MHS students read at Hoglan preschool


Marshalltown High School student Martin Herrera reads a book to Hoglan Elementary School preschool student Richard Ritter on October 24.

Students from Marshalltown High School made a visit to the preschool at Hoglan Elementary School on October 24 to read to the students.

This was a way for the MHS students, who were from the English learner classes, to practice their English while also providing reading for the younger students.

“It has potential to be a great ongoing service project and great English practice for both groups,” said Pam McDonnell, Language Specialist at Marshalltown High School.

Hoglan preschool teacher Kelly Konicek said her students enjoyed the visit from the high school students.

“It’s great to have the role models in the classroom and it was an exciting collaboration time with the older students,” Konicek said.

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Science teacher at MLA selected for statewide Competency-Based Education group


Kevin Kenealy teaches science at the Marshalltown Learning Academy. He is part of a science educator group working on competencies and standards-based rubrics for the statewide Competency-Based Education collaborative group.

Marshalltown Learning Academy science teacher Kevin Kenealy has been selected to take part in a science educator group working on competencies and standards-based rubrics for the statewide Competency-Based Education collaborative group.

This group is working on standards as part of CBE, which is designed to move students along at the pace they learn. Kenealy is part of a 12-member group, which met recently and has more meetings planned in the future.

“I think competency based is the way to move forward,” Kenealy said.

MLA has been able to work on CBE with its flexible schedules as it serves at-risk high school students.

“The big thing for us is if a student doesn’t understand the topic we don’t move on from the topic until they do,” Kenealy said. “They move as fast as they can.”

Kenealy said after the group completes the standards they will look to pilot the program at schools in the state. Kenealy has taught at MLA for 8 years and for 9 years total in the Marshalltown Community School District.


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Project approved: Miller students present to Board of Supervisors


Three Miller Middle School eighth graders made a presentation on geocaching to the Marshall County Board of Supervisors on October 18. Pictured from left are Emily Manis, Carlye Castillo and Stephanie Zavalza.

Three Miller Middle School Extending Learning Program students made a presentation to the Marshall County Board of Supervisors on October 18.

The group, accompanied by teacher Ann Jackson, requested to put a geocache near the Courthouse as part of a community project.

Geocaches can be located by GPS coordinates using a smartphone app and are a way to discover different locations in the area. They are small containers with log books that people can sign after locating them.

The eighth grade students who presented to the board included Emily Manis, Carlye Castillo and Stephanie Zavalza. Manis said geocaches can help boost tourism, help people learn about the area and promote exercise.

The supervisors approved the request as long as there was no digging in the courthouse grounds. The students said they have spotted a place in a tree to locate the geocache.

“Sounds fun,” said Supervisor Dave Thompson.

Jackson was proud of the students and said they did a great job as they honed their public speaking skills.

“It’s also good for them to learn how public meetings are run,” Jackson said.

The students plan to put geocaches at other locations in town as the project moves forward.


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Longtime Bobcat supporters honored with Friend of the School awards


Al Hoop and Linda Leaton were honored with the Friend of the School award during the football game on October 14. Both are longtime Bobcat supporters. The award is sponsored by the Iowa High School Athletic Association.

Longtime supporters of Marshalltown High School athletics Al Hoop and Linda Leaton were presented Iowa High School Athletic Association Friend of the School awards during the home football game against Southeast Polk on October 14.

The awards, which are a nod to their support of Bobcat athletics through the years, came as a surprise to both of them when they were presented by MHS Associate Principal Deb Holsapple.

Hoop, a current Marshalltown City Council member, is a retired Emerson/Fisher employee. He is currently a volunteer baseball coach for the Bobcats. In the past he has coached football and basketball as well at MHS and also worked in the athletic department as equipment manager for five years.

“I was not expecting that,” Hoop said of the award. “Anytime you get something from the school you feel proud.”

Leaton served as secretary in the MHS athletic department for 42 years before retiring in 2011. She has continued to be heavily involved as a volunteer at several Bobcat athletic events since her retirement.

“MHS was like my second home,” Leaton said. “I’m glad to do anything I can to help.”

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Science project leads to problem solving at Franklin


Franklin Elementary School second grader Camden Roe pours water to see if his group’s house project can be protected from flooding during a science project at the school on October 14.

Students in the second grade class taught by Kate Pimlott at Franklin Elementary School took on a special science project on October 14.

The students built small houses and were given supplies to see how they could protect the houses from water in a small plastic tray.

The students used items such as sponges, cotton balls and marshmallows as part of the project.

“What I like about this is that they’re excited,” Pimlott said.

The teacher also liked that she saw students talking over potential issues with the project and using trial and error just like scientists.

After the project was over, the students wrote down what they observed and the conclusions they reached on their project.

As they completed this project, the class also learned about the recent flooding in the Cedar Rapids area.


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MHS teacher selected to review statewide social studies standards


Alex Abbe

Marshalltown High School history and government teacher Alex Abbe has been selected to be part of a statewide team to conduct a public review of the draft of the Iowa standards for social studies.

Abbe and the rest of the 20-member team will have its first meeting on November 8 to go over the draft standards.

The draft standards, developed over the past year by a statewide writing team, outline what students should know and be able to do in social studies from kindergarten through 12th grade.


“The current social studies standards date back to 2008, have never been updated, and are desperately in need of an overhaul,” Abbe said. “This is a unique opportunity to work with other colleagues from across the state and play a role in finalizing the standards that teachers and students will be responsible for.”

Among the group of educators who wrote the draft standards was Christian Davison, also a teacher from Marshalltown High School.

Abbe said these standards are just a part of the direction the high school will take as it works to “make progress towards our goal of creating independent thinkers who not just consume information, but evaluate it and use it to meet their needs in their post-secondary education or careers.”

Abbe said he was asked to participate in the statewide team by a consultant with the Iowa Department of Education.

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MHS student presents at statewide technology conference


Marshalltown High School student Keaten Collinson, center, is interviewed by a student camera crew about his presentation on networking at the Iowa Technology and Education Connection Conference in Des Moines on October 11.


Keaten Collinson

Marshalltown High School freshman Keaten Collinson made a presentation at the Iowa Technology and Education Connection (ITEC) Conference in Des Moines on October 11.

Collinson was invited to present at the conference after winning a purple ribbon at the Central Iowa Tech Fair last spring at Iowa State University as an eighth grader.

Collinson’s table top presentation at ITEC was on networking.

“I was very excited to be there and lots of people came by and asked questions,” Collinson said. “They gave me some encouraging comments and some said it was a very well set up project.”

ITEC promotes the use of technology in education by demonstrating to its members, other educators and the public, developments in educational technology and how its appropriate use supports teaching and learning.

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