December 11, 2015 Service dogs SPORTS
[SEE PAGE 3] Christian is
Mason in the Middle making her
mark on the
powered by The Chronicle middle school
out the story
by Abby Miller
on page 6
MMS adopts new
Connor Telford | Staff Writer
A house is where a heart is. NJHS members package gifts for Operation Christmas Child. Photo by Shreya Gundavarpu
Students’ hearts lie in their houses at the be-
ginning of every day as part of the MMS House NJHS goes global in Operation
According to seventh grade math teacher Christmas Child ally cool because it’s getting people who aren’t
and house committee member Karen Binzel, or wouldn’t usually be involved with this kind of
the House System was designed to build bonds Shreya Gundavarpu | Staff Writer stuff to help because it’s as simple as bringing in
between students and other students, as well as a few pencils and a shoe box.”
teachers. Giving is not just about making a donation. It’s
“The goal was to have the students feel a sense about making a difference. The event was for a great cause and it is im-
of belonging, also to get a better rapport between portant for the students to give back to the less
the students and the teachers, to get a better re- On Friday, November 20, National Junior Hon- fortunate said eighth grade language arts teacher
lationship between them,” Binzel said. “And also or Society members marched towards Mason and co-advisor of NJHS Katie Lin.
(for) the students to have a sense of relationship High School carrying boxes and gifts to wrap for
and community among each other within the kids around the world. More than 40 National Ju- “Operation Christmas Child is founded by a
school.” nior Honors Society members went to the MHS non-profit organization called Samaritan’s Purse,”
The house system was newly implemented this Kiva after school for the Operation Christmas Lin said. “I think that this cause is extremely spe-
year, replacing the previous teams. It is a system Child project, one that is coordinated with the cial, because it allows our children to impact a
where each house has eight to 10 teachers, and high school’s NHS members. global community. The shoeboxes filled with
each teacher has a family of about 20 to 30 stu- gifts get distributed internationally, and it’s pret-
dents, a mix of seventh and eighth graders. According to eighth grader and NJHS co-presi- ty awesome for eighth graders to participate in
“I think the house system is beneficial for the dent Anna Mullinger, Operation Christmas Child an event so far-reaching. It’s extremely important
students to feel a sense of belonging within the is giving gifts to those in need, but it is also help- for those of us who are more fortunate to slow
big school,” Binzel said. “They have a lot of teach- ing NJHS itself. down and spend some time giving back.”
ers that they can turn to, they get to know more
students, so I think it’s working out very well.” “We are creating boxes full of either basic hy- According to Lin, the kids enjoyed being
With the house system now being used, the old giene items or toys to send around the world to around high school NHS members and that this
teams have gone out the window. According to kids in need that wouldn’t usually have those project is an incredible learning opportunity.
seventh grade science teacher Andrew Renner, items,” Mullinger said. “It was a great cause be-
the house system is superior to the teams. cause it is not only helping kids around the world, [story continued on page 2]
“I know a few years ago that we had teams but it is helping NJHS itself and I think it’s re-
within the building, so within your team you had
four teachers that you saw, that worked together,”
Renner said. “Essentially you just had like a bet-
ter kind of family unit (within the teams). So, I
feel like what this family time is doing is to try to
bring that family unit to an environment that no
longer has teams anymore. We’re now obviously
on more of a junior high schedule, so that’s what
it is attempting to do.”
[story continued on page 5]
Mason in the Middle is brought to you by a partnership between journalists at Mason Middle School and staff members of The Chronicle from Mason High School.
M2 December 11, 2015
Our Policy Chromebook initiative modernizes education
Mason in the Middle is an affiliate of The Shriya Penmetsa| Staff Editor
Chronicle, the official student newspaper of
William Mason High School. Seventh graders aren’t just carry- Photo by Shriya Penmetsa
ing around their smart phones any-
Mason in the Middle promises to report the more. As a result of a school wide Seventh graders RJ Spears, Sankaran Iyer, Julia Tran, Olivia Shroud, and Rithvik
truth and adhere to the journalistic code of policy, all seventh graders are man- Kilaparthi use Chromebooks in class.
ethics through online and print mediums. dated to have Chromebooks to help
with their learning. the seventh graders, if I want to do The goal for the Chromebooks is
Mason in the Middle is produced by high something cultural, it’s super simple to be a tool for the teachers and stu-
school students enrolled in Journalism I, II According to seventh grader Me- because they have their chrome- dents to use, McCall said.
and III in collaboration with middle school gan Dincler, having a Chromebook books right there.”
writers and editors. has reduced the load she has to carry “It’s not that all of your instruc-
around school. According to principal Tonya tions (are) on the technology,” Mc-
Editorials reflect the staff ’s opinion but do McCall, one of the reasons for the Call said. “The goal is that this is just
not necessarily reflect the opinions of the “You don’t have as many work- switch is financial. The school pur- one more tool that a teacher and
school administration or the Mason City sheets and papers you have to carry chased the Chromebooks for a high- students can use to effectively com-
School District. around,” Dincler said. “I think it’s ly discounted price of $300. The stu- plete the instructional goals.”
easier using the Chromebooks.” dents purchased the Chromebooks
Mason in the Middle does not yet have a pub- from the school for $200. In the next couple years, Mason
lishing schedule. Call 398-5025 ext. 33103 for Spanish teacher Amanda Chmiel City Schools wants to get into a dis-
information regarding advertising in Mason said that the use of Chromebooks “Last year we determined that in- trict wide one-to-one initiative with
in the Middle. Mason in the Middle reserves has reduced her students’ physi- stead of replacing some of comput- technology, McCall said.
the right to refuse advertising it deems inap- cal work load, said Spanish teacher ers that were due to be replaced, we
propriate for a middle school publication. Amanda Chmiel. would take that money and shift it “Within the next three years, we’d
into this,” McCall said. “If we had hope district wide from grades four
As an open forum for students, letters to the “They do not have to carry a bind- kids make a purchase or lease a de- to twelve, they’ll have technology,”
editor are welcome, but are subject to be edit- er around anymore,” Chmiel said. vice, we’d have enough money for McCall said. “Whether (that’s) a
ed for length, libel, obscenity, clarity and poor “It’s definitely reduced the amount every seventh grader to have an ac- Chromebook or whatever the latest
taste. Letters to the editor may be dropped off that they have to carry.” tual device.” piece of technology may be.”
in room 444 and must be signed.
Having Chromebooks has opened
The Chronicle is a member of The Colum- more doors for her seventh grade
bia Scholastic Press Association, The National classes, Chmiel said.
Scholastic Press Association, Quill and Scroll
International Honorary Society for High “It’s given students more ways
School Journalists and the Ohio Scholastic to be in charge of their own learn-
Media Association. ing,” Chmiel said. “They can easily
go online if they don’t understand
Contact Information something and do a little research.
The Chronicle It’s opened up more ways for them
William Mason High School to see different cultures.”
6100 S. Mason Montgomery Rd.
Mason, Ohio 45040 According to Chmiel, she prefers
(513) 398-5025 teaching with Chromebooks over
Mason in the Middle Staff traditional teaching. The Chrome-
High School Mentor Editors books help her do online activities
Arnav Damodhar and help her students do research
Jessica Sommerville about different cultures, Chmiel
High School Mentor Sports Editor said.
Staff Editors “I actually like the chromebooks
Laalitya Acharya a little more,” Chmiel said. “With
Jack Carey NJHS sharing the holiday spirit globally
Lauren Keister [story continued from page 1]
Shriya Penmetsa “I think the NJHS students en- because it allowed them to help event.
Grace Zhang joyed interacting with high school children globally. To actually get “I loved it and everything about
Staff Writers students,” Lin said. “The high school your hands ‘dirty’ by packaging the
Jack Carey NHS did a great job of setting up a items and catering each shoe box it,” Patil said,”I liked how we could
Tyler Chow fun and organized event, complete for a specific gender and age group hang out with friends and help peo-
Erika Eller with care package stations, refresh- – that will hopefully leave a lasting ple in need at the same time. It was
Caroline Giaquinto ments, and holiday music. More impact on the students.” fun because we could choose what
Shreya Gundavarpu than that, however, I believe the we put in each box and each box
Ally Guo NJHS students enjoyed the event Eighth grader Neha Patil, a mem- was different. We should definitely
Nandini Likki ber of NJHS, said she enjoyed the do something like this again soon.”
December 11, 2015 M 3
Eighth grader Wynne Dupre plays with Sunni the Therapy Dog. Photo by Riley Johansen
Service dogs offer health,social benefits in the classroom
Riley Johansen | Staff Editor love to be with the kids and the kids benefit from blood pressure) because the dog is with a diabet-
seeing how much the dogs love them.” ic student, so the dog alerts him when his blood
Mason Middle has gone to the dogs, but these According to medical studies, therapy dogs can sugar might be dropping,” Stewart said. “It’s been
furry friends won’t eat your homework. lower blood pressure, promote physical healing, helpful when the student is busy and kind of for-
As you walk the school halls, you may notice the reduce anxiety, fatigue and depression, and give gets to check their blood sugar and the dog will
pitter patter of puppy paws accompanying the stu- emotional support to not only students, but also to alert him. It does this to keep him safe and healthy
dent stampede. Unlike your common household ultimately.”
pet, these dogs aren’t always for petting. They’re at
work. According to support education teacher Kim But Stewart said MMS wouldn’t be able to have
these dogs around if it wasn’t for the students un-
The dog alerts himRolph, the dogs are very helpful when it comes to derstanding and respect of the seriousness and
needs of the dog.
“stress and anxiety.
“I feel like all the kids in the school when this
when his blood sugar“Specifically dogs are known for just calming, a
lot of kids that have autism that tend to have more dog is around, they really understand and respect
anxiety will be calmer when a dog is around.”
Rolph said. “I feel like for a lot of the kids it’s calm- might be dropping. that they’re not supposed to interact with or be
ing when a dog comes in the room, there is just talking to the dog a lot, because the dog is actually
a calming effect and I think that when they walk —Beth Stewart ” working,” Stewart said.
through the halls, down the hallways, the kids in School nurse Though these dogs are at work, Rolph said they
help her students interact with others.
general are drawn to an animal.” “Not only do the kids help out with the dogs, but
These dogs are brought by Therapy Dogs of adults such as senior citizens and veterans.
the dogs return the favor,” Rolph said. “They are
Greater Cincinnati, and they join support educa- The life of a dog may seem relaxing, but the able to introduce the dog to one of their peers, so
tion students on Thursday mornings. According to school’s newest service dog, according to school it kind of encourages the kids to have those social
Glenna Mockbee, the leader of the organization, nurse Beth Stewart, Maverick works ‘like a dog’ interactions that they may not. Now there is some-
the dogs are an accepting companion. when it comes to helping his owner. thing else that’s a focus besides them, so they use
“(The dogs) don’t care what the child looks like, “One of the things (the dog) does is the student the dog to approach and interact and engage in a
or anything like that,” Mockbee said. “They just can get busy and forget (about checking their conversation.”
4M December 11, 2015
Data complied by Pew Research Center. Dating places
It shows the percentage of teens 13 to 17 strains on
who use different types of social media. friendships
Illustration by Chronicle Graphic Designer Kate Madigan Jack Carey| Staff Editor
Have you ever wondered just why
Students use social media despite safety concerns
people date in middle school?
Kaelyn Rodrigues| Staff Writer This content can be shared with ally good way to interact with and According to seventh grader Sam-
Instagram. Twitter. Snapchat. the user’s online friends. Different contact people.”
applications and websites have uel McKee, dating in the Middle
Vine. Social media is used every A study at George Middle School focuses more on the popular-
day, but just how safe is it? different School in Portland, Oregon ity than the actual relationship.
showed that after introducing a
81 percent of teens who have “ Certain middle social media program to their “(Dating) is mostly just bragging
internet access use social media. schoolers could have a students, they saw a 50 percent rights,” McKee said. “It didn’t matter
According to bullyingstatistics. tendency to use it ap- increase in grades. This social me- very much and wouldn’t be perma-
org, more than one in three ado- propriately or abuse the dia program introduced websites nent, with most lasting only one se-
lescents and teens have been cy- ”social media site. such as Edmodo, a social media mester. It makes people believe you
berbullied. —Surya Ramji site made for students and teach- are more popular than you actually
ers, where students can create vid- are, and it gives you some self con-
At Mason Middle School, stu- Eighth grader eos, post on blogs, and build web- fidence.”
dents are required to use the in- sites. Social media can also help to
ternet. Edline is used to check content that can be shared in dif- spread news quickly. Though boys and girls date for
grades, some teachers use Google ferent ways. different reasons, dating still tears
Classroom to keep track of assign- Eighth Grader Anant Ramji, apart friendships, McKee said.
ments or Google Drive to store Seventh grader and social me- however, said he doesn’t think
online worksheets. Social media dia user Annika Surya said that that certain middle schoolers can “Relationships are time consum-
is similar to Google Classroom, social media is appropriate for handle the potential of social me- ing and take away time for spending
or even more similar to an edu- middle schoolers. dia. with friends,” McKee said. “We (my
cational website called Edmodo,
except it’s for personal use. “I think that it is appropriate be- “Certain middle schoolers could “ Once she began to date,
cause it helps people interact with have a tendency to use it inappro- she just kind of stopped
Social media users can create or one another,” Surya said. “It’s a re- priately, or abuse the social media hanging out with me and
share content, like photos, videos, site,” Ramji said. just started chossing her
or messages, with their devices. ”boyfriend over us.
friend and I) hung out less and he
seemed to always have something
‘better’ things to do than hang out
with his friends.”
Eighth grader Rachel Vento said
she had a similar experience after
her friend started dating.
“Once she began to date she just
kind of stopped hanging out with us
and just started choosing her boy-
friend over us,” Vento said. “There
were times where we would have
plans and then she would cancel at
the last minute just to spend a little
bit of time with her boyfriend.”
Vento said this may be because
middle schoolers are not ready to
enter the dating world.
“Well, we have to piggyback on
our parents for rides and with dating
tearing apart friendships that we’ve
cherished for such a long time,”
Vento said. “I just don’t think we are
ready to date yet.”
December 11, 2015 M 5
Dress code skirted in classrooms Parthasarathi
is math genius
Jessie Kong | Staff Editor
Nadini Likki | Staff Writer
Clothes aren’t the only thing that might need Photo by Jessie Kong Eighth grader Sruthi Parthasarathi is a
to be patched up. In classrooms, students are
rarely called out if they violate the dress code. Seventh grader Jessie Kong models the stand-out in MathCounts, a math related
dress code restrictions. club that competes with other schools in
MMS has a myriad of rules set to sustain disci- competitions. Parthasarathi has been on
pline and safety, the dress code being most pop- clothing. the team since she was in sixth grade and
ularly discussed among students. Chock-full of But, according to Gentene, this may ultimately takes math classes in the high school.
limits ranging from no spaghetti straps to hem-
lines lower than or equal to three inches above be okay. The dress code might not be effective to Parthasarathi got fourth place at state
the knee, personal viewpoints spread across the all, but it is on others and will continue to serve as in MathCounts, and represented the team
school every day. Assistant principal Lauren Gen- guidelines. at nationals, all last year. She is hoping
tene said that the dress code’s purpose is to keep for another win at the MathCounts tour-
kids focused during class. “It’s kind-of like driving down the highway,” nament this year.
she said. “Your parents are speeding, and there’s
“The dress code serves to...eliminate distrac- probably lots of cars speeding, and not every car “We’ve been getting first place at our
tion from our educational environment as well gets pulled over, but sometimes a car gets pulled school for three years in a row, and we’re
as protect the dignity of each student,” Gentene over. We maybe are not able to enforce everything trying to keep that up this year,” Para-
said. all the time, but that’s kind-of how life is.” sarathi said.
Seventh grade gym teacher Kyle Peters said if Parasarthi said MathCounts has mul-
a student doesn’t follow regulations, there will tiple rounds.
be a conversation.
“MathCounts competition has two
“If a student violates the dress code...I have a written rounds and a team round,” Par-
conversation with them and if they’re able to fix thasarathi said. “Then using that they
that dress code situation, I have them do that,” take the top amount sum of individuals
Peters said. “If not, I remind them next time that and have a countdown round, which is
they need to not wear that type of clothing or like one on one. We go up on a stage and
that item.” it’s timed and we have a buzzer, and that’s
more of a tournament bracket.”
Seventh grader Ishika Paul, however, said she
questions the dress code’s level of enforcement According to Parthasarathi, she has al-
ways had a passion for math.
“I’ve never actually seen a teacher tell some-
body off for wearing something inappropriate,” “Ever since I was a little kid, I guess
Paul said. that (math) was the subject that my par-
ents taught me a lot,” Parthasarathi said.
Assistant principal Lauren Gentene said that “I’ve grown to like it.“
this may be true because classroom teachers can’t
always see everything that students are wearing. According to Parthasarathi’s coach and
former teacher, Sallie Carney, she is a
“If a teacher’s standing out in the hallway and wonderful student.
greeting students as they arrive...they are seeing
your full body as you walk in as opposed to just “She’s amazing,” Carney said. “I mean,
seeing you for the first time when you are seated everything about her is amazing. She’s
at your desk,” Gentene said. amazing in math, she works really hard. I
know I can count on her to be able to do
Peters, however, is able to see the entirety of stu- great work, and to explain her work.”
dents’ attire with his position teaching gym and
has caught a student for wearing inappropriate
MMS hopes to build lasting bonds with unique house system
[story continued from page 1]
The teams involved students traveling between tests and quizzes that we’ve (got to) do, and that Richardson said. “I’ve also seen the eighth graders
four different classrooms, but now, with seven valuable time can save you from a (bad) grade,” serve as great mentors to the seventh graders. So,
bells instead of just four teachers, the teams no Young said. “For me, usually I don’t have enough it’s been very exciting.”
longer work in the schedule. time to finish a test or check it over, which I really
don’t like. Last year, I had a lot more time for stuff, The goal of the house system was to connect
“You know, I really enjoyed the team aspect of which I found way more helpful.” grade levels and make students feel more com-
it,” Binzel said. “But with that not really being an fortable with teachers and other students, and so
option with the way the school calendar is, I think Outside of the house system, seventh and eighth far, it appears to be successful at its job.
it’s a very good alternative.” graders rarely get to mix, excluding hallways and
some classes. According to eighth grade spanish “I think the goal was to bring a sense of com-
However, some students still prefer the old sys- teacher Lauren Richardson, it’s good for the sev- munity to the building, a way to connect students
tem. According to eighth grader Logan Young, enth graders to learn from the eighth graders. in a way that teams once did,” Richardson said. “I
the house system takes up a lot of time that could think it is doing a great thing. Not only is it con-
be used for more class time. “I have seen seventh graders really take lead- necting grade levels, but it is just connecting the
ership within the eighth graders in homerooms,” building as a whole with the houses.”
“We lose a lot of time in class for things like
6M December 11, 2015
Seventh grade girl works to trump
Abby Miller | Staff Writer According to Boering, Christian is s
A seventh grade girl wrestles with the very committed “(When I found out])
I thought she must be pretty tough,” Photo by Abby Miller
stereotype of wrestling being an only male Boreing said. “She’s just different than
sport. Seventh grader Sierra Christian is the most other girls because most girls don’t Seventh grader Sierra Christian kneels and listens to her coach at wrestling
only girl on the middle school wrestling do wrestling. And so, she must really practice November 20.
team. However, according to Christian, the like it, and want to do it.”
boys don’t treat her any different.
Everyone treats her fairly, but there
“They treat me like a guy, basically,” are some minor difficulties, according
Christian said. “They’re not scared to pin to Christian.
me, or to do any sort of move on me. Basi-
cally, just another guy.” “Sometimes, it’s hard (to fit in),” Chris-
tian said. “It just depends on how you in-
Head coach Darrell Boreing agrees that teract with them.”
she is treated just like anybody else and
Boreing said that’s how it should be. Although she hasn’t wrestled prior
this year, Christian said she has been
“She has to weigh herself everyday like dedicated to the program.
everyone does,” Boreing said. “So, we bring
the scale out of the boys locker room, up- “I started this year at the beginning of
stairs for her to use it. She wrestles with the season,” Christian said. “I went to
everybody.” conditioning and then I started.”
8th grade wrestler, Dante Ditullio said According to Boreing nothing is get ting
that having a girl on the team, doesn’t in her way from being successful
phase him, or anybody.
“She will be eligible to wrestle in every
“You don’t usually see girls in wrestling, meet,” Boreing said. “Nothing will stop her,
but it doesn’t really matter,” Ditullio said. rule wise, or procedure wise, from getting
“We treat her like regular.” the chance to wrestle like any boy.”
You’re going to want to take this class at MHS
The Integrated Media Internship offers freshmen students an opportunity to jump right in and find their place as a part of Mason High
School’s student-developed public news broadcast program. This program provides local and school news information in a variety of
formats to students and staff at MHS throughout the school year.
Integrated Media students do everything from reporting, producing, and editing video newscasts to researching, reporting, and updat-
ing school website information including the latest community events. This course opportunity is not just for hopeful reporters. Integrat-
ed Media is need of students who are looking to assist with perfecting news story coverage and those who are interested in the mainte-
nance and updating of our websites.
If you are looking for a unique way to be involved in your school community, enroll in Integrated Media where you will have authentic
experiences in Web Development, Public Relations, and Video Production.
WEB Development Team: This portion of the internship focuses on maintaining several of the official Mason City Schools websites includ-
ing gomasoncomets.com. This team strives to create a standard of representation for all schools within the district.
Public Relations Team- The PR team works together to bring you news coverage when it comes to the Mason community and news
abroad. Interview skills and story reporting are a focus. Past experiences have included reporting from
Mason Stadium on Friday nights; reporting from Paul Brown Stadium; working with WCPO- Channel 9.
Video Production Team: MBC strives to produce top-notch news video reports. They utilize a state-of-the-
art green screen, camera equipment, and editing platforms to produce the best quality news program
possible. MBC is equipped with high quality video production cameras as well as microphones to ensure a
high standard of production.
Sports Radio: The Sports Radio team broadcasts Mason Comet football, Mason Comet girls and boys bas-
ketball, and several other sports live using webcasting, streaming, and social media apps.
Questions: Contact [email protected] or [email protected]
December 11, 2015 M 7