In an effort to recognize the accomplishments and efforts of a community contributor who goes “above and beyond,” the Mason Schools Foundation established the Campbell Family Founder’s Award in honor of Ken and Joan Campbell and their family. The Campbell and Leffler families’ initial generosity, innovation and vision led to the creation of the Mason Schools Foundation.

Each year, community members are invited to nominate individuals who go above and beyond their job descriptions, whether volunteers or paid employment to support Mason City Schools. An annual recipient is selected by the Mason Schools Foundation Board and awarded at the gala in September.

2019 Award Recipient Mary-Ellen Theisen, MHSHOPE squad & Special Education Aide 

This year’s award winner is Mary-Ellen Theisen. Nominators have stated that she has a passion for making kids better and helping them out in many ways. She is the face of the Hope Squad—reaching out to kids who need help and who are often in a very desperate situation. She stays after school 3 to 4 days a week meeting kids who are connecting to their peers in the prevention of suicide and depression. She has become so visible and approachable that students have asked for help on and off campus. She is a shining light with a presence that is kind, passionate, and she is an incredible advocate for students who need hope, help, and direction.  She represents exactly what above and beyond means in our community.

Past Founder’s Award Recipients

2018 Recipients: The Peraino’s, Founding Board Members

2017 Recipient: Coach Wheeler, Mason Middle School Boys Cross Country Coach

2016 Recipient: Laurie Mitroff, Mason Make a Difference Day Leader

2015 Recipient: Greg Scheid, King Island Vice President

2014 Recipient: Dale Moberly, Mason Intermediate School 5th grade teacher

2012 Recipient: John Odell (posthumous) Mason School Board member, and Tracey & David Beckman, Mason City Schools Whiz Kids volunteers

2011 Recipient: Michelle Krugh, Mason Intermediate School Guidance Counselor

2010 Recipient: Cynthia Handy, Mason Intermediate School 5th grade teacher

2009 Recipient: Rosemary Wells, Mason City Schools parent volunteer, Backpack Program Founder

2008 Recipient: Joan and Ken Campbell, Mason City Schools grandparents

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