CNOtes – Optimist 2.0 August 16, 2018 – Chappy’s Social House – Matt Somerlot CHS Educator and Track Coach

CNO 2.0 Venue and Details

The venue for tonight’s CNO 2.0 meeting was Chappy’s Social House at 880 Washington Village Drive. Thank you to the team at Chappy’s for hosting us.


Guests and Members in Attendance

Debby Bremer Guest
Dana Dring Guest
Jim Kigore Guest
Bryan Miller Guest
Kevin Walsh Guest
Jason Whited Guest – Teacher of the Year
Diane Arehart Member
Patrick Arehart Member
Ben Barlow Member
Dav Bremer Member
Wayne Christie Member
Joan Cordonnier Member
Mike Cordonnier Member
Craig Dring Member
Beth Duncan Member
Greg Fay Member
Laura Franklin Member
Clint Freese Member
Stan Fronzaglia Member
Jesse Gaither Member
Cindy Harris Member
Brian Nolan Member
Tom Novak Member
Cheryl Probst Member
Brent Richburg Member
Matt Somerlot Member – Speaker
Ron Tinnerman Member

Fund Raiser and Activities

Craig and Dana Dring, lead volunteers for TOP Soccer for special needs kids, informed us they need several more volunteers every Wednesday 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM and Sunday 4 PM to 5 PM during this time of year. Our group is for 16-18 year olds. The program is held at Oak Grove Park from Aug 19, 2018 to Oct 14, 2018. The full schedule is available on this page.

View a PDF of Details About this Wonderful Program

Tom Novak, Avenue of Flag announced we have surpassed 2100 flags. He needs more help, especially those with trucks, vans or SUVs. He recently lost 2 of his volunteers with delivery capable vehicles.

Teacher of the year recognition

Greg Fay introduced Centerville High School social studies teacher Jason Whited. He is one of just 11 teachers of the year in Ohio. Jason mentioned what he likes about being in education is seeing how the kids are expanding into other areas of life and learning life skills. He has a chance to impact kids everyday and enjoys it. He will cheer up kids that are having a bad day.

Tonight’s Speaker

Greg Fay introduced CNO member and Centerville High School teacher and track coach Matt Somerlot. In his youth he was a former winner of the Optimist speech contest in Bellbrook.

Matt reviewed his story with us. This is his 23rd year to coach track. He values that his sport is a no cut sport at CHS and it is very much needed. Some kids need a chance to interact with other kids, some just need a gym credit, others need to meet a kid to have lunch with. In track there is almost always improvement the kids can see as their times get better sometimes day to day. Track kids learn to compete. He finds what the kids are good at. Each kid gets to compete at least once a week.

Four members of his staff have been around for 12 or more years. The continuity is important.

Recently CHS placed top 5 in the state.

Finding kids to participate has become more and more of an issue. There is more competition with other sports and part time jobs. The rising cost of college has forced many kids to work more hours than before. The team always wants to do well in competition and the shortage of athletes can make it difficult. He said small schools are having a really difficult time. Another reason track suffers is it is often a secondary sport for a kid and they will drop track first if there is a time issue with having to work.

Matt and his coaches try and find a way to connect with kids. The “quarter rewards” program is really popular During this program he walks around with a bunch of quarters and rewards kids who are doing well or helping others. The kids bought their own t-shirts with their reward quarters. The people taking the money for the t-shirts were a little less thrilled about the currency used to purchase the shirts.

Thank you to Matt for taking the time to speak to us tonight.