Chagrin Falls School News | Geauga County Maple Leaf
At the Aug. 15 convocation meeting of Chagrin Falls Schools staff, Superintendent Jennifer Penczarski revealed the theme for the 2022-2023 school year: “It’s Chagrin…Write History…
This is Sorrow… Write the story
At the Aug. 15 convocation meeting of Chagrin Falls Schools staff, Superintendent Jennifer Penczarski revealed the theme for the 2022-23 school year: “It’s Chagrin…Write History.”
She said: “The work we will do this year centers on our school community sharing their stories and experiences to write a narrative of what we collectively believe and want for our students. It’s a perfect statement that describes what we hope to accomplish through the strategic planning process.
Penczarski continued, “Core values and beliefs are the foundation for strategic planning and establishing an organization’s culture. It is what makes a school a special place to learn, work and succeed, and a school community a special place to live. Are we ready to educate the next generation of students? How will the story we write this year impact their story going forward? »
Throughout the school year, our students, staff, parents, and community will be encouraged to help “write Chagrin Falls Schools History” in many ways. From participating in the creation of the district’s strategic plan to authorship highlighting the commitment and dedication to academic excellence and preparing our students for the world after graduation.
Ray Markuszka 20 years of service Award
On August 15, at the Sorrow Fall Schools convening meeting to welcome back staff, Operations Manager Chris Woofter presented the Ray Markuszka Award for 20 Years of Service to the following employees: Mary Czerr, Diane Dobies, Lisa Dugach, Lisa Janson, Diane Santucci, Bobbie Serensky and Sarah Tatarko.
Ray was a dedicated caretaker on campus 7-12. He is best known as a loyal and hardworking man who puts his heart into his daily work. In June 2000, Ray retired after 20 years of service to the district. Shortly after retiring, Ray suffered a heart attack which unfortunately took his life.
“It is in Ray’s name that we show our appreciation to our staff members with 20 years of service,” Woofter said.
Honorees received a gift from PTO, had their photo displayed on the digital screen near the central office and were invited to a special lunch with the superintendent.
Teacher and employee of the year
At the August 15 convocation meeting, Chagrin Falls Schools surprised two staff members with one of the district’s highest awards. Mike Sweeney, a math teacher at Chagrin Falls High School, is the teacher of the year. In addition to being a teacher, he is a varsity baseball coach, an assistant varsity basketball coach, and an eighth-grade football coach. Employee of the Year is Nicole (Niki) Lustig, an assistant at Chagrin Falls High School.
Director of Student Services Jennifer Bencko presented the award to Niki Lustig. She received 13 nominations. Presenting the award to Lustig, Bencko said, “Kind, hardworking, supportive, dedicated, humble, genuine, an unsung hero. I could spend all morning listing the positive adjectives I would choose to describe this year’s employee of the year. However, my opinion is not only mine. In fact, anyone who has worked with this person would echo my words. Lustig has been described as “effective, efficient, able to balance various personalities, remaining calm in sometimes stressful situations, culture builder, stabilizing force, resource for all and an integral member of the team.
Highlights of his nomination status include…
“I can’t believe this person has never won this award before. His positive attitude uplifts me and the students.
“She deserves this recognition even though she would never seek it alone. She is not boastful and does not seek praise. She’s just doing her job the best she can.
“She is all around kind, caring and caring. She goes beyond the expectations of staff and her students in special education. She is simply amazing.
Bencko continued, “When you think about the number of students and staff this individual has worked on in his 16 years on the district, it’s no surprise that the appointments have been plentiful. Let me ask you a question, can you describe the process of mitosis and meiosis? Can you balance chemical equations, can you explain erosion to a struggling student? Well, if you can’t, that’s okay because that person can. In fact, this person took some of our high school science classes 6, 7, 8 or more times. Why do you ask, because this person is an educational aide, who comes to work every day, to support struggling learners, helping them to have a positive school experience. She is an educator who simply understands.
Athletic Director Charlie Barch presented his award to Mike Sweeney, who was a math teacher at Chagrin Falls High School for 23 years. He said: “He coached at Chagrin during the same period. Every time I speak with our parents they mention what a great coach he is, but they almost always mention how great a teacher he is as well. When I walk with him in the corridors, all the students rush to say hello to him. Often, at the end of the school year, the elders come back and always want to stop by to say hello.
Highlights of his nominations indicate…
“If there was an unsung hero in high school, it would be him. Not only does he coach, but he teaches many challenging classes. When he commented that he was busy, he shared that he brings in students before school, during tiger time, lunchtime, and labs on a regular basis.
“He has the unique talent of being able to challenge the most advanced students while reaching out to struggling learners.”