March 18, 2016
Welcome to Mason City Schools' e-Newsletter that highlights happenings in   Logo the Mason City School District.

For information, email Tracey Carson at
Quality Profile: Focus on Global Awareness

Watch Deb Gentene , Mason High School Experiential Learning teacher, present the sixth video in the district's Quality Profile Series - Focus on Global Awareness.

"Our goal is to develop new international partnerships that are rooted within the local community.  This will allow us to continue to grow our greatness together by including a diverse network of support within our own backyard."

Read more about the Quality Profile.
MHS Sophomore's Ode to the Microphone Published by Princeton University Magazine 

An essay by Mason High School sophomore Alex Wang was selected as a winning piece in the 2016 Innovate Essay Competition held by Princeton Innovation Magazine . Wang's essay drew upon his experience in band and speech and debate. He chose to write about the invention of the microphone - noting its impact to amplify sound, and in turn ideas.

"The most impactful breakthrough in technology didn't come as a single event that shattered the fabric of the world, nor did it culminate in the coming of a new age. Instead, it enabled and enhanced the voice of all future generations, allowing people to reach further, express more, and spread their art and ideas across the world," Wang wrote.

Wang's piece will be published online at , as well as in the magazine. Chosen winners were also invited to attend Innovation's The Art of Science Communication symposium and colloquium at Princeton University on March 6.

Read more about  Wang's accomplishments.
23 MHS Students Named National Merit Finalists
Mason High School has the most National Merit Finalists in school history. The 2015 National Merit Scholarship Program named 23 MHS students as National Merit Finalists:  Julianne Berry, Alexander Chung, Andrew Gao, Clare Hagen, Prajwal Hegde, Kedi Hu, Wenrui Huang, Caleb Kim, Kevin Liu, Divya Manoharan, Dennison Min, Vighnesh Ramesh, Amith Rao, Jeet Shah, Daniel Song, Radhika Upadhye, Divya Vinod, Sriharsha Voleti, Anthony Wang, Hao Wu, Singyi Yen, Alvin Zhang and James Zhu .   These students were chosen based on their SAT scores, having an outstanding academic record, their extracurricular and volunteer activities, being endorsed and recommended by a high school official, and a self-descriptive essay. All Finalists will receive a Certificate of Merit in recognition of their outstanding performance in the competition.

Read more about the National Merit Finalists.
Mason's Child Nutrition Department Introduces Kids to New Fruits & Veggies

Picky eater? You might be surprised to see how quickly your child gobbles new fruits and veggies when they are introduced by the Executive Corporate Chef for the Cincinnati Reds!

On March 2, Chef James Major visited the Mason Intermediate 56 cafeteria during lunch to introduce Mason's fifth and sixth graders to some fruits and vegetables they may have not tried before. There was a variety of food samples for kids to try including fennel, micro pea tendrils, chayote squash, ugli fruit, and starfruit just to name a few!

"Bringing a chef into the school very much fits into our department goals of educating students about food and showing them that healthy eating can be fun! The creativity and culinary expertise of someone like Chef James can be a powerful influence on students," shared MCS Child Nutrition Office Supervisor Tamara Earl.

Read more about Chef Major's visit to MI.
MHS Bands, Orchestras Perform at Severance Hall

Last month, 300 top band and orchestra students from Mason High School traveled north to perform in Cleveland's renowned Severance Hall. MHS Orchestra Director Stephanie Jones and Band Directors Robert Bass and Avious Jackson collaborated to showcase both of their nationally recognized programs in what is widely regarded as one of the world's most beautiful concert halls.

Performing at one of the world's premier halls is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for most students. " Very few professional musicians, much less high school students, have had the opportunity to play on that amazing stage," said Jones. Bass agreed. "Stephanie and I believe it's a great opportunity for our students to perform in a venue like this, to expose them to a professional hall, and to be treated in a professional manner at a concert."

Read more about the MHS Bands, Orchestras Performance.
MI's Swamy to Compete in State Geo Bee

Mason Intermediate School's Sanjay Swamy qualified to compete in the Ohio National Geographic State Bee to be held in Columbus on April 1.

As the 2015-2016 Mason Intermediate School Geography Bee winner,  Swamy out-performed 95 other fourth, fifth and sixth graders to be named the MI Geo Bee champion in December. He then completed a written assessment to determine if he would qualify for the state competition. 

T he National Geographic Society announced the assessment's top-scoring students and Swamy was among those chosen as a semifinalist to compete in the 2016 Ohio National Geographic State Bee.

Read more about the State Geo Bee.
MMS and MHS Science Olympiad Teams Win Regionals; Headed to State 

The Mason High School and Mason Middle School Science Olympiad teams won the Cincinnati Science Olympiad Regional Tournament held at Xavier University on March 5. Both teams are now headed to the State Science Olympiad Tournament on April 9.

This year's Regionals was the first time in the short history of the MMS program for the middle school team to win regionals!

"Students performed at an amazing level with most participants achieving their best results of the year.  This was also the first time in school history, at any invitational, where we had students place in all 23 of the events that occur within the tournament," said MMS Physical Science Teacher and MMS Science Olympiad Coordinator Dan Little.

The MHS Science Olympiad team sent two 15-member teams to the competition.  For the sixth time in a row, the two teams placed first and second in the region. Between the two teams, MHS students placed in all 23 events. Two Mason competitors placed first in all their events: senior  Dennison Min  and freshman Jenny Hong .  The captains for the MHS team are seniors Kedi Hu, Dennison Min and Anthony Wang , and junior Matthew Liao .

Read more about the MMS and MHS Science Olympiad teams.
Big MHS Showing at TechOlympics Gets Big Results

Mason High School had more students than any other area school participate in TechOlympics 2016 - Cincinnati's premiere technology competition and expo. More than 550 students competed in the three day, two night technology immersion competition - 58 hailing from MHS. Fourteen Mason students also helped run the event as participants of the INTERalliance Leadership Council.

Students compete with other schools in challenges ranging from programming to design to networking, with additional fun events like speed texting and the not-to-be-missed gaming throwdown.

Mason's tech entrepreneurs showed particular promise during the event. Mason teams took second and third place in the "Startup Creation Challenge" - a team competition where up to four students brainstorm, develop a presentation, and pitch their startup idea to a panel of judges in just 2 hours!

Throughout TechOlympics, the following MHS students were the major point gainers for Mason: Alex Shearer (first place in Mockup Design), Charlie Yu (first place in Speed Keyboarding), Neil Giridharan (second place in Mystery Coding and fifth place in Microsoft Project Spark), Sydney Kong (third place in Speed Keyboarding), Zach Rudy (fifth place in Mystery Coding), and MHS student app development company Elements LLC ( Ben Allen, Matt Busch, Daniel Matar, and Zach Rudy placed fourth in the Showcase).

Read more about MHS at TechOlympics.
MMS Students' Art Chosen for State Exhibitions

The Mason Middle School art department is proud to announce that seventh graders Jacob Kwon and Ava Scherocman pieces will represent the southwest region of Ohio in state art exhibitions.

Jacob Kwon's artwork was accepted into the 36th Ohio Art Education Association (OAEA) Young People's Art Exhibition. This is an art exhibition by Ohio students encompassing grades kindergarten through eighth.

Ava Scherocman's artwork was selected to be displayed in the 2016 Youth Art Month Art Exhibition.  This exhibition includes 125 exemplary works of art by Ohio students from kindergarten through eighth grade.

MI Penny War Helps Conquer Crohn's Disease

Mason Intermediate sixth graders on Team Patriots held their annual Penny War February 22-26 for Crohn's Research at Children's Hospital.

Team Patriots students thoroughly enjoyed competing for a good cause. It was a close battle throughout the week, but Annie Tereba's homeroom doubled their previous four day total on the final day of the competition to secure the win.

Students presented a check for $1,907 to Anna Kuertz and Pam Morgan from Cincinnati Children's Hospital IBD Research Department on Friday March 4. In the three years that Team Patriots has held a Penny War for Crohn's Research, students have raised over $5,000!

Read more about the MI Penny War.
MHS Students Design Ohio K9 Memorial T-Shirt

Students in Mason High School visual arts teacher Aaron Roberts' Design Studio Internship create artwork for real-life clients who need design assistance.  MHS interns recently created a shirt graphic in support of the Ohio K9 Memorial as part of their client projects. "We love getting our students involved with high-quality, real-life learning opportunities every day in the Design Studio. It's important for our students to learn how to communicate effectively with real clients so they can be better designers - or be better at any job in our interconnected world," shared Roberts.

Amelia Patrolman Craig Heintzelman visited the class with his K9, Gator, to present t-shirts to the MHS students who worked on the graphic - including seniors Owen Tidd, Cassie Dawes and Claudia Rieth.

Read more about how the K9 Memorial T-Shirt.
MHS Juniors Earn Scholarships at Overture Awards

Two MHS juniors earned significant recognition at the 2016 Overtures Awards - the tristate's largest solo arts competition.  

MHS junior Jessica Sommerville won the top prize for creative writing - ensuring that the online editor of The Chronicle walked away with a prize of $4,000!

"Winning the Overture Awards is a prestigious honor, and I know more great achievements are in her future," said MHS English teacher Mandi Bross.

Fellow MHS junior Jocelyn Kang was a finalist in the Instrumental Music category, and earned a $1,000 prize.

Read more about the Overture Awards.
High Fives to... 

... MMS Students, who shattered their school Pasta for Pennies fundraising goal by bringing in over $22,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society! The drive was sponsored by the school's National Junior Honor Society, and was even more inspiring by featuring MMS 7th graders (and blood cancer survivors)  Maya Collins and Ben Terribilini, and MMS staff members telling their stories. Watch WCPO Channel 9's coverage.

...Our Comets who competed in the Greater Cincinnati Special Olympics on March 16! Mason students took on the Target Pass, Ten-meter Dribble, and Spot Shot as part of the Basketball Individual Skills contest at Xavier University.

...MHS Class of 2013's Peeyush Shrivastava, whose company  just won another nation-wide business competition and now Peeyush will represent the USA in the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards Competition in Singapore! We are so very proud of all that Peeyush and his biotech company Genetesis are accomplishing (with several MHS grads on staff) and can't wait to see how this humble, brilliant leader will continue to change the world!

... the MHS Girls Basketball Team, who will always be remembered as one of the finest teams in Mason basketball history. The State Runner Up's 26 wins this season ties the record for 2nd most wins in a season (98-99 team 26-1). These class acts brought much pride to our community. Thank you players and coaches for giving us so much to cheer for all season!

...MECC Readers & the Staff Read Across America Team, who celebrated Dr. Seuss's Birthday with terrific style! When we can't find our "things" we now know where to look! :) The team of teachers who planned the week-long event did an amazing job in getting 460 books donated to the school, involving Cincinnati Bengals football players in the festivities, and showcasing how we're in the business of #GrowingGreatnessTogether!

...the INCREDIBLE parent, staff and student volunteers, who made the 13th Annual Mason Math & Science Night an absolute BLAST! Many thanks also to business and community sponsors including Procter and Gamble, Mason Animal Hospital, LyondellBasell, intrust IT,  iSpace and the Society for Women Engineers.
MECC, WR, MI Conversations: Parenting in the Digital Age

Many Mason families are interested in (and maybe even a little bit concerned about) their kids' digital lives.

On  Monday, April 4, Mason City Schools and the MECC PTO, Western Row PTO & Mason Intermediate PTO will host two family conversations about raising healthy kids in today's digital world.

Come be part of the conversation about children's media and technology use. We will focus on:
  • establishing good habits and routines
  • protecting privacy
  • cyberbullying, "digital drama" & other dilemmas.
Hear from your school counselors and principals, Mason Police Officer Nathan Ketterer, Student Assistance Coordinator Megan Cameron and Innovative Learning Officer Jonathan Cooper. Then, join fellow parents in discussing challenges and opportunities in our community.

DATE: Monday, April 4, 2016
TIME: 10am - 11:30am   &    7pm - 8:30pm
LOCATION: Mason Intermediate KIVA
6307 Mason Montgomery Rd., Mason OH 45040
RSVP: Please RSVP  by March 31
Each session will hold 70 people, and we want to make sure we have enough interest and space at each conversation!

Share questions or concerns  you'd like to see addressed during the Elementary Families Conversations.
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