April 30, 2018
Gentene Named Next MMS Principal

The Mason City Schools Board of Education unanimously approved Lauren Gentene as the next principal of Mason Middle School during its April 24 meeting.

Gentene replaces Tonya McCall , who after 18 years of leading the charge of "Every Kid, Every Day" for Mason's seventh and eighth graders will now be  heading the district's human resources department as Chief Talent Officer .

Next year will be a year of transition at Mason Middle School. As part of the district's  Facilities Master Plan , MMS will undergo a complete renovation and the district's seventh and eighth graders will temporarily attend school in the MMS section of Mason Intermediate School and the MMS section of Mason High School. 

The Mason City School District is conducting its search for a  new Mason High School Principal,  and a new Mason Middle School Assistant Principal.  Learn more about openings in the Mason City School District .  
MHS Students First High Schoolers to Compete in Collegiate Entrepreneurship Competition

Collegiate Entrepreneurship Competition
Mason High School freshman Pranava Yenugu and junior Juan Carlos Gaudiano Del Bosque placed second runner-up in the IQ-E Pitch Competition on April 11.   The competition was organized by the UC Center for Entrepreneurship and Commercialization.

"We were the first high schoolers who qualified to attend this pitching competition where we went head to head with college undergraduates and graduates," shared Yenugu.

Read more about the their pitch.
New MCS Attendance Procedures, Additional Bus Safety Measures Implemented

Earlier this month, a substitute bus driver failed to do a mandatory check of his bus before leaving. As a result, a Mason Early Childhood Center student who had been asleep in the bus was left unattended. This was an error and a mistake. We immediately offered counseling and support to the student, apologized to the family, and informed Child Protective Services and the Mason Police Department.

We deeply regret that this mistake occurred, and we're taking additional steps to help ensure it does not happen again.

First, the bus driver was terminated from district employment. Our primary responsibility is the safety of all our students and this person fell short, which is why we held him accountable.

Second, we are implementing an improved procedure to notify parents when a student is not in school.

Beginning Monday, April 23 we will call all families whose children are absent -- whether excused or unexcused -- within two hours of the start of the school day. Before the end of the school day, we will place a second call to all families who have not provided a reason for their child's absence.

Third, we have instituted additional safety steps in our transportation department. Bus drivers must now complete a safety check for students at the school drop off in addition to the end of their route at the bus garage. Additionally, one of the bus garage team members (not the bus driver) must walk through the bus lot double checking each bus to make sure that all buses have been cleared.

We will continue to evaluate additional ways we can prevent an incident like this from happening in the future.
MECC Students, Staff Blow Bubbles for Autism Awareness
MECC Bubbles

To support National Autism Awareness Month, Mason Early Childhood Center teachers and students joined together on April 20 to spread awareness and acceptance for those on the autism spectrum. The school hosted a Bubbles for Autism Day where students and staff waved bubble wands in the air and blew boatloads of bubbles!

"This was a wonderful opportunity for MECC students to have fun, playful interactions with classmates they may not have known. There are no barriers with bubbles. Speech and occupational therapists sometimes use bubbles in their treatment plans, and most kids love bubbles. Adults do too!" said Melissa Bly , MECC Principal, about the event that was spearheaded by SCSF intervention specialist Janine Schatz and paraprofessional Tara Lovitz who is also the proud mom of a child on the autism spectrum.

Read more about Bubbles for Autism Day.
Equity _ Inclusion

Diversity is one of the essential values of our school district. We serve a thriving, vibrant community of diverse neighbors. And we believe that we can make the biggest difference in students' lives when we create a culture of equity and inclusion -- where all learners are seen, valued, cared for and respected as their full selves.

To achieve that goal, all our staff members-- teachers, administrators, and support personnel --need to be culturally competent and prepared to intentionally support a more inclusive climate.

This school year, we took a number of actions to improve equity and inclusion at Mason City Schools.

We recognize that building a culture that embraces diversity can be challenging. It means we need to personally address the ways our behaviors can be influenced by unconscious bias, even when we don't intend to be prejudicial. 

Regardless of the circumstances, we share a long-term commitment to sustain our work in building an equitable and inclusive learning environment for our students.

MMS Eighth Grader Wins Five Medals at National Art & Writing Competition 

Mason Middle School eighth grader Gayatri Rajan won five medals at the 2018 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards competition.
Rajan received two gold medals and three silver medals in the poetry category.  National Medalists represent less than one percent of submissions to the 2018 Scholastic Awards.

"We are so very proud of Gayatri who has been identified by panels of creative professionals as one of the most talented young writers in the nation!" shared Rajan's language arts teacher, Laura Reed .

Read more about the National Art & Writing Competition.
MHS Orchestras Perform at The Kennedy Center

Mason High School's Symphony Orchestra and Philharmonic Orchestra recently performed at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

MHS Orchestra

Two Mason ensembles performed at the Capital Orchestra Festival, a concert that is organized for President's Day weekend every year, and includes select orchestras from across the country. 

"The students will never forget walking onto this infamous stage and the experience of performing in such an amazing venue," shared MHS Orchestra Directors Stephanie Jones. "So many legendary musicians and artists have taken this stage before them and will do so for generations to come. Our students can now say, 'I performed on that stage once.'"
Second Annual MHS Student Learning Series a Hit

While Mason High School juniors took the state-funded ACT, MHS freshmen and sophomores were getting life and career advice during the second annual MHS Student Learning Series.

"This authentic, conference style event exposed students to college and career opportunities, and provided them with information, insight, motivation, experiential learning opportunities, networking and many other amazing learning experiences!" shared MHS Assistant Principal Amy Hull.

Presenters came from the fields of art, aviation, business, civil service, engineering, education, health and wellness, information technology, law, medicine, music, non-profit management, and the trades.

Read more about the MHS Student Learning Series.
Astronomer Unlocks Mysteries of Space for MI Fifth Graders 
Dean Regas Presentation

Cincinnati Observatory Astronomer Dean Regas unlocked the mysteries of the universe for Mason Intermediate fifth grade students on April 9 and 10.

Regas is a renowned educator, national popularizer of astronomy and an expert in observational astronomy.

"My team also takes our kids to the Cincinnati Observatory for our annual field trip. There, they get to see Dean in his realm. He shows them the telescopes that he can't bring to MI and allows them to take a look at objects in the daytime sky, like the Sun, using filters of course," shared MI fifth grade Math and Science teacher Amy Perry.

Read more about the MI astronomy presentation.
MHS's HOSA Club Wins 15 Events at State, Biomed Students Qualify for International Leadership Competitions

Thirty Mason High School HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America) members will compete in the HOSA International Leadership Conference after taking top honors in the state competition. HOSA is a school-sponsored organization geared for students interested in the health professions and committed to community service.  

"These competing HOSA students take MHS Biomedical Science classes and have been preparing for competition since August. There is a leadership competition in the fall, then students competed at Regionals. The top three from that competition moved on to State, and then the top three from State move onto the International Competition in June," shared MHS Biomedical Science Teacher and HOSA advisor Susana Maldonado

View the list of MHS qualifiers
MCS students compete on FIRST LEGO League State Champion team

The Robo Rangers, a local team of ten children from the Liberty TWP, Mason and West Chester areas, won the FIRST LEGO League State Championship award on February 4.  

The team placed first out of the 554 teams that competed in Ohio and will now advance to the FIRST World Championship Tournament in Detroit.

Mason City Schools team members on Robo Rangers include Mason Intermediate fifth graders Girish Murali and Shishir Tumukuntala , and sixth grader Rishika Jeyaprakash , and Mason Middle School seventh grader Bhuvan Meruga .

Read more about the FIRST LEGO League.
MI Fifth Graders Publish Book
Team Endurance
Mason Intermediate fifth graders on Team Endurance published a book titled 'What's in My Heart?' and then shared it as a class on March 23.

"We called our book What's in my Heart? Students wrote an original poem and created artwork based on the artist Romero Britto," shared MI Language Arts and Social Studies teacher Amy Whitling . "They wrote about everything from cupcakes and soccer to wishes for our school and our world.

"I loved watching my imagination and hard work come to life!" shared fifth grader Maddie Stammen .

Read more about 'What's in My Heart?'
MCS DI Teams Set New Mason Record;
8 Teams Going to Globals
DI Team
Eight Mason City Schools Destination Imagination teams will participate in the world's largest celebration of student creativity on May 23-26 in Knoxville, TN.   Global Finals is the culminating event of every Destination Imagination season. 

"During Globals, over 15 different countries will be represented with over 8,000 students attending.  We are very proud that eight teams at Globals will be representing as Mason Comets!" said MMS Visual Arts teacher and DI advisor Lisa Fish .

MCS global finalists include: 6 DInamites from Western Row who placed third in Maze Craze at state, Creative Thinkers from Western Row and MECC, The Critters of Creo from MI and MMS who placed second in Maze Craze at state, The DIstroyers from MHS who placed third in Maze Craze at state, TheDream Innovators from Mason Intermediate, the Little Innovators from Western Row who placed third in Drop Zone at state, The Seven Masterminds from MHS, and We're Working on It from MHS.

During regionals, Mason had nine first place finishers advance to the DI State Tournament on March 24 in Mt. Vernon. This is a new Mason record for teams advancing, beating the previous record of six teams. Teams also won the Spirit of DI Award, The Renaissance Award, and the Da Vinci Award.

Congratulations to all of Mason's DI teams  who honed their creativity, courage and curiosity during the season.
High Fives to...

... the gracious April CommUNITY Conversations hosts ( Shakila Ahmad, Chris Centofanti, Danita Enouen, Brenda Hefferan, Lesley Krimpenfort, Laurie Lupinetti, Lina Patel, Mindy Patton, and Dr. Karthik Raghavan ) and over 100 committed participants, who joined Deputy Superintendent Jonathan Cooper and leaders from the City of Mason, Deerfield Township , and the MADE Chamber. Participants have discussed school safety, equity & inclusion, school counseling, anxiety and depression, social media, experiential learning, and other important topics. If you are interested in hosting a CommUNITY Conversation, call 513-398-0474, ext. 24004.

... MHS senior Will Pfennig , who is having a remarkable season proudly wearing his kelly green and pitching for the #45040. Read more in this Cincinnati Enquirer article   about the Ohio State signee, and the credit he gives his talented teammates.

... MMS 8th grader Heather Long , who was
presented the prestigious  Billy Mitchell award on April 23. This award is presented to only 15% of the nationwide Civil Air Patrol cadets who complete the leadership phase of their CAP program. The Billy Mitchell award is a national level award that carries with it the benefit of enlisting in the Air Force as an E-3 instead of an E-1.   For more information visit http://www.lunkensquadron.org .

... MI 6th grader Rishika Jeyaprakash and the Little Helpers who over the last 14 months have collected more than 1,000 items for the Cincinnati Children's Liberty Campus. We are so proud of these young leaders' commitment to serving our community!

... WR 3rd grade STEAM Teachers Kerry Kronenberger & Karen Vome, who created a wonderful STEAM arcade night for learners to show off their creativity and problem-solving skills!

...the MHS
Softball Team , whose success goes way beyond the softball field. The team has made giving back to others an important part of their team's fabric. "Our staff and players know that we are very fortunate to have the opportunity to coach and play at a school with great facilities, ample equipment, supportive parents and community," Coach Liann Muff said. "We truly believe that to those that much is given, much is expected."   Watch WCPO's coverage.

... MHS After Prom Co-Chairs Jackie Hudnell & Beth Wilson , who along with hundreds of wonderful parent and staff volunteers, hosted an amazing After Prom that ensured that this important milestone for MHS juniors and seniors was truly a night to remember.

...the MHS Girls Lacrosse Team , who honored Maya Collins' legacy of paying kindness forward during a special game in memory of the Mason student who lost her battle to cancer in October. Read the Cincinnati Enquirer's coverage .  

... the entire cast and crew of MHS's
Disaster! This was the first debut of this 2016 show in the region, and theater-goers were treated to a hilarious performance from our talented thespians and orchestra pit. We're still grooving to those sweet 70's tunes, and feeling less apprehensive of sharks, piranhas, and shag carpet!

... All three MHS choirs - Women's Choir, Bel Canto & Honors Concert Choir - who all earned Superior ratings at the OMEA State Event this weekend. We are so very proud of the beautiful music these vocalists make!

... the incredibly talented MCS artists and their dedicated teachers who hosted an amazing District Art Show this past weekend.

... the Mason Police Department, who continues to be a terrific partner in keeping our schools safe. We are grateful for City Council's investment in the Campus Security Team, and appreciate the City Administration's vision that has further enhanced efforts to keep our schools safe.

Mason High School Announces Principal's Award

Congratulations to the following Mason High School students for receiving Principal's Award for the 2017-18 school year.

View the  list of recipients .
MMS April Students of the Month

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

They are: Veda Adusumalli, Ansh Alluru, Madison Alt, Michelle Anello, Patrick Arp, London Austin, Jessica Bamford, Vishva Bhavsar, Anya Bolton, David Botkin, Julia Bradley, Andrea Burke, Ethan Coughlin, Alexa Crociata, Divya Dasari, Nithya Duddella, Emma Echler, Jahnavi Gadthula, Nailah Grant, Peyton Gronholm, Nolan Hartsock, Matthew Heinen, Makenzie Highfill, Garrett Hurr, Jackson Kehl, Katja Klonowski, Nithya Kothnur, Matthew Levine, Ethan Ma, Benicio Machado, Domenica Marietta, Urja Mehta, Aradana Nair, Olivia Ohler, Kore Oyelese, Elaine Palmer, Divya Parmar, Grant Perry, Reed Perry, Abbie Porter, Andrew Robinson, Megan Ross, Sameer Samad, Madison Sanson, Aidan Schappacher, Adhira Shankar, Cynthia Shao, Alexa Shouldice, Kaitlyn Steele, Nicholas Stroud, Olivia Tull, Lydia Vail, Nikith Vangala, Lauren Varga, Levi Vestal, Rebeca Vinseiro, Nathan Vonderhaar, Ternise Walker and Tessa Zecchino .

About Mason Middle School Students of the Month
Students of the Month are selected for showing good character. This month's character spotlights were Dependability, Generosity, Trustworthiness and Determination. Students celebrate their accomplishment with their teachers, principals and parents during a breakfast in their honor that is sponsored by the Mason Kiwanis Club.
Ranatunga Named Kiwanis Student of the Month

Mason High School senior Nimanthi Ranatunga was recognized as The Kiwanis Club of Mason's April Student of the Month.  Ranatunga was nominated by MHS Language Arts teacher and STUGO advisor Betsy Carras.

Ranatunga has been involved with the Ohio Association of Student Councils since sixth grade, and an officer of the statewide organization during high school.  She was selected for The Ohio State University's Health Science Scholars Program, and will study neuroscience in the fall.

Read more about the Kiwanis Student of the Month.

Mason Kiwanis Honors 28 Students Who Make a  Difference

On April 24, 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.

"Making a Difference" rewards students who show initiative and resolve by improving their class performance through outstanding attitude and effort. Students who serve as role models to others by displaying persistence, fortitude, and courtesy are chosen for this award and receive lunch courtesy of Kiwanis.

The MHS honored students were: Lauren Bangs, Tess Brewer, Calista Busch, Ashley Eagle, Conner Gagliardo, Madelyn Holthouse, Alyssa Horvath, Max Jarrell, Evan King, Sarah King, Ben Kraus, Noah Lippeatt, Leah Markvan, Corinne Mattingley, Madeline Miller, Amelia Moran, Tabitha Parks, Sara Patrick, Jewell Powell, Afra Rahman, Lauren Reed, Bobbie-Jean Singleton, Samuel Terribilini, Kathryn Thomas, Suzanne Troughton, Ryan Weckstein, Anna Wilson and Autumn Young.
MHS Recognizes 54 Students as Rotary Royalty

Congratulations to the 54 Mason High Schools students who were recognized as April'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.  Kaitlin Pellegrino 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 Rotary Royalty.
595 MHS Students Earn Perfect Attendance:
12 MHS Students Awarded GCCU Cash

During Mason High School's second semester, 595 students were at school every day and earned a chance to win cash from the Greater Cincinnati Credit Union. This marks the eleventh year that GCCU has sponsored the Perfect Attendance Program at MHS.  Russ Henry from GCCU presented $100 to each of the honorees.  The company donates $1,200 each semester for twelve students who maintain perfect attendance.  GCCU also provides lunch to the winners and their guests during the awards ceremony, which was held on Tuesday, April 10.

The second semester's twelve GCCU winners were freshman Kylie Dvelen, Samantha Finkel, and Ryan Griffith, sophomores Jack Gerus, Tayyaba Iftikhar, and Grace Stegman, juniors Joshua Crail, Savannah Quach, and Christopher Radle, and seniors Adelaide Choi, Ryan Kouche, and Janhavi Sahasrabudhe.  Also present to congratulate the students and their parents were MHS Assistant Principal Brandon Rompies Guidance Counselor Phyllis Bell.

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