School News

News for Marion High School

Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News Over the summer, incoming Marion High School senior Noah Graham got to experience the world of politics and government as a delegate to Hoosier Boys State.

More than 600 young men from around the state participated in the week-long experience hosted by Trine University. Delegates, organized into “cities” and “counties,” create simulated governments, from local up to state level, including executive, legislative, and judicial systems.

Incoming MHS senior Noah Graham strikes a mayoral pose after his election as mayor of his "city" at Hoosier Boys State this summer. (Photo provided)

The mission of Hoosier Boys State is to provide young men an opportunity to learn how politics impacts our daily lives. Noah got an inside look at the strategy, compromise, and negotiations that go into running a government.

“I was running for positions not even an hour into day one, and I helped get many people from my city and county into state positions,” he said.

Noah ran for both mayor of his city and judge for his county, and won both positions. The delegate who was elected governor ultimately appointed Noah a Supreme Court justice.

In addition to the mock government, delegates had the chance to take classes and got to watch an appeals court in action on campus.

Only a select few students from across the state get the chance to attend each year, and alumni of Hoosier Boys State include former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, former U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar, former U.S. Rep. Lee Hamilton, and Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Randall Sheperd.

Boys State also takes place in 47 other states, and notable past delegates in other states include former U.S. President Bill Clinton, Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, Roger Ebert, Pulitzer Prize winner, and Michael Jordan, retired NBA player.

It’s an experience that certainly lays a foundation for a lifetime of civic  engagement, and we congratulate Noah on his accomplishments!

Delegates learned about the art of deal-making at Hoosier Boys State. (Photo provided)
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News Several Marion High School students competed at the 44th annual Mu Alpha Theta Mathematics National Convention in Orlando, Fla., this month, bringing home 12 awards.

MHS was represented by 24 students at the convention, which ran from July 20 through 25. The team placed 20th out of 55 teams nationally. Marion was the only Indiana team competing. More than 800 students from across the country and Germany competed.

Bucholz High School, from Gainsville, Fla., won its eighth consecutive national championship. 

Here's a look at the national awards the Giants brought home:
  • The Theta State Bowl Team, composed of junior Zachary Spitzer and sophomores Micah Hoeksema, Nicholas Spitzer, and Megan Griffin, finished third, behind Florida and Alabama.
  • Senior Janet Huffman finished fifth in the Alpha Topic Test - Mathematics in Rides.
  • For the second year in a row, Marion placed in the poster competition. This year, the poster, with the theme "It's a Math World After All", was designed by seniors Patricia Manio, Lan Nguyen, Samantha Diedrich, and Alyssa Ngo. The poster scored 10th place.
  • Seniors Alex Ott and Tejas Srikanth placed 18th in the Alpha Gemini competition
  • In the Theta Gemini test, sophomore Danielle Manio finished 19th.

Other Mu Alpha Theta members competing were graduated seniors Vinai Oddiraju, Andrew Spitzer, Steven Ngo, Ted Fry, Korbett O'Banion, Amogh Sehgal, and James Walts, seniors Austin Ott, Myla Townsend, Catherine Morton, and juniors Abishek Sehgal and Elijah Beal.

Oddiraju also finished his term as Region 3 Representative and National Secretary/Treasurer.

It's the MHS Mu Alpha Theta National Mathematics Honor Society's third year competing at the national convention. For a look back at last year's competition, click here.
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News Marion High School's Bill Green Arena is one of the largest high school arenas in the world. Walton Performing Arts Center is one of the finest theaters in the country. Now, Marion Community Schools is turning heads yet again with a brand new state-of-the-art turf field at Dick Lootens Stadium.

Our students deserve the best opportunities. This new field will be an amazing home turf for our student athletes and many other organizations, including JROTC and marching band.

It's a great time to be a Marion Giant!

Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News Marion Community Schools is pleased to announce the next principal of Marion High School: Keith Burke.

Burke has nearly two decades of experience in leadership roles at Indianapolis Public Schools, and he will have the opportunity to work closely with retiring MHS Principal Lennon Brown, who will remain MHS principal through Dec. 31, 2014. 

"Keith will have the first semester to learn from and with Mr. Lennon Brown and our high school and district team, as well as our community,” Marion Community Schools Superintendent Brad Lindsay said. “Keith has 16 years of successful leadership experiences from Indianapolis and is excited about joining our community and our Marion Community Schools team.”

Burke has most recently led T.C. Howe Community High School, a former IPS school currently being run by turnaround operator Charter Schools USA. Data shows student achievement has grown significantly during his time there. He has played a lead role not only academically, but also in the area of community connections, finance, and professional development.

Prior to that, he served IPS in various leadership roles since 1996, and was an integral player in many turnaround and success stories within that corporation.

He was named National Community School Principal of the Year in 2006 for his work at IPS Washington High School, which was at the same time named National Community School of the Year. Both awards were given by the Coalition of Community Schools, an alliance of national, state, and local organizations that supports partnerships between schools and other community resources.

Just a short time before, Washington had been in danger of state takeover and was actually closed for a time. The turnaround success was due in large part to significant community partnerships with more than 50 local organizations that helped make sure the needs of students and their families were met. Innovative teaching strategies at Washington also included civic and community involvement components.

During Burke’s time at Washington, first as assistant principal and then as principal, standardized test scores rose by an annual average of 10 to 15 percentage points, and in the reopened school’s first graduating class, the Class of 2008, 100 percent of students passed the math portion of the Graduation Qualifying Exam, and 90 percent passed the language arts portion. Under his leadership, the school showed the most academic growth of any secondary school in the IPS school system, and was featured by the American School Board Journal as a model for failing urban schools.

He served as athletic director at IPS Arsenal Technical High School (the largest high school in the IPS system) during the time period that Indianapolis hosted Super Bowl XLVI, when Tech was the beneficiary of some of the NFL’s community outreach programs. Burke was the point person for IPS in all communication with the Super Bowl Committee, the media, and the NFL teams, for the design and construction of the Chase Legacy Center, the renovated Tech Football Stadium and the field turf installation. (The NFL donated the turf field built at the University of Indianapolis as the New York Giants’ practice field to Tech, and the Chase Legacy Center, a fitness, media, and educational center on the Tech grounds that houses programs run by a dozen different organizations, ranging from fitness, to media, to art, to culinary and gardening programs, was made possible by $1 million in seed money from the NFL.)

“I really enjoy building community relationships,” Burke said. “That’s part of what I’m looking forward to in Marion: being a part of a community that is engaged and supportive. I’m excited for my family to become part of this community.”

He also served as AD and head football coach IPS Broad Ripple High School, where he was named IPS Coach of the Year for multiple years, as well as Indianapolis Star Coach of the Year. He had previously served as a social studies teacher at Broad Ripple, where he was named teacher of the year.

Burke, who is originally from the Vincennes area, started his career as a teacher and coach in Madisonville, Ky.

“Over the years as a coach and principal, I’ve watched with pride as my students have gone on to Harvard, Yale, West Point, and other prestigious institutions,” Burke said. “These are kids who faced significant challenges and tough environments. Some of them are in the spotlight for their own extraordinary successes now — and that’s the ultimate satisfaction for me.”

He earned his bachelor’s degree in education and master’s degree in educational leadership from Oakland City University in Oakland, Ind.

Lindsay said he believes Burke’s experiences will serve him well at Marion High School.

“Keith understands that come Jan. 1, he has GIANT shoes to fill,” Lindsay said. “As he receives the baton from Mr. Brown, he is determined to continue the good work that has occurred before him, and the positive upswing of Marion High School that has earned a U.S. News and World Report Bronze Medal distinction and is on the verge of an IDOE letter grade of A."

Burke said he is impressed with the turnaround story at Marion High School and is confident that Brown staff has laid foundation for continued success.

“We’ll stay the course with the improvements they’re making, and we’ll grow from there,” he said.