Charlene Paparizos  440-247-4363

Register for kindergarten

Kindergarten registration for Gurney Elementary School will be March 14 at the school from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Children who are 5 years old on or before Sept. 30 are eligible for kindergarten for the 2020-21 school year. Parents must complete all registration forms online through final forms prior to attending. It is not necessary to bring your child. No appointment is needed, but if you are unable to attend, you will need to schedule an appointment with the registrar at 440-247-4346. Both full- and half-day kindergarten are offered. Online registration opened on Feb. 1. For more information, visit

Holocaust conversations

On Feb. 27, eighth-graders at Chagrin Falls Middle School met a Holocaust survivor at a face-to-face presentation at the Congregation Shaarey Tikvah. The speaker told a personal story to inspire students to value one another, which is just what Chagrin Falls Middle School Principal Laila Discenza wants the school to do—accept diversity and enjoy a positive culture.

To learn with eighth-graders, read the “The Tattooist of Auschwitz” by Heather Morris. A book club for parents led by Angie Jameson, a media specialist, will take place March 17 at 10 a.m. in the Innovation Center. For more information, email  

Eighth-graders celebrate culture

Chagrin Falls Middle School eighth-graders celebrated world languages and cultures in January. Based on their world language classes, students went on customized tours at the Cleveland Museum of Art. 

The Spanish classes read the novel “Agentes secretos y el mural de Picasso” and examined artwork by Picasso in the museum, African masks and other artists that inspired Picasso’s cubist works French classes studied the works of impressionists such as Monet and Cézanne; Chinese classes explored the large Chinese collection; and students not enrolled in a world language class toured Italian art. Students also got to experience global cuisines and interact with servers from different parts of the world.

Sherlock uncovers the bully

Chagrin Falls Intermediate School hosted the Great Lakes Theater Company on Feb. 21 for their “Classics on Tour” production of “Sherlock Holmes Meets the Bully of Baker Street,” which provided lessons in problem-solving and empathy. Students joined the world’s greatest detective as he figured out who was the Bully of Baker Street. Actors performed this original tale, adapted from the works of Arthur Conan Doyle, with humor, logic and song.

Students land Hyland internship

Chagrin Falls High School students Anais Levi and Emily Collins are two of the five students selected for Hyland’s pilot high school internship program. Hyland, whose global headquarters are in Westlake, Ohio, is a leading content services provider.

“We decided to pilot this program because we recognize that there are a lot of highly-skilled students in Northeast Ohio, and we want to help them learn and grow as they navigate their future career paths,” Joseph Maxwell, former Chagrin student and Hyland employee, said. “We also know they can make valuable contributions to our business, and we hope they will come back as full-time employees someday.”

During the full-time internship, Anais and Emily will work in the research and development department, reviewing code, testing software and attending team meetings. A mentor will guide each student.

Speech, debate students head to nationals

Submitted by Katie Nelson, Junior, Chagrin Falls High School

On June 14-19, 2020, Chagrin Falls High School will send five qualifying speech and debate members to the national tournament in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Sophomore Grace Hoy and seniors Mikey King, Eli Shall, Maggie Mills and Sasha Haines will attend the national tournament competing in the categories dramatic interpretation, duo interpretation and public forum debate. 

“All the national qualifiers are people who have overcome quite a few obstacles to get where they are currently,” said Ken Kasee, speech and debate head coach.

According to Mr. Kasee, the five team members represent some of the most devoted and diligent individuals on the team. “They represent the most skilled, matched with some of the hardest workers on the team. We have an extremely hardworking team,” said Mr. Kasee.

He added that Grace is one of the five qualifiers who have stood out significantly this year. “Grace is new this year as a sophomore, and she came in and was immediately successful,” said Mr. Kasee.  “She has overcome some roadblocks along the way and has still managed to exceed everyone’s expectations and qualify for nationals.”

Grace performs a cutting from the HBO show “Euphoria” by Sam Levinson.  She said she is excited to travel to Albuquerque in June.

“I genuinely never thought I would qualify and I am beyond excited to see all the incredible speeches and absorb skills for next season,” Grace said. 

Mikey said he looks forward to seeing different competitors’ style of performance.

“I always feel like there is a greater sense of competition at larger national tournaments because no one has seen each other’s piece before,” he said.

Mikey and his partner Eli perform a cutting of the film “Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie” by Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim.

In December, Mikey and Eli competed at George Mason University’s national circuit tournament where they were tournament champions. “We beat out close to forty other duos from across the country including the national champions from last year. Eli and I both were proud of that,” Mikey said. From their victory at George Mason University, the pair now brings that level of confidence to the state tournament at Wooster High School on March 6-7.

All of the national qualifiers have their own successes that they are proud of, and it would not have happened without the bond of the team as a whole.

“My biggest accomplishment this season is definitely creating a close bond with everyone on the team,” said Grace. “I wouldn’t have been able to finish off the season without them.”

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