School News

News for Marion Community Schools


Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News Some of best young musicians in the area will gather together for a special performance as the Grant County Public High School Honor Band this week.

The public is invited to come out and enjoy this special performance, set for 7 p.m. Thursday, March 14, in Indiana Wesleyan University’s Chapel Auditorium in Marion. Admission is free!

The Grant County Honor Band will feature some of the top music students at each of Grant County’s five public high schools, Eastbrook, Madison-Grant, Marion, Mississinewa, and Oak Hill. It will also feature a distinguished guest conductor, who will help the musicians hone their skills as they prepare for a special performance. This year’s guest conductor is Michael Flanagin, Director of Bands and chairman of the Division of Music at Indiana Wesleyan University.

Band directors from all five schools have been collaborating to make this opportunity possible for the talented young musicians around the county.

“Establishing this event as a local tradition is something that gives our students ownership and something to take pride in,” said Eastbrook High School Director of Bands Joel Walters. “I am looking forward to this year, as students who are participating for their second year have made friendships with students from the other schools, and I look forward to seeing students continue to get to know one another.”

Ryan Wamhoff, director of bands at Oak Hill High School, echoed that, noting that his students were excited that the event was returning.

“Last year's first ever Grant County Honor Band was a tremendous success,” he said. “My students enjoyed the experience of performing with peers from around the county and found the music challenging and fun. Every one of my returning students who participated last year applied to be a part of it again this year plus many more, I think that is a testament to its success.”

It’s something that the educators know can have a lifelong impact.

“Our students talked about the Grant County Honor Band more than any other honor band they'd been a part of. When you interact with students from your own county, there's always the possibility of building friendships. We know with social media there can be a lot of interaction from a distance, but there's nothing like real life interactions with others that can lead to lasting friendships,” said Cindy Walker, assistant director of bands at Mississinewa High School.

Marion High School Director of Bands Josh Huff said the success of the event is just one facet of a flourishing of the arts in Grant County.

“I don't know that 20 years ago you could've said that music education was THRIVING in Grant County,” he said, “but I think you can truly say that today.”

Flanagin, the guest conductor for the event, noted that this flourishing arts culture has a community-wide impact.

“We have a lot of special things going on in Grant County — theater, musical theater, vocal music, instrumental music, visual arts, and more,” he said. “This particular event is not only an opportunity for area high schools, but this also gives our music education students at Indiana Wesleyan University the opportunity to see and hear students from the area as they help out with this event.  If this day can help to further their education, then I consider it a ‘win-win’ for all involved.”

The event brings opportunity not only for the students, but for the educators as well.

“We can share ideas, different pieces, and it gives us a chance to build a network of support,” Huff said. “Professionally, it's awesome to just spend a day with other directors in like-minded situations and brainstorm and talk about the progress of the programs.”

Wamhoff said this has helped elevate all of the directors involved.

“The time spent planning and preparing for each year’s honor band has brought all of us directors together. Now we are a team. We often face similar every day challenges, and we can be a resource for each other when one of needs help or is looking for fresh ideas.”

The real impact, though, goes far beyond music education, Walters noted.

“Music education can be very different than other activities in school, but also has many connections to those other activities,” he said. “The biggest difference is that it allows students to express themselves in ways that they might not normally do. It allows them to be creative while learning how to collaborate with others. I believe it ultimately helps prepare our students for the rest of their lives after they graduate. Students learn how to be excellent musicians, but in the process, they learn discipline, responsibility, creativity, and critical thinking skills.”
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News

The Giants are headed back to semi-state! Let's show off our Giant Pride on Friday!

For the third time this school year, a Marion High School team is headed to semi-state in the IHSAA's state tournaments. (The football team and girls basketball team were the first and second.)

Marion Community Schools encourages businesses and organizations around the city to join us as we celebrate Purple & Gold Friday, in honor of the Giants.

The public is also invited to join in a pep rally for the team on Friday at 3:30 p.m. on Friday at Bill Green Arena (and to help us send the team off at 1:30 p.m. Saturday).
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News By Myla Townsend

Two Marion High School art students earned recognition at regional art competition at the University of St. Francis recently.

The USF School of Creative Arts’ 43rd Annual High School Art Exhibition is on display through March 20. Almost 250 works of art from 30 high schools in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Illinois entered.  A total of 16 awards and 8 scholarships given. Eli Lootens won one of the Talent Scholarships, and Sophia Porter received an award of 3rd place.



Eli Lootens displays his scholarship award from University of St. Francis.
 

Artwork will be on display in the John P. Weatherhead Gallery in the Mimi and Ian Rolland Art and Visual Communication Center, located just off Leesburg Road on the USF campus, 2701 Spring St. Fort Wayne, IN.

Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. For more information about exhibits and events, contact the School of Creative Arts at 260-399-8064.
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News By Myla Townsend

With gold medals earned the past two weekends at music competitions, McCulloch Junior High School has qualified for the Indiana State School Music Association’s highest honor, the J/M/E Total Department All Music Award for the fifth year in a row — the only school in the state with this winning streak.

Every year, ISSMA hosts several competitions for music students in the state. The All Music Awards are the culmination of those contests, and the music departments who earn them are among the best in the state.

On March 1  and 2, the McCulloch Jazz Band and Choir both traveled to Kokomo High School to compete in the ISSMA Jazz Festival. Both groups earned a gold rating from the judges. Since the jazz program was founded, this the fifth consecutive year they have done so. McCulloch students Jon Peters and Chandler McMurray received blue ribbons for their solos in the band performance. Shaylee Vermilion received a blue ribbon for her solo in the choir performance.



MJHS jazz band competes at the annual ISSMA Jazz Festival. 



MJHS jazz choir 
competes at the annual ISSMA Jazz Festival.


On March 9, McCulloch band and choir students finished their competition season at Elwood High School for the ISSMA Organization Festival. Both band and choir earned a gold rating.

To qualify for the All Music Award, the school’s music students must also have received gold ratings in the ISSMA Solo and Ensemble Contest, for at least one solo and one ensemble. McCulloch far exceeded that requirement, with several students earning gold in both categories in both the vocal and instrumental competitions.

There are many chances to hear these award-winning groups at various year-end shows:
  • Performances during the All-City Art Show, May 10 and 11, schedule to be announced
  • 7th grade spring choir concert: 6 p.m. May 13
  • 8th grade spring choir concert: 6 p.m. May 14
  • 7th/8th grade spring band concert, 6 p.m. May 15
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News The collaboration that provides students in Marion and Grant County to take aviation and airplane maintenance classes in high school earned a special accolade from the Indiana Department of Education recently.

At their annual Awards for Excellence event Tuesday, Feb. 26 — which celebrated accomplished students, programs, and business partnerships in career and technical education throughout the state — the IDOE recognized the Marion Regional Career Center’s Aviation Academy with a Partnership Award.



Students in Marion Regional Career Center’s aviation maintenance class get plenty of hands-on learning at the Marion Municipal Airport.


The Aviation Academy is a partnership between MRCC, the Marion Municipal Airport, Air Marion, the City of Marion, and the Jim McKinney Air & Space Foundation. These partners see aviation as a growing area and one of the keys to attracting new businesses to Grant County. Students can participate in a two-year program in either aviation/flight operations or aviation mechanics. Both programs are housed at Marion Municipal Airport.

The Aviation Academy is unique in this region. The partners in the program each have a specific role to play, but decisions are made collectively. MRCC is responsible for teachers, students, and everyday classroom operations. Marion Municipal Airport provides use of the terminal and organizes trained pilots to fly with the students; every student receives at least five hours of flight time. The City of Marion owns the hanger that has a classroom built into it for the program. The Jim McKinney Air & Space Foundation was created to support the MRCC Aviation Academy, and has contributed funding for the fuel required to fly students, as well as other equipment and materials.

This partnership is a win-win for all involved, as we work together to help build a brighter future for our students, our school, and our community.

MRCC currently has 16 programs to choose from, with the mission to develop every student’s technical, academic, and job readiness skills. MRCC also offers programs in fields such as culinary arts, health, and information technology. Even more programs will be coming soon.

Marion Regional Career Center programs are open to students at Marion High School and participating schools throughout the county. Students interested in applying should contact MRCC Student Support Staff and Community Specialist Nathan McNeely at 765-664-9091 or nmcneely@marion.k12.in.us.