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Murals with a Mission
Diane Nichols

Madeira High School recently had the honor of being selected by the Cincinnati Reds and PNC Bank to participate in a powerful student-led design and art project.

‘Murals with a Mission’ was launched in 2022 with the goal of using the power of art to convey positive social messages tailored to students through painting murals. MHS is the sixth school in Cincinnati/ Northern Kentucky area to participate in the initiative - along with high schools in Mason, Princeton, Dixie Heights, Loveland, Colerain, and Sycamore.

The guiding force behind the mural project is renowned artist and behavioral health specialist Brent Billingsley. Brent worked for three weeks with Madeira’s HOPE Squad – a school-based, peer to peer suicide prevention program – and art students. Together they discussed themes to incorporate in their three planned murals, one to hang at each of Madeira’s schools. MHS art teacher Jill Dulgeroff explained the final concept, “Our mission was to connect all three buildings in our unique school district with a common theme.  We used the ideas of Hope, Strength, and Community and incorporated the use of a tree as our symbolism to guide you through a visual story.” 

Madeira Elementary School’s mural shows a child with a seedling to be planted and a large shamrock in honor of the sudden 2023 passing of the school’s beloved principal Chris Flanagan. Madeira Middle School’s mural shows students with the seedling grown into a sapling, and Madeira High School’s depicts students around a full-grown tree.

After Billingsley sketched the design areas in pencil on canvas and labeled them with letters, he brought the mural sections back for the students to paint ala paint by number. For four days the stage in MHS’ Medert Auditorium was bustling with students painting mural sections, Broadway show tunes playing, and each of the high school’s students coming and going to silkscreen uplifting messages on a custom t-shirt each student made.

Once the murals were complete a school wide assembly was held – complete with the school’s band and Reds mascots. The students all wore their self-designed t-shirts as the murals were unveiled and dedicated to each building. Billingsley addressed the full auditorium and said, "PNC Bank and the Reds don't send us to school to create murals, PNC Bank and the Reds send us to schools to build relationships."

Explaining the impact the week long process had on all who experienced it, MHS senior Kennedy Cunningham said, “Murals with a Mission was a unifying experience for the Madeira High School student body. It has been a one of a kind experience and amazing way to end my senior year!” 

More on Murals with a Mission:

'Light and hope:' Madeira murals dedicated to late principal Chris Flanagan

Cameron Knight, Cincinnati Enquirer


Photos: Murals reflect light and hope in Madeira schools

Cameron Knight, Cincinnati Enquirer


News Clip: Flanagan Strong - Memory of Madeira principal honored with art

Local 12 News at 6 – May 3, 2024 6:16 PM


Web story: Cincinnati high school creates murals for its late principal

Adam Clements, WKRC


Reds Photo Gallery: PNC Murals with a Mission at Madeira


The Top of the Class of 2024
Diane Nichols

The Top of the Class of 2024

At its annual Academic Signing Day on May 1, Madeira High School announced the 60 members of its Class of 2024 who have been named Top Seniors. To be named a Top Senior, a Madeira graduate must have a 4.0 or above GPA.

The MHS Class of 2024 Top Seniors and their future plans are: Andrew Cissell (Duquesne University), Jackson Cunningham (University of Cincinnati / University of Louisville), Kennedy Cunningham (Miami University), Abigail Duffy (University of Cincinnati), Edward Hartung (University of Cincinnati), Theodore Hwang (Virginia Tech), Maxwell James (University of Cincinnati), Cindy Lu (Ohio State University), Eric Luther (Ohio State University), Griffin Lynn (University of South Carolina), Keira O'Cull (University of Notre Dame), Adrian "AJ" Rockwell (Ohio State University), Jeffrey Schwallie (University of Cincinnati), Matthew Smith (Ohio State University / Auburn University), Tanner Temar (University of Alabama), Aidan Thiele (Ohio State University), Lily Zoeckler (Miami University), Zoe Abroms (University of Tennessee), Corbett Alexander (University of Cincinnati-DAAP), Eva Apanius (University of South Carolina), Ryan Ashton (Brigham Young University), Nathan Bishop (Ohio State University), Baxter Brinson (University of Cincinnati), Mariana Caceres (University of Alabama), Audrey Chalfie (Harvard University), Andrew Davis (University of Tennessee), Jacob Dobson (Purdue University / University of Illinois), Kate Donnellan (Purdue University), Corry Dragoo (Miami University), Katherine Dunn (Ohio State University), Jane Feichtner (University of Cincinnati), Rachel Gaffney (Florida State University), Samuel Gaugh (Purdue University), Paige Graham (University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign), Sophie Graham (University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign), Tyler Griffin (University of Cincinnati-DAAP), Alexa Hacker (Auburn University), Abigail Hambidge (University of Cincinnati-DAAP), John "JT" Hamstra (University of Tennessee), Caroline Harrison (University of Cincinnati), Nicholas Hyland (University of Utah), Jake Isgrig (University of Tennessee), Nolan Katz (University of Cincinnati), Ryan Kelch (University of Tennessee), Evan Lutes (University of South Carolina), Finnegan McCarthy (Hanover College), Annabelle Meyer (Michigan State University), Madison Nahrgang (Ohio State University), Jaffa Oden (University of Cincinnati), Mateo Ramirez Laverde Guzman (University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill ), Seth Rane (University of Cincinnati), Andrew Sampson (Ohio State University), Kayleen Semple (University of Cincinnati), Benjamin Solinski (University of Cincinnati-DAAP), Luke Spencer (Ohio State University), Nathaniel Wagner (Miami University), Sloane Warner (Ohio State University), Julia Winget (University of Washington), Nora Winterrowd (University of Louisville), and Yahna Yihad (Eckerd College).

Madeira Ranked Third in Best High Schools
Diane Nichols

Madeira High School was ranked third within the state of Ohio in the 2024 US News and World Report Best High Schools. Walnut Hills High School was ranked first and Bexley High School was ranked second.

The U.S. News Best High Schools rankings include data on nearly 25,000 public high schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia. Nearly 18,000 schools were ranked on factors based on their performance on state assessments and how well they prepare students for college. Ohio high school students are assessed in English language arts, math, science and social studies via the Ohio's state tests. To graduate, students must earn at least 20 credits in various subjects, learn economics and financial literacy, as well as take two or more semesters of fine arts, according to the Ohio Department of Education. Methodology used is college readiness 30%, state assessment proficiency 20%, state assessment performance 20%, underserved student performance 10%, college curriculum breadth 10% and graduation rate 10%.

The report also ranked Madeira High School #212 in the national rankings, #2 in Cincinnati Metro Area High schools, and #207 is STEM high schools.