September 13, 2016
Kindness: It's What Really Matters

During this year's Opening Day 
Ceremony for our entire staff, we 
watched a  moving video of our colleagues sharing 

Staying focused on what really matters
helps ensure that we know to call upon our core values when things get hard. Our school community has weathered some storms over the last 3 weeks, but none so painful as when one of our students dies by suicide. Several Mason High School sophomores saw that pain, and felt moved to help by focusing on "What Really Matters." On August 31, MHS students and staff were greeted with thousands of heartfelt messages of hope and healing - thanks to these kind sophomores for reaching out: Anna Aronson, Erica English, Michelle Crispin, Ellie Uematsu & Jessica Morse (who is not even a MHS student, but wanted to help.) Their movement has gone national, and we couldn't be more grateful for the reminder that we all can make a difference - just by taking the time to acknowledge the specialness that lies in each of us.

ABC News, After Student's Suicide, Students Leave Encouraging Notes on Over 3,600 Lockers in Ohio High School

The Today Show, Students Comfort Their Grieving High School with Locker Notes for Every Kid

September is Suicide Prevention Month. During the week of September 26th, Mason High School will encourage Acts of Kindness each day, and will join the #HopeIs challenge. If someone you know needs help, call the 24-hour Warren County Crisis Hotline: 
1-877-695-NEED, or use our SafeSchools Tipline.
MHS's Suresh Earns Perfect ACT Score

Yep, he's perfect. MHS Junior Suraj Suresh scored a 36 on his ACT. But, at the August 23  school board meeting
when asked how he celebrated earning the score that less than one-tenth of one percent of ACT test takers attain? He laid this piece of wisdom on the crowd, "I didn't - it's just a test."

"We are very impressed with Suraj's accomplishments - and perhaps even more proud of his humble attitude. While test scores are just one of the many criteria that most colleges consider when making admission decisions, his exceptional ACT composite score should prove helpful as he pursues his education and career goals," shared MHS Principal Dave Hyatt.

Read more about Suraj Suresh.
MI Fifth Graders Meet Paraolympians

Mason Intermediate students are
getting a crash course in what the human spirit can accomplish. Fifth grade Gifted Intervention Specialists Vicki Chappell and Lynne Hutchinson started a new unit of study with their students on the Paralympic Games. Chappell and Hutchinson had three guest speakers talk to their students in preparation for this year's Paralympics - which take place in Rio September 7-18, 2016. Dr. Kara Ayers, a 2004 Paralympian and Mason Resident, came August 29, April Kerley, a 2008 Paralympian and Mason Resident, presented August 31, and Jake Counts, a 2008 Paralympian presented on Sept. 7. Counts' presentation was funded by the MI PTO.

Read more about the guest speakers.
Scout Renovates MI Environmental Study Area

Little did fifth grade Mason Intermediate Math and Science teacher Maddy Rossetti know
that one simple comment in 2014 would turn into a two year renovation project at MI.

"A few years ago we were out by the ESA (Environmental Study Area behind MI) and I was talking to the kids about how we really need to get the dock repaired. One of my students, Lucas Ralston , said he was in boy scouts and could ask his Troop Master if there was anything they could do," remembered Rossetti. "The Troop Master reached out and said he knew that Samuel Kachur of Troop 43 was working on his Eagle Scout project. From there, Sam and I made plans to get the project up and running."

It took about two years before everything was completed, but Kachur, who was a student at MI, took pride in the dock that he had hoped for years would be fixed.

Read about Sam's ESA renovations.
Mendu Selected as Finalist in National Science Challenge

Mason High School freshman
Maanasa Mendu is a top 10 national finalist for the 2016 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge. Mendu was one of those top 10 highest scoring entrants who qualified for the finals that will be held in St. Paul, Minnesota from Oct. 16-19.

Mendu hopes her invention helps make wind power a globally applicable energy source. For her entry video , she created a device utilizing piezoelectricity materials that are both eco-friendly and cost efficient.

Read more about the National Science Challenge.
MMS Mural Showcases 'The Middle School Experience'

When Mason Middle School students
pass by the hallway near the band room, they can't help but notice a beautiful piece of art that perfectly captures their school's essence.

Cadette Girl Scout Troop 48045 members (current MHS freshmen Gillian Alexander, Lily Gieser, Lauren Mrozca, and Sophia Palermo) completed another phase of their Silver Award with the work of art. Last spring, the Troop members came up with the idea of holding a school-wide drawing contest after determining the hallways needed a little brightening. The girls pitched the idea to MMS Principal Tonya McCall, who approved the mural. MMS students completed the Mural Application, where they drew their mural idea in a blank on the application, and then wrote a brief description of the mural.

The winning mural showcasing 'The Middle School Experience' is designed by Meghan Hartley , now a Mason High School freshman. Hartley's application stood out among the crowd with its seamless coordination of MMS' four big parts: The House System, Athletics, Clubs, and Google Apps for Education.

Local artist Jenny Bishop volunteered her time to assist the girls with the mural, and was joined by her daughters, MHS freshman Emma Bishop and MMS seventh grader Caroline Bishop

Read more about the MMS Mural.
MI Hosts Olympic Games

Mason Intermediate fifth graders participated in a week-long Olympic Games event during the week of August 22-26.

Students competed in five Olympic event-style activities and also enjoyed sno-cones at the end of their class period. The activities were tied into the following week's health lesson on Components of Fitness.

"While I was watching the Olympic Games over the summer, I thought the students could learn about the Five Components of Fitness by competing in Olympic style events and have some fun too!" explained fifth grade Health Education teacher Steve Tabar .

"Students competed in five events and attempted to beat their own score or time for each event. The weather was great and having great parent volunteers help out made the event a success!"
MCSD Welcomes New Educational Staff Committed to Focusing on "What Really Matters"

The Mason City School District proudly welcomes new educational staff to its  schools and the district.

"Each of these educators brings years of valuable expertise and unique talents and backgrounds to our team," said Dr. Gail Kist-Kline, Mason City Schools Superintendent. "We wish each of them success in the school year, and look forward to their help as we focus on "what really matters!'"

High Fives to...

... Our educators who sensitively taught our students (most who were not yet even born) to "Never Forget" the heroism displayed on September 11, 2001. Read this insightful Cincinnati Enquirer article about the lessons learned in MI 5th grade teacher Abby Brewer's class. Many thanks, too, to the City of Mason for bringing the last survivor of the south tower, Ron DiFrancesco , to help dedicate the new City of Mason 9/11 memorial that pays tribute to local fallen, Wendy Faulkner and Rob Peraza.

... MI 5th grader Elizabeth Hauser and Western Row 3rd grader Lauren Hauser , sister entrepreneurs have a heart for others! Watch this terrific WLWT piece about their campaign to help the homeless.

... all the Mason Schools Foundation Race Back to School participants and  volunteers - especially our terrific teachers and administrators who braved the dunking booth! This annual event was an awesome way to celebrate the 1st week of school with fun, food trucks, & team work!

... the wonderful relationship between Cincinnati TOPSoccer and Mason Soccer These pictures say it all as our athletes get their moment to shine under the lights on a turf field in front of a big crowd cheering them on!

... Our Cross Country volunteers and staff , who once again held the premier cross country event of the year. Check out this  Cincinnati Enquirer photo gallery of the event featuring thousands of runners giving it their all!

...  students, staff, families & fans who reacted quickly and appropriately during a difficult situation when the football game was cancelled on 9/9 following a detailed threat that was reported to the Mason Police Department. We are particularly grateful to our community's law enforcement officers who do an outstanding job of helping keep us safe!  Thanks also to our Booster organizations and PTOs who once again put forward a tremendous effort to celebrate community during Tailgate 2016. View the Tailgate FB album .

Satterthwaite Named Kiwanis August Student of the Month

Mason High School senior Amy Satterthwaite was recognized as The Kiwanis Club of Mason's August Student of the Month. Satterthwaite was nominated by MHS teacher Debbie Gentene .

On August 25, the Kiwanis Club presented Satterthwaite with $50 and a certificate commemorating her achievement. Satterthwaite's parents, Steven and Cynthia Satterthwaite , assistant principal Dion Reyes, and nominating teacher Gentene joined the Kiwanians in recognizing Satterthwaite'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.
What Do You Think of Revamped

The district website is the first place to get information about our schools, and is the first impression for prospective families or staff. The website isn't just for people who might be coming to school-it's a hub for students, staff, families and the entire school community.

A year-long project, we worked with a committee of parents, employees, and residents to develop a site that meets our community's needs. The committee helped select our web vendor, and helped determine navigation, design and content. We worked to create a clean, interactive, mobile-friendly website that can serve as a one-stop shop where families, students and residents can get all their questions answered, and quickly connect to portals to view class assignments and grades, pay fees, report attendance, and more.

We've done our best to anticipate where things make sense. However, the best way to improve a website is to get feedback from users - so we welcome feedback on how we can continue to improve the site! Anyone can send feedback to .

The website is just one of the new connection tools that Mason launched this year.   Additionally, the district has a new Learning Management System, Schoology, a new online parent portal, Home Access Center, a new electronic flyer tool, Peachjar, and a new electronic form tool, Final Forms. Learn more about what the new tools are designed to replace or improve.
Mason City Schools  |
For information, email Tracey Carson at