October 24, 2016
Mason Comet Named America's Top Young Scientist

Guess who was just named America's Top Young Scientist? Mason High School freshman Maanasa Mendu !

The Mason Comet won the 2016 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, the nation's premier middle school science competition.  Mendu competed alongside nine other finalists during a live competition at the 3M Innovation Center in St. Paul, Minnesota on October 18. The 13-year old was awarded the title of "America's Top Young Scientist" as well as a $25,000 prize.

Mendu created HARVEST, a bio-inspired energy device that uses solar and wind power to capture energy in the form of wind, rain and sun - and converts it to power. To read more about Mendu's selection as a finalist in the National Science Challenge, click here .

Watch Mendu explain her project to the Mason City Schools Board of Education during its September 14 meeting.

Read more about Maanasa Mendu.
MMS Students Participate in Mason/Festo Celebration of Innovation

Mason Middle School eighth graders in
Laura Tonkin's Physical Science classes took hands-on learning to a whole new level (way, way UP!) while celebrating innovation. On October 10, Festo and the City of Mason provided Mason Middle School students the unique opportunity for some incredible authentic learning as part of a week-long celebration honoring our community's innovation. Mason Innovation Week 2.0 is a continuation of an exciting partnership that began last year to commemorate the City's 200th birthday .  

"My students were able to apply their knowledge from our Motion Unit, practice what we are learning in the Force Unit, and even look ahead to the Energy Unit," shared Tonkin.  "They worked through cross-curricular activities involving math, science and history. The wonderful Festo employees shared their knowledge with my students and gave them a chance to see how what we learn in school translates to future careers."

Seven groups of 20 MMS students spent the day at the Mason Golf Center moving through seven learning rotations. The stations included two Physical Science Investigations, a Social Studies Mini Lesson with the Mason Historical Society, a Festo discussion about Flight Four Forces, both a Hot Air Balloon ride and math challenge, and finally a design piece where groups identified design pieces or scientific discoveries that had to be discovered in order for the design of the blimp to function.   Mason City Schools Academic and Innovation Coaches helped structure the day, and guided the eighth graders through the stations.

Read more about the Celebration of Innovation.

MI Sixth Graders Partner with Hands Against Hunger

Mason Intermediate sixth graders on
Team Venture participated in a recent service project to help Haiti's youth. Thirty-three students, parents and teachers visited the Hands Against Hunger "Factory" in Sharonville on October 8 to help pack 137,568 meals to be sent to starving children in Haiti.

"Hands Against Hunger is a wonderful organization, and the amount of meals they provide is amazing," said Team Venture teacher Dale Moberly . "I know this opportunity made an impact on my students, as well as starving children throughout the world."

Students agreed that participating in this service project was worthwhile, even though it meant giving up free time on a Saturday morning. "When I heard of this opportunity, I was more than willing to help," said sixth grade MI student Regina Sisk . "When we were finished, I truly felt like I had made a difference."

This marks the tenth year for Team Venture's community service program. Team Venture teachers created the group "Venture Out!" to provide students with service opportunities throughout the year.   Team Venture students are also encouraged to create and complete their own random acts of kindness throughout the school year.

Read more about
Hands Against Hunger .
WR STEAM Studio Combines Art and STEM in One Learning Experience

Western Row Elementary School students are combining their art skills with the innovative field of STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. The third graders' new STEAM Studio experience was the brainchild of art teacher Kerry Kronenberger , who  realized that by combining science and art components, students can become better problem-solvers and learn perseverance.

"Too many times students are focused on only finding the right answer, and just getting to that specific answer. They don't think about how they can be correct even if the answer isn't," states Kronenberger.

The $6,361 STEAM studio grant was funded by the Mason Schools Foundation for the 2016-2017 school year. The STEAM Studio creates a 'Makerspace-type studio' within Western Row. 

Students attend the STEAM Studio once a week and the class is taught by a Kronenberger and STEM lab teacher, Karen Vome Students have been enjoying using the elements of artwork and science in the same classroom, and agree that incorporating science and art together will be beneficial for them in the future.

Read more about the WR STEAM Studio.
MHS Marching Band Sweeps BOA Toledo Regional

It was a clean sweep for the 
William  Mason High School Marching Band at their first competition of the season on October 1!

At the 2016 Bands of America Toledo Regional, the band captured first place, along with Outstanding Music Performance, Visual Performance, and General Effect. The band was also named Class AAAA Champion in preliminary competition and swept all captions. Mason competed against marching bands from across the states of Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio, including their neighbors at Lakota West High School, who finished sixth.

"We are so proud of how hard our students have worked and how well they performed," shared MHS Band Director Susan Bass, "but we are even more proud of the camaraderie and sportsmanship that they demonstrated with their peers. Watching our students congratulate and cheer for their Lakota West friends was a highlight for our staff."

Read more about the MHS Marching Band.
MECC Students Accept Sophia's Challenge to Spread Kindness

On October 7, the sky at the Mason Early Childhood Center filled with pink balloons - floating towards the heavens as MECC students cheered. The pink balloon launch kicks off Sophia's 40 Day Challenge, a movement in memory of Sophia Grace Smallwood, the niece of MECC first grade teacher B.J. Smallwood. Sophia Smallwood was born premature with heart defects and passed away on November 10, 2010.

"This is our fifth year participating in Sophia's Challenge. Initially it was only a few kindergarten classes, but it has been growing each year," shared MECC Kindergarten teacher Michelle Hastings. "This year we have two second grade classes joining us, which was student initiated."

From October 9-November 17, the kindergartners are taking on the Sophia Smallwood 40 Day Challenge - a challenge to do random acts of kindness for others for 40 days to spread love and compassion. Students will be "filling Sophia's heart" everyday. There are huge hearts in the MECC hallways and every time MECC staff "catch" a child paying it forward they get to write their name on a small heart and glue it onto the large heart in the hall. The goal will be to try to "fill up" all the hearts.

If you want to join the challenge or read more about it, visit the Sophia's   40 Day Challenge: Pay It Forward Facebook page.

Read more about Sophia's 40 Day Challenge.
MI Students 'Hang Out' with Famous Authors

Readers in Mason Intermediate fifth grade teachers Amanda Schreiber and Chelsea Wirtz's classes are hanging out with famous authors utilizing Skype and and Google Hangout. The authors as part of the classes' Mock Newbery Book Club. The fifth grade students are reading 16 notable books that have been published in 2016, and have been tasked with deciding who should win the 2017 Newbery Medal.
As a part of the Mock Newbery Book Club, Schreiber and Wirtz wants their students to be able to connect with new authors. The goal is for students to learn more about the books' back stories and each author's writing process, while learning how to make connections through books.

Schreiber and Wirtz's students have been so curious about the inspiration used, writing ideas and books the authors love to read.  There is hopes to also skype with another Mock Newbery Book Club in January to discuss the favorite books of the year and share voting results.

"It's our hope that these books help connect students to each other and others across the country. We'll be watching the ALA Newbery announcement live in January to see if any of our favorites have been chosen for the Newbery or Honor award!" said Schreiber.

MHS Senior Hosts Rubik's Cube Competition 

Mason High School senior
Sreeram Venkatarao conducted a World Cube Association (WCA) authorized Rubik's Cube competition on September 10 at Christ's Church in Mason. The competition included 90 competitors while hundreds more looked on in attendance. Those competing were mostly from the United States, including Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan and Kentucky.  There were also Chinese and Canadian national competitors in attendance as well!

Venkatarao, who set a new U.S. and North American Continental record for 3x3 Rubik's Cube Blindfolded at the Dixon Winter 2016 Rubik's Cube competition this past February, is very involved with the WCA community.

In October, Venkatarao donated the $725 proceeds of the competition to the Inner City Tennis Project in downtown Cincinnati. Initially he identified the charity while conducting research, and later met with the founders.

"I was excited to donate to a cause that I like a lot, and am grateful to Christ's Church for offering a great facility to host the event at a low cost," shared Venkatarao.
MMS Student Hosts Fifth Annual Walk to Support Dragonfly Foundation 

Five years ago, when
Connor Kranson was just in kindergarten, he decided to do something that would help children battling cancer.

Today, this Mason Middle School seventh grader with a big dream and an even bigger heart continues to hold a 'fun' run/walk in his neighborhood to raise money for The Dragonfly Foundation. This year for the first time, there was even a 5K included! The walk took place October 1 in Kranson's neighborhood of Ashmont. Around 100 people participated in the event.

Kranson's events have raised more than $20,000 for The Dragonfly Foundation, a Cincinnati organization that provides support to young patients, siblings/offspring and parents/caregivers - as well as direct support to social workers, Child Life representatives, and hospital staff that care for patients while they are in the hospital. The support comes in the form of Caring, Community and Awareness that results in better Emotional health (C.A.R.E.).

If you are interested in supporting The Dragonfly Foundation, visit www.dragonfly.org.

High Fives to...

...  Mason Athletics , who recently received significant national recognition in a new studyfrom MAXPREPS and  LATERAL SPORTS for having the most former Comet athletes currently participating in fall sports of football, soccer and volleyball at the collegiate level.  Mason was ranked #1 among all Ohio high schools with 75 former athletes participating in NCAA (Divisions I, II or III) and NAIA football, volleyball and men's and women's soccer rosters.  Mason had the most soccer players (45) and the most among female sports (girls' soccer and volleyball) with 27. Among all high school programs in the USA, Mason ranked #8.   Watch WCPO's coverage.

... Tom Daskalakis , UC West Chester Hospital, Montrail Tavernier , P&G,   Sherry Taylor , MADE Chamber, and Eric Toy , Vantiv, who inspired over 300 MHS students during a dynamic Mpower Hour about what it takes to be an authentic leader. Many thanks, also, to MHS business teacher Deb Gentene for her ongoing work to give local business partners the chance to work with the next generation of leaders.

... the Mason Challenger League players, volunteers, and supporters, who put together the 3rd annual Fall Clinic with the MHS Softball and Baseball teams . "We are so blessed to have the support of the community to offer such a fun experience for our athletes. A special thanks to Coach Muff and Coach Bly , along with their staff and the Mason High School Baseball and Softball athletes. They do do an excellent job of planning a clinic for our athletes to work on their ball skills. And, lastly, thank you to the Mason Kiwanis for sponsoring the clinic. Their generosity made it possible to provide the t-shirts and treat on the last day," the League posted on their Facebook page . Watch this student video about the Mason Challenger League.

King Named Kiwanis October Student of the Month

Mason High School senior Matt King was recognized as The Kiwanis Club of Mason's  October Student of the Month. King was nominated by MHS science teacher Carol Lehman , and MHS sports medicine teacher Mark Sullivan.

On October 20, the Kiwanis Club presented King with $100 and a certificate commemorating his achievement. King's parents Doug and Sharon, assistant principal Dion Reyes, and nominating teachers Lehman and Sullivan joined the Kiwanians in recognizing King's accomplishments. The Mason Kiwanis Club meets weekly at noon at the Houston Restaurant in Mason.

Read more about the October Student of the Month.

MMS October Students of the Month

Mason Middle School is proud to announce the October Students of the Month. 
They are: Madeline Auriana, Katie Backer, Diya Banerjee, John Barker, Noah Borgemenke, Davis Champ, Ellen Cimini, Austin Cooper, Ethan Craven, Olivia Dorer, Andrew Erbacher, Isabella Falcone, Cameron Farina, Morgan Fitts, Kara Flynn, Diego Fortson, Allison Goetz, Timmy Gross, Matthew Hahn, Jenna Harris, Maddie Heister, Taylor Helwig, Ethan Hilbert, Emma Jobert, Max Johnson, Levi Kelly, Olivia Kelsey, Carly Keuffer, Tara Khurana, Anna Kinasewitz, Lucy King, Victoria Li, Nina Lin, Ella Madden, Mael Mangin, Nicholas Mann, Aryana Martin, Lucas Mizer, Aidan Murray, Nicholas O'Brien, Miranda Perrin, Andrea Poole, Sarah Porter, Snigdha Potluri, Grace Prichard, Pratham Puri, Kennedy Rader, Ethan Rettig, Annie Schmidt, Rohin Senthil, Kate Sherlock, Sanjay Swamy, Mark Troy, Carter Van Erp, Colin Van Neste and Madeline Wolfe .

Read more about the   MMS October Students of the Month .
MHS Recognizes October Rotary Royalty

Congratulations to the 51 Mason High School students who were recognized as October's Rotary Royalty by the Mason Deerfield Rotary Club.  Four times a year, 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.  
Alex King 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 MHS October Rotary Royalty.
Mason High School Performing Arts Presents Peter and the StarCatcher

On October 28 and 29, Mason High School Theater will present Peter and the StarCatcher in Mason High School's Studio Theater. Curtain for each performance is at 8pm, with two matinees on the 22 and 29. Tickets are $10 for adults, and $8 for students, children, and seniors.  All senior citizens are invited to attend the final dress rehearsal on October 20 at 7pm free of charge.  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 .
Peter and the StarCatcher features a cast of twenty three Mason High School students and features   Drew Stidham as the Boy who becomes Peter Pan, Katie Kenniston and the infamous pirate, Black Stache, Kayla Stroud as Molly, Spencer Walsh as Smee, Alberto Morales and Megan Ledford as Lost Boys, Matt Berman as Mrs. Bumbrake, Michelle Guiot as Alf, and Collin Aldrich as Fighting Prawn.  The production is Stage Managed by Jazmin Tangi and Assistant Directed by Corinne Mattingley . The play is produced by special agreement with Music Theatre International.

Mason Schools Foundation to Hold 9th Annual Gala November 5

Come One, Come All, your presence is requested by the Mason Schools Foundation by donating to our annual Celebration.  Enjoy "
Tales as Olde as Time "on November 5, 2016 at 6pm.  This costumed (adult) affair celebrating our oldest, most classic folk and fairy tales will be held at Kings Island, the evening's sponsor of most importance. Thy generous patronage would be gratefully received.

The evening will feature dinner, drinks, live and silent auctions and dancing. Join us in supporting excellence in Mason City Schools as all proceeds will help fund grants that take Mason students "Above and Beyond."  

About the Mason Schools Foundation
Proceeds raised will support the Mason Schools Foundation, an independent non-profit 501(c)3 organization designed to support the Mason City School District.  The Foundation funds innovative programs and grants that promote academic, artistic, and athletic excellence.  For 2016-17 grants include ensuring all at risk students start the school year with the right supplies, expansion of the second and third grade STEM and STEAM Labs, mentoring programs across the district, innovative classroom seating for special needs students, master musician training for MMS band students and an innovation learning fund. 

You can learn more about the over $600,000+ in grants the Foundation has funded at www.MasonSchoolsFoundation.org .
Mason Schools Mark Red Ribbon Week  Oct. 23-31

Take the Youth Pledge . Take the Parent Pledge .

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