyond the traditional Walk to School day celebrated all over the country by adding an afternoon component called “Walk to Town.” Students, parents, teachers and community businesses banded together to enjoy Chagrin’s walking community and all that downtown Chagrin Falls has to offer. Chagrin Falls Middle School students began their day at 6:45 am with a walk from the Intermediate School parking lot to Tiger Stadium to enjoy Einstein’s bagels and lemonade. Student Council awarded prizes for the Most Spirited Team and Best Costumes. In the afternoon, teams walked to town to the Masonic Temple to partake in an historical scavenger hunt to sites throughout town where historical society volunteers taught them a little bit about Chagrin Falls’ history. There were prizes for the top three teams. At Chagrin Falls Intermediate School, students met at the public library at 7:30 am and enjoyed a brisk walk to school to also enjoy Einstein’s bagels and lemonade. That afternoon, students walked into town to participate in a Fun Fitness Fair in Riverside Park, with healthy food, prizes, and many movement related activities and games provided by local merchants, including corn hole, grass hockey, kuk sul do, and bike drills. Prizes for both events included gift cards to local stores so that students can return to town to shop locally and enjoy the downtown area. Finally, at Gurney Elementary, students walked around the new playground’s walking track with their teachers at recess time. They challenged themselves to walk five laps (half mile) or 10 laps (one mile).


“This powerful encouragement program incentivizes students who might not normally walk to school or to town to give it a try and find out first-hand how fun it can be to enjoy being active while walking with friends,” said Kathryn Garvey, President, Safe Routes Chagrin. “Walk to School events help to emphasize the importance of issues such as increasing physical activity among children, pedestrian safety, traffic congestion, concern for the environment and building connections between families, schools and the broader community.” School families were encouraged to keep the momentum going all weekend by participating in the 5K walk/run for Chagrin Documentary Film Festival at Tiger Stadium on Sunday, September 29. Money raised went to the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society. The winner of the customized sneakers from Chagrin Falls Middle School was seventh grader Margaret Munday. “Walk to School has become a community/ building event,” said Superintendent Robert Hunt. “I saw every constituent group of our community represented today as they came together to support safe routes and our students. The Safe Routes Chagrin team has provided a venue and purpose for us all to come out for the betterment of our students and school.” Safe Routes Chagrin earned recognition as the National Safe Routes to School program of the year and recipient of the 2012 James L. Oberstar Award from the National Center for Safe Routes to School—not just because of Walk to School Day and the Chicken, but for the overall scope of its programs that include new sidewalks, Safe Houses, volunteer crossing guards, and many other activities. Safe Routes Chagrin is a cooperative endeavor between the Village, the school district, the police department and the community.

Special thanks to the following businesses/organizations who donated to make this event such a success: The Chagrin Falls Dads’ Club Einstein Bros Bagels The Cleveland Clinic The Popcorn Shop Yours Truly Middlefield Cheese Blue Sky Green Fields Organic Fruit Golden Gate Lodge #245 The Chagrin Falls Historical Society The Chagrin Falls Library Morris Eason Round1 The Pond Ice Arena Mountain Road Cycles Earth Day Coalition and all the businesses who donated prizes and all the parent volunteers and teachers who helped.


More walk to school highlights . . .


chagrin falls high school

hosts students from South Africa The visiting students arrived Sept. 25 after spending four days in Washington D.C. Upon arrival, the boys received a tour of the school, met their host families, then attended the final Cleveland Indians home game, thanks to a Chagrin Falls parent who provided tickets. For the next two days, the visitors attended classes with their host students during the day and other activities in the evenings, such as Chagrin Falls volleyball and football games and a bonfire at a host family’s residence. During the weekend, the African students enjoyed a variety of activities, including a walking tour of Chagrin Falls, paint ball, apple picking, a tour of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and a farewell barbecue. After breakfast Monday morning in the Sands Community Room, the Jeppe students traveled to New York City before heading back home. It was the second trip to Chagrin Falls for the school, which previously brought 12 students in

September 2011. Jeppe is one of the oldest and most prestigious schools in South Africa, and has a diverse enrollment of both day and boarding students.Chagrin Falls students visited Jeppe in 2010. The two schools established a relationship through the Bridge to the World program. “It is a great experience for our students as well as theirs,” said Principal Steven Ast. “ We get some perspective on their culture in getting to know their students and the teachers that came with them all while they experienced our great community during their visit.” Science teacher Brittany Anderson coordinated the visit. “It was a whirlwind of a week, but well worth it. Many lifelong friendships have been formed,” she said. “We hope to keep this up on a two-year cycle. Hopefully I’ll be heading there in 2015 to see my friends and colleagues at Jeppe!”


Super Students

Chagrin Falls High School Students/Teacher Raise More Than $4,600 for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

Claudia Lewis, 11th grade, and her teammate, Katie Malik, 9th grader, are Type 1 diabetics. They organized the Chagrin Falls High School JV and Varsity soccer teams (along with family and friends) to raise money and walk in the Sunday, Sept. 29 Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation walk at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.  They were honored to cut the ribbon at the start of the walk.  As of today they have raised more than $4,600.   Their teacher Lisa Salyers, who is also a Type 1 diabetic, raised money for the team and walked with the students as well. “It was such a great experience to be around so many people who are just like me, living with type 1 diabetes. I cannot express how grateful I am for everyone who came to the walk or donated to our team.  The support from family, friends and teachers was amazing and Katie and I were so happy we could experience the walk with so many of them,” said Claudia Lewis.


South AfrIcan students visit chagrin fall high scool more highlights . . .

Chagrin Falls High School Senior Theresa Kosmides Named as Chagrin Valley Rotary Club October Student of the Month Chagrin Falls High School senior Theresa Kosmides is the Chagrin Valley Rotary Club High School Student of the Month for October. Kosmides is the cofounder and president of the Engineering Club at Chagrin Falls High School. She is also involved in Key Club, Speech and Debate, and is on the track and field team.

Theresa Kosmides was also awarded the Girl Scout Bronze and Silver Awards, the Art Show Gold Award, along with many others. Outside of school, Kosmides is in the Girl Scouts, Venture Scouts, and serves as a tutor. Her plans after high school involve going to college to major in Biomedical Engineering, PreMedicine. Currently, Kosmides is in AP English 12, AP Probability and Statistics, AP Spanish, and AP Calculus. Each month, the Rotary Club recognizes a high school student who displays service and leadership qualities. Kosmides was honored at the Oct. 15 Rotary Club meeting.


chagrin falls high school

commended students Steven Ast, principal of Chagrin Falls High School, announced that eight students have been named as Commended Students by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Seniors Peter Berlin, Tyler J. Bryant, Thomas E. Collins, Zach M. DeBernardo, Alexander G. Goebel, Maximilian J. Hallwachs, Eleanor B. O’Neil, and Anna H. Weber earned the ranking for their scores on the 2012 PSAT/NMSQT. Their scores place them


in the top 5% of more than 1.5 million students who took the test. In September, it was announced that Karen Greenlaw has been named as a semifinalist in the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program. Greenlaw now joins other talented high school seniors continue the competition for some 8,000 scholarships worth approximately $35 million that will be offered next spring.

strategic planning

engaging students in process

On Sept. 23, Superintendent Robert Hunt met with more than 50 students from grades 5-12 that serve on his Student Advisory Team. The discussion provided an opportunity for student participation in a focus group centered around the upcoming strategic planning process. Wonderful information was gathered from the students that will be used when creating the plan.


lenny may baseball field

gets makeover thanks to john deere Sodexo On-Site Services Solutions and its vendor, John Deere Landscaping, held a “John Deere Day” Oct. 8 to rebuild Lenny May Field for Chagrin Falls Exempted Village Schools. The project included complete reconstruction of home plate, the batter’s box and pitcher’s mound, re-aligning the bases to specifications, and improving drainage, including repairing the drains by third base. Representatives of other districts, leagues and landscape contractors were also invited to learn how to rebuild a ball field. The reconstruction would have cost the district more than $25,000, but all the time, labor and materials were donated. Sodexo and John Deere staff were assisted by a team of volunteers from Chagrin Falls civic groups, including the high school athletic boosters and the Chagrin Falls Dads Club. Among the duties taken on by the volunteers was spreading Turface All Sport, a surface topping to help the field dry faster. John Deere Landscaping provided the Turface, which was estimated at about $8,000.


“We were happy to step up and help with this project,” said Greg Kanzinger, president of the Chagrin Falls Schools’ Dads Club. “The district can count on us when they have a project that needs extra manpower and volunteers. We are excited for all those athletes who will get to play on this field.” The rebuilding will make the area more durable and is expected to last for many years with fewer repairs. It will also make the field safer. According to Chris Woofter, director of operations and strategic initiatives, one of the problems with the field was a lip that had formed between the grass and dirt areas, creating a trip hazard and the potential for balls to pop up at a player. “I am extremely excited that we were able to rebuild the baseball field,” said Michael Sweeney, varsity baseball coach. “It is a great to have a field that will be one of the best in the area.” The completed work will make the field one of the best in the area when the Tigers play ball again next spring.




ohio middle level principal of the year

holthaus honored in d.c. Rebecca Holthaus, principal of Chagrin Falls Intermediate School, was honored in Washington, DC this past September after being named the Ohio Middle Level Principal of the Year by the Ohio Association of Secondary School Administrators. Designated a state winner in the MetLife/NASSP National Principal of the Year Program, Holthaus was eligible in consideration to be the National Principal of the Year. As a principal, Holthaus has proven success in involving the local community in the life of the school and has shown an astute awareness of current and emerging issues as well as a passion in improving the school’s learning environment. Holthaus joined other winning principals from around the nation in DC for the three-day Principals Institute and Awards Gala, held September 18-21. “NASSP is honored to recognize the outstanding work of Rebecca Holthaus,” said JoAnn Bartoletti, NASSP executive director. “The Principals Institute was a wonderful chance for us to thank these outstanding educators while giving them the opportunity to speak with their elected officials, grow professionally and learn from and inspire one another.” During their visit, principals had the chance to meet with their senators and congressmen on Capitol Hill to discuss educational legislation and its potential impact on their schools, partake in a roundtable conversation with representatives from the Department of Education and share and receive best practices with other principals from around the nation.


The Principals Institute concluded on Friday night with the Awards Gala, kicked off by a keynote address from US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Each principal was then invited on stage during the gala to receive their award and be formally recognized for their outstanding accomplishments in their schools. The MetLife/NASSP National Principals of the Year each receive a $5,000 grant, while the four finalists each receive a grant for $1,500. The grants will be used to improve learning at the school (e.g., a special school project and/or professional development).

Reminder to Sign up for E-Communications Chagrin Falls Exempted Village Schools uses a variety of avenues to communicate to the district stakeholders. They encourage residents to sign up for e-communications by going to the district homepage at www.chagrinschools. org. In the lower right hand corner under Quick Links, there is an “E-Newsletter” icon to select. Residents can choose to receive updates from the district and/or individual buildings. Once a resident is registered, he/she also will receive the district’s new monthly digital magazine, Super News. The magazine can also be found on the district’s website. “I encourage all residents, even those that do not have children in the district, to sign up to receive our Super News publication,” said Superintendent Robert Hunt. “It is an excellent way for everyone in our community to stay connected with the great accomplishments and happenings in our district.” The district also has a Facebook page ( and most of the school administrators and principals have Twitter accounts.

FLYER CENTRAL . . . NEWS YOU CAN USE Be sure to check out the new FLYER CENTRAL page of our district website for events, programs, and information from various community and school organizations. You can find the FLYER CENTRAL gray box located on the right side of the homepage at

PTO Calendar Events Now on District Website The PTO events can now be found on the district calendar at


August 2013

Staff Employee of the Year is

Mary Jo Czerr

and Teacher of the Year is

John Brownlow P. 9

Miss the August Edition of Super News? Click here to read:

Chagrin Falls SchoolS

SUPER NEWS Miss the SEPT. Edition of Super News?

Click here to read:


Facebook • twitter • website • e-newsletters

follow us on social media The Chagrin Falls Exempted Village Schools intends to use a variety of avenues to communicate to the district stakeholders. The list below outlines the various methods to connect with the district through social media.

District Website

Visit us on the web at


Find us on Facebook at


Join the conversation on Twitter. Use #CFEVS. You can also follow the school district administrators: Robert Hunt Superintendent @Hunt_EdLeader

David Wessel Middle School Principal @CFMS_Principal

Christopher Woofter Director of Operations and Strategic Initiatives @ChrisWoofter

Rebecca Holthaus Intermediate School Principal @RebeccaHolthaus

Mike Daugherty Director of Technology @MoreThanATech

Rachel Jones Gurney Elementary Principal @DrJ_cfprincipal

Steve Ast High School Principal @steven_ast

Charlie Barch District Athletic Director @ChagrinAD

Rob Winton High School Asst. Principal @robertdwinton


Would you like to be notified via email of what’s happening in the Chagrin Falls Exempted Village School District? Register to receive our E-Newsletter. Go to the homepage, In the lower right hand corner, click the “E-Newsletter” icon to begin the registration process.  Once there, click the link that says Create an Account. Fill out the forms and choose your selections. When you are finished, click the submit button and you are registered. Please note, you can login with the account you just created and edit your preferences at any time.

District All Calls

Our district uses an automated calling system to send out important messages such as school closings, school delays, or other valuable information when necessary. This service is only for the parents of district students. Parents will be eligible to receive these calls when they enroll their students. If you are a parent in the district and you are not receiving the automated calls, or if you need to change the number that these calls go to, please contact Pupil Services at (440) 247-4564.

400 East Washington Street • Chagrin Falls, Ohio 44022 • 440-247-5500

Super News October 2013  

Super News is the digital magazine of Chagrin Falls Schools

Super News October 2013  

Super News is the digital magazine of Chagrin Falls Schools