MHS students recite poetry to Lenihan students


Marshalltown High School student Olivia Adams-Zmolek, recites poetry to students at Lenihan Intermediate School on December 8. Also pictured are fellow MHS students and Poetry Out Loud group members Phoebe Osgood, left, and Zyrus Whitehead.

Three current Marshalltown High School students who are former Lenihan Intermediate School students visited Lenihan on December 8 to talk about their Poetry Out Loud group at the high school.

Olivia Adams-Zmolek, Phoebe Osgood and Zyrus Whitehead visited sixth graders in the Mathias Clement Cove neighborhood to recite poetry. The high school students will have a competition at MHS on December 18 with the winner advancing to the state Poetry Out Loud contest.

While it was good practice for the MHS students, it was also beneficial for the Leninan students who are learning more about language fluency through poetry.

“We also hope our students see this as an extracurricular opportunity for them when they get to high school,” said Lenihan teacher Leah Mattox.

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Interactive technology in the spotlight at Family Coding Night


Students of all ages were able to try out interactive robotic exhibits as part of Family Coding Night at Miller Middle School on December 6.

Hundreds of people attended the second annual Family Coding Night on December 6 at the gym at Miller Middle School. Families with children of all ages took part in the interactive exhibits focused on STEM, computer science, robotics and other technology.

Exhibits were led by Marshalltown Community School District students, staff and representatives from Central Rivers Area Education Agency.

The event also served as a recognition for those companies which donated to the new ST Math curriculum in the district.

For a recap of the event, see the Times-Republican.

For a video of the event, click here.



Representatives from companies which donated to the ST Math curriculum were recognized with new Bobcat Pride College and Career Ready Partner signs. Pictured, are front row, from left, Jeff Mathis of Great Western Bank, Jerrod Leffler of Farmers Savings Bank, Danielle Gudith of Pinnacle Bank, Niko Aguirre of JBS and Aaron Wedo of UnityPoint Health. Back row, Jeff Rasmussen of Marshalltown Company, Steve Martin of Emerson, David Barajas of the Marshalltown Regional Partnership, James Gruening of Mechdyne and Carrie Loney of RACOM.






Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte with Karn Gregoire of the Martha-Ellen Tye Foundation

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MHS robotics team opens season, prepares for upcoming competitions


Team members on the Marshalltown High School robotics team known as the Botcats talk about their robot to a judge at the competition held on December 2 in the MHS Roundhouse.

The Marshalltown High School FIRST Robotics team, the Botcats, competed in its first league meet of the year at the MHS Roundhouse on December 2. Seven other total teams participated as well from Ankeny, Nevada, Bondurant, Collins-Maxwell and Newton.  

“We placed fifth out of eight teams, but earned points that will help us in the league tournament in January,” said MHS teacher Mike Lazere, who coaches the team along with Emerson engineer Yan Qiu.

FIRST is a national robotics program started by inventor and engineer Dean Kamen. Students build robots that must complete a number of tasks, both autonomously and with a driver.  The MHS Botcats now prepare for meets on December 16 at West Des Moines Valley High School and January  6 in Ankeny.

“We are still fundraising to cover the cost of transportation to meets and to purchase supplies for the robot,” Lazere said.

If you would like more information on how to donate, contact Lazere at



Pictured are MHS Robotics team members, front row, from left, Jordan May, Marek Jablonski, Marcos Medina and Morgan Johnson. Second row, Itzy Avalos and Jose Palmerin-Andrade. Back row, coaches Mike Lazere and Yan Qiu. 

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Students participate in Lego League regional at MCC


The Miller Middle School 8th grade team won the champions award at the Lego League Regional at Marshalltown Community College on December 2. Pictured, from left, are Jacob Swartz, Alivia Eaton, Lilly Duff, Derek Peng and Marcus Barker. Back row, is Miller Extended Learning Program teacher and team coach Ann Jackson.

Several Marshalltown Community School District students participated in the FIRST Lego League Competition Regional Qualifying Competition at  Marshalltown Community College on December 2.  Many local teams competed, shared their projects and shared their new learning about hydrodynamics. There is also a robot competition, where a robot is programmed to do tasks.

The Miller Middle School eighth grade team, the Robocats, won the champion award, topping the field and qualifying for the state competition at Iowa State University. The Robocats are coached by Miller Extended Learning Program Teacher Ann Jackson.

Also qualifying for state was a parent-led team coached by Amanda and Travis Bloomquist, named the Gentlemanly Gamer Puppies.


The state-qualifying Gentlemanly Gamer Puppies include, from left, Quinton Lacey, Kaiden McWilliams, Amanda and Travis Bloomquist (coaches), Locke Bloomquist and Taylor Vaughn.

Other MCSD students competing included:

The Hydrobots featuring Miller 7th graders.


The Hydrobots team, from left,Derek Ketcham, Josh Reynolds, Kaden Ricken, Gavin Jablonski and Nile Christensen.

The Tiny Turbo Turbines is a team of Lenihan Intermediate School students and won first place for the project about installing tiny turbines into the Marshalltown Water Works.


The Tiny Turbo Turbines from Lenihan Intermediate School include, front row, from left, Zander Pennington Farmer, Roan Jelken, Jay Helton, Katelyn Schwartz and Isaac Benscoter. Back row, Coach Aaron Dickey, Alexa Oliveros, Coach Vanessa Engel, Victoria Corona, and Eduardo Yanez. 

The Wizard Engineers are a group of fourth Grade students from Fisher Elementary School participating as outside enrichment.  


This fourth grade team from Fisher Elementary School participated including, front row, Leah Kurian. Second row,  Porter Niedermann, Emerson Eastman, Max Reed, Anessa Morrison, Harper Wilson, Josiah Kurian, Lucas Hagen and Sam Hatcher. Back row, coaches  Kate Niedermann, Matt Morrison, Reji Kurian and Laura Fricke.

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MHS dance team receives high ratings at state contest


Pictured are members of the Marshalltown High School dance team at the Iowa State Dance & Drill Team Association state competition in Des Moines on December 1. The team received three Division I ratings at the contest. Pictured are, front row, from left, Jillian Hicks, Anna Hernandez, Lauren Batterson and Tatum England. Middle row, Avery Case, Sami Snyder, Justice See, Cari Gassman, Mayah Carson, Madi Dougall, Xaria Garcia, Makenna Dungan and Megan Sills. Back row, Emma McWherter, Adelaide Oberender, Jane Ragland, Haley Reid, Kynlie Ladehoff and Janell Lewis.

The Marshalltown High School dance team competed in the Iowa State Dance and Drill Team Association state team contest on December 1 in Des Moines.

The team received Division I ratings on all three routines it competed in including hip hop, pom and lyrical. To receive a Division I rating the team must receive a score of 60 or higher out of 70.

The team also received an Academic Excellence Award for having a team grade point average between 3.0 and 3.49. The routines can be viewed during halftime at upcoming MHS home varsity boys basketball games. The team is coached by Miller Middle School teacher Kaitlyn Schweer.

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Construction class building shed at MHS


Marshalltown High School construction teacher Larry Kadner, right, directs students Marco Rios, left, and Keaton Baccam as they work on roofing a shed being built by the students at MHS. 

Marshalltown High School students in the Construction II class taught by Larry Kadner are weeks away from completing a shed project at the school.

Roofing work was being done on December 1, with vinyl siding and steel door installation to come in the future.

Kadner said the goal is to have the project finished before the holiday break later this month.

“The weather has been kind to us,” Kadner said.

The 10-foot by 12-foot shed will store the Gator vehicle used on the MHS campus by staff. Kadner said the students are learning a wide range of building construction skills as part of this project.

“This is all new learning for them,” Kadner said.


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MCSD staff donate $1,000 to Assistance League’s ‘M’ project


Marshalltown Community School District staff raised $1,000 recently for the Assistance League’s “M” project in town. Pictured delivering the check to the Assistance League are, from left, MCSD Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte, Marshalltown High School teacher Shelly Chandler, Woodbury Elementary School teacher Becky Jacobson and Assistance League representatives Missy Sharer-Pieters, Shannon Naughton and Kristin Polley. 

Marshalltown Community School District staff members donated $1,000 to the “M” project of the Assistance League. The money was raised as staff donated if they wore jeans during a recent professional development day in the district.

Assistance League of Marshalltown is raising community awareness and pride through the myMarshalltown project.  Seventeen large concrete “M’s” have already been purchased and placed around town along with dozens of smaller “M’s.”  

“We would like to send out a big thank you to the MCSD staff for donating $1,000 towards the myMarshalltown project,” said Shannon Naughton of the Assistance League. “We have raised $11,439 of the $15,000 needed to place a large, red and blue ‘M’ at each MCSD school, which means only $3,561 to go.”

To donate towards the school fund, order a large “M” for a business, or purchase one of the 10 remaining smaller “M’s” for your home, visit this website,, or the myMarshalltown Facebook page or talk to an Assistance League member.


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