School News

News for McCulloch Junior High School


Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News For the second 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.

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.

To qualify for the All Music Award, the school’s music students must have received gold ratings in all of the following events:
Because McCulloch qualified for the award in both choir and band, they were given the Total Department award. In 2015, McCulloch was the only school in the state to earn this honor. The full list has not yet been released, so it is unknown whether we remain the only school in the state with this honor, but certainly no other school has the distinction of back-to-back awards! This is an outstanding accomplishment, and our fantastic music students and teachers deserve much praise. We take this opportunity to say congratulations to them all!

You still have several opportunities to hear these amazing students perform:
  • Choir at the MCS Kindness Rally, 5:30 p.m. Friday, April 29, at MHS’s Bill Green Arena
  • Jazz band at the MCS All-City Art Show, noon Saturday, May 14, at MHS’s Walton Performing Arts Center
  • Jazz choir, at the MCS All-City Art Show, 1 p.m. Saturday, May 14, at MHS’s Walton Performing Arts Center
  • Honors choir at the MCS All-City Art Show, 2 p.m. Saturday, May 14, at MHS’s Walton Performing Arts Center
  • Jazz choir at First Friday in downtown Marion, 6 p.m. May 6.
  • 7th-grade choir concert: 6 p.m. Monday, May 16, McCulloch auditorium
  • 8th-grade choir concert: 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 17, McCulloch auditorium
  • 7th/8th-grade band concert: 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 18, McCulloch gym
We hope you can join us for these free events featuring our amazing, award-winning musicians!
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News Where can you view spectacular art, support young artists, try your hand at various art techniques, and hear performances from some of the most talented young musicians around? At Marion Community Schools’ upcoming All-City Art Show!



Visitors peruse the art on display at the 2015 All-City Art Show.

>> Click here to view more photos from the 2015 show!


You don’t need to travel far to be inspired this spring. At the All-City Art Show, set for 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, May 13, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 14, at Marion High School’s F. Ritchie Walton Performing Arts Center, creative works from students of all ages will be on display, and visitors will have the chance to participate in several interactive art activities, including:
  • Pottery wheels: Art students will help guide visitors through the experience of experience working with clay.
  • Keith Haring mural: Visitors will help create a piece of pop art in the style of the New York street artist, to be put on display at Frances Slocum Elementary next year.
  • 3D wood sculpture: Visitors will be able to construct sculptures, using American abstract expressionist David Smith’s work as inspiration.
  • String art: Visitors will help create a piece of art as part of an interactive sign-in process.
In addition to the art display and interactive activities listed above, on Saturday visitors will also have the chance to hear performances from several MCS music ensembles, scheduled as follows:
  • 11 a.m.: Marion High School jazz band
  • Noon: McCulloch Junior High jazz band
  • 1 p.m.: McCulloch Junior High jazz choir
  • 2 p.m.: McCulloch Junior High honors choir
  • 3 p.m.: Justice Intermediate School band teachers Kelly Bare and Wayne Garret will perform
  • 4 p.m.: MCS elementary recorder ensemble, led by music teacher Erika Pappas
Art awards for all ages will be announced at 5 p.m. Saturday.

Marion Community Schools’ art programs have consistently offered students outstanding opportunities, and in the last few years several students have had their works chosen for regional, state, and even national competitions, including the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s Symphony in Color awards and the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Our art programs culminate with a wide array of courses at Marion High School, including drawing, painting, ceramics, sculpture, photography, and more.

At the All-City Art Show, visitors will get the chance to see creativity in action — and take some inspiration home with them, too. There will be a silent auction fundraiser of art items created or donated by MCS art teachers.
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News Coming up on Friday, April 29: The fourth annual Marion Community Schools Kindness Rally will celebrate the power that kindness has to change our schools, our community, and the world! This event is open to the entire community, and we hope YOU will join us!



A scene from the 2015 Kindness Rally. 

Highlights will include the Chain Reaction Ceremony; the annual Student Kindness Awards and (new this year) the Staff Kindness Awards; the Kindness Chain Parade (where representatives from each school march in with paper chains, with each link representing an act of kindness noticed throughout the school year); a chicken noodle dinner; and a carnival with bounce houses, photo booth, food, and more!

The Kindness Rally is set for 5:30 to 8 p.m. Friday, April 29, 2016, at the Marion High School gym. Tickets to be used for the carnival attractions will be four for $1, and proceeds will fund continuing anti-bullying efforts throughout the school system.

Chicken noodle dinners will be available, including mashed potatoes, green beans, a roll, a drink, and a cookie, for just $4!

The Chain Reaction Ceremony is set for 5:30 p.m. (Doors open at 5:15 p.m.) The ceremony will feature:
  • MHS JROTC presenting the flag.
  • Performances by the MHS and McCulloch Junior High School choirs.
  • Presentation of Student Kindness Awards, which honor one student from each school who embodies the spirit and kindness and who consistently exhibits it to those around them.
  • Presentation of Staff Kindness Awards (new this year), which honor one staff member from each school who embodies the spirit of kindness and who consistently exhibits it to those around them.
  • Messages from district administrators.
  • The Kindness Chain Parade.
The carnival will begin immediately after the ceremony.

MCS is also especially grateful for the support of our community, specifically a grant from the Community Foundation of Grant County that helped fund this year’s Kindness Rally, along with a donation of baked goods from Café Valley for our cake walk.

The Kindness Rally is a culmination of the focus we have year-round of intentionally encouraging our students to think about kindness and the impact it has on those around them at school and in the community. Lessons are facilitated by our school social workers and counselors, utilizing materials from Rachel’s Challenge and often partnering with organizations such as Family Services and Grant-Blackford Mental Health. This is right in line with the Community Foundation Youth Grant program that promotes philanthropy, which includes the idea of promoting the welfare of others.

We like to emphasize that it doesn’t cost anything to start a chain reaction of kindness, because it’s important to empower children to do good and make a difference even if they face struggles themselves, but these classroom-based efforts often do result in volunteer time or monetary donations to good causes, with ideas often coming directly from the students themselves.

Some specific examples from this school year include:

• Kendall Elementary School’s Kindness Kids Club, which has done two community service projects this school year, including a book drive and a visit to Lutheran Children’s Hospital in Fort Wayne to deliver the books and spend time reading and doing crafts with some of the patients, along with a visit to a local nursing home to deliver cards and care packages.
• Justice Intermediate School’s Kiss the Pig fundraiser challenge which brought in $900 for the Marion Community Schools Champions Together program, a partnership between the IHSAA and Special Olympics.
• Justice Intermediate’s faculty/friends vs. students basketball challenge, which raised money and gathered food donations and household items to help Justice families in need over the summer.
• Justice Intermediate’s food drive for The Salvation Army’s local food pantry.
• Marion High School’s food drive for St. Martin Community Center.
• Tucker Career and Technology Center culinary arts program’s work with local organizations for fundraiser food sales (such as cheese balls for Psi Iota Xi and apple dumplings for Kiwanis), as well as catering for meetings within the school system and in the community as well.
• TCTC’s welding program’s work on small projects throughout the community.

The idea of helping meet a need is the foundation of philanthropy, and students who learn to think of others and the impact their own actions can have on the world around them are set for a lifetime of giving in many forms.

All schools participate in the creation of the Kindness Chains throughout the year, but each school also has various other ways of recognizing and encouraging students and staff who display kindness and have an impact on others. At some schools, this includes cards or other rewards given for specific acts of kindness. At others, it involves recognition in a bulletin board display. The Student Kindness Awards are a natural outgrowth of this recognition process. One student from each building is selected by their administrators. We believe that simple acts of kindness have the power to change our classrooms, our schools, our community, and the world. Because of that, we truly believe the Student Kindness Awards are some of the highest honors we can bestow.

Marion Community Schools is proud of our students and staff who are starting a chain reaction of kindness and compassion and making positive changes in our schools and community. We hope that students of all ages and their families, along with community members, will come and help us celebrate at the third annual Kindness Rally!
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News All Justice Intermediate School sixth-graders and their families are invited to a special event just for them at McCulloch Junior High School on Tuesday, April 26.

The event starts at 5:45 p.m. in the McCulloch gymnasium with performances by the McCulloch drum line and choir. Then, starting at 6 p.m., you'll have the opportunity to meet the McCulloch Junior High administrators and teachers, and to explore the building.

There will also be prizes given out!

This is a great opportunity for our outgoing sixth-graders to begin the transition to a new grade, a new school building and a whole new chapter of their lives!

We hope to see you all there!
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News Coming up THIS THURSDAY (April 21), a great opportunity for McCulloch Junior High School parents and families!

All McCulloch families are invited to an ice cream social from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, April 21, here at the school. There will also be bingo games with prizes and free family portraits. In addition, we will host a discussion on setting boundaries, led by a local expert, Lori Reaves, social work professor at Indiana Wesleyan University.

We hope to see you here!