Chagrin Falls School News
June 23, 2022 by Staff Report

"Dig It!," a youth musical about ancient civilizations, will be performed on June 30 at 7 p.m. in the Chagrin Falls Intermediate School auditorium...

Musical Theatre Camp

“Dig It!,” a youth musical about ancient civilizations, will be performed on June 30 at 7 p.m. in the Chagrin Falls Intermediate School auditorium. Under the direction of directors Pat Haynish and Chagrin Falls graduate Bill Gordon, who is a professional actor and fight choreographer from Chicago, the 45 cast members and 15 counselors have been expanding their theatrical skills with theatre games, improvisation and storytelling while learning their roles in this fun musical which features performers who will be entering grades two through eight this fall. Come and join the fun with featured songs like “Greece is the Word” and “Toga Party Tonight!”

Tickets are $9 for adults and $7 for students and may be purchased at the door or online at tinyurl.comCFCEtickets.

Speech and Debate

The Chagrin Falls High School Speech and Debate Team had great success at the National Speech & Debate Association’s final competition of the 2021-22 school year on June 15. The competition was held in Louisville, Ky.

Thanks to the efforts of Ali Holtz and Sophia Avery, Chagrin Falls Schools was once again named a Debate School of Excellence, awarded to the top 20 debate schools in the country. They both finished their careers as the two most accomplished Lincoln Douglas debaters in Chagrin Falls High School history. Holtz finished 11th in the country and Avery finished 13th. Both finished in the top 14 in the country two years in a row. Avery also was awarded the sixth best speaker at the Louisville debate.

Grace Hoy and Eric Feucht made it to quarterfinals for DUO and placed top 30 in the nation. Adam Hamdan also competed on one of the North Coast District’s World Schools Debate teams with students from other high schools in the area. His team, North Coast Brown, made it to Double Octafinals and placed top 32 in the country.

While Avery was in Louisville, back in Cleveland she won the cleveland.com/Plain Dealer Standout Award for Debate.

In addition, Corinne Lashley, the Speech and Debate coach for Chagrin Falls High School has earned the Donus D. Roberts Coaching Excellence Award from the National Speech & Debate Association.

“Receiving the Donus Award is a remarkable achievement and indicates that Corinne has earned 10,000 coaching points. Coaches earn one point for every merit point earned by their students through competition, service, and leadership activities. Each point represents hours of practice, revision, and growth for your students and dedicated coaching by Corinne,” said Executive Director J. Scott Wunn, National Speech & Debate Association.

Both Lashley and Coach Ken Kasee were with the team at the national competition.

Students Write Grant Proposal

Students in Sandra Goodin’s third-grade unit 5 math class took on a real-life math problem and learned about the grant writing process along the way. Students determined how much outdoor classroom furniture could fit in Gurney Elementary’s garden courtyard by measuring area, perimeter and determining cost.

Mrs. Goodin facilitated the group as they determined all they would need to calculate and from whom they would need to get advice. They consulted with the head custodian for measurement tips and tools as well as furniture considerations for outdoors. They consulted with the secretary for advice on companies used for furniture purchases. They consulted with the principal for advice on grant writing. After calculating the details, students contributed to writing a grant proposal for the money to buy the furniture. The Chagrin Falls Educational Foundation awarded them $9,898 to purchase outdoor tables, umbrellas with bases and outdoor stools.

Students wrote answers to the grant application questions themselves. In response to the application asking to describe the project, one student wrote that the outdoor classroom furniture “will benefit the kids so they don’t have to look around the classroom all day long. It helps kids learn and have a change of scenery. Another student outlined the process for choosing the type of furniture, noting the size, color and style that would best accommodate all Gurney students and possible usage scenarios. Once the furniture is purchased, it will take 10 weeks to complete the project. This outdoor classroom furniture will establish a space more conducive to teaching and learning in order to integrate the various garden areas with specific units of study at each grade level.

“This grant proposal allowed students to think through and experience ‘real life’ problem solving,” said Goodin. “They also engaged in a project that directly impacts their learning and the learning for hundreds of students to come.”

Chagrin Falls Schools Hire New High School Principal and Director of Student Advancement

At the June 8 Chagrin Falls Board of Education meeting, Michael Janatovich was hired as the new high school principal and Jarrod Mulheman was hired as director of student advancement.

Janatovich previously was the principal of Cuyahoga Heights Middle and High School. Prior to that, he was the assistant principal at Harmon Middle School at Aurora City Schools and the assistant principal, athletic director, and middle school science teacher at Cuyahoga Heights Schools. In his time at Cuyahoga Heights, he developed and implemented a multi-tiered system of support that has positively impacted all students in a variety of aspects including academic success, end of course remediation, social-emotional needs and other needs based on individual learners. He also implemented a teacher leadership collaborative to grow teacher leadership, was involved in the district’s strategic planning process, created a positive working culture for staff and students and developed a master schedule which included 14 AP classes and flexible options for students. He also was named president of the Chagrin Valley Conference.

“Mike was a candidate who stood out above the rest from the very beginning of the search,” said Superintendent Dr. Jennifer Penczarski. “His depth of experience at various grade levels set him apart. Parents, staff and students who participated in the search process commented that he was approachable and genuine. He will be a fantastic addition to our team.”

Janatovich received his Bachelor of Science from Baldwin Wallace College in middle childhood education and a Masters of Science from Indiana Wesleyan University in curriculum and instruction. He received his principal licensure from Baldwin Wallace and superintendent and educational leadership licensure from The University of Findlay. He is expected to receive his Doctorate of Education from The University of Findlay in 2023. He has presented at numerous local, state and national conferences. He also is a member of several professional education organizations.

“I am excited and honored to join the team as the next principal of Chagrin Falls High School,” said Janatovich. “Chagrin Falls is a community that values academic excellence, their students, and all stakeholders in their community. I look forward to making connections with the students, staff and parents in the community in order to provide the best educational setting for all of our students,” said Janatovich.

Jarrod Mulheman is the District’s new director of student advancement. In this role, Muhleman will join the administrative team to advance academic initiatives to support continuous student improvement, create meaningful experience-based educational opportunities, as well as foster social and extracurricular connections.

“Every person who interviewed Jarrod was able to make an authentic connection, including our students,” said Superintendent Dr. Jennifer Penczarski. “Jarrod’s background, especially in counseling, uniquely positions him to elevate academic, career and post-graduation planning for our students.”

Prior to joining Chagrin Falls Schools, Mulheman was associate principal of Mayfield High School at Mayfield City Schools. He also was the high school assistant principal for curriculum, instruction and staff development.

Mulheman has a Bachelors of Science in Education from Kent State University, a Master of Education in School Counseling from John Carroll University, and a Master of Science in Educational Leadership from Ursuline College. He is a part-time instructor at Cleveland State University for the Counseling, Administration, Supervision and Adult Learning Department.

He is a member of several professional education organizations and serves on various committee work in the areas of instructional leadership, literacy framework, English language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, technology and high school scheduling.

“It is an honor and a privilege to be joining the Chagrin family,” said Mulheman. “I am looking forward to working with the students, staff, parents and community members to continue a tradition of excellence at Chagrin Falls Schools.”

District Earns Award for Financial Reporting

Chagrin Falls Schools once again received The Association of School Business Officials (ASBO) International Certificate of Excellence (COE) in Financial Reporting. The certificate recognizes districts that have met the program’s high standards for financial reporting and transparency. The school district earned the Certificate of Excellence for its Annual Comprehensive Financial Report (ACFR) for the fiscal year ended 2021.

“The Certificate of Excellence promotes and recognizes excellence in financial reporting,” said ASBO International Executive Director David Lewis. “The Annual Comprehensive Financial Report informs stakeholders about the financial and economic state of the district, making it an important communications tool for building trust and engaging with the school community.”

By participating in the COE program, school districts demonstrate their commitment to financial transparency. Applicants submit their ACFR for review by a team of financial professionals who provide feedback to improve future documents. If the report meets the requirements of the program, it may receive the Certificate of Excellence. A district’s participation in the COE program can facilitate bond rating and continuing bond disclosure processes.