MHS students selected for All-State Music Festival


Pictured are Marshalltown High School students selected for the All-State Music Festival. Front row, from left Olivia Stone, Uriel Campos-Padilla and Luke Wymore. Back row, Kassie Wilkins, Jordan Blue, Eli Thiessen, Yatnia Hernandez and Amanda Hoffman.

Several Marshalltown High School music students have been honored with selection to the 2018 All-State Music Festival, which features the top high school musicians in the state and is set for November 15-17 in Ames.

Five MHS students were selected for the all-state choir and three made the all-state orchestra. Choir students included Yatnia Hernandez, Amanda Hoffman, Eli Thiessen, Kassie Wilkins and alternate Jordan Blue. Students selected for all-state orchestra included Uriel Campos-Padilla (violin), Olivia Stone (bass clarinet) and Luke Wymore (baritone saxophone).

All-state auditions were held on October 20 at Hampton-Dumont High School. Wilkins, who is one of the returning all-staters, said auditions take “commitment and courage” to make it through.

The all-state performance will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 17 at Hilton Coliseum on the Iowa State University campus.

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Fisher Elementary School recognized for support of American Heart Association


Pictured with a plaque from the American Heart Association are Fisher Elementary School students who were among those who helped donate to a fundraiser earlier this year. Pictured front row, from left, Cohen Nunn, Aria Peck and Declan Meloy. Back row, Avery Polley, Kate Sandvick and Bryson Payne.

Fisher Elementary School was awarded a plaque and recognition from the American Heart Association for its support during a fundraiser earlier this year.

The school received the recognition for the highest percentage increase in online donations for North Central Iowa during the Jump Rope for Heart fundraiser.

Total donations to the American Heart Association topped $4,000 from Fisher students and staff during the fundraiser. Physical education teacher Mike Eggleston led the fundraiser at the school.

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Local careers explored by MHS sophomores during week-long program


Trending Media General Manager Todd Steinkamp shows Marshalltown High School sophomores the KIX 101.1 country radio studio. The tour was one of dozens held during a career tour week for MHS sophomores.

Marshalltown High School sophomores participated in wide range of career tours, learning about local employers and businesses the week of October 15 to 19.

This is the third year this career tour has been held, orchestrated by a local committee of the Marshalltown Business Education Alliance known as the Student Partnership Program.

“It has been a great week,” said MHS counselor Meri Edel. “The businesses have been very gracious and very helpful.”

Careers covered the gamut from on the farm to manufacturing, graphic design to health care. Edel sensed the excitement level of many of the students after learning about these local careers.

“Many of our students have been very excited to learn about these career fields and now want to learn more,” Edel said.

Thank you to the local employers and the employees who gave of their time to talk about their careers. Any local business interested in opening its doors to MHS students next year can contact the counseling office at the high school at 641-754-1130.


Students get manicures while learning about Iowa School of Beauty.


Clemons Chevrolet service manager Jason Colby gives a tour of his department.


Students hear from staff at Animal Clinic- The Vet.


Operating Room Supervisor Nova Ebersole gave a tour of UnityPoint Health’s medical park.


Rheba Yost, left, and Cassandra Gerstandt talk about their marketing and graphic design company, Wild Key Creative.


Emerson Governor Road plant


Marshall County Sheriff’s Office


Emerson Innovation Center


Police/Fire Building Construction



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MHS graduate finds challenging career in automotive repair


Logan Woods is a 2015 Marshalltown High School graduate who works as a technician in the service department with Clemons Chevrolet. He was able to take college automotive classes while in high school.

No two days are the same and that’s exactly why Logan Woods loves his new job. The 2015 Marshalltown High School graduate works as a technician in the service department of the Clemons Chevrolet dealership in Marshalltown.

“It’s something new every day,” Woods said. “You always have to stay on your toes.”

He said most days offer challenges, but that’s what he enjoys.

“Sometimes it’s frustrating but that payoff that you are doing something challenging is the best feeling,” Woods said.

With help from MHS counselors, Woods found his career calling during his high school years. He was able to take college automotive classes from Iowa Valley Grinnell while still attending MHS.

“I talked with my counselor and she said I can start doing college while in high school,” Woods said.

He eventually got his degree in the field and worked at another dealership for a year before landing at Clemons recently. Clemons service manager Jason Colby is glad to have Logan on board.

“I’m extremely happy with him,” Colby said. “He’s enthusiastic and he’s got drive.”

Woods talked about his career path to several MHS sophomores who visited Clemons on October 16. The visit is part of the current week-long program from MHS where sophomores are touring area companies and businesses to learn about local careers. This initiative is led by a local committee of the Marshalltown Business Education Alliance known as the Student Partnership Program.

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MHS instructional coach receives Distinguished Service Award from state association


Marshalltown High School instructional coach Brad Weidenaar holds the Distinguished Service Award he received from the Iowa Council of Teachers of English on October 12. Also pictured is Kirstey Ewald from Central Rivers AEA, who presented Brad with the award.

Marshalltown High School instructional coach Brad Weidenaar received the Distinguished Service Award from the Iowa Council of Teachers of English during a conference on October 12.

Weidenaar said he was honored to receive the award, which is highest honor given by the ICTE.

“I have been at Marshalltown High School for my entire professional career – 25 years,” Weidenaar said.  “So I’ve learned to teach here, I’ve grown as a teacher here, I’ve grown as a teacher-leader in this district and for all of that I thank my colleagues and district leaders both past and present.”

MHS Principal Jacque Wyant said Weidenaar empowers teachers to bring engaging lessons to the classroom.

“As a school leader, Brad has been instrumental in effecting change that has impacted the culture at MHS and improved conditions for student learning,” Wyant wrote as part of her nomination letter for Weidenaar.

Weidenaar and fellow MHS instructional coach Janelle Hawk also presented a session with the topic of “Inquiry and Social Justice” at the ICTE conference.


MHS instructional coaches Janelle Hawk, left, and Brad Weidenaar presented a session at the ICTE conference on October 12.




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Latin Dance Group revived at MHS


Marshalltown High School students are pictured during a recent practice for the Latin Dance Group at the school.

Marshalltown High School Spanish teacher Charlotte Santana is ecstatic that a once-dormant Latin Dance Group at the school is now flourishing.

With now more than 30 students, the group meets after school four days a week learning salsa, merengue and other Latin dances.

“We are doing something that is culturally important and culturally significant to what our community is about,” said Santana, who serves as the sponsor of the group. “The students have found something they are passionate about and making connections with each other.”

The group was at 10 total members when it performed at a recent school assembly. After that performance, interest grew and now the group is three times as big.

The students are now preparing for a public performance during the Dancers Against Cancer dance marathon at the North Grand Mall in Ames on November 3.

“The students are developing the dances themselves,” Santana said. “I think this is building such a good school culture.”


MHS teacher and dance group sponsor Charlotte Santana gives some direction to the group.


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MHS graduate receives 40 under 40 engineering award


Stet Sanborn, 1999 Marshalltown High School graduate

Sanborn a leader of San Francisco firm

Stet Sanborn said it’s important to never stop learning. His can-do, positive attitude and a thirst for knowledge has led him to be named a recipient of the Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine 40 under 40 award for 2018.

Sanborn, who is a 1999 Marshalltown High School graduate, is Principal of Engineering in the San Francisco office of SmithGroup.

“I’m humbled to be among a really great group of exceptional engineers from around the country,” Sanborn said. “It really shows the strength of committing to deliver high-quality work with a friendly attitude and being able to team up with some truly amazing clients.”

SmithGroup is an international firm specializing in architecture, engineering and design. Sanborn said he has always enjoyed hands-on projects and figuring out how things worked. Considering he also enjoys math and science, his path to engineering was evident. He said his time at Marshalltown High School helped propel him into continued learning.

“MHS let me combine my love for art, design, music and drama with the freedom to take advanced AP classes in math and science through MCC,” he said. “I was also able to take four years of drafting/CAD/CAM classes, which set me up to be ahead of the curve when I got to the engineering program at Kettering University. I had a great time in high school.”

Sanborn received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Kettering and a master’s degree in architecture from the University of California, Berkeley. He is the son of LaVonne and Arlo Hildahl, who still reside in Marshalltown.

The 38-year-old Oakland resident has advice for others looking to travel a route to success.

“Keep learning,” Sanborn said. “It sounds really cliché, but continuing to push yourself to build on your expertise and expand your skill sets is a sure fire way to succeed.”


Stet Sanborn with his 40 under 40 award.

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