2018 MHS Holiday Concert

The 2018 Marshalltown High School Holiday Concert was held on December 9 at the MHS/Community Auditorium. It featured vocal and instrumental performances.

View more photos from the event on the district Facebook page.


Treble Choir


Concert Choir


Holiday Singers


Symphonic Band


Wind Symphony


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Math might be path back home


Eli Devine is a 2013 Marshalltown High School graduate who holds a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from Iowa State University. He is currently working on his master’s degree in Education from ISU and wants to be a math teacher.

MHS graduate hopes to inspire next generation

Eli Devine had inspirational math teachers during his time at Marshalltown High School. In fact he was inspired so much that he hopes to become one of them himself.

Devine is a 2013 Marshalltown High School graduate who received his bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from Iowa State University in December 2017. He is currently working toward a master’s degree in Education at ISU with a teaching focus on mathematics.

“I enjoyed my time and the people there, and I want to be able to give back to the community and be a part to help it grow more and create more opportunities of learning to all students,” Devine said.

Devine said MHS math teachers such as Scott Smith and Nancy Sills helped build his love of math.

“They were both very encouraging to me as teachers and answered any questions I had with enthusiasm,” Devine said. “They were both very welcoming and worked towards that teacher-student relationship and tried to understand their students. For me, they really made the classes fun, challenging, and engaging for myself.”

Scott Smith remembers Eli being a well-rounded student at MHS.

“Eli was a model student in that he was both gifted academically as well as involved in many extracurricular activities,” Smith said. “He led by example and serving others and represented the best MHS had to offer.”

Some of Eli’s favorite memories from MHS are participating in athletics and singing in retirement homes as a member of the Holiday Singers. Eli too acknowledged he was able to take advantage of opportunities and the Science Bound graduate appreciated the world that was open to him at MHS.

“I was able to be involved in a variety of extracurricular activities that helped shape who I am today and add to my experience,” Devine said.

When Eli wraps up his master’s program work he hopes return to Marshalltown to teach and inspire students who are seated in the same place he was several years ago.

“It is important to me to return to Marshalltown because Marshalltown has done a lot for me when I was a student there, I enjoyed my time and the people there, and I want to be able to give back to the community and be a part to help it grow more and create more opportunities of learning to all students,” Devine said.

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Booster Club donates funds for new wrestling mat at MHS


Pictured on the new Marshalltown High School wrestling competition mat donated by the Bobcat Booster Club are from left, Anne Vance of the Booster Club, Head Wrestling Coach Mike Mann and Amy Williams of the Booster Club.

The Bobcat Booster Club was recognized prior to the home wrestling match at the Marshalltown High School Roundhouse against Urbandale on December 6 for a recent donation. The club donated $10,000 toward the purchase of the new wrestling competition mat.

“Over the years the Booster Club has donated funds toward the purchases of uniforms, scoreboards and equipment and have provided countless volunteer hours to assist in promoting and supporting Marshalltown athletics,” said MHS Activities Director Rollie Ackerman. “Thank you all for your continued generous and valuable support.”

The wrestling program will receive another boost as the Roundhouse Phase II project which includes a wrestling room and auxiliary gym nears completion.


The new wrestling competition mat made possible by the Bobcat Booster Club.

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3rd Annual Family Coding Night promotes STEM activities


Members of the Marshalltown High School robotics team displayed their competition robot at the 3rd Annual Family Coding Night held on December 5 at Miller Middle School.

Robotics, STEM activities, computer technology and coding filled the Miller Middle School gym on December 5. It was the third annual Family Coding Night at the gym which featured students of all ages and families coming together to celebrate the world of technology and offerings in Marshalltown Schools.

To view a video from
the event, click here.

To view more photos from the event visit our district Facebook page.



Woodbury Elementary School teacher librarian Val Ehlers talks to a youngster who is trying out a Codeapillar.


Students play a video game designed by Miller Middle School students Locke Bloomquist, left, and Kaiden McWilliams, not pictured.

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MHS students present at World Food Prize Foundation headquarters


Students from Marshalltown High School toured and presented at the World Food Prize Foundation headquarters in Des Moines on November 29. Pictured in front row, from left, are Alejandra Morales and Hay Oo. Back row, Betsy Goeh, Uriel Campos Padilla, Hay Htu, Nasteho Mohammed and Josue Asul Martinez Torres.

A group of Marshalltown High School English Language Learner-Gifted students visited the World Food Prize Foundation headquarters in Des Moines on November 29.

The students were able to report to the staff there on food security issues around the world, as part of a special project led by MHS teachers Hector Campos and Susan Fritzell. One group of students chose to research Venezuela and the other group researched Ethiopia.

Each group gave a 30 minute presentation on the current situation in each of these countries and proposed a possible solution to help alleviate the hunger issues there. The students were also treated to a tour of the World Food Prize building where they were introduced to the stories of Norman Borlaug and many of the World Food Prize laureates.


The students are pictured receiving a tour from World Food Prize Youth Institute Director Kelsey Tyrrell, left.


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Home is where her heart is


Lydia (Kosbau) Youngdahl works as a bilingual counselor for YSS in Marshalltown. She is a 2008 Marshalltown High School graduate.

2008 MHS graduate serves as a
bilingual counselor in her hometown

Something clicked for Lydia (Kosbau) Youngdahl when she was a student at Central College in Pella. The 2008 Marshalltown High School graduate found her passion and her hometown now reaps the benefits.

Youngdahl already had an interest in the Spanish language and as she enrolled in sociology and psychology courses at Central she found her calling – working in counseling with Spanish speaking families.

And there is no shortage of that type of work in the diverse community of Marshalltown. Since 2015, she has worked as a bilingual family counselor for YSS, which is also known as Youth and Shelter Services or Youth Standing Strong.

Lydia works with families who have youth in juvenile courts and also conducts in-home counseling for at-risk youth through referrals from schools.

“I love being able to speak Spanish and provide a service to families that wouldn’t otherwise get it,” Youngdahl said. “I really like seeing my families succeed and being able to get the things they need.”

Since she is both a Spanish speaker and a counselor, there is no need to bring along an interpreter as is the case many times when counselors visit homes of Spanish speakers.

“It builds a trust and speeds up the work,” Youngdahl said.

When she is not providing these needed services, the 2012 Central College graduate also gives back by helping with an afterschool program through Grace Church known as The Big House.

David Hicks, director of YSS of Marshall County who is also a graduate of MHS, said he sees Lydia as a valued member of the YSS staff.

“She represents the very best of our agency’s values and mission,” Hicks said. “Lydia was recently chosen by her colleagues for having demonstrated outstanding compassion through her work as our bilingual counselor.”

Diversity in Marshalltown
Youngdahl said the diversity of Marshalltown helped her grow and become the person she is today.

“The diversity in Marshalltown Schools is a huge benefit to kids,” she said. “You learn so much about the world and about yourself when you learn about other people’s culture and background. It creates a more well-rounded individual when you are able to do that.”

She said she had many inspirational teachers through the years in Marshalltown and noted that just a few were MHS Spanish teachers Tonia Emerson and James Christensen and social studies teacher Tim Johnson. All three still teach at MHS.

“The foreign language department at MHS is really strong,” Youngdahl said.

Her future
Lydia plans to enroll in a three-year online program to become licensed in mental health therapy. It appears her career goals and the needs of her community will once again align.

“There’s a huge need for mental health therapy for Spanish speakers here,” Youngdahl said. “I want to be able to continue to help people.”

As with any community, she heard her fellow students in high school talk about how they can’t wait to leave Marshalltown. In Lydia’s case, she couldn’t wait to get back.

“I knew that I needed to come back and serve here,” she said.



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Family Coding Night set for December 5


Marshalltown students are pictured participating in a robotics demonstration during last year’s Family Coding Night. This year’s coding night will be held from 5 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, December 5 at the Miller Middle School gym (125 S. 11th St.).

The Marshalltown Community School District will host the third annual Family Coding Night from 5 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, December 5 at the Miller Middle School gym.

This event is open to students of all grade levels as well as families and the public. It will feature hands-on activities in STEM and computer coding activities.

Students and staff will showcase their work with different types of robots and computer equipment.  All will have the chance to try out robotic coding, coding with BrainPop, virtual reality applications and much more.  Families can see the work of the Lego League teams and creative coding that is used in the schools.

“Students as young as preschool and kindergarten are being exposed to coding and computer literacy in the classroom,” said Sue Cahill, coordinator of the MCSD Family Coding Night.  “This event is our chance to showcase student work and introduce families to the many coding activities we offer to our students at all grades. We will have a variety of robotics to program, virtual reality experiences, even a Dance Party you can code yourself to your favorite song.  It is a great opportunity for students and families to participate in hands-on computer activities and experiences.”

View a video of last year’s Family Coding night here.

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