April 19, 2017
Focus on What Really Matters: Innovation & Risk Taking
Gail Kist-Kline

This is the season when a lot of state testing has been happening in our schools.

Take a listen to the message that Dr. Gail Kist-Kline shares with our educators about staying focused on "What Really Matters" to us.
Personalized Learning Spotlight: MHS Senior Adrian Chan
Adrian Chan

Adrian Chan is a go-getter. He's finishing strong in his senior year at Mason High School - four AP classes, lots of extracurriculars. But the serious young man comes alive when he talks about food. That passion - and his incredible persistence - is now taking Chan down a different path than his family and friends may have once saw for him. After Chan graduates from Mason High School, he's headed west to work for his culinary idol,  Chef Dominique Crenn - a French chef best known for gaining two Michelin stars for her restaurant, Atelier Crenn, in San Francisco .

This year during Mason's  Personal Learning Days , Chan had a plan. After being inspired by Chef Crenn's appearance on the  Netflix series Chef's Table , Chan convinced his parents to let him go to San Francisco to see if he could connect with Crenn over winter break.

Chan booked his plane ticket and stayed with some family friends while in San Francisco. He then set out to see Atelier Crenn in person. After hanging around the outside of the restaurant, he saw some staff inside getting ready for the immense dinner preparations. Chan saw his chance.

It Would Be a True Honor To Wash Dishes For You
"I was nervous. I thought - I should just leave. I don't want to bother... But it was around 12ish and Chef Crenn actually came by. She was very nice, so open. I told her that I came here to see her. That I'm in my senior year and that college is very important. That I was planning to go into architectural engineering - but I just knew that deep inside I want to cook food. I told her it would be a true honor to wash dishes for you guys."

What was the Chef's reaction to the earnest young man's offer? "Why Not?" Crenn told him to come back at 4:45pm, and wear comfortable clothing.

Read more about Chan's experience.
Mason City Schools Chooses Transition Option Based on Town Hall Feedback

Last month, the Mason City School District held two town halls to discuss the district's Facilities Master Plan and district finances.  The Master Facilities Plan includes a modest addition to the Mason Early Childhood Center, some renovations inside Mason Intermediate School, and a total renovation of Mason Middle School.  Under the plan that community members liked best, in 2019-2020 Western Row Elementary will close;  the district's preschool through second graders will attend the Mason Early Childhood Center; third through sixth graders will attend Mason Intermediate School; seventh and eighth graders will attend Mason Middle School; and ninth through twelfth graders will attend Mason High School. 

During the town halls, community members were asked to share feedback about transition options and timing for the school year when Mason Middle School undergoes an overhaul. The district presented two options originally, but based on community feedback a third "Option C" emerged that better addressed concerns about managing the transition for students by ensuring that students attended schools in buildings that were better equipped for their body sizes, and keeping MMS students closer together to ensure equity in after-school and athletic opportunities. Mason Middle School students will relocate to Mason Intermediate School and Mason High School during 2018-2019 school year, while awaiting the multi-million-dollar reconstruction of their school. Third and fourth graders will attend classes at Western Row during the 2018-2019 school year.

Read more about the Transition Option.
Mason Intermediate Raises Over $10K for LLS; Honors 7 Community Heroes

Leukemia and Lymphoma have hit too close to home for many in the Mason City Schools community. Members of Mason Intermediate School's Team Innovation, Team Quest and Team Venture recently honored their friends and heroes who have battled blood cancer by raising $5,121.85 in just five days while participating in The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Student Series Program, Pennies for Patients.  The teams even set a record for money raised in one day by collecting $833.81 on March 3.

Many individuals within our Mason community have been affected by a blood cancer, and MI honored seven of them during this year's kick-off event. Those Honored Heroes included Jackie Barnes (sister of Team Innovation's science teacher Lindsey Colvin) , Ella Boynton (daughter of Team Innovation's math teacher, Amy Boynton) , Maya Collins (MMS student) , Liz Fiehrer (fifth grade reading teacher at MI) , Lynne Hutchinson (fifth grade ACT teacher at MI) , Maeryn Kelly (fifth grader on MI's Team Aspire), and Ben Terribilini (MMS student).

MMS Students Explore Medical Field 

Enthralled.  That single word perfectly described the excited expressions of Mason Middle School students who attended the UC West Chester Hospital/Junior Achievement STEM Career Exploration on March 16.

For one hour, students cycled back and forth between stations illustrating essential medical concepts.  Experiential learning opportunities have been growing fast the last couple years, due particularly to both middle and high school students developing interest in advanced STEM business related fields.  The district is committed to ensuring that students are presented with multiple career awareness opportunities.

MHS and MMS Scientists Earn Top Prizes at UC Science Expo 
UC Science Expo

Thirty-six Mason High School and Mason Middle School students presented their projects during the 2017 UC Science and Engineering Expo on March 11 at the University of Cincinnati's West Campus. The students earned $7,750 in prizes and scholarship awards.

Six MMS students won $1,475, and 13 MHS students won these scholarships and awards worth $6,275.

Read more about the UC Science Expo .
MMS Mathcounts Team Places Second at State Competition 

The Mason Middle School MATHCOUNTS team came in second place overall at the MATHCOUNTS State Competition held at Columbus State Community College on March 11.

Justin Huang placed fifth, Alex Ye in sixth, Ayanov Roy in seventh, Gilbert Mao in eleventh, Kevin Ren and Amey Haridhas also scored in the top 45.

The MMS MATHCOUNTS team won first place at the regional MATHCOUNTS competition on February 25. Students Haridhas, Huang, Mao, Arvind Prasad, Sankhya Rajan, Ren, Roy, Yuv Sachdeva, Ye, and Alex Zhang competed for Mason.

The MMS MATHCOUNTS team is coached by Coppock,   Sruthi Parthasarathi, and Mika Snider.

Read more about MMS MATHCOUNTS.
MHS Student's Art Chosen for the Ohio Governor's Youth Art Exhibition
Lauren Fournier_s Artwork

Mason High School senior Lauren Fournier's work Blue was chosen to be displayed in the 47th annual Ohio Governor's Youth Art Exhibition, which opens at the James A. Rhodes State Office Tower in Columbus from April until the end of May.

"This is such good news!" shared MHS teacher and National Board Certified Art Educator Tina Roberts. "Lauren completed the piece Blue last year in Aaron Robert's DID II class."

WR Students Win 'Imagine Engineering' Contest 
Imagine Engineering Contest Winners
Approximately 80 Ohio elementary schools and more than 7,500 students participated in the 19th annual Imagine Engineering program, and two Western Row Elementary students took top honors.
WR second grader  Liza Amalraj  placed second in the statewide contest and received a big screen microscope and a $20 gift card from the local chapter. Another WR second grader, Riya Dulal, came in third and received a MathShark skill-building game and calculator, and a $20 gift card also from the local chapter. The prizes were awarded during a presentation on April 5.

Two more Mason students placed in the top five in Southwest Ohio. Mason Early Childhood Center second grader Skylar Denbow and WR second grader Lucas Joseph placed fourth and fifth and each earned a $20 gift card as well.  All of the Mason second graders have been encouraged to pursue their engineering dreams by STEM teacher  Kim Peters .

Read more about the Imagine Engineering Contest.
MHS Students Spend Break Performing at Carnegie Hall   
Carnegie Hall

Two Mason High School students spent their spring break in New York City performing at the prestigious Carnegie Hall on Sunday, March 26.

MHS junior Natasha Saputra and sophomore Faith Min are both pianists who were invited after winning first and second place at the International Competition of Romantic Music. This was Saputra's seventh performance at Carnegie Hall, and was Min's debut.

"It was such a wonderful experience for the girls. They met a lot of young musicians from all over the world," shared Natasha's mother Maya Tedjarahadi. "We are always thankful for Mason City School's continued support for the students, not only academically, but also for extracurriculars.

Read more about the Carnegie Hall performances.
MCS Destination Imagination Teams Set New Mason Record   

Mason City Schools had an amazing showing at the Destination Imagination regional competition held at Miami University on Saturday, March 11.  

Six teams finished in first place (out of 12 categories), eight teams came in second, and three teams placed third. All six first place finishers advanced to the State Competition at Mount Vernon High School and Middle School complex on April 8.

"This is a new Mason record for teams advancing to state!" shared MMS Visual Arts teacher and DI advisor Lisa Fish. "Teams also won the Spirit of DI Award, The Renaissance Award, and the Da Vinci Award."

Congratulations to the following teams.
Project Citizen Students Witness Government in Action   
Project Citizen

The Mason Schools Foundation grant Project Citizen Government in Action allowed fifty eighth graders from Project Citizen, a social studies elective class at Mason Middle School, to see our government in action, and apply in real life what they learned from the course.

Student were also able to speak with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Maureen O'Connor, as well as lawyers and lobbyists who work with the representatives at the State House.

During the Project Citizen course, students study democracy and the role of the citizen within it.  The three branches of government are studied at all levels of government, and then the students are asked to culminate the teachings by trying to create or change a public policy.

Read more about Project Citizen.
MHS Students Compete at Rotary Speech Contest
Rotary Speech Contest
Mason High School junior Saagar Chokshi and senior Jenny Zhang competed at the annual Rotary 4-Way Test Speech Contest, along with two students from Kings High School, at the Marriott Hotel in Mason on March 7. The competition took place during the Mason-Deerfield Rotary Club Meeting.

The district competition consisted of two preliminary rounds of judging and a final round that will determine the winner and ranking of the finalists.  All contest entrants will participate in both preliminary rounds and give their speech twice, once each to two separate sets of judges.  The final round will consist of the top four contestants based on the scores and rankings of the two preliminary rounds.

Read more about the Rotary Speech Contest.
High Fives to...

MHS student leaders , who put together a wonderful pep rally to celebrate the school's 2016 National Blue Ribbon Award. The rally featured performances by the Honors Concert Choir, ASL Club, Drumline, Dance Team, Comet Skippers , remarks from Mason Mayor Victor Kidd and School Board President Matt Steele , and a conversation with speaker Nick Jackson who reminded students that awards aren't what makes us awesome - spreading love is what we need to be about!

... MHS freshman Hannah Small, who was accepted into the 2017 Honor Band of America! The French Horn player says that performing at the prestigious Midwest Clinic in Chicago this year with Honors Wind Symphony is her most memorable moment in band. Learn more at Music For All.

... all the MHS students and staff who donated blood on April 18. This year's drive with Hoxworth Blood Center was even more personal. It was done in honor of MMS student Maya Collins who is battling Leukemia. Anna Collins , a MHS sophomore, shares, "Your blood donation can help save someone's life, like my sister, Maya."

... MHS Class of 2014's Mohamed Elzarka , who was recently named a   2017 Truman Scholar . Mohamed is one of 62 outstanding college students selected. He studies neurobiology and public health as a Cincinnatus Excellence Scholar at the University of Cincinnati. He's  passionate about addressing barriers to care and expanding healthcare access through grassroots efforts and policy development.

... MI teacher Christine Work , who was recently featured on WVIZ NewsDepth for her passion in teaching about the Iditarod race! (NewsDepth is an Ohio based weekly current event show for kids that many OH students watch each week.) Mrs. Work shares, "After studying different aspects of the Iditarod all year in different subject areas, students came up with a neat research/hands-on project to display at the banquet in Anchorage this year. It was my pleasure to brag about all their hard work and dedication!"    Check out her segment at 23:45 !

... MHS Drama Club performers under the direction of Allen Young , who were the stars of the UC West Chester Hospital Gala, and MHS Digital designers in The Studio under the direction of Dan McKay , who created six original graphic posters to bring the Gala's theme to life. These creative students' penchant for giving back is a wonderful example of #GrowingGreatnessTogether!

Nosek Named Kiwanis March Student of the Month

Mason High School senior Madeline Nosek was recognized as The Kiwanis Club of Mason's March Student of the Month. Nosek was nominated by MHS Language Arts teacher Patricia George.

A four-year Mason basketball player, "Madeline is genuinely intelligent, kind, and approachable. I'm not sure where she will be in ten years, but I know she will be doing something as remarkable as she is!" expanded George.

Nosek plans to study communications at the University of Dayton.

Read more about the March Kiwanis Student of the Month.
MMS March Students of the Month

Mason Middle School is proud to announce the March Students of the Month.

They are: Frank Anastasia, Sam Bennett, Kyle Bryan, Annie Buquo, Alexandra Caldwell, Spencer Cannon, Santiago Contreras, Ashley Cook, Jack Cooper, Zaina Dahman, Kylie Dennison, Lincoln Edsall, Dylan Gallagher, Thomas Garvin, Holly Herrlinger, Blake Hutson, Meher Khan, Nishanth Kondragunta, Julie Krueger, Tess Krugh, Sai Kundety, Ben Lampe, Hannah Lohmueller, Madina Magomedova, Tara Maine, Anna McNulty, Annabella Mordino, Michael Naber, Ayushe Nagpal, Ria Narang, Olivia Ohler, Claire Patton, Caleb Platt, Carleen Rafey, Meera Rajeev, Jack Renaud, Kyle Richards, Kaya Rossey, Brandon Ruble, Rachael Ruble,  Davis Russell, Nathaniel Sanford, Claire Schanne, Shyam Sekar, Aakash Shah, David Shuppert, Kinga Sobaniec, Charles Stauffer, Vanessa Stroud, Lauren Toratti, Katherine Uth, Yuva Vidwans, Ananya Viswanathan, Karen Vorobets, Mitchell Walsh and Griffin Ziegler.

Read more about the March Students of the Month.
Mason High School Performing Arts Presents The Drowsy Chaperone
Drowsy Chaperone

Mason High School Performing Arts will present The Drowsy Chaperone o n April 27, 28, 29, and 30 in the MHS Auditorium. Curtain on the April 27 is at 7pm, on April 28 and 29 at 8pm, and on April 30 at 3pm. Tickets are $10.00 for adults, $8.00 for students, children, and seniors.  All senior citizen Mason Golden Comet Card holders are invited to attend the final dress rehearsal  on April 26 at 7pm free of charge, or can reserve a limited number of free tickets by calling the Public Information Office at 398-0474, option 7.  Tickets will be available at the door one hour before curtain, or online at www.showtix4u.com . Links and additional information can be found at www.masondrama.com .

The Drowsy Chaperone features a cast of fifty Mason High School students and features Collin Aldrich as the Man in the Chair, Kayla Stroud as Janet Van De Graff, Drew Stidham as Robert Martin, and Michelle Guiot as The Drowsy Chaperone. The show is stage-managed by Jazmin Tangi , assistant directed by Emma Miller and Elizabeth Rivers , assistant choreographed by Sydney Burkhart , Emma Jenkins , and Megan Murray , and assistant technical directed by Ben Wolfe . Including performers, instrumentalists and technicians, well over 100 students have contributed their talents to this show.  The play is produced by special agreement with Music Theatre International.

Read more about The Drowsy Chaperone.
Community Invited to Preview 2017 After Prom

The Mason City Schools community is invited to stop by Mason High School on Saturday, April 22 from 8:00-9:30 pm to take a peek at what MHS juniors, seniors and their guests will experience during their After Prom party. Bring the family and come see why Mason After Prom is one of the most anticipated events at Mason High School!  Admission is free, however, donations will gladly be accepted at the door.

Mason After Prom is sponsored by Mason High School Booster organizations, and funded without taxpayer dollars through the generous donations of businesses, parents, community organizations, and After Prom fundraisers.

Read more about the After Prom Community Preview.
Attend the Personal Learning Days Showcase

On Tuesday, May 2, from 6-8pm , Mason City Schools will host a Personal Learning Days Showcase in the Mason High School Large Commons. The Showcase will feature more than 30 Mason Early Childhood Center, Western Row Elementary, Mason Intermediate School, Mason Middle School and Mason High School students who used their personal learning days in extraordinary ways and maximized their learning experiences.

This school year, Mason City Schools had two personal learning days on November 21, 2016 and February 17, 2017. On these days, instead of reporting to school, students explored their passions.

Learn more about Personal Learning Days .
Don't Miss the District Art Show!

WHEN Fri.  April 28 & Sat. April 29
              7-10 PM

WHERE: Mason High School
Large Commons
6100 Mason-Montgomery Road

Artwork by Emily Burns

Mason City Schools  | www.MasonOhioSchools.com
For information, email Tracey Carson at carsont@masonohioschools.com.