Saturday, July 26, 2014

Voting YES Makes a Difference Tomorrow
October 26, 2013 | No Comments

By Douglas MurrayAs a resident, parent, graduate of CHS, former teacher in the private sector and assistant principal in the City of Chardon, I have…

By Douglas Murray
As a resident, parent, graduate of CHS, former teacher in the private sector and assistant principal in the City of Chardon, I have seen all sides of education and have a unique vision toward Issue 31, the Chardon Schools Levy that is on the ballot this November.
I have spent three decades in Chardon and have seen so much growth, development and expansion throughout the rolling hills of this treasured location.
The foundation of my character building and passion for education blossomed in my early years at Chardon High School. The depth of lived curriculum and leadership formation were unveiled to me through the excellent instruction and electives — opening my curiosity into deeper learning. The deep relationships and friendships established the foundation of the man that I am today.
Furthermore, the framework of teamwork and athleticism became an essential foundation that carried me into college. Chardon offered me oppor-tunities to succeed, opportunities to believe in my abilities and blessed me with my best friend — my wife.
The solid formation that I received at Chardon became my springboard to college readiness. Through my years, I thrived and often gave thanks to the men and women that believed in me, along with so many that guided me in Chardon. As I grew to adulthood and was ready to move into the work force, I was offered a position to teach at the local private high school.
Being an educator in the private sector offered me an opportunity to give back to my community. For over 13 years, I saw education from a new lens. Electives, college preparatory formation, coaching, community building and service became a seamless routine to me.
All the while, I witnessed my community fail levy after levy. Many students began to migrate to other schools and, as other schools thrived throughout Lake and Geauga County, my alma mater and local school dist-rict had to find ways to create the same rigorous and passionate ways to meet the needs of the 21st century.
This past sum-mer I was given an opportunity to lead and serve the students, staff and community in a greater capacity at Chardon High School. Walking through the halls again brought back so many memories, familiar faces and familiar structures. Being back home, I can clearly share with you that the same rigor that I received is visibly seen through each classroom.
The unfortunate reality is that almost two decades later, many of the programs that I was able to participate in are no longer being offered. Business classes are gone and art courses and academic guidance are down to the bare minimum.
The financial reality that we all have witnessed over the last few years has made each of us conscientious of our priorities.
But, when we look deep into the mirror, our neighborhoods and our values … are we prioritizing the needs of our future? I am proud to be from Chardon. I am grateful for the foundation granted to me by my faith, my parents, family — the foundation that was granted to me at 151 Chardon Avenue.
Take the time to really look at Issue 31. We owe it to our children, we owe it to ourselves. This is our time to transform the future of education. Please consider my sincerity and reflect on why voting YES this November opens opportunities that will make a difference in our tomorrow.

Douglas Murray is assistant principal at Chardon High School. He can be reached at 440-285-4052 or Douglas.murray@chardon schools.org.

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