After the last article I submitted about the gloom and doom of our budget problems, I wanted to write an article that highlighted some of the things we have to celebrate here at Mason ISD. As I say every chance I get to every person who will listen, we have great kids! Great kids are the result of great parents and a great community. We have a lot to celebrate. I hope you were able to read the front page article in the Sunday (May 1st) edition of the San Angelo Standard Times. It related one more reason we have to celebrate the successes of our students and faculty. We have been ranked #1 high school in the Concho Valley and Big Country by the Children At Risk advocacy group based in Houston. I hope you get the opportunity to read the article.
On Friday, May 6th, we will be hosting an afternoon of fun and information. Mason High School will be the setting for the Blue Ribbon School Celebration. The activities will begin with an assembly in the auditorium at 11:20 with guest appearances from some local celebrities. A hamburger lunch will be served for students and visitors (until we run out) in the Ag Shop for a $5 donation. After lunch, we will go down to the track for ice cream and some friendly competition. Please come join us. We are anxious for you to hear and see first-hand how great our school is and what it means to be a National Blue Ribbon School.
Another bit of good new to share is we have recently been awarded a grant from the State Energy Conservation Office (SECO) in the amount of $29,080 to replace the air conditioning units in the elementary building. These new units will be more energy efficient, require fewer repairs and save money on utilities. MISD will provide $7,262 in matching funds. The board and I had decided to replace these units with money saved from the 2009-10 budget before the state announced plans to cut school funding, but when this grant opportunity presented itself, it looked like a perfect fit for our plan.
We have also received an additional $25,000 in our ACE (Afterschool Centers for Education) program grant. We were one of the five schools in the state of Texas to receive these additional monies because we met all of the required program goals. Our ACE program has been cited as one of the model programs in the state. This program helps hundreds of MISD students succeed in the classroom. In the near future our funds for this program will be reduced. In order to sustain this very valuable program, we will need help from the community. If you or your organization might be interested in helping in any way, please call us. I would like to invite you to stop by and visit our ACE program. There are exciting things going on there!
Just a few other things the students and staff have been accomplishing this spring are:
· Elementary UIL—District Champs
· JH UIL—2nd Place
· JH Band—Received a rating of 2 in Concert and a rating of 1 in Sight Reading
· High School Band—Received a rating of 1 in both Concert and Sight Reading for another Sweepstakes honor
· HS UIL—District Champs
· One Act Play advanced all the way to the Regional Contest where they were the alternate to State
· HS Girls and Boys Track teams were District Champs; boys were also Area Champs with many athletes advancing to Regional Track Meet
· HS Boys and Girls Basketball teams took District Champion titles with boys advancing to the regional tournament and girls making it to the area round of playoff competition
· HS Boys and Girls Golf teams won district with the boys team advancing to state
· State champions in Team Tennis
· UIL Tennis—Players advancing to state in boys singles, girls singles, boys doubles, and girls doubles
· HS Boys Baseball team finished 3rd in district and will compete in the first round of playoff competition Friday night in Bandera against Charlotte.
· HS Girls Softball team has completed their second year of competition and improved their record from 2 wins last year to 7 wins this year.
Regardless of how much money the state of Texas cuts from our funding, we still have great kids, a great staff and a great community! MISD will not only survive the financial challenges placed in front of us, we will rise to meet those challenges head on with the determination and high expectations of Punchers and Cowgirls!