August 31, 2017
Welcome Back!

School's in full swing and we couldn't be more excited to see all the ways that #MasonShines !

We all know that Mason is big, and lots of times as staff, students, or parents we don't want to look like we're trying to hog the spotlight. But playing small doesn't serve our school or community. We are all meant to shine - it's not just in some of us - it's in everyone. So, this year, get on  Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram and make sure to tag Mason Schools on all the ways that Comets are letting our light shine!

Lifetime Learning Memories Made During Solar Eclipse

Solar Eclipse
Mason City Schools learners joined science fans from across the country in #SolarEclipse2017. "The most memorable learning happens in real-time, in real-life. Our district's science teachers were so excited to use this very rare solar eclipse as a teaching moment that we hope creates memories that last a lifetime!" says Jill Arminio , Mason City Schools Academic Coach.

Each school purchased special Solar Eclipse glasses for all students, and had an assigned teacher in charge of the events. Many thanks to Mason PTOs and the MHS National Honor Society who helped fund the safety glasses. Science teachers Shannon Sterle, Erin Chesar, Adam Bally, Renee McCord, and Megan Kappers took the reigns in making sure the experience was safe and educational - beginning planning for the event back in May. 

Check out the MCS Facebook Album from Solar Eclipse 2017.

Read more about the Solar Eclipe.
Improvement Partners: Deerfield Twp & MCS

Petrey and Thornton
Dirt from Deerfield Township's
Mason Road Improvement Project is being donated to Mason City Schools to improve fields at the Mason Early Childhood Center.

The donation of the dirt to the district is a true partnership at work.

"We are so appreciative to our Deerfield Township partners who are giving us 5,000 cubic feet of usable topsoil that will effectively drain and nurture healthy grass," said MCS Chief Operations Officer Todd Petrey . "This is top soil conducive to growing healthy sod that will create usable space for Mason students."

"The Township is always excited whenever we have an opportunity to partner with our local schools.  This particular roadway project will be a significant improvement for our entire region, and we are glad that the topsoil is able to be utilized to enhance the school's fields," explained Eric Reiners , Township Administrator.

Read more about the Deerfield Twp. & MCS partnership.
EduLeaders Working to Make Sure MI's Culture Rocks

MI Rocks
As you walk into Mason Intermediate 
School, you're bound to see beautiful, witty, inspiring rocks. The dream of MI teachers Abby Brewer and Lindsey Colvin , and inspired by the book "Only One You" by Linda Kranz, these painted rocks are just one of the many ways the school serving the district's fourth, fifth and sixth graders is intentionally sending a message: "Each MI learner is unique and special."
"Our student climate team worked throughout the year on ways in which we could create a positive culture within our students," shared MI Principal Greg Sears. "Our first week of the 2017-18 school year was a kickoff to many events connecting our kids to MI and one another throughout the year." 
Throughout the first week of school, students participated in a variety of culture-building activities. The week culminated into a whole school-wide outdoors assembly that utilized the City of Mason's stage.
Watch the action featuring footage from MI parent Brian Blinn who captured the rocking assembly with his drone.

Small Town Hoedown

Everyone is invited to attend the Mason Schools Foundation Small Town Hoedown on Sat., September 9, 2017 at Great Wolf Lodge. 

Tickets are just $80 a person, and will support taking Mason students above and beyond! 

Visit for more information.
Mason Schools Focused on Growing Difference Makers

Mason has a tradition of offering rigorous academic learning experiences that prepare students to succeed in college and the workplace. While academic skills are a great foundation, our students face the challenges of a modern world - requiring them to think, innovate, and relate to others in new and increasingly complex ways. A world where:
  • Knowledge is created by leaps and bounds
  • Communication is instant
  • People have diverse perspectives
  • Future jobs are not yet imagined
  • Change is exponential
The Mason City School District strives to develop the whole child by personalizing learning so that every student builds critical skills and mindsets. Over the past year, Mason leaders engaged staff, parents and community advisory groups to help identify the attributes that will grow difference makers who are prepared to thrive in the modern world. 

Read more about MCS Difference Makers.
5 Questions with Mason's Innovative Programs Administrator: Christine McCormick

Christine McCormick
Meet Mason City Schools Innovative Programs Administrator,
Christine McCormick .
The Innovative Programs Administrator is a new role in Mason, but didn't add an administrative position because the district eliminated another technology administrator position. McCormick will lead the ongoing research, development and growth of the district's technology solutions. She will oversee the operations of technology as it is integrated throughout the organization for learning and business solutions. She will also lead Mason's efforts in innovative business solutions as the district continues to look for the best ways to integrate our systems to maximize access to data and productivity.

McCormick comes to Mason after serving seven years as the Director of Innovation and Technology at Forest Hills. Before working in Forest Hills School District, she was an IT Director, Technology Specialist, and a software developer. Christine is most proud of building a sustainable hardware model at Forest Hills which included going 1:1 with a hybrid of Bring Your Own Device/rental in grades 7-12, 1:1 in grades 1-6, 4:1 in kindergarten, and 5:1 in prekindergarten,  and her collaboration around new learning environments.
McCormick works directly for Chief Innovation & Strategic Initiatives Officer Jonathan Cooper

MMS Band Selected to Perform at National Festival 

MMS Band
Mason Middle School Symphonic Winds will perform at the 2018 Music For All National Festival, in Indianapolis during March 2018. This selection comes as a result of an application submission and recordings from the spring.

This is the second time in school history that the MMS band program has been selected to perform, with the first invitation extended in 2014. MMS is the only middle school band from Ohio to receive an invitation to perform, and one of very few middle school bands to receive a second invitation.  

"We are very appreciative of the students and directors from our 2016-2017 Symphonic Winds who helped make this opportunity possible for our students this upcoming year," shared MMS Band Directors Zach Hinson, Avious Jackson and Jason Sleppy . "We are very excited for this opportunity for our students!"

Read more about the Music for All National Festival.
Mason Learning Series Grows 

Mason Learning Series
In 2015, 130 educators joined their colleagues for the first ever Mason Learning Series. Three years later, over 200 Mason teachers helped lead sessions, and nearly 900 educators from Mason and surrounding districts attended the two-day conference that was so popular #MLS17 was even trending on Twitter for a couple of hours on August 8!
The Mason Learning Series featured a motivating keynote address from George Couros , author of "The Innovator's Mindset" Innovative Learning Coach Aaron Roberts demonstrated risk-taking by live sketching notes during Couros' presentation. Check out those sketches and read about Roberts' experience in this blog entry.
As a lead into Couros, MHS Class of 2013's Peeyush Shrivastava and MHS sophomore Maanasa Mendu shared their perspectives on educating creators who already embody the "Innovator's Mindset." Watch Peeyush and Maanasa address the packed house. Additionally, MADE Chamber members attended a special community leaders session with Couros including a luncheon.

Read more about the Mason Learning Series.
Stay connected with what #MasonLearns all year by following #MasonLearns on Twitter.

MCSD Welcomes New Educational Staff Committed to "Growing Greatness Together"

The Mason City School District proudly welcomes new educational staff to its schools.
"Each of these educators brings years of valuable expertise and unique talents and backgrounds to our team," said Dr. Gail Kist-Kline, Mason City Schools Superintendent. "We can't wait to see how they shine this year, and look forward to their help as we continue 'growing greatness together!'"

Mason City Schools welcome 20 certified staffers for the 17-18 school year. The hires fill some vacancies left by retiring teachers or those who have resigned.  
High Fives to...

... the Mason City School District, which according to ranks as the 11th best district in the nation! We love seeing all the ways that  #MasonShines  & know that a strong partnership with our students, staff, families, and community is the recipe for #GrowingGreatnessTogether! Check out Niche's 2018 Best School Districts in America!

... Mason Schools Foundation Volunteers & Donors, who made sure that EVERY Mason student started school with the right school supplies! Many thanks to the dedicated volunteers who sorted and packed all the supplies, and our community partners the Mason Kiwanis Club and the James Horning Foundation , business partners Drug Mart, Wal Mart and Rusty Bucket , and generous donations from people like YOU!

Check out the  Facebook Album

... The 100 MECC Hero Dads, who have already signed up to be part of our youngest learners' classrooms all year long! Learn more about the Hero Dad program at MECC that was launched last year and is now on its way to becoming an important part of our culture!

... Western Row Principal Eric Messer, who after seeing Patricia Marsden 's tweet about being sad that she was traveling for work on the first day of school, took this picture of Ms. Marsden's son and tweeted it back to her. "Being out of town today it was a huge relief. Thanks for the kindness!"

... MMS Comet Games planners, who inspired students with motivational speaker Kevin Wanzer who reminded students how important it is to accept people BECAUSE of their differences. The school then followed up with the epic Comet Games that were great fun for staff and students and embody MMS's vision to Inspire - Care - Empower!

... MHS SIBS, who do an incredible job of helping Mason High School ensure that all learners feel welcome and connected through the annual Spirit Party. This year's was the very best it has ever been, and the SIBS have exciting plans for making sure that MHS is living #CometDNA all year long! Watch this video of the Freshman Spirit Party!

... MI Assistant Principal Tom Doerflein, who "leapt" at the chance to rappel 170 feet down the Westin Hotel for Big Brothers Big Sisters who helps pair students with mentors at Western Row Elementary and Mason Intermediate School. "That matches my highest (and first) rappel height. I was thrilled to go over the edge because this is a great cause and great support for our kids," said Mr. Doerflein.

... Mason Football Team 56, who surprised their teammate, Jason Springer , who was grieving after his beloved St. Bernard passed away. Meet the newest member of the Comet Family, this adorable puppy - aptly named Comet! We've always known that being a part of the #LongGreenLine has always meant more than winning football games. But here's a wonderful reminder about what TEAM really means. "It's just amazing that the boys came up with this idea and approached the coaches to do it. It really is a Great Day to be a Comet!" says Mason mom Sandra Springer .

Allgor Named Kiwanis August Student of the Month

Mason High School senior Chris Allgor was recognized as The Kiwanis Club of Mason's August Student of the Month. Allgor was nominated by MHS psychologist and SIBS advisor Jeff Schlaeger .

" Chris entered Mason High School as a freshman with a budding football career. When this path abruptly ended due to repeat concussions, he launched himself into using his time and energy to help others fit in, " shared Schlaeger.

Chris is a successful leader and two-time elected board member of Students Involving and Befriending Students (SIBS).  Chris heads the homeroom planning committee, as well as projects that combat social isolation and bullying. He is described by his teachers as "a guardian angel for those who might get made fun of," "a secret superhero," and a "model student...who always puts others first."

Allgor's selfless motivation and actions recently made him a deserving winner of the Simon Lazarus Human Relations Award - out of more than 40 students nominated in the Cincinnati area.

Read more about the Kiwanis Student of the Month.
Safe & Inviting Schools Committee Sponsors Anxiety 101 Sessions for Elementary & Secondary Families

This is a great time to learn ways to help your child with brain health and balance. Join other families to learn about common types of anxiety - and ways you can reduce it.

Elementary Student Anxiety 101
Sept. 6 10-11am at Mason Intermediate

Secondary Student Anxiety 101:  
Sept. 7 6:30-8:00pm at Mason High School

Mason City Schools  |
For information, email Tracey Carson at