Franklin team wins local Battle of the Books


A team of fourth grade students from Franklin Elementary School won the local Battle of the Books contest at the Marshalltown Public Library on April 16. Pictured from left are Emily Diggins, Willow Schmidt, Leticia Herrera, Mykiah Ayers, Mia Bradley and Franklin teacher librarian Jodi Duffy.

Franklin Elementary School took home the elementary Battle of the Books title on April 16 at the Marshalltown Public Library.

Battle of the Books tested teams of fourth grade students in a written test and three oral exam rounds on their knowledge of 12 books the students read recently.

The winning team from Franklin consisted of students Mykiah Ayers, Mia Bradley, Emily Diggins, Leticia Herrera and Willow Schmidt. Other teams participating were from Anson, Hoglan, Rogers and Woodbury elementary schools.


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MHS Envirothon team places fourth in state


The Marshalltown High School Envirothon team placed fourth in the state. Pictured are, from left, Collin Krukow, Chandler Fisher, Jacob Ramsey-Smith, Dayana Carrera and Martin Runquist.

The Marshalltown High School Envirothon team achieved fourth place in the 2015 Envirothon state competition held April 13 at Springbrook State Park in Guthrie Center.

Envirothon is a team competition for high school students testing their knowledge of natural resources. In the field and classroom, teams of five students are challenged to use their knowledge and critical thinking skills to conduct hands-on investigations, solve real-life scenarios and answer written questions covering five categories — aquatics, forestry, soils, wildlife and current environmental issues.

The MHS team tied for first place in the aquatics category of the contest. Team members from MHS included Collin Krukow, Chandler Fisher, Jacob Ramsey-Smith, Dayana Carrera and Martin Runquist.

The team is led by MHS extending learning teacher Susan Fritzell who said she was pleased with the results, especially after losing five seniors from last year’s team to graduation.

More than 60 teams competed in Envirothon from across the state with the top 15 invited to the state contest. The state winning team this year was from St. Ansgar. The Iowa Envirothon is hosted by the Conservation Districts of Iowa.

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MHS students awarded at CIML art show

2015 CIML Winners

Six Marshalltown High School students received awards at the CIML art competition and show in Mason City on April 15. Pictured with their winning pieces are, from left, Elizabeth Gomez, Elizabeth Tacconi, Yannely Pina, Lucas Snyder, Maria Ramirez and Niccole Wolken.

Marshalltown High School sent 22 students to Mason City on April 15 to participate in the 2015 CIML art competition and show. Six MHS students won awards in a total of eight categories at the show.

Winners from MHS included Elizabeth Gomez (Red Merit in graphite/B&W pencil drawing), Elizabeth Tacconi (Blue Merit in ninth grade 3D), Yannely Pina (Red Merit in ninth grade 3D), Lucas Snyder (Blue Merit in ceramics), Maria Ramirez (Red Merit in ceramics) and Niccole Wolken (Red Merit in graphite/pencil drawing, Blue Merit in charcoal drawing and Blue Merit in computer generated art).

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Miller students selected for Blank Summer Institute

Miller Students

These Miller Middle School students have been invited to take part in the Blank Summer Institute for Arts & Sciences at the University of Iowa. Pictured, front row, from left, Carissa King, Sloan Vry, Kya Naughton and Sam Estrada. Back row, Stella Roseburrough-Borras, Jane Ragland, Audrey Dempewolf and Zach Swartz.

Eight Miller Middle School students have been accepted into the Blank Summer Institute for Arts & Sciences at the University of Iowa. The one-week program in June at the Belin-Blank Center is for 120 of Iowa’s high-achieving students who are currently in grades seventh and eighth.

The institute provides students with an intensive and advanced educational experience designed to enhance their intellectual and social growth.

Students from Miller accepted and their fields of study for the program include Sloan Vry (creative writing), Kya Naughton (social sciences), Sam Estrada (invention and innovation), Stella Roseburrough-Borras (global and cultural studies), Jane Ragland (math problem solving), Audrey Dempewolf (visual arts), Zach Swartz (alternate in advanced science) and Carissa King (alternate in performing arts).

Fifteen students per subject area are accepted throughout the state. The students are accepted into the program after an application process that includes submission of essays, portfolios, teacher recommendations and test scores.

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School libraries receive statewide awards

Library Award

Marshalltown Schools teacher librarians, from left, Erin Faas (Rogers Elementary), Beth Steffa (Anson Elementary) and Sue Inhelder (Marshalltown High School) received Outstanding School Library Program awards at the Iowa Association of School Librarians spring conference on April 13 in Des Moines.

The libraries at Marshalltown High School, Rogers Elementary School and Anson Elementary School received Outstanding School Library Program awards on April 13 from the Iowa Association of School Librarians.

Marshalltown Community School District teacher librarians Sue Inhelder (MHS), Erin Faas (Rogers) and Beth Steffa (Anson) were presented the awards at the IASL spring conference in Des Moines.

Inhelder said she was “super excited” to receive the award for MHS.
“I’m proud of the support MHS and MCSD give to our school libraries. MCSD is a leader in the state when we look at full-time librarians in all of our buildings, full-service 21st century libraries and stable library budgets in all of our schools,” Inhelder said. “It is my honor and pleasure to offer services that have a direct impact on student achievement. “

Faas was equally excited to receive the honor on behalf of Rogers.
“It is an honor to receive this award because it symbolizes the commitment that we have to the students and staff in our buildings as well as administrative support,” Faas said.

Steffa also was happy to receive the award for Anson.
“I am very excited and honored that the Anson Elementary library was recognized for this award,” Steffa said.

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MHS students to plant 50 trees on campus


Pictured are students from Marshalltown High School who plan to plant 50 trees on April 27 at the school. Pictured from left, are Chandler Fisher, Jonathan Ortega, Ryan McDaniel, Martin Runquist, Collin Krukow, Jose Garcia and Jacob Ramsey-Smith.

An Iowa Department of Natural Resources grant will translate into 50 new trees on the Marshalltown High School campus. A $5,000 Trees for Kids grant has been awarded to the school.

Students on the MHS Envirothon team have led this effort and will hold a special planting day at 3:30 p.m. April 27 at the school with the public welcome to attend.

The trees, which will include several different species, will be planted at several locations on the MHS campus. MHS student Ryan McDaniel said the group was excited to learn they received the grant and said these trees will be aesthetically pleasing as well as help with heating and cooling costs and decrease storm water runoff.

MHS extended learning teacher Susan Fritzell said they are also looking for people in the community to volunteer to water the trees over the summer months and help on the April 27 planting day. For more information on the project contact Fritzell at MHS at 641-754-1130 or email her at

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Miller team places second in Battle of the Books


A team of students from Miller Middle School placed second in the Regional Battle of the Books competition at Simpson College in Indianola on March 31. Pictured in front row, from left, are Phoebe Osgood and Olivia Stone. Back row, Brianna Dean, Emily Miller, Eve Nettesheim and Carissa King

A team of students from Miller Middle School travelled to Simpson College in Indianola on March 31 to participate in the Regional Battle of the Books finals.  The team from Miller placed second in the competition.

Battle of the Books is a collaborative reading program, designed to enhance student commitment, team building, reading comprehension, and study skills in a fun, informative manner.

The competition began with the semifinal round in which the top 16 teams from qualifying rounds took a written test over 30 selected BOB books.  Participants answered questions about the books and listed each book’s author.  The top two teams from this round continued to the final oral round.

Battle of the Books at Miller is sponsored by the Extended Learning Program.

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