The Mason City School District is an incubator for enhancing leadership capacity. We recognize that growing leaders is important, and are working to boost staff and student leadership through several important initiatives.
Enhancing Teacher Leadership
Nothing has a bigger impact on a child’s education than having a great teacher. I believe it is critical that our teachers take on leadership roles so that they can have a bigger impact on key decisions that affect teaching and learning in our schools. In 2014, Dr. Kist-Kline started the district’s Teacher Leadership Academy with 43 teachers who were willing to let me learn and grow beside them. Since then, over 200 teachers have participated in Mason’s Teacher Leadership Academy. One of our key focus areas has been using effective coaching and feedback to influence performance and achievement.
We are also committed to growing leadership among groups who may have traditionally been over-looked. For example, while 80 percent of teachers nationally are women, only 12 percent of educational leaders are women. Encouraging staff of color, women, and diverse thinkers to consider leadership opportunities will make our district even better.
Enhancing Student Leadership
Leadership doesn’t stop with the adults in our schools. In Mason City Schools, we believe today’s learners are tomorrow’s leaders. We want to develop globally-focused student leaders. One of the district’s bold steps is to create more opportunities for students to practice leadership and service. This year, there are many great examples of students of all ages honing their leadership skills, including:
MECC World Changers: MECC students decided to launch their own campaign to raise dollars to change the world. The project, led by kindergartners in Ragan Reeves class, involves a school-wide fundraiser to tackle world issues the students identified that needed changed: kid hunger, lack of clean drinking water, and homelessness.
MI Students Bring Fresh Water to South Sudan: Through the tremendous efforts of Mason Intermediate students in the Class of 2020, in March Water for South Sudan, Inc. completed drilling the well made possible by the school’s $9,221 donation. Sixth grade teachers are continuing to develop service learning and leadership opportunities initiatives in connection with the book this year.
It is a privilege to lead a school district filled with leaders. Thank you for supporting our staff and students as they continue to serve and shape our community!
Yours in Education,
MHS Female Coder Starts MMS Coding Club: Mason High School’s Myra Gupta wants middle school girls to embrace computer science. That’s why, with the help of Miami University’s Dr. Dhanajai Rao, she applied for and received a $2,000 grant from the National Center for Women and Information Technology to help spread the word that coding isn’t just for guys by starting a coding club for Mason Middle School girls.
Gail Kist-Kline, PhD