School News

News for Marion High School

Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News Marion Community Schools is pleased that the hard work being done every day by our staff, students, and families has been recognized for excellent improvement by the Indiana Department of Education’s 2017-18 school grades.

For the first time since the start of ISTEP, no MCS elementary school will be placed in the bottom two categories of the state’s accountability labeling system. In fact, overall, our elementary school grades are the best they have been since the start of the state’s school accountability grades, with Riverview Elementary netting an “A”; Allen and Frances Slocum netting a “B”; and Kendall netting a "C". All of these are up from last year, with three of the four raising their grade by more than 15 points — due largely to the growth accomplished by our students.

“We focus on making sure every student is growing every year,” said MCS Education Director Michele Smith. “We are building a strong foundation at our elementary schools, with preschool through fourth grade. We work for breakthroughs every day, and our students are growing toward proficiency.”

At Riverview Elementary, which jumped from a “C” to an “A”, Principal Lendon Schwartz credited the students for setting goals and working to meet them.

"We are extremely proud of our Riverview students and teachers for their hard work and dedication in achieving the letter grade ‘A’!” Schwartz said. “All of our students are held to high academic expectations, and it pays off. We use data to drive our decisions and to create specific learning paths for each individual student. We also take the time to build authentic relationships and teach our students to be GIANT citizens. Our students made a goal last year that they didn't want Riverview's letter grade to be a ‘C’ anymore. We motivated them to push themselves to give their best — and that's what they did!”

The school is planning a special celebration on Nov. 28, to which last year’s Riverview fourth-graders (now at Justice in fifth grade) will be invited. More details will be provided from the school to students’ families.

At Frances Slocum Elementary, which jumped from a “D” to a “B”, Dr. Gwen Lavert, the school’s principal, emphasized her students’ strengths and potential.

“The Frances Slocum teachers and staff are very happy and excited about moving to a grade of ‘B’,” Lavert said. “This movement was based on the students’ strengths of being verbal, creative, expressive, analytical, resilient, and problem solvers. These are also the strengths that the teachers will continue to build on to move our students to achieving their targets this year.”

At Allen Elementary, which also jumped from a “D” to a “B”, Principal Anthony Williams noted the work is a team effort.

"We are all very proud of the hard work that our students and teachers exhibit daily at Allen Elementary,” Williams said. “It's the effort of an entire Allen community that allows us to see the success that is visible daily. We strive to keep growing toward achievement. Our continual focus on growing each student one at a time is the foundation to all of our students hopefully achieving their very best on state assessments, but more importantly life in general."

Kendall Elementary raised from a “D” to a “C”, and students and staff are working hard for continued success there!

Four schools exceeded 100 growth points, and the lowest growth points total was 75. Any growth total that exceeds 50 means that students’ growth rate is above the average rate across the state. Overall, Marion Community Schools is in the top 10 percent in the state in terms of growth.

Marion High School misses 'A' by fraction of a point

Marion High School remained a “B” based on the 2017-18 school year, but was only a fraction of a point away from an “A”.

“Every single student matters,” MHS Principal Keith Burke said. “Being that close to an 'A' comes down to just a couple students. Growth for every student is our mission, what we work for every day, because it’s not just about a test — we are setting our students up for success in life beyond high school, in college or a career.”

Justice Intermediate School remained a “D”, albeit with score that is several points higher than the previous year.

McCulloch Junior High School, the only school that did not increase its overall score, remains a high priority for the school district. The school’s grade fell by a fraction of a point, keeping it at an “F” for the 2017-18 school year.

“We have intensified our energies for academic improvement at McCulloch and at Justice,” said Dr. Brad Lindsay, superintendent of Marion Community Schools. “Meeting individual student needs and making school fun, purposefully engaging, and exciting is essential. Our McCulloch and Justice staff are mission-motivated, committed, caring professionals, and we are intentionally directing attention, resources, and support to put these schools on the path to sustained improvement. Though there are many great things happening, including growing athletic programs and one of the best music programs in the state, we must continue to strive for greater academic success for our students in the middle grade levels.”

There is much for the schools and community to take pride in, Lindsay said.

“I believe in and am proud of our students, staff, and administrators throughout our district. In every school, our people are working purposefully to provide our students their very best,” he said. “I’m thankful for the families who have chosen Marion Community Schools to educate their precious children. We count that as a high privilege, and we understand that family and community support is essential to continuously increasing our students’ success.”

The success of Marion Community Schools is intertwined with the community’s support and success.

“We love and are thankful for the community of Marion, which has rallied around our schools,” Lindsay said, “making education and our students a priority, and helping us to serve a cause that is greater than our individual selves, which is our children, our community, and our future. Marion Community Schools’ success is the city of Marion’s success. And the city of Marion’s success is Marion Community Schools’ success. Together, we will wrap support around our children and families to help us all become the best we can be.”
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News The Marion High School Speech and Drama Association, in cooperation with Marion High School Choirs, is bringing the timeless love story of Aida to life at the Walton Performing Arts Center this weekend!

This contemporary classic, with music and lyrics by Elton John and Tim Rice, is a crowd-pleaser with an unforgettable score. MHS is presenting the School Edition, which is abridged and tailored to younger performers’ needs. It doesn’t cut corners, though, on the epic tale of loyalty, duty, betrayal, and love that transcends all! This is a thrilling show that you won’t want to miss!

Show times are at 7:30 on Friday, Nov. 16, and 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17. Tickets are general admission, $8 for adults, $5 for children / MCS students and staff (with ID). Credit/debit cards will be accepted.

Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida School Edition is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI).  All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News The students, teachers, staff, and administrators of Marion High School cordially invite all current and former members of the United States Armed Services and their family members to a Veterans Day Memorial Ceremony at Marion High School.

This event honoring and acknowledging the dedication, sacrifice and commitment of American veterans in their service to our nation will start at 10:40 a.m. Monday, Nov. 12, in the Bill Green Arena at MHS, 750 W. 26th St. The ceremony, which will last about an hour, is also open to the public. Parking for the ceremony is located adjacent to the gymnasium. This event is handicapped-accessible.

Veterans are encouraged to come early and attend a welcoming reception in the school cafeteria, starting at 10 a.m.

Col. Eric Lopez will be the honored guest and speaker at this year’s ceremony. As commander of the U.S. Army 3rd Recruiting Brigade at Fort Knox, Ky., Lopez — who served seven combat tours to Iraq and Afghanistan — is responsible for the Army recruiting mission in all or part of 16 states, including Indiana.

If you have any questions about this event, please contact the JROTC Department, 765-664-9051 ext. 2455.
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News The Marion High School JROTC Raiders competed this past weekend against the country’s best Army JROTC teams at the Raider National Championship, and claimed the title of best small school in the nation!

The Marion High School JROTC Raider Team earned the title as the Overall Champions in the Small School category during the Raider National Championship on Nov. 3-4, 2018, in Molena, Ga. The Giants placed fourth overall, defeating numerous larger schools and private military academies.

The Giants fielded two co-ed teams at the competition in Molena, Ga. The Giants A Team (varsity) competed in the two-day U.S. Army National Raider Championships and brought home fourth place — the highest placement of any small school team in the competition. The Giants B Team (JV) competed in the one-day All-Service Raider Challenge Championships and came in eighth. The Giants beat many private military academies and larger schools. Nearly 100 schools were competing.

The Marion High School JROTC Raider JV Team competed in the All-Service Raider National Championship in Molena, Ga. The Giants earned an impressive eighth place finish from among the nearly 50 teams representing Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps JROTC programs. 

“Oh my gosh! What an amazing effort from our cadets!” said Lt. Col. (Retired) David Farlow, the senior Army instructor and coach for the Raider Team. “These results are the culmination of months of hard work and dedication. Our cadets faced off against the best teams from across the country, including many private military academies. The Giants proved that a small program from Marion, Indiana, can compete and win against the best Raiders from anywhere.”

This is the fourth year the Giants have competed in the Raider Nationals, and each year they have improved their standings in the final rankings.

In addition, two Marion cadets earned accolades for their placements during the Ultimate Raider Competition: senior Audrey Dickerson and junior Tyron Rice placed 21st and 25th in the nation, respectively.

During the Best Raider Competition, the cadets run nearly two miles while wearing a 35-pound backpack and negotiating various obstacles, including a 10-foot wall they must scale.

Cadet Audrey Dickerson scales a 10-foot wall after running nearly 2 miles with a 35-pound backpack during the Ultimate Raider Challenge during the Raider National Championship in Molena, Ga. 

Five events comprise the Raider National Championship, and the Giants A Team finished in the top 10 in all five!

The events and the Giants A Team’s placement in the 2018 competition were:

• 5-kilometer mountain run; sixth place
• 1-mile cross country rescue, where cadets wear 35-pound backpacks, carry a stretcher weighing up to 150 pounds, and negotiate various obstacles, including a 10-foot wall they must scale and a 30 feet long mud pit; fourth place
• One-rope bridge crossing nearly 90 feet over a river; ninth place
• Physical team test, where cadets run and carry a variety of items while negotiating an 800-meter course with various obstacles; fifth place
• The Gauntlet, where the cadets wear 35-pound backpacks and run nearly 1 mile through a wooded terrain while negotiating various obstacles, including a wall they must scale; fourth place

“I am so proud of how both teams competed this year,” said Dickerson, the Raider Team commander. “We continued to improve throughout the season. It was hard work but it was also the mental toughness coming from the heart of each Raider. These Raiders are awesome.”

Marion High School JROTC cadets Tyron Rice, I’Yela Hornaday, and David Cannon crawl from a culvert during the gauntlet event at the Raider National Championship in Molena, Ga. The Giants were the overall Champions in the Small School category and finished fourth overall, beating numerous larger schools and private academies in the competition.

Another veteran of the competition was already looking ahead.

“I really liked competing and winning this year,” said junior Tayler Garriott, who has for three years at the National Championship. “But next year is my senior year and we have to figure out how to improve to place even higher. That will be tough.”

Many individuals and organizations donated to help the MHS Raider team travel to the championship.

“We simply could not provide the cadets with such an opportunity without the tremendous support from our community and school system,” Farlow said.

The full list of cadets who competed:

A Team:
  • Audrey Dickerson
  • Juan Rodriguez
  • DJ Smith
  • Haley O’Neil
  • Tyron Rice
  • Tayler Garriott
  • Nick Elliott
  • David Cannon
  • Josiah Hamilton
  • I’Yela Hornaday
  • Kylee O’Neil
  • Kayleina O’Donnell
B Team:
  • Cheyenne Russ
  • Hailey Teeguarden
  • Jessica Pickell
  • Emily LeBlanc
  • Alyssa Townsend
  • Israel Ibanes
  • Lucas Riley
  • Josh Harris
  • Josh Nacke
  • Daniel Yancy
  • Kaleb Starr
  • Gabe Holland

The Marion High School JROTC Raider Team runs toward victory during the physical team test at the Raider National Championship. The Giants placed fifth on this event and earned the title as the Overall Champions in the Small School category in the competition Nov. 3-4, 2018, in Molena, Ga.
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News Marion Community Schools is proud to announce that choir students from three of our schools have earned spots in All-State Honor Choirs.

John Flowers, Myles Kohn, both juniors at Marion High School, who have been selected for the Indiana Choral Directors Association’s All-State Honor Choir; and to Christian Vermilion, an eighth-grader at McCulloch Junior High School, and to Justice Intermediate School students Caleb Huff and Michelle Rasor, both sixth-graders, who have been selected for the Indiana Music Educators Association’s All-State Elementary and Middle School Honor Choir. Congratulations to these talented and dedicated students on this outstanding achievement!

This is the second year in a row for this honor for both Myles and Caleb. Christian joins a tradition of excellence at McCulloch; this is the fifth year in a row that choir students from the school have been selected to the IMEA All-State Honor Choir. Caleb and Michelle are helping to build the tradition at Justice, which is sending students for the second year in a row.


Students submit a recorded audition in the fall, which is then evaluated by three judges and compared against hundreds of other students from across the state. This is an elite group, as each of the honor choirs includes only about 150 singers, some of the best in the state.

The choirs will gather together for two days of rehearsal on Jan. 18 and 19, and then will be featured as guest performers at the IMEA professional development conference. The will perform on Jan. 19 at the Grand Wayne Embassy Theater in Fort Wayne.

The All-State Honor Choir is a great opportunity for these talented students, and will give them the chance to learn and grow as musicians. We are so proud of all three of these students, and their teachers, Christina Huff at Justice/McCulloch, and Bryce Conway at MHS!