MHS advances four to state individual speech


The four Marshalltown High School students pictured have advanced to the state individual speech competition. From left, are Keyara McDowell, Megan Emerson, Libby Crawford and Elliot Weidenaar. The state contest is March 14 at Kennedy High School in Cedar Rapids.

Marshalltown High School has advanced four students in five total events to the state individual speech competition after a successful day last Saturday at the district contest.

MHS students who received Division I ratings at districts and have advanced to state include Libby Crawford in solo musical theater, Elliot Weidenaar in literature program, Keyara McDowell in poetry and Megan Emerson, advancing in both acting and poetry.

The IHSSA District Individual Speech Competition was held at Vinton-Shellsburg High School in Vinton on Feb. 28.

Three other MHS entries received Division II ratings and very positive comments from the judges at districts including Adrian Nunez in solo improv, Maria Urbina in storytelling and Keyara McDowell in acting.

“These kids have worked very hard this year and will continue to build their public speaking skills,” said MHS speech coach Brianna Yates. “Congratulations to all of these wonderful kids and best of luck to those advancing to state.”

The state competition will be March 14 at Kennedy High School in Cedar Rapids.

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MHS qualifies two for national speech tournament


MHS students Megan Emerson and Chandler Fisher have qualified for the National Speech and Debate Tournament.

Marshalltown High School students Chandler Fisher and Megan Emerson have qualified for the National Speech and Debate Tournament to be held in Dallas, Texas June 15-19.

Fisher and Emerson qualified by placing in the top two for Duo Interpretation at the recent East Iowa District Tournament in Iowa City. Their performance has them acting out historically significant events utilizing a previously published script.

“They put together a wonderful performance,” said MHS coach Brianna Yates. “They work very well together.”

Fisher, a senior, has now qualified for nationals for the second year in a row.

“It’s a lot of fun.” Fisher said. “I feel very proud to represent Marshalltown High School, especially on a national level.”

Emerson, a junior, has qualified for nationals for the first time.

“I’m really excited,” Emerson said.

MHS took three students to the East Iowa District tournament in four events. Elliot Weidenaar competed in two rounds of Lincoln-Douglas Debate, Emerson competed in three rounds of Dramatic Interpretation and three rounds of Duo Interpretation, and Fisher competed in two rounds of Original Oratory and three rounds of Duo Interpretation.

“This is our seventh consecutive year qualifying for nationals, and this year I have challenged our team to make it past the preliminary rounds,” said Dr. Janelle Hawk, director of forensics at MHS. “That means that they need to be in the top 60 after the end of Tuesday’s competition. I really think we can do it this year.”

While qualifying for the National Tournament is a great honor, it is also a burden on the speech and debate budget, Hawk said. The team is looking at ways to raise the extra funds needed to pay for the transportation and hotel fees. They will be holding tip nights at Pizza Ranch, and would welcome any and all donations from the community. Donations can be sent to Marshalltown High School, c/o Dr. Hawk, 1602 South 2nd Avenue, Marshalltown, IA 50158.

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Youth art show at Fisher Community Center


The Marshalltown Community School District will hold its annual Youth Art Show from Feb. 28 through March 25 at the Fisher Community Center.

A free opening reception is planned for the public from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday (Feb. 28) at the Fisher Community Center. The show is held in conjunction with Youth Art Month.

The show features approximately 300 works of art from students throughout the district, grades kindergarten through 12. Each art teacher chooses the finest examples produced in their classroom during the past year for display at the show.

The show is open during regular business hours at the center for the next month.

A committee from Central Office and the Marshalltown School Board will choose a collection of outstanding artwork from the show. These award-winning pieces will be labeled with a golden sticker for the opening reception and will all be framed and placed on display at Central Office following the show.

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Miller students compete at Science Bowl


Four Miller Middle School students took part in the Science Bowl at Iowa State University on Feb. 21. Pictured, from left, are students Hannah Gardea, Patrick Schafer, Caleb Summers and Trevor Ketcham.

Four Miller Middle School Extended Learning Program students went to the Ames Laboratory on the Iowa State University campus to participate in a Science Bowl sponsored by the United States Department of Energy on Feb. 21.

The Ames Lab/ISU Middle School Science Bowl is one of 50 regional competitions held across the nation. It is a fast-paced question-and-answer contest where students answer questions about life science, physical science, Earth and space science, energy, mathematics and general science.

The Miller students won one match and lost two. Competing from Miller were Hannah Gardea, Trevor Ketcham, Patrick Schafer and Caleb Summers.

“I am very proud of the effort put forth by my students at the Science Bowl,” said Miller ELP teacher Ann Jackson. “This was their first time participating and as we left campus for the day all of them were excited to come back and participate again. I call that success.”

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Golden Apple Award winner hits the air


Scott Johannes, student resource specialist at Marshalltown High School, has been named the Golden Apple award winner for this month from WHO-TV.

Scott Johannes, student resource specialist at Marshalltown High School recently received the Golden Apple Award from WHO-TV.

The story on his work and award is airing today on WHO-TV. To view the story click on the following link.

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Youth art selected for statewide show


Lenihan Intermediate School art teacher Pam Muench is pictured with students Xander Harwell, center, and Megan Sills. The two students had work selected to be part of a statewide display during Youth Art Month in Des Moines in March.

Two students from Lenihan Intermediate School have produced art selected to be on display in Des Moines in recognition of Youth Art Month.

Fifth grader Xander Harwell and sixth grader Megan Sills had work selected for the March exhibit, which is coordinated by the Art Educators of Iowa.

Both students have been invited to attend a reception on March 7 for the opening of the show.

Harwell’s print piece will be on display at the State Historical Building while Sills’ foil relief piece has been selected as a Governor’s Award winner. Sills will be invited to a reception with Gov. Terry Branstad and have her work on display in the governor’s office area in the State Capitol building.

“It’s a way to celebrate Youth Art Month,” said Lenihan art teacher Pam Muench, who teaches both students. “This art show gives students the opportunity to present and share at a state level.”

Marshalltown Schools will have its own display for Youth Art Month at the Fisher Community Center in March, with a public reception planned from 1 to 3 p.m. Feb. 28.

Sills Art

Pictured is work by Lenihan student Megan Sills. It’s a foil relief piece that was selected for the Governor’s Award.


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Students visit Capitol, promote anti-bullying bill


A group of Marshalltown High School and Miller Middle School students visited the State Capitol on Feb. 10 to talk about an anti-bullying bill.


MHS senior Cecilia Martinez was selected to speak at a press conference with Gov. Terry Branstad.

A total of 24 Marshalltown High School and Miller Middle School students were invited to the State Capitol to take part in an anti-bullying day by Gov. Terry Branstad on Tuesday, Feb. 10.

The students attended the governor’s press conference on the Bully Free Iowa Act and also met with key legislators to talk about the proposed anti-bullying bill. Other school districts invited were Waukee, Sioux City and Cardinal.

MHS senior Cecilia Martinez was invited by the governor to speak at the press conference. Martinez was selected to speak after the governor visited Marshalltown last fall and heard her present at an anti-bullying forum.

Also speaking during the press conference were Gov. Branstad, First Lady Chris Branstad, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds and Sioux City Schools Superintendent Paul Gausman.

“This is the year that we can stand up to bullying,” Gov. Branstad said.

Marshalltown was selected to take part in the event due to its strong Not in Our Town anti-bullying initiative.

To see Cecilia’s speech, click here.

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