School News

News for Marion Community Schools


Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News McCulloch Junior High School invites families with current sixth- and seventh-grade students to come out and learn about our new Marion Prep Academy program!

We already know that Marion High School has some of the best college and career opportunities around, along with award winning music, athletics, competitive academic teams, and more. Marion Prep Academy will better prepare McCulloch students for success in high school and for the rest of their life!

There are lots of exciting new opportunities at MJH for the 2019-20 school year in the classroom and beyond! From early high school credits, to college and career exploration, to the best junior high school music program in the state, and more academic opportunities than ever before, there's something for every student at McCulloch Junior High School! (And EVERY student will be a part of the Marion Prep Academy program, which will be personalized to meet their specific needs in various ways.) 

Come out May 22 to learn more!


WHO:

~ Families with current Marion Community Schools students or anyone considering enrolling at MJH

~ Community members who want to learn about this new program and to explore ways we can build a better future together

WHEN:

6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 22

WHERE:

McCulloch Junior High School, 3528 S. Washington St.

Take a sneak peak at some of the information you'll hear more about at our May 22 event:
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News Six teachers earned special recognition at the MCS School Board meeting on May 14, 2019, as this year’s nominees and recipients of the Mary Clark Hanley Teaching Excellence Award.

The nominees are an exclusive group that personifies excellence. They were selected by their respective principals or coordinators. The 2015-16 nominees are:
  • Sarah Montgomery, Little Giants Preschool; has been with Marion Community Schools 12 years
  • Elizabeth Sechrest, Allen Elementary School; has been with MCS six years
  • Rachel Polsley, Frances Slocum Elementary School; has been with MCS five years
  • Alyssa Foss, Kendall Elementary School; has been with MCS four years
  • Michelle Faulkner, Riverview Elementary School; has been with MCS two years
  • Kevin Scheer, Justice Intermediate School, has been with MCS eight years



From left, front row, are Mary Clark Hanley award winner Elizabeth Sechrest, winner Alyssa Foss, nominee Kevin Scheer, nominee Michelle Faulkner, nominee Rachel Polsley, and winner Sarah Montgomery, were honored at the May 14, 2019, Marion School Board meeting. Also pictured are School Board members, back row, from left, Serafina Salamo, Bruce Weatherspoon, Todd Nicholson, Aaron Vermilion, Alan Beck, Superintendent Brad Lindsay, and Board members Chuck Griffin, and Dana Gault.

Foss, Montgomery, and Sechrest were chosen as the winners of the award. The winners were selected by the director of human resources, the district director of education, and an elementary principal, as requested by the Community Foundation.

Marion Community Schools congratulates all of these excellent teachers and thanks them for the work they do every day, and the difference it makes in our students' lives.

The Hanleys had the good fortune to be successful financially and wanted to give back to those individuals, communities, and institutions that have contributed over the years to their success. Mr. Hanley’s mother was certainly on that list, inspiring him educationally to be the best he could be, and that is why they named this award in her honor.

The award, set up in 2000 through the Community Foundation of Grant County to memorialize her name and her commitment to education and to promote excellence in teaching, is given annually to three outstanding elementary teachers in the MCS system, and this year included a prize of $500.
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News McCulloch Junior High School has earned a Gold Medal Award from Ascend Education, in recognition of their work to ensure all students can succeed in math.

Ascend Math is an online individualized math instructional resource that provides each student with a unique study path through skill gaps at each level. Students can progress at their own pace and track their own progress and success.

From January, when McCulloch began utilizing Ascend, to May 8, 138 students have achieved growth of one grade level, and 18 students have gained more than two grade levels.

“Congratulations to McCulloch Junior High School students for the perseverance and hard work that led to their exceptional results,” said Kevin Briley, CEO of Ascend Education. “We are extremely proud of the important job the educators at McCulloch Junior High School are doing to help their students succeed in math, gain confidence and positively advance in life.”

The Gold Medal program encourages educators to share the challenges they face and the strategies they use to overcome these challenges. McCulloch Junior High School is one of 29 schools across the country to earn a Gold Medal Award from Ascend Math.

The Gold Medal schools will be featured on the Ascend Math website throughout the next year. The complete honor roll can be viewed here. The schools also receive plaques commemorating their students’ success.
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News It was well known around the Midwestern JROTC Drill community that DJ Smith from Marion High School was a force to be reckoned with. He earned first place finishes in all five of the regional competitions he entered this year. But stepping up to compete at the National Championship on May 4 in Daytona, Fla., was a dream of his. With big dreams, come big rewards: Cadet Smith is now the National JROTC Drill Champion!

Smith competed in the Individual Armed Exhibition category, in which competitors spin, flip, throw, and catch a 9-pound drill rifle while marching precision steps under the watchful eye of graders from the various military branches’ ceremonial units. Smith initially faced 70 other drillers in his category before advancing as one of 12 to the final medal round.

“I was very nervous knowing there were so many other great drillers there,” said Smith, a senior at MHS. “I knew if I messed up at all I was out.”

After the preliminary round, Smith was seeded in second place overall. He knew he was going to face the best of the best.

What was going through his mind as he stepped up to the drill pad for his final routine as a high school JROTC cadet? He recalled: “Don’t drop! Just don’t drop the rifle.”

For the next 2 minutes and 50 seconds, Smith spun the rifle in front, behind, and over his head as he went through the routine he had practiced hundreds of time.  The rifle flipped through the air, spinning five times before he caught it behind his back. He executed the routine flawlessly.

>> Watch the video here:


As he finished, he thought to himself: “That’s it! That was the most perfect routine I have ever done.”

And then, he had to wait for the official awards ceremony later that night.

Sitting among thousands of other JROTC cadets representing the best drill teams from across the nation, Smith waited for the results.

“When they called the second place winner, I knew that I had won,” Smith said. “I just felt it.”

And when his name was called, DJ Smith became the first cadet from Marion High School to win a national championship.

“I felt like I actually accomplished what I needed to do” Smith said. “I could go home with my head held high.”



Marion High School JROTC Cadet DJ Smith (left) stands with his national championship trophy after winning the JROTC National Drill Championship in the Individual Armed Exhibition category. 
 

MHS JROTC Army Instructor retired Command Sgt. Maj. Jon Smith, who coaches the Marion Drill Team, speaks with pride of Smith’s accomplishment.

“DJ Smith is the best individual exhibition driller we have ever had,” CSM Smith said. “It is amazing to think that a kid from Marion, Indiana, just won a national championship. And he truly deserves it.”

DJ Smith would like to thank all the individuals and organizations who made donations to help him fund this trip. He has enlisted in the U.S. Army as a cannon crew member-artillery and will ship off to basic combat training in June, after graduating with the Marion High School Class of 2019.
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News The Marion High School JROTC Raider Team lived up to the National Championship title they earned earlier this academic year by concluding the year with an undefeated season against 83 other teams. 



Members of the Marion High School Varsity Raider Team negotiate an obstacle while tied together at the ankles during the Raider Challenge at MHS on April 27, 2019. The Giants beat 16 other teams to win the competition and ended their season undefeated against 83 other teams. 


The Giants hosted their final competition of the school year on April 27 and bested the 16 other teams representing JROTC programs from Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, and Indiana.

“What an amazing year for our Raiders,” said retired Lt. Col. David Farlow, Senior Army Instructor for the MHS JROTC program and coach for the Raider Team. “These young people have trained hard all year. It is incredible to think that they have beaten 83 other teams in regional competitions and won the Raider National Championship. What a year!”

During the event at Marion High School, the Raiders spent five hours conducting continuously strenuous events that included: a 2-mile cross country run; a 1-kilometer litter carry (125 pounds) with 25-pound backpacks; “Terrible Tires”, where they had to move 30 tires of various sizes 100 yards; a 10-minute buddy carry; and several other events all designed to test the strength, stamina, and teamwork of the Raiders.



Marion High School JROTC Cadet D.J. Smith exemplifies determination as he carries eight car tires 100 yards during the Marion Raider Challenge at MHS on April 27, 2019.


“We may not have been the biggest, strongest, or fastest team, but we have teamwork,” said Raider team captain Audrey Dickerson. “We have only each other, so we worked to be the best together we could be.”

When asked why this year’s team has performed so well, Farlow had a simple answer: “Leadership.”

“In terms of athletic ability our team is no better than those of recent years,” Farlow commented. “The key difference is that Team Captain Dickerson has found a way to mold them into a cohesive unit that can perform under the pressure of competition. She built teamwork.”

The Giants’ Raider B Team earned a fourth place finish April 27, defeating numerous other varsity teams.

The Varsity Raiders included: Audrey Dickerson, Haley O’Neil, Kylee O’Neil, Cheyenne Russ, Tayler Garriott, Tyron Rice, Lucas Riley, Kaleb Starr, Nicholas Elliott, Joshua Nacke, Joshua Harris, and David Cannon. The B Team included: Hailey Teeguarden, Jade McKoon, I’Yela Hornaday, Jessica Pickell, Kaeda Smith, Makayla Starr, Daniel Yancy, Josiah Hamilton, D.J. Smith, Cory Rice, Gabe Holland, and Landon Morris.



Marion High School JROTC Cadets Kaleb Starr, Nicholas Elliott, Lucas Riley, Haley O’Neil, and Tayer Garriott rapidly construct a one-rope bridge during the Marion Raider Challenge on April 27, 2019. These cadets and teammates turned in the fastest time, helping them to win the overall competition and end the Raider season undefeated against 83 other teams.