School News

News for McCulloch Junior High School


Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News For the fifth year in a row, the McCulloch Junior High School music department has earned the Indiana State School Music Association’s highest honor, the J/M/E Total Department All Music Award — the only school in the state to do so five years straight.

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.

“We are so proud of our students!” said McCulloch choir teacher Christina Huff. “We are so grateful for school, district, and community support of our choir and band programs. Our students would not have the opportunities for this much success without it!”

To qualify for the All Music Award, the school’s music students must have received gold ratings in all of the following events:
  • Solo and Ensemble Contest (at least one solo and one ensemble entering in Group I, II, or III)
  • Jazz Organizational Contest
  • J/M/E Organizational Contest
Because McCulloch qualified for the award in both choir and band, they were given the Total Department award, one of only six schools in the state to earn this award.  In 2018 and 2017, McCulloch was one of only two schools in the state to earn this honor, and one of only three in 2016. In 2015 — the first year this award was given at the junior high level — McCulloch was the only school in the state to earn this honor. It remains the only school in the state to have won this award five years straight. This is an outstanding accomplishment, five years running, and our fantastic music students and teachers deserve much praise. We take this opportunity to say congratulations to them all!

There are many chances to hear these award-winning groups at various year-end shows:
  • 7th grade spring choir concert: 6 p.m. May 13 in the McCulloch auditorium
  • 8th grade spring choir concert: 6 p.m. May 14 in the McCulloch auditorium
  • 7th/8th grade spring band concert, 6 p.m. May 15 in the McCulloch gymnasium
  • Various performances on May 11 during the MCS All-City Art Show; watch for more specific schedule as the event nears
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News This Thursday, Marion Community Schools will host the 2019 Grant County Drug, Alcohol, and Tobacco Awareness Quiz Bowl.

Students from every public school corporation in the county (Marion, Mississinewa, Eastbrook, Oak Hill, and Madison-Grant), along with public charter school the Faulkner Academy, and private school St. Paul Parish School, will be participating in the competition, which is put on by the Drug/Alcohol Resource Team (DART). In all, 29 students grades four through seven will be competing, having placed in the top of their school-level competitions to advance to the county level.

The competition starts at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of McCulloch Junior High School, 3528 S. Washington St. The event is open to the public, and will feature Judge Mark Spitzer as the emcee and Judge Dana Kenworthy and Ann Vermilion as judges. Students will compete in two categories: Division I will feature fourth- and fifth-graders; Division II will feature sixth- and seventh-graders.

The Marion students competing are from Justice Intermediate School: Areanna Miller, and Kadynce Graves, both fifth-graders, and Caleb Richardson and Noah Rhoadarmer, both sixth-graders. Marion Community Schools wishes them good luck!

Courtesy of several businesses and organizations throughout the county, each competitor will receive gifts, and first and second place winners in each division will receive prize packs worth more than $200.

The top four winners of the county level contest will advance to the regional competition set for April 27 in Fort Wayne.

The organizers of the Grant County competition thank the following sponsors:
  • Riverside Community Federal Credit Union
  • Crest Lanes
  • AMC Theater
  • Texas Roadhouse
  • Grains & Grill
  • Casa Brava
  • Culver’s
  • Bob Evans
  • Papa Murphy’s
  • Marion Fire Department
  • Regions Bank
  • Ivanhoe’s
  • Splash House
  • Marion Police Department
  • STAR Financial Bank
  • Jimmy John’s
  • Mutual Bank
  • IHOP
  • Beacon Credit Union
  • Sirloin Stockade
  • Mike Greenwald Insurance
  • Collins Group
  • Fazoli’s
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News ILEARN is the annual test the state of Indiana requires students take starting in grade three. (It replaces the ISTEP.)

Tests are given in grades three through eight, and also for high school courses Biology and U.S. Government. For information about when your student will be testing, contact your school building office.

>> Click here to view an ILEARN fact sheet for families from the Indiana Department of Education

>> Haga clic aquí para ver una hoja informativa de ILEARN para familias del Departamento de Educación de Indiana

For more information, you can visit the IDOE's website.

HOW YOU CAN HELP:
  • Make sure your student gets plenty of rest during testing periods.
  • Make sure your student eats a healthy breakfast (either at home or at school, where all of our students have free breakfast available).
  • Encourage your student to do the best that they can, and to work with their teacher every day to improve. 
  • If you feel your student is feeling extreme testing stress or anxiety, please reach out to your student's teacher, principal, and/or social worker. 
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News Marion High School will be offering free athletic physicals to any Marion Community Schools student in April 2019, for students who plant to play school sports next fall.

>> Click here for more information from MarionGiantsSports.com
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.”