March, 2019
Mason Uses Crowd-Sourced Innovation to Champion Students' Vision
Mason City Schools is leveraging the ideas of the greatest innovators in education - students. This year, the district joined the national Innovate K12 cohort to strategically increase student voice in the everyday environment of Mason High School. Innovate K12 is a national cohort of schools who use crowd sourcing to grow innovative solutions for school challenges. Mason City Schools is the first district within the cohort to create a student platform for crowd-based solutions. 

"Because student voice was at the core of this project, MHS Associate Principal Shanna Bumiller formed a team of student leaders from a whole host of school activities and experiential courses. They were really the ones in charge of branding, marketing, and launching our event. Notably, they worked with Innovative Programs Administrator Christine McCormick to launch . combined the InnovateK12 platform with a student brainstorming site that was completely built by our MHS Hack Club in a matter of three days," explains Innovative Learning Coach Aaron Roberts .

MI 6th Grader Teaches Adapted STEAM Lessons
All students thrive in active, hands-on, problem-solving classrooms. That was the belief underpinning Mason Intermediate School sixth grader Ella Bender's passion project to create an adapted STEAM class for the students in Jessica Cassin and Katrina Philpot's classes.
“I have a passion for working with kids with special needs,” shared Bender. "My big vision was to get to know the students better."

Bender works with her STEAM teacher, Laura Tonkin , to plan lessons and reflect on how they went. Her first STEAM activity encouraged students to express who they are with some creativity. Bender had the students cut out magazine pictures of things they like and paste the items onto a human cutout. The students then used yarn for the hair in order to incorporate using their fine motor skills.
Read more about the Bender's STEAM Lessons.
MMS Comet Named Ohio's Top Volunteer: MMS 7th Grader Also Recognized for Community Service
Two Mason Middle School students are being recognized for their commitment to serving others.

MMS eighth grader  Tanya Keskar  was selected as Ohio's top Middle Level youth volunteer in the 2019 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program. As a State Honoree,  Keskar will receive a $1,000 award, an engraved silver medallion, and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington D.C., for a series of national recognition events from May 4-7, 2019. During the trip, 10 students will be named America's top youth volunteers of 2019.

MMS seventh grader  Rishika Jeyaprakash  was named a Distinguished Finalist and will receive an engraved bronze medallion.   

Bakos wins 2019 Overtures Award; 13 MHS Creative Artists' Talent Recognized
MHS junior  Simon Bakos  won the 2019 Instrumental category in the Overtures Award Instrumental, a program that recognizes, encourages and rewards excellence in the arts among Greater Cincinnati students in grades 9-12. The Overture Awards are the region's largest solo arts competition. 

Bakos' award included a $4000 scholarship. A member of the MHS Wind Symphony, Bakos has studied clarinet and bass clarinet for five years. He currently participates in the clarinet section of the Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra, and was principal clarinet in the 2019 Ohio All-State Orchestra.  Watch his audition for the Honor Band of America.

Notably, 13 Mason High School students advanced to the semifinals of the Cincinnati Arts Association’s Overture Awards Competition. MHS semifinalists included senior Connor Buczek (Visual Art), senior Megan Cui (Instrumental Music), senior Brianna Findley (Visual Art), senior Christian Galang (Instrumental Music), senior Alexandra Lisa (Creative Writing), junior Elizabeth Marie Mitan (Theater), sophomore Claire Northcut (Theater), senior Sara Patrick (Visual Art), senior Tanner Pearson (Visual Art), sophomore Meera Rajeev (Dance), Senior Kaavya Ramachandhran (Creative Writing), senior Kevin Song (Instrumental Music), senior Fiona Xie (Instrumental Music).

MMS Mathcounts Team Wins State Championship; Kong & Zuo to Represent OH at Nationals in May
Mason's mathletes continue to cement their legacy of domination at the state level. On March 9, The Mason Middle School MATHCOUNTS team won first place at the MATHCOUNTS State Competition held at Columbus State Community College on March 9. First place finisher Eddie Kong and third place finisher Michael Zuo will advance and represent Ohio at Nationals May 11-14 in Orlando, Florida. 

Read more about the MMS Mathcounts Team .
Mason Hosts CommUNITY Conversation on Competitive Culture
A consistent theme emerged in CommUNITY Conversations throughout the year, and during this spring's ReIMAGINE Learning sessions. Students, staff, and families are worried about an unhealthy culture of competition that contributes to students' anxiety and depression. The district has committed to a series of small moves to improve students' mental wellness including instituting a later school start time for next year, revising the current 7-bell schedule at MHS, and recommending that no student should take more than 3 AP courses per year as part of a holistic health and mental well-being plan. Additionally, the district intends to reinvest savings from instituting one start time for Mason Elementary School (grades 3-4) and Mason Intermediate School (grades 5-6) into new mental wellness support personnel at each school.

R ead more about the Conversation .
MMS Students Qualify for Ohio History Day State Competition
Three Mason Middle School students qualified for the state level of Ohio History Day on Saturday, April 27 at Ohio Wesleyan University. 

The three state qualifiers included MMS seventh grader  Audray Mix  - exhibit The Storming of Bastille, and MMS eighth graders  Mike DeBrosse  -  exhibit The Battle of Little Big Horn, and  Nikhil Khambhampati  -  exhibit The Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

National History Day is an academic competition in which students research a historical topic connected to an annual theme. This year's theme was Triumph and Tragedy in History. The regional competition was held at the University of Cincinnati on Saturday, March 9.

R ead more about National History Day.
MI Hosts 16th Annual STEAM Night
On March 7, MI students participated in the 16th annual STEAM Night, sponsored by the MECC, WR and MI PTOs.

Students and parents were able to enjoy hands-on activities, demonstrations, and the math & science superstars.

A special thanks to the many teachers, parents & educator volunteers as well as support from the City of Mason, Camp Invention, Classroom Antics, Ethicon, FESTO, GE Aviation, Girl Scouts of Western Ohio, iSPACE, LyondellBasell, Mathnasium, Mason Pack 323, and Warren County Soil & Water.  

Read more about STEAM Night .
WR Students Display 'Genius Hour Idea' during Expert Expo
This month, Mason fourth graders are tapping their genius within during a student-designed Expert Expo.
The Genius Hour is an inquiry-based, student-directed learning experience. Students were able to pick a topic of interest, and then decide on questions that they were interested in learning more about.  
"The students really did an amazing job narrowing down their interests to figure out what they ‘really’ wanted to know about. Rarely in schools do students get to choose their topic, research it, and create a way to present their information to others,” shared fourth grade teacher Laura Franz .

Read more about WR's Genius Hour .
Mason Hosts DI Instant Challenge Night
More than 400 students and community members recently participated in the Mason Destination Instant Challenge Night at Mason Middle School.
The DI Instant Challenge Night was a practice session organized for Mason teams to experience a wide variety of Instant Challenges similar to those that teams will encounter in competition. There were 39 Mason teams who participated, all of whom had adult volunteers supervising stations, and those teams participated in seven different challenges.

Destination Imagination is one of the premier student innovation competitions in the world. Since taking on the program several years ago, DI District Coordinator and MMS Visual Arts teacher Lisa Fish and MMS robotics teacher Marty Fish have grown Mason's participation to more than 300 students grades K-11. 

Read more about Destination Imagination.
Four MHS Students Compete at the Ohio Governor's Youth Art Exhibition
Four Mason High School students advanced to state judging of the Ohio Governor’s Youth Art Exhibition, a program that allows high school artists opportunities to advance their talent through scholarships or competitive experience. The Youth Art Exhibition only advances 2,500 pieces of art from the 11,500 regional entries which are submitted.

Congratulations to seniors Tanner Pearson (two photos selected), Sara Patrick (one photo) and Skyler Burke (one photo) as well as junior Kathryn Wilkinson (one photo) who had their work chosen to move on to the state level of this competition.

18 MMS, 6 MHS Students Earn 'Superior' Ratings at Science Fair
Twenty-four Mason City Schools students earned a rating of 'Superior' at the 2019 MCS Science Fair held in the MHS Small Commons.

The Science Fair hosts approximately 150 MMS and MHS students eager to learn from local community members as they continue on their path to becoming future scientists.

"The students enjoy interacting with everyone and showing the results of their hard work!" shared MMS seventh grade science teacher  Rachel King .

R ead more about the 2019 MCS Science Fair.
Mason Robotics Teams Compete at State; Look Toward World
Mason Team 5029 PowerStackers , a FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Dayton/Cincinnati robotics team, is on its way to the FTC World Championship tournament for the second year in a row, while the  MCS FTC Robotics Team 8719 Quantum Leap  also advanced to the 2019 FIRST World Championship.

Team 5029 and 8719 will both compete on the world stage at the Detroit Cobo Center April 24-27.

Team PowerStackers spans across the Dayton/Cincinnati area with fourteen student members in seventh through twelfth grades. Six of these students are from Mason High School:  Lakshmi Avanthsa, Vishnu Avanthsa, Neev Gupt, Rayhan Nazir, Kaavya Ramachandhran,  and  Brandon Young.

Team Quantum Leap is a fifth-year veteran FIRST Tech Challenge robotics team that consists of students from both MHS and Mason Middle School, including juniors Arnav Komaragiri and Michael Valcarce , sophomores Shankar Kalavakolanu and Shyam Sekar , and eighth-grader Eashan Vytla .

R ead more about Mason Robotics Teams.
MHS Students 'Outstanding' at UC Mock Trial; Mason White Finishes in Top 5 at Mock Trial Regional Tournament
Mason High School students achieved outstanding results at the 11th Annual University of Cincinnati High School Mock Trial Invitationals. The two Comet teams each went 2-0, winning both of their trials.

Every year, the Ohio Center for Law Related Education (OCLRE) publishes a case that has been litigated, or is under appeal in an Ohio court of law. The case includes witness testimony given for the defense or the prosecution of the case, as well as exhibits that can be entered into evidence and pertinent case law argued before an appellate court or the US Supreme Court.

Danielle Lyons  is the MHS Mock Trial head coach and  Pat George  is the assistant for the five Mason High School Mock Trial teams - Black, White, Green, Grey, and Green and White. 

R ead more about the Mock Trial Accomplishments .
In just 2 weeks, our community rallied around the Cooper Family and raised enough funds to ensure that Superintendent Jonathan Cooper's son Myles will soon have a service dog. Read the Chronicle's terrific coverage of the Cooper family's journey as they add a new member to their family. #CometCulture
MHS wrestler Chris Donathan is Ohio’s D1 State Champion in the 145 lb weight class!  Read this great article from the Cincinnati Enquirer about this senior’s amazing state championship match.
Your Mason Comet Girls swimmers are back-to-back Team Division 1 State Champions! Congrats to the team, and Coach Sullivan ! Read the Cincinnati Enquirer’s coverage .
We are so proud of Class of 2015's Garrett Popovich . This Comet was a life-saver in Comet Country for our staff and his classmates, so it is no surprise the impact he continues making on the world! Watch WLWT’s coverage of Officer Popovich saving a Florida driver from a sinking car!
MHS Forensics teacher Randy Hubbard and junior Evan Fletcher are working to bring light to the 20-year old cold case of Fairfield Ohio’s Laney Gwinner. It started as a class project; it’s become a mission. Watch Fox 19s coverage of their efforts.
MI 6th grader Alex Weaver ’s kindness, resilience and positive spirit recently resulted in him being named the Chick-fil-A Awesome Kid of the Week. He was nominated by his 5th grade teacher Chelsea Wirtz for his gracious Response that is a model for behaviors we want to lift up as part of our #CometCulture movement! Watch Channel 12 .
Saying Something is a huge part of how we #OwnTheMoment in #CometCulture. On Feb. 25, 3600 MHS Comets took the Sandy Hook Pledge to Say Something. Many thanks to SIBS advisor Jeff Schlaeger for all his efforts in bringing Nicole Hockley, mother of Dylan Hockley who was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary, to Mason. Watch the assembly.
Lots of possibilities as Western Row educators come together to dream and design the ideal Mason Elementary School experience - coming August 2019 for Mason City Schools 3rd and 4th graders in the former MI ⅘ building!
There are so many wonderful examples of our teachers being intentional about the book that students read. We love this book display in MI 5th grade teacher Amanda Schreiber ’s room in honor of Women’s History Month! #InclusiveExcellence
Congratulations to the William Mason H.S Wind Symphony on a fantastic performance at Wind Fest in Cincinnati Music Hall!
MHS's Mary-Ellen Theisen is featured in the spring edition of Center Pointe magazine , and you don't want to miss it! Her life motto is “Surround yourself with people who feed your fire.” And that’s exactly what she does for a whole lot of Mason teens through her work with Hope Squad and with English Language Learners at the high school.
So many students and staff TOTALLY rocked our socks in honor of World Down Syndrome Day. We're thankful for the people in our schools and community who have a little something extra - and also appreciate their friends, families, and staff supporters! #InclusiveExcellence
Orlando Named Kiwanis March Student of the Month
Mason High School senior Jake Orlando was recognized as The Kiwanis Club of Mason's March Student of the Month. Orlando was nominated by MHS Science teacher Elizabeth Coleman .

“Jake is in my AP Biology class which is very rigorous," shared Coleman. "He works very hard in my classroom and I think he is capable of many great achievements beyond high school. Jake is one of those people that I hope my own sons will grow up to be more like."

MHS Performing Arts Present the American classic, Chicago, High School Edition
Mason High School Performing Arts Present the American classic, Chicago, High School Edition .
On April 25, 26, 27, and 28, Mason High School Performing Arts will present the musical, Chicago, High School Edition , in the school’s Auditorium. Curtain on the April 26 is at 7pm, on April 27 and 28 at 8pm, and on April 29 at 3pm. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for students, children, and seniors. All senior citizen Mason Golden Comet Card holders a re invited to attend the final dress rehearsal on April 24 at 7pm free of charge, or can reserve a limited number of free tickets by calling the Public Information Office at 398-0474, option 7. Tickets will be available at the door one hour before curtain, or online at . Links and additional information can be found at .

R ead more about the American Classic, Chicago.
MCS Diversity Council to Host Civic Dinner: A DINEALOGUE on April 15
We believe meaningful conversation over food can spark real and lasting change. We often gravitate to “sameness” and we are hopeful that Civic Dinners will challenge us to diversify. We don’t connect to share our stories often enough, but are excited about having an opportunity to do so in this "dinealogue."
Join your neighbors on Monday, April 15, 2019 - 6-8pm in the Mason High School Large Commons for Mason's first Civic Dinner - a Dinealogue. Each attendee will bring a dish to pass and share. There will be 6-10 diverse guests per table. We will ensure a diverse guest list to generate multiple perspectives at the table. Sign Up Today!