February 22, 2019
Community Mourns Loss of 4th Grader & Former Treasurer
Sable Gibson , WR 4th grader
Please join us in keeping the Gibson family in our daily thoughts and prayers. Their youngest, Western Row Elementary fourth grader Sable Gibson , passed away Wednesday evening after being diagnosed with strep throat and influenza on Tuesday morning which lead to cardiac arrest Tuesday afternoon. We also lift up all of Sable’s classmates, teachers and support staff. “It's moments like these that we come together as a community to walk alongside one another and care for each other,” said Jonathan Cooper , Superintendent. “Obviously these are moments of reflection and a renewal of the relationships we have with each other, our own families, and our students.”

If you are interested in helping support the Gibson Family, please consider:
Richard Gardner , Former Mason Schools Treasurer
Our hearts are with the Gardner Family. Former Mason City Schools Treasurer Dick Gardner died February 16 after a 12-year battle with prostate cancer. After nearly 15 years at the helm of the district’s finances, Gardner (who had also served as the Treasurer of Cincinnati Public Schools) retired in 2014. “Those of us who call Mason home can thank [Dick Gardner] for navigating through a growth period that for most suburban school districts result in long term havoc. Our schools and homes today are highly coveted because of his ability to manage the long term vs. simply ‘getting by.’ He was an innovator and a benchmark for other school leaders in Ohio and around the country managing complex environments often pushed downhill from our elected government officials Columbus and Washington. We will all miss Dick but for those of us who live and go to school in Mason and Deerfield Township, his legacy will be felt for generations. Richard Gardner was a good and faithful man who is now in the loving arms of God,” said Kevin Wise , School Board member.
MECC Ribbon Cutting Celebration
Students, parents, staff, and dignitaries celebrated the completion of the MECC addition by holding a ribbon cutting ceremony on January 28 to show off the new second grade wing, new gymnasium, and additions to the cafeteria. The MECC addition was part of the district’s Master Facilities Plan - which is being funded without new local taxes and 80 percent of the funding for these projects comes from the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission.
 
“Today’s important step is a result of really great decisions and investments made by administrations and Boards of Education, staff and teachers in the past. I am so encouraged about what I see happening today, and applaud our staff for all that they do to make MECC a joyful learning environment for our youngest learners,” said Matt Steele , Board President."
Community Invited to ReIMAGINE Learning
Since January 28, Nearly 300 Mason City Schools community members have joined together to reimagine what learning should look like in Mason in 2025. 

Watch how ReIMAGINE Learning sessions are an extension of our CommUNITY Conversations. The Mason ReIMAGINE Learning sessions are structured as Design Thinking Challenges. In the Design Thinking process, we begin by empathizing - and to do that we always begin by hearing from our students. We invite you to join your neighbors for these engaging sessions!
 
Come Reimagine Learning
Thursday, Feb. 28 6-7:15pm Profile of a Mason Grad , MHS Large Commons
Monday, March 4 6-7:15pm Learning Partnerships , MHS Large Commons
Monday, April 16 6-7:15pm Mason Moonshots , MHS Large Commons
MECC Learners Join Global Movement to Prioritize Play
This month, MECC students participated in Global School Play Day 2019.  Staff committed to giving their students a full day of unstructured play.  The students were able to communicate, collaborate, and create without interference from adults.  For one full day of school, staff handed the reins over to the students and simply sat back and observed.
 
MECC educators Kelly Bello, Tina Darling, Krissy Hufnagel, and Soroya Smith helped lead the effort to bring Global School Play Day to Mason. Through much research and the study of Purposeful Play by Kristine Mraz, these leaders are preaching the direct correlation between the rise of anxiety and depression and the decline of play that Dr. Peter Grey speaks of in his TedX talk.

MI Black History Bowl Celebrates African-American History
Mason Intermediate School’s thirteenth Annual Black History Bowl proved to be a fun, competitive educational event for the fifth grade class - organized and facilitated by fifth grade teachers, Nick Washington and Kim Rader . The competition started in November when students took a qualifying test to earn a spot in the Black History Bowl competition for their team. Students then took their personal time, lunch and recess to study for the competition. In January, the sixteen teams began competing in bracket play and narrowed down to two teams competing in the Black History Bowl Final on February 13.  
 
This was the closest finish in bowl history with Team Infinity 1 beating Team Achievers 1 by only one point! Special congratulations to Hrishi Kamalachandran, Megha Nadagouda, Sangu Reshmy, Anisha Sharma, Sahana Srikanth, and Rahul Velu on Team Infinity 1, the 2019 Black History Bowl Winners. Congratulations also to second place Team Achievers 1, which included Mike Devassy, Geetika Chemarthi, Preena Mehta, Vishista Vulpala, Rohit Shah and Abhinav Pullabhotla . MI fifth grader Taurien Wiggins recited the poem I Am the Black Child by Mychal Wynn. 

Read more about the 2019 MI Black History Bowl .
MMS Student Council Completes 'Operation Gratitude'
The Mason Middle School Student Council recently completed 'Operation Gratitude' to show appreciation for our Troops and First Responders as part of the school's #MMSRipple - which encourages students to create a Comet Culture that spreads kindness.

MMS Student Council created Paracord 'Survival' Bracelets that not only look cool, but can actually save a life in an emergency situation. All who serve use paracord, which gets its name from a parachute cord, and that can hold up to 550 lbs. of weight. The bracelet provides 7.5 feet of cord in an emergency.

Read more about the Student Council's service project .
MCS Announces Later Start Times for 2019-2020; Measure Saves $, Aims to Improve Learners' Mental Health
On January 31, Mason City Schools Superintendent Jonathan Cooper announced the 2019-2020 School Start Times decision - incorporating feedback from students, staff and families following a Special Edition CommUNITY Conversation about school start times and their impact on learners’ mental health.
 

THE DECISION
In 2019-2020, Mason Middle School and Mason High School will start 30 minutes later than their current 7:15am start. Mason teens will begin school at 7:45am and will end school at 2:30pm. Mason students in grades 3-6 will attend school from 8:40am - 3:10pm. Mason students in grades PK-2 will adjust their times by 10 minutes. The Mason Early Childhood Center will start school at 9:20am and end school at 3:50pm. 

Read more about the 19-20 MCS Start Times .
MI Fifth Graders Celebrate 1,000th Day of School
Mason Intermediate fifth graders on Team Infinity celebrated 1,000 days of school on Friday, January 25 with activities based on the one thousandth day in writing, math, reading, STEM, exercise and kindness challenges.  

"We just discovered this recently and are excited about starting a new tradition with our students!" explained MI fifth grade Math and Science teacher Katie Renners . "As fifth graders, they have been in school for 180 days per Kindergarten through fourth grade school year, plus 100 days of fifth grade, which equals 1,000 days!"

Read more about the 1,000th Day of School .
MCS Increases Sub Pay
The Mason City Schools Board of Education board voted to increase pay for substitute teachers. Beginning February 4, 2019, Mason City Schools substitute teachers will see an increase in pay from $80 per day to $85 per day.

In addition, long-term subs will also see an increase in daily pay. Substitutes who have the same assignment for 21-60 consecutive days will receive $100 a day. Substitutes who have the same assignment for more than 60 consecutive days are paid the same level as a Mason teacher with a Bachelor’s degree and no experience. 

Learn more about the increase .

Interested in Subbing in Mason?
Contact HR Assistant Marcia Croy at croym@masonohioschools.com or call 513-398-0474, ext. 20142. 
44 MHS Students Receive 78 Awards at Regional Art Competition
The Mason High School Visual Art Department is pleased to share that 44 students have collectively received 78 awards at this year's 2019 Scholastics Regional Art Competition. 

Fifteen of those students received a total of 17 Gold Key awards and will have their work continue on to the national competition. Gold Key winners include freshmen Sofia Fuentes and Francesca Voyten , sophomores Aadrija Biswas, Kaitlin Goecke, Megan Harper, Ally Guo, Emi Tao, and Ben Terribilini , juniors Stephanie Hu and Aron Olegnowicz , and seniors Nihal Ahmed, Erica English, Deanna Musick, and Kaavya Ramachandhran .

"Our students work very hard and to have their work chosen to represent our school in the most prestigious high school art competition in the area is an honor," shared MHS Art Educator Tina Roberts

Read more about the Regional Art Competition .
MMS Visual Art Students Accepted into State Art Exhibitions
The Mason Middle School Art Department is proud to announce that seventh graders Emerson Cohen and Parker Scherocman have been selected to have their artwork represent the southwest region of Ohio in two state art exhibitions.  

Cohen had her artwork accepted into the 39th Ohio Art Education Association (OAEA) and Scherocman's artwork was selected for the 2019 Youth Art Month Art Exhibition.
 
Read more about the MMS students' selected artwork .
MMS 7th Grader Competes in World Chess Competition
Mason Middle School seventh grader Jason Wang recently played at the World Cadets Chess Championship U12 in Spain as one of the USA Chess Team members.

This is the third time that Wang played the most important annual tournament in his age group, as one of the top chess players in the country. 

"It is a great honor to compete with chess prodigies from around the world," shared Jason's father, Shanwu. "He was so close to being champion last time that he trained even harder this year to chase his dream."

MI Sixth Graders Raise Money for Crohn's Research
Mason Intermediate sixth graders on Team Patriots teamed up with Team Endeavor for the sixth annual Penny War to raise money for Crohn’s Research at Children’s Hospital. The 'War' ran Monday, February 4 through Friday February 8.

"It is a disease that definitely impacts many students throughout our school district," shared sixth grade science teacher Susan Grable

Students presented a $4,073.70 check to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital IBD Research Department on February 15. Mason Intermediate’s six-year total raised from Penny Wars is more than $15,000. 

Read more about MI's Penny War .
MCS Celebrates Black History by "Honoring the Journey"
On February 11, the Mason City Schools community celebrated Black History month by “Honoring the Journey”.
Mason City Schools Diversity Council hosted a CommUNITY Art Exhibit where students and community members learned about prominent African-American artists and viewed locally created works of art based on a famous Martin Luther King quote.
MCS students Nihal Ahmed, Aron Olegnowicz, Trisha Mukherjee, Ki Doyle, Devansh Maladkar, Mike Devassy, Anushka Mukherjee, Eden Orr, Anaya Dhawan, Arushi Gupta, Twisha Anshu, Ashlyn Bhatt, Katie Moseley, Dennise Kuznetsov, Porter Lorenz, Dharma Patel, and Maya Rayo , Mason graduate Hassan Qureshi , MCS staff members Fairy Shokoohee , and Jonathan Cooper , and CHCA Senior Charlote Lee were selected to have their art and poetry showcased.

Read more about the distinguished panel discussion on "Honoring the Journey."
Parthasarathi Earns Bronze in 2018 Math Prize for Girls Olympiad
Mason High School junior Sruthi Parthasarathi finished in the Bronze category of the 2018 Math Prize for Girls Olympiad, sponsored and organized by the Advantage Testing Foundation.

"Sruthi was excited to compete in this particular competition, because it was restructured to truly compare the mathematical abilities of high school females across the country," shared MHS math teacher Colleen Everett .

Read more about Parthasarathi's accomplishment .
MMS's Hingrajia Wins School Spelling Bee
With a careful r-i-v-i-e-r-a, Mason Middle School eighth grader Urav Hingrajia clinched first place in the Mason Middle School Spelling Bee on December 21. 

"Hingrajia will complete the online portion of the Scripps National Spelling this month, with the hope of qualifying for the Region II Bee in March," shared MMS seventh grade Language Arts Teacher Joe Carraher .

Read more about the MMS Spelling Bee .
Cultural Diversity Celebrated at Taste of Mason
The 11th annual Taste of Mason was held at Mason High School on February 6. The Mason community came together and celebrated its diversity by enjoying food from many ethnic and independent local restaurants, while watching incredible multicultural performances, and enjoying a global carnival hosted by MHS World Language Societies and the Comet Zone and Comet Savings & Loan.


Taste of Mason is sponsored by Mason City Schools Diversity Council, and supported by the Manor House and STUGO.

Mark your calendar for the next “Taste of Mason”- February 5, 2020!

#MasonMoment
Best of luck to our MHS Comet Swim Team and Coach Mark Sullivan who qualified for the Division I OHSAA State Swimming Championships. The team will compete February 22 and 23 at C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton, Ohio for a state title ... Best of luck and swim “relay” fast! 
Congratulations to MHS Comet Divers Matthew Wagner and Karina Ashton who qualified to the OHSAA State Diving Championships! Matt, a senior, finished second overall at the District Diving Meet at Miami University. Karina, a sophomore, finished fourth overall to punch her ticket to State. Both will compete February 22 and 23 at C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton, Ohio for a state title.
Happy Year of the Pig! Once again, Mandarin teacher Ling-Ling Nian organized an amazing Lunar New Year celebration that included delicious food, fortune telling, calligraphy, dumpling-making, origami, traditional Chinese yo yo, Chinese checkers and Go, and beautiful traditional performances including the Lion Dance. View the Facebook album.
MHS's Sammie Puisis is a Comet Legend. In 4 days, she was named McDonalds All-American, broke the school record for all-time career 3-pointers (190), and most points in a single game (40.) But, that's just a part of her story. Watch WCPO’s coverage. On Feb. 20, a huge crowd of classmates, friends and families gathered in her home gym to celebrate her being names the first Mason basketball player in history to be selected as a McDonald's All American. Watch the Chronicle’s coverage .
MECC, WR, and MI Staff , whose wacky stunts were a highlight to the Mason Schools Foundation Reading Challenge showcasing a #ReadingMoment! The stunts helped conclude our 2019 Reading Challenge and the students had a blast. Many thanks to the incredible Mason Schools Foundation volunteers and all the parents who donated to the Foundation and help raise $72,000 this year. This year was truly one for the “books”.
Our winter guards performed in their first WGI Regional Championship in Knoxville, Tennessee and each of our guards made their way into their first WGI Finals! This is an exciting accomplishment for our guard program. The varsity winter guard will performing in the WGI Championships April 3-6 in Dayton.
WR students attended the annual ‘KISS’ (Kids Invite Someone Special) Dance Fundraiser where they were able to come together as a school community. Children danced the night away with their guest to help raise money for WR PTO . What a “sweet” evening full of #MasonMoments!
Congratulations to the William Mason H.S Wind Symphony on a great performance at the OMEA Professional Development Conference in Cleveland, OH and being recognized with a “Citation of Excellence” from the National Band Association!
MBC students created a historic broadcast to delve deeply into race in honor of Black History Month. Producers and anchors Megan Rubsam, Douglas Arthur Mensah, Lana Saqer and Simone Scott put together a terrific panel discussion with prominent black Cincinnati journalists that was shown to all MHS students. Watch their discussion.
MECC Kindness Buddies from the Hero/Nemo classes who are spreading kindness throughout MECC. Here they are thanking our awesome child nutrition workers!
Loewe Named Kiwanis February Student of the Month
Mason High School senior Jordan Loewe was recognized as The Kiwanis Club of Mason's February Student of the Month. Loewe was nominated by MHS Business teacher Jennifer Striker .

“I have never been more excited to nominate an individual for Student of the Month as I am to nominate Jordan Loewe. Her academics alone make her worthy of being recognized as Student of the Month, but it’s her spirit, attitude, and kind acts of service for others that stand out to me," shared Striker.

Read more about Loewe as SOM .
Walton Named Kiwanis January Student of the Month
Mason High School senior Breanna Walton was recognized as The Kiwanis Club of Mason's January Student of the Month. Reid was nominated by MHS teacher Vance Reid .

“Breanna completed an AP class and an honors class along with the AP class she is currently taking. She is going to Haiti in the summer to build orphanages and churches, and always puts 100% effort into everything she does. She is very outspoken, but she can listen to peers and others as well," shared Reid. 

Read more about Walton as SOM .