Tomorrow Starts Here

Principal's Message

Dear  CHS Parents,

As a Chardon native, graduate, and educator- I am proud to call Chardon my home.

I have spent most of my life writing and speaking in metaphors, analogies, and parables. Empowering people to reach beyond the surface of knowledge is one key to the success of any organization. Furthermore, cultivating a community that thrives and nurtures students to define themselves (within their story) is what makes us so strong at Chardon.

Since commencement, we have been working hard to prepare for the next school year. My awesome summer team was able to take some time for themselves and wholeheartedly be present for their families. As my family escaped to South Carolina, gentle tones rang beneath my feet--the soothing sound of the waves. When you really take the to think about it--- the beauty of waves are extraordinary. They are sometimes gentle, sometimes rough, and always returning back into the vast ocean. Whether it is high tide or low tide, the beauty of the gravitational pull of the moon reminds us nature's glory of ultimate cause and effect. The softness of the ocean can become a stress relieving baptism; returning us to our original peacefulness. Boy, did I need that gentle reminder after a year of waves. We all did.

On our drive back north, I read Tuesdays with Morrie aloud to my family. The book created an opportunity for my family to be reminded of the waves that face us in our lives, and how we respond to the events that we are faced. The poise and extraordinary message creates immediate reminders of our purpose in life: giving of ourselves in the service of others. In one prologue to a chapter, we read anecdote about a wave that is fearful of the shore.

“Okay. The story is about a little wave, bobbing along in the ocean, having a grand old time. He's enjoying the wind and the fresh air-until he notices the other waves in front of him, crashing against the shore. "My God, this is terrible," the wave says. "Look what's going to happen to me!" Then along comes another wave. It sees the first wave, looking grim, and it says to him, "Why do you look so sad? The first wave says, "You don't understand! We're all going to crash! All of us waves are going to be nothing! Isn't it terrible?" The second wave says, "No, you don't understand. You're not a wave, you're part of the ocean.” ? Morrie Schwartz

Together, we have rode the waves of many blessings and challenges in the past year. Simmering to the surface is the reality that your influence matters, your words matter, and your efforts are the key elements that make us so strong. You are part of a much larger community at Chardon.

As we plan and prepare for the dawn of a brand-new academic year (and approach to learning as an 8-12 building), we have so many things to look forward to at Chardon High School. We have such strong educators and wonderful students that walk the halls here every single day. We are embarking on a whole new experience that will catapult a generation of learners to an ever-changing world. The adjusted bell schedule, new Topper Times, Circuit of Success, new class rosters, and a refreshed group of refined educators are just a few snapshots of the exciting energy that we will embrace this August.

Cultivating is an essential task of any person working the land. In a like manner, we cast many seeds of learning amongst various ‘hilltoppers. What becomes essential in the art of educational cultivation is preparing students to see that the harvest may come various times within their high school days. The benefits of the hard work is what can help change the culture of fixed mindsets towards more of a growth mindset and goal setting.

My continued vision for this year is to cultivate and continue to build upon the Professional Learning Communities with the essential questions of: What do we want students to learn and be able to do? How will we know if students have mastered essential learning? What will we do for students who have not mastered essential learning? What will we do for students who have already mastered the content? Furthermore, to assess, refine, and continue to define the time in which we are given within the adjusted bell schedule. I look forward towards building a foundation of learners within instructional strategies and modeling the principles of our core values in Chardon.

Chardon High School’s most valuable resource is our children. Our continued vision in education stands firm in the power of exemplary education. Students at Chardon graduate empowered to serve the greater good of humanity. Our students leave the halls with knowledge and experiences that prepare them for college and career readiness. Our students embody the values of community, humility, achievement, respect, dignity, optimism, and nurture which guide their lives with a purpose. We are all proud to claim that we are from Chardon.

I look forward to the many opportunities that we will meet throughout the high school experience this year. Whether we are meeting at an athletic event, theatrical performance, or at one of our parent forums- I am excited to lead our students and staff towards continued excellence.

Coming together is just the beginning, staying together will lead our progress, and working together will transform lives for generations of Hilltoppers. I look forward to the many ways that we can shape the lives of our children.

I appreciate YOU, and all that you do for our community.


Douglas Murray


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