Marshalltown School Board, superintendent earn major plaudits at IASB Annual Conference

All seven members of the Marshalltown CSD Board of Education, as well as Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte, were recognized at the 2022 Iowa Association of School Boards (IASB) Annual Conference.

Each school board member – President Sean Heitmann, Vice President Sara Faltys, Karina Hernandez, Bonnie Lowry, Jan McGinnis, Leah Stanley and Zach Wahl – earned an IASB Individual Achievement Award for their dedication to their own professional learning through a combination of participating in formal in-service programs, board service, and experience.

In earning the individual awards, each board member has shown their sincere commitment to Bobcat students, staff, parents and our entire community.

On top of their individual plaudits, the Marshalltown School Board was one of only 15 boards statewide to earn a 2021-22 IASB Team Achievement Award, which recognizes the board’s support and encouragement for individual board member development.

Additionally, Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte qualified for the 2021-22 Award of Honor in the Annual Board Awards program. He is one of just 17 superintendents and chief administrators statewide who will receive that award this year.

Montes-Melendez speaks at the 2022 IASB Conference

The Bobcats were further represented at this year’s IASB Annual Convention by Class of 2022 MHS alumna Andrea Montes-Melendez, who presented her state-recognized speech “The Mountain We Climb” at the Delegate Assembly on Wednesday, Nov. 16. As usual, Montez-Melendez was outstanding and was given a standing ovation at the conclusion of her speech.

Three of this year’s four Student School Board Representatives – Natalie Andrade, Abraham Madrigal Farias and Jaxson Eisenbarth – also enjoyed attending the Annual Conference.

Congratulations to the Marshalltown School Board and Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte for being recognized as statewide school district leaders!

Student School Board Representatives Abraham Madrigal Farias (left), Jaxson Eisenbarth (second from left) and Natalie Andrade (right) are pictured with Iowa Association of School Board’s Keynote Speaker Dr. Adolph Brown (second from right) at the IASB Annual Conference in Des Moines.
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ICTM President Shindelar sees virtual reality platform in action at MHS

ICTM President Angie Shindelar, left, joins MHS sophomore students in Friday’s virtual reality math activity using the PRISMS platform.
Shindelar, left, prepares to don a PRISMS headset, with help from MHS Instructional Coach Janelle Hawk.

Iowa Council of Teachers of Mathematics (ICTM) President Angie Shindelar got a first-hand look at the cutting-edge PRISMS virtual reality platform at Marshalltown High School on Friday.

Hosting Shindelar were MHS math teacher Justine Greig and a class of sophomore students, who have been exploring the newly-arrived PRISMS platform for the past several weeks.

For Friday’s lesson, students were tasked with using exponential functions to accurately track the spread of a fictional virus. They donned their VR headsets and got right to work – many students talked with their peers and collaborated on problem-solving.

In watching the students and trying the new technology out for herself, Shindelar said she came away from Friday’s lesson impressed.

“What I love about it… is that it speaks so much about how, if we can get learning to be something that is experiential, something that students can connect with and relate to, they will be more interested and will engage more,” Shindelar said of PRISMS. “I think [virtual reality] is really something to make them more curious, something to make them want to keep exploring.”

She also said VR is a great tool for making clear to students the importance of math in everyday life, with Friday’s lesson on virus tracking as a great example.

Thank you to ICTM President Angie Shindelar for coming to Marshalltown to see PRISMS in action! We are proud to be pioneers among Iowa school districts in adopting this great platform.

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Miller teachers talk benefits of History with Doodles at 2022 ITEC Conference

Miller Middle School teachers Brett Comegys, left, and Angie Lovell, right, team up to present on their success engaging with students using History with Doodles.

Miller Middle School teachers Brett Comegys and Angie Lovell shared a unique, successful strategy they are using to help students engage with classroom content at the 2022 Iowa Technology & Education Conference (ITEC) Conference this week.

Comegys shares an overview of History with Doodles at the 2022 ITEC Conference

The duo demonstrated how History with Doodles – a hands-on learning strategy using Doodle Notes – has helped their students develop skills like making connections, organizing, and spatial reasoning. Those skills support students’ overall understanding of class content. 

In addition to demonstrating how History with Doodles works, Comegys and Lovell said they have seen an increase in student achievement using the strategy. Student testimonials further emphasized the benefits of History with Doodles – many students said the program has helped them learn and grow in their knowledge.

To support access to History with Doodles for students, classrooms, and schools, Comegys also produces YouTube videos of program notes – to learn more, check out his channel!

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Students present research at World Food Prize Global Youth Institute

Yessenia Alvarez Zamora, left, and Landon Stanley, right, presented their research on addressing food insecurity at this year’s World Food Prize Global Youth Institute.

Marshalltown High School students Yessenia Alvarez Zamora and Landon Stanley were selected to attend the 2022 World Food Prize Global Youth Institute, where they presented their research on addressing food insecurity.

In presenting her research, Alvarez Zamora suggested using biochar – a charcoal-like material made from agricultural waste products – as an alternative to commercial fertilizers on small farms in Mexico.

Stanley’s research focused on solar heating as a means of water disinfection in Angola. Solar water disinfection uses energy from the sun to destroy harmful microbes. The combination of heat and ultraviolet radiation works to help prevent water-borne illnesses.

Both students recently featured on Iowa Public Radio’s Talk of Iowa program – give them a listen here!

Thank you to Landon Stanley and Yessenia Alvarez Zamora for representing MHS at this year’s Global Youth Institute!

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New PRISMS virtual reality platform, MHS Esports program already showing positive impacts

Marshalltown School Board member Zach Wahl, left, Vice President Sara Faltys, second from left, and member Bonnie Lowry, center, talk to students about the new MHS Esports program.

Marshalltown High School students are already enjoying the benefits of two new, exciting opportunities available for the first time this school year. 

District leaders, including members of the Marshalltown School Board, explored the new Esports program and the cutting-edge PRISMS virtual reality (VR) learning platform on Tuesday afternoon.

Students in the Esports program showed their skills on console and PC gaming platforms, and staff provided information on the technology that makes the program possible. Interest in the Esports program and school club has grown quickly since the start of the year.

Participation in Esports competition can help students build skills such as teamwork, organization, and planning.

Students in Justine Greig’s MHS geometry class work on a transformations exercise using new PRISMS virtual reality headsets.

Bobcat students and staff have also shown great enthusiasm for the PRISMS platform, which supports math education through immersive, three-dimensional VR exercises. Freshman Ariana Campos said PRISMS has already helped her better understand math concepts from class.

“I think the VR experience is very helpful. If I’m actually seeing and watching what’s going on, I learn better,” she said. 

MHS math teacher Justine Greig said PRISMS has helped her students see practical applications for what they learn in the classroom. She said some students greatly benefit from the interactive VR exercises.

“Movement definitely helps them remember how equations work,” Greig said.

The PRISMS platform and Esports program are great examples of how new technologies can enhance students’ educational experiences!

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National School Bus Safety Week offers important reminders

The 2022-23 school year is in full swing, and big, yellow school buses are again a common sight on weekday mornings and afternoons throughout Marshalltown. National School Bus Safety Week, running from Oct. 17-21, offers a great opportunity for everyone to brush up on their school bus safety knowledge.

MCSD Transportation staff work hard to keep students safe on the road. They ensure students get to and from school, as well as school-related extracurricular activities, in a timely manner.

There are many ways for community members to help make students’ bus rides to and from school as safe as possible. Here are a few important tips to keep in mind around school buses:

  • Flashing red lights mean STOP for vehicles around a school bus – keep at least 25 feet away from a bus with flashing red lights to ensure students’ safety.
  • Flashing yellow lights mean SLOW DOWN and prepare to stop.
  • Drive slower and maintain greater driving distance when a school bus is present.
  • Don’t drive distracted – maintain focus on the road and surroundings.
  • Be extra watchful for school buses between the hours of 7-8:30 a.m. and 3:30-4:30 p.m. on weekdays, when school transportation activity peaks.

Students and families should also practice safety around school buses. Here are some key things for families to remember and practice with children:

  • Children should stay three giant steps away from a roadway until the bus comes to a complete stop. 
  • It is never safe to walk behind a school bus.
  • Children should maintain a distance of about five giant steps away from the front of a bus when getting on or leaving the bus.
  • Look both ways whenever crossing any street. 

Several colorful, vibrant “Look Both Ways” sidewalk murals are visible at all MCSD schools, serving as a reminder to everyone, whether walking or driving, to prioritize student safety.

More school bus safety tips and resources for students, families, educators, and the wider community can be found at https://www.napt.org/. School buses are crucial to ensuring Bobcat students are transported safely to and from school – it is vital for everyone in the community to maintain caution near school buses!

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MHS students’ Spanish-language articles feature in UNI newspaper

MHS Heritage Spanish students Alexia Garcia, left, and Natalie Andrade, right, are recognized after their Spanish-language articles were selected for publication in UNI’s student newspaper, the Northern Iowan.

Two MHS students’ Spanish-language articles have been selected for publication in the University of Northern Iowa’s student newspaper, the Northern Iowan, as part of a celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Natalie Andrade and Alexia Garcia authored the articles after much research in their Heritage Spanish class last school year. Andrade’s article – titled “Entre dos mundos” (“Between two worlds”) – explores the author’s experiences and memories from one of her childhood birthdays. 

Garcia’s article is also aptly titled. In “La hija mayor” (“The Oldest Daughter”), she tells of the experiences and pressures often faced by the oldest sibling in a household. 

MHS Heritage Spanish and AP Spanish teacher Kristin Stuchis said Andrade and Garcia were excited for the opportunity to share their experiences through their articles. 

“These two young women explored newspapers from around the Spanish-speaking world … they would look at the articles and think about what makes a good story,” Stuchis said.

Both students said their biliteracy skills have grown thanks to their advanced Spanish education at MHS.

“Throughout taking those courses, I have learned how to better connect ideas and be able to shift between the two languages effortlessly,” Andrade said.

Congratulations to Natalie Andrade and Alexia Garcia!

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2022 MHS Homecoming King & Queen crowned

Newly-crowned MHS Homecoming Queen Yanitza Lopez and King Cesar Corona take their thrones at Thursday evening’s coronation ceremony.

New Marshalltown High School Homecoming King Cesar Corona and Queen Yanitza Lopez were crowned at Leonard Cole Field on Thursday evening.

New MHS Homecoming King Cesar Corona and Queen Yanitza Lopez were crowned at Leonard Cole Field on Thursday evening.

Corona and Lopez were chosen as 2022 MHS Homecoming Royalty by their fellow students. Attendees of the Coronation Ceremony also enjoyed a rousing pep rally ahead of Friday’s big game.

Earlier Thursday evening, the entire Homecoming Court helped ramp up Bobcat Spirit in Marshalltown during the annual MHS Homecoming Parade down Main Street. Also featured in the parade were students from the MHS Football, Marching Band, Color Guard, Bowling, Golf, and Cheer programs, among others. Several high school clubs also featured, as did a float from Marshalltown Learning Academy.

Congratulations to King Cesar Corona and Queen Yanitza Lopez, as well as their Homecoming Court peers: Nile Christensen, Jaxson Eisenbarth, Anthoneih Kopsa, Nicolas Orozco, Antonio Rico Alba, Jason Strand, Brayden Weatherly, Ava Augustine, Tarryn Bell, Averi Bolar, Reagan Ford, Rachel Jacobs, Chesni Uhde and Meah Yoemans.

Join us in cheering on the Bobcats at Friday’s Homecoming game against Des Moines Lincoln! Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Leonard Cole Field. Additionally, the Homecoming Dance will take place at the Auxiliary Gym from 8-11 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1, with photos scheduled for 7:30-10 p.m.

Go Bobcats!

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Bobcat Boys Golfers win inaugural conference title

The Bobcat Boys Golf team celebrate after winning the first ever IAC North team championship on Tuesday. Pictured from left:  Isaac Young, Tre MisekAdam Boone, Brandon Pelzer, Brecken Payne, Cael Sandvick, Ryan Schmit, Jacob Thiessen, Eli Polley, Tyler Faltys, Kyle Smith, and Head Coach Lucas Johnson.

The first ever Iowa Alliance Conference (IAC) North Boys Golf team championship went to the Bobcats at the Marshalltown American Legion Golf Course on Tuesday.

Several members of the Bobcat Boys Golf team, led by Coach Lucas Johnson, earned individual plaudits on their way to winning the team title. Ryan Schmit (2nd overall), Ty Faltys (4th overall) and Cael Sandvick (6th overall) received First Team All Conference honors, while Jacob Thiessen (10th overall) and Eli Polley (11th overall) earned Second Team All Conference honors.

With the inaugural IAC North team title in hand, the Bobcats now look ahead to district-level play at A.H. Blank Golf Course in Des Moines, scheduled for 10 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 3. Help us cheer on the Bobcats as they look to add to their postseason success!

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2022 Homecoming Court announced

The 2022 Homecoming Court –
Front row, from left: Ava Augustine, Tarryn Bell, Averi Bolar, and Yanitza Lopez.
Second row, from left: Meah Yoemans, Chesni Uhde, Reagan Ford, and Rachel Jacobs.
Third row, from left: Antonio Rico Alba, Nile Christensen, Anthoneih Kopsa, and Cesar Corona.
Fourth row, from left: Nicolas Orozco, Jason Strand, Jaxson Eisenbarth, and Brayden Weatherly.

Homecoming festivities are set to begin ahead of next week’s big game, and we are excited to announce the Marshalltown High School students named to the 2022 Homecoming Court:

King Candidates

  • Nile Christensen
  • Cesar Corona
  • Jaxson Eisenbarth
  • Anthoneih Kopsa
  • Nicolas Orozco
  • Antonio Rico Alba
  • Jason Strand
  • Brayden Weatherly

Queen Candidates

  • Ava Augustine
  • Tarryn Bell
  • Averi Bolar
  • Reagan Ford
  • Rachel Jacobs
  • Yanitza Lopez
  • Chesni Uhde
  • Meah Yoemans

All sixteen students on the Court will be celebrated at a Homecoming pep rally on Friday morning. Festivities will continue throughout next week, and the Homecoming King & Queen will be crowned on Thursday, Sept. 29 after the annual Homecoming Parade down Main Street.

The Bobcats will face Des Moines Lincoln at Leonard Cole Field for this year’s Homecoming football game. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 30.

The Homecoming Dance will take place at the Auxiliary Gym from 8-11 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1, with Homecoming photos scheduled for 7:30-10 p.m.

Check out the full 2022 MHS Homecoming activities schedule, including next week’s theme days, and join us in showing your Bobcat Spirit!

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