School News

News for Marion High School

Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News The new leader of Marion Giants athletics brings collegiate-level experience and a vision for maximizing student-athlete potential, supporting coaches, and generating community excitement.

Jamy Bechler will take over as director of athletics at Marion High School starting June 2. He was approved by the Marion Community Schools Board of School Trustees during its regular meeting on May 14.

“There’s a lot of opportunity at Marion,” Bechler said. “You need a visionary leader when you have 20 sports, a wide fan base, and a proud tradition. It’s a big job, and I’m honored to have been chosen.”

Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News For the fourth year in a row, the GM Foundation has made an outstanding impact on Marion High School with a $10,000 donation.

The donation was presented this year during the First Friday celebration in downtown Marion on May 2, 2014. The award is in support of academic excellence at MHS, including Advanced Placement and dual credit offerings.
Marion High School Principal Lennon Brown and Assistant Principal James Bragg, who oversees the high school’s AP programming, accepted the donation. The award is administered through the Community Foundation of Grant County.

Marion Community Schools is grateful for the ongoing support of GM’s Marion Metal Center and the GM Foundation.

Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News Link From the Chronicle-Tribune

The Marion High School JROTC culminated its third year in style with a formal military banquet for the cadets, their families and school officials.

“Tonight is a formal military banquet where we celebrate the accomplishments of the cadets individually and collectively,” said Lt. Col. David Farlow, JROTC senior army instructor. “It’s all about recognizing what they’ve done this year.”

Farlow said it was important to honor the cadets for their hard work to inspire them to continue their success in the future.

“The cadets need to know that when they try hard and they achieve, we’re going to recognize them,” he said. “That inspires them to go on and try harder and to succeed. The parents and family and friends, they need to see how great these young people really are and what they’re doing is very positive and it’s helping them become the next generation of leaders.”

Cadet Dylan Anderson said the JROTC inspired him in a number of ways.

“I’ve matured, a lot, from it,” he said. “I’ve learned a lot of life lessons, I guess you could say, and even a lot about the service because it’s a military-based program. Personally, in eighth grade before I came here I would never do my homework, never do all that stuff, I was failing classes and in eighth grade I didn’t really care about school but in ninth grade I got in here and it really turned me around. I want to join the Navy now when I get older and before I never really had any goals set like that. It’s really cool.”

Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News Link From the Chronicle-Tribune

One week after Marion students attended prom, they hosted a prom for a different set of seniors.

The Marion High School and Faithful Friends Home Healthcare’s Senior Citizens Prom was Saturday night in the school cafeteria, decorated to match this year’s theme of “The Great Gatsby,” which was also the theme of the students’ prom this year.

The Student Senate has organized the event for 25 years now. Student Senate President Aaron Manio said senate members save money throughout the year from fundraisers and candy-gram sales, for example. They also approach local businesses about donating funding, food or bingo prizes.

The event is free for seniors.

“I think it’s a great thing,” Manio said, “because we want the seniors to feel good.”

Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News After a short but incredibly successful tenure at the helm of Marion High School, Principal Lennon Brown is retiring — again.
He will remain at the helm at MHS through December, which will provide Marion Community Schools flexibility in the hiring and transition process.
“When the dust settles and I reflect on the 41.5 years of my career, Marion will definitely rise to the top, for my stay here was the most challenging and rewarding years of my administrative career,” Brown said.

Marion High School Principal Lennon Brown speaks during commencement ceremonies for the Class of 2013 on May 8, 2013, in Bill Green Arena. (Marion Community Schools photo)
Brown took the lead at MHS on an interim basis in 2010, at the request of longtime colleague and friend Steve Edwards, who had recently taken over as superintendent of Marion Community Schools.
Brown had retired from Anderson Community Schools as assistant superintendent in 2009, but was immediately called back into service there as interim superintendent. When that interim position ended, Brown returned to retirement. But after repeated requests from Edwards, he agreed to take the lead at MHS to help execute a plan to get Marion High School off of probation and out of danger of state takeover.
“Most administrators would have graciously declined coming here after studying the data and the looming threat of state action. For me it was the ‘perfect storm,’” Brown said. “In reality, I may have needed Marion more than Marion needed me.”
Though it was to be a short-term interim position, Brown later agreed to stay on for subsequent years because of the changes he saw happening.
“The more I thought about it, the more I like where I am,” he told the Chronicle-Tribune in 2011. “ … I look at where we are, and I think about where we could be. There’s a lot of great things going on in (Marion High School).” 
Under Brown’s leadership, MHS has risen quickly, from a school labeled as failing for years, to an Indiana Department of Education honor roll school, graded a “B” for the 2012-13 school year, and a bronze medal winner in U.S. News and World Report's 2014 Best High Schools nationwide rankings. Though Brown and Edwards led the charge, both never hesitated to give credit to the students, teachers, staff, and community who made the changes possible.
“I have had the privilege of working with students, teachers, community members and administrators that wanted positive change. They were also willing to do whatever it took to bring about this reality,” Brown said.
The successful turnaround has made MHS a beacon for change, with leaders from other schools in the region turning to MHS and MCS leadership to glean strategies and practices that could help solidify their own success story.
And Brown, along with Edwards, was awarded a Sagamore of the Wabash — the highest honor bestowed by the governor of Indiana — in May 2013, in acknowledgment of the successful turnaround effort.
But as Brown is so often heard to say, “A good school can be better. A better school can be great.”
So when Edwards retired after the 2012-13 school year, Brown opted to stay on for another year.
“Mr. Brown has played an essential role even beyond serving as our outstanding high school principal,” said Superintendent Brad Lindsay, who took over at MCS in July 2013 after Edwards’ retirement. “His high-quality character, integrity, leadership skills, experience, and positive energy have been invaluable not just at our high school, but for our entire school community and the greater community of Marion.”
During Brown’s tenure at MHS, the changes have been remarkable.
“When Mr. Brown arrived, MHS was facing giant challenges,” Lindsay said. “Mr. Brown will be leaving MHS a national premiere high school, as evidenced by the recent U.S. News and World Report bronze medal award, putting us in the top 27 percent of the nation’s high schools. It’s been an amazing transformation, and we’re looking for more giant things to come in the next seven months of Mr. Brown’s leadership at MHS.”
The foundation is set for continued success at Marion High School. But now, with his wife, a fellow educator, also retiring from Anderson Community Schools, Brown is returning to his plans to begin the next chapter of their lives.
“I make this decision with mixed emotions,” Brown said. “Most people arrive at this point in their career with joy and enthusiasm. I have not yet experienced that feeling. What I do have is the realization that I cannot do this forever. Since no one will kick me out of the nest, I must do so myself. Therefore, I am choosing to join my wife in her soon-to-be retirement.”
As for plans, he said: “I know we will travel, spoil the grandchildren. We may even irritate the children in the process. They will forgive us because we are old,” he said with characteristic mischievousness.
It is with much gratitude and respect that Marion Community Schools will bid farewell to Principal Brown.
The search for the next principal of Marion High School will begin immediately. Brown will play a key role in the transition process.
“Today I am reminded of the Apostle Paul, for I feel that I too have fought the good fight for MHS, I have kept the faith for MHS. However, I did not finish the race, but I now pass the torch,” Brown said. “From a distance, I’ll be watching.”