Mason, a small town of eight thousand people serves as the backbone of the town’s high school sports. Last year, the booster club of the community donated more than $18,000 to support the school’s athletic program.
MASON—A report on school superintendent compensation in Michigan shows a range of $300,000.
The collection was published in late February 2013 by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Media Relations Manager Ted O’Neil said that the purpose of the database was to provide transparency for taxpayers who were concerned with the distribution of funds by school boards and superintendents.
This graphic can be found on all high school websites and links to all public official salaries.
O’Neil said that superintendent compensation is determined can be affected by a number of factors that are worked out between the superintendent and school board members. Although compensation is not required outside of salary and pension, many districts offer annuity, health benefits, insurance, travel and other expenses.
The database breaks up the package into seven categories: salary, pension, travel, insurance, annuity, other and total. According to O’Neil and Mason Superintendent Mark Dillingham, “other” covers compensation not accounted in the first five categories. This could include costs for moving the family, vehicle allowances, expense accounts, bills, etc. Continue reading →
On March 11, the Mason School Board approved two field trips for Mason High School students studying German and French to put their languages into practice.
These trips, which occur every three years, will take place July of 2014. French teacher Margaret Cottrill leads a trip through France and German teacher Monica Norton leads a trip through Germany and parts of Switzerland.
“This is the third time that I have been taking a group here from Mason,” Norton said. “Along the way we see a lot of historical sites and a lot of important sites for the language. We do a lot of really cool experiences for the kids.” Continue reading →
MASON—The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December 2012 shocked parents and school administrators in the Mason area.
Resident Simone Jardim said her 3-year-old daughter Alexas attends preschool and childcare in Mason. She said she was “glued to the television” after hearing about the shooting.
“I actually cried and felt heartbroken because those innocent kids lost their lives in such a tragic and unfortunate event,” Jardim said.
“Alexas is my world and I am not sure what I would do without her,” she said. “Our children are not supposed to die before us.”
Jardim said parents should keep their children informed, but not scare them. She said there is always evil in the world, but we cannot allow that to take our children’s innocence away.
Jardim said if Alexas asks about the incident in the future, she would talk to her about it.
She said security should be stronger, making it harder for a complete stranger to enter the grounds of any school.
“Most of the time it seems like problems are with high school students bringing weapons to school. However, for elementary and middle school, problems would include the supervision of who comes in and the people that work there having contact with the children,” Jardim said. Continue reading →
MASON—The Mason School Board announced Monday that this fall, students will be able to learn college credits while studying at Mason High School.
The agreement would allow high school students to earn community college credit while completing their graduation requirements at the high school. According to Mason School District Trustee Peter Curtis, this agreement is meant to help create a more seamless transition between education levels.
“This is a great opportunity for students to get a running start for college,” Curtis said. Continue reading →
Four courses have been approved for the upcoming school year at Mason High School.
The executive director of curriculum, Bruce Barbour, presented these proposals at the Mason board of education meeting on Feb. 11 at the James C. Harvey Education Center.
These are the new courses:
*The Impact of Sports on American History and Culture: Barbour said this course would discuss issues such as using Native American tribe names as mascots, and Billie Jean King’s impact on the battle of the sexes in relation to sports.
* An advanced placement World History class, that is required for all students to graduate.
“This class would be offered to students beginning sophomore year so they can start attempting advanced placement credit earlier,” he said.
* LINKS: Barbour said this course partners a student with another who suffers from autism.
“Students will attend class with their partner for an hour and will meet as a class once a week after school, along with having an online curriculum,” Barbour said.
Barbour said the work students complete online and in after school meetings will be reviewed, and grades at the end of the trimester will be given.
* Advanced Writing/Advanced Composition, for juniors and seniors.
Barbour said this class will take place during lunch and students will be able to work on their assignments have time to eat and assist students in the writing lab. Continue reading →
The Mason Public School Board election will be held during the General Election on Tuesday, Nov. 6. Candidate Ed Altenritter, who is running for a four-year term, talked about why he wants the job. Altenritter is a vocational rehabilitation counselor, and is running for the school board for the first time. He has had six children attend school in the Mason Public School system, including his late wife’s two children and a foster child.
Laura Fenger, who is running for a four-year term as Mason School Board trustee, is a middle school language arts and reading teacher at Leslie Middle School in Leslie, Mich. She lives in the district, and both her daughters attended school at, and graduated from, Mason Public Schools.
Tell Andrew Chapin a joke, he’ll laugh. Tell him a problem, he’ll listen. Ask him for advice, he’ll help.
For the Mason High School physical education and health teacher, teaching is more than just his job, it’s who he is.
The high-energy 32-year-old has a true passion for teaching, and it is apparent in all he does.
Since he began teaching at Mason High School in 2003, Chapin has made sure to educate his students on more than what is printed in the textbook.
“I have the luxury of moving my lesson plans around a little bit and teach life lessons,” said Chapin. “Math teachers may not be able to do that, but I can, so I think I should. We teach life lessons; that’s what my job is all about.”
Story by Michelle Paetow
Video by Noriah Williams
Mason Times staff writers
Leadership B class at Mason High School taught by Kristin Higgins continues its organization, Students Empowering Nigerian Development (SEND), in efforts to raise awareness and support for educational opportunities for students in Nigeria.
”In the fall of 2011, 30 students were the first to experience this class. This class is designed to apply leadership skills from the Leadership A class to a community service project. The students created SEND, an organization to support the goal of Paul Kato’s goal to building an academy in Nigeria to create educational opportunities for children. Kato is a soccer coach and business teacher at Mason High School.
“I went to visit, I noticed some of the deficiencies they had there, education-wise, and I just had a passion for it. I thought I would establish a non-profit organization to work on that. I have been travelling back and forth to get things started,” Kato said.
Kato, originally from Nigeria, received an educational opportunity at a young age from his father and attended Spring Arbor University, in Spring Arbor, Michigan for soccer. He began his non-profit organization, Kato International Training Academy (KITA) in 2009. KITA uses soccer to promote education in Nigeria by creating soccer clubs. SEND is an outlet for students at Mason High School to become involved with KITA and its direct impact on building the academy in Nigeria in summer 2012. Continue reading →
Story by Lauren Kroll
Video by BriAnn Harvey
Mason Times staff writers
MASON − Local company Dart Container Corp. bought Solo Cup Company for $1 billion on March 21 and will begin producing the iconic “red party cup” once the transaction closes in six months.
Since its opening in the 1970s, Dart’s headquarters has been based in Mason, Mich. Michigan-based Dart Container Corp. and Illinois-based Solo Cup Company will operate independently until government approval is secured and the transaction closes over the next six months. After the transaction closes, Solo Cup Company will no longer exist as a corporate entity.
Solo Cup is partially owned by Vestar Capital Partners, a private equity investor. “Private equity firms are in the business of investing in companies to help them grow and then sell the companies after a few years when they can earn a return on their original investment,” Solo Director of Communications, Angie Chaplin wrote in an email. “It was always expected that they would exit the relationship and recoup their investment when they felt the time was right.” Continue reading →