CHARDON, Ohio — Principals who have all endured school shootings have formed a new national support group.
Among them, is Andy Fetchik who was principal of Chardon High School when the tragic school shooting occurred in 2012.
“I think about it every day, every day,” said Fetchik.
Seven years later, Fetchik remembers February 27 like it was yesterday.
“I was very fortunate after our shooting in 2012. I got a phone call from Frank DeAngelis who was principal of Columbine almost 20 years ago when that tragedy happened. Frank offered support, reminded me that, ‘you are not in this alone and reach out if you need anything,’” said Fetchik.
Now, both Fetchik and DeAngelis are part of a national support network of principals who have endured school shootings.
“I was fortunate to be able to talk to other schools after their tragedies. Others that reached out. What this group is a resource around the country,” said Fetchik.
Formed just last week, the Principals Recovery Network consists of 17 current and former principals who will advocate for resources to help schools prevent and recover from violence.
Fetchik was selected from 87 principals who experienced a school shooting from 2010.
“With recovery, is there is no timeline. Students recover at different times. Staff heals at different rates. The principal heals at a different rate,” said Fetchik.
Fetchik was a principal at Chardon for 8 years.
He still works in education, but as the Director of Human Resources at Mayfield City Schools.
Fetchik says the group plans to meet again in Washington D.C.