October CommUNITY Connection
Mason Residents Encouraged to Attend Special Edition CommUNITY Conversation on School District Finances
On  Tuesday, October 29 from 6:30pm to 8:00pm in the Mason High School Cafeteria Mason City Schools residents are encouraged to attend a special edition CommUNITY Conversation or tune in live on Facebook for an important presentation and dialogue about the district's operating and capital budgets.

Learn how community feedback has shaped the district's budget priorities, and receive an update on efforts to keep the district budget in balance despite declining revenues.

Attendees will be asked to weigh in on district investment priorities.

CommUNITY celebrates MMS Grand Opening
Did you miss the MMS Ribbon Cutting and CommUNITY Open House? Watch this video and hear what some of the attendees thought about the total remodel that didn't require taxpayers to pass a bond issue, as well as their favorite examples of  #CometCulture  in action .

MI's Team Inspire Makes Blankets to Benefit Shine Like Sable Foundation
Community May Purchase Blankets at October 25 Football Game

Mason Intermediate fifth-graders in Andrea Caster, Maddy Rossetti, Amy Whitling, and Rebecca Williams’ classes will sell blankets to Comet football fans during the October 25 game versus Middletown in order to raise money for the Shine Like Sable Foundation.
"In past years we have partnered with Make-A-Wish and the Dragonfly Foundation. This year, we chose to sell blankets and donate the proceeds to the Shine Like Sable Foundation in thanks for how the Foundation is helping to spread kindness and honor Sable Gibson who would have been a MI fifth grader this year," shared Castner.

Local Foundation to Dedicate Comets Rock of Remembrance
When : Friday October 18th at dusk

Where : Mason High School Front Entrance, 6100 S. Mason-Montgomery Road

Who: 15 years ago, James Horning was a senior at Wm. Mason High School when in October of his senior year he was tragically killed in an automobile accident while coming home from his girlfriends house on a Monday evening. Following his passing, James' father, Jim Sr. along with several of his closest friends, James' former coaches and teachers, started the JVH Memorial Foundation to help students in need and to keep the spirit of James alive in hopes that it will help others (especially families who are dealing with a similar loss).

See more on the dedication .
32 MHS Seniors Named National Merit Commended Students
Mason’s Commended Scholars, 32 Semi-Finalists, 3 Hispanic Scholars Will Be Honored During School Board Meeting

Thirteen percent of the Mason High School Class of 2020 has been recognized by the College Board. MHS's National Merit commended scholars,   32 semi-finalists,  and three Hispanic scholars will be honored during a special Board of Education meeting.

Thirty-two Mason High School seniors have been named Commended Students in the National Merit® Scholarship Program:  Harshith Ambati, Anvi Arora, Priyasha Bose, Kabir Doshi, Kalpak Duddella, Amanda Follmer, Suchir Gangireddygari, Andy Gao, Laura Giaquinto, Katherine Hu, Stephanie Hu, Christopher Lee, Lisa Li, Andrew Lyons, Aadit Mukherjee, Kaaviya Muruganantham, Sara Naveh, Aaditya Pallerla, Mullika Pandit, Adarsh Ponaka, Sanjana Reddy, Henry Robbins, Paige Rudy, Kiret Sangha, Damian Sauer, Tanvi Sumit, Pukhraj Vangani, Lucas Volpenhein, Emily Yu, Rachel Zhan, Alisa Zhang, and Annie Zhang.

Read more about our Commended Students .
Student's STEAM Project Questions Lead to Discoveries about Mason's Lunch Program
Sixth grader Jiya Thakur knows that food is the fuel for our bodies and our brains. She had questions about Mason City Schools lunch program - and wanted to learn more. She contacted Child Nutrition Director Tamara Earl with concerns about Mason having enough money to get fresh food and fruits, and made a recommendation that the district buy organic and fresher foods and fruits from a better company.

Earl was thrilled to have the opportunity to talk with one of her customers about her department's efforts to serve fresh, healthy food. She and Jiya toured the Mason Intermediate School kitchen to see how workers prepare fresh fruits and vegetables daily.

Read more about our Child Nutrition Program .
Three MHS Students Recognized as National Hispanic Scholars
Congratulations to Mason High School seniors Andrea Hefferan , Aron Olegnowicz , and Michael Valcarcel who were selected as National Hispanic Recognition Program Scholars. This year, the program recognized roughly 5,000 outstanding Hispanic/Latino students of the 250,000 who take the test nationwide. Qualifications for recognition were based on critical reading, mathematics and writing scores on the 2018 PSAT and a minimum GPA of 3.5. In addition, recipients of this honor must be Hispanic or Latino in origin.

“We are very proud of each of these scholars accomplishments - both inside and outside the classroom,” says Bobby Dodd, MHS principal. “These students are outstanding representatives of Mason High School and our community, and we know that they will continue to make us proud.”

MECC Students Kick Off 40 Day Sophia Kindness Challenge
Students at the Mason Early Childhood Center were decked out in pink and ready to keep kindness spinning out into the world.

Mason's youngest learners spun pink pinwheels in memory of Sophia Grace Smallwood, the niece of MECC first grade teacher  BJ Smallwood . Sophia Smallwood was born premature with heart defects and passed away on November 10, 2010.

“Sophia shared her love here on earth for 40 beautiful days, but she has continued to share that love from heaven ever since.  Sophia's parents have done wonderful work in her name and memory. Working closely with the American Heart Association they have helped spread information, raise money and work with families who have children with heart problems,” explained MECC Kindergarten teacher  Michelle Hastings .

Comet CommUNITY Fest 2019

New to Mason City Schools this year is the 2019 Comet Community Fest to be held on Monday, November 4th at Mason High School in the Large and Small Commons.

This event is an opportunity for local businesses and groups to showcase their services, business, products, sports clubs, and more to our community especially to our new and existing residents.

Do you oversee or own a school group, non-profit or business within Mason School district that new residents could benefit from learning more about your group or business? If yes, then we hope you will consider having a table at the Comet Community Fest. Apply to be an exhibitor online at: https://forms.gle/uhjMYSEmCRUfxRy86 . Limited spots are available. Submit your application by October 25th! Exhibitors should bring information to decorate a table, pamphlets and/or giveaways.

Get more details about Comet CommUNITY Fest .
MECC Library Dog Coming Soon
There's going to be someone special coming to shine happiness at MECC.  Thanks to generous donations from a whole lot of Comets, and from Amie & Brad Haller and the Wing Eye Charitable Gift Trust to the  Shine Like Sable  Foundation , MECC met it's $17,000 goal and our preschool, kindergarten, first and second grade learners will be getting an MECC library dog! The dog will appropriately be named Gibson. <3
Comet Grad Father & Son Architects Reflect On Today's MMS
Mason Middle School was originally built as Mason High School 60 years ago. Al Voorhis (MHS Class of 1944) was the original architect. Watch this special video to see h is son, Jim Voorhis (MHS Class of 1979) show his dad around the totally remodeled middle school that is now ready to serve Comet learners for the next 50 years!

School Board member Connie Yingling also shares how the school board made a decision 20 years ago to join the OFCC project, which resulted in ensuring that the total renovation was funded without raising local taxes. The district received $34 million (80% of the funding) from tobacco settlement monies through the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC).
Author Hena Khan Shares Why Diverse Books Matter During School Visit
On September 26, the Mason Schools Foundation funded a grant that brought amazing children’s author Hena Khan to Mason. Khan has written picture books and middle grade chapter books such as Amina’s Voice , Under My Hijab , More to the Story, and Power Forward .

Each fifth grade class was able to participate in special read alouds with Khan, and ask questions about her writing process. Students in Amy Pierce's art classes made beautiful minaret pictures and watercolors. Mason Intermediate School teachers Jen Mann and Litty Mathai wrote the grant, and were excited to have Khan reinforce the district’s #CometCulture belief that “Your Story Matters.”

“Her books offer windows, mirrors, sliding doors and bridges for our students. This helps build an inclusive culture to make sure that everyone feels included and valued,” said Mann.

During an evening event, families and community members were also able to participate in a visit with the author and book signing. Khan shared her ideas about her writing experiences, the importance of diverse and inclusive books, and her passion as a children’s literature author with the excited crowd.
Educators Help Lead Mason’s Inclusive Excellence Work
The Mason City Schools Board of Education approved stipends for seven Mason educators to help lead the district’s inclusive excellence objectives during its September 24 meeting. MECC's Soroya Smith , Mason Elementary School's Shanna Lutton and Alicea Wortham , Mason Intermediate School's DeAuna Todd , Mason Middle School's Jocelyn Burlew and Katie Lin , and Mason High School's Marcie Blamer are the new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Leaders who work closely with the district’s Inclusive Excellence lead and their school’s leadership to proactively integrate diversity, equity, and inclusion into decision making and learning experiences.

“We appreciate the board’s investment in these DEI Leaders at each school as a resource for staff. We are thrilled to have these talented and dedicated educators helping to lead this critical work,” said Jonathan Cooper , Superintendent. 

Learn more about the DEI Leaders .
MMS Teacher Attends American Wilderness Leadership School
This summer, Mason Middle School seventh grade teacher  Renee McCord  was selected to attend the American Wilderness Leadership School (AWLS) in Jackson, Wyoming. She even documented her  Daily Ecological Reflections and Thoughts  throughout the week-long experience.

"As a lifelong learner and science teacher I believe in digging deep into my own understanding in order to enrich my depth of knowledge about science and how our world works," explained McCord.

See more about Renee's experience.
Mason Schools Foundation Honors 2019 Above and Beyond Teachers at Gala
Each spring, the Mason Schools Foundation solicits student and community nominations for teachers who take their students above and beyond everyday.  Then the MSF board has the hard task of selecting annual winners among the many deserving candidates Each Above and Beyond Teacher receives a $200 grant to use in their classroom and is an honored guest at the Gala in the fall.

MHS History Teacher and Wrestling Coach  Vance Reid  is the Secondary Above and Beyond teacher of the year. 

MECC second grade teacher  Monica Johnston  was selected as the MSF Above and Beyond Elementary Teacher of the Year.    

Read more about the nominations for the Above and Beyond Teachers
MCS, Chamber Launch "Made for More" Mentorship Program for High School Girls
This year, 12 Mason High School sophomores are part of a year-long mentorship program with accomplished, local business women who participated in last year’s inaugural Mason Deerfield Chamber of Commerce Leaders are MADE program .

The mentors and mentees met for the first time in September - resulting in a room filled with laughter, light conversation, and hope.

See more about "Made for More" .
Mason Students' Mental Health Continues to Be Concern for Educators, Families
Being a student is stressful, but trying to juggle school work and other responsibilities while experiencing mental illness can make it even harder. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness , approximately one in five youth aged 13–18 live with mental health conditions and approximately 75 percent of people with mental health issues develop them prior to the age of 24.

On September 11, Mason City Schools hosted a CommUNITY Conversation about stress and distress. Michael Sorter, MD and Stuart Slavin, MD , discussed the key environmental factors contributing to this epidemic and what can be done about it. Attendees explored ways parents and educators can reduce academic load and pressure, without lowering standards, “dumbing down” the curriculum, or missing out on some mythical perfect college application.

Learn more about Mason's investment in Mental Wellness.
MMS Students Explore Little Miami River
It was a perfect day for MMS Comets to head to Loveland and test a local waterway's cleanliness. With help from the Ohio River Foundation, students fished, identified macroinverts, did some testing and enjoyed a beautiful day out in nature! Many thanks to MMS Science teacher Renee McCord for putting together this opportunity on September 20.


You wouldn't have wanted to blink last weekend and miss a whole lot of special arts exhibits! Check out our Comet Skippers at the BLINK Cincinnati Parade.

Have you heard your kids talking about #CometCulture and how we produce better OUTCOMES when we use a disciplined RESPONSE to an EVENT? Watch MI students in Melissa Walker's classroom singing about how they stay "above the line."
We have a special commUNITY. The homecoming fans (and a beautiful Mason sky) were awash in shades of pink as we all stood together to #ShineLikeSable !

Watch WLWT's Coverage .
A whole lot of MHS Comets made great #MasonMoments during #HOCO2019 ! Many thanks to our teacher and administrator chaperones who ensured a safe and fun night! The Homecoming Parade was the start of Homecoming weekend for all of our Comets. View the parade photos .
WLWT aired wise advice from MMS Comets Abby Love and Lucy Medland . After years of seeing teen tobacco use decline, the popularity of vaping has started to hook a new generation. Juuls are small and discreet and have flavors like mango and mint. If you haven’t talked with your child about vaping, please do so.

One of our  #CometCulture  beliefs is "Build Meaningful Relationships." We love how the  MECC PTO  helps to do this through their Family Play dates.
Mason High School Theater Presents She Kills Monsters, Young Adventurers Edition
On October 18, 19, 25 & 26, Mason High School Theater will present the play She Kills Monsters, Young Adventurers Edition, in the school’s intimate Studio Theater. Show times on each day is 7 pm with an additional 2 pm matinee on October 19. Tickets are $10.00 for adults, $8.00 for students, and seniors. All senior citizens are invited to attend the final dress rehearsal on October 17 at 7pm free of charge. Tickets will be available at the door one hour before curtain, or online at www.showtix4u.com

She Kills Monsters, Young Adventurers Edition is a comedic romp into the world of fantasy role-playing games. The play tells the story of high schooler Agnes Evans as she deals with the death of her younger sister, Tilly. When Agnes stumbles upon Tilly’s Dungeons & Dragons notebook, she finds herself catapulted into a journey of discovery and action-packed adventure in the imaginary world that was her sister’s refuge. In this high-octane dramatic comedy laden with homicidal fairies, nasty ogres, and ’90s pop culture, acclaimed playwright Qui Nguyen offers a heart-pounding homage to the geek and warrior within us all.