February 28, 2018
MHS Junior Earns Perfect ACT on 1st Try

Mason High School junior
Soumya Jaiswal
Jaiswal didn't expect to earn a perfect score on the ACT exam. But that's exactly what happened for the 16-year-old on her first try at the rigorous academic test when she took it in December.

Now, Jaiswal joins a small but impressive group. Less than 0.1 percent of students nationally achieve a perfect score of 36 on the exam - though students in the Mason City School District have done particularly well on the exam recently.

Jaiswal is the fourth student in the district to be recognized for a perfect score on the ACT this school year. Other MHS students who have earned a perfect score include  Victor Chen Jenny Hong , and  Jake Kandell .

Jaiswal loves science and writing. She would like to facilitate more discussion about science's impact on people and the planet, and is interested in pursuing scientific journalism.

MCS Continues to Evaluate School Safety Measures

Our hearts continue to ache for all who are impacted by the tragic events in Broward County, Florida at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. It is with deep sorrow that 19 years after the school shooting at Columbine High School and six years after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School that we are grieving for another seventeen lives lost.

Protecting our students and staff will always be our top priority. Still, there is no guarantee that any school will be completely safe from crime, violence, or disaster. There are many political debates about what should be done about gun violence. We believe school safety is a complex, community issue that needs a multi-faceted approach with input from students, staff, parents, and residents.
District Safety Program & Practices
Mason has implemented several new initiatives in recent years to increase the safety of our schools. That work is ongoing, and our safety plans are never "finished products." Our safety protocols are reviewed regularly by our District's Safe and Inviting Schools Committee which meets at least six times a year and is made up of staff, parents, community members, and Mason Fire Department and Mason Police Department officials.

Some aspects of our district safety plan are visible to the public, while others are not. Read about our current practices.
Safety Updates
Following the events in Florida, district and school administrators and law enforcement personnel met and are updating the district's safety plan in the following ways:
  • Adding more School Resource Officers. Currently we have one School Resource Officer who is located at MHS and one DARE Officer who is located at Mason Intermediate School.
  • Requiring quarterly ALICE drills for each school.
  • Placing signage at every school exterior door directing visitors to the main entrance, and students and staff have been reminded that they should never "prop" doors open, or open doors for students or visitors during the school day.
  • Conducting additional safety audits with the Mason Police Department as well as private security firms.
District officials will continue to work with safety partners in reviewing other security concepts including bullet-proof windows and classroom door barricades.

Prevention Efforts
We strongly believe that we can better inoculate children against turning to violence by creating schools where students feel safe and supported. Read about our investments in mental wellness and prevention.

Listening to Our Students

Our students are speaking up and asking to demonstrate their support of the Stoneman Douglas community. We are working with student leaders to listen to their concerns, and to support their vision in a safe and effective way. Any demonstrations are not school-sanctioned, and employees are not allowed to participate in walkouts that occur during the school day because teachers have an obligation to support students and it is inappropriate for staff to persuade or influence students to support a particular political cause.

 Learn more about how you can help.

MI's Black History Bowl Celebrates African-American History
Team Infinity

Mason Intermediate School's twelfth Annual Black History Bowl proved to be a fun, competitive educational event for the fifth grade class - organized and facilitated by fifth grade teachers, Jocelyn Burlew and Nick Washington . The competition started in November when students took a qualifying test to earn a spot on the Black History Bowl team for their class. 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 14.

Special congratulations to Laasya Acharya, Will Clipson, Taylor Murray, Julia Upchurch, Alex Weaver , and Mihir Mahajani on Team Infinity , the 2018 Black History Bowl Winners. Congratulations also to second place Team Imagination , which included Abhinav Chaladi, Zoe Fowler, Mallory Mecum, Sai Nallani, Nikita Rajaram , and Aditya Singh .

Read more about the Black History Bowl.
MHS Students Win UC Shark Tank Pitch Competition

Shark Tank
Mason High School freshman Pranav Yenugu , junior Juan Gaudiano , and Elder High School student Jarred Kelly tied for first place at UC's Shark Tank LAUNCH! Pitch Competition. The two teams split the $1,000 prize. Yenugu and Guadiano have now been invited to the University of Cincinnati Student Incubator.

The MHS team pitched SafeDeliv , a mail and package delivery security technology. SafeDeliv is a little gadget that sits in a mailbox, and is accompanied by a mobile app. 

Mason City Schools Deputy Superintendent, Jonathan Cooper, was an integral part in sharing the opportunity with students. 

"We are so proud of our students who have adopted an Innovator's mindset and excellence, while pursuing this community opportunity to showcase their ambition, entrepreneurship, leadership abilities and achievements," shared Cooper. "We are excited about what this means for them in the future as they go to market with their product."

Read more about the competition.
The Two Bite Club
Mason Early Childhood Center Kindergarteners in Susan Ulery's classroom got a lesson in nutrition education from Mason City Schools very own Child Nutrition Supervisor, Tamara Earl .

On February 22, Earl gave a presentation to both Ulery's AM and PM Kindergarten classes on the importance of healthy eating. A book called The Two Bite Club that encourages at least two bites of something before deciding whether or not it tastes good was read to the students by the MCS dietetic Intern, Kaitlyn Payne .

Earl, Child Nutrition Assistant Supervisor Janelle Brunswick , and Payne from the University of Cincinnati, brought mangos and edamame to share with the class.

Read more about The Two Bite Club.
MCS Earns 8th Annual AP District Honor Roll

Mason City Schools is one of 447 school districts in the U.S. and Canada being honored by the College Board with
placement on the 8th Annual AP® District Honor Roll. These chosen districts simultaneously achieved increases in access to Advanced Placement® courses for a broader number of students and also maintained or improved the rate at which their AP® students earned scores of 3 or higher on an AP Exam. Mason has achieved the recognition each year since the award's inception.

Achieving increased access and student performance is the ideal scenario for a district's AP program because it indicates that the district is successfully identifying motivated, academically prepared students who are likely to benefit most from rigorous AP course work. For the Class of 2017, 70 percent of the class took at least one AP class, and 88.54 percent of the students enrolled in a class took the exam.

Learn more about Mason's AP program .

National data from 2017 show approximately 50% of underrepresented students with a high degree of readiness for AP are participating in the program.

Learn more about the  criteria  for the AP District Honor Roll.
92 MCS Musicians Selected for District XIII Honor Band

Ninety-two Mason City Schools students were selected to perform with the Ohio Music  Education Association District 13 Honor Bands, including 43 Mason High School students and 49 Mason Middle School students. MHS and MMS hosted the OMEA District 13 Honor Band event s on January 14, 15, and 16. Students from four local counties (Butler, Clermont, Preble, and Warren) were selected through an audition process to participate in the seventh, eighth, and ninth grade bands, and two tenth through twelfth grade Honor Bands.

Although one of the rehearsals had to be cancelled due to inclement weather, the students worked very hard all weekend to prepare for their concert. "This is a great event for students from schools in our area to meet new friends and make music together!" said Zach Hinson, MMS Band Director. The weekend culminated in a concert after students worked with guest clinicians from around the country.

View the list of selected students.

MHS Wind Symphony Performs Joint Concert at BGSU

"An educational and musical success!" That's how Mason High School Band Director
Edward Protzman described the Wind Symphony's concert at Bowling Green State University on February 1, 2018.

Protzman said the staff and students of BGSU were "amazing" about ensuring that his group felt welcome and important. While on campus, the MHS musicians, along with Protzman and fellow directors Johnnie Green and Joseph Woodie , interacted with BGSU's Thompson, Dr. Michael King , and a group of the school's music education majors. Prior to Mason's on-campus rehearsal, Dr. Jeffrey Showell , Dean of BGSU's College of Musical Arts, took time to welcome and talk with the group from MHS.

Read more about the joint concert at BGSU .
31 Mason Students to Compete at UC Science Fair 

Thirty-one Mason City Schools students will present their projects during the 13th Annual UC Science and Engineering Expo on March 10.  Students from school districts across southwest 
Ohio will present at this event for scholarships and other awards.  Mason Middle School and Mason High School students who earned a superior rating at the January 26 Mason Science Fair were eligible to attend the UC fair.

A "superior" is the best rating a student can get on a project.

View the list of students who earned at top rating and will also be moving onto the UC Science and Engineering Expo.
Seven MHS Creative Artists' Talent Recognized by Overture Awards 

Seven Mason High School students advanced to the semifinals of the Cincinnati Arts Association's Overture Awards Competition, 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. MHS semifinalists include sophomore
Judi Hu (Dance), senior Emma Jenkins (Vocal), junior Alexandra Lisa (Creative Writing), junior Emma Miller (vocal), freshman Claire Northcut (Theater), senior Sam Terribilini (vocal), and junior Juliana Zacher (vocal).

"We are so proud of these Mason students who were chosen to participate in Overtures!  Our community and schools highly value the arts, and these students all beautifully demonstrate the power of our students pursuing their passion," said MCS Public Information Officer Tracey Carson.

Mason Destination Instant Challenge Night Prepares Teams for Regionals 

More than 300 students and community members participated in the Mason Destination Instant Challenge Night on February 8 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 will be at the Regional Tournament at Miami University on March 3. There were 34 Mason teams who participated, all of whom had adult volunteers supervising stations that teams of seven students cycled through round-robin style.
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  has grown our District's participation from fewer than ten teams to more than 40 - several of which advance from our Regional tournament to compete at the State and even Global levels with thousands of students from all over the globe.
Read more about Destination Imagination.
MI 6th Grader Wins MI Spelling Bee;
Qualifies for Regional Spelling Bee

Mason Intermediate School's Team
Endeavor sixth grader Srinidhi Valathappan clinched the top spot in the school's annual Spelling Bee. Now, she's headed to the Regional Bee on March 17 at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy.

"Congratulations to Srinidhi! She has qualified to participate in the WCPO 9 On Your Side Region II Spelling Bee!" shared MI sixth grade Language Arts and Social Studies teacher Lindsey Romlein. "We are so proud to have Srinidhi represent Mason Intermediate at the regional bee, and wish her the very best luck!"

Valathappan was crowned champion after spelling the winning word "telegenic!" The runner up was fifth grader Vivian Chang from Team Carpe Diem. There were 16 participants total in this year's Bee.

MMS's Das Wins School Spelling Bee;
Headed to Regionals

With a careful
c-l-o-u-g-h Mason Middle School seventh grader Samvit Das clinched first place in the Mason Middle School Spelling Bee. Other words Das spelled correctly in the Bee? Incongruous, coquelicot, and slumgullion!
All seventh and eighth graders competed in the school wide spelling bee in their language arts classes in the fall of 2017 . The runner-up in the Bee was Nihar Kidkani.

"The final two spellers were exhausted when the Bee officially came to an end," said MMS Spelling Bee Coordinator and Language Arts teacher Joe Carraher .  "The Bee in its entirety lasted 11 rounds with the final 6 rounds occurring between only Samvit and Nihar."

Das was one of 65 spellers from the tri-state area to score at least a 33 on the online spelling and vocabulary test completed on February 1. Out of a possible score of 50, Das scored a 43. The Region II Bee is March 17 and will be streamed live on WCPO.com, and then re-broadcasted on WCPO Channel 9 beginning in April.
MMS Visual Art Students Accepted into State Art Exhibits

Mason Middle School seventh graders Cynthia Shao and Audrey Theuring have had their artwork selected to represent the southwest region of Ohio in two state art exhibitions.

Shao's artwork will be a part of the 2018 Youth Art Month Art Exhibition. This exhibition includes 135 exemplary works of art by Ohio students from kindergarten through eighth grade.  

Theuring's artwork has been accepted into the 38th Ohio Art Education Association (OAEA)
Young People's Art Exhibition. This is an art exhibition by Ohio students encompassing grades kindergarten through eighth. A reception will be held on March 3 at 11:00am in the Rhodes State Office Tower Building in Columbus.  

Read more about the state art exhibitions.
MI Sixth Graders Raise Money for Crohn's Research

Mason Intermediate sixth graders on
Team Patriots teamed up with Team Success and Team Endeavor for the fifth annual Penny War to raise money for Crohn's Research at Children's Hospital. The 'War' ran February 5-9.
"It is a disease that definitely impacts many students throughout our school district," shared sixth grade science teacher Susan Grable . "Our students joined efforts to raise money for Crohn's research with both enthusiasm and resolve. They thoroughly enjoyed the competition for a good cause, and each day was a special day for students."
Students presented a $2,831.40 check to Cincinnati Children's Hospital IBD Research Department on February 15.  Team Patriots' five-year total raised from Penny Wars is more than $10,000.

Read more about the MI Penny War.
For more information on Crohn's Disease, visit ccfa.org . Together, we can make a difference!
High Fives to...

... Our OH DIV I State Swim Champs and their coach, Mark Sullivan!
Congrats, also, to Allison Bloebaum - 4 time state champion in the 500 Free and repeat on the 200 Free! We're so very proud of all these awesome women who are kind, smart, dedicated & fast! Read the Cincinnati Enquirer's  coverage of their historic win that garnered MHS Women's Swimming their first team title.

...WR & MECC PTOs, who ensured that students and their parents celebrated each other with adorable KISS and Sweetheart Dances.

...2016 & 2017 Team Imagination members,
who won 2nd place in the Black History Quiz Bowl at the Freedom Center! The kids met in January and February approximately 12 - 15 hours as a group and studied 1,346 facts to prepare for the competition! This is the 3rd year that Team Imagination students & alum have competed.

...MHS Mandarin teacher
Ling Ling Nian and MHS Mandarin Students , who once again organized an incredible Lunar New Year Celebration to usher in the Year of the Dog. The New Year Program featured fortune telling, calligraphy, dumpling making, paper cutting and folding, tradition Chinese games, traditional and modern Chinese dances and skits. 

...MHS's MIC (Mason Inclusion Club) , whose well-attended Black History Month Lecture Series offered a powerful opportunity to learn about and honor African-American voices in our schools and community.

... Our Community, who stepped up and raised over $19,000 in 15 days to support a Comet Family in need.  Watch WKRC Local 12's coverage.

... Mason City Schools Counselors , who have a tremendous impact on our students. Our School Counselors help keep students emotionally healthy and ready to learn. We appreciate what they do every day!
Come to the Black History Month Book Discussion on 2/28/18

Discuss Dr. Beverly Tatum's National bestseller that is celebrating its 20th anniversary.
On Feb. 28 at 7pm come together in the MHS Learning Commons for an open discussion (cross-culturally and cross-racially) about Race.
Read this interview  with Dr. Tatum in the Atlantic .
Haven't read the whole book? Don't worry! Check out these "Mason Spark Notes."
The discussion will be facilitated by Marla Marsh and Monica Marsh.
Schewe Named Kiwanis Student of the Month

Mason High School senior  Emma Schewe was recognized as The Kiwanis Club of Mason's February Student of the Month. Schewe was nominated by Teacher Academy Teacher  Marcie Blamer.

Schewe is a Teacher Academy class mentor for MECC students. She will attend Wittenberg University in the fall, and wants to become a n elementary teacher.

On February 15 , the Kiwanis Club presented Schewe with $100, a Kiwanis bell, and a certificate commemorating
her achievement. Schewe's parents,  Ronald and Sarah, assistant principal  Amy Hull, superintendent Dr. Gail Kist-Kline, and nominator Blamer joined the Kiwanians in recognizing Emma's accomplishments. The Mason Kiwanis Club meets weekly at noon at the Houston Restaurant in Mason.

Read more about the Kiwanis Student of the Month .
MMS February Students of the Month

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

View the complete list and read more about the February Students of the Month .
MHS Recognizes February Rotary Royalty

Congratulations to the 64 Mason High School students who were recognized as February'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. Sarah Kehoe 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 MHS Rotary Royalty .
Nominate a Distinguished MHS Alum

Nominations are now being accepted for the William Mason High School Distinguished Alumni Awards presented by Mason High School and the Mason Schools Foundation.

The award recognizes one MHS grad noted in his or her field of endeavor or recognized for expertise and good work who graduated at least 20 years ago. The Honoree must show leadership, humanitarianism, service, creativity, and/or career contributions in one of six categories: Arts/Humanities, Business/Industry, Community Service, Education, Public Service or Special Recognition. 

MHS Distinguished Alumni include:
Priscilla Batsche Ungers , Class of 1973,Mike Chipman , MHS Class of 1965, Greg Elfers , MHS Class of 1970, Ken Natorp , MHS Class of 1963,  Les Spaeth , MHS Class of 1942 Richard Schwein , MHS Class of 1955, and Al Voorhis , MHS Class of 1944.

Informational packets with  nomination forms are available at Mason High School and at the Mason Central Office.

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