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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Retiring staff honored at spring tea


Anson Elementary School teachers Amber Litwiller, right, and Tara Klaas, left, gave a farewell speech to Meg Sponseller during the retirement tea on May 20, which honored retiring staff members in the Marshalltown Community School District.

The Marshalltown Education Association and the Marshalltown Community School District held the spring retirement tea on May 20, honoring retiring staff and others.

The list of retirees included Donna Appel, Teresa Arney, Deanna Berkey, Dennis Carkhuff, Betty Lou Cave, Susan Crawford, Shari Cox, Tim Fienup, Judy Hill, Ronald Holden, Ginger Jacobson, Donna Mimick, Lynette Pickett, Carol Sealine, Rick Simpson, Thelma Smith, Meg Sponseller, Cindy Staron, Bruce Vopava and Randall Weir.

“Your legacy is truly huge,” MCSD Superintendent Dr. Marvin Wade told the retirees at the event.

Six current staff members were honored for 25 years in the district including Barbara Arends, Sharon Baughman, Shelly Chandler, Elaine Crouse, Jerry Flathers and Elaine Johnson.

The MEA Scholarship recipients this year were MHS graduating students Libby Crawford and Hunter Riedl.

The Marshalltown Business Education Alliance won the Friend of Education Award, and accepting the award on behalf of the alliance was Iowa Valley Community College District Chancellor Dr. Chris Duree and Paul Gregoire of Emerson.


Paula Johnson talks about fellow Miller teacher Tim Fienup.


Jodi Kolbe talks about fellow Rogers teacher Carol Sealine.


Paula Johnson talks about Randy Weir


Michael Appel talks about his mom, Donna Appel.


Dee Burt, center, and Janice Appelgate, left, talk about Cindy Staron.


MHS students Libby Crawford and Hunter Riedl received the MEA Scholarships.

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MHS holds scholarship awards night


Marshalltown High School senior Jasmine Scott proudly displays a check signifying her Marines ROTC $180,000 scholarship to Iowa State University during the MHS scholarship awards night on May 19 in the MHS/Community Auditorium. Scott is one of six high school seniors in the entire state to receive this scholarship this year and she plans to study electrical engineering.

College scholarships totaling $1.76 million were handed out to 70 Marshalltown High School students during the scholarship awards night on May 19.

Among the honorees were 25 students in the Marshalltown Education Partnership who will receive 50 percent of tuition and fees to attend Marshalltown Community College.

Several other students were honored for achieving full college scholarships on the night.

Students in the senior class at MHS have also accumulated 2,214 college credit hours throughout their four years.


Marco Andrade, left, received a Marshalltown Education Partnership scholarship from Nate Chua of Marshalltown Community College.


Evan Hicks, left, and Lane Larson received Fern Thompson scholarships from Our Savior Lutheran Church, represented by Ron Duimstra, right.


Natalie Kueny is congratulated by MCSD Superintendent Dr. Marvin Wade.


Marco Yepez is congratulated by MHS Principal Aiddy Phomvisay.

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Governor Branstad visits Franklin, delivers awards


Governor Terry Branstad holds the gift of a Franklin Elementary School T-shirt during a ceremony on May 19. Branstad honored Franklin school with a Youth Action Award.

Governor Terry Branstad visited Franklin Elementary School on May 19 as part of the Governor’s Youth Action Award.

Branstad awarded Franklin for a video featuring the students exercising and learning about healthy eating and also awarded Marshalltown High School junior Beau Ragland for his essay on healthy lifestyles.

Branstad called Franklin a leader in promoting healthy lifestyles.

The event at Franklin Field also featured the MHS cheerleaders, drumline and appearances from statewide leaders in promoting healthy lifestyles from Live Healthy Iowa and former Iowa Hawkeye quarterback Chuck Long of the Iowa Sports Foundation.

The students also did Zumba dancing along with the governor, Franklin and school district staff and parents, and walked around the track to the sounds of the drumline.


Branstad and MHS student Beau Ragland


From left, MCSD Superintendent Dr. Marvin Wade, MHS junior Beau Ragland, Gov. Terry Branstad, Franklin Nurse Carol Barlow and Franklin Principal Tim Holmgren.


Branstad Crowd Drums ZumbaWalkMascots

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