I would like to begin this article by saying "thank you." Thank you for the opportunity to serve such a wonderful group of students, staff members, parents and community members. If there ever was a time to celebrate the great things going on at Mason ISD, it’s now. Looking back over this school year (and we can almost say "past" school year), the students have achieved great accomplishments! It goes without saying that the students could not have made these accomplishments without the support and guidance of great teachers, loving parents and a community that supports them 100% in everything they do.
Let’s take a look at the outstanding performance of our kids. The year began with MISD being an Exemplary District in the Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) accountability system. That means that all three campuses had 90% or above of the students passing all sections of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test for the 08-09 school year. In mid fall we learned that Mason High School had been nominated as a "Blue Ribbon School" by the United States Department of Education. This nomination is based on data sent from TEA showing our schools have made dramatic improvement in the past five years and we have a large economically disadvantaged student population. Looking at preliminary results of TAKS tests taken this year, we are definitely headed in the right direction again.
Now let’s move to UIL (University Interscholastic League) competitions. Mason High School has taken eleven out of fifteen district championships this year—Girls’ Cross Country, Boys’ Cross Country, Football, Girls’ Basketball, Boys’ Basketball, Girls’ Track, Girls’ Golf, Girls’ Tennis, Boys’ Tennis, One Act Play and Baseball. In three of the four contests that we did not win—UIL Academics, Boys’ Track, Boys’ Golf and Girls’ Softball—we came in a close second. The status of UIL Academics could change because with each level the One Act Play advances, we receive additional points. We were only 5.4 points behind first place at press time. We also won UIL Sweepstakes recognition in band. Team Tennis is not a UIL event, but we won that as well.
The junior varsity teams also contributed their fair share of championships to the mix. The JV girls placed first in basketball and track and the boys placed first in football, basketball and track.
The ag department has contributed several awards to the MHS Wall of Honor as well—the land and range judging teams placed 2nd advancing to area with the land judging team making it all the way to the state contest. The Ag Issues team also advanced to area. Additionally, the Greenhand Chapter Conducting team placed 2nd at the Hill District Meet.
We can’t leave out the achievements of the elementary and jr. high campuses. Both campuses won their UIL academic meets. The jr. high also had several firsts on the athletic front. The eighth grade boys tied for first in football and placed first in basketball and track. The seventh grade boys placed first in football and track and tied for first in basketball. The eighth grade girls placed first in basketball and 2nd in track and the seventh grade girls placed second in both basketball and track. The jr. high tennis teams took both the Team Tennis and District Tennis championships, too.
I have limited this discussion to district awards for the sake of space, but each of you know that with winning a district championship in varsity competitions comes advancement to the next level. All of these contests will not be complete for at least another two weeks.
Needless to say, we live in a great place to raise kids! We may have areas where we can improve, but if you look at the overall picture, I think we definitely have reason to say, "We are proud of our kids, proud of our schools and proud to live in Mason!"