December 18, 2017
Jonathan Cooper to be Next Mason City Schools Superintendent

Jonathan Cooper
After Superintendent Gail Kist-Kline announced she would retire at the end of the 2017-2018 school year, the Mason City School Board determined it was essential to select a chief executive who could keep the high-performing school district on its course of providing high impact learning, superb staff support, and deep parent and community partnerships.

On December 22, the Mason City Schools Board of Education voted unanimously to hire current Chief Innovation Officer, Jonathan Cooper, as superintendent, effective July 1, 2018.

Watch the announcement that was shared with Mason City Schools staff on Dec. 11.

"Staff and community members who have worked with Jonathan describe him as authentic, an inspiring unifier, a person who engenders trust and has a heart for others, who builds systems and cohesion, and forms positive, productive relationships," said Steele. "We are grateful that Mr. Cooper is ready and willing to lead our district, and we appreciate him taking on additional responsibilities during the transition."

The School Board also named Cooper as Deputy Superintendent beginning January 1. In that expanded role, he will oversee key personnel and Master Facilities Plan decisions, in addition to his current duties.

"I am honored that the School Board has entrusted me with this great responsibility. It is such a joy to be able to serve Mason's students, staff, families and community in an even deeper way. I have been fortunate to work closely with Dr. Kist-Kline and learn from her courageous leadership, and I'm excited to build on the foundation that she and our school board and dedicated staff have firmly established," said Cooper. "As a second generation educator, learning is my family's passion and it is our mission as a family to serve our community's schools."

Read more about Jonathan Cooper.

Andrews Thanked by Colleagues, Community:
Outgoing School Board Member Casts Important Vote During Last Meeting

Randy Andrews
The Mason City Schools community thanked outgoing School Board member Randy Andrews during his last Board of Education meeting on December 12.

"The old cliche is 'leave it better than you found it,' and I don't know if I can say that because it was in good shape when I got here.  I will continue to pray and hope for the very best for this district; it's my home. I made Sherman Terrace [a Mason neighborhood] my home for 58 years, and I'll still be a big part of Comet Country," Andrews said.

Andrews was elected to the school board in November 2013, and is finishing his service as the Board's Vice-President. The former Mason Middle School teacher graduated from William Mason High School in 1972, and spent a career mentoring Mason students. He taught eighth grade social studies for 25 years and was a middle school Athletic Director, high school assistant baseball coach, middle school basketball coach, and a member of the Mason High School Athletics Hall of Fame. Andrews retired from Mason City Schools in 2013.

Read more about Randy Andrews.
SB 216: A Step to Restore Local Control

Weddle and Rindler
Across the country, there has been a movement to regulate public schools and increase accountability measures by passing legislation and new regulations. While some of these efforts may help to improve school districts, there are many laws and regulations that restrict local control, create unfunded mandates, and increase unnecessary state assessments for students.

That's why we are so heartened by an important step taken by Senator Matt Huffman , and our own Senator Steve Wilson . In October, Sen. Huffman introduced SB 216 which begins to reduce some of these requirements for school districts. Sen. Steve Wilson, who is a member of  the Senate's education subcommittee, supports SB 216 and wants to see local boards of education's authority restored.

Mason Early Childhood Center kindergarten teacher Elizabeth Weddle and Kettering City Schools kindergarten teacher Jessie Rindler  offered proponent testimony on SB 216 - speaking about Ohio's Kindergarten Readiness Assessment that SB 216 proposes to eliminate.

Read more about SB 216 Advocacy Efforts.
WR Senior Holds Annual Senior Citizen Luncheon

WR Senior Citizen Lunch
Over 100 area senior citizens braved the cold to celebrate the holidays with their neighbors at Western Row Elementary on December 12.

"This is one of the very best events we do," said Eric Messer, Principal. "It is an honor for us to share a meal with these very special members of our community." 

Following lunch, two second grade homeroom classes, led by Western Row Music teacher Marylee Vennemeyer, performed several holiday songs, ending with "The Twelve Days of Christmas."  Twelve students, each representing one of the days and playing a different instrument, went into the audience and selected seniors to help play their instruments during the song.

Each guest received a framed One Hundred Years from Now poem and a handmade card thanking them for coming.

Start Times
The Mason City School District is exploring options regarding school start times, and seeks input from students, parents, staff and community members. Recent brain research has shown that implementing a later morning start time for middle and high school students benefits teens, whose sleep cycles shift around the time they enter puberty. Because of shared buses, proposals to change the secondary schools' start times may also change elementary school schedules, and may cost more than today's bus schedule. Changing schedules could also impact families' current childcare arrangements, and students' current extracurricular activity schedules.
There are many factors and options to consider, and getting feedback is a critical component in determining the best school start times for our district. The district is currently surveying Mason parents and students in grades 7-12. Surveys ask students and there will be no change to school start times during the 2018-2019 school year.
MMS Students Try Careers During Personal Learning Day

During Mason City Schools Personal Learning Day on November 20, over 150 Mason Middle School Students participated in four separate Junior Achievement Career Exploration opportunities.

Students explored careers with the City of Mason's Water Reclamation Plant and Engineering department, Hilliandale Communities / Chesterwood Village, Pioneer Cladding and Glazing Systems - Green Technologies, and UC West Chester Hospital.

"Junior Achievement Job Exploration is an opportunity for students to explore jobs and careers in a workplace environment during a one-time visit to a host site company," shared District Manager for Junior Achievement, Carol Lucio . "The ability for students to see the workplace, ask questions of employees/VPs/CEO's/Owners and others, and engaging in hands-on learning about the work of the business enables students to make important school-to-work connections. It's an invaluable learning experience."

View the Facebook Album.

Mason City Schools Science Academic Learning Coach Jill Arminio helped organize the trips, and many MMS staff members volunteered as chaperones.

Read more about the Personal Learning Day experiences.
MCS Winter Weather Protocols

With winter finally here, check out the handy-dandy Mason Schools Delay Schedule. In addition, here's how Mason City Schools Superintendent Dr. Gail Kist-Kline makes the decision to have school, delay or close.
The decision process starts early. School officials monitor multiple forecasting tools, travel the roads, and check the actual conditions. The City of Mason and Deerfield Township provide great service in clearing and maintaining our community's streets.
Read more about MCS weather protocols and how the decision is communicated.
MHS Chess Team Ends Season with Honors
MHS Chess Team
The Mason High School Chess Team ended the 2017 season with a slurry of honors.
The Team finished with a record of 15-1, and won the GMC tite after defeating both Sycamore and Lakota East.
After the end of the season voting concluded, the following MHS players won honors:
  • First Team All-GMC and Player of the Year - Anagh Kulkarni , Junior
  • First Team All-GMC - Brian Suganraj , Sophomore
  • Second Team All-GMC - Kalpak Duddella , sophomore & Kevin Zhu , Junior
  • Coach of the Year - Keith Brackenridge
Read more about the MHS Chess Team.
602 MHS Students Earn Perfect Attendance: 12 MHS Students Awarded GCCU Cash 

Perfect Attendance
During MHS's first semester, 602 students were at school every day and earned a chance to win cash from the Greater Cincinnati Credit Union. This marks the eleventh year that GCCU has sponsored the Perfect Attendance Program at MHS. Russ Henry from GCCU presented $100 to each of the honorees. The company donates $1,200 each semester for twelve students who maintain perfect attendance. GCCU also provides lunch to the winners and their guests during the awards ceremony, which was held on Tuesday, December 12.

The second semester's twelve GCCU winners were freshmen Collin Fleming, Nathan Schaufele, and Ann Vettikkal , sophomores Sophia Barker, Nicholas Flood, and Drashti Patel , juniors Jeremy Capehart, Madeline Fago, and Benjamin White , and seniors Joseph Deaton, Connor Garry, and Elissa Santoleri .

Read more about the Perfect Attendance Luncheon.
Mason Dance Center's Nutcracker Raises $ for After Prom

Mason Dance Center and Mason High School partnered to raise money for MHS' After Prom.
Ticket sales from MDC's The Nutcracker - All Jazzed Up! supported After Prom. 
Andrea Stephenson , a parent of After Prom attendee and MDC dancer Abby Stephenson , recognizes how important the partnership is for the community of Mason.
"After Prom is probably one of the most important events offered to students at Mason High School!  It provides a safe and fun place for students to be with their friends and gives parents comfort in knowing their children are safe during those late night hours following Prom," shared Stephenson.
Mason After Prom is sponsored by Mason High School Booster organizations, and funded without taxpayer dollars through the generous donations of businesses, parents, community organizations, and After Prom fundraisers. Its purpose is to provide students with an alternative to riskier activities sometimes associated with prom night. Once the After-Prom party begins, no cash is needed for any of the activities, food, drinks, door prizes or raffle prizes that the students and their guests can win!
Find out how to Support MHS After Prom.
High Fives to...

... MHS sophomore  Maanasa Mendu who recently shared her journey towards Global Electricity Access at TEDxVienna. Watch Maanasa's Ted Talk!

... MECC first grade teacher BJ Smallwood, whose small act of kindness - helping his student Bella by re-braiding her hair - was captured and tweeted by Assistant Principal Jen Johnson. Great example of how #MasonShines!

... MI Students & Staff, who are spreading words of encouragement to everyone throughout the school in a Snow Ball Challenge of positivity!

... Members of the new MHS Live Music Club , who are bringing some sensational soothing sounds to the halls of MHS with Live Music Friday. Check out this December 15th jam session !

... MMS Students and Staff, who joined in the national #TyKellyandChuck campaign to create, collect and send 100,000 thank yous letters to our troops overseas. #WhatReallyMatters

... WR ESL teacher Kasi Hockensmith, who helped her students create special holiday break calendars to help families know when to come to school in the coming weeks. #GrowingGreatnessTogether

... MHS Girls Basketball Coach Rob Matula, who had his 300th win on December 13 with a 46-21 win over Lakota East. Congrats Coach! Check out his team giving him a congratulatory silly string celebration !

... MECC kindergarten Polar Bears in Jessica Grabeman's classes, who made cookies and thank you cards for the construction workers who have been doing a great job on the MECC Master Facility Plan project in some very cold weather!

Morrissey Named Kiwanis November Student of the Month

Mason High School senior Kevin Morrissey was recognized as The Kiwanis Club of Mason's November Student of the Month. Morrissey was nominated by MHS School Counselor Megan Korengel and MHS Math Teacher Greg Roach.

Morrissey is involved in SIBS Leadership at MHS, is a Comet Skippers Team Captain, and also loves learning about other cultures and languages. Morrissey will be attending either Xavier University or the Ohio State University, and wants to teach seventh grade Spanish or ESL.
On November 16, the Kiwanis Club presented Morrissey with $50 and a certificate commemorating his achievement. Morrissey's parents, Brian and Heidi, assistant principal Dion Reyes, superintendent Dr. Gail Kist-Kline, and nominators Korengel and Roach joined the Kiwanians in recognizing Kevin'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 November Students of the Month

Mason Middle School is proud to announce the November Students of the Month.
They are: Joanne Amalraj, Jack Backer, Madelyn Baird, Nora Binkis, Kaden Bockelman, Emily Brutvan, Ian Burke, Anna Cannava, Ruhi Chopra, Ashley Cook, Jack Cooper, Drew Cox, Greta Coyner, Ben Crane, Shreya Doshi, Laina Fish, Ben Fosnot, Ava Franke, Quentin Galeano, Sam Gonzalez, Madelyn Haaga, Ava Hartmann, Bekah Hufnagel, Noora Huq, Tanvi Jadhav, Colin Juffer, Keshav Kamat, Levi Kelly, Katy Kendall, Jacob Kleine, Kristie Liew, Rishi Manoharan, Maya McReynolds, Evie Mendelsohn, Arjun Narang, Ogden Nijakowski, Jacquelyn Patterson, Kristina Pennetti, Samantha Pennington, Lauren Rea, Eric Reigelsperger, Abigail Renners, Rachael Ruble, Ella Schlaeger, Dominic Scott, Libby Sears, Katelyn Shoesmith, Owen Summers, Rebekah Tekeste, Luke Thomas, Drew Vaughan, Daniel Vennemeyer, Yuva Vidwans, Isabelle Zellner and Holly Zeuch .
Read more about the November Students of the Month.
MHS Recognizes December Rotary Royalty

Congratulations to the 27 Mason High School students who were recognized as December'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. Alena Stevens 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.

The following students were nominated for the Rotary Royalty program in December: Dhruv Agrawal, Mackenzie Anton, Karina Ashton, Kayla Baah, Melissa Beckman, Jewel Boateng, Michael Bunton, Wesley Byrge, Kaitlyn Charlton, Ainsley Dean, Andrew Erbacher, Amilya Eustace, Jillian Finkel, Timothy Luong, Abby Miller, Amelia Moran, Jessica Nelson, Nicholas O'Brien, Hannah Parsons, Jewell Powell, Victoria Rupert, Alena Stevens, Kaylee Vance, Allison Weekley, Callie Wilks, Kyren Yang, and Zhu Ying Yao Pei.
Terribilini Named Kiwanis December Student of the Month
Sam Terribilini

Mason High School senior Sam Terribilini was recognized as The Kiwanis Club of Mason's December Student of the Month. Morrissey was nominated by MHS Director of Choirs Jason McKee.

A leader in Mason's a capella choir NOTEorious, Terribilini is also one of three Mason students selected for this year's OMEA All-State Choir. He is the only student in MHS history to be in Honors Concert Choir all four years of high school. Terribilini  wants to study music education in college, and hopes to someday be a choir director. During his Personal Learning Day, he visited other area high schools to shadow their choir directors.
On December 7, the Kiwanis Club presented Terribilini with $100 and a certificate commemorating his achievement. Terribilini's parents, Mark and Stephanie, assistant principal Dion Reyes, superintendent Dr. Gail Kist-Kline, and nominator Mr. McKee joined the Kiwanians in recognizing Sam's accomplishments. The Mason Kiwanis Club meets weekly at noon at the Houston Restaurant in Mason. The December Student of the Month presentation took place during the annual Kiwanis Holiday Luncheon, held at the Mason Intermediate 4/5 Kiva.

Read more about the December Student of the Month.
Mason City Schools  |
For information, email Tracey Carson at