January 19, 2017
Galvin Sworn In as New Mason School Board Member: Steele, Yingling Also Begin New Terms

The Mason City School Board welcomed its newest member January 9. Charles Galvin and his family moved to Mason last year, and the young attorney and father is excited to serve his community.

"I feel honored to have been elected to the Mason City School Board. My daughter will be entering kindergarten towards the end of this four-year term, and it is exciting to be part of the team that imagines education for the next generation of Mason Comets," said Galvin. "When we moved to Mason, we learned about the exciting new changes taking place at MECC, Ml, and MMS over the next few years [with the Master Facilities Plan.] We also learned that the last operating levy Mason passed was in 2005, and that the most recent 5-year forecast presented by the district's treasurer anticipated an operating deficit in the not-too­-distant future. I want to do what I can to ensure financial stability for Mason."

Treasurer Shaun Bevan also administered the oath of office to incumbents Matt Steele and Connie Yingling. Galvin, Steele and Yingling will serve through 2021.

During the organizational meeting, the board re-appointed Matt Steele as president, and appointed Kevin Wise as vice-president for 2018. Galvin was appointed as the legislative liaison to the Ohio School Boards Association and Courtney Allen was re-appointed as the student achievement liaison to the Ohio School Boards Association.

Read more about the Board's Newest Member.
MMS Principal Named District's Chief Talent Officer

A long-time school administrator has been hired to build and lead recruitment and retention efforts for the Mason City School District. The school board unanimously voted to hire Mason Middle School Principal Tonya McCall as the high-performing school district's Chief Talent Officer beginning August 1.

"I just want to say thank you for this opportunity. I have had the honor and privilege of being a part of Mason City Schools for 20 years serving as an administrator. It is really exciting to take on a different role, and I appreciate the confidence you have in me to take on a new challenge and to be able to impact the district in a different way," McCall said during the board meeting on January 9.

McCall, in partnership with Dr. Michelle Means Walker, has been overseeing the Mason City School District's human resources department since September. She has also continued to serve as Mason Middle School Principal.

The Mason City School District seeks an outstanding educational leader for the position of Middle School Principal who possesses strong character and integrity, is culturally proficient and thinks in a visionary, global manner, and fosters positive relationships with students, staff, families and the community.

Mason Schools Response to Offensive Remark

Our school district was recently in the spotlight for a thoughtless and offensive remark made to an African American student. There's no explanation or defense that would make such a comment appropriate in any setting. It was wrong. Racism is real in America, and we all have an obligation to fight it.

Those of us who've dedicated our lives to educating others understand that everything that happens in and around a school is important because it involves our most precious asset; our children. We also realize that we must use even the most difficult moments as an opportunity to reflect, grow, and learn. 

We recognize that we have much more work to do. We know we have ground to make up with those we've let down. We will not shy away from difficult conversations that may be hard and messy. We will continue to engage with our community on issues of racism and discrimination.

We appreciate those who challenge us to be better, and we are eager to engage in the work that ensures that all of our community's children feel safe, welcomed and valued while in our schools.

Watch Superintendent Dr. Gail Kist-Kline, Mason Middle School Principal Tonya McCall and Deputy Superintendent Jonathan Cooper  share their thoughts about what school leaders are learning and doing. "The teacher has apologized, but we feel like we need to apologize as well - to the student and family, but also to all those we've let down."

Read the entire Mason School's Response.

MI Snowball Challenge Encourages Kindness

Mason Intermediate students spread positivity through the building as a simple way to "give" to others during the winter months. The 'Snowball Challenge' consisted of students sharing thoughtful words throughout MI - specifically on crafted snowballs taped to lockers, and teacher and staff doors.

"The students and teachers here at MI really impressed me during the snowball challenge! The heartfelt notes, quotes, and sketches blasted around the campus were AMAZING," shared Lindsey Colvin, Team Innovation sixth grade science teacher.

The Mason Intermediate Pride Committee, a teacher led team composed of many individuals on the MI campus, has been implementing weekly and biweekly challenges for students. The goal is to create opportunities that build pride and community, continuing the MI Strong theme.

Read more about MI's Snowball Challenge.

Mason Intermediate sixth graders in Joan Davis's gifted class have succeeded where many have failed-- in the stock market!

A four-student team of Davis's that participated in the Stock Market Game, sponsored by the University of Cincinnati Center of Economics, won the fall competition, beating out 533 other Ohio elementary, middle, and high school teams. The winning MI sixth graders included Jack Berry, Ryan Feuerborn, Daud Malik, and Sachet Pati.

"By participating in this game, the students experienced first hand how our economy works and how several factors can affect stock prices," shared Davis. "The best part is that they had fun while learning a great deal about finance and economics that will be useful to their everyday lives!"

Read more about MI's Stock Market Game Win.

WR Second Graders Hold Culture Fair

A Western Row Cultural Fair recently celebrated all the cultures and countries around the world represented at the school.

"Cultures develop in unique ways, and in the past, we have "traveled around the world" and studied four or five countries of the teacher's choice," explained second grade teacher Anna Marie Palluconi. "We have so much diversity in our classes, and I wanted to celebrate that."

Fellow Western Row second grade teacher Kori Harris and Palluconi also wanted to increase student engagement by giving students ownership and choice. After the classes "traveled around the world," Harris and Palluconi presented the students with an open ended project. 

Students could research any country they were interested in, whether it was their own culture, or just a culture they wanted to learn more about.  The students spent a few days researching the languages, holidays, customs, traditions and any other interesting facts they could find. After they completed their research, students decided how they wanted to present. 

Read more about WR's Culture Fair.
MI Team Collects Socks for 'Happy Feet'

Mason Intermediate sixth graders on Team Endeavor, Team Patriots and Team Success are collecting socks to create 'Happy Feet!'

"In conjunction with our Social Issues unit, we'd like to give the students an opportunity to help those experiencing homelessness in our area," explained MI Team Success sixth grade teacher Kelly Affatato. "An easy, but greatly beneficial way our kids can do this is by collecting socks and flip flops for the homeless."

The items will be collected between January 16-26. 
MCS Looking for Science Fair Judges
The Mason City Schools Science Fair needs judges for 2018! The Thursday, February 1, 2018 event hosts approximately 150 middle school and high school students. Our students are eager to learn from local community members as they continue on their path to becoming future scientists. If you are interested in judging our projects please fill out this short survey. An email confirmation will be sent in the near future.

Complete the Science Fair Judges Application to volunteer.
Read more about being a Science Fair judge.
MI Presents Nonfiction Fashion Show

Students in Mason Intermediate fourth grade teachers April Raleigh and Julianna Traxler's Language Arts classes recently presented a Nonfiction Fashion Show.

Students dressed up as nonfiction characters - such as Nelson Mandela, Cleopatra, and even Woody Hayes. All 51 of Raleigh and Traxler's students got into character to share what they have learned.

Watch this clip from the Show!

"Allowing the students to choose who they wanted to research and learn more about really helped them take off and stay engaged in the project," shared Raleigh. "It was great to see each student shine in their own way at the fashion show."

Read more about the Nonfiction Fashion Show.
MHS Students 'Outstanding' at UC Mock Trial

Mason High School students achieved outstanding results at the 10th Annual University of Cincinnati High School Mock Trial Invitationals on January 6 and 7 at the University of Cincinnati College of Law.

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

MHS students won the following titles:
Best Attorney - Shreya Gundavarpu
Outstanding Witness - Navya Kappuesetty
Best Attorney - Mikee Loyola
Outstanding Witness - Alberto Morales
Oustanding Witness - Alex Suarez

Read more about MHS' Mock Trial results.
Mason Sixth Graders Brighten the Holiday Season for Local Elderly

Mason Intermediate sixth graders on
Team Venture participated in a service project that prepared hearts and minds for the holiday season. Twenty-two students, parents, and teachers visited the Mason Health Care Center after school on December 21. Students helped elderly residents at the center create crafts, while also spontaneously singing Christmas Carols with the residents as they worked. 

"For many of our students, working one on one with an elderly resident was a step outside of their comfort zone. " said Team Venture teacher Tina Orlando.  "I was touched by how brave and compassionate our kids were throughout our entire visit." 

This marks the eleventh year for Team Venture's community service program. Team Venture teachers created the group "Venture Out!" to provide students with service opportunities, at least once a month throughout the year.

Read more about MI's Service Project.
High Fives to...

...  MECC, WR, and MI Readers, who are busy reading this week as part of the Mason Schools Foundation Reading Challenge! The week of Jan. 22-26 is time to turn in money for this important fundraiser that takes kids above and beyond. Check out this awesome video created by MHS Integrated Media students that tells more about the 2018 Reading Challenge!

...  our AMAZING Custodial Staff , who do so many things to make sure our schools are safe and clean - particularly during this wild Ohio winter! After a power outage on January 5th, the Central alarm system for the MMS heating and cooling units failed. The Middle School's 1960s era heating system uses coils filled with water. Unfortunately, the coils froze during the extreme cold - causing some classrooms to get flooded with water. Our dedicated custodial staff discovered this over the weekend and did a tremendous job to ensure that school was ready for kids and staff. They even added some temporary heaters to make sure that temperatures are suitable for learning. All of this is a great reminder of our wonderful people, and why we're so excited to begin the total renovation of MMS next school year as part of our Master Facilities Plan!

...  Mason administrators & teachers playing in the Comets for Common Ground Wheelchair Basketball Game ! Don't miss seeing Mason City Schools staff take on the Cincinnati Royals in an epic game of wheelchair basketball on January 27th from 5-7pm. All proceeds benefit Common Ground, an all-inclusive Playground in our community. Watch the video to learn more!

...  MHS Cross Country Coach Tom Rapp, who was named the  Cincinnati Enquirer's Division 1 Coach of the Year ! Congrats, too, to 1st Team Abel Nijakowski, Michael Uematsu, Isaiah Kelly, and Jagger Vetter and Honorable Mentions Johan Meyer, Micah Champagne, and Brogan Doran

MMS January Students of the Month

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

About MMS 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.

See the full list of MMS January Students of the Month.
Turner Named Kiwanis January Student of the Month 

Mason High School senior Delaney Turner was recognized as The Kiwanis Club of Mason's January Student of the Month. Morrissey was nominated by MHS Student Activities Director Lorri Fox Allen.

"Delaney, in my opinion, is more than deserving of this honor as she someone who does the right thing, time and time again, not for a resume-builder but because it is genuinely in her heart to serve others," said Allen.

Turner is an Editor of the Chronicle, invested in Young Life, and involved in SIBS Leadership at MHS where she has spearheaded the Comets for Common Ground initiative. Turner will attend the University of Cincinnati in the fall, and wants to become a speech and language pathologist or a special educator.

Mason High School Performing Arts Presents Cyrano de Bergerac

Mason High School Performing Arts will present Cyrano de Bergerac on January 26 and 27, and February 2 and 3 in the MHS Studio Theater. Curtain on teach day is at 8pm, with a 3pm matinee also scheduled for January 27. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for students, children, and seniors. All senior citizen Mason Golden Comet Card holders are invited to attend the final dress rehearsal on January 25 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 www.masondrama.com.

Cyrano has a cast of 15 students and features Gerardo Contreras as Cyrano, Anna Kosiarek as Roxanne, and Daniel Carr as Christian, The show is stage managed by Kora Hanson, assistant directed by Juliana Zacher and Arnav Karmath, and assistant technical directed by Sarah Epstein. The play is produced by special arrangement with Samuel French.

Read more about Cyrano de Bergerac.
Celebrate Mason City Schools Diversity during the 10th Annual "Taste of Mason" on Feb. 7

Don't miss the tenth anniversary of "Taste of Mason" - which showcases our community's diversity!

WHAT: At the Taste of Mason you can sample a new dish, catch up with old friends, and be mesmerized by incredible talent! Enjoy exciting offerings from many ethnic, and independent Mason restaurants. Watch multicultural acts perform. Children can enjoy a global carnival hosted by MHS World Language Societies, and get their passports stamped while purchasing items at the Comet Zone with global currency from the Comet Savings & Loan

WHEN: Wednesday, February 7, 2018
5:00 pm to 8:00 pm

WHERE: Mason High School Commons
6100 Mason-Montgomery Rd.

FOOD: The Mason City Schools Diversity Council's tenth annual Taste of Mason event features the finest global offerings from noted local vendors including: Aponte's Pizzeria, Cazadores Mexican, Chan's Asian Wok, Divine Appetite Café, L'Crepe, Persis Biryani Indian Grill, Soho Japanese Bistro, Sweet's Zone Bakery, The Mason Grill, Troy's Café, Two Cities Pizza, Zoup!, and 20 Mile Deli.


COST: Free admission! Food vendors charge modest prices for their offerings.

Taste of Mason is sponsored by the Manor House and STUGO (MHS Student Government)

Mason City Schools' Diversity Vision and Value Statement
Our vision is to build an equitable, inclusive, and responsive learning community which values the dignity and uniqueness of all students, staff, and members of the community.

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