Four MCSD staff members receive Employee of the Quarter honors

Four exemplary Marshalltown CSD staff members have been recognized with an Employee of the Quarter award for the First Quarter of 2021-22. The honorees include:

  • Hannah Pfantz – Hoglan Elementary third grade teacher
  • Yolanda Mejia – Woodbury Elementary food service
  • Paul Sibbel – Lenihan Intermediate School band director
  • Randy Weir – District Transportation bus driver

All four Employees of the Quarter were nominated by their peers due to their exceptional dedication, positive attitudes, and going above and beyond to serve Bobcat students and families.

Hannah Pfantz, center, receives her Employee of the Quarter Award. Also pictured are, from left: Director of Instruction Shauna Smith, XLP teacher Nicole Holman Lankelma, Hoglan Principal Amy Williams, and Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte.

“Not only is Hannah part of an amazing grade level teaching team which fosters innovation to engage and educate every student, she goes the extra mile to form connections with each of her students,” said XLP teacher Nicole Holman Lankelma, who nominated Pfantz.

At Woodbury Elementary, Yolanda Mejia was applauded for her positivity and hard work as part of the District’s nutrition team. She was nominated by Nutrition Supervisor Michelle Diers. 

“Yolanda is the ‘glue’ to our Woodbury kitchen. She builds rapport with students and staff, she’s friendly, a team player and a leader,” Diers said. “She knows individual student dietary needs and collaborates well with the on-site nurse for allergy accommodations.”

Lenihan Band Director Paul Sibbel does a great job of bringing music into students’ lives. 

Yolanda Mejia, second from left, is a crucial member of the Woodbury Elementary and District Food Service team. Also pictured are, from left: Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte, Woodbury Principal Anel Garza, and Nutrition Supervisor Michelle Diers.

“Mr. Sibbel has single-handedly recruited over 130 fifth-graders into our band program. This recruitment effort is felt through his 6th grade band, Miller’s 7th/8th grade bands, and in the High School band program,” said MHS Assistant Band Director Brian Lewsadder, who nominated Sibbel. “His efforts inspire young musicians to be the best they can be.”

Lenihan Band Director Paul Sibbel, center, was joined by Principal Kyle Young, Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte, and Associate Principal Dr. Liz Jurgensen, as well as several students, as he accepted his Employee of the Quarter Award.

Bus driver Randy Weir’s dedication to getting students to and from school safely, and his willingness to support the District’s transportation needs, were qualities highlighted in his nomination.

“Randy goes beyond just driving a route; whenever a call for assistance is put out over the radio communications from dispatch, Randy responds that he is available to help,” said MCSD Transportation Director Rex Kozak. “He works with the other drivers to make sure they understand what is expected and helps them out in any way he can. He will help the mechanics get buses to different locations for repairs when needed.”

Bus driver Randy Weir, second from left, earned an Employee of the Quarter award. Also pictured, from left: Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte, Transportation Director Rex Kozak, and lead mechanic Jerry Flathers.

Thank you to these four incredible school staff members!

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Marshalltown School Board receives 2020-21 IASB Team Achievement Award

The 2020-21 Marshalltown School Board earned an IASB Team Achievement Award.

The 2020-21 Marshalltown School Board’s dedication to learning and leadership has been recognized with an Iowa Association of School Boards (IASB) Better Boardsmanship Team Achievement Award.

The Marshalltown School Board is one of just seven board teams statewide to earn the annual award. The board qualified for the team award because a majority of board members earned IASB Individual Achievement Awards, including Bea Niblock, Sean Heitmann, Mike Miller, Karina Hernandez, Sara Faltys and Jan McGinnis.

Both the team award and individual awards recognize board members’ dedication of time and effort to learning, advocacy, leadership and service projects to expand their knowledge and skills for better governance.

Additionally, Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte was named as a 2020-21 Award of Honor recipient for investing time and effort to build skills and knowledge needed to be an informed decision maker.

Congratulations to all of these exceptional school leaders!

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Longtime JBS partnership celebrated

JBS Marshalltown HR Director Patrick Brue, right, accepts an MCSD Career Readiness Partner award from Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte, left. JBS has a long history of excellent community partnership with MCSD.

Marshalltown’s largest employer is among the Marshalltown Community School District’s key partners. JBS Marshalltown Human Resources Director Patrick Brue recently accepted a Career Readiness Partner award from MCSD on behalf of the company.

“Marshalltown is extraordinarily well-known for having longstanding and strong relationships,” said Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte. “[JBS Marshalltown] has been an extraordinary partner.”

Dr. Schutte gave several examples of how JBS has supported the District’s Bobcat Ready efforts, including initiatives like the Better Futures post-secondary education funding program. The Better Futures program helps to cover post-secondary education tuition costs for local JBS employees and their families, including many Bobcat students.

Also highlighted were the company’s efforts to support MCSD through generous initiatives, such as donating water bottles and face masks for use by students and staff amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thank you to JBS Marshalltown for being an outstanding Career Readiness Partner!

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Lenihan Junior Conservationists enjoy outdoor learning at Green Castle

Junior Conservationist students got to make their own plastic fishing lures at Green Castle Recreation Area this week.

Chilly fall weather didn’t stop several Lenihan Intermediate School Junior Conservationists from enjoying outdoor learning activities at Green Castle Recreation Area this week.

The fifth- and sixth grade Extended Learning Program (XLP) students chose to study water and aquatic animals this school year as Junior Conservationists. To aid in that learning, Marshall County Conservation Board staff hosted fun, educational activities at Green Castle’s Gander Lookout Shelter on Wednesday.

At one of the stations, students got to make their own soft-plastic fishing lures. The lures were made by heating up the plastic, pouring it into a mold, and then letting it solidify into a colorful, curly-tailed lure.

Students also teamed up to research fish behavior and anatomy in order to solve puzzles for a “fish escape room” activity. Additionally, MCCB staff offered plenty of fishing rods and reels for the students to cast a line from the bank of the lake.

The students are looking forward to learning more about different kinds of waterways and the creatures that call them home this school year. Thank you to the Marshall County Conservation Board for providing great hands-on learning experiences for these Bobcat Junior Conservationists!

Chilly weather didn’t seem to bother these Lenihan XLP students as they casted lines into Green Castle Lake on Wednesday.
Junior Conservationist students teamed up to solve puzzles by researching fish behavior and anatomy on Wednesday at Gander Lookout Shelter.
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Marshalltown Company recognized as a “Career Readiness Partner”

Marshalltown Company CFO John Landherr, left, accepts an MCSD “Career Readiness Partner” award from Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte, right.

The Marshalltown CSD has recognized Marshalltown Company’s outstanding support and service to Bobcat students, their parents and District staff in Bobcat Ready career readiness efforts.

Marshalltown Company CFO John Landherr accepted an MCSD “Career Readiness Partner” award from Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte on behalf of the company at this week’s Marshalltown School Board meeting.

“Marshalltown Company has provided significant financial support for STEM and CTE initiatives, including ST Math, Project Lead the Way and, most recently, our Construction Trades classes at Marshalltown High School,” Dr. Schutte said, adding that company employees have supported the District through volunteering to lead Junior Achievement classes and by supporting technology planning efforts.

Dr. Schutte also praised the children’s books written by Marshalltown Company President/CEO Joe Carter which highlight local career opportunities in the company’s line of work. Carter has personally presented to MCSD elementary students about the books, and copies have been donated to school libraries.

Thank you to Marshalltown Company for supporting Bobcat Ready efforts!

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KBRM is back at Miller Middle School

By: Sarah Johnston, Communications Dept. Intern

PHOTO BY A. SODDERS. Bobcat student, Lucas Hagen, working on editing video footage for the next KBRM broadcast.

Miller Middle School has brought back KBRM, a newscast completely compiled by Miller students. 

KBRM has been around at Miller for many years, but there was a drop-off in 2020 due mainly to difficulties from the pandemic. It was started by Dave Stanfield when he was a teacher-librarian at Miller, and is now overseen by English teacher Lucas Johnson. 

This year is made up of a majority of 8th grade students, but there are some 7th graders involved. KBRM is offered for students in Miller’s digital production exploratories and the school’s English 9 class, creating a well diverse group of students with various talents to contribute. 

Mr. Johnson says that “[KBRM] is an extension of what happens in the classroom… [and] the major goal of the program is to promote the great things going on at Miller” when asked about KBRM. 

PHOTO BY A. SODDERS. KBRM anchors, Emerson Eastman and Jaslene Chavarria going over their scripts for the the next broadcast.

KBRM is not just videos of students giving updates on their school, the students are highly involved in every part of the process of making the monthly videos. 

Students interested in KBRM are assigned to a small team. These teams are tasked with gathering various good news stories at Miller and MCSD. This year’s include spotlights on a resident rabbit at the Miller counseling office and winter sports, among other topics.

Within each team, students divide up tasks such as anchoring, scripting, shooting video, and editing. Many students rotate throughout the semester, getting exposure to many aspects of videography.

When the planned series of stories are shot and edited, they are combined into a video and shared with the schools and community.

Mr. Johnson and the KBRM team are doing a great job sharing new and exciting news coming out of Miller Middle School. 

Check out their most recent video posted here!

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American Education Week celebrates school staff

Each fall, school staff of all positions are celebrated during the National Education Association’s American Education Week. This year’s celebration runs from Nov. 15-19, 2021.

Each day of the week brings a new theme honoring the critical work done by teachers, bus drivers, paraeducators, school counselors, custodians, food service staff, administrative assistants, principals, and all other school employees. The Marshalltown School Board recognized the kickoff of AEW at this week’s board meeting, and the themes for the remainder of the week are:

  • Tuesday, Nov. 16: Family Day
  • Wednesday, Nov. 17: Education Support Professionals Day
  • Thursday, Nov. 18: Educator for a Day
  • Friday, Nov. 19: Substitute Educators Day

Please join us in celebrating all of the Marshalltown CSD’s school staff for their hard work and dedication in providing great learning environments for Bobcat students. Thank you all!

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Bobcats perform “All Together Now!”

MHS students entertained audiences with several well-known musical numbers at the Marshalltown Performing Arts Center this weekend.

Ellie Draisey is this year’s Jean Seberg Drama Award winner

The Fall Musical – “All Together Now!” – featured pieces from 15 different musicals, including “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” “My Fair Lady,” “Rent,” “Newsies,” and “Hairspray.”

After Saturday evening’s performance, MHS student and performer Ellie Draisey was announced as the winner of this year’s Jean Seberg Drama Award. The award, named after the famous actress native to Marshalltown, included $250, a certificate, and placement of the winner’s name on a plaque in the Auditorium lobby.

Thank you Bobcat Drama students and staff for your hard work on this performance! More photos from the Fall Musical can be seen below.

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Bobcat students attend iJAG Leadership Development Conference

By Sarah Johnston, Communications Dept. intern

Several Miller Middle School, Marshalltown High School, and Marshalltown Learning Academy students attended the annual Iowa Jobs for America’s Graduates (iJAG) Leadership Development Conference in Cedar Rapids this week.

The student leaders had the opportunity to practice their professional skills, network with peers and learn about in-demand careers. The conference featured workshops covering various leadership topics, including vision- and goal setting, giving and receiving feedback, building resilience, persuasive communication, and diversity, equity and inclusion. 

At the leadership conference, Wellmark Senior Medical Director Dr. Tim Gutshall gave a keynote message about his unconventional route to his career in healthcare and overcoming barriers.

Thank you iJAG for hosting these Bobcats and giving them the opportunity to explore career fields and ask questions about possible career opportunities in the future!

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Four Bobcats earn All State Music Festival selections

This year’s All State Music Festival selections are, from left: Veronica Herrera, Rebekah Stone, Aaron Seberger, and Ethen Santana. Congratulations to all!

Congratulations to these MHS students for being selected to the 2021 All-State Music Festival:

  • Ethen Santana (Oboe – Orchestra)
  • Rebekah Stone (Bass Clarinet – Band)
  • Veronica Herrera (Violin – Orchestra) 
  • Aaron Seberger (Bass – Chorus)

The 2021 Festival will celebrate the 75th anniversary of this prestigious event. District Auditions for the 278-piece All-State Band, 214-piece All-State Orchestra, and 602-member All-State Chorus were held Saturday, October 23, 2021 at Le Mars, Hampton, Independence, Atlantic, Indianola, and Washington. Approximately 17% of the students who audition are selected for membership in the All-State ensembles. 

Participants will rehearse in Ames on Friday and Saturday, November 19 and 20, and the Festival Concert will be presented to the public at 7:30 P.M. in Hilton Coliseum, Iowa State University, Ames, on Saturday evening, November 20, 2021. Iowa Public Television will record the concert for rebroadcast. Please check the IPTV website ( for the exact dates and times. This program is under the auspices of the Iowa High School Music Association and the Iowa Music Education.

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