February 17, 2017
22 MHS Students Named National Merit Finalists

Twenty-two Mason High School students were recently named National Merit Finalists:  Victoria Berry, Xindi Chen, Sneha Gundavarpu, Tanvi Jagtap, Aditya Jog, Mihir Kotian, Matthew Liao, Jose Martinez, Antonia Mordino, Zachary Oldham, Nihar Rama, Anamika Shah, Aditya Singh, Rujul Singh, Jessica Sommerville, Kayla Stroud, Dennis Sweeney, Sreeram Venkatarao, Oliver Voyten, Emily Wang, Jessica Wang, and Emily Zhao .   These students were chosen based on their SAT scores, having an outstanding academic record, their extracurricular and volunteer activities, being endorsed and recommended by a high school official, and a self-descriptive essay. All Finalists will receive a Certificate of Merit in recognition of their outstanding performance in the competition. Chosen finalists are in the top one-half percent - about 15,000 - of students nationwide.

National Merit Finalists

Read more about the National Merit Finalists.
Inclusive Comet Cheer Squad Dazzles Fans

Comet Dazzlers
The Mason Comet Dazzlers gave basketball fans a whole lot to cheer about on Feb 3.

MHS Varsity cheer coach Pansy Sagle created the inclusive cheerleading squad for Mason Intermediate School, Mason Middle School and Mason High School students. Sagle is also a Special Education aide at Mason Intermediate, and loved the idea of giving more students the opportunity to spread school spirit.

"It was a joy to have the Mason Comet Dazzlers join our MHS Sideline Cheerleading team," Sagle said. "Each cheerleader was impacted in a moving way!"

Eleven students jumped at the opportunity to join the Comet Dazzlers: J ordan Auriana, Emily Casey, Olivia Curry, Ellen Hilbert, Ally Huber, Ally Long, Hailey Marion, Kaitlyn Olden, Mary Surace, Mara Turner and Emily Wylds . The Comet Dazzlers learned Mason cheers and chants in two practices prior to their half-time performance.

Read more about the Comet Dazzlers.
MCS Master Facility Plan Shrinks District's Footprint;

Invests State Tobacco Money In Innovative Learning Spaces

Four Schools
On December 19, the Mason City School Board approved a resolution to begin using funds from the Ohio Schools Facilities Commission's Expedited Local Partnership program . The OSFC was created from state tobacco funds.

"While we have always known our 'number' would come up, we were surprised when OSFC told us we needed to move forward with our plan this spring, or risk losing the state funding. Thankfully, our plan has not materially changed since we developed it in 2014, and we are on track to begin construction this summer - with the hopes of having all of the district's  preschool through second graders attending MECC in fall of 2018," said Dr. Gail Kist-Kline, Superintendent.

Read more about Mason's Facilities Plan.

Learn More About Timeline & Transition Plans at Upcoming Town Hall Meetings
WHEN/WHERE: Wednesday, March 15, 2017
     10:00am - Mason Intermediate School KIVA, 6307 Mason-Montgomery Road
     12:30pm - Twitter Town Hall; Tweet @masonschools & use the hashtag #MCSFP
     6:30pm - Mason High School Large Commons, 6100 Mason-Montgomery Road

No Bond-Levy Required, Plan Reduces Costs
Under the proposed plan, the district would offline Western Row Elementary by 2020. Western Row currently serves a third of the district's second graders and all of the district's third graders. The district's enrollment has stabilized. New, residential housing developments in the City of Mason and Deerfield Township have been considered as part of the plan, but there remains a general decline in enrollment when considering that the Class of 2018 (current juniors) has 920 students while there are 690 first graders.

Read more about the proposed plan.
MHS Student Headed to D.C. after Winning State's American Legion Americanism & Government Test

Puran Kansakar
Mason High School is proud to announce its first state champion in the American Legion Americanism and Government Test in 20 years! MHS junior
Puran Kansakar is one of 18 state winners, and has earned an all-expenses paid, week-long trip to the nation's capital, Washington, D.C, and to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. A highlight of the trip is a Wreath Laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery.

Jim Jennings, Joe Barr American Legion Post 194 1st Vice Commander, personally congratulated the district winners and Puran.

Warren County and Joe Barr Post 194 Finalists include: Aditya Jog, Rishi Mishra, Irene Tidd, and Joann Tsai. Lauren Elliott, Brian Karl, Nina Landers, Connie Mi, and Anamika Shah all received participation certificates.

Read more about Puran Kansakar.
MHS Girls Basketball Continues to #LiveforLiz; Raises $9K for Cancer Free Kids in Her Honor
The Mason High School and Sycamore High School Girls Basketball Teams declared their last game of the season the Live for Liz game. The goal was to raise money for a research grant to honor MHS Class of 2013 graduate Liz Lothrop. The event raised $9,000 for Cancer Free Kids in Lothrup's name to benefit research towards pediatric cancer.

"Liz always said, 'there has got to be a better way' so we are going to fund the doctors finding better ways to treat cancer," shared MHS Girls Basketball coach Jere Clark.

The MHS Girls Basketball team sold t-shirts, tattoos and bracelets, and worked with Cancer Free Kids, MHS Student Government, Comet Savings and Loan, and the Boys Basketball Program.


Read more about #LiveforLiz.
MMS, MHS Scientists to Present Projects at UC Science Fair
Science Fair

On March 11, 55  Mason City Schools students will present their projects during the 13 th Annual UC Science and Engineering Expo. 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 are eligible to attend the UC fair.

A "superior" is the best rating a student can get on a project and eight students received a perfect score of 40, including Laalitya Acharya, Hritika Kotian, Arnav Mantro, Rishi Mehta, Snehal Mishra, Sanchita Parathaman, Akul Rajan , and Sreeram Venkatarao . One team project received a perfect score of 50, which included Yuv Sachdeva and Amey Haridhas .

View the list of students competing at the UC Regional Science Fair.
No One Eats Alone at MMS 

No One Eats Alone
On February 10, Mason Middle School students joined kids from across the nation to celebrate national No One Eats Alone Day in an effort to make everyone feel included.  When students walked into the cafeteria they were greeted by smiling faces, pumping music, dancing and a conga line that encouraged students to let down their guard and get to know someone new.

Members of Mason High School SIBS (Students Involving & Befriending Students), along with advisor Jeff Schlaeger , organized the week-long event with  MMS's Guidance Department and Builder's Club to bring awareness to the dangers of social isolation. The program helped students learn how to reach out to their peers and recognize those who may feel left out. Students embraced the concept that ending social isolation is really pretty simple; "Start with Hello!"

Read more about No One Eats Alone Day.
MI 6th Grader Wins MI Spelling Bee, Qualifies for Regional Spelling Bee 
Samvit Das

Mason Intermediate School's Team Ingenuity sixth grader Samvit Das clinched the top spot in the school's annual Spelling Bee. Now, he's headed to the Regional Bee on March 18 at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy.

The School Bee went 26 rounds, and Das was crowned champion after spelling the winning word "exponentially!" Das came in third place during the MI Spelling Bee in 2016, and this year he took home the title.

Congratulations, also, to the third place contestant, Vivian Chang (fourth grader from Gia Borgerson's homeroom), and second place contestant, Urav Hingrija (sixth grader from Team Quest).

Read more about the Regional Spelling Bee.
Help Build More Mason Schools Makerspaces 

Mason City Schools educators have some big ideas - but they need your help! "We are excited to announce that we are in the process of creating two brand new makerspaces in our district," explained Jonathan Cooper, Chief Innovation Officer. "In the fall of 17-18, a redesign of the Mason Early Childhood Center library will include a makerspace environment, and a brand new makerspace will become available at MI as well.   

Watch this short video about the MECC Makerspace Vision ! Makerspaces inspire students to become participatory learners, to uncover their talents, needs, and interests by making, producing, solving, creating, collaborating and thinking.

Donation bins are located in the lobbies of both the Mason Intermediate School 5/6 entrance and MECC , and can be dropped off anytime from 8:30am-3:30pm.

Mason City Schools' "Taste of Mason" Celebrates Diversity

Taste of Mason
The ninth annual Taste of Mason was held in Mason High School's Commons on February, 3. The Mason community came together and celebrated its diversity by enjoying food from many ethnic and independent local restaurants, while watching multicultural performance.

View the participating vendors as well as the list of performances.

Mason City Schools' Diversity Council Vision
Continue to build an equitable learning community which values and respects the dignity and uniqueness of all students, staff, and members of the community, empowers diverse learners' achievement, and enhances growth and development.
The Omegabots Earn Spot in First Lego League Nationals

Mason Middle School seventh graders were a part of the First Lego League (FLL) team, the Omegabots!
Prattyush Giriraju, Neev Gupta and the rest of the Omegabots team has qualified for the First Lego League North American Open Championship to be held at Legoland California in Carlsbad, CA on May 19-21.

Omegabots is a five member team of students from both Mason City Schools and Sycamore Community Schools. Omegabots earned second place at at the iSPACE District FLL Tournament on January 21. The team also placed in the Robot Design Awards at Districts, and qualified for the Ohio FLL State Tournament that was held February 5 at Wright State University's Nutter Center.

Read more about the Omegabots.
MHS, MMS Writers Win 30 Awards at Writing Competition 

Mason High School and Mason Middle School students had outstanding performances in this year's Regional Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Fourteen MHS and MMS students won a grand total of 30 awards in this year's competition.

Three of Mason's student writers were awarded a total of six Gold Keys in their individual categories. Winners of the Gold Key, amounting to top honors in a particular writing category, include: Juliana Discher, Ashton Nichol s, and Gayatri Rajan .

Mason also had 15 Silver Key winning artworks and nine honorable mentions. Those who received an Honorable Mention, Silver or Gold Award are invited to The Belin-Blank Center Presents: A Scholastic Celebration in Three Acts on Saturday, March 11 at the University of Iowa.

High Fives to...

...MHS senior Jenna Montes who was accepted into the Music For All National Festival HonorBand of America! Jenna shares, "Music is one of the most powerful gifts to receive and to give." Learn more about this French Horn player's accomplishments.

... MHS National Honor Society, who raised almost $6,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in another epic NERF Madness Event!  75 teams of  Mason Intermediate, Mason Middle School, & MHS students all got in on the action for a great cause! Read the Chronicle's coverage.

...The WR PTO , whose parent-child Valentine's Day Party was a huge hit for second and third grade families! There's nothing sweeter than moms and dads celebrating their love for their children!

...The Mason Inclusion Club (MIC), who has held powerful events all month for students, educators, and community members to explore the meaning of diversity! The student panel and staff panel were great examples of #GrowingGreatnessTogether!

... Mason educators who are constantly learning, refining, exploring and doing whatever it takes to engage students and guide our kids to own their learning! Learn more by following #MasonLearns on Twitter!

...The MECC PTO who organized an incredible, inaugural MECC Sweetheart Dance for second graders and their parents. Dancing, cake walk, crafts, picture booth, basket raffles, cookies, balloon animals-there was a little something for everyone! A whole lot of SWEET, lasting memories were made! Check out the   Facebook Album !
Recognize an Outstanding Mason Teacher

Now's your chance to nominate one of our outstanding Mason teachers for Warren County Project Excellence Teacher of the Year! Complete the application online. The deadline is February 24. Last year's Project Excellence Teachers were MECC's Michelle Hastings and MHS's Aimee Hansen. Who will YOU nominate?
Today is a Personal Learning Day! 

Friday, February 17 is our 2nd Personal Learning Day for the year. Remember, students don't report to school on personal learning days, but this isn't a "day off." Instead, Personal Learning Days empower students to pursue the learning that inspires, engages, or connects with them. Need a reminder, or have questions? Check out these links:
The Personalized Learning Showcase will be held on Thursday, April 6, 2017  in the MHS Large Commons. We can't wait to see the passions our students pursued!

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