Mason Public Schools announce artistic endeavors

By Maria Braganini
The Mason Times

Mason High School fosters artistic development between students on abstract platforms, Mason City Council member Marlon Brown said.

“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” is the first production at Mason High School since “All in the Timing” in November.

Scheduled for May 7, 8 and 9 at 7 p.m., “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” will be performed in the Mason High School Auditorium.
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Sesquicentennial ceremony program lineup

By Maria Braganini
The Mason Times

Marlon Brown discuses the program for the Mason Sesquicentennial Anniversary Ceremony scheduled for March 9 at 6 p.m.

Brown plans to introduce the Mason 150 Sesquicentennial Anniversary Committee to begin the celebration.

After introductions, the Fire Department and 7th Michigan Volunteer Infantry Company B Color Guard will perform.
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Essay contest gives back to Mason Public Schools

By Maria Braganini
The Mason Times

Winners of the Mason College Club’s eighth grade essay contest will be announced at the March 9 sesquicentennial celebration. City Councilman Marlon Brown said he would present winners with a certificate bearing the city’s sesquicentennial seal.

Mason Councilman Marlon Brown and Mason College Club President Cheryl Lariviere discuss the essay contest and logistics in celebrating the eighth graders.

Mason Councilman Marlon Brown and Mason College Club President Cheryl Lariviere discuss the essay contest and logistics in celebrating the eighth graders.

The essay contest, held for Mason Middle School eighth graders, was hosted by Mason College Club and Scott Shattuck, eighth grade history teacher.

Students were asked to write a two-page prompt regarding the history of Mason streets named after families.

The club choose three winners and one honorable mention from more than 8 submissions.

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Good Morning, Mason

By Shane Stockwell
The Mason Times

The city of Mason had one of its most successful turnouts at “Good Morning, Mason” October 30, said Kathy Morse, co-owner of Mason Today. This event was created for local businesses to network and help build the community bond between companies. The agenda included: Mason Area Chamber, Ingham County Public Safety, Mason Area Schools, and many other topics.

“Good Morning, Mason meets six times a year and provides an opportunity for local business owners and workers to get to meet one another and inform each other on new ideas or business opportunities,” said Doug Klein, executive director of Mason Area Chamber of Commerce.
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Counting on an increase in revenue

By Emily Hummel
Mason Times

With a overall trend of decreased enrollment in Michigan public schools, count day

Ron Drzewicki, superintendent of Mason Public Schools

Ron Drzewicki, superintendent of Mason Public Schools (photo was courtesy of Ron Drzewicki)

considered one of the most critical days of the year by Michigan educators, has gone much better than in recent years in Mason, which has seen increased enrollment.

Count day is when students attending each school within a district are counted and the number is reported to the state. From these reports, the state determines how much money to give to each school district and can mean a difference of several thousand dollars.

On this day attendance in school is stressed to parents, and some schools even give incentives to their students to encourage maximum attendance. Mason schools inform parents and trust them to understand the importance of the day.

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Building Twenty-One Reopens Skatepark, supplying opportunities for teens

By Ben Stram
The Mason Times
Workers at the arena

Some of the rails

More ramps
One of the biggest ramps
Almost a year ago an old run-down skate church and bike church were taken over by Building Twenty-One and the transformation impacted many.
With help from professional BMX rider Cory Wiergowski, renovations advanced and word spread.
That transformation was completed when the Mason Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors cut the ribbon Wednesday, Oct. 14, officially reopening the indoor skate park for students ages 8 and up. Continue reading

Mason Pizza Day a tasty school technology fundraiser

By Ben Stram
The Mason Times

The first Wednesday of each month during the school year, the city of Mason delivers a pizza promotion that helps shape the way its children develop.

The Mason Public Schools Foundation is a nonprofit fundraising organization established in 1984. The foundation committed to the Mason Technology Infusion Program, which provides technology for students in elementary school, middle school, and high school, to donate $30,000 per year for many years.

Local pizzerias donate $1 dollar per pizza to the foundation, which goes to supply students with technology in the classroom.
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Homecoming 2014: The Mason Way

IMG_7815By Ben Stram
The Mason Times

“Go Blue! Go Red!”

These are the colors of the Mason Bulldogs, who capped a successful homecoming Friday night in a win against Owosso, 42-7.

They’re also the colors the residents of Mason screamed at the annual homecoming parade and football game.

The town met in downtown Mason for the homecoming parade at 6 p.m. which was led by flashy cars, the Mason marching band, several children and cheerleaders.

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Rotary Exchange brings cultural diversity, growth to students

students2By Ben Stram
The Mason Times

The Rotary Youth Exchange program offers students the opportunity to learn about cultures from around the world.

The program is for both inbound and outbound students. Inbound students visit from a variety of countries while outbound students spend a year abroad.

Students must be in high school and maintain a certain grade-point average while participating in leadership activities at their high school to be a part of the program.

On Sept. 19, Rotary District 6360, a group composed of 12 inbound students from 11 countries, visited Chicago.
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State budget cuts impact Mason High School funding

By Micaela Colonna
Mason Times staff writer

Listen to an audio report.

The 2008 recession and state funding cuts have meant losses in almost all areas of Mason Public Schools. This has meant some trimming and searches for new revenue in many departments including academic, athletic, arts and personnel. Custodial groups have taken hourly wage cuts to prevent privatization, administrative and faculty positions were eliminated and district-funded sports have become self-funded. Shelbi Frayer, executive director of business and finance at Mason Public Schools, said the changes are a result of the decrease in state funding.

Mason tennis team

The Mason Varsity Tennis team practices indoors on a rainy school afternoon. They have experienced the impact of a decreased budget in the form of equipment cuts.

“We wouldn’t have to make such drastic changes such as losing HR if we didn’t have a cut in funding,” said Frayer. “We would definitely have a lot more programming for students, buses, etc. You learn to be more frugal and live without.”

With the assistance of teachers, Principal Lance Delbridge of Mason High School allocates funds allotted by the Mason Board of Education. Frayer said the focus is primarily on academics. If extracurricular activities such as sports want to expand, they have to do it on their own, as the district does not plan to add money to these budgets.

Greg Lattig, district athletic director of Mason High School, said 500 students at the high school play sports. He said the athletics department has had budget cuts of more than $100,000 over the past five years.

“We’ve cut coaching staff, lower-level programs, programs at the middle school, and some things have become self-funded,” said Lattig. “We’ve significantly reduced our equipment budget and eliminated two-way transportation.”
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