Teachers learn about local businesses, careers in externship academy


John Christen, plant manager at Marshalltown Company, talks to Marshalltown teachers on August 13 as part of the teacher externship academy.

Marshalltown teachers learned about local job and internship opportunities, toured area companies and made invaluable connections with local professionals during the teacher externship academy held August 13-16.

The program was led by Dee Burt of Marshalltown Schools, but program partners were plentiful on making these connections. Fifty Marshalltown Community School District teachers took part in the program.

“The MCSD teacher externship academy was an excellent educational event for our teachers to participate in,” Burt said. “The businesses and speakers provided exciting and informative tours and presentations each day.  The teachers were amazed at how many career opportunities Marshalltown businesses and industries provide for our students and families.”

Burt said the externship academy will continue next year, but the partnerships formed through this program will benefit all involved on a daily basis.

“I am looking forward to continuing to build partnerships with Marshalltown businesses and industry so internships and work-based learning opportunities can be created for our students,” Burt said.

Click here for a video of the academy.



The teacher group poses for a photo as part of the Burt Farms tour.

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MHS baseball team receives distinguished academic status


The Class 4A state baseball qualifying Marshalltown High School baseball team received distinguished academic status recently from the Iowa High School Athletic Association.

Marshalltown High School baseball players in grades 9-12 were recently awarded distinguished academic status by the Iowa High School Athletic Association. When grade point averages for all high school players in the MHS program were averaged the Bobcats earned a collective 3.49 out of 4.00.

The distinguished honor is the highest awarded by the IHSAA and was also earned by the Bobcat Baseball team in 2017. Head Coach Steve Hanson said he was very pleased to see players perform at the highest academic level.

“That’s a fantastic accomplishment for our guys,” Hanson said. “Participating in a high school sport is tough enough and when you add in classroom demands it’s easy for students to get overwhelmed. Success in the classroom has always been a priority for our program and it’s great to see these guys rewarded for their hard work.”

Sportsmanship ratings

Annual sportsmanship ratings were recently released by the IHSAA for the 2018 varsity
baseball season. Following each playing date, 57 umpires graded MHS on the sportsmanship shown by players, coaches and adult spectators. All of those scores were
tabulated and averaged to create the school’s final marks. On a five point scale with 1.0 being a perfect score, Bobcat players earned a 1.07 rating which was better than the Class 4A average of 1.27 and also better than the state average of 1.19.

On the same scale, Bobcat coaches earned a 1.09 rating which was better than the
Class 4A average of 1.28 and also better than the state average of 1.22. Adult spectators
earned a score of 1.16 which was better than the Class 4A average of 1.37 and
better than the state average of 1.28.

“We hope our players, coaches and fans conduct themselves in an acceptable manner
and scores from this past summer indicate that each of the groups did a nice job,” Hanson concluded.

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Drum majors lead Bobcat Marching Band into new season


Leading the way for the Bobcat Marching Band this year are drum majors, from left, Caleb Jones, Phoebe Osgood and Caitlin Scully.

Band camp is traditionally warm for the Marshalltown High School marching band. While fighting the heat, another tradition is laying the groundwork for high quality performances by the Bobcats.

The three students leading the way for the marching band this year as drum majors are Caleb Jones, Phoebe Osgood and Caitlin Scully. The band wrapped up the first week of band camp on August 10 with more days to come to prepare for the marching season.

“I think the tradition is that we are all one group, we’re one big family and we stand by each other,” Scully said. “It’s really important to us to keep the tradition going.”

Jones concurs that the marching band is like a family.

“I think the fun part about this season will be the family aspect,” Jones said.

Osgood hopes her enthusiasm for band spills over to her fellow Bobcats.

“I wanted to be drum major because I want people to love band as much as I do and I look forward to the competitions,” Osgood said.

The first full performance will be held at halftime of the home football game on August 31. A preview show for the public will be at 3:45 p.m. on Friday, August 17 on the football practice field.

The band is led by MHS instrumental music director Brett Umthun and assistant director Nick Gardner.

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Truckload of donated school supplies arrives from Missouri


Pictured in the back row are Kim (Williams) Bielawski with her son Kal Bielawski, left, and brother Mike Williams, right. Kim Bielawski and the school district she works for in Raytown, Missouri donated a U-Haul truck full of school supplies (more than 400 kits) to Marshalltown Schools. Also pictured are Anson Elementary School students who helped unload the supplies.

Kim (Williams) Bielawski, a 1984 Marshalltown High School graduate, and her current co-workers just gave back to her old community in a big way.

Bielawski brought a U-Haul truck full of school supplies to donate to the Marshalltown Community School District in the wake of the July 19 tornado.

Bielawski still has family in Marshalltown and works as an administrator in the Raytown, Missouri School District. Staff from Raytown Quality Schools donated more than 400 school supply kits, which were delivered to Marshalltown on August 2. Bielawski said she has a special feeling about Marshalltown being born and raised here and knew she had to do something after the tornado hit.

“I work with such caring and compassionate school leaders that when I mentioned my hometown, my (Raytown Schools) Superintendent Dr. Allan Markley, stepped up and said we’re all doing something for Marshalltown,” Bielawski said. “We wanted to first and foremost help the kids so school supplies is where we focused but along the way many of our directors, principals and assistant principals wanted to help the community too so several donated cleaning supplies, paper goods, gift cards and other helpful items.”

She said her neighbors also heard about her idea and dropped off items at her home.

“I’m thrilled to drive the 250 miles to deliver these heartfelt items,” Bielawski said. “Helping kids and families is the most important work I do so being able to do that in my hometown makes it 100 times more special.”

The donation was welcomed with open arms by Marshalltown Schools.

“This is a very generous donation which will go to families in need,” said Marshalltown Schools Communications Director Andrew Potter. “We thank Kim and the Raytown School District from the bottom of our heart.”


Volunteers unload a U-Haul truck full of school supplies donated to Marshalltown Schools by the Raytown Missouri School District.

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Woodbury hosting clothes give away this week


Woodbury Elementary School is hosting a clothes give away from July 30 to August 3 in the school gym. Open to everyone, the clothes and items are all free of charge.
Times include 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. from Monday through Thursday and 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday and from 10 a.m. to noon on Friday.
As of now, the effort has enough donations to give out, but those willing to volunteer can call the Woodbury office at 641-754-1080.
The original give away was held on Sunday, July 29, before it was decided to extend it a week.
“The clothes and shoes give away went beyond all of of our hopes and dreams,” said Becky Jacobson, a Woodbury teacher and one of the event organizers. “Woodbury families and neighbors filled their bags with smiles on their faces.”
The Woodbury neighborhood was one of the areas affected by the July 19 tornado. This give away is open to everyone, not just tornado victims. Woodbury is located at 8 North 7th Ave.
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Inspired by our students and staff amid horrible tragedy


By Andrew Potter
Communications Director, Marshalltown Schools
It’s odd now that we all have our lives pre-tornado and post-tornado. While I’m still sorting out what still needs to get done from my pre-tornado life, I know for a fact what life is like post-tornado.
It’s hundreds of our students and staff out in the community helping our neighbors clean up from this disaster.
It’s a baseball team that spent several hours a day cleaning up the community, squeezing in practicing for the state tournament.
It’s staff who have volunteered counseling services and any other talents they have to help the community.
It’s an email to all staff saying the community needs help and then seeing them trickle in wherever needed.
I have never been more proud to work for this school district.
It can be a little cliché to say “the community is coming together” after a natural disaster. But in no case does that apply more than in Marshalltown. I’ve seen it. I’ve seen it on Summit Street, Main Street, Woodbury Street, 17th Street, Fremont Street, Bromley Street and in our schools and businesses.
It will still take some time for our community to heal from this and there is still a level of uncertainty. But I know this for sure –  there are no other neighbors I would rather take on this task than the ones standing beside me.
BobcatPride logoSMALL
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Appel named MHS boys basketball head coach


Michael Appel has been named the new head varsity boys basketball coach at Marshalltown High School.

The current MHS special education teacher is a 2009 MHS graduate, where he was a two-time all-conference CIML selection in basketball and part of the 2008 Bobcat state basketball qualifying team.

He played basketball at Marshalltown Community College and Southwest Minnesota State University, where he was a 2014 graduate. He has coached as an assistant at MCC and MHS.

“This is kind of my dream job here as I’ve got a lot of passion for Marshalltown High School sports,” Appel said. “I’m excited to get things rolling here. I think there’s a lot of kids in the community that have a passion for the game.”

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