Sixth graders learning the restaurant business


Aaron Buzbee offers tips on the restaurant business to sixth graders at Lenihan Intermediate School recently.

Sixth graders in the extended learning math program at Lenihan Intermediate School have been learning what it takes behind the scenes to run a restaurant.

The class is working on a pop-up restaurant project in which students created surveys in order to decipher what types of restaurants or cuisines would be preferred among teachers and students at Lenihan. They analyzed their data and used the information to create their own restaurant. They were then given an imaginary budget of $15,000 to cover the start-up costs. Students were also given rental prices of spaces in Marshalltown.

The students have had various speakers and entrepreneurs from Marshalltown join them to offer advice on rentals, inventory, budgeting, taxes and various other matters a restaurateur must consider.

This week, Aaron Buzbee of Zeno’s Pizza talked to the students. Students asked a wide variety of questions about staffing, the purchase of materials and his background.

“Seeing a young businessman like Aaron making a difference in Marshalltown is a big inspiration to my students,” said Lenihan extended learning teacher Vanessa Engel.

This restaurant project will continue throughout the school year with students working both in pairs and individually.

“By the end of the year students will have the survey, a design of their space and usage in square feet, a menu with pricing, a budget, a logo, an advertisement, inventory and recipes,” Engel said. “I think this will be a great learning experience for everyone.”


Lenihan Intermediate School sixth-grade students research the restaurant business with help from local businessman Aaron Buzbee, left.

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MHS competes at district speech contest

Marshalltown High School competed in the district large group speech contest on Jan. 24 at Montezuma High School and came away with a successful showing. Two of the three MHS entries made it to state and earned a Division I rating (short film and group improv).

Receiving a Division I rating in short film were MHS students Keyara McDowell, Ryan Levis, Andrew Barber, Tanner Gaunt, Elizabeth Drennon, Danielle Durnin, Jake Harvey, Lucero Sanchez, Julio Alvarez, Julio Avalos, Martin Torres, Andrew Bramon, Eduardo Espinoza, Edgar Alvez, Aung Koko Thant and Jayvier Nelson.

Receiving a Division I rating in group improv were MHS students Maria Urbina, Angel Hernandez, Taylor Miron, Adrian Nunez, Ryan Levis and Austin Brown.

The radio broadcast team of MHS freshmen Maria Urbina, Taylor Miron, Brian Trowbridge and Adrian Nunez earned a Division II rating.

“I am so proud of all their hard work and dedication,” said MHS speech coach Jocelyn Frohwein.

Here is the link to the award-winning short film on zombies.

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MHS jazz bands perform at state festival

Marshalltown High School Jazz I and II performed at the Iowa High School Music Association State Jazz Band Festival on Jan. 26 at Greene County High School in Jefferson.

Along with several other bands they performed for three judges and then received a clinic from a fourth judge.  MHS Jazz II performed for comments only and MHS Jazz I received a Division I rating for the 14th time in the last 16 years.

The bands will compete in the Tallcorn Jazz Festival at the University of Northern Iowa on Feb. 20 and then in late March perform with Southside Transit, the MHS Show Choir here in the MHS/Community Auditorium.

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Eighth grader wins Miller spelling bee

The annual Miller Middle School spelling bee was held on Jan. 15 during an all-school assembly.

Eighth grader Caleb Summers was the champion and classmate Olivia Stone took second place and will serve as the alternate.

Final-round spellers advanced from the initial 120 students participating in the preliminary rounds on Jan. 9. Other Miller students who reached the final round included: Joseph Barlow, Jay Drummer, Trenten Finders, Derrick Garth, Angela Gutierrez, Lucas Kramer, Paige McWilliams, Emily Miller, Elizabeth Munos, Sean Nyuon, Cindy Verdinez, and Ray Wiegand.

Summers will advance to the state competition in Ames this spring sponsored by the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication Spelling Bee Program. Summers won the Miller bee for the second year in a row.

“The spelling bee is a great opportunity for students to get involved, show pride, stay connected and showcase academic skills,” said Cherilyn Reed, instructional coach at Miller, who led the bee along with Miller teacher Lucas Johnson.


Caleb Summers won the Miller Middle School spelling bee held Jan. 15.


Olivia Stone placed second in the Miller Middle School spelling bee on Jan. 15.

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Miller students donate to Animal Rescue League

Miller Middle School extended learning program students donated $416.30 to the Animal Rescue League of Marshalltown on Jan. 14.

The students raised the money by competing in teams against each other in a coin war recently. The group visited the ARL and presented the check to ARL Director Heidi Drager.

The money will go toward the ARL’s adopt-a-kennel program.

“We love it when kids get into doing good things for the community,” Drager said. “We really appreciate it.”

Miller teacher Ann Jackson said the students came up with the idea to do a fundraiser to help the ARL on their own.


Miller Middle School students present a check for $416.30 to Animal Rescue League Director Heidi Drager on Jan. 14.

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Author, former Cyclone visits Rogers


Children’s author and former Iowa State Cyclone football player Ryan Sloth talked to students at Rogers Elementary School on Jan. 13.

Children’s author and former Iowa State Cyclone football player Ryan Sloth made a stop at Rogers Elementary School to speak with students on Jan. 13.

Sloth, a former defensive back, tours the country talking about his book series – which focuses on the adventures of the character Sammy Sloth.

The author told the students to stay positive and to never give up.

“I try to inspire them to work hard and possibly they could become authors,” Sloth said.

Sloth also visited the Rogers Family Learning Night that night, which was attended by 15 families from Rogers, 20 Rogers students and 14 guest students.

Sloth played for the Cyclones from 1996 to 2000 and also had a playing career in the Arena Football League, where he currently coaches. He has also been featured playing football as an extra in several movies including “We are Marshall” and “Leatherheads.”

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MHS student recognized as Know Your Constitution finalist


Beau Ragland was a state finalist in the Know Your Constitution.

Marshalltown High School junior Beau Ragland recently was a state finalist in the Know Your Constitution contest.

Ragland was selected to represent the local Iowa House District in the contest and was among the 100 finalists selected from more than 1,000 students across the state.

Ragland attended the awards luncheon in West Des Moines on Jan. 9.

The Know Your Constitution Project is designed to enrich students’ understanding and appreciation of the Constitution. The students participating in the project were required to familiarize themselves with Constitution related issues. A quiz was completed by each participating student. An essay question accompanied the quiz in case of a tie.

Ragland’s essay submission for the contest was chosen as one of the top 15 from the 100 state finalists.

This program is sponsored by The Iowa State Bar Association, with additional funding from the Iowa State Bar Foundation and many of the county bar associations across Iowa.

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