May 18, 2018
Mason Science Olympiad Team Wins State; Headed to Nationals on May 19

All season, the dedicated members of Mason High School's Science Olympiad team had been breaking school records. Their dedication, and commitment to science and each other made people think - could this be it? Last year, the team missed their chance by just one point. Was this the year that Mason would finally take the state championship? Then, their helicopter broke.

"At a science Olympiad competition, there are 23 different events and a 15 member team.  We really had no idea how we were doing on any of the events except that we knew we had bombed the helicopter event.  As happens with build events sometimes, the very delicate helicopter cracked in half and we knew that for that one event we would place in thirtieth or worse. In the end, we placed in the top four in the state of Ohio in every event but helicopters, and our total points was only 79 points," explained MHS science teacher and Science Olympiad advisor Aimee Hansen.

The team will now compete at the 34th Annual Science Olympiad National Tournament on May 19 in Fort Collins, CO where MHS is expected to place in the top five in the country.

Team captains are Juniors Jenny Hong and Emily Fang and seniors Alex Wang and Alyson Lam - who along with many other of the team's seniors are missing their high school graduation in order to compete in the pinnacle of achievement for 120 of the country's best Science Olympiad teams.

The advisors for the club are MHS science teachers Hansen, Brian Thomas and Linette Graham.

MHS Junior Scores Perfect 36 on ACT

Mason High School junior Dalton Craven is in some rare company. Just .136% of all test takers earn that rarest of score - a perfect 36 on the ACT.

"This was the second time I took the ACT explained Craven. "I didn't do any formal prep work. On the school one I got a 34, and I was happy with that. But, I needed to take the writing section for one of my 'reach schools' so that's how I ended up taking the ACT again and getting a 36."

Craven is the fifth MHS student this school year to achieve a perfect ACT. During the 2018-19 school year, the district honored Victor Chen, Jenny Hong, Jake Kandell and Soumya Jaiswal who also scored a 36.

"Several teachers have been instrumental in my academic success, including Ann Westermann-Schwankhaus, Michelle Bruewer, Greg Kummer, Craig Murnan , and Dr. Jonothan Sauer.  I also loved my ACT classes when I was in elementary school. I loved the problem solving," said Craven.

Dalton is the son of Melissa Craven and Dale Craven.

Read more about Craven's Perfect ACT.

MI Students' Winning Stock Picks Earns Trip to NY Stock Exchange

Four Mason Intermediate sixth graders received first place in the UC Stock Market Game in January, and then went on to win The Stock Market Game Portfolio Challenge at the University of Cincinnati this spring.

Their presentations earned the students an all-expense paid trip to present at Legg Mason and Goldman Sachs, while also visiting the New York Stock Exchange. The team from Joan Davis and Chantele Gillman's MI sixth grade gifted classroom beat out 533 other Ohio elementary, middle, and high school teams. The winning MI sixth graders include Jack Berry, Ryan Feuerborn, Daud Malik, and Sachet Pati.

Read more about the Trip to NY.

First Sneak Peek of Plans for Revamped MMS

Here's your first sneak peek (and it is interactive!) of what the completely revamped Mason Middle School will look like when it reopens in the 2019-2020 school year! We are so grateful to VSWC Architects and our MMS staff who have come up with an innovative vision for the school that will serve our community's 7th and 8th graders for the next 50 years! One of the best parts? The addition to the Mason Early Childhood Center, Mason Middle School Renovation, and updates to Mason Intermediate Schools are being funded without new local taxes. Over 80% of the funding for these projects comes from the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission.

Nine Mason Middle School students scored in the ninety-ninth percentile during the 2018 National Spanish Exam.

These nine MMS students include Betsy Areddy, Kunal Arora, Neha Gunda, Alexandra Joseph, William Lee, Nicole Mater, Luis Roho, Nikith Vangala, and Abigail Williams. Six of these students, in addition to being in the 99th national percentile, also placed in the top three places for the Ohio Buckeye Region. This includes Joseph, Rojo, Guna, Lee, Mater and Arora.

MMS Spanish teachers Heidi Morrissey and Lauren Richardson met with these selected students several times to help prepare them in the weeks leading up to the test administration dates on March 20 and 21.

Reach more about the Top Scoring MMS Students.
MHS Peer Tutoring Program Encourages Students to Ask for Help

Sometimes it can be hard for students in a high-achieving high school like Mason to reach out for help. But students at Mason High School are tackling this issue head on with a peer tutoring program that exploded in its second year.

"We're so proud of our peer tutors, and the students who are reaching out for help. Asking for help is one of the most important steps someone can take - both academically and in a career. This program is building our students skills, character and knowledge," said Dr. Heather Sass , Chief Academic Officer.

During the 2017-18 school year, there were 171 tutors in the program who reached an average of 386 students per week. Students tutor in 26 subjects, and also have an internship and independent study component that fosters leadership skills and continued development of the program.

"Peer Tutors give at least two days a week to tutor other students in the building," explained MHS Math teacher Jere Clark who oversees the program. "We pride ourselves on taking care of one another by creating a supportive and caring culture within MHS."

During the 2017-2018 school year, Peer Tutoring Directors were seniors Noora Basher (Peer Tutoring President), Jack Koenig (Mathematics), Sydnie Kong (Foreign Languages), Brady Neal (Communications), and Lindsay Welage (Outreach).

Read more about the MHS Peer Tutoring Program.
Reutter Chosen as New MMS Assistant Principal

A Mason Middle School science teacher is set to become the school's newest assistant principal.

On May 22, the Mason City Schools Board of Education anticipates approving Jay Reutter as the MMS Assistant Principal who will also oversee MMS athletics. This move caps off a couple of administrative changes at Middle School in recent months, following current principal Tonya McCall's promotion to lead the district's human resources department as Chief Talent Officer.

Reutter, who has worked at MMS for 20 years, will replace current assistant principal Lauren Gentene, who is moving up to become Mason Middle School PrincipalReutter is also taking on some of the job responsibilities of Stephanie Hyatt, MMS Student Activities Coordinator. Hyatt and her husband, MHS Principal Dave Hyatt, are retiring at the end of this school year and moving to Vermont.

"Over the last 20 years I have fallen in love with Mason Schools. I celebrate our successes while striving to improve the educational experience for all our students. I am so grateful for this new way to continue to serve Mason Middle School staff, students, and families," said Reutter.

Read more about the new MMS Assistant Principal.
MHS Students' Physics Prowess Earns National Accolades

Mason High School senior Jeffrey Huang and junior Richard Liu qualified for the second round of competition as they worked to qualify for the US Physics Team Training Camp.

Huang and Liu's scores on the F=ma Exam in January earned them an invitation, along with approximately 400 students across the country, to take the USAPhO Exam on April 11. The combination of these two exam scores qualified Liu as a semi-finalist and will attend the US Physics Team Training Camp May 27-June 7 at the University of Maryland. At the camp, five members will be chosen to compete at the International Physics Olympiad in Portugal from July 21 - 29, 2018.

" Over the years, I have had two other students make it this far, but no one has made it to the training camp," shared MHS AP Physics C Teacher Dee Dee Messer . "Liu is the first MHS student to make it this far, and is one of 25 students in the country that was selected."

Read more about the US Physics Team Training Camp.

MI Students Donate $450 to Animal Charities

Mason Intermediate students in Emily Kirk and Christine Work 's classrooms recently hosted an "AniMALL" to raise money for animal welfare, including the Cincinnati Zoo's Adopt an Animal Program.

Students raised over $400, while teachers added an additional $50 to the pot, for various animal charities, including $150 to the Zoo's Adopt an Animal Program. The rest of the remaining funds were split evenly between the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International and the Warren County Humane Society.

On May 9, the Zoo brought the Zoo to You program to these two classrooms. Students did writing and drawing pieces about the animals that were brought in through the program. At the end of the activity, students presented a check for $150 raised through the AniMALL.

This project was created and taught by Miami University student teacher Hannah Ralston . Without her vision, none of this would have been possible.

Read more about AniMALL.
MHS Students Witness Open Heart Surgery Procedure

Mason High School students in Honors Anatomy and Physiology had the opportunity to observe a live open heart surgery at Christ Hospital this month. Dr. Gail Kist-Kline , Mason City Schools Superintendent who is retiring in July to become the Christ College of Nursing and Health Science's President, welcomed the students to Christ Hospital.

"This was a wonderful experiential learning opportunity for our students," said Dr. Kist-Kline. "Ms. Long and Ms. Lehman do an outstanding job of organizing opportunities like this with terrific community partners."

Approximately 245 other Honors Anatomy students were able to see first hand the intricacies involved in a surgical procedure of this nature from the comforts of the MHS Kiva.

Read more about the Open Heart Surgery Procedure.
MHS Debate Team Competes in New York City; Named Runner-Up

There's no debate about these students' skills. The Mason High School Debate Team who advanced to the "Sweet 16" Round of the 2017-18 International 
Public Policy Forum (IPPF) competition, advanced to the Top 8 in March. In doing so, the Team received an all-expenses-paid trip to the IPPF Finals in New York City on April 21 at the Harold Pratt House.

The four MHS students on the team, Suraj Komatineni, Atneya Nair, Rahul Ramesh, and Alex Wang, then made it all the way to the final round where they finished as runner-up and received a $3,500 prize.

Read more about the NYC Competition.
Project Citizen Students Witness Government in Action
The Mason Schools Foundation grant Project Citizen Government in Action allowed thirty-six eighth graders from Project Citizen, a social studies elective class at Mason Middle School, to see their government in action, and apply in real life what they learned from the course.

"We had a fabulous day touring the Ohio Judicial Center and State House, participating in a mock trial, observing a real Supreme Court case, and observing a real Supreme Court Case," shared MMS teacher and grant recipient Renee Thole.

Read more about Project Citizen.
Khambhampati Presents Research at State History Competition
Mason Middle School seventh grader Nikhil Khambhampati participated in the State History Day Competition at Ohio Wesleyan University on April 21.

Khambhampati qualified for the state competition at the District 8 History Day regional competition that was held March 17 at the University of Cincinnati.

Additional MMS students who participated in the regional competition include Courtney Garrison, Hritika Kotian, Benicio Machado, and Rishi Manoharan .

Read more about the State History Day Competition.
MHS Students Place in National Chemistry Competition
Mason High School students competed in the Washington University Chemistry Tournament April 7 and 8 in St. Louis. The team competed in a series of individual and team-based chemistry challenges, placing third in "Breaking Bonds," third in "The Director's Award" and second in "Team Rounds."

MHS Students Jeffrey Huang, Justin Huang, Richard Liu, Sruthi Parthsarathi, Allen Yang and Sycamore High School student Max Guo competed in the event.

"We prepared through multiple group practices before the big weekend, and getting accustomed to the group-style rounds of the competition. This involved getting familiar with each other's strengths and being able to work cooperatively," shared Jeffrey Huang. "We were all incredibly proud of the success at this competition, especially as first-time competitors."

Read more about the National Chemistry Competition.

MHS Math Team Takes 1st in Ohio Math League & OCTM: Huang, Li, Liu, Parthasarathi & Zhu Earn Top Honors
The Mason High School Math Team recently completed their competition season with many accomplishments.

MHS earned first place in Ohio in the Ohio Math League - a series of six competitions that students throughout the state.

Nine MHS students who participated in the OCTM qualified for the Ohio High School Mathematics Invitational Olympiad (OHMI0) on March 31 at Capital University in Columbus, OH. This competition focuses on rewarding mathematical excellence and encouraging team work. Sruthi Parthasarathi placed sixth in the Championship and was named a Super Mathlete, while Peter Zhu placed fourth in the Championship and was also named a Super Mathlete. Jeffrey Huang, Jack Li, and Richard Liu were also named Super Mathletes.

Read more about the MHS Math Team Accomplishments.

MHS Student wins $500 Scholarship from GCCU
Each semester, the Greater Cincinnati Credit Union (GCCU) sponsors the Perfect Attendance Luncheon, which rewards 12 Mason High School students with a $100 cash award. This year, the credit union added an additional reward for Mason High School students. Russ Henry from GCCU will now offer a new $500 cash scholarship to one deserving MHS student.

The inaugural winner of the scholarship is Rachel Gutjahr, who was nominated by her MHS School Counselor Phyllis Bell.

Read more about the $500 Scholarship.

High Fives to...

... the students, staff and City of Mason first responders who all reacted with precision, professionalism, patience and poise when Mason High School was evacuated after a fire in the CAM class. Watch Superintendent Kist-Kline and Deputy Superintendent Cooper's thank you message. Watch @mhscronicle's video of junior Ben Tavella explaining how senior Caleb Bloodworth carried him out of the building. Following the fire, our custodial and maintenance staff worked tirelessly to make sure the school was safe, clean, and ready for learning. And, their extraordinary efforts did not go unnoticed. MHS students, led by Annabella Collins, organized a thank you drive! We are grateful for these student leaders for recognizing the wonderful men & women who do so much behind the scenes to make Mason Schools a wonderful place to learn!

... our amazing MCS Aides & Paraprofessionals, who use their talents to help our students discover their own. These caring professionals dedicate their time and energy each day to the students in their care and they make an enormous difference in our schools!

... the incredible Integrated Media classes under the direction of Craig Murnan whose outstanding work on the @MhsEspy s was a world-class celebration of Mason Athletics! Congratulations to all of the 2018 ESPY Award Winners. Did you miss this year's ESPYs? Go back and  watch them in all their glory - from Red Carpet to each a ward, and the awesome action videos throughout the year that captured our Comets in action.

... our dedicated MCS Nurses, who are critical for the health, safety & well-being of Mason City Schools students. As parent Marilyn Mosqua Berman noted on our Facebook page, "The heart of our school!"

... MHS senior Amaya King, who not only is the Class of 2018's Ms. Comet, she is a phenomenal woman whose  Women Empowerment Video is garnering national attention. Read this article in the Cincinnati Enquirer that has been picked up by USA Today and national bloggers.

... our MCS Bus Drivers, who cheerfully greet our students and ensure that they safely make it to school and back home each day. They set the tone for the day. Watch this Facebook video from the Bus Driver Appreciation Celebration put together by our PTOS and supported by Natorp's Nursery Outlet, and Chick-fil-A Deerfield Crossing!

... MCS Child Nutrition Workers, who are true heroes as they prepare healthy meals for our students, adhere to strict nutrition standards, navigate student food allergies, and offer service with a smile. Oh, and they have the power to defeat rumbling tummies, too! 

Congratulations Class of 2018!

On Sunday, Mason High School's largest class will become alumni. We are so proud of these Comets - whose impact has been larger than their numbers. If you can't make it to the Cintas Center,  watch the ceremony streamed live . Check out this Facebook Album of the annual tradition of the seniors riding to school with their bikes, scooters, skateboards & rollerblades on their last day of school.

Mason City Schools  |
For information, email Tracey Carson at