Knights' News RSS Feed
Join Us for an Open House!

Open Houses offer a wonderful opportunity to see if Mason Prep might be the right fit for your student and your family. Tour our campus, meet our teachers, and see what makes Mason Prep such a special place.

Hands-On Open House
Sunday, October 6, 2:00 - 3:30 p.m.
Rising kindergarten and first grade families, come learn about our programs and enjoy fun STEM activities!

School Day Open Houses 
Wednesday, October 16, 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.Tuesday, November 12, 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Parents of rising K-8th graders, come see our classes in action! These school day Open Houses provide an opportunity to see engaged students and engaging teachers.

Find more information and registration here.


Summer 2019 Round Table

The current issue of the Round Table is out! Read about our new web page, "Mason Prep Stories;" how the proceeds from the 2018-19 annual fund will support STEM learning; and the high school destinations of the Class of 2019. You may download it here. Enjoy!

2019 Kaleidoscope

At Mason Prep, we are a school of writers, with all subjects incorporating writing. Enjoy the many works by our students and the beautiful student artwork on both covers! Read it here.

(Fun) Summer Reading List: Teacher-Recommended and Student-Approved!

When you ask your child what he or she would like to do over the summer, you may not hear, “Read books.” Not to worry - we're here to help you make reading an enjoyable part of your child’s summer. We have put together a summer reading list of teacher-recommended (and student-approved!) titles by age range. Happy reading! Read the blog and see the list here!

Faculty Spotlight: Mrs. Denise Hilton

Mrs. Hilton has been at Mason Prep for 19 years. She began her career at Mason Prep teaching French for grades 1-3 before swimming into second grade (Mrs. Hilton’s students are known as the fish). 

Why do you enjoy teaching?
I enjoy teaching because of the children. They make each day special. Their creativity and curiosity about learning new things brings a joy to my heart. I enjoy helping them learn and helping them discover new strengths within themselves.

Why do you teach at Mason Prep?
Mason Prep has always held a special place in my heart. I am a graduate of Mason Prep and I met one of my dearest lifelong friends while a student here. I think that Mason Prep is an amazing place. I feel the students, parents, and faculty are like my family. I have been fortunate enough to experience Mason Prep as a student, as a teacher, and now as a parent. When I became a teacher, I knew I wanted to be at Mason Prep and I have been blessed with this wonderful opportunity.

What is the most important life lesson that you want your students to take from second grade?
I want my students to take with them that kindness really matters. No matter what obstacles they face, they should let their kindness create positivity.

What do you like to do for fun?
I like to go to the beach, swim, and read great books. I enjoy going to Disney World with my family. I also like to run and will be sponsoring the Running Club again next year. It is wonderful to watch students as they set goals to improve their distance or time. I like encouraging them to find and enjoy an exercise that they can use for a lifetime.

Tell us some interesting facts about yourself.
I love watching movies from the 1930s and 1940s. I enjoy singing and dancing.

What are some things you’d like to do in the future?
- Ball room dancing
- Participate in a lip sync battle
- Travel the world

Lowcountry Parent Article: Raising a Reader

We were thrilled to be asked to contribute to an article in Lowcountry Parent about raising a reader. Mrs. Kreutner and Mrs. Stamatiades gave some very helpful tips on doing just that! Read the article here.

6th Grade Video

What is special about being a Mason Prep 6th grader? Watch our video to find out!

Faculty Spotlight: Mrs. Laura Thompson

Mrs. Thompson has been teaching art to all grades at Mason Prep for 28 years. She also offers after-school art for students in all grades.

I teach because…
it is my calling. I fought it for many years, but I have come to realize that teaching is what I was meant to do.

The one thing I want others to know about my class is…
that I teach art so that students will love it for a lifetime. I have a vast knowledge of art history and art techniques and strive to share it with my students of all ages.

My favorite lesson or unit to present is…
taking the third graders on a walking tour of Gadsden Street each year to learn about Charleston single houses and what characteristics makes them so unique to our culture and to architectural history.

The proudest moment of my career was…
when I received the Order of the Palmetto, the highest honor given in the State of South Carolina, for my volunteerism after the publishing of my children's book, Joseph's Charleston Adventure. All of the proceeds were given to charity. Over $100,000.00 had been donated by 2010.

The craziest thing I have ever done in the classroom is…
This is hard to answer because I do what others may find crazy every day. I laugh at myself all the time, and the children come to know me as I am. After spending eight years at Mason Prep, the students know me, and I know them.

My favorite assessment strategy is…
To treat children fairly is not to treat them equally. Students need to be given what they individually need to succeed. We all have attention "tanks". Some are small — these are the quiet children who would rather not be praised publicly. Some have huge tanks. Others have tanks with holes in them — these children need lots of attention. Bad attention will fill the tanks just as well as good attention, so it important to know this so as not to feed the bad attention.

If I could teach a class of future teachers, I would include a lesson on…
I have had that pleasure for three years as an adjunct professor at the College of Charleston. As a teacher, you MUST get to know each of your students. You need to find out what they love, what makes them tick, and find a way to reach them. You need to make them feel they are special and that you truly care about them and their well-being. And you must learn to love each child no matter how hard that may be for some — they need your love the most.

In a nutshell, my philosophy of education is…
to endeavor to always seek knowledge and continue to learn more about everything. Research your passions!


Mason Prep is a News 2 Cool School!

Thank you to Octavia Mitchell, WCBD News 2, and John Price Law Firm, LLC for recognizing Mason Prep as a Cool School! The piece, which aired on WCBD News 2 during the week of April 8, focused on our initiative to bring 50+ French students and teachers to our school. This amazing visit happened thanks to the tireless work of our French teacher, Mme Julia Royall, and our extremely supportive parents and community. This was an incredible opportunity for our students to experience another culture and make lifelong friends. You can watch the coverage here: 
Introductory Piece
Full Story
Receiving our Award



Read the Round Table!

The current issue of the Round Table is out! Read about our new Castle system, how we focus on character education, news from an alumna, and more. You may download it here. Enjoy!

Faculty Spotlight: Mr. Hal Huser

Mr. Huser teaches history and geography to grades six through eight and is an eighth grade homeroom teacher.

Why do you teach?
Since a young age I always felt a calling to teach. There are many reasons I love what I do. I enjoy working with young people and helping them to reach their full potential. I enjoy history and geography and the opportunity to share interesting stories and facts about the world in which we live. Teaching gives me a chance to use my gifts and talents in a meaningful way that allows me to, hopefully, bless others. Having the summers off is a nice perk too.

Why do you teach at Mason Prep?
Teaching in a private school like Mason Prep allows me to have students several years in a row frequently. This lets me really get to know the kids and their families, which is something special that you can’t always duplicate in other schools. Mason Prep also shares my philosophy of education and my values. I feel like I can be “me” here and do my job to the best of my ability.

How do you like to teach?
I figure you should teach the kind of class you wouldn’t mind sitting in. I will use any and all methods at my disposal to help my students learn. I usually do guided notes with engaging slideshows to teach the main information. To help it sink in, I sometimes perform songs I’ve written about the material. I have also been known to bust out an episode of Huser Stuffed Animal Theater to enhance a unit (whether it’s the saga of Henry VIII or the causes of World War I). I like to appeal to lots of learning styles, so we do art activities, creative writing, discussions and debates, simulations, role-plays, and fun review games to wrap it all up. Every year I try to make my class a little more interactive and student-centered.

What do you want your students to get from having known you?
My goal is to help raise students who can think for themselves, make good choices, and bless others with their abilities and talents. If I can teach a little knowledge, impart a little wisdom, make someone laugh or feel better about themselves, and give kids an opportunity to shine, then I have done my job well.

What is the most important life lesson that you want your students to take from your class?
I’d like them to realize that there are a lot of different kinds of people in this world, and we don’t all have to be the same. You can enjoy who you are and what you’re into without thinking less of someone who has a different ethnicity, outlook on life, or interests. Kindness and respect go a long way.

What do you like to do for fun?
I enjoy reading, action/sci fi movies, video games, bicycling, and travel. I enjoy hanging out with my wife of 20 years and my two daughters. I look forward to the day when Mason Prep funds my summer vacations overseas so I can do “social studies research”. You know—for the children.

Any interesting facts about yourself? 
I got to be an extra on several episodes of Army Wives when it was filming here. I am functionally fluent in Spanish because I lived in Argentina for several years (my dad was a colonel in the U.S. army and was stationed there three times). I can create a quality greeting card or poem for any occasion in under half an hour.


National Junior Honor Society

Congratulations to our students recently inducted into the National Junior Honor Society. The NJHS, established in 1929 to recognize outstanding middle school students, "honors students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, service, leadership, character, & citizenship."

Faculty Spotlight: Ms. Caitlin Quattrone

Ms. Quattrone is one of our third grade teachers.

Why do you teach?
I wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember! I was painfully shy as a child and was always terrified to make a mistake. I had some amazing teachers who allowed me to feel comfortable in the classroom and encouraged me to come out of my shell. I recognized early on that I wanted to do the same for others. My students inspire me every day, and I cannot imagine doing anything else!

Why do you teach at Mason Prep? 
I love teaching at Mason Prep because it is such a small, close-knit community. It is so great to really get to know the families of the students I teach. 

What do you want your students to get from having known you?
I want my students to realize that they are more capable than they may believe. I want them to learn to push themselves and celebrate even the smallest victories. I want them to feel comfortable making mistakes and find the joy in learning! 

What is the most important life lesson that you want your students to take from your subject area or grade level
One lesson I would like for my students to take away is learning to be accepting of others and their differences. I want them to understand that everyone is unique and our differences should be celebrated. I want them to see that everyone has strengths and weaknesses, and it is so important to support one another rather than bring each other down. In a world where you can be anything, be kind!

What do you like to do for fun?
My favorite thing to do is to travel and explore new places! I also enjoy coaching a youth dance team, playing in an adult kickball league, and spending quality time with friends and family.

Mason Prep Supports Two Local Programs

Students at Mason Prep School chose two local programs to support this holiday season: Lowcountry Orphan Relief and Toys for Tots. Kindergarten students, as part of a year-long Service Learning Project, earned money at home and in their neighborhoods to purchase toys for Toys for Tots. They also invited Mason Prep families to donate toys. 

The Mason Prep City Council (student government) chose to support Lowcountry Orphan Relief in December with a "Bring a Pair in the Size you Wear" drive. Families were asked to support the drive by bringing new underwear and socks, gently used clothing and shoes, and/or books and stuffed animals.

Students were thrilled to see the results of their efforts. “Our goal at Mason Prep is to create a sense of community in our students. We want our graduates to genuinely care about the communities of which they are a part. Each grade participates in a Service Learning Project, and our City Council leads several community service projects throughout the year. We take these opportunities to educate our students about needs in our communities and how even a little bit can go a long way. It is wonderful to see the passion our students have for helping others,” Said Erin Hauhn, Mason Prep City Council Sponsor and teacher.


Testing & Observation Dates Coming Up

We look forward to welcoming prospective students during our upcoming testing and observation dates! More information and a Q&A about why we test and observe can be found here.

Testing & Observation Dates
Kindergarten: Saturday, January 5, 9:00 a.m. and Saturday, January 12, 9:00 a.m.
First grade: Saturday, January 26, 8:30 a.m.
Grades 2 - 8: Saturday, February 2, 8:30 a.m.


Faculty Spotlight: Mrs. Meredith Barth.

Mrs. Barth is our kindergarten science teacher and K-4 PE teacher.

Why do you teach?
I teach because I love kids. Teachers are more than just educators. They are mentors and friends. I enjoy finding ways for students to reach beyond their own expectations and give them confidence to achieve things not only in the classroom, but in other areas of their lives. Seeing them have that “a-ha” moment is priceless and so rewarding.

What do you want your students to get from having known you?
I want my students to learn what it means to work hard and be able to communicate well with others. Being involved in sports is not always easy, whether it’s friendly competition or extremely competitive in nature. Learning to always give your best effort and practice hard is key. If you’re playing a team sport or competing as an individual, communication is vital. Knowing how to talk to your teammates and coaches and be able to listen to feedback makes you a better player and person.

What is the most important life lesson that you want your students to take from your class?
When students leave my class, I want them to know what it means to be KIND to one another and have EMPATHY. I try to model these two things every day in class. I want all my students to feel accepted and good about themselves.

What do you like to do for fun?
I enjoy playing tennis, working out, traveling, and spending time with my family. I cherish every moment that we spend together and look forward to making new memories.


Video: A Day in the Life of a Kindergartener

Ever wonder what kindergarteners do all day? The answer is A LOT. Our students stay engaged all day learning the academic and social skills that will set them up for success in kindergarten and beyond. Watch our video here.

Read Our Good Knight Stories

Our “Good Knight Stories” feature our students and faculty doing interesting things. These stories could be about a sport, a special talent, a service effort, etc. The stories will be featured in newsletters and posted in frames around the school for everyone to enjoy.

Sixth Grader Goes to Beautiful Lengths to Help Cancer Patients
At the end of this past summer, sixth grader Blynn Roumillat donated her hair to Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths program. The program partners with the American and Canadian Cancer Societies to provide free, real-hair wigs to women living with cancer. Said Blynn, “We have family friends that we lost to breast cancer. I thought it would be nice for someone with cancer to have a real-hair wig.” She went to get her hair cut the week before school started. “The stylist divided my hair into two ponytails.” said Blynn. “Once the first one was cut, there was no going back! Only a few of my friends saw my haircut before school started, so the people in my class were pretty surprised on the first day of school,” she adds. “I really like my short hair, and I’m happy to have been able to help someone with cancer."

Sixth Grader Finds His Passion in Sailing
Felix Hagar attended a summer sailing camp and found out he has a passion for sailing. Now he is a member of the James Island Yacht Club Junior Sailing Team and he sails a boat called an Open Bic. Said Felix, "There are races pretty much all year, and we travel to some of them. It's fun to be on a team because I get to meet kids from other schools." Felix has two remaining regattas for this year: Midlands Regatta in Columbia and the Open Bic Midwinter Championship in Charleston. Felix started racing when he was around nine years old. His favorite part about sailing? "It's fun just being on the water. I want to keep sailing forever."

8th Graders Send Treats to Service Members
Susanna Snider and Jessica Klump were looking for ways to help our community and found Operation Gratitude. Operation Gratitude sends care packages to service members and first responders. Items for the care packages are donated by individuals and groups here at home. Each care package includes a handful of candy, which Operation Gratitude receives from donors through its Halloween Candy Give-Back Program. Susanna and Jessica collected candy from Mason Prep families to support this delicious cause. Their effort resulted in approximately 75 pounds of candy for our troops and first responders!

If you have a student you would like to see in a Good Knight Story, please email Joanne Stemple, Director of Communications.


Read the Round Table!

The current issue of the Round Table is out! Read about our "Good Knights," new math program, SCISA Master Teacher, and more. 
You may download it here. Enjoy!


Faculty Spotlight: Mrs. Meghan James

Mrs. James is one of our seventh and eighth grade math teachers (along with Mrs. Joy Demarest) as well as a seventh grade homeroom teacher.

Why do you teach?
I love that teaching is a job that is different every day, and I love how much fun my students can be. While I enjoy returning to favorite projects and lessons, there are always new things to learn and new ways to do things. Continued access to new technologies keeps the classroom evolving – there is so much available to my students in terms of visualizing math and using real world data.

Why do you teach Middle School?
Middle school is a major time of growth for students - physically, socially, academically, and emotionally - and I like helping kids navigate that great big mess! Their progress from the beginning of seventh grade to graduation is amazing.

What do you want your students to get from having known you?
They make me laugh and smile every day, and I hope I can do the same for them. I also try to convince all of them to study abroad in college!

What is the most important life lesson that you want your students to take from your subject area or grade level?
Everyone can be good at math. There are a lot of different ways to look at problems, and we all don't have to think about things the same way. Mistakes are good, and we all make them!


Mrs. Pavlischek Named a SCISA Master Teacher

The South Carolina Independent School Association (SCISA) has named Mrs. Ashton Pavlischek a Master Teacher. The Master Teacher program recognizes teachers who exhibit best practices in the classroom and a willingness to share and collaborate with other educators. Master Teachers must inspire excellence in the classroom, among colleagues and, especially, among students.

Mrs. Pavlischek teaches reading and language arts to our fifth and sixth graders. An avid reader, Mrs. Pavlischek strives to spark a love of reading in her students. You will often find her students sitting on beanbags and reading in the reading nook she has created in her classroom. This mini library is stocked with titles specifically for fifth and sixth grade readers. Says Mrs. Pavlischek, “My primary goal as the fifth and sixth grade language arts instructor is to instill a lifelong love of the written word in my students. One great achievement for students at Mason Prep is to make the Accelerated Reader Wall of Fame for reading independently and completing online assessments on these books. I challenge my students to achieve the Wall of Fame, and I myself achieve the Wall of Fame each year. Every week, I add novels to our classroom library and give short book talks to increase students’ interest in these novels.”

In his letter of recommendation for Mrs. Pavlischek, Mr. Kreutner wrote, “Our school is one that places a strong emphasis and high value on reading, and Ashton takes that to a new level with her students. Whether she is checking out young adult books from the Charleston County Library to include in her classroom collection, thoroughly discussing each nominee for the South Carolina Junior Book Awards in her reading classes, or encouraging our fifth and sixth graders to participate in YALLFest, Mrs. Pavlischek inspires in her students a voracious desire to read.”

Mrs. Pavlischek also collaborates with teachers of other curriculum areas. She says, “This ensures that students will make authentic connections between each subject’s content area and their lives outside of school.” For example, she worked closely with the intermediate school science teacher, computer teacher, art teacher, and student news show faculty sponsor on the sixth grade Service Learning Project focusing on plastic pollution. Students researched plastic pollution, produced written and visual tools to increase community awareness of the issue (e.g., flyers, petitions, and door hangers), and wrote scripts and captured video footage to produce a film summarizing the Service Learning Project.

Parents and students recognize the passion Mrs. Pavlischek has for teaching. Says Kelly Ragucci, mother of two of Mrs. Pavlischek’s students, “Not only does Ashton demonstrate the ability to motivate students to learn the topic at hand but, more importantly, she increases the student’s motivation and ability to continue learning after leaving the classroom.” One of her current students, Meredith Finley, said, “My teacher stands out from all of the other teachers at Mason Preparatory School for many reasons, but one of them is how she always asks me how I’m doing, what I’m reading at the moment, and how my day is going every day. I have heard almost every one of my classmates say, ‘I love Mrs. Pavlischek!’”

Mrs. Pavlischek joins eight current Mason Prep teachers who have received this honor: Katrina Bryan, Erin Hauhn, Roseann Jordan, Katie Kreutner, Mary Jo Stemple, Meghan James, Hal Huser, and Julia Royall.

Mason Prep Holds Alberta Long Lake Sweep

Mason Prep recently held its annual Lake Sweep. Each year on a Saturday morning, students and their families gather to pick up trash around downtown’s Alberta Long Lake, which is located right across Halsey Boulevard from the school. The event, which typically coincides with International Coastal Cleanup Day, was delayed this year due to Hurricane Florence.

Said Head of School Erik Kreutner, “Alberta Long Lake is near and dear to our hearts at Mason Prep. In 1996, one of our teachers secured a grant to install a dock, a boardwalk, and educational features on the lake. Ever since, our students have enjoyed learning about the ecosystem of the marsh – from right in our front yard.”

Dan McNamee, Mason Prep’s science teacher for grades 7 and 8, helped the students realize their impact by keeping a tally of what the group collected. Litter removed from around the lake included: cigarette butts (1,428), small pieces of glass (368), small pieces of foam (126), plastic bags (39), food wrappers (24), and fishing line (10 meters). The group also reported that the most unusual items collected were one Sperry shoe and one cinder block.

Said Mr. McNamee, "The Lake Sweep is important as it benefits the lake, the community, and our students. Beyond beautifying the lake and making the area more enjoyable for the entire community, our students learn about the detrimental effects of litter on the environment and how each citizen can ameliorate those effects by doing his or her part to keep the Lowcountry clean." 

Meet Dr. Kate Silver: Doctor, Teacher, and Proud Mason Prep Alumnus

Dr. Silver, a specialist in adult and pediatric rheumatology at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), reflects on her memories of Mason Prep and how the school helped prepare her for a challenging and fulfilling career. See the full story in our Head's Blog.



Buddy Walk - Join Our Team!


We are thrilled to be supporting the Lowcountry Buddy Walk again this year. The Buddy Walk, which will be held October 7th on Daniel Island, supports the Down Syndrome Association of the Lowcountry. Sign up for the Mason Prep team here.

Open Houses Coming Up!

We look forward to seeing new families at our open houses. Tour our school and meet our teachers, administrators, and students. An open house is a wonderful opportunity to see if Mason Prep might be the right fit for your student and your family. 

Prospective Kindergarten and First Grade Family Open House
Sunday, October 7, 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Prospective Kindergarten and First Grade students and their families are welcome to drop in, see the school, and speak with our teachers and students.

School Day Open House for Parents
Wednesday, October 17, 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Tuesday, November 13, 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.
This school day Open House provides parents with the opportunity to see engaged students and engaging teachers.

If these dates do not suit your family's schedule, please contact Lynn Kornya, Director of Admissions, to schedule a personal tour.

Read the Round Table!

The current issue of the Round Table is out! Read about graduation, where our graduates are heading for high school, faculty retirements, and more. You may download it here. Enjoy!


2018 Kaleidoscope

At Mason Prep, we are a school of writers, with all subjects incorporating writing. Enjoy the many works by our students!

Alumna Writing for Coastal Living

Alum Betsy Cribb has written some wonderful pieces for local and national magazines. Read her latest - about the shag - in Coastal Living

6th Graders Address Plastic Pollution

Watch the 6th graders' video! (click on the image)

Every grade at Mason Prep completes a Service Learning Project over the school year as part of that grade level’s curriculum. Each grade chooses a project and teachers weave the work and lessons learned from these projects through several areas of study over the course of the year. This allows students to explore the issues and challenges around their project, as well as the impact of their efforts, more fully than is typical with more traditional community service initiatives.

This year, sixth graders addressed the problem of plastic pollution. Students, working solo or in groups, chose a specific topic having to do with plastic pollution. They researched their topic, developed an action plan, and implemented their plan. Said sixth grade science teacher Ms. Cindy Renkas, “Our students brought so much passion to this project. I have been thrilled to see how the ripples of the students’ work to increase public awareness around this issue have spread through our community and beyond.”

The results have been impressive. Area restaurants are displaying student-created posters and flyers about problems caused by plastic straws. Three students, who had their letter to the editor published in the Post and Courier, have had responses from a reader in North Carolina telling them to keep up the good work. Eleven local marinas are distributing and posting flyers about the dangers of abandoned crab traps. The Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission is displaying student-created posters about the dangers of cigarette littering at 13 area boat landings. Said Ms. Renkas, “We are appreciative of the willingness of so many members of our community to support this project. Our students were able to see first-hand how a community, united behind a cause, could affect real change.” 

Said Mason Prep Head of School Erik Kreutner, “Service Learning Projects help our students see that they can have a positive impact on their world. Part of Mason Prep’s mission is the goal of developing ‘productive citizens of a global community.’ Projects such as these instill in our students a sense of responsibility for their environment which contributes to the realization of that goal.”

Mason Prep in the News!

Our wonderful "World Cup" tournament was featured in the CRBJ Biz Wire recently. Read more about the event, which brought together language and sport to foster our students' love of language!

The Latest Round Table is Out!

Our goals for enhanced STEM and differentiated learning,
Knights KNOW week, 6th Grade Service Learning Project, Casino Knight Gala a more here.

Mason Prep in the News!

So proud to see the efforts of our 6th graders recognized in the Post and Courier today by Al George, Director of Conservation with the South Carolina Aquarium. The 6th grade Service Learning Project focuses on battling plastic pollution, and these students have been working all year to educate our community about the impact of plastic pollution on our environment. We are hopeful that these efforts, combined with those of the Aquarium and other dedicated community members, can affect positive change for the Lowcountry and beyond. Read the article here.

New Head's Blog - Servant Leadership

A guest blog by Mr. McNamee, 7th and 8th grade science teacher, explaining his new exploratory class on servant leadership. Read it here and watch the podcast.

National Junior Honor Society

Congratulations to our 7th graders who were inducted today! "The National Junior Honor Society is the nation's premier organization established to recognize outstanding middle level students. More than just an honor roll, NJHS serves to honor those students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, service, leadership, character, and citizenship. These characteristics have been associated with membership in the organization since its beginning in 1929."

Multi-Cultural Fair

Each year, 7th grade World Geography students host the Multi-Cultural Fair. Students work in pairs on a presentation about their assigned country which includes a poster displaying facts about the country and its culture, food, music, art and dress. Says World Geography teacher Mr. Huser, "Each year we spotlight a different area of the world (this year is Africa) so that our students can virtually explore the amazing world we live in."

8th Graders Help Charleston Animal Society

As part of their Service Learning Project, 8th graders made toys for the dogs and cats at Charleston Animal Society. Students visited the facility and learned about how toys can help ease the boredom of living in a shelter. They then made toys to donate to their new furry friends. 

Basketball Champions!

Congratulations to the 6th/7th/8th grade girls’ basketball team on their win in the Trident Basketball Association Tournament championship! The Knights played Daniel Island School, winning 35-19. Said Coach Sarah Evans, “I am so proud of these girls. Not only the way they played in the final game, but in the determination they have shown all season long.”

Knights KNOW Week is Coming Up!

We are excited about this year's Knights KNOW Week, which will be held February 5-9. Please visit our webpage so you will be “in the know” about Knights KNOW!

Knights KNOW, held each year, is a week where the entire school focuses on our Knights KNOW values and how we can uphold those values in our daily lives. The theme this year is One World, Many StoriesRead more about what Knights KNOW stands for and what messages will be communicated to students.

Watch a video from Mr. Tuttle here.

Alumni Spotlight on Mills Jordan: Prepared to Thrive in High School

One of the questions we receive most is, “where do your graduates go to high school?” Some graduates choose large public high schools, others choose smaller, independent schools — but one thing connects them: a feeling of confidence for the road ahead. Year after year, our graduates tell us they felt well prepared to make the transition from Mason Prep to the high school of their choosing. Watch a video of recent graduate Mills Jordan talking about his transition into high school in our Head's Blog. 

Kindergarten Observation Rescheduled

Mason Prep's first observation session for prospective kindergarten students will be Saturday, January 13, at 9:00 a.m. 

Please remember that our second observation session is scheduled for Saturday, January 20. Please contact Lynn Kornya with any questions or to reserve your spot for observation.

Lynn Kornya, Director of Admissions

Testing & Observation Dates Coming Up

We look forward to welcoming prospective students during our upcoming testing and observation dates! More information and a Q&A about why we test and observe can be found here.

Testing & Observation Dates
Kindergarten: Saturday, January 13, 9:00 a.m. and Saturday, January 20, 9:00 a.m.
First grade: Saturday, February 3, 8:30 a.m.
Grades 2 - 8: Saturday, January 27, 8:30 a.m.

Mason Prep 6th Service Learning Project in the News!

Read how
our 6th graders are helping educate people about the effects of plastics on our environment through their Service Learning Project. Well done, 6th graders and Ms. Renkas! 

Kindergartener Featured on ABC News 4

One of our kindergarteners was featured on ABC News 4 this week. She took the lessons of the Nice Knight to heart and asked that friends and family donate food for the Lowcountry Food Bank in lieu of giving her presents for her birthday. So proud of you! See the story here.

Mr. Kreutner Recognized as "Administrator with Heart"

Mr. Kreutner was presented with the SCAHPERD (South Carolina Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance) "Administrator with Heart" award this week by Keith Cummings of the American Heart Association and Josie Templeton, past president of SCAHPERD. The award recognizes Mr. Kreutner's dedication to the physical education classes, Athletic Department, and heart health curriculum at Mason Prep. He was nominated by Ms. Mary Jo Stemple, Mason Prep's Athletic Director and PE teacher for grades 5-8. Congrats, Mr. K!

Mme Royall Named SCISA Master Teacher

Congratulations to Mme Royall! The Master Teacher program recognizes teachers who exhibit best practices in the classroom and a willingness to share and collaborate with other educators. Master Teachers must inspire excellence in the classroom, among colleagues and, especially, among students. Read more here.

Round Table Newsletter - Fall 2017 Issue


The current issue of the Round Table is out! Read about student honors, our most recent SCISA Master Teacher, a new student-led program, and more.

You may download it here. Enjoy!

New Video - Watch It!

Our new video, "I Like Mason Prep Because..." asks our younger students to let us know what they love about their school. Watch it here.

Open Houses November 16 & 19

Join Us for an Open House!
See the dates, details, and download our guide, "How to Make the Most of Your Open House Visit" here!

Alumni Spotlight: Celia Campbell, Class of 2015

Celia Campbell (Class of 2015) has been volunteering at the Charleston Animal Society for the past four years. She credits Mason Prep with supporting the lessons about service she learned at home and opening the doors to different service opportunities. Read the blog and see a video featuring Celia here.

Head's Blog: Why an Independent School?

A Q&A to help you choose the best learning environment for your child. Read it here.

Morning Meeting - the Mason Prep Pledge

Mr. Kreutner spoke recently about the Mason Prep pledge, which the entire school recites every Monday. He told students that it was important for them to live the pledge, not just say it. Students were reminded that Mason Prep is a safe, welcoming school with no place for hurtful words. Students also were encouraged to be upstanders, not bystanders, if they witness unkind actions or words. See the pledge here.

Change for Houston

Our students have been asking how they can help Houston! If you would like to help the people of Houston, Texas, following the flooding and destruction from Hurricane Harvey, we will be collecting change from now until Friday, September 15. Change buckets will be in the pick-up lines each afternoon as well as in your child’s classroom. (All money collected will be sent to the American Red Cross). Our change can change lives!

Tips for Enjoying the Eclipse

Photo Credit: Dennis di Cicco / Sky & Telescope

As you know, the Great American Eclipse will be visible (IF, fingers crossed, clouds don’t obscure its view!) with full solar coverage here in Charleston on Monday, August 21. Here are a few pieces of information which may enhance your family’s experience for this unique opportunity.

•To give you the big picture and help you understand why this eclipse is a Big Deal:

•A “Smarter Every Day” video to help you get the most out of each stage of the eclipse, including the “Diamond Ring” and “Baily’s Beads”:

•A visual summary of each of the stages of a full solar eclipse: (4 stages in all)

•A great 8 minute overview video summarizing what occurs during a full and partial eclipse, safe viewing techniques (including how to make a simple indirect viewer if you don’t have solar viewing glasses), and what to expect to see as the eclipse progresses:

•Information about safe and unsafe viewing methods:

From NASA’s website:
NASA Television is offering a special live program, “Eclipse Across America: Through the Eyes of NASA” with real-time coverage of the event from coast to coast. The nearly four-hour program will include unprecedented images of the Aug. 21 eclipse from numerous spacecraft -- including the International Space Station – high-altitude aircraft and balloons, and ground observations. Each will offer a unique vantage point for the eclipse. Additionally, the broadcast will include live coverage of activities in parks, libraries, stadiums, festivals and museums across the nation, and on social media. To watch the Aug. 21 NASA TV eclipse broadcast online and access interactive web content and views of the eclipse from these assets, visit:

SCETV will provide live coverage on August 21st from the SC State Museum 2:30-3:30, with footage originating from the State Museum, Greenville, and Charleston, as well as reactions around the state.

Many local organizations are providing viewing opportunities. If you plan to travel to a site, give yourself lots of extra time, as traffic is expected to be quite heavy and the various sites may well be attempting to accommodate very large numbers of people.

Happy viewing!
Cindy Renkas
4th-6th Grade Science Teacher

Welcome New Faculty Members!

We are very excited to announce the new faculty and staff members who will join us at Mason Prep this fall.

Media Center
First, we are happy to welcome Mrs. Kim Mistler as our library media specialist and Mrs. Holly Scarberry as our media center assistant. Ms. Marci Yates and Mrs. Sandy Twomey retired in May, and I know that Mrs. Mistler and Mrs. Scarberry will continue to foster in our students the love of reading that has been so important at Mason Prep for so many years.

Although a recent transplant to the Lowcountry, Kim Mistler spent many happy years of her youth and adult life vacationing and visiting her extended family in Charleston. Kim’s Aunt Ethel from Summerville taught her how to make sweet tea and introduced her to shrimp and grits before it became the Charleston staple it is today. Kim is a North Carolina native but has called South Carolina home for the past sixteen years. Along with her husband and two high school age daughters, Kim relocated to Mount Pleasant two years ago from the upstate when her husband took a position with the South Carolina Aquarium.

Kim’s background includes over twenty years of experience in education, including seven years as a Media Specialist at the elementary, middle, and high school level, and additional experience as a language arts, reading, and social studies teacher in North Carolina. Prior to arriving at Mason Prep, Kim served as a media specialist in several other schools in our area and the upstate: Lancaster High School in Lancaster, Springfield Middle School in Fort Mill, Wando High School in Mount Pleasant, and Chicora Elementary School in North Charleston. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Intermediate Education from St. Andrews Presbyterian College and a Master’s in Library and Information Science from the University of South Carolina.

Kim’s strengths lie in creating library reading programs that instill an intrinsic motivation to read and inspire a lifelong love of reading and learning in students. She is “over the moon” to be a faculty member at Mason Prep and looks forward to meeting our students and their parents. Besides Kim’s obvious love of reading and being a Media Specialist, she enjoys traveling, cooking, entertaining, and spending time with her family and friends.

Holly Scarberry grew up in a small town in the Shenandoah Valley outside of Charlottesville, Virginia. She has a Bachelor’s degree in English and a Master’s in Library Science from the University of Maryland. Her interests in literature, research, and connecting students with information are among the reasons she pursued a library degree. Over the past seven years, Holly has worked with college students at Liberty University and Virginia Theological Seminary. Her experiences in libraries have provided her with a deeper understanding of what it means to work as an educator, and she feels called to help encourage a love of learning and creativity in students.

Mrs. Scarberry recently moved from Virginia to Mount Pleasant with her husband, Ryan. She enjoys hiking, running, and learning to play the ukulele. She is looking forward to joining the community at Mason Prep as the new media center assistant!

Miss Caroline Jordan, who has been teaching in our second grade for the past seven years, will move to kindergarten this fall. Caroline is very excited about this opportunity and is eager to begin working with our youngest students. I believe that Miss Jordan will be a wonderful fit in our kindergarten, and our established kindergarten teaching team of Ms. Rett Fitts and Mrs. Mary Kiger are thrilled to begin working with Caroline and her new assistant, Ms. Denise Cronen.

Denise is formerly from Connecticut, living there for most of her life. She taught kindergarten for twenty-eight years, and she moved to Charleston after retiring from her lead teaching position. She has a B.A. in Early Childhood Education from Stonehill College in Massachusetts and a M.A. in Reading from the University of Connecticut. She also has a postgraduate certification in Autism Spectrum Disorders from Antioch University New England in New Hampshire. Working in various educational roles since moving south, Denise has implemented a preschool program for a local outreach, taught in summer autism programs, supervised and trained student teachers for a local college, and mentored new teachers.

Ms. Cronen is already familiar with some of our students and their families from her time at The O'Quinn School on James Island, where she taught three- and four-year-olds for two years. Denise lives in Mount Pleasant with her partner, Paul, and their cocker spaniel, Bailey. She has three grown children living in New Orleans, Los Angeles and Minneapolis. Denise’s hobbies include fitness, sewing, cooking, reading and volunteering in her church community. She also loves exploring the beautiful outdoors in the Lowcountry.

Second Grade
Caroline Jordan’s move to kindergarten created an opening for a second grade teacher. We are very happy to welcome Mrs. Katie Kalshoven to Mason Prep. Katie most recently taught second grade at Springfield Elementary School in West Ashley. Katie grew up in Greenville and graduated from Clemson University, where she received a B.A. in Elementary Education with a minor in Psychology. During her time at Clemson, Katie studied the Montessori and Reggio Emilia approaches to education through a study abroad semester in Italy. She was also an active member of YoungLife. After graduation, Katie moved to Charleston to become a naturalist at the Barrier Island Environmental Education Program on Seabrook Island. As a naturalist, she designed lesson plans and taught environmental science classes for more than 8,000 students visiting per year (which include Mason Prep’s fifth graders!)

As a teacher in the Charleston County School District, Mrs. Kalshoven received the Rock Solid Award her first year of teaching. Her passion for hands-on, active learning led to the opportunity to become the lead lower grades teacher for the Project Lead the Way program at Springfield. This STEM program centers on a design thinking mindset and engages students in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science.

Katie has spent her summer leading paddleboard tours at Bohicket Marina and was married this June. She lives on James Island with her husband, Daniel, and in her free time she enjoys sailing, paddle boarding, cooking, and fly fishing. Katie is overjoyed to be joining the Mason Prep family and to meet her new group of second graders. She loves helping kids on the road to learning!

We also welcome a new assistant in our second grade. Ms. Dietrich Parker is excited to become a part of the Mason Prep community in this role. Dietrich is a Charleston native and a graduate of Sewanee: The University of the South, and she comes to us from the O'Quinn School. Dietrich has spent the past twelve years teaching four-year-olds, and she is also familiar with many Mason Prep families from her time at O'Quinn. She looks forward to reconnecting with these families and to developing new relationships with students and their parents.

In her spare time, Dietrich enjoys traveling to the mountains and spending time with family and friends. In addition to being the second grade assistant, you may also see Ms. Parker around school in the late afternoons as part of our extended care staff.

5th-8th Grades
Finally, I am pleased to let you know that a very familiar face has become a permanent addition to our staff. Mrs. Debbie Kurowski has spent a great deal of time at our school over the past three years. She served as a long-term maternity leave substitute for Mrs. Brooks and Mrs. Hauhn two years ago, and she has been one of our "super subs", covering for teachers of all grades during their day-to-day absences. This year, Debbie will move in to the 5th-8th grade assistant position that came open when Colleen Barth retired in May.

Mrs. Kurowski is a retired teacher with over twenty years of classroom experience. Debbie and her husband moved to the Lowcountry five years ago, and she enjoys all that a life on Folly Beach has to offer, especially biking, paddleboarding, and surfing. Debbie is very excited about working full time at Mason Prep, and she looks forward to supporting our students and staff.

We believe that all of these new teachers and staff members will be excellent additions to Mason Prep. Please join us in welcoming each of them to our school!

Read the Latest Issue of the Round Table

The current issue of the Round Table is out! Read about graduation, where our graduates will be attending high school, special retirements, and more.

You may download it here. Enjoy!

Alumnus Wins Essay Contest

Congratulations to Zach Wallace-Wright (Class of 2015), winner of the Moultrie News' annual Constitution Essay Contest!

New Head's Blog - Moving to Charleston with Kids

Know someone who is moving to Charleston with kids? We have put together some tips for where to live and what to do. Feel free to share with friends, neighbors and colleagues who are new to our area - they will feel like locals in no time! Read it here.

A Wonderful Thank You from Togo

Mme Julia Royall worked with 5th grade students (during the 2015-16 school year) on their Service Learning Project. Through a volunteer program, our students were matched with pen pals in Togo. The groups exchanged letters, and our students decided to hold a fundraiser to benefit their new friends. We recently received a heartfelt thank you and update from one of the volunteers living in Togo (below). Thank you, Mason Prep, for your support of this project!

From Aaron Sepulveda, living in Togo:

"There are thousands of ways to make positive change in the world, pick one.

The Coverdell World Wise Schools Correspondence Match program promotes cultural exchange and friendship between Peace Corps Volunteers and classrooms in the United States.

After signing up for the Correspondence Match program to be a Volunteer partner, I was matched with the amazing Julia Royall and the enthusiastic students at Mason Preparatory School in South Carolina. Working together (with the staff of Collège Nalaote - a middle school near my own village), we created a simple letter exchange program wherein which students at Nalaote would be matched with students of a corresponding grade at Mason Prep and would, in these letters, describe to their pen-pal their lives, their homes, and their interests. Mason Prep students would respond in-like, often in really bright drawings and photos which encourage only even brighter drawings in response.

After a two or three exchanges (which took many months: snail mail), Julia informed me that her students, of their own accord, held a fundraiser for their Togolese penpals. Though the students of Mason Prep had no fixed idea of what to do with the money they knew two things: 1. That there is no singular way that this money could help their friends and 2. That all their Togolese friends liked soccer so, at the very least, we should try to get them some soccer balls.

[At this point, can we pause and appreciate just how amazing it is that these children, in a political climate that encourages nationalism and ethnocentricity, felt so compelled by friendship that they held a fundraiser with no singular goal besides that of bettering the lives of children so vastly different from themselves in a place so vastly different and remote from the United States?]

In collaboration with the principal of Collège Nalaote we came to the course of action of building sports equipment for these students. Outside of the fact that tests required for matriculating into high school include shot put and long jump exams, among others, and for which the equipment doesn't exist, the intention behind these was to give the students at Nalaote the chance to, simply, have fun.

With the more than $2000 raised by the students of Mason Prep, we updated the soccer field with new balls (!!) and iron goalposts. We also created a new track and field; cleared the land for a track inside of which are the high- and long-jump pit, the rope climbing apparatus, and the shot put circle (and stopboard).

This correspondence brought not just soccer balls and stopwatches but also treasured moments to the students of Collège Nalaote: the smiles on their faces the first time they jumped (in mass) into the sand-filled long-jump pit during this past Monday's Sports Day, the wonder of receiving a letter (with a dollar taped inside!) from the United States, and the knowing that they had friends and people that cared about them across the ocean.

To Julia Royall, her students, their parents, and every person at Mason Preparatory: thank you! You have provided so much to the kids of Togo that can't be measured by these words and these pictures. And you have given me such joy in being able to facilitate the happiness derived from your students' endeavors.

To everyone who reads this, is an educator or leader of a motivated social group, and is impassioned to make as incredible a difference as Julia was able to make (with the help of a Peace Corps Volunteer): sign up for the Coverdell Correspondence Match program, get a volunteer partner, and start exchanging with them. There is no singular way to help the people of Togo or any other developing country; just learning more about another culture and using that information to combat the ignorance of xenophobia is progress. You can apply for the program at:

To everyone who wants to help, but isn't an educator: there are almost a hundred other projects facilitated by Peace Corps volunteers globally that try to provide better lives for the communities they serve. If you want to give, you can find them at:"


Class of 2017 - High School Bound!

Congratulations to the Class of 2017!

We wish our students well as they move on to the high schools of their choice. We can't wait to hear about their successes as Mason Prep alumni!

Academic Magnet High School - 4 students (8 students accepted)
Bishop England High School - 9 students
James Island Charter High School - 8 students
Oceanside Collegiate - 1 student
Palmetto Christian Academy - 1 student
Porter-Gaud - 4 students
Ravenwood High School (Brentwood, Tenn.) - 1 student
University School of the Lowcountry - 1 student
Wando High School - 4 students

Awards Day Assembly

Congratulations to all of our students on a wonderful year. Many were honored this morning for achievements in academics, arts, citizenship, sports and more. We hope everyone has a fantastic summer!

A Wonderful Night

What a great night at the Blue Jean Gala! Thank you to everyone who came and supported the Annual Fund; and to Janice and Johnny Hudgins, Lauren Hammond, and the MANY others that made this wonderful night such a success!See all of our volunteers and supporters here:

Math and Science Olympiad

7th and 8th graders participated in the Math and Science Olympiad today. Students split into groups and did experiments including, "The Physics of Bottle Flipping," "Red Cabbage Chemistry," "Making Trihexaflexagons," and "Barbie Bungee & Krazy Ken." It was a great day spent learning about math and science in fun ways. Thank you to Mr. McNamee, Mrs. James and Mrs. Demarest for heading things up; to our parent volunteers who helped students with each experiment (and maybe learned something along the way!); and to the students who stayed engaged throughout the day.

State Geography Bee

Congratulations to our student who placed 8th in the state geography bee (part of the National Geography Bee, which is sponsored by the National Geographic Society) - an impressive accomplishment! This is the second year in a row that Mason Prep has had a top 10 finisher in the state bee.

Head's Blog - The Importance of Field Trips

A new Head's Blog is up. This post focuses on the importance of field trips for learning outside of the classroom, strengthening the bonds between students, and providing opportunities for reflection and conversation. A timely post with our 8th graders in Washington, DC! Read it here.

Alumni Inducted Into the National Honor Society

Congratulations to our alumni who were recently inducted into the National Honor Society. Brennan Kosut, Helena Upshaw, Elena Wilson, Max von Asten, and Grace Gehlken now attend Academic Magnet High School. The President of the chapter is fellow alum William Tonks.

National Junior Honor Society Inductees

Congratulations to our 2017 National Junior Honor Society inductees. The NJHS, which recognizes outstanding middle school students, describes itself as, "More than just an honor roll, NJHS serves to honor those students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, service, leadership, character, and citizenship."

Learn more about the NJHS here.

Our 2017 inductees are:
Raegan Badger 
Claudia Baicu 
Charley Bernstein 
Lilly Bridges 
Sophia Colby 
Callie Costa 
Bowen Enright 
Anna Graves 
Thomas Hilton 
William Jones 
Alma Lutas 
Robert Mallard 
Zoe Mintz 
Colin Philp 
Ella Schar 
Cathryn Shippee 
Zach Skipper 
Ella Small 
Hope-Elaine Stowell 
Claire Vaughan 
Leah Zimlich 
Spiro Fokas 
Maehler Purcell 

2017-2018 School Calendar Released

Our calendar for the 2017-18 school year has been finalized! Download here.

Welcome Tyson Dutton

We are pleased to announce the addition of Tyson Dutton as Director of Technology.

Mr. Dutton comes to Mason Prep from Encore Technology Group, where he was a Classroom Technology Specialist and Network Integrator for 3 years. In this position, he worked closely with Mason Prep, installing and upgrading much of the school’s current classroom technology. Mr. Dutton graduated from the College of Charleston with a B.S. in Middle Level Education with an emphasis on math and science. 

New Head's Blog is Up! Appreciating Our Teachers

Read the latest Head's Blog about appreciating teachers inspired by an article in the Washington Post.

Head's Coffee Counseling Presentation

We had a great turnout for our Head's Coffee last week, where Mr. Tuttle shared his goals and vision for Mason Prep's counseling program. Mr. Tuttle also spoke with parents about emotional agility and mindfulness (and even led parents through a couple of mindfulness exercises!). If you weren't able to make it, his presentation and other resources may be found on the "Counselor's Corner" webpage.

Our next Head's Coffee will be later this spring - be on the lookout for the date and details!

Testing Dates Coming Up!

We invite prospective students to join us on one of our upcoming testing dates. Testing dates for rising first graders are February 4 and February 11 (both at 8:30 a.m.). The testing date for rising second through eighth graders is January 28 at 8:30 a.m.

To register for a testing date, please contact Lynn Kornya, Director of Admissions at 843.805.6015,

New Head's Blog - The Importance of Social and Emotional Learning

A new Head's Blog post is up - see it here!

Head's Coffee January 19 - Special Guest, Mr. Tuttle

Join us on the 19th at 8:15 in the lunchroom! Mr. Kreutner will be joined by Mr. Jamie Tuttle, School Counselor, who will talk about the importance of emotional agility and how we as educators and parents can help to develop this important quality in our children. This is a great opportunity to meet Mr. Tuttle and hear more about this subject and his plans for the counseling program at Mason Prep.

Following Mr. Tuttle’s discussion, we will have an open forum so that parents may ask questions of Mr. Kreutner.


Outstanding Alumna Speaks at Morning Meeting

4th - 8th graders welcomed alumna Emma DeMuth at a recent morning meeting. Emma, in her freshman year at NYU, talked to our students about "finding her passion and running with it." Emma told students how she tried many things before realizing that her passion is filmmaking. She has taken that passion and turned it into internships, a Taco Bell scholarship to NYU film school, and a position presenting at the United Nations Foundation Social Good Summit 2016. We are so proud of Emma and look forward to seeing what she does next!

Kindergarten Observation January 7 & 14

We will welcome prospective kindergarten students on two upcoming observation dates - January 7 and January 14. For more information about our kindergarten program and how to join us on one of these dates, please visit


Happy Holidays!

Mason Prep Welcomes Olympians

Mason Prep welcomed two Olympians on December 6 at a school-wide Morning Meeting.  The Olympians spoke to the student body about "Going for the Gold," which is Mason Prep's motto for the year. They also answered questions from students.

The Olympians, both sailors who competed in Rio, are Stefano Peschiera from Peru and Paris Henken from the US. Stefano was his country's flag bearer for the Opening Ceremony. Paris is from Coronado, California. She and her partner, Helena Scutt, advanced to the medal round in Women's 49er FX Class, finishing 10th overall in their fleet. Both sailors train and compete for the College of Charleston.

Stefano told students that he started sailing at age 5 and had been to many countries around the world for regattas. He said that competing in the Olympics had always been his dream and it took a lot of hard work to achieve this goal. Paris said that she played many different sports growing up and had no idea that she would become a sailor. She urged students to try different things because you never know what you are going to love.

At the end of the program, Mr. Kreutner asked the athletes if they had any advice for students to help them achieve their goals. Stefano said that it was important to do what you love, to do it right (not halfway), and to never give up. Paris agreed, and had a special piece of advice for the girls. She said that many people had told her along the way that she couldn’t do certain things because she was a girl or because she was too small. She told the girls, “Nothing is holding you back except yourself. Don’t listen when people tell you that you can’t.”

It was such an honor to welcome these athletes to Mason Prep and we appreciate their speaking to and inspiring our students!


6th Grade Holiday Bazaar



The 6th grade put on a wonderful Holiday Bazaar today. There were LOTS of beautiful, useful and unique gifts; delicious treats; and spectacular raffle prizes. Santa himself joined the fun, welcomed by some kindergarteners who were very excited to see him! Thank you to the 6th graders, 6th grade parents, Mrs. Pavlischek, Ms. Evans, Ms. Renkas and everyone else who was involved in this holly jolly event.

Happy Thanksgiving!

New Head's Blog is Up!

The latest Head's Blog is timely as this is admissions season: How to Make the Most of Your Open House Visit. Many schools offer Open Houses, where families can visit and learn more about the schools in which they are interested. As a school, we enjoy this opportunity to meet parents and to learn more about their children. As a parent visiting a school for an Open House, what should you look for? What questions should you ask? Read more.

Open Houses November 17 & 20

We invite prospective families to join us for an Open House (click here for more information). This is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about Mason Prep.

Mason Prep Foundation Launches, Hires New Executive Director

We are pleased to announce the launch of the Mason Prep Foundation, which will act as the official fundraising arm of Mason Prep. The purpose of the Foundation is to support the mission and strategic goals of Mason Prep School by raising funds for financial aid, promoting the further development of Mason Prep's faculty, and enhancing Mason Prep's facilities and its educational programs. Read more about the Foundation here.

Lauren Hammond has been hired as the first Executive Director of the Foundation. With over 25 years of fundraising experience, Lauren brings knowledge of independent schools, board development and organizational capacity building to the Foundation. Most recently, Lauren served as Director of Organizational Development for Boys & Girls Clubs of America, working with 19 separate organizations in Virginia and South Carolina. Lauren has worked with independent schools nation-wide, serving as the Director of Development at All Saints Episcopal School in Tyler, Texas, and as capital campaign counsel to The Walker School in Atlanta, Holy Innocents Episcopal School in Atlanta, and Benedictine Academy in Richmond.

Mason Prep Publishes the 2015-16 Annual Report

We are pleased to share the 2015-2016 Annual Report. Read it here.

New Head's Blog is Up!

Governor Haley’s announcement of impending evacuations from Hurricane Matthew could not stop many hardy Mason Prep parents from experiencing Jessica Lahey’s presentation about “Raising Resilient, Intellectually Brave Kids” at Porter-Gaud on October 4. For those of you who planned to attend but were unable to make it through the traffic nightmares caused by gas station lines, Mr. Kreutner has compiled a summary of Lahey's presentation. Read the Head's Blog here.

Halloween Carnival a Success!

Thank you Mason Prep for a wonderful Halloween Carnival! It was a beautiful day full of spooky fun. Thank you to the 8th graders (and their parents!) for putting on a great carnival, to the Mason Prep family for their help and donations of candy & drinks, and to everyone who came ready to enjoy the day. It's always a fun time and so special to see that Mason Prep spirit!

Students Support the Lowcountry Buddy Walk

We are so proud to support the Lowcountry Buddy Walk, with students and their parents participating in the walk itself and enjoying the day’s festivities which raise funds for the Down Syndrome Association of the Lowcountry. 8th grade students volunteered to run the snow cone concession, which has become a tradition at Mason Prep.

Erin Hauhn, who heads up the Buddy Walk team, said, “This is an event our students look forward to every year, and every year we have more participation. We are so proud of our students for their dedication to this cause and grateful to the Down Syndrome Association of the Lowcountry for welcoming us and letting us be a part of this wonderful day!”

Head's Blog: New Post Up!

In his latest posts, Mr. Kreutner references articles by Jessica Lahey, who will be speaking at the Bringing Families Together conference October 4. He also reflects on the lessons of Lahey's book, The Gift of Failure: Why Parents Need to Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed, and gives parents 6 ways they can support their children and work with teachers to raise confident learners.

Peer Mediators Hold Retreat

This year's Peer Mediators held their retreat this week. Said Mr. Tuttle, "The major focus of the retreat was to get to know each other better, and for me to provide an overview of peer mediation, conflict resolution, and mindfulness. We will be doing more training in groups, and  are planning to present at upcoming Morning Meetings so that everyone knows who we are and what peer mediation is all about."

Our Peer Mediators are: Addie Shaddrix, Jane McCrae Sanders, Will Craig, Trip Calloway, Anna Hope Jordan, Susanna Snider, Jonathan Savage, Peyton Maney, Ella Small, Callie Costa, Jacob Hochman, Sam Laro, Avery Crymes, Mary Wallace Rainero, Heyward Britton, and Mills Jordan.

Mr. Huser Named SCISA Master Teacher

The South Carolina Independent School Association (SCISA) has named Mr. Hal Huser a Master Teacher. The Master Teacher program recognizes teachers who exhibit best practices in the classroom and a willingness to share and collaborate with other educators. Master Teachers must inspire excellence in the classroom, among colleagues and, especially, among students.

Mr. Huser teaches geography, world history and US history. In addition to being an engaging teacher (students will remember lessons taught via “Mr. Huser’s Puppet Theater” for a long time to come!), Mr. Huser works with his fellow teachers to create cross-curricular learning opportunities. For example, Mr. Huser collaborated with Ms. Bandy, Ms. Evans and Mrs. Pavlischek to enhance students’ understanding of the Civil Rights movement. The three worked together to have their sixth and eighth grade students attend a production of “Seat of Justice,” which they tied not only to the students’ Civil Rights unit in history class, but also to lessons in their literature and GVC classes.

Mr. Huser also heads Mason Prep’s Multicultural Fair, an annual event during which seventh graders complete group projects about different countries around the world. Mr. Huser enhanced the presentation component of this event by giving his seventh graders more opportunities to teach other students about the countries they studied. Additionally, the follow-up questions and activities for the students attending the fair, which Mr. Huser developed in conjunction with several other teachers, have added great value to the event.

In his letter of recommendation for Mr. Huser, Mr. Kreutner wrote, “Hal Huser has a gift for bringing social studies to life in a way that hooks our students and makes relevant connections to their own experiences. Whether he uses puppets with a variety of entertaining voices, songs he has composed himself, videos, or a wealth of stories, Mr. Huser grabs students’ attention and won’t let go. Our students’ participation in historical and cultural projects, classroom and outdoor games, and presentations actively involves them in their learning and provides lasting connections to what they have learned in Mr. Huser’s classes.” 

Parents echoed Mr. Kreutner’s words in recommendations submitted on Mr. Huser’s behalf. "Not only does Mr. Huser work well with the other teachers to form a team to help his classes learn but he is also willing to add members (teachers) to the team to help the individual student learn. His willingness to involve peers, share ideas, openly discuss options, and simply try different things to help kids learn is one of the qualities that sets him apart,” wrote Michael Purcell, parent of one current student and one graduate.

Mr. Huser joins seven Mason Prep teachers who have received this honor: Debbie Bandy, Erin Hauhn, Roseann Jordan, Katie Kreutner, Mary Jo Stemple, Marci Yates and Meghan James.

77% Qualify for Duke TIP

77% of our 7th grade class has qualified to participate in Duke TIP (Talent Identification Program), which "works with students, their families, and educators to identify, recognize, challenge, engage, and help students reach their highest potential." Learn more about the program here:

Way to go 7th graders!


Alumna Receives Taco Bell Live Mas Scholarship

Emma DeMuth (Mason Prep class of 2012) has won one of 40 Taco Bell Live Mas Scholarships. One of the top six recipients, she was awarded a $10,000 scholarship. Emma starts at New York University this fall. 

Through the scholarship, Taco Bell hopes to find "the next innovators most likely to change the world, the dreamers most likely to invent a better way and the next creators most likely to start a movement." Students applied by creating short videos, and more than 2,000 were submitted.

In addition to the scholarship, Emma attended a Taco Bell workshop in Chicago over the summer. As part of the workshop she helped to create two Taco Bell commercials, both of which were shown during the MTV Video Music Awards this past weekend. Emma was able to attend the "VMAs" and was hired by MTV to photograph the pre- and post-show events for MTV Online.

Says Emma, "I am so grateful for the opportunities this scholarship has given me. It really showed me that being yourself and not being afraid to follow your individual passion can take you farther than you could ever expect. Also, I am grateful for many of my Mason Prep teachers for showing me their passions for their individual subjects, like Dr. Maynard for literature and Ms. Renkas for science."

Fifth Grader Recognized by American Statistical Association

Fifth grader Clyde Mauldin has been recognized by the American Statistical Association for his entry in the association’s 2016 Poster Competition. 

Directed by the ASA/NCTM (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics) Joint Committee on Curriculum in Statistics and Probability, the competition provides students with an opportunity to apply all the statistical skills they acquire throughout the school year to solve real-world problems of interest to them. Clyde won second place in the 4th-6th grade group for his poster, “Are the Boston Celtics Hitting Home Runs?” 
Learn more about the contest here.

High Schools and Colleges Chosen by the Classes of 2016 and 2012

We are proud of our Mason Prep graduates and love to hear about all that they accomplish in their high school and college years (and beyond)!

High schools chosen by the Class of 2016:
Academic Magnet - 11 students
Bishop England - 5 students
James Island Charter - 12 students
McCallie School, Chattanooga, Tenn. - 1 student
Porter-Gaud - 2 students
RJ Reynolds, Winston-Salem, N.C. - 1 student
Wando - 3 students

Colleges chosen by the Class of 2012 include:
Anderson University
Auburn University
Clemson University
College of Charleston
Columbia University 
Georgia Southern
Indiana University
Lehigh University
New York University
Northwestern University
Rhodes College
Texas A&M - Galveston
The New School (New York City)
University of South Carolina
University of South Carolina Honors College
Wofford College

First Day!

What a wonderful way to begin the 2016-17 school year. Smiling faces, hugs, seeing old friends and making new ones. We are ready for a year full of fun and learning!


Summer Academy 2016

Students kept their skills sharp and had fun at Summer Academy. The program, which expanded this year to cover nearly every grade, offers students the opportunity to review skills, get a head start on new material and meet their teachers for the upcoming year. 

Activities included Kindergarteners learning about tallying the fun way (with fingerpaints, of course), rising 3rd graders practicing subjects and predicates, rising 5th graders rotating through stations working on decimal operations, and rising 7th graders playing a GVC grammar review game - complete with costumes!

We are already planning for Summer Academy 2017 - information to come mid-year!

Graduation 2016

Congratulations to the Mason Prep Class of 2016! 
We are so proud of all that you have achieved and look forward to hearing about your future accomplishments. We will miss you all!



Kaleidoscope 2015-2016

Kaleidoscope, Mason Prep's literary magazine, is out! Enjoy writing by students of all ages and the beautiful cover art by 8th grader Matthew Roark. Download by clicking here.

Teacher Appreciation Week

Faculty and staff enjoyed a wonderful week thanks to the PTO and parent volunteers. Thank you - we know a lot of hard work went into making it a special week!


Read The Round Table

The Spring Round Table is online - enjoy! Download here.

Recent MasonFEST: See What's in Our Sea

Students and parents enjoyed a wonderful "See What's in Our Sea" MasonFEST at Grice Marine Laboratory on James Island Saturday, April 23. Learn more about the day and see photos on our MasonFEST page!

DC Trip an Unforgettable Experience for Our 8th Graders

Our 8th graders enjoyed a wonderful and educational week in Washington, DC. This trip is the culmination of students' focus on history and government and is one of the highlights of the Mason Prep experience.

It was a busy four days of touring our nation's capital, including visits to:
• Arlington National Cemetery - always a powerful and unforgettable experience for our students
• The National Cathedral - our eighth graders were impressed by the incredible Gothic architecture
• The Natural History Museum - even with the extended hours (thank you Smithsonian Institution!), there's never enough time to see all the museum has to offer
• The Vietnam War, Korean War, and Lincoln Memorials – students visited these memorials at night for an even more memorable experience
• The White House - due to the sad happenings in Brussels, our group was unable to get as close to The White House as usual, but our students were in awe as always
• The Air and Space Museum, National Gallery of Art, World War II Memorial, FDR Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, and Jefferson Memorial – students took in all of these sites in one busy, wonderful day
Library of Congress - an experience which brings to life the many important documents our students have been studying
Washington Monument - students were amazed by the spectacular views from the top
Newseum - students enjoyed this interactive museum of news and journalism which highlights events such as the dismantling of the Berlin Wall and 9/11
The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center (the Air and Space Museum annex) - students visited the hangars which house the space shuttle Discovery, a Concorde, and more

Matching Gift Program Raises $22,090 to be Matched

We are thrilled to announce that the matching gift program was a huge success! During the matching gift period, which ran from January through March, we raised $22,090 which will be matched by our generous parent donor. We cannot thank these parents enough for their generosity and continued support of Mason Prep!

Representative Mark Sanford Visits Mason Prep

Rep. Mark Sanford visited our 8th grade algebra students this moring as part of the SIFMA Foundation’s Capitol Hill Challenge program. This national 14-week financial education competition organizes teams of middle and high school students by congressional and senatorial district and teaches them about saving, investing, and government.  

Rep. Sanford met with student teams who are investing a hypothetical $100,000 in listed stocks, bonds, and mutual funds and learning about the capital markets as they work together to maximize the return of their portfolios. The students also heard from Jim Morris, CEO of South Carolina Economics and Steven Potter, a Financial Advisor with Morgan Stanley.

The competition uses the SIFMA Foundation’s curriculum-based Stock Market Game™, a program that is offered across the state by South Carolina Economics. The Stock Market Game program is an online simulation of the global capital markets that engages students in the world of economics, investing and personal finance, and prepares them for financially independent futures. More than 600,000 students take part every school year across all 50 states. Learn more about the Stock Market Game here.

2016-2017 School Calendar

The 2016-2017 School Calendar is now available. Click here to access.

Students Enjoy Two Interesting MasonFEST Programs

Students recently enjoyed two interesting MasonFEST programs. On Saturday, March 12, MasonFEST student and parent teams toured the Turtle Survival Alliance center in Cross, SC. Students and their parents went "herp catching" on Sunday, March 13 at Caw Caw County Park. 

Visit our MasonFEST page to read more about these programs, see photos, and learn about upcoming MasonFEST offerings.

Annual Fund Auction Raises Over $60,000!

Thank you to everyone who made the Annual Fund Auction such a success. Click here to see photos and a list of our wonderful sponsors and volunteers!

Quiz Bowl Team Advances

Quiz Bowl

The SCISA Middle School Quiz Bowl was held at Mason Prep yesterday. Mason Prep won all three of our games in this regional round to advance to the SCISA state finals on March 3. We defeated Pinewood Prep 205-115, Charleston Collegiate 175-80, and the University School of the Lowcountry 205-125. Our team members are Ryan Campbell, Mills Jordan, Blaise McGrath, Eshani Mehta, Ryan Rogers, and team captain Sophia Wilson. Congrats to our Knights!


Re-enrollment Time: Why Choose a Mason Prep Education?

Early February is re-enrollment time at Mason Prep. As parents consider what is right for their students and their family, we hope that families reflect on what first brought them to Mason Prep and what the school has meant to their children and their family. 

Parents are invited to contact Mr. Kreutner or Mrs. Jordan with any questions or concerns they may have about this decision. Our Mason Prep family is strong thanks to our committed families, and we want to see everyone back in August.   

We asked two Mason Prep families to share their thoughts.
"When we first looked at Mason Prep we loved the family feeling of the school. We feel that we are part of the Mason Prep family and that our boys are well taken care of just as they would be in a ‘real’ family.  I always feel that my boys are safe, loved, and expected to be a contributing member of the ‘family’ while they are at school, just as if they were at home.  The camaraderie among the parents, faculty, and students is amazing and so comforting when you send your kids off to school each morning.  
We wanted our children to be challenged, yet nurtured and supported. As our children have gone through the grades we have seen them challenged, but the teachers give all the support that each student needs in order to do his or her personal best.  Teachers offer extra help when needed and can adapt instruction to meet the needs of each individual student. Teachers are always willing to listen and to give feedback to parents. Teachers and parents are on the same team at Mason Prep, working together for the shared goal of doing what's best for the child.  

We have a high school freshman who graduated from Mason Prep, and we have seen that the academic and social environment at Mason Prep well prepared our son for high school."
- Helen and John Britton, parents of Heyward (7th) and Jack (Class of 2015)

“We chose Mason Prep because it was the school our hearts told us was the right fit for our family. We wrote many lists with pros and cons and Mason Prep always came out on top. We have always felt welcome at Mason Prep. We did not feel social pressure when we walked through the door - it was a warm and caring environment, which was very important to us. The sense of family seemed so strong among the teachers, children and parents, and we later found out that this is, in fact, so true!

I love when I see my children run up to their teachers to get a hug. The loving yet challenging educational environment has given my child the confidence to reach her fullest potential. Mason Prep teachers always are available for extra help, and this has been one of the most important links to my child's success. I don't think every school offers this commitment from the teachers and when teachers are so committed it allows students to be their best academically.”
- Jodie and Carter Cochran, parents of Kate (1st) and Caroline (5th)



Congratulations to our Spelling Bee Participants

Mason Prep participated in the SCISA Regional Spelling Bee hosted by The Oaks Christian School in Summerville. Ten area schools competed. Fifth grader Pierson Tran came in 4th place. Fifth grader Shiv Mehta and sixth grader Bowen Enright are both finalists and will go on to the SCISA State Spelling Bee on February 10th. Congratulations to all of our students on a great day of spelling!

Admissions Dates Coming Up

Observation for Children Applying to Kindergarten
Saturday, January 16, 9:00 a.m.

Testing for Students Applying to Grades 1-8
2nd - 8th grades: Saturday, January 23, 8:30 a.m.
1st grade: Saturday, January 30, 8:30 a.m.
1st grade: Saturday, February 6, 8:30 a.m.

Please call or email with any questions and to register your student for one of our observation or testing sessions. We hope to see you soon!
Lynn Kornya, Director of Admissions


6th Grade Holiday Bazaar

The 6th grade did a wonderful job with their annual Holiday Bazaar, selling the items they made and helping fellow students shop. Thank you to the 6th graders, their parents and the 6th grade teachers for making this a successful fundraiser for the Florida trip!


Grandparents' Day 2015

What a wonderful day to spend with our grandparents and special friends and share all that our students do here at school. Thank you to our grandparents for joining us and to the many volunteers who made today possible. A special thank you to Tiffany Dacuba for all her work heading up Grandparents' Day this year and for the past several years - your last one was a great one!


Head's Assembly: So Many Achievements!

Congratulations to our students, many of whom were recognized this morning, including: Head's and Faculty List, Honor Roll, Nice Knights, volleyball players, writers extraordinaire, Red Ribbon contest winners, Innisbrook top salespeople, and all of our students for an outstanding first quarter!


First Steps for the Mason Prep Foundation

The Mason Prep Foundation is nearly a reality. Much work has been done in laying the groundwork for what will serve as the strategic fundraising entity for Mason Prep.

During the process of constructing our new Harriett Starr Mason Lower School Building, it was recommended by both Mason Prep’s construction lenders and capital campaign consultants that Mason Prep start a foundation to formalize and bolster its fundraising. In the fall of 2014, the Board of Trustees approved the formation of the Mason Prep School Foundation Formation Committee. This Committee, which met through the first half of 2015, was charged with overseeing certain preliminary steps necessary to get the Mason Prep Foundation established and off the ground [e.g., filing the necessary paperwork to form the Foundation as a separate legal entity, initiating the process to file for 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, and drafting an initial set of bylaws for the Foundation].

In the spring of 2015, the Board of Trustees heard the recommendations of the Foundation Formation Committee and approved the creation of the Mason Prep School Foundation. Since that approval was secured, the Foundation Board has been chosen and has had its first meeting. Over the next few weeks, the Board will approve the Foundation bylaws and finalize all necessary documents for its 501(c)(3) filing with the IRS. It will also begin to put plans in place to succeed in its goal of supporting the mission of Mason Prep School. 

Mason Prep School Foundation Mission Statement
The Mason Prep School Foundation supports Mason Prep School through strategic fundraising that provides scholarships and financial assistance to Mason Prep students, promotes the development of the Mason Prep faculty, and enhances and improves Mason Prep’s facilities and its educational programs.  

Mason Prep Foundation Board 2015-16
Charles Jordan, Chair, Current Parent
Jim Bush, Friend & Supporter of Mason Prep
Martha Celek, Past Parent
Steve Carroll, Alumnus
Richard Davis, Past Parent & Vice-Chair, Board of Trustees 
Erik Kreutner, Head of School
Wendy Littlejohn, Parent & Treasurer, Board of Trustees 
Ashton Pavlischek, Faculty Member (elected by her peers)
Bill Snow, Past Parent
Anne Stavrinakis, Alumna
Joanne Stemple, Director of Marketing and Development 
Angie Teufel, Current Parent



Spending Devoted to Our Mission

Mason Prep recently completed its audit report for the 2014-15 school year. We are proud to share that a very strong 81¢ of every dollar Mason Prep spends is being spent on mission-based programs (the education of our students as opposed to overhead costs). In comparison, a non-profit is considered to be performing well in this area if program spending is 75¢ per dollar. This figure supports Mason Prep’s commitment to the careful stewardship of the school’s finances.

School Closed on Monday, October 5

We hope that our students and their families made it through this weekend's flooding without incident and that everyone is safe and dry.

For several reasons, Mason Prep will be closed again on Monday. The primary factor is that we want all of our children and staff to be safe. With the amount of water still on the roadways of the Lowcountry, including the streets around Mason Prep, it is prudent for us to follow the lead of the Charleston County School District and remain closed on Monday.

In addition, we are dealing with water in several locations in the new Harriett Starr Mason Lower School Building. We are still trying to determine the cause, but there is 1/4 to 1/3 of an inch of water covering much of the floors of our kindergarten classrooms, the lunch room, and the first floor common learning area. The parking garage under that building was flooded with 16 to 18 inches of water, which caused the power to the lower school to be shut off. Once we restore power, we will begin cleaning up the affected rooms.

We will likely need to move our kindergarten classes to other locations once we return to school while we clean up these classrooms and dry them out. Fortunately, our fifth graders will be on their overnight trip to Camp St. Christopher for much of the week, so we have room to move classes around.

We have decided to postpone Red Ribbon Week until the week of October 12 - 16. If we are able to return to school on Tuesday, students should not plan to come to school dressed up for the Class Competition Day.

We will keep you posted about when we will be able to return to school. In the meantime, We hope that all of you stay safe while we wait for the remainder of the rainy weather to leave our area.

7th Graders Having Fun in NC

Our 7th graders are having a great time in the North Carolina mountains, conquering ropes courses, building rafts and playing other team-building games.

Mason Prep Welcomes Three New Teachers

We are happy to welcome three new teachers to our faculty this year. Our students are enjoying their classes, and these teachers have quickly become part of the Mason Prep family. Read more about them here.

(pictured left to right: Mr. Paul Kersey, Mrs. Gloria Collazo, Mr. Dan McNamee)

Lake Sweep a Success!

Our annual Lake Sweep was Saturday September 19. Thank you to all the volunteers who came to help us clean up Alberta Long Lake!

Every year, on the third Saturday in September, citizens around the globe participate in “sweeping” local waterways as part of the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Clean-up. The Mason Prep family does its part by cleaning up the area around Alberta Long Lake, right outside our front door.

Volleyball Schedule - Come Support the Knights!

Volleyball season is in full swing. Come out and cheer on the Knights - see the schedule by clicking here.

Morning Meeting Focuses on Service

Our "whole school" meeting this morning focused on the importance of service. On this National Day of Remembrance and Service, Mr. Kreutner spoke to our students about giving back to our community and how each of us can make the world a better place. Service will continue to be a focus for the school this year as each grade participates in service learning projects. We look forward to sharing the details of those throughout the year.

Join the Mason Prep Buddy Walk Team!

Mason Prep's City Council is putting together a team for the annual Buddy Walk, sponsored by the Down Syndrome Association of the Lowcountry.

The event will be held on Sunday, October 4, at Etiwan Park on Daniel Island (across the street from Bishop England High School).  It is a great day full of jump castles, sno-cones, music and fun!

To join our team, go to and look for the Mason Prep team.  We'll have a team tent on the day of the walk for us to all meet up, relax in, and take a group picture.  

The eighth grade students are also welcome to sign up to volunteer for the Buddy Walk. This year, our students will be running the sno-cone booth!

If you have any questions, please contact our City Council sponsor, Erin Hauhn, at

Reminder - Open House September 10

Open House (for current parents to see classrooms, meet teachers and hear all about the year to come) will be September 10, 7-8:30. We will begin with a general parents’ meeting in our gym, and you should be able to move to your child's classroom shortly before 7:30. The event should end shortly after 8:30. Please remember that Open House is an event only for adults, not for students. Our teachers are looking forward to the opportunity to let you know what your children have been doing and will do in their classrooms this year.


First Day!

The 2015-16 school year is officially underway. Judging from the excited looks on our Knights' faces this morning, it's going to be a great one!

Summer Reading

The books on SCISA's Battle of the Books list qualify for summer reading. Click here to download the lists.

Congratulations Class of 2015!

Graduation Day was a very special one, graduating our largest 8th grade class ever. The accomplishments of this class are many, and we look forward to hearing about all the wonderful things to come for these students.

First Year of Kindergarten Comes to a Close

Our kindergarteners had their end of the year program this morning, entertaining family and friends with songs and receiving certificates. What a wonderful first kindergarten class!

City Council Officers for 2015-16 Elected

Congratulations to all of our candidates for running excellent campaigns and doing very well at the polls - they were all close races!

Your City Council officers for next year are:
Erin Littlejohn and Lily Hambric: Mayor and Mayor Pro-Tem
Mary Clare Kreutner: Secretary
Sophia Colby: Health and Environmental Engineer
Thomas Hilton: Safety Director

Mason Prep Well Represented at Academic Competitions

Mason Prep students shone at academic competitions this year!

Our 6th – 8th grade students participated in our school geography bee. The winner of our bee, Eshani Mehta, went on to the state bee in Columbia and placed 11th (competing against 7th and 8th graders!).

Four students were regional spelling bee winners: Mary Gail Riley, Shiv Mehta, Thomas Hilton, and Adhithi Viswanathan. They all went to the state bee at Williamsburg Academy in Kingstree, and Shiv Mehta was the South Carolina State Spelling Bee winner for the fourth grade!

Our Quiz Bowl team, whose members included Bryan Bracy, Walton Moseley, Lawson Murrell, Zach Wallace-Wright (Captain), Sophia Wilson and Andrew Zimlich, won its regional competition at John Paul II School in Bluffton, and finished in a tie for fourth at the state finals at Cardinal Newman School in Columbia.

It's Official! Ribbon Cutting for the Harriett Starr Mason Lower School Building

The Harriett Starr Mason Lower School Building was officially opened and dedicated at the ribbon cutting ceremony on April 8, 2015.

Thank you to all of the Mason Prep families and friends who joined us, and to our special guests: Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr., Councilmember Michael S. Seekings, Reverend Richard Campbell, Goff D'Antonio and Associates and Trident Construction. We were also thrilled to have members of Miss Mason's extended family here for the event. Finally, a big thank you to our Capital Campaign Steering Committee - without their dedication and hard work, this building would not have been possible.

School Calendar for 2015-16

As we head into the home stretch of the 2014-15 school year, we turn our thoughts to next year. The basic academic calendar for 2015-16 is available here. More detailed calendars will be sent to Mason Prep families during the summer of 2015.

Ribbon Cutting April 8

We hope you will join us for the ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony for the Harriett Starr Mason Lower School Building on Wednesday, April 8 from 5:30-7:30. A short program will be followed by a reception and touring of the building. We look forward to welcoming parents, alumni, faculty and staff and all friends of the school!

You may download the invitation here.

50th Birthday Bash - Thank You Mason Prep!

Thank you, Mason Prep, for a wonderful 50th celebration. 

With your generosity, more than $22,000 was raised for the Annual Fund at the Birthday Bash. Your tremendous support of our school and our students is much appreciated.

A video celebrating Mason Prep’s first 50 years was shown at the Bash. You can see it by clicking here.

Harriett Starr Mason Lower School Building Opens!

On the morning of February 17, our Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem, Jack Trouche and Thomas Kay, accompanied by our other City Council Officers, cut the ribbon for the new Harriett Starr Mason Lower School Building. Our kindergarten through second grade students were then escorted to their new classrooms by their pen pals in the sixth, seventh, and eighth grades, who carried the younger students' belongings from their former classrooms.

During the rest of the day, students in the third through sixth grades were able to tour the new building and see what it has to offer for them. Our seventh and eighth graders were the first to dine in our new lunchroom. 

A big thank you to all of the teachers who worked so hard to get the new classrooms ready, including some teachers of other grades who just wanted to lend a hand. Thanks are also due to Mr. Eddie Rutherford and his facilities staff and our technology director, Mr. Stephen Broderick, who worked equally hard throughout the weekend. Also to Mrs. Roseann Jordan who led the process of selecting the furnishings for the classrooms and other areas in the new building - everything looks fantastic! Our Board of Trustees went above and beyond in their volunteer roles, especially our Board Chair, Mrs. Penny Wilson, who is also the daughter of Mrs. Nancy Hawk, the founder of our school. Finally, we greatly appreciate the financial support from a wide variety of constituents that made this facility possible.

The result is a beautiful building that will be used by all of our students and that will usher Mason Prep into its second half-century and beyond. The excitement shown by Mason Prep's students of all ages as they experienced the new facilities for the first time this morning was priceless! They are so proud of their school, as are we. I hope that you will be able to visit our new building soon, and we will let you know shortly about an official event to commemorate the occasion.

50th Birthday Bash - Latest Details Here!

We hope you will plan to join us at Mason Prep’s 50th Birthday Bash Friday, March 13 from 7-11 at Charles Towne Landing!

Visit our Birthday Bash page for all the details!

Take a Video Tour of Our New Building

The Harriett Starr Mason Lower School Building is nearing completion! Click here to take a video tour.

The Book Fair is January 28 - February 3

The Book Fair is Coming! The Mason Prep Book Fair will run January 28 - February 3. Be sure to visit the Media Center "Under the Sea!"Learn more about the Book Fair here: Book Fair

Construction Nearing Completion

The new Harriett Starr Mason Lower School Building is nearing completion. Inside, the floors are done, the last coat of paint is going on, the lighting is in, the alarm system is being installed, and the data wiring is underway. Outside, the engraved bricks are in!

See more about this building and our plans for the future!

Admissions Testing Dates Coming Up

The Admissions office has been very busy this year. Tours are given nearly every day (sometimes 2 or 3 in a day!), and Director of Admissions Lynn  Kornya has seen growing interest in Mason Prep as prospective parents continue to respond positively to our kindergarten program and new facilities.

Says Mrs. Kornya, “It is so exciting and rewarding to work with families looking for the next step in their child’s education.  The best part is when they realize it’s Mason Prep!”

Upcoming Dates to Note:
January 24: Testing for grades 2-8 
January 31 and February 7: First grade testing

Mason Prep Receives Mayoral Proclamation

We were honored to have Mayor Joe Riley (a Mason Prep grandparent) join us at our Street Party to deliver a proclamation designating November 19 as “Mason Prep Day.” This day is our Founders’ Day, which we recognize each year during American Education Week.

The first celebration of Mason Prep’s 50th year was held on November 15. Halsey and Bull Streets were shut down to make way for a street party including games for all ages, food trucks, a bluegrass band and several special presentations.

A time capsule, put together by students in 1994 for Mason Prep’s 50th year, was opened to reveal many  items including: a mix tape, a Walkman, a 1994 school yearbook, and a scrapbook containing many souvenirs and newspaper clippings from that year.

It was a wonderful day for our Mason Prep family, and we were thrilled to see our current families, alumni, past families and faculty and staff enjoying celebrating this very special year together.

Mrs. James Named SCISA Master Teacher

The South Carolina Independent School Association (SCISA) has named Mrs. Meghan James a Master Teacher. The Master Teacher program recognizes teachers who exhibit best practices in the classroom and a willingness to share and collaborate with other educators. Master Teachers must inspire excellence in the classroom, among colleagues and, especially, among students.

Mrs. James teaches 7th and 8th grade math. In addition to being an engaging and inspiring teacher, she has introduced or participated in several programs that are new to Mason Prep including: 

  • Error analysis, which leads math students to understand that having the right answer is less important than understanding how to get to it 
  • Math Buddies, which pairs eighth graders and first graders to benefit both groups
  • The Stock Market Game, which engages the eighth graders with real-world connections to math
  • The Science and Math Olympiad, a day dedicated to hands-on activities in both of these fields, which has become an amazing day for both our middle school students and their parents thanks to the hard work of Mrs. James and the Olympiad’s “founder,” Mrs. Renkas

In his letter of recommendation for Mrs. James, Mr. Kreutner said, “Mrs. James’s innovative approach to teaching math has helped her students to become mathematical thinkers in every sense. She constantly seeks out new methods and activities to engage her students, and she never fails to impress when she e-mails me to ‘come see what we’re doing!’ Mrs. James’s students know that they have to put in a great deal of effort to achieve success in her class, and she very effectively leads them to do just that.

Mrs. James joins seven Mason Prep teachers who have received this honor: Debbie Bandy, Katrina Bryan, Erin Hauhn, Roseann Jordan, Katie Kreutner, Mary Jo Stemple, Marci Yates



Street Party Saturday, November 15 11:00-2:00

Join us for the first celebration of our 50th year. There will be music, games, food trucks and more for the whole family to enjoy!

Schedule of Events
11:30 Mayor Joe Riley Delivers the "Mason Prep Day" Proclamation
12:30 Cut the Birthday Cake
1:00 Open the Time Capsule (made by students in 1994!)

Fun and Games
Inflatable Skee Ball • Tiki Island Slide • 57-Foot Obstacle Course
Classic Jump Castle • Pitching Booth with Radar Gun • Face Painting
Balloon Artist • Sweet Grass Basket Weaver

Food Trucks
Baja Buritos • Roti Rolls • Kona Ice


Download your invitation here.


Be a Permanent Part of Mason Prep - Buy a Brick!

To celebrate our new building and 50th anniversary, we are pleased to offer you the opportunity to be a permanent part of Mason Prep. The Harriett Starr Mason Lower School Building was designed with a fresh air teaching and learning space - a courtyard where classes can gather and enjoy their studies outdoors. This unique spot, sure to become a student favorite, will be paved with bricks engraved with the names of those who hold a special place in their hearts for Mason Prep.

Details and How to Order Your Brick

  • Bricks are available from October 21 to November 3. Due to our construction schedule, Monday, November 3 is the absolute latest date to turn in the form and payment in order to have your brick engraved for the opening of the building.
  • There is a limited quantity of bricks available. Bricks will be sold on a “first-come, first-served” basis.
  • Bricks are $100 each. (After the Nov. 3 deadline, if bricks are available, the cost will be $130 as they will be engraved on site.)
  • To order your brick, please fill out the information on this flyer and return it with your check to the office by November 3.

Thank you!

LifeManagement Center Conference Parent Night Sept. 30

Mason Prep believes that our school and our parents are truly a team working for the success of each student. To that end, we are always looking for resources and opportunities for our parents and faculty to learn and develop new skills. 

We are so proud to bring one of these opportunities to you at the end of this month. Mason Prep is one of six local independent schools that are sponsoring institutions for the upcoming  LifeManagement Center Conference, featuring guest speaker Dan Willingham. Dr. Willingham is a cognitive psychologist from the University of Virginia who specializes in K-12 education. This event was originally scheduled for January but was rescheduled due to icy weather in Charleston and Virginia.

The LMC Conference Parent Night will be held on Tuesday, September 30, at 7:00 p.m. at Porter-Gaud School, and you are invited to attend. This is an incredible opportunity for our parents, and we hope you will join us. 

There is no charge for the presentation, but you do need to RSVP if you plan to attend. You may RSVP by downloading the Parent Night flyer and clicking on the link provided. You may also download the LMC Conference brochure to learn more about Dr. Willingham and LifeManagement Center.

Please remember that on Wednesday, October 1, Mason Prep's faculty will participate in the LifeManagement Conference all day. We will hear Dr. Willingham speak in the morning, and teachers from the participating schools will lead breakout sessions for their colleagues in the afternoon. Because of this professional development opportunity, October 1 will be a holiday for our students. 

Thank you, and we hope to see you there!

Mason Prep's 50th Year Begins

Mason Prep’s 50th anniversary year is off to a great start!

We are so pleased to welcome 95 new students and 57 new families into our Mason Prep family. Our first graders have transitioned to full days at school, and our first kindergarten classes are feeling right at home.

The renovations to the James O. White Middle School Building are complete, and students and teachers are thrilled with their bigger and brighter classrooms. Construction on the Harriett Starr Mason Lower School continues on schedule, with a planned opening in January.

50th anniversary celebrations will be held through the year, with the first being the Street Party on November 15. This event will feature music, entertainment, food trucks and more right on Halsey Blvd., and is a perfect way to include our students in kicking off our year of festivities.

We are looking forward to a wonderful year!

2014-15 Academic Calendar

Mason Prep's academic calendar will be slightly shifted for the 2014-2015 school year, primarily due to the construction of our new Harriett Starr Mason Lower School Building. To give Trident Construction more time during the summer of 2014 to complete the renovations to our middle school necessary for the connecting walkway to the new building, the school year will not start until Monday, August 25. The last day of school for grades K through 7 will be Thursday, June 4, followed by our 8th grade graduation on Friday, June 5.

The complete academic calendar containing major school dates can be downloaded here. A more detailed calendar will be published during the summer.

Mason Prep Dedicates Lower School Building and Announces Campaign Goal

Today Mason Prep formally announced the launch of the Community Phase for the $1 million capital campaign, Unlocking Our Potential: The Campaign for Mason Prep.  Students, current and past parents, faculty and staff, board members and the media joined together in the gymnasium to celebrate the official launch of the campaign and break ground on the new lower school building.

Head of School Erik Kreutner made the announcement this morning and gave an update on fundraising to date. "I am honored to tell you that we have raised $802,100 towards our $1 million goal during the Advance Phase," Erik said.  One hundred percent of the school's Board of Trustees and Campaign Steering Committee have invested in the campaign.  Assistant Head of School Roseann Jordan added that 100% of the faculty and staff have made a gift to the campaign.  "Collectively, faculty and staff have committed $47,250 toward the goal," said Roseann.

Unlocking Our Potential Campaign Co-Chairs Jimmie and Laura Gianoukos made a call to action to Mason Prep families during the celebration.  "Over the next three months, a small army of volunteers will be reaching out to you to ask for your support," Jimmie said.  "We hope you will listen thoughtfully to the vision and consider how you can be a part of the campaign to support this critical project." 

In recognition for her vision and service to Mason Preparatory School, the new lower school building was dedicated in the memory of Harriett Starr Mason.  In 1964, she was hired as the first headmistress of Miss Mason's School, which merged with College Preparatory School in 1984 to create Mason Preparatory School.  Miss Mason retired as Headmistress in 1976, and her vision continues today as the mission of Mason Preparatory School: to educate the whole child by giving them the tools they need to dream big while staying grounded.  We are proud to announce that the new lower school building will be called the Harriett Starr Mason Lower School Building.

Mason Prep Mayor Max Laro had this to say about the celebration: "It was really cool to be on stage with all of these people, and this is a big deal for the school.  I look forward to hanging out with my lower school friends in the new lunchroom and coming back to see home games in the new gym."   

Mrs. Copeland Named SCISA Administrative Assistant of the Year

The South Carolina Independent School Association (SCISA) Headmasters Association presented several awards on November 7th, and we are thrilled to announce that Millie Copeland received the Administrative Assistant Award, which is given to the administrative assistant making the largest impact on his or her school.

Mr. Kreutner's nomination of Mrs. Copeland for this award read, “As a first-year head of school, I could not have asked for a better administrative assistant than Millie Copeland. She is amazing at anticipating what needs to be done; when I ask her to take on a task, I am frequently pleasantly surprised to find that she has already started or even finished it. It is always apparent that she cares deeply for Mason Prep, and she can always be counted on for advice that is in the best interests of our school and its students.”


Mr. Kreutner Named SCISA "Rookie of the Year"

The SCISA Headmasters Association awarded Mr. Kreutner the “Rookie of the Year” award, which is presented to the first-year Head of School who has made the biggest impact on his school. In recognizing Mr. Kreutner, the Association cited his work in spearheading our new kindergarten program, starting our iPad program and reconfiguring our elementary foreign language curriculum. Larry Watt, executive director of the Independent School Association added, “Erik has done an outstanding job at Mason Preparatory School.”

Mr. Kreutner has been at Mason Prep 24 years, serving as teacher, Director of Technology and Interim Head before being named Head of School. He is completely committed to Mason Prep, our students, and the Mason Prep family. We are lucky to have him and congratulate him on this well-deserved honor!


Mason Preparatory School
56 Halsey Blvd Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 723-0664 (843) 723-1104