School News

News for Marion Community Schools

Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News Marion High School JROTC cadets brought home two top finishes from the JROTC Regional Drill Competition hosted by Purdue University last weekend — recording the highest placements ever for the Giants at this competition.

The Giants were among 30 schools and private academies from the five states competing in this annual event designed to test the precision movements and synchronization of the cadets in a variety of events.

An MHS color guard team led by cadet Jackie Chueng, a senior, earned a second place finish, the highest placement ever for a Marion team in any event at the Purdue competition. The team also included cadets Stephanie Charlton, a senior, Joseph O’Donnell, a junior, and Miller Betz, a sophomore.

“I am so proud of my team,” Cheung said. “We have been practicing a lot, and it really showed today.”

Two additional MHS color guard teams earned fifth and sixth place in this event.

“This is by far the toughest event we attend each year, and we continue to get better,” said retired Command Sgt. Maj. Jon Smith, the Giants’ coach. “With schools and private military academies from several states, and with more than 200 total teams competing in the various events, we more than held our ground. We also won more hardware than we have ever earned at Purdue.”

Cadet DJ Smith, a sophomore, earned a third place finish in the solo exhibition event — the first time a cadet from Marion has ever finished in the top three in this event. Smith demonstrated his creativity, precision and athleticism by spinning, throwing, and catching his drill rifle while marching about, all under the close scrutiny of the drill sergeants grading the event.

“I was so nervous, but knew I had to keep going,” Smith said.

Overall it was a great experience, Sgt. Maj. Smith said.

“Our results are even more impressive when you consider that two of the schools attending this competition are usually top finishers at the JROTC National Championship,” he said. “Our teams competing in other events performed very well, and everyone stuck together as a team. I am very proud of all 15 cadets that came this year. HOOAH!”

The Giants will travel this Saturday to compete at the University of Kentucky.
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News Originally published on Jan. 25, 2017

A family faces tough decisions in the MHS Black History Club's play, Livin' Fat. We invite YOU to come and watch the story unfold!

The play is set for 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, at the Walton Center at Marion High School.

Livin' Fat launched the career of Judi Ann Mason, one of first female African-American television sitcom writers. She wrote it at the age of 19, and with it earned a comedy award sponsored by the Kennedy Center. Her work caught the eye of TV producer Norman Lear, who hired her as a writer for the classic series Good Times. She went on to write for several other series, including A Different World and Beverly Hills 90210, and was also one of the writers of the movie Sister Act 2 starring Whoopie Goldberg. She continued writing plays as well, and earned the Kennedy Center's Lorraine Hansberry Award for her play A Star Ain't Nothin' But  a Hole in Heaven.

Through Mason's lense, big ideas become personal choices with far-reaching consequences. Livin' Fat, set in the 1970s, tells the story of the Cooper family. While working as a bank janitor, David Lee, finds a packet of cash dropped by fleeing robbers, takes it home and begins buying his financially strapped family the things they've long wanted but couldn't afford. But the unexplained gifts worry righteous mother Biddie and father Calvin, who becomes convinced David Lee robbed the bank and wants him to return money — even if it means going to jail.

The cast members are:
  • Stacia Tyson, an MHS senior, playing Mary Lee Cooper (Big Mama) 
  • Tae'lor Tyner, an MHS senior, playing Biddie Steen Carter (Mama)   
  • Manual Davis, an MHS junior, playing Calvin Ray Carter (Daddy) 
  • Leilanu Jackson, an MHS sophomore, playing Candy Carter
  • Amonte King, an MHS junior, playing Eberneezer Goodson (Boo) 
We hope you'll join us for this special production! Tickets are $7 and can be purchased in advance or at the door. To purchase advance tickets, call 664-9051, ext. 2234.

And make sure to get here early to enjoy the '70s fashion show featuring students and community members, before the play gets started!

Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News Last weekend, all five Marion Community Schools robotics clubs were finalists in the VEX IQ tournament in Gas City, and our Justice Intermediate School Sixth Grade Tech Giants advanced to the state finals.

Thirty teams from around the state competed in the elementary level tournament, held at Northview Elementary School on Saturday, Feb. 11. The top 10 teams advanced to the event finals round, and five of those were Marion teams!

Two teams from Justice Intermediate School (fifth and sixth grade), along with teams from Frances Slocum, Kendall, and Riverview elementary schools, have been working for months to design and build their robots, and to practice the required skills that would be tested in the tournament.

The VEX IQ Challenge, presented by the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation, provides students with open-ended robotics and research project challenges that enhance their science, technology, engineering, and math skills through hands-on, student-centered learning. The Marion robotics clubs foster teamwork, critical thinking, project management, and communication skills. Opportunities like this help prepare students to become the next generation of innovators and problem solvers!

This year’s challenge is called Crossover, and teams use their robots together with one other or alone to score points by completing specific maneuvers, as outlined by the challenge rules. The Justice Sixth Grade Tech Giants earned a Teamwork Champion Award and advanced to the state level competition, set for Feb. 25 at IUPUI in Indianapolis.

Here's a video of that final match-up in which they earned their state berth:

We are proud of these students, and of the teachers who have sponsored the robotics clubs and spent countless hours working with these students outside of regular class time. We wish the Justice Tech Giants good luck as they continue on in competition!

The Teamwork Champions! Justice Sixth Grade Tech Giants advanced to state-level competition. Pictured are Gabby Aguilar, Haden Montgomery, Alex Powell, Xavier Stewart, Beck Vermilion, and Christian Vermilion, along with Mary Miller, Justice Intermediate teacher and Tech Giants sponsor.
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News Last weekend, several dozen Marion Community Schools students joined with thousands of students from across the state in the annual Circle the State with Song choral festival.

McCulloch Junior High has participated in the festival for the past several years. For the second year in a row, though, students from Justice Intermediate School and all the MCS elementary schools took part. In addition, one McCulloch student, Michael Seybold, earned the honor of singing a solo!

The festival – which is held at several different sites around the state (this year from Feb. 11 through Feb. 25) – exposes young singers to new music and gives them the chance to have a choral experience quite different from the regular school class or performance.

After weeks of practice on their own and at their schools, students from across the state come together and work with a guest clinician on the day of the performance. Nearly 5,000 students from elementary schools, middle schools, and junior high schools around the state participate in this annual festival series, which is in its 29th year. The Indiana Music Educators Association puts on the event.

Marion Community Schools’ young artists performed at the CSWS festival on Saturday, Feb. 11, at the Honeywell Center in Wabash. The students spent the day in rehearsals, and then put on a public performance in the afternoon.

"This was a great opportunity for our students," said Christina Huff, choir teacher at McCulloch Junior High School. "They held themselves to high standards, behaved professionally, and sang beautifully."

The students who participated in Circle the State With Song 2017 are:

McCulloch Junior High
  • Kari Bilbee
  • Tori Daehn
  • Jazzlyn DeBoard
  • Evelyn Detamore
  • Cassie Evans
  • Briana Huston
  • Makayla Kephart
  • Emma McAbee-Reher
  • Kaylie Nantz
  • Kylee O’Neil
  • Isis Phifer
  • Kaitlyn Tu
  • Timothy Bento
  • Navia Cushingberry
  • Mia de las Alas
  • Emily Fannin
  • Robert Herrington
  • Lizzie Nielander
  • Jessie Pickell
  • Amyah Richardson
  • Czarina Sierra
  • Anna Wuertley
  • Marcus Bounds
  • Greg Johnson
  • Austen Mills
  • Alex Rayment
  • Michael Seybold
  • Jackson Vice

Justice Intermediate
Part 1 / Soprano
  • A’Miyah Adams
  • Chloe Bell-Mitchell
  • Nazdhia Dominguez
  • Brooklyn Evers
  • Emily Fisher
  • Lillia Fisher
  • Victoria Hardnett
  • Damari Harshaw
  • Chloe Hawkins
  • Alandra King
  • Emily Luckey
  • Stephany Miksch
  • Angel Mosier
  • Dessie Norwood
  • Destiny Reed
  • Ruby Saylor
  • D’nei Smith
  • Teysia Walker-Gray      
Part 2 / Alto
  • Danika Ayers
  • Lalah Boyd
  • Lexi Colbert
  • Noah Compton
  • Shalyn DeBoard
  • Keionna Foard
  • Destiny Gillespie
  • Savana Harvey
  • Gracey Johnson
  • Princess Jones
  • Alicia LeBlanc
  • Kalique Malone
  • Greg Marble
  • Hailey Markley
  • Karli Purvis
  • Faith Riggs
  • Aidan Ruley
  • James Russell
  • Kelsie Shoup

Allen Elementary
  • Chloe Kaski
  • Christian Harland
  • Kinadeigh Smith

Frances Slocum Elementary
  • Josephine Gibson
  • Nevaeh Grace
  • Michael Herrington
  • Jacen Rose

Kendall Elementary
  • Ava Adams
  • Nathaniel Beck
  • Ethan Boogar
  • Ciara Caldwell
  • Grace Chandler
  • Abigail Crouch
  • Makayla Munday
  • Michelle Rasor
  • Colin Rayment

Riverview Elementary
  • Dacia Boyd
  • Caleb Huff
  • Darionna Wrigh
We’re so proud of our talented students, and of our choral and music teachers as well for the opportunities they give to our students not only at special times such as this, but every day! At Marion Community Schools, we recognize the life-changing potential of arts education, and we are continuing to invest in these important programs.
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News Last week, several students from the Giant Wildcat Academy were featured as speakers during the Indiana Council of Administrators of Special Education's annual conference in Indianapolis.

GWA is a partnership between Marion Community Schools and Indiana Wesleyan University that gives select students with disabilities (ages 18-22) the opportunity to explore the world and life beyond the walls of Marion High School. With the help of IWU student mentors, GWA students learn to be more independent, increase their social circle, and learn how to live an abundant life. GWA students learn life skills, experience the college atmosphere, and can work as volunteers in various capacities on the IWU campus. 

At the ICASE conference, some of our students, mentors, and staff talked about the program and the special opportunities it offers. It was a great experience! For some of our students, it was the first time in a hotel, or the first extended trip away from Marion.

We are grateful to ICASE for the opportunity, and we are so proud of our students, mentors, and staff!

>> For more information about GWA or how you can get involved, click to email Renee Arenibar, or call 765-618-4144. IWU students interested in becoming peer mentors can obtain applications in the IWU Teachers Education Office in Goodman Hall.