New drum majors excited to start marching season


Marshalltown High School junior Emily Manis, left, and senior Caleb Jones are the new drum majors this year for the Bobcat Marching Band.

The two new drum majors of the Bobcat Marching Band are excited as band camp opened this week. Marshalltown High School junior Emily Manis and senior Caleb Jones have taken on the student leadership roles in the band this year.

“It’s a really fun experience,” Manis said. “It’s a lot different than doing the marching.”

Jones said he likes to help guide the younger members of the band.

“I enjoy leading the band and teaching the new students new things,” Jones said.

Both said band camp is going well as the band not only prepares for the marching season, but also has bonding time before school starts.

“We make sure everybody has fun, while also playing their role,” Manis said.

Both said they are honored to continue the stellar tradition of the Bobcat Marching Band, which has received Division I ratings at the state marching band contest for 18 straight years.

This is a special school year to be leading the band as a big band trip to Orlando, Florida is planned for March 2020 to play at Disney World.

“It will be fun to take this group,” Jones said.

Check out the marching band performing at halftime at home varsity Bobcat football games this year. MHS staff leading the marching band are Band Director Brett Umthun and Associate Band Director Christian Loaiza.

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Design agency owner follows her artistic passion


Tana M. Llinas is a 1998 Marshalltown High School graduate and owner and creative director of the brand design firm, Brand Poets, which is based in Miami and Los Angeles.

1998 MHS graduate Tana M. Llinas founder of Brand Poets

Tana M. Llinas followed her passion by tapping into her artistic creativity, which has led to success in the business world. Llinas is a 1998 graduate of Marshalltown High School, where she was known then as Tana Martin.

She now is the owner and creative director for Brand Poets, a boutique brand design agency based in Miami and Los Angeles. Her main advice to the younger generation is to follow something with fervor.

“Go all in,” she said. “Identify what you’re passionate about, then make everything you do all about that passion.”

She also indicated those business connections with someone in the field can be invaluable for the future.

“Find a mentor in that field, get an internship alongside her or him, then listen and learn,” she said.

Time in Marshalltown
Tana has fond memories of her time at MHS where her mother Alix taught. She participated in soccer and volleyball in high school and also remembers time spent in the community at Ev’s ice cream shop, Crosby Pool, the Y and sledding down the St. Henry’s hill. Her parents still live in Marshalltown where her father, Bill Martin, serves on the Marshalltown City Council.

Managing a design agency
In her role as a business owner and creative director, Tana manages creative staff but also has to keep tabs on the overall financial health of the company.

“I pitch new business, negotiate contracts, and watch the bottom line to make sure our agency is growing,” Llinas said.

But she didn’t get there overnight. She earned her graphic design degree from the Rhode Island School of Design and also worked in design for years before starting Brand Poets.

“I always knew I wanted to be in the creative world, but I knew I had to support myself doing it,” Llinas said. “So I went to art school and found myself several amazing business mentors early on, which pushed me to understand the value of my work and how to manage a team.”

She still gets a kick out of seeing a logo she designed on a billboard or T-shirt while she’s out in public. She also knows success can mean different things to different people.

“Success is personal,” she said. “I measure success on having stability of work, great projects, an amazing team and a healthy family.”

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Playground bench honors memory of Franklin student


A crowd gathers for a photo at the bench dedication ceremony to honor Christian Maxon at Franklin Elementary School on August 10.

A large group of family, friends and Franklin Elementary School staff honored the memory of Christian Maxon during a bench dedication in his honor on August 10 at the school.

Maxon was the 8-year-old who passed away after an accident after school in May.  The Marshall County Landfill donated the bench, which is made out of recycled plastic bags, and Dick’s Concrete donated the concrete base it rests on.

The bench is located just steps from the Franklin playground and is called a “buddy bench” to be used by students who are in need of a friend to play with. To name a “buddy bench” after Christian is very appropriate, according to Christian’s father, Timothy Maxon.

“Anybody that knows Christian knows that he would be the first to grab somebody (who needed a friend),” Timothy Maxon said.

Christian’s father thanked the crowd and community for its support during this trying time for the family.

“I want to extend a thank you to everybody,” he said.

Christian’s mother, Brittany, was also at the event along with dozens of other family members and friends.

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Benches dedicated to memory of Corey Brown at Miller Middle School


Pictured is a group at the Corey Brown bench dedication ceremony at Miller Middle School. From left are Miller Associate Principal Dave Glenn, Miller Principal Pat Rial, Nancy Mach of the Marshall County Landfill, Miller staff member Ryan O’Neal, Corey’s mother Michelle Brown, Marshalltown Schools Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte, Corey’s father Craig Brown, Miller staff member Creighton Jenness, Corey’s grandmother Mary Johnson and Miller staff member Jen O’Neal.

Family members, Miller Middle School staff and others gathered for a bench dedication ceremony on August 6 to honor the memory of former Miller student Corey Brown, who passed away at the age of 13 in January.

The two benches are located by a tree near the bus loading zone at the school and were made possible by a student-led project at Miller in a partnership with the Marshall County Landfill and a grant from the Iowa Grocery Industry Association.

The benches are made from recycled plastic grocery bags and each feature a Seattle Seahawks logo, Corey’s favorite professional sports team.

Corey Brown Memorial 5K
The first Corey Brown Memorial 5K fun run and walk will be held at 6 p.m. on Saturday, August 17, starting at the Marshalltown High School track. Walk up registration opens at 5 p.m. that day.

Race proceeds will go to purchase new uniforms for MHS track and cross country teams in memory of Corey, who loved running.

“We appreciate the support we’ve received,” said Corey’s mother Michelle Brown. “We want to be able to give back.”

The race will start and finish at the MHS track and the route will include neighborhoods surrounding the high school.

Cost is $20 per adult and $15 for youth under 18. For questions or early registration information contact Maggie Stalzer at 641-475-3370.


Corey’s parents Michelle and Craig Brown take a closer look at the new benches.

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Four seats on the ballot for the school board election on November 5

The Marshalltown Community School District will have four school board seats up for election during the November 5, 2019 election.

The four at-large seats are currently held by board members Nicolas Aguirre, Janelle Carter, Ben Fletcher and Sean Heitmann. These seats are all for four-year terms.

The first day to file nomination papers with MCSD Board Secretary Paulette Newbold will be Monday, August 26, 2019. The deadline to file completed forms as a candidate is Thursday, September 19, 2019.

To become a candidate

Those looking to be on the ballot for the November 5 election are required to complete an affidavit of candidacy and acquire 50 signatures from eligible voters in the school district.

The forms can be picked up currently from Paulette Newbold at the school district offices at 1002. S. 3rd. Ave., the county auditor’s office at Great Western Bank (11 N. 1st. Ave) or via the Iowa Secretary of State’s website.

An affidavit of candidacy can be located at and a nomination petition can be located at

These completed forms would need to be returned to Paulette Newbold, MCSD Board Secretary, 1002 S. 3rd. Ave., Marshalltown, Iowa, 50158 by 5 p.m. on September 19, 2019.

For more information, call the school district offices at 641-754-1000, email or access the candidate guide at

See a video below on how to become a candidate.

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MHS graduate Anastasia King earns naval aviator wings


Anastasia King earned her naval aviator wings earlier this month in Florida. She is a 2013 Marshalltown High School graduate.

Six years ago, Anastasia King graduated from Marshalltown High School. Her accomplishments since then have been impressive and they are in rare air, literally.

King received her naval aviator golden wings after her completion of flight school during a recent ceremony held in Milton, Florida. It was the culmination of the past two years of Navy flight school, which is extremely rigorous.

She is a 2013 MHS graduate and the daughter of Rev. Richard and Valerie King.

“I chose a career in the military because I wanted to do something for others,” she said. “My father taught me that a life lived for others is both the most frustrating and most rewarding job in the world. The idea of a bond as strong as family in the workplace really interested me, as well as, the physical and mental strength required for a military career.”

One trait that is apparent about King is she goes after what she wants with passion.

“I was lucky enough to be selected for flight school as a Student Naval Aviator,” she said. “I graduated from Iowa State University on May 5th, 2017 and was commissioned as an officer in the Navy on May 6th, 2017. Two weeks later, I moved to Pensacola, Florida to start flight school.”

Flight School
King said flight school instructors take their job seriously “to see if you are cut out for Naval Aviation.”

Flight school started by learning the basics, then it advanced to dogfighting techniques, flying in clouds with no visibility, cross country flying, and flying at high speeds within 20 feet of another aircraft.

Once this was completed, she then moved on to focus her training on helicopters, where she eventually earned her wings.

“Part of the appeal was the challenge,” King said. “Every day consisted of a brief and a flight; both were considered tests. You had the opportunity to fail twice a day and only three chances to fail before you were kicked out of the program. Completing flight school meant that you had survived two years of two tests a day and had failed only two things at maximum.”

She also appreciated the bonds she formed in her time at flight school.

“I have met the most amazingly tough, hard working, disciplined, loyal people throughout this experience, and I would not trade them or this journey for anything,” she said.

Time in Marshalltown Schools
King has fond memories of her time at MHS, especially participating on the Bobcat girls swim team, girls soccer road trips and the band trip to Orlando.

She said MHS swim coaches such as Mike Loupee and Angie Nelson and teachers such as Tim Johnson (MHS) and Bob Gilbertson (Miller Middle School) were among the many ones who inspired her and helped her reach her potential.

“Tasia was one of those students in middle school that you just knew would be successful in whatever she decided to dedicate herself to,” Gilbertson said. “I remember her being a very intelligent, quick-witted and driven student. It has been so much fun to keep in touch with her and watch her live out the dreams she has set forth for herself.”

King’s interest in the military paid off while at MHS as before she graduated from high school she received a $180,000 NROTC Scholarship to Iowa State.

Her future
With her wings attained, King will move to the Naval Base in San Diego where she will fly the MH-60S (Seahawk) helicopter.

And in her true fashion, she already has her future goals mapped out.

“My future goals are to continue flying helicopters,” she said. “I plan to fly for the Navy for the next 8 years, then move to the Coast Guard and fly Search and Rescue units I reach my retirement. After I retire, I plan to fly EMS. “


Anastasia King is pictured from 2013 receiving a $180,000 college scholarship from the Navy during the scholarship awards night at Marshalltown High School.

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King with naval aviator wings


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More than 300 community volunteers build new playground at Woodbury Elementary School


Volunteers gather for the ribbon cutting of the new playground at Woodbury Elementary School in Marshalltown. More than 300 people came together on July 19 for the community build project.

In less than five hours, more than 300 volunteers built a new playground at Woodbury Elementary School in Marshalltown. The community build project was a partnership between KaBOOM!, Keurig Dr. Pepper, Fareway Meat and Grocery and Marshalltown Schools.

Along with the new playground, maps of the U.S and world were painted, picnic tables were added and more.

The event was held on the one-year anniversary of the tornado that swept through Marshalltown and damaged many homes in the Woodbury school neighborhood.

View a video of the event below.

For more photos visit our MCSD Facebook Page.






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