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Chardon ACADEC: Commitment, Achievement & Sportsmanship
Caption: Chardon ACADEC Earns 14 State Competition Medals! Team to Be Recognized at May 16, 2022 Chardon Regular Board Meeting!; staff headshot photo Coach Herner (Pastor Photography); group photo of student team members with medals

May 16, 2022

During the recognitions segment of tonight's regular board meeting, the Board of Education will welcome the 2021-22 Chardon Academic Decathlon team and present the team with a resolution of recognition, honoring the nine Decathletes together with ACADEC coach Al Herner for their stellar season that culminated with 14 State medals earned in a very tough Large School Division.

Chardon's 2021-22 nine-member team comprises juniors Jake Schneider (team captain), Sarah Douglas, Meghan Kekish and Austin MacCartney; sophomores Joey Grano and Colin Youdath; and freshmen Drew Dellaria, Danny Greene and Kayla Schneider. Of the 14 State medals earned by Chardon, five were gold.

The State tournament was held March 11-12 at John Carroll University and featured the traditionally demanding combination of objective tests, interviews and speeches.

A BUMP in the ROAD
Prior to having their 14 hard-earned State medals in hand, however, the event unexpectedly presented one last test for the Chardon team. In short, a technical glitch resulted in Chardon's (and one other school district's) results being recorded as zeros just ahead of the State awards ceremony.

Coach Herner and student team members watched the awards ceremony from the sidelines and initially concluded they had not earned any medals however unlikely that scenario seemed to be.

With the initiative of Coach Herner's investigative skills, the technical glitch was eventually uncovered although understandably time could not be turned back to salvage the loss of recognition for Team Chardon at the ceremony.

However, unexpected situations such as these always provide an opportunity for real-life practice at maintaining good sportsmanship, and the District is certainly proud of the team's core values approach with the unpredicted scoring snafu despite the disappointment they had to be feeling.

In true Coach Herner style, the long-time ACADEC coach sought a plan B, which led to him planning his own awards ceremony for the nine-member team.

Student schedules aligned for this event to finally take place on the evening of Friday, May 13. Chardon Decathletes opted for Chik-fil-A catering as their ceremonial meal of choice.

All nine team members, Coach Herner, and team family members were in attendance on Friday, including moms, dads, grandparents and siblings.

"We had a good turnout for our little awards ceremony on Friday," said Coach Herner. "After a banquet of Chick-fil-A, we heard a prerecorded message of congratulations from a volunteer board member of Ohio Academic Decathlon."

Coach Herner awarded 14 medals in all to the Decathletes while displaying their names among their peers from all competing schools at the March 11-12 State Competition.

Looking back, the Chardon ACADEC team has a long-standing history of successes, dating back to at least as far as 2003.

In one of the trophy cases adjacent to the high school cafeteria, you'll see ACADEC awards for Regional runner up in 2013 and again in 2014, State runner up in 2014, and State Champions in our division in 2017.

These placements qualified the team to compete in the United States ACADEC Online National Competitions in 2013, 2015 and 2017. Multiple Ohio House and Senate resolutions commending Chardon Academic Decathlon teams also reside in this case.

"I don't have all the historical data but I took over the program in 2011 and our teams have competed in State Competition each year since then," said Coach Herner. "I wouldn't attribute this to me, but to the well-rounded education our students get at Chardon Schools."  

The long-running success of Chardon ACADEC has also been made possible by steady support from Chardon Schools Foundation, a non-profit organization that has annually awarded grants to Coach Herner to fund the team's test materials and competition fees.

The District looks forward to continuing the celebration and support of Chardon ACADEC at tonight's board meeting, recognizing the 2021-22 team's hard work during the regular season and for their State contest qualification, achievements, and sportsmanship. 


District Media Contact:

Kelly Misch
Communications Director
Chardon Local Schools
(PH):  440-286-0409