Community leaders, MHS success stories speak at Gear Up assembly


2005 Marshalltown High School graduate Noemi Calderon spoke to students as part of a Gear Up week assembly on September 17 at MHS. Calderon is an engineer at Emerson.

Marshalltown High School kicked off Gear Up week with an all-school assembly on September 17 featuring a variety of speakers.

Gear Up is a federal grant to assist with college and career readiness for the Class of 2020 at MHS.

Several community leaders and MHS graduates spoke at the ceremony to inspire all MHS students to become college and career ready. Many shared their own personal success stories.

Those who spoke at the assembly included:

  • Marshalltown Mayor Joel Greer
  • MHS graduate and Marshalltown Schools Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte
  • State Representative Mark Smith of Marshalltown
  • MHS graduate and Times-Republican News Editor Emily Barske
  • Marshalltown Community College Provost Dr. Robin Lilienthal
  • Gear Up statewide staff
  • MHS graduate and Emerson engineer Noemi Calderon
  • MHS graduate and Emerson welder Adan Rodriguez
  • MHS Gear Up Coordinator Connie Gardalen

To view a video from the assembly, click here.



Marshalltown Mayor Joel Greer


Marshalltown Schools Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte


State Representative Mark Smith


MHS graduate and Times-Republican News Editor Emily Barske


Marshalltown Community College Provost Dr. Robin Lilienthal


MHS Gear Up Coordinator Connie Gardalen, left, and MHS graduate and Emerson welder Adan Rodriguez

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Youth behavior expert Dr. Stuart Ablon to present on September 24 at MHS

Stuart Ablon

Dr. Stuart Ablon

Parents, community child care providers and all community members are invited to a presentation by Dr. Stuart Ablon of Think:Kids on Monday, September 24 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the MHS/Community Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Dr. Ablon will outline an approach called Collaborative Problem Solving for helping children with behavioral challenges. He promotes ways to help children develop skills related to problem solving, flexibility and frustration tolerance.

Dr. Ablon is the founder and director of Think:Kids in the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and associate professor at Harvard Medical School.

“Dr. Ablon’s message of how to support our students is incredibly powerful and has reshaped how we’re working with students,” said Matt Cretsinger, Director of Special Services with the Marshalltown Community School District. “His model provides sound strategies and tools that help us teach our students the social, emotional, behavioral and mental health skills they need to be successful in school and in life.”

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Miller teacher selected for World War I learning opportunity


Miller Middle School teacher Ann Jackson has been selected for an in-depth learning program on World War I from National History Day.

Miller Middle School teacher Ann Jackson has been selected as one of 114 teachers nationwide for the “Legacies of World War I” learning opportunity from National History Day.

Jackson, an Extended Learning Program teacher at Miller in Marshalltown, will learn more about the war through webinars and discussions led by college professors.  Jackson receives free tuition, graduate credits and materials for the online program.

Jackson said she was excited to be awarded a scholarship for this study.

“Learning new ways to present the research process to students for National History Day projects is always helpful,” Jackson said.

National History Day Executive Director Dr. Cathy Gorn said this program allows teachers to delve into the history of World War I.

“Jackson will learn about specific aspects of the war she can take back to the classroom to ensure this piece of global history is not forgotten,” Gorn said.

Jackson is in her fifth year at Miller Middle School teaching extended learning. She has helped guide two different Miller student projects to national qualifiers in National History Day contests and several other student projects to state-level achievements.

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MHS graduate heading to Ireland for Fulbright Fellowship


Emily (Eggleston) Toner has been selected as a 2018-2019 Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellow. Emily, who is pictured here in Ireland will head to Ireland as part of this fellowship. She is a 2005 Marshalltown High School graduate.

Emily (Eggleston) Toner has been selected for a fellowship which will combine her interest in studying soil and her passion for telling stories.

The 2005 Marshalltown High School graduate will head to Ireland soon as part of her work as being selected as a 2018-2019 Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellow.

She will be there for nine months to share stories about a special type of carbon rich soil found in peat bogs, which are environmentally rich spaces in Ireland.

“I am thrilled to have the support of National Geographic and the Fulbright Program as I take questions about people’s relationship to soil to Ireland, where my focus will be telling stories about the how bogs shape Irish people and how they in turn shape their peat bogs,” Toner said. “I will refine my writing skills as well as try out new multimedia elements like mapping and audio stories.”

Emily became interested in soil while studying agriculture at Iowa State University. She later earned a master’s degree in geography from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

Aside from her interest in soil, telling stories has also been her passion dating back to her days at Marshalltown High School. She served as editor of the student newspaper, Pebbles, and enrolled in journalism classes from Steve Hanson at MHS.

“A shout out to journalism teacher Steve Hanson for his rigorous standards, which established my expectations early for how journalism should be carried out,” Toner said.

Hanson, who is now retired as a teacher, said Emily rose through the ranks quickly at Pebbles.

“Emily was obviously a very intelligent student who, more than anything else, really cared about the final product and the people around her,” Hanson said. “ We had some fantastic student writers over the years, but Emily sincerely cared about the process and the rest of the staff.  She worked tirelessly to get things right and was willing to help in any way possible whenever something went awry.”

Hanson said he is proud of Emily’s selection for this Fulbright Fellowship.

“To be awarded a Fulbright Fellowship is a gigantic honor,” Hanson said. “I’m confident that she has worked hard to put herself in this position and even more certain that she’ll continue to invest in the process moving forward.”

Toner also credits the two teachers she had at home to help her reach her accomplishments. Both of her parents, Susan and Mike Eggleston continue to teach in Marshalltown Schools.

“I never had them in a classroom, but the two most important Marshalltown teachers influencing my learning and building my confidence are my parents,” Toner said.

While telling stories of the soil is the major component of the fellowship, Emily sees this work continuing well beyond this assignment is over.

“I want to continue exploring and telling stories that prompt people to think about their connection to and influence on soil,” Toner said.

To view more information about the fellowship, see this link.



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Local police leader teaches new criminal justice class at MHS


Marshalltown Police Captain Chris Jones is pictured teaching a new criminal justice class at Marshalltown High School.

A new class at Marshalltown High School instructed by a local police leader is giving students a taste of law enforcement.

Captain Chris Jones of the Marshalltown Police Department has started teaching an introduction to criminal justice class at MHS this school year. It is a dual credit class as students can earn credit from both MHS and Marshalltown Community College.

MHS Principal Jacque Wyant said she was approached by Marshalltown Police Chief Mike Tupper with this idea to help to build a local candidate pool in an attempt to fill expected future retirements in the department.

“His desire to have diverse candidates also prompted him to provide staff to teach the class,” Wyant said.

Wyant said this class can expose students to a wide range of careers in addition to law enforcement such as an attorney, social worker or others who work in the field of law.

“My hope is that students see many aspects of criminal justice,” Wyant said.  “Students are learning more about citizenship and careers that can be fulfilling in service to humanity.”

Jones said teaching this class has had its challenges to get up and running, but it is going well with help from MHS and MCC staff.

“Teaching this class has been a goal of mine for a very long time and I am extremely grateful for this opportunity to share my experience having worked as a police officer for the City of Marshalltown for over 22 years,” Jones said. “Making personal connections with police officers in my hometown early in my life is one of the biggest reasons I am a police officer today. I enjoy my work here in Marshalltown and I hope to have the same impact on my students as I had growing up in Spencer, Iowa.”


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MHS students recognized as AP Scholars


These three Marshalltown High School seniors were named AP Scholars for their AP test scores and course work. Pictured from left are Emily Miller, Stella Roseburrough Borras and Jane Ragland. Also recognized were 2018 MHS graduates Anna Carlson and Luke Pedersen.

Three current Marshalltown High School students and two MHS graduates have been recognized as AP Scholars for 2018 for demonstrating college level achievement through AP (Advanced Placement) courses and exams. There are three levels of recognition as part of this honor.

AP Scholar with Distinction (an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP exams taken and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams)

  • Jane Ragland, MHS senior

AP Scholar with Honor (students who receive an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams)

  • Stella Roseburrough Borras, MHS senior

AP Scholar (students who receive scores of 3 or higher on three or more AP exams)

  • Emily Miller, MHS senior
  • Anna Carlson, MHS 2018 graduate
  • Luke Pedersen, MHS 2018 graduate
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MHS student hosts new podcast with focus on diversity


Marshalltown High School junior Ashlyn Ruiz has started a new podcast with a focus on diversity. Several of her fellow MHS students are featured on the first podcast.

With a goal to give a voice to students and an avid interest in broadcast journalism, Marshalltown High School junior Ashlyn Ruiz has started to host a new podcast featuring MHS students. The podcast will spotlight diversity on a bimonthly basis and is named “Choice Diversity.”

The first podcast is now online and features Ruiz and several other students candidly talking about the start of school and other matters of interest to them.

“I want students to have an opportunity to voice their thoughts and opinions,” Ruiz said. “I enjoy getting to talk to the students.”

Assisting Ruiz is MHS teacher Jocelyn Frohwein, who said she has been impressed with how the student produced her first podcast. Frohwein said the podcast idea came about after a group attended a diversity and inclusion summit and this was part of an action plan as a result of the summit.

Ruiz said the response she has received from the new podcast has been very positive.

“People say I have a great radio voice and I like to talk a lot so I guess that works,” Ruiz said with a smile.

To listen to the first podcast visit the new student podcasts page on the MHS site at


This group of Marshalltown High School students were among those featured on the new “Choice Diversity” podcast at the school. Pictured from left are Ashlyn Ruiz, Jesus Silva, Lenny Nunez, Oscar Zazueta and Koffi Tengue.


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