Mason residents express their passion in life

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By Abby Burbary
The Mason Times

Discovering your niche in life can sometimes be difficult, but these Mason residents have discovered what makes their life worth living.

Thirty-eight year Mason resident Annie Lambrecht said her passion is reading, and she has loved it ever since she was a little girl. Lambrecht’s mother was a teacher and instilled the love of reading in her heart very early on.

“I even remember my first hard cover books were Swiss Family Robinson and “Robinson Crusoe” said Lambrecht,who is 70. “I’ve been reading ever since I could remember.”

Lambrecht said her favorite is genre is fiction, although she always makes an effort to try something new. Her entire book club has tried to be open minded to other genres, but it never seems to work out.

“We’re trying to expand our horizons and try reading non-fiction stories, but we’ve discovered we do not like it,” Lambrecht said. “It’s very dry, and I don’t understand why.”

“Secret Life of Bees” by Sue Monk Kidd and “Pillars of the Earth” by Ken Follett are among Lambrecht’s favorite books.

“In ‘Pillars of the Earth’, it feels like you are there in medieval England,Lambrecht said. “You can smell it, you can taste it, it is wonderful and beautifully written.”

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Journalism Education Programs excel thanks to Mason High School faculty


Yearbook Advisor, Kristin Higgins, helps yearbook editor Madeline Newport and staff member Samantha Morris with their current projects.

By Madelyn Scroggie
The Mason Times

Mason, Mich. – The Mason High School faculty wants students to develop critical thinking skills and be empowered to succeed. The high school has specifically developed programs such as the yearbook and newspaper to help aspiring journalism students do just that.

“It is a high school class but sometimes I think there is a learning curve because the students have to realize it’s more like a job,” said Sabriena Bennett, high school newspaper advisor. “Everyone in the class has different responsibilities, and when the responsibilities aren’t filled then somebody else has to pick up the slack.”

Bennett said that in order to be a part of the staff students are required to have a recommendation as well as a sample writing piece.
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School officials pleased with updated website

Abby Burbary
The Mason Times

The Mason Public Schools website used to be old and hard to navigate, but now it is interesting and user-friendly, said Director of Technology Jerome Brzezinski at Community and Staff Relations committee meeting on Tuesday, March 29.

Brzezinski said he is happy with how the brand new website turned out.

“It has a really nice look, and it’s a huge improvement,” Brzezinski said. Continue reading

Overcrowding in Mason’s Kindergartens

By Christian Barrington
Mason Times

Superintendent Ronald Drzewicki stands in front 'Investing For the Future', the May bond proposal

MASON, Mich. – A Mason School Board committee was trying to decide if adding an extra section of kindergarten would solve the overcrowding issue.

During Tuesday’s Community and Staff Relations Meeting, the board discussed the overcrowding and addressed how they could proceed.  All three of the elementary schools will exceed capacity for the 2016-2017 year; there will be 484 students for a building designed for 405, according to Mason Public Schools. With 240 kindergarten students, and three sections at each of the three schools, that accounts for roughly 27 students within each section. With numbers this high, it raised the question if the board should add another kindergarten section.

“Lower kindergarten [student] numbers holds value,” said Superintendent Ronald Drzewicki. “We recognize that and we are going to do what we can in our budget to facilitate lower class sizes if we can.”

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Concerns raised regarding proposed sidewalk improvements

Abby Burbary
The Mason Times

Concerns were raised by residents during the public hearing at the city council meeting on March 21, 2016, despite the confirmation of an assessment regarding proposed sidewalk improvements.

According to the meeting agenda, the property was first announced at the city council meeting on December 21, 2015. At the meeting on January 18, 2016, the council agreed to make the improvements and ordered the Assessor to prepare estimated costs and provide notice of a public hearing.

Mason City administrator Deb Stuart said the role of the city council on Monday was to confirm the assessment, as the council already voted in January that the sidewalk improvements will be completed. The assessment directs the treasurer to collect funds with the July taxes. The resolution lists 3.5% interest.
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Mason superintendent presents bond proposal to City Council

The Mason Times
By Nadia Lorencz

Mason Public Schools superintendent Ronald Drzewicki proposed a $79,000,000 bond and a site sinking fund renewal at the March 21 City Council meeting.

The site sinking fund is a current fund with a term of 10 years. It allows districts to provide funding on a pay as you go basis.

Currently the fund provides about $665,000 annually and has provided for roof repairs, parking lot repaving, well repairs, door and window replacements and other facility updates.

City Council members discuss bond proposal for Mason Public Schools on Monday.

City Council members discuss the bond proposal for Mason Public Schools on Monday.

“We want to invest in our students,” said Drzewicki.

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Mason High School prepares for 13th annual talent show

By Abby Burbary
The Mason Times

Mason High School is preparing for its 13th annual Indoles talent show, where all proceeds will be donated to the Rylan Cotter Memorial scholarship.

According to the MHS website, the show will take place on Friday, March 18 and Saturday, March 19 at 7p.m.

MHS math teacher Steve Jackson said he helped start the show 13 years ago as a student-teaching intern through Michigan State University.

Jackson said the internship required that he take part in a community service project, which is where he produced the idea of showcasing the talent at Mason High School.

“There were many people out there who had amazing talents to show but we never got to see, so we needed a place for that,” Jackson said.

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Mason Arbor Day Honoree search has begun

By Madelyn Scroggie
The Mason Times

Mason, Mich. – Imagine the Mason courthouse square treeless.

Elaine Ferris, Mason Tree Commission liaison, has donated a tree through the Mason 150 Heritage Tree program, initiated last year for the Sesquicentennial year.

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The Mason courthouse square covered with landscape thanks to all those in the community that contribute to the ecology.

It will be planted this spring, either by the courthouse to replace one that has fallen,  or in the new section of the cemetery to provide shade for future visitors.

“I’m hoping for a hackberry,” said Ferris, “which is a tall, vase-shaped tree much like an elm but at least so far, resistant to most diseases and insect infestations.  Plus being long-lived it should last about 120 years.”

Ferris said she looks forward to providing trees to the community for years to come.

In addition to Ferris’s contribution, another tree will be added to the Mason community on April 29 for this year’s Arbor Day celebration.
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Sun Dried Music Festival confirmed for August 2016

Christian Barrington
Mason Times

Mason’s Downtown Courthouse is where the festival takes place. Photo by Christian Barrington

EAST LANSING – Mason’s annual Sun Dried Music Festival has been confirmed for August 2016 and members of the Mason community are buzzing with excitement.

Former mayor, now councilmember, Leon Clark, is very active in the production of the festival.

“The Sun Dried Music Festival will be taking place Aug. 26-28. It is a family music festival that is free for all, and features around 15 bands and a multitude of vendors, all strictly from the Mason area,” said Clark.

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Mason School Board considers later Wednesday start times


Mason High School is one of the many schools in the district who will take part in the Wednesday morning late start for the implementation of Professional Learning Programs. Photo by Madelyn Scroggie 

By Madelyn Scroggie
The Mason Times

Mason, Mich. – The Mason School Board is considering moving Wednesday morning start times back one hour to provide extra time for teacher collaboration.

Superintendent Ronald Drzewicki said that one option for providing job-embedded learning for teachers is to schedule one hour of professional development on a weekly basis.

The weekly training would be part of a program called Professional Learning Communities, which the School Board is considering launching next fall.

The idea of Professional Learning Communities is to give teachers time to work together on improving their teaching to help improve student achievement.

“It is based on the idea that educators need embedded time to focus on student learning, building a collaborative culture, as well as examining and improving student results,” Drzewicki said.
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