Chardon Board Remembers Former Longtime Member
September 28, 2022 by Amy Patterson

Before commencing regular business at their meeting Sept. 19, the Chardon Schools Board of Education paused to remember Mary Price, who died in August at the age of 110.

Before commencing regular business at their meeting Sept. 19, the Chardon Schools Board of Education paused to remember Mary Price, who died in August at the age of 110.

Price served 12 years on the board and was elected to her third term in 1957, from which she resigned to become a teacher in the district, board President Karen Blankenship said.

Blankenship read from Price’s 1980 letter of resignation, after she had served the community for what Blankenship called “decades of immeasurable service to the students, staff and community of Chardon Local Schools.”

“Now, after 21 years of involvement with unforgettable teenagers, fine colleagues, capable administrators, interested parents and a concerned community, I am submitting my resignation effect of July 1, 1980,” Price wrote. “My late husband and our four children, all graduates of this school system, would join me in sincere wishes for the continuation of meaningful programs and the purposeful education growth of the Chardon Schools.”

However, Price didn’t stop there — she went on to become a teacher in Indiana, teaching for over 50 years, Blankenship said.

Also receiving accolades were Treasurer Deb Armbruster’s team, which earned a certificate of achievement for excellence in financial reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association for fiscal year 2021.

“This certificate of achievement is the highest form of recognition in government accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by government and its management,” Armbruster said.

The district’s financial statements have been in good standings for many years, she said, but a change in the style of reporting allowed her team to be eligible for the award.

Armbruster highlighted the hard work of her staff, including Assistant Treasurer Jennifer Mismas, Dianne Farizel, Crystal King-Morrison and Lauri Zampino.

Mismas balances the books, prepares reports for the board and manages grants; Farizel manages student data and the district’s college credit plus program; Zampino is the latchkey director for the district; King-Morrison, the newest member of the team, manages payroll and benefits for over 350 employees, Armbruster said.

“Without the communication, collaboration and attention to detail of this team you see right here in front of me, this award would not be possible,” she said.

Superintendent Michael Hanlon reported to the board the results of a further investigation into board member Todd Albright’s concerns related to gender, sexual activity and other topics on the Ohio High School Athletic Association pre-participation physical form at the August meeting.

The board formed an ad hoc committee, including board member CJ Paterniti, who was absent from the September meeting, and Blankenship. The two met with Hanlon, Armbruster and Chardon Schools Athletic Director Doug Snyder to discuss the district’s continued use of the form.

Hanlon said the district will continue to make the current OHSAA PPE form available for parent use, but will also continue to accept alternate forms if physicians choose to use them.

“We do currently accept alternate documentation, primarily for international students, but if we had other resident students that provided an alternate form, we would accept that,” he said.

Hanlon also clarified the OHSAA policy for designating a student athlete as transgender.

“First off, simply by checking a statement on the form, it does not automatically allow a student to participate on an other-gender team as a transgender athlete,” he said. “There remains a one-year process before consideration by the OHSAA prior to establishing transgender status, and the authority to designate a transgender athlete rests with the executive director of the OHSAA, not the student athlete, parent or school district officials.”

The district’s safety committee met Sept. 6 to review the pedestrian crosswalk at Chardon High School, Hanlon said.

That crossing became another hot point in Blankenship’s public rebuke of Albright later in the meeting, after remarks he made to Chardon City Council at their meeting Sept. 8.

Hanlon echoed City Manager Randy Sharpe’s response to Albright earlier in the month, telling the board that, following the committee meeting, the city received an updated quote for work to improve the crosswalk. The new quote came in around $94,000.

“In addition, (Sharpe) informed me of the projected (Ohio Department of Transportation) grant cycle through 2023, anticipating that there may be a possibility for us to apply again for this project,” Hanlon said. “We also discussed at that meeting the potential of looking at district funding for this improvement, should it be approved by the board — and work on that needs to continue moving forward.”