March 14, 2017
Hero Dads Promote Positive Male Role Models at MECC
Chris Weber

Chris Weber high fives a student in the Mason Early Childhood Center hallway. Next, he's asking a first grader about his writing. Then, he's greeted by second grader Adeline Weber - his daughter- who lights up when she sees him and bounds over to give him a hug. Chris  is MECC's "Top Dog" - and is the father behind the school's new MECC Hero Dads program. The main goal of MECC Hero Dads is to promote positive male role models within the school. They've partnered with Watch DOGS (Dads of Great Students) and are bringing a one-of-a-kind, school-based father involvement program to the halls and classrooms of MECC.

"I think being a Watch DOG gives a window in what a "normal" day is like, which is often very different than the special occasion days. Just watching the dynamics of classrooms, playground, lunchrooms - I wouldn't have know [how those things go] if I wasn't a Watch DOG.  Definitely more so than a typical party volunteer, or field trip volunteer," he explains.

MECC kindergarten teacher Susan Ossim shared the positive impact that Weber had on her students in the Bumblebee Classroom. "They kept asking when Mr. Chris would be back to play with them," said Ossim. She also explained how it was the biggest, quickest impact she has seen in all of her many years of teaching.

MCS Earns 7th Annual AP District Honor Roll

Mason High School
Mason City Schools is one of 433 school districts in the U.S. and Canada being honored by the College Board with placement on the 7th Annual AP® District Honor Roll for increasing access to AP course work while simultaneously maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP Exams. To be included on the 7th Annual Honor Roll, Mason City Schools had to, since 2014, increase the number of students participating in AP while also increasing or maintaining the number of students earning AP Exam scores of 3 or higher. Mason has achieved the recognition each year since the award's inception.

Achieving increased access and student performance is the ideal scenario for a district's AP program because it indicates that the district is successfully identifying motivated, academically prepared students who are likely to benefit most from rigorous AP course work.

"Honor Roll Districts defy the expectation that expanding access automatically results in a decline in the percentage of exams earning scores of 3 or better. Congratulations to you, your staff, and your students for this achievement!" said Dr. Rashida Savage, the College Board's Ohio K12 Director.

Read more about the AP® District Honor Roll and Mason's 25 AP courses.
MI 6th Grader Wins MI Spelling Bee, Qualifies for Regional Spelling Bell
Samvit Das

Mason Intermediate School's Team Ingenuity sixth grader Samvit Das clinched the top spot in the school's annual Spelling Bee. Now, he's headed to the Scripps Regional Spelling Bee on March 18 at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy.

The School Bee went 26 rounds, and Das was crowned champion after spelling the winning word "exponentially!" Das came in third place during the MI Spelling Bee in 2016, and this year he took home the title.

Congratulations, also, to the third place contestant, Vivian Chang (fourth grader from Gia Borgerson's homeroom), and second place contestant, Urav Hingrija (sixth grader from Team Quest).

MHS Freshman Wins Aviation Scholarship, Breaks Barriers
Mullika Pandit

Mason High School freshman Mullika Pandit is the youngest and first female recipient to win a prestigious aviation scholarship.

The National Aviation Heritage Alliance presented its fifth annual Mitch Cary-Don Gum Memorial Aviation Scholarship, which provides $1,500 worth of flying lessons, to Pandit on Tuesday, Feb. 14.

As part of her continued interest in aviation, Pandit also successfully completed Air Camp's rigorous graduation requirements of hands-on learning curriculum and activities this past summer. Her unique skills were recognized at the culmination of the event when she was one of only four out of 44 students to receive the Spirit of Wright Award.

Read more about the NAHA Aviation Scholarship
MCS Robotics Team Places Second at State 

Quantum Leap
The Mason City Schools Robotics Team 8719, Quantum Leap, placed second at the FIRST® Tech Challenge Ohio State Championship on February 11 at iSPACE Scarlet Oaks campus in Sharonville, OH.

The team went undefeated in the preliminary rounds earning first place among the top 32 teams from Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. Despite winning in the Semi-Finals elimination rounds, they lost in the Finals, falling short with a very thrilling and close finish.

Robotics Team 8719, Quantum Leap, includes students from both Mason High School and Mason Middle School. Members include senior Alexandra Hendricks , eighth grader Shankar Kalavakolanu , freshman Arnav Komaragiri , junior Keerthi Sekar , eighth grader Shyam Sekar , and freshman Michael Valcarcel .

Read more about Quantum Leap .
MI's Black History Bowl Celebrates African-American History 
Team Carpe Diem

Mason Intermediate School's 11th Annual Black History Bowl proved to be a fun, competitive educational event for the fifth grade class - organized and facilitated by fifth grade teachers, Jocelyn Berlew and Nick Washington.

"It's so gratifying to see the passion and commitment students have for this important part of American history.  They spend much of their free time and getting together outside of school to study.  It's amazing to see the amount of information they can absorb and quickly recall," said Washington.

Special congratulations to Saathvik Bondalapati, Grace Chi, Tanisha Dakhawe, Shriya Parthasarathi, Sachet Pati, and Erin Stegman on Team Carpe Diem, the 2017 Black History Bowl Winners. Congratulations also to second place Team Imagination, which included Vidhi Bakshi, Max Liao, Amira Malave, Nishka Mishra, Noah Riley, and Kent Sideris.

Read more about the MI Black History Bowl .
MHS Speech & Debaters Compete at State

MHS Speech _ Debate
The Mason High School Speech & Debate Team qualified 28 students and four alternates to this year's Ohio High School Speech League's State Tournament that was held at Berea-Midpark High School on March 3-4, 2017, in the Cleveland District. Mason placed tenth overall out of 64 schools across the state in Team Sweepstakes, and several MHS students advanced to finals. The team is coached by Head Coach Melissa Donahue and Assistant Coach Bruce Harris .

Chinmay Bakshi - Fifth place in International Extemporaneous Speaking
Aditya Jog & Suraj Komatineni - Finalists in Student Congress
Rishi Mehta - Fourth place in Informative Speaking
Nihar Rama - Seventh place in United State Extemporaneous Speaking

MI Sixth Graders Raise Money for Crohn's Research
Team Patriot
Mason Intermediate sixth graders on Team Patriots held their annual Penny War February 27-March 3 to raise money for Crohn's Research at Children's Hospital.

The Penny War week started with students wearing hats for "Hats Off to Those Who Live with Crohn's" and ended with "Super Hero Day" to celebrate raising money and awareness for Crohn's.

Students presented a $2,340.68 check to Libby Odenbeck of Cincinnati Children's Hospital IBD Research Department on March 9.  Team Patriots' four-year total raised from Penny Wars is more than $7,500.

A special thank you to US Bank's P&G Mason Office Vice President, Teresa Young for volunteering her services to count and roll the money each day, along with several of our team parents.   For more information on Crohn's Disease, visit . Together, we can make a difference!

Read more about the Team Patriots Penny War.
Mason Needs Bus Drivers   

Mason Bus Driver
The Mason City School District is searching for reliable, dependable people to train to become school bus drivers.

"You already drive your children places; why not get paid to drive them? You would have the same schedule they do, summers and holidays off. Plus, if volunteering in the classroom is important to you, this job provides ample time in between runs to be the PTA mom or dad," explains CJ Thornton, Mason City Schools Transportation Supervisor.

Because children are precious cargo, the district's goal is to hire caring, conscientious individuals who meet the requirements of the job.

MMS Visual Artists Accepted into State Exhibits

The Art Department of Mason Middle School is proud to announce that seventh graders
Becca Kling, Brooke Paciolla, Megan Staehling and  Avery Tobergte have been selected to have their artwork represent the southwest region of Ohio in state art exhibitions.  

Congratulations go to Becca Kling and Avery Tobergte for having their artwork selected to be in the 2017 Youth Art Month Art Exhibition. 

Brooke Paciolla and Megan Staehling had their artwork accepted into the 37th Ohio Art Education Association (OAEA) Young People's Art Exhibition.

Kim Roman and Rita Shriver-Schehr are the Mason Middle School visual art educators who submitted the student work for these two state exhibits.

Read more about the student artwork.
MECC and WR Celebrate Read Across America Week! 

Read Across America Week
Mason Early Childhood Center and Western Row Elementary students celebrated Read Across America Week from February 27-March 3. Students participated in a Spirit Week complete with plenty of fun activities, including those inspired by Dr. Seuss!

Teachers got in on the action by decorating their doors or bulletin boards to show reading spirit, and classroom teachers received five free books donated by Barnes and Noble and Half Price Books to be used as each teacher wishes. Principals dressed up as their favorite Dr. Seuss characters, and there were several Drop Everything and Read (DEAR) times, along with plenty of Dr. Seuss Giveaways, including stickers and bookmarks for students.

"Our Read Across America Team worked so hard and everyone in the school did a great job of building excitement as we joined our country's readers in the Read Across America initiative!" shared MECC Reading Specialist Lynell Foley .

Read more about Read Across America Week .
High Fives to...
Zach Donathan

... MHS senior  Zach Donathan , who not only is the newest Comet State Wrestling Champ -he also went undefeated in his senior year: 52-0! Zach won the Division 1 title at 132 pounds, becoming the first Mason wrestler to win a title since Robert Shepherd in 2009. Read the Cincinnati Enquirer's coverage about Zach's win.

Swim Team
MHS Girls Swimmers, who are state runners-up for the 2nd year in a row! And, the kudos don't stop there...  Junior Allison Bloebaum won 2 individual championships in the 200 freestyle and the 500 freestyle. Senior Ashley Volpenhein won her third straight state title in the 100 freestyle. Coach Mark Sullivan was crowned the 2017 Ohio Division 1 Coach of the Year! Our swim program is #ConsistentlyGreat! Read the Cincinnati Enquirer's coverage .

Team Imagination

... Team Imagination students from 15-16 & 16-17, who formed an all-star team and participated in the Black History Bowl at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and came in second place!  We are so proud of Vidhi Bakshi, Matt Koester, Nishka Mishra, Davin Sivertson, Vinaya Sivakumar, and Joseph Washington!

Class Ring
Good Samaritans, whose actions ensured that MHS Class of 1976's Randy Sams got his class ring back! A ring that a gentleman in Kentucky found in an estate sale, and mailed to our high school. A ring's Facebook post that MCS followers shared over 100 times so that we could find the rightful owner. We hear lots of stories about how the world is bad, and that social media feeds into that. THIS story, however, shows just how powerful your stories and actions are - thanks to everyone who helps ensure we're #GrowingGreatnessTogether !

... MMS students in Lauren Richardson's classes and MECC students in Jenny Davis'class  who shared their culture in a Holi festival. #MasonLearns to let its colors fly!

Award of Excellence

... the MHS Athletics Department , who was named 1 of 3 the OHSAA and OIAA 2017 Award of Excellence winners! The award recognizes schools that demonstrate intentional efforts to exemplify the mission and culture of education-based athletic programs as an ongoing process.

Child Nutrition Office

... the Mason Child Nutrition Department , who helped celebrate Dr. Seuss's birthday by giving away books to lucky winners in grades 1-6 who purchased meals. The folks who serve our children healthy & delicious meals kept up their focus on reading by giving any student eating breakfast on March 9 a bookmark to celebrate National School Breakfast Week.  

...the Mason Schools Foundation funded STEAM Studio Lab in Western Row, that connects art and science to lead discovery and real world problem-solving! WR students made a Van Gogh Starry Night come to life through coding in STEM and creating parts of the painting in art. Check out the amazing video on the Foundation's Facebook page !

MHS Softball

... MHS Softball and the entire region's softball community who have rallied around Mason's Elle Buffenberger after having surgery to remove a mass on her thyroid. This is #WhatReallyMatters! Check out WCPO-TV's coverage .

Math _ Science Night

...The incredible
parent & staff volunteers, student volunteers, and local businesses who created super STEM memories for our kids with hands-on activities, demonstrations, math & science super stars, and an exciting finale led by Science National Honor Society during the 14th annual Mason Math & Science Night! Special thanks to the MECC, WR & MI PTOs and GE, Club Z, Ethicon, P&G, Fujitec, Mason Pack 323, Classroom Antics, City of Mason, intrustIT, iSPACE, lyondellbassell, Warren County Soil & Water, the YMCA, Clean Harbors Environmental Services, FESTO, and Mason Animal Hospital . Check out the Facebook Album from the excellent event!

Berry Named Kiwanis Feb. Student of the Month

Tori Berry
Mason High School senior Tori Berry was recognized as The Kiwanis Club of Mason's February Student of the Month. Berry was nominated by MHS Language Arts teacher Stephanie Nally .

A National Merit Finalist, Berry plans to study International Business at Belmont College.

On February 23, the Kiwanis Club presented Berry with $50 and a certificate commemorating her achievement. Tori's parents, John and Barbara Berry-Spaeth, Nally, and Assistant Principal Dion Reyes joined the Kiwanians in recognizing Berry's' accomplishments. The Mason Kiwanis Club meets weekly at noon at the Houston Restaurant in Mason.

Read more about the Kiwanis Student of the Month .
MHS Recognizes February Rotary Royalty 

Rotary Royalty
Congratulations to the 43 Mason High School students who were recognized as February's Rotary Royalty by the Mason Deerfield Rotary Club.  Four times a year, MHS teachers nominate students who demonstrate one or more of the following criteria: positive attitude and enthusiasm; determination and effort; good attendance; and strong decision-making and choices.  All nominees are recognized by Rotary members and presented with a certificate, and one student is randomly selected to attend a Rotary breakfast and receive a $25 Amazon gift card. Christian White was this quarter's recipient of the $25 Amazon gift card. At the end of the school year, one student will be named the Rotary Student of the Year and receive a $50 Amazon gift card.

View the complete list of nominated students.
MMS February Students of the Month  
Student of the Month

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

They are:  Jasmina Abdullaeva, Azhaan Ashraf, Rachel Bair, Annemarie Bakos, Rohan Banerjee, Eva Bause, Breckin Bierma, Nick Centofanti, Evelyn Christofferson, Eliana Cohen, Ciara Culberson, Nicholas DeGroff, Shreya Doshi, Skylar Fannin, Ben Gapinski, Sophia Gordon, Ryan Griffith, Andrea Forero, Logan Fraley, Meghan Hartley, Alex Hellmann, Noah Hershberger, Jillian Jacobs, Emily Jordan, Alex King, Koby Lunsford-Staples, Allyson Madden, Zaman Ali Malik, Gilbert Mao, Hunter Martin, Anna Menkar, Alex Moody, Quinn Nichols, Libbie Nusser, Ishika Paul, Paige Poloha, Jacob Prodouz, Raizel Raj, Ayanav Roy, Leah Shah, Nikhil Sherman, Ashley Shoenlein, Manwinder Singh, Samuel Thomas, Sudharshan Theaver, Nora Touassi, Katerina Tyu, Bellah VanNess, Lauren Varga, Tyler Vaughan, Emily Whitehead, Adam Winterhalter, Nicole Xie, Kydan Young, Tessa Zecchino and Eric Zhang.

Read more about MMS Students of the Month .
Kiwanis Honors 32 MHS Students for Making a Difference
Kiwanis Making a Difference Lunch

On February 21, Red Robin was filled with Mason High School students who are making a difference. The Kiwanis Club of Mason, in cooperation with Mason City Schools, held its triennial "Making a Difference" lunch to honor students who may not be consistently recognized, but who have shown leadership and academic excellence.

The MHS honored students were: Grant Abbott, Olivia Amburgy, Grace Anastasia, Sierra Bird, Sarah Burwinkel, Dakota Chambers, Hannah Chenault, Jacob Clay, Bri Cobb, Jaidyn Coleman, Joel Collins, Annabelle Contant, Isaiah Crowley, Emily Davis, Anna Estes, Alexander Ferraro, Rachel Goetz, Ellie Harpen, Max Jarrell, Matt Jolly, Devin Matherne, Quinn Robinson, Ishika Sharma, Sarah Sherman, Jack Stein, Harry Suddleson, Mason Trammell, Lalitha Turaga, RJ Vogler, Cristina Wier, Erin Williams, and Leah Wolff.

Read more about Making a Difference Day.
Mason City School District to Host March 15 Town Hall Meetings

The Mason City School District encourages community members to attend an upcoming Town Hall meeting to learn about the Facility Master Plan, district finances, and school advocacy efforts.  Members of the community will share input about the Facility Master Plan timeline, weigh in on their schools' budget priorities, and take action to reduce state testing and ensure stable funding.

Wednesday, March 15, 10:00am-11:00am, Mason Intermediate KIVA, 6307 Mason-Montgomery Road
Wednesday, March 15, 6:30pm-8:00pm, Mason High School Large Commons, 6100 Mason Montgomery Road

TWITTER TOWN HALL: Join on Wednesday, March 15, from 12:30pm-1:30pm.  Tweet @masonschools

WHY:  There's a lot on the horizon for Mason.  Join Mason City Schools Superintendent Gail Kist-Kline, Treasurer Ronda Johnson, and your neighbors in discussing the Facilities Master Plan update, financial update, and the need to reduce state testing, ensure stable funding and increase local control.

Town Hall

Mason City Schools  |
For information, email Tracey Carson at