Band, cheerleading alumni invited to Roundhouse for January 25 basketball games


Marshalltown High School cheerleading and band alumni are welcome to the home basketball games on Friday, January 25 vs. West Des Moines Valley to take part in the festivities at the Roundhouse, and play some music and cheer. The girls varsity game begins at 6:15 p.m. with the boys varsity game having a 7:45 p.m. start.

Cheerleading alumni
We will be in our own reserved section and perform the Bobcat fight song during halftime of the boys game alongside the band. We encourage you to wear red, white and blue clothing or your favorite Bobcat attire.

Band alumni
Bring your instrument and jersey or Bobcat apparel to play with current band students. Rehearsal starts at 5:15 p.m. in the main band room and the first song for the crowd is at 6 p.m. Come when you can and have some fun.

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MHS boys swim team donates $1,800 to help families affected by tornado


The Marshalltown High School boys swim team donated $600 each to three Marshalltown elementary schools to help families affected by the tornado. Pictured from left are Ryne Downey donating to Nicki Boliver and Susan Eggleston representing Rogers Elementary School, Samantha Slocum representing Franklin Elementary School accepting the donation from Caleb Summers and Heidi Williams of Woodbury Elementary School accepting the donation from David Wahl.

Three elementary schools receive $600 each

The Marshalltown High School boys swim team donated a total of $1,800 to three Marshalltown elementary schools to help families affected by the July 19 tornado.

Swimmers donated $600 each to  Franklin, Rogers and Woodbury elementary schools, which had many families in the area affected by the storm.

Coach Mike Loupee said this was a service project led by the team this year as they raised money by placing a “Marshalltown Strong” phrase on the sleeve of the team shirts for an additional donation, collected change in the annual Change for Charity effort and worked a team fundraising evening at Pizza Ranch.

This was separate from a recent team fundraiser for pool deck chairs and deck coats for the team.

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MHS students recognized as Know Your Constitution finalists


Marshalltown High School seniors Emily Miller, left, and Jane Ragland were selected as Know Your Constitution finalists.

Marshalltown High School seniors Emily Miller and Jane Ragland were among 100 finalists in the state of Iowa to be honored in the Iowa State Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division Know Your Constitution contest.

The two were selected out of more than 1,000 students in the state after their performance on a  quiz and were honored at a luncheon in West Des Moines on January 11. They were able to meet the Honorable Justice Susan Christensen of the Iowa Supreme Court at the event.

The Know Your Constitution Project is designed to enrich students’ understanding and appreciation of the Constitution.  The students participating in the project were required to familiarize themselves with Constitution related issues. A quiz was completed by each participating student.  An essay question accompanied the quiz in case of a tie. This year’s essay topic involved Constitutional questions centered on Presidential Pardon power and protection of Special Counsel investigations.


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Three Marshalltown Schools staff members receive Employee of the Quarter awards


The three Employee of the Quarter winners for the second quarter from Marshalltown Schools include, from left, Gary Mertens from Marshalltown High School, Bruce Lawrence from Lenihan Intermediate School and Heidi Williams from Woodbury Elementary School.

Three employees of the Marshalltown Community School District received Employee of the Quarter awards for the second quarter of the school year recently.


Bruce Lawrence

Recipient Bruce Lawrence is the teacher librarian at Lenihan Intermediate School.“Bruce continually communicates with staff regarding technology updates and best practices,” said Lenihan teacher Joan Furjanic, who nominated Lawrence for the award as did fellow teacher Deb Moore. “Whether he is assisting a student with a Chromebook issue or helping find an interesting book, Bruce is always available and approachable to students.”




Gary Mertens

Recipient Gary Mertens works in the Academic Support Center at MHS and was nominated for the award by Eric Weeden.
“Gary always has the best interest of the students he works with,” Weeden said. “Gary has exceptional passion for his position and has worked with many challenging students that have had success because of his commitment.”




Heidi Williams

Recipient Heidi Williams is counselor at Woodbury Elementary School. She is extremely dedicated to her students and was nominated for the award by teacher Katie Hilby.
“Heidi puts students’ needs at the forefront of every single thing that she does,” Hilby said. “She has a great way of turning almost any situation into something positive, which has a huge impact on the culture of our school.”


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MHS graduate encourages students to take advantage of the many opportunities


Dr. Cynthia Ragland, 1985 Marshalltown High School graduate



Story written by Samantha Edwards, volunteer writer
Cynthia Ragland is an optometrist with her own practice called C EYE CARE located on 13th Street in Marshalltown, and she is a fifth generation Marshalltown resident. Dr. Ragland explains the many services her company provides: “We see patients for comprehensive eye care, treatment of eye diseases and ocular urgent care; we prescribe glasses and fit contact lenses; and we do everything we can to provide and preserve the best eyesight for our patients.”

Cynthia has thought about many possible job occupations throughout the years, starting with the idea of becoming a nurse. Then, when she started at Iowa State University, she selected the major of journalism with a minor in food science. After working in a PR firm for five years in Chicago, she decided to switch her career choice yet again. She completed her degree at the Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tenn. After that, she returned to Marshalltown and started practicing.

Marshalltown High School helped her achieve her success as a professional in various industries by the professionals that taught her. “I think one of the things that I learned, and that was really special at Marshalltown High School was the fact that there were always such good teachers there, and they also seemed to care about their students. So, they gave that appreciation for living in a small town, and having those connections…”

Teachers have become patients, she said, “and it’s really fun to see them because I still think of them as certainly people I look up to, and it’s just fun to see them in town, and it’s amazing to see how fast the years have gone by.”

“There are even more opportunities at the high school now than ever,” Ragland said. “So, take advantage of all those offerings that are there, whether you’re interested in becoming a mechanic or an optometrist someday, it seems like the high school has really good offerings for kids; so not to shy away from something that you think may be too hard or if it’s just something you have an interest in and want to explore. It’s a great place to be able to try it, and see what you think.”


Volunteer writer Samantha Edwards is a 
2006 graduate of Marshalltown High School.
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Eighth grader tops field in Miller spelling bee


Pictured are the top finishers in the Miller Middle School spelling bee held on January 11. At center is first place winner Locke Bloomquist. Tying for runner up were Kaiden McWilliams, left, and Juan Morales, right.

Miller Middle School eighth grader Locke Bloomquist won the school’s 2019 spelling bee after six rounds of competition on January 11. Bloomquist topped the field of 20 finalists and the championship round word he spelled correctly was astonishment.

Tying for runner up were Juan Morales and Kaiden McWilliams.

Bloomquist advances to the regional spelling bee to be held March 2 at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois. The winner of the regional bee will receive an expenses-paid trip to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C.

Hosting the bee was Miller teacher Lucas Johnson and Instructional Coach Jen O’Neal while judges were Miller teachers Sarah Benscoter, Shea Hill and Rebecca Callahan.

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


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Love of kids keeps retired principal active as a substitute teacher


Jeff Barry is a retired area school principal who serves as a substitute teacher in Marshalltown Schools.

Retired school administrator Jeff Barry can be seen throughout the year in Marshalltown Schools still active in what he loves – being around kids.

Barry is a substitute teacher in the district and has served at many different grade levels and school buildings in the past two years. He retired after 20 years as principal of West Marshall Middle School in 2017, but couldn’t stay away from the classroom.

“I just love kids, that’s why I went into this business,” Barry said.

Barry said he enjoys being around the students in the Marshalltown Community School District.

“They are friendly, they are trying hard and they are respectful,” Barry said.

He is equally appreciative of the teachers and other staff in Marshalltown Schools, who have helped him immensely as a substitute.

“The staff is awesome here,” Barry said. “They are friendly and very helpful. Everybody always says ‘thank you for being here.’”

Barry would encourage others thinking about becoming a substitute to give it a try.

“If you like kids and like being around people it’s a great part time job or as full time as you want it to be,” Barry said.

For more information on becoming a substitute teacher, call the Marshalltown Community School District Human Resources office at 641-754-1000.


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