Frank Hall-football coach-Chardon High School 2012

February 27, 2012 changed our community forever; that day, a student shot and killed three students and injured three more at Chardon High School. The story of Frank Hall, the man who chased the shooter out of the school, deserves to be told.

I have never met Frank Hall, then a football coach at Chardon High School, now a coach in Ashtabula, Ohio, but I would be so honored to meet him. Not only did he save many young lives, but he also returned to comfort the victims. He was with those boys as they passed; they were not alone.

His interview with Sports Illustrated states, “Frank tried to move Russell's head out of the blood, to disentangle Demetrius and Danny from the table and chair legs. He cradled the boys, wiped their tears and begged them, "Hang on! Hang on!" He knew in the pit of his gut that none of them had a prayer, and so ... he prayed. "God, please, be here with each one of them. God, please, take care of them!"

Our community will not and should not forget the horror, but likewise, we should remember the heroism of Frank Hall.

 

Mrs. Heather Liuzzo-Music-Mater Dei Academy

"She has really saved our daughter's life," said the parents across the conference table from me. "She used to hate to come to school. She was just so different than the other kids. Then we transferred her to MDA, and she met Mrs. Liuzzo, who discovered that she could sing. Now, not only does she love singing, but she also is so excited to be in choir and the school musical. She has friends, and she loves coming to school."

Student actress in the middle school production of The Little Mermaid. 

While listening to this couple's story, I remembered with gratitude my own daughter's experience. She, too, had transferred from public school. A bright, creative, and unique child, she struggled with bullies and social ostracism. When Mrs. Liuzzo chose her for a part in the school musical, Annie Get Your Gun, my daughter's world lit up. She was welcomed into a community which celebrated her talent and creativity. One fantastic teacher helped my girl find her voice, and she is still singing today, quite literally, as a vocal performance and biochemistry major in college.

These two stories are parallel, but not isolated. Year after year, this teacher helps students find their voices. She has influenced hundreds of students through her classes, choirs and musicals. She is truly a teacher who changes lives.