Mason Schools Foundation


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2023 Beacon of Inclusive Excellence Award Winner

Posted on 9/27/2023

It is our pleasure to recognize and congratulate Ricardo Grayer, 8th grade U.S. History teacher at Mason Middle School, on being named the 2023 recipient of Mason Schools Foundation’s Beacon of Inclusive Excellence award.

Please join us in celebrating Mr. Grayer at our 15th annual Gala and Silent Auction on October 21st at Manor House Event Center. Tickets available

This year Ricardo Grayer began his 28th year of teaching, 20 of which have been with Mason City Schools. He started his career in New Orleans, Louisiana and has taught in Catholic, charter, independent, and public schools.

After high school graduation, Mr. Grayer joined the United States Air Force and served in Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Before moving to Cinicnnati in 1998, Mr. Grayer received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of New Orleans and went on to receive his Master’s at Xavier University of Louisiana.

When asking Ricardo Grayer what he likes to do outside of the classroom, we found it interesting that he strives to learn at least one NEW thing everyday. He also loves traveling, dining, spending time with family, and enjoying the performing arts.

Mr. Grayer was initially hired in the district to teach 7th and 8th grade gifted social studies. However for the past 19 years he has taught 8th grade U.S. History exclusively. Mr. Grayer strives to create an inclusive classroom environment where all of his students feel included, valued, important, and respect each other. “If educators invite students to share their stories and create personal connections, the better chances are that retention and validity will be achieved,” he shared.

Ricardo Grayer was nominated for this award by parent, Laura Contreras. She expressed how Mr. Grayer is always willing to spend extra time to help his students with their learning, “Mr. Grayer gave up his lunch period for weeks to help my son and other students who needed extra attention.” She went on to say how often times it’s the little things that matter the most. “It may seem simple but Mr. Grayer has always pronounced our family name correctly,” she explained. “He asked how it was pronounced and puts in the effort to say it every time. It makes my son feel proud and self assured.”

It is evident that inclusive learning environments are equally important as the lessons he is teaching. For these reasons and many others, Mr. Grayer was chosen as a Beacon of Inclusive Excellence.

“I am grateful for my many colleagues, administrators, support educators and aids, and my students for helping me to become a better person and professional,” Ricardo Grayer said. “They have covered me, my missteps, and given of themselves to help me grow. The Mason Schools Foundation was started with seed money from a family who praised faculty and staff for the care and love shown to their grandchildren. It is an honor to be recognized as someone upholding the mantra "Be Better Today Than You Were Yesterday." MSF, thank you for your encouragement and stewardship of the resources entrusted to you to bless teachers.”

🌟 Congratulations again, Mr. Grayer 🌟

This Beacon of Inclusive Excellence Award was accompanied by a $250 grant and celebrates Mr. Grayer for embracing and empowering an inclusive environment for all of his students.

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Mason Schools Foundation is a community-driven non-profit foundation that facilitates grants, organizes community events, and recognizes teaching excellence for the betterment of the entire Mason Schools District.

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