Chagrin Falls School News
September 21, 2023 by Staff Report

Chagrin Falls High School students Thomas Brennan, Clara Ives and James Wilkinson have been named National Merit semifinalists by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation...

National Merit Recognition

Chagrin Falls High School students Thomas Brennan, Clara Ives and James Wilkinson have been named National Merit semifinalists by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

The 2022 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), served as an initial screen of entrants to the 2024 National Merit Scholarship Program. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than 1% of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. The students will compete for a share of 7,140 scholarships worth nearly $28 million.

Before semifinalists can be considered for Merit Scholarship awards, semifinalists must qualify as finalists by completing the National Merit Scholarship Application using NMSC’s Online Scholarship Application and fulfilling several other requirements. Finalists will be announced in February.

Student Shines in the World of Poetry

Maria Bell, a former advanced cluster student in Katherine Adick’s fourth-grade English language arts class, has soared to new heights with her remarkable talent. Bell’s poem, inspired by the beauty of hummingbirds, was published in the July 2023 issue of “Ranger Rick’s Zoobooks,” making her a celebrated poet at just 10 years old.

Teachers at Chagrin Falls Intermediate School (CFIS) provide students with a list of writing contests, competitions and publication opportunities each year. The opportunities are designed to encourage students to explore their creative talents and challenge themselves in the world of writing.

Bell, guided by her passion for the natural world and nurtured by the teaching of Adick, decided to take on the challenge. Her fascination with hummingbirds became the muse for her poem. She aimed to capture the grace and beauty of these remarkable creatures in her verses.

“We are extremely proud of Maria’s motivation, talent, effort, creativity and willingness to challenge herself,” said Adick. “Maria’s accomplishment serves as a testament to the power of passion and the magic of the written word, inspiring both her peers and teachers.”

As Maria Bell’s poem continues to inspire those who read it, Chagrin Falls Schools celebrate her extraordinary talent and look forward to the bright future ahead for the young poet.

Teen Ambassador Board

CFHS senior Kate Quinn has been selected to serve on the Ohio Attorney General Office’s 2023-24 Teen Ambassador Board.  She applied to be a part of this group back in June 2023, as she was inspired to take an interest in politics and have an active voice in government through her experience in Ms. Corinne Lashley’s AP Government class last school year.

Service on the Teen Ambassador Board yields an opportunity to meet students from across Ohio who are interested in law and government and work with them to solve problems and provide suggestions to the Attorney General’s Office on vital issues facing the state. Quinn will have the opportunity to learn about the Attorney General’s office, meet and interact with government officials, work in groups on key initiatives and discuss issues of importance to Ohio citizens.  She will be participating in events throughout the year that the Governor’s office will conduct across the state.

In previous years, the board met with the Ohio Attorney General, members of the Ohio Senate and House of Representatives, toured the Ohio Supreme Court and met with Supreme Court Justices, and spoke with senior administrative staff, employees and BCI scientists of the Attorney General’s Office. Applicants selected will serve a one-year term and convene twice in Columbus during their tenure on the board.

Five Star State Report Card

On Sept. 14, the Ohio Department of Education released the 2022-23 School Report Cards for the more than 600 districts in the state. Chagrin Falls Schools received five stars on every component of the report card and has the fourth highest performance index score in Ohio. Five stars is the highest rating and means Chagrin Falls Schools significantly exceeded state standards in academic achievement, progress, gap closing, graduation and early literacy.

The Ohio School Report Cards include performance information provided by schools and districts including academic, financial, and opportunity to learn data. Some of this data is then combined into six components that receive star ratings to indicate the level of performance for the school and district.

“Receiving a five-star rating in every category on the State of Ohio Report Card is no small feat,” said Superintendent Jennifer Penczarski. “It’s a vivid reflection of our students’ tireless drive, our teacher’s unmatched dedication, the behind-the-scenes magic of our support staff, the strategic leadership of our administrators, and the continued partnership of our community. Each star represents the unity, passion and excellence that is deeply rooted within our district. While this rating proudly showcases our accomplishments, it also motivates us to uphold and further our legacy of educational distinction.”