MHS students create video game


Marshalltown High School students Cody Songkhamdet, left, and Kyle Johnson give a presentation on the video game they created in their English class.

Two Marshalltown High School students ended their freshman year with a special presentation at the school on May 28. Cody Songkhamdet and Kyle Johnson presented to the class their work on creating a video game based on the classic play “Romeo and Juliet.”

Students in the English class taught by Jocelyn Frohwein had an assignment to create a project based on the Shakespeare piece and these two students decided to create a video game where the user can be Romeo searching for Juliet.

They utilized the website to produce the game and went through plenty of ups and downs before getting the game to look the way they wanted. Johnson said one main thing he learned was “don’t give up.”

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MHS counselor nominated for award


Marshalltown High School counselor Lydia Arevalo has been nominated for an Iowa School Counselor of the Year award.

Marshalltown High School counselor Lydia Arevalo has been nominated for an Iowa School Counselor of the Year award by one of her peers.

Arevalo has been at MHS for three years and has seven total years of experience as a school counselor. Arevalo said she has several main initiatives she is excited about at MHS including mental health counseling services, Project Lead The Way, summer school, and the goal to attain 100 percent graduation rate.

“I have a sincere passion for working with and advocating for minority and struggling at-risk students,” Arevalo said. “I work with a wonderful team of counselors, administrators, teachers and support staff at MHS. Every day I can honestly say I love my job. I love blessing the lives of our students and their families and I will continue to do whatever it takes to help all of my students reach their full potential and succeed at MHS.”

The Iowa School Counselor of the Year award will be announced at the Iowa School Counselor Association Conference in November.  Arevalo was nominated for the award by Miller Middle School counselor Angie Radcliffe.

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Paraeducator makes connections with students


Miller Middle School special education teacher Deb Johnson, right, said paraeducator Mehlon Maxwell, left, is a valuable member of the special education staff at Miller.

Mehlon Maxwell said she loves making connections with students in her work as a paraeducator at Miller Middle School.

Maxwell’s peers have also taken note of her talents as a special education staff member. Miller special education teacher Deb Johnson said Maxwell has great people skills.

“She has a knack for working with people of all ages, both students and staff,” Johnson said. “Mehlon not only does what is expected, but when that is done, she seeks out and finds other ways that she can help students learn.”

Johnson felt so strongly about the good work Maxwell does that she nominated her for an AEA 267 paraprofessional award. Though Maxwell did not receive the award, which was given to someone from another district in the AEA 267 area, Johnson believes she is worthy of recognition.

“I nominated Mehlon for the paraeducator award because she goes way above and beyond what she is required to do as a paraeducator,” Johnson said.

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More than 300 graduate during high school ceremony


More than 300 students took part in the 140th annual commencement ceremony of Marshalltown High School on May 24 at Marshalltown Community College.

Marshalltown High School held its 140th annual commencement ceremony on May 24 in the Student Activity Center at Marshalltown Community College.

More than 300 students took part in the ceremony, hosted by MHS Principal Aiddy Phomvisay. Also speaking were Board President Kay Beach and MCSD Superintendent Marvin Wade.

Graduating student presenters were Hannah Stone, Molly Major and Grant Thimesch, and Chandler Fisher. A quartet of graduating seniors including Libby Crawford, Bryce King, Dylan Hutzel and Allyson Biggs, sang “Like Breathing.”

Several groups of students were honored with special recognition at the event including those who participated in the National Honor Society and Silver Cord programs.

Seven students were honored for maintaining perfect 4.0 grade point averages throughout their time at MHS including Cassidy Blackford, Libby Crawford, Ashley Harris, Ellen Podhajsky, Rebecca Schwartzenburg, Hannah Stone and Grant Thimesch.

The event also featured music by the MHS wind ensemble led by Bret Lee and the National Anthem by the MHS Senior National Anthem Singers, led by Amy Ose


Perfect 4.0 students honored included, from left, Cassidy Blackford, Libby Crawford, Ashley Harris, Ellen Podhajsky, Rebecca Schwartzenburg and Hannah Stone.

IMG_4444Back Fisher  Hats IMG_4335 IMG_4348 IMG_4364 IMG_4403 IMG_4437 IMG_4472 quartet Stone ThimeschMajor

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MHS junior named a Herbert Hoover Uncommon Student

Beau headshot

Beau Ragland

Marshalltown High School junior Beau Ragland has been named one of 15 Herbert Hoover Uncommon Students by the Hoover Presidential Foundation.

Ragland and the other students selected for the honor will visit West Branch, Iowa in June and take part in educational activities and tour the Hoover Presidential Library-Museum. They will work on projects over the summer and return to West Branch on Oct. 24 to make presentations. At that time, each student will receive $1,000 for participating in the program and three will receive $5,000 college scholarships.

Ragland will interview veterans and create a mural with others as part of his project titled “Connecting Marshalltown Youth with Iowa’s Veterans.”

“I’m excited about it and ready to start working on the project,” Ragland said. “Hopefully, it will have an impact on the community.”

To be selected for this honor, Ragland submitted a project proposal and two letters of recommendation.

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Lenihan students create pop-up restaurants


Lenihan Intermediate School student Avery Case talks about her restaurant project as Associate Principal Liz Jurgensen listens at the school on May 20. Extended learning students at Lenihan learned about the restaurant business this year and came up with their own ideas.

Extended learning students at Lenihan Intermediate School put their months of research into action by creating their own pop-up restaurants at the school this week.

Students learned from professionals in the industry over the course of several weeks then came up with their own plans for facilities, menus, pricing, inventory and other items needed for their mock business. They shared their food creations and other ideas with fellow students on May 20.

The class is led by Lenihan teacher Vanessa Engel.

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MHS graduation to be indoors at MCC

Marshalltown High School leaders have decided the 2015 graduation ceremony will be indoors at the Student Activity Center at Marshalltown Community College, beginning at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 24. Due to the current weather forecast, the ceremony will not be held outdoors at Leonard Cole Field.

Due to space limitations, students will be allowed three total tickets each for family members and other visitors inside the Student Activity Center (3700 S. Center St.) and others without tickets can watch the ceremony via closed circuit television in the nearby Babe Harder Gymnasium at MCC. In addition to the overflow seating area, KDAO will also be streaming the commencement ceremony live on its website

The doors open for the ceremony at 1:30 p.m. Graduates are expected to report to the MCC student union by 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Students will receive their tickets during graduation rehearsal, which is on Friday, May 22 at 8 a.m. at the Student Activity Center. Students must be present at rehearsal to receive these tickets.

Even if the weather clears up for Sunday, the district will not make a decision to move plans back outdoors. This decision to move indoors is final as days of preparation are needed for the ceremony.

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