Marshalltown students awarded at State Lego League tournament


The Gentlemanly Gamer Puppies received the judges award at the State Lego League contest on January 13 in Ames. Pictured are Miller Middle School students, from left, Quinton Lacey, Taylor Vaughn, Kaiden McWilliams and Locke Bloomquist.

Two teams of students from the Marshalltown Community School District received awards at the State Lego League tournament in Ames on January 13.

The Miller Middle School 8th grade Robocats received an overall core values honorable mention certificate.  The Robocats are led by Miller Extended Learning Program teacher Ann Jackson.  The Gentlemanly Gamer Puppies, a team of Miller students led by parents Amanda and Travis Bloomquist, won one of the two judges awards.


The Miller Middle School Robocats Lego League team won an honorable mention award at state. Pictured, from left, are Lilly Duff, Alivia Eaton, Marcus Barker, Derek Peng and Jacob Swartz.

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Miller eighth grader wins school’s spelling bee


Miller Middle School eighth grader Phoebe Hermanson, center, won first place in the school’s spelling bee on January 12. Also pictured and tying for second place were Rebekah Stone, left, and Erin Stanley.

Miller Middle School eighth grader Phoebe Hermanson won the school’s annual spelling bee on January 12 and advances to the state contest. A total of 25 finalists competed in seven rounds of spelling at the Miller bee.

Hermanson’s championship word was “vanquishment” which she spelled correctly to take the title.

Two Miller spellers, Erin Stanley and Rebekah Stone, tied for second place at the bee. Hermanson will compete in the state bee on Feb. 21 at Augustana College in the Quad Cities.


Andrew Kodis


Veronica Herrera Torres

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MHS junior selected as a finalist in Know Your Constitution contest


Marshalltown High School junior Jane Ragland was selected as a finalist in the Know Your Constitution contest from the Iowa State Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division.

Jane was one of 100 finalists recognized from across the state at a luncheon in Johnston on January 12. The Know Your Constitution Project is designed to enrich students’ understanding and appreciation of the Constitution.

Students are selected finalists based on their performance on a quiz and an essay on the Constitution. More than 1,000 students from across Iowa competed in the contest. Jane was accompanied to the luncheon by Marshalltown High School Extended Learning Program teacher Susan Fritzell.



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MLA teachers selected for STEM Innovator program at University of Iowa


Marshalltown Learning Academy teachers Brighid Mathews, left,  and Nicole Critchfield have been selected for the University of Iowa STEM Innovator program. They will learn ways to link STEM learning at MLA with community partners to help students achieve college and career readiness.

Two Marshalltown Learning Academy teachers have been selected to be part of the STEM Innovator program at the University of Iowa.

Nicole Critchfield, career development and STEM coordinator at MLA, and Brighid Mathews, ELL teacher at MLA, will be taking the online course this semester and then learn on the University of Iowa campus this summer as part of the program. It is designed to help teachers learn how they can connect STEM learning in the classroom with community partners in the science, technology, engineering and math fields.

“We have STEM activities going on at MLA already,” Critchfield said. “This class is going to teach us how to take our current activities and bring in community partners.”

Mathews said this will allow her to open up STEM opportunities for the English Language Learners.

“It’s a good way to get ELL students access to high-paying jobs,” Mathews said.

MLA is an at-risk high school that is part of the Marshalltown Community School District. MLA Principal Eric Goslinga said they continue to look at ways to help students become college and career ready when they graduate.

“We want them to graduate with marketable skills,” Goslinga said.

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Classes combine to build game sets at MHS


Marshalltown High School students in the fashion design and merchandising class and the construction tech class joined together to make these bags games which are for sale. Proceeds will benefit their fellow MHS students in need. Pictured are front row, from left, Moira McCarville, Blut Htoo, The Ha and Jessica Ramirez. Back row, Juan Rivas, Abby Ballalatak and Noah Bailey.

Students in two very different classes at Marshalltown High School came together for a project that not only helped them learn, but also will help their fellow classmates.

Students in the fashion design and merchandising class taught by Jaime Anderson and the construction tech class taught by Larry Kadner joined together to build MHS Bobcats bags (cornhole) games.

The construction students built the wooden boxes with the Bobcat logo on them while the fashion design class made the blue and red bean bags used in the game.

They will sell the games with the proceeds going to purchase personal hygiene products and other items such as winter gloves and hats for their fellow MHS classmates in need.

“The girls in my class were really excited that the money we make will be able to help their fellow classmates,” Anderson said.

A total of 25 game sets have been made and are for sale for $50 each.

“It showed a lot of teamwork between our classes,” said MHS senior Moira McCarville, who is in the fashion design class.

To purchase a game set or for more information, contact Jaime Anderson at MHS at or Larry Kadner at or via phone at MHS at 641-754-1130.


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Six elementary schools each receive $1,000 donations from JBS and UFCW


Stacey Santillan, left, Human Resources Director from JBS, hands a $1,000 donation check to Anson Elementary School Principal Ronnie Manis. Also pictured is Mike Graves from the United Food & Commercial Workers Local 1149. JBS and UFCW provided $1,000 donations to all six Marshalltown Community School District elementary schools on January 3. It was the second straight year these donations have been made to the six elementary schools from JBS and UFCW.

For the second straight year, JBS and the United Food & Commercial Workers Local 1149 provided $1,000 donations to each of the six elementary schools in the Marshalltown Community School District.  The money comes from a multicultural fund at JBS and the UFCW, which is typically used to support the community.

Mike Graves of the UFCW and Stacey Santillan, director of Human Resources at JBS, delivered the checks to all six elementary school principals on January 3.

“It’s something that we want to do for the community,” Graves said.

Santillan said since many of the JBS employees have children that attend the schools, this was a way to support those schools. The appreciative principals talked about using the funds for technology, literacy curriculum, playground equipment and more.


Presenting to Fisher Elementary School Principal Mark Lee.


Presenting to Franklin Elementary School Principal Tim Holmgren.


Presenting to Hoglan Elementary School Principal Amy Williams.


Presenting to Rogers Elementary School Principal Mick Jurgensen.


Presenting to Woodbury Elementary School Principal Anel Garza.

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Lenihan students hold publishing party for research reports


Students in a Leninan Intermediate School fifth grade class taught by Shanna Goos display work from their fellow students as they hold a publishing party at the school on December 20.

Fifth grade students in the Route 66 neighborhood at Lenihan Intermediate School held a publishing party to celebrate their recent research reports prior to heading off for winter break.

The students read each other’s reports on the colonies and provided a review on each of them. Popcorn and other snacks were also served. Teachers wanted the students to be proud of what they published.

“They get to celebrate what they accomplished,” said Lenihan teacher Shanna Goos. “We want them to think like writers.”

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