June 14, 2019
Community Says Goodbye to Western Row
On May 23, Mason City Schools students and staff said a final goodbye to the school that has served our community's children so well since 1962. Educators shared lots of hugs and tears while saying goodbye by spraying students with water guns and blowing bubbles.
On May 18, the Western Row PTO created an amazing CommUNITY Carnival for students and residents to say goodbye to the school that has served our community for 60 years. That evening, current and former Western Row staff gathered to say goodbye - thanks to the planning of retired WR teacher Gayle Ertel . Watch Western Row teacher Kristen Lazuta share what made Western Row so special - the people.

The closure is part of the district's Master Facilities Plan that shrinks the district's footprint and places 10,500 students in 5 schools located in 4 buildings in the district.

R ead more about WR's Goodbye .
MECC Problem-Based Learning Activity Turns Into Opportunity to Serve Classmates' Recess Needs
This year, Mason Early Childhood Center students noticed a need for more activity-based learning and doing on the playground. 

"So my friends and I were noticing that some kids aren’t playing at recess and other kids are not playing correctly with the recess toys. My friends and I talked to our teacher and my entire class agreed it’s a problem. Now the whole class decided we needed more activities for the playground," explained MECC student Meeghan Smith .

Meeghan and her classmates spoke to their MECC first grade teacher Monica Johnston about their concerns, and from there, a heart-centered project was born.

Activity stations were painted on the MECC playground blacktop with themes like 'American Ninja Warrior,' but with only the 'Be Kind Always' theme.

Read more about MECC's Recess Changes .
MHS Class of 2019 Offered $11 million in Scholarships
On May 19, 871 students graduated from William Mason High School during the school's 133rd commencement ceremony held at the Cintas Center.
Eighty-nine percent of the class will attend college in the fall, and 300 students received over $11 million in academic, arts and/or athletic scholarships and awards. There were 25 National Merit Finalists, 29 National Merit Commended Scholars, 4 Hispanic Recognition Program Scholars, 341 summa cum laude graduates, 105 magna cum laude graduates, 83 cum laude graduates, 351 students who received Ohio’s Honors Diploma, and 20 students who received Ohio's biliteracy seal.

R ead more about the Class of 2019 Graduation .
Elementary, Intermediate APs Take on Additional Responsibilities to Provide 3-6 Alignment
Mason City Schools announced a handful of administrative changes June 7, adding to the administrative restructuring changes previously announced in April. The changes in two assistant principal duties will provide alignment in grades 3-6.

Mason Elementary School - Grades 3 & 4
MECC Assistant Principal Jen Johnson replaces former Western Row Assistant Principal Rob Polca . Next year Polca will lead Mariemont Junior High School as the school’s new principal.

Other ME administrative staff include Principal Javaris Powell and Assistant Principal Tom Dorflein .

Mason Intermediate School - Grades 5 & 6
Mason Intermediate School Assistant Principal Terry Wooten will now oversee special education services at Mason Elementary and Mason Intermediate. This will provide important alignment and a common Comet experience for families and staff in grades 3-6. Jenny Woods will continue to support students with special needs in grades 3-6 in her role as Special Education Supervisor.

Other MI administrative staff include Principal Eric Messer and Assistant Principal Nancy Kelley .

R ead more about Mason's Administrators .
MHS Student's AP Macro Score Puts Him in League of His Own
Mason High School 2018 graduate Jack Li's score on the AP Macroeconomics Exam was so superior, it falls into a category all its own. He was one of 31 students in the world to earn every possible point on the exam.
The Advanced Placement (AP) Exams are scored on a scale of 1 to 5, where a 5 is equivalent to a grade of A in the corresponding college course.
"Jack not only received the top score of 5, but was one of 31 students in the world to earn every point possible on the Exam, receiving the maximum score on each portion of the exam," shared The College Board Senior Vice President, AP and Instruction, Trevor Packer.

AP Macroeconomics is taught by MHS teacher Steve Prescott .

R ead more about Li's superior AP Exam Score .
Mason Honors Students' Commitment to Serving Country in Blue Star Ceremony
Twelve members of the William Mason High School Class of 2019 were honored for their decision to serve their country during a Blue Star Ceremony in the MHS auditorium on May 17.

Students honored at the ceremony included: Dakota Anderson (Navy), Jacie Bowen (Army Reserves), Noah Calvert (Army National Guard), Jack Doran (Army), Collin Hawkins (Air Force ROTC: West Virginia University), Jasmine Kaur (Army National Guard), Bradley Kuehner (Army National Guard), Elric Nijakowski (Army National Guard), Casey Perkings (Army), Edwin Marroquin (Army), Christopher Radle (Marine Corps), and Micah Warwick (Army ROTC: Baylor University.)

R ead more about the Blue Star Ceremony .
Coleman Named Recipient of Celebrate Excellence
Mason High School science teacher Elizabeth Coleman was recently chosen as the recipient of the Celebrate Excellence Award sponsored by the Hamilton County Education Foundation. The award recognizes excellent professionals in public education.
The Celebrate Excellence Educator Recognition Breakfast was held on May 3 at the Sharonville Convention Center. Twenty-five professionals representing public schools were recognized for their impact on the districts they serve.

R ead more about the Celebrate Excellence recipient .
Project Excellence Recognizes MECC Teacher
This spring, Mason Early Childhood Center kindergarten and first grade teacher Laura Martin was honored at the Area Progress Council's 32nd Annual Project Excellence dinner at the Warren County Career Center on Wednesday, May 1.

Martin was nominated for the award by her peers. Next year, she will begin a new role - PK-6 Mental Wellness Coordinator.

R ead more about the Project Excellence recipient .
Students' Art Chosen for Year-Long Display in Mason District Offices
Several Mason City Schools students' masterpieces were recently designated a part of the Mason Central art collection that will be displayed throughout the 2018-2019 school year.
Superintendent Jonathan Cooper invited each artist and his or her family to a special reception in the students’ honor on May 8.

"The Superintendent’s Art Reception is one of the highlights of the year. It is an opportunity to connect with our learners and listen to them share some of their story while describing their artwork," shared Cooper. "It is a moment of pride for our District since we appreciate and embrace the arts in our schools."

Mason Kiwanis Recognizes Community's Students of the Year
On May 16, the Kiwanis Club of Mason presented its Student of the Year award to six students in area schools.
The students of the year are: Mason Early Childhood second grader Benjamin Hauser who was nominated by his teacher Jessica Muller , Western Row third grader Muktida Kelkar who was nominated by her teacher Whitney Young , Mason Intermediate sixth grader Malea Bogan who was nominated by her teacher Dale Moberly , St. Susanna eighth grader Christina Henning who was nominated by her teacher Nancy Thomas , Mason Middle School eighth grader Sanjana Velu who was nominated by her teacher Kyle Hamilton , and Mason High School senior Emily Scholes who was nominated by Greg Roach .

Read more about the Kiwanis Students of the Year .
MHS Proud to Announce 2019 Valedictorian, Salutatorian
Students, families and friends attending the William Mason High School Class of 2019’s graduation ceremony were treated to a powerful speech by the class Valedictorian Jenny Hong during the school’s commencement ceremony on May 19.

Valedictorian Hong is the daughter of Alan Hong and Dana Jian. She plans to study Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard University.

The class of 2019 also had one Salutatorian: Michael Luo . Luo is the son of William Lo and Angela Cao. He plans to study Computer Science and Economics at New York University this fall.

R ead more about Hong's Valedictorian Speech .
Local Mt. Everest Climber Visits MMS
Local Mt. Everest Climber Matt Brennan from Loveland, Ohio, visited MMS seventh grade students to speak about his personal experiences climbing Mt. Everest.

"His presentation was in conjunction with our Environmental Science unit, and helped support our students in their own creations of "A Survival Guide to Climbing Mt. Everest," shared MMS seventh grade science teacher Elizabeth Mills .

Veteran Inspires and Talks to Team Venture about Courage
Mason resident and founder of Blue Skies for the Good Guys and Gals Warrior Foundation (501c3) David Hart, along with Blue Skies Alumni Staff Sergeant Shilo Harris, US Army, Combat Injured Warrior and inspirational speaker, visited Mason Intermediate Team Venture on Friday, May 17.

"We were so excited to have Shilo visit and discuss his experiences and talk about courage," shared Western Row third grade teacher Kelly Gholz . Gholz has a son on Team Venture who has been raising money for the organization, and she was the one who set up the presentation as she knows Hart personally. "There were also four students who created bracelets to sell and donate the profits to Dave Hart for his Wounded Warrior/Blue Skies organization."

R ead more about the Veteran speakers at MI .
MMS NJHS Collects Donations for Warren County Children's Services
The Mason Middle School National Junior Honor Society ended the school year by collecting donations for Warren County Children's Services, who support foster children in our local community. The collected donations included backpacks, clothing, school supplies, and hygiene products.

Our students were so excited and passionate about this project, and their hard work is evident in the 42 backpacks that were filled," shared MMS seventh grade language arts teacher and NJHS advisor Sierra Paine .

R ead more about MMS' Donation Collection .
MHS's Yu Added to TAP MD Program
Mason High School's Emily Yu is the most recent addition to the TAP MD Program.
The Tap MD program began in 2011 under the umbrella of the Greater Cincinnati Health Council, which has now merged with The Health Collaborative. Any high school junior or senior at least 16 years of age can be “tapped” by a school teacher or counselor.
Participating students must be strong academically, motivated, mature, and dependable. Standardized test scores, grades, and extracurricular involvement are among the factors considered by the selection committee when identifying students for the program.

MHS Science Olympiad Hosts Open Table Tennis Tournament
The Mason High School Science Olympiad team hosted corporate and college table tennis teams from Miami, P&G, UC, GE, and others. In the evening, student teams in fourth to twelfth grade from Mason Intermediate, Mason Middle School, and MHS participated in their own tournament.
The tournament was a success thanks to the many student and parent volunteers and especially Jingxian Zhang, whose daughter attends Mason City Schools," shared MH Physics and AP Physics teacher and Science Olympiad Advisor Brian Thomas.

Read more about the MHS Table Tennis Tournament .
MHS Senior Placed in Top 1% of Art Awards
Mason High School senior Kaavya Ramachandhran received a received a Silver National Medal in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards for her personal essay titled Aves. This places her within the top 1% of nearly 340,000 works of art and writing that were submitted nationwide.

"I am so proud of Kaavya and knew her MHS and MCS family would be as well!' shared MHS English and Creative Writing teacher Mandi Bross .

Read more about Kaavya's accomplishment .
We are grateful for these 8 Mason employees who each made a difference in the lives of our community's children. These retirees collectively gave 168 years to Mason City Schools! We wish all of these Comets a wonderful retirement: Cathy Abbott , Bus Driver, Charlie Andrews , MMS Teacher, Sharon Bowling , Western Row Receptionist, Janice Dailey , MHS Occupational Therapist, Julee Hill , MMS Teacher, Jane Johnson , HR Administrative Assistant, Deborah Simpson , Bus Driver and Annette Wood , MHS Administrative Assistant.

Guess who is back-to-back state champions? Your Mason Comets boys tennis team coached by Mike Reid ! So proud of these hard-working student athletes. And, get ready for the "wow" emoticon - they have a 42 match win streak!

High 5 for Niraj Komatineni - your newest Comet OHSAA Boys Division I champion! Class of 2019's Komatineni defeated St. X's Ronit Hiryur 6-1, 6-2. "My last match in Mason, where I grew up, and winning out here feels amazing.” Read the Cincinnati Enquirer’s coverage.
Congratulations to our MHS Science Olympiad team whose hard work and dedication earned them 4th in the nation honors this weekend! This is the second year in a row the team has competed at Nationals. "We are proud of the achievements of these winning teams and know their schools and communities will welcome them home like champions,” said Dr. Gerard Putz, Science Olympiad president and co-founder. “These students and teachers exemplify the best America has to offer.”
Watching the Gibson Family pour love on our community has been so moving. Their Shine Like Sable Foundation partnered with Shine Orthodontics and Rivers Crossing Church to provide pink ice cream and flashlight pens to Western Row third and fourth graders. We were then humbled to witness Sable’s classmates walk beside the Gibsons and share their plans to #ShineLikeSable as 5th graders next year on the 20th of every month. An indelible #MasonMoment
A new tradition was born with the Class of 2019. Comets in the Class of 2019 were the first class of kindergartners to open up the brand new Mason Early Childhood Center in 2006. Their educational journey came full circle when they participated in a parade of graduates and were cheered on by Mason Comets in the Class of 2029, 2030, 2031 and some preschool members of the Class of 2032! Thanks, MECC, for making sure that tradition starts here! Watch the video!