Miller students plan special events as part of math projects


Miller Middle School students displayed projects on special events as part of a math project at the school. Pictured are students, from left, Claire Hughes, Brealyn Anderson and Rachel Smith and their project on a farmers market.

Students in the seventh grade math classes taught by Lisa LaVelle at Miller Middle School presented special projects on May 19.

The students displayed their work on special event planning and fundraising. Math skills came in handy as they made sure their expenses didn’t outweigh their income for the event they planned.

“The students coordinated all the ins and outs of an event of their choice, while making sure they had a profit,” LaVelle said.


Miller students Marisol Morales, left, and Dayanara Martinez present a project on a neon party.

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Career chat wraps up with CEO of Marshalltown Regional Partnership


David Barajas, CEO of the Marshalltown Regional Partnership, talks to Lenihan Intermediate School students during career chat on May 16.

Lenihan Intermediate School wrapped up its monthly career chat program by hearing from David Barajas, CEO of the Marshalltown Regional Partnership, on May 16.

Barajas focused mainly on the importance of communication, not in what we think of in communication through technology and screens but in face-to-face human interaction.

Barajas talked to the students about helping the people of Marshalltown of all cultures reach their dreams, whether they are a first generation student ready for college or a family looking to expand their business.  Barajas gave the advice to learn from every experience and live in the moment.

Career chat is facilitated by Vanessa Engel, Extended Learning Program teacher at Lenihan. It featured a wide array of community members who spoke to students about their careers this school year.

“I feel like the career chats went really well this year in that students really got to interact with local professionals in a meaningful way,” Engel said. “Advice from seasoned successful adults of Marshalltown shows students that they can make a difference in their community. This activity showed students that they have a voice. Not only did they learn from our guests, our guests learned from our students. David Barajas even asked students what they would like to see in Marshalltown and the overwhelming response…an arcade. I think that this is a great example of personalized learning that I hope will continue to catch on throughout our district. I plan to continue this next year so if there are any local professionals that are interested in jumping on board next year, please feel free to contact me. 🙂”


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Tea event recognizes retiring staff


Retiring Franklin Elementary School teacher Kathy Ferguson, left, is pictured with Paula Johnson of Miller Middle School at the retirement tea on May 17.

Retirement is nearing for several Marshalltown Community School District employees. On May 17, they were honored during the Marshalltown Education Association/MCSD retirement tea. Several of this year’s retirees were in attendance and spoke at the event, or had friends give them a farewell.

“For your devotion, dedication, and hard work you deserve the best retirement ever,” School Board President Bea Niblock told the retirees.

Those honored at the event included:


Grant Brintnall

Grant Brintnall
Grant is retiring after working with the district since 1984.  Fellow Miller teacher Chad Spear talked about times spent at Miller and read comments about Grant from former Miller Principal Brad Clement.


Kathy Ferguson
The Franklin teacher is retiring after working 34 years in the district. Her fellow teachers at Franklin, Angie Pietig, Leiah Craun and Mallori Ghent provided Kathy with a top 10 list of things to look forward to in retirement.


Cindy Seberger

Cindy Seberger
The Miller Middle School kitchen manager retired after serving in that role since 2002.


Vicki Vopava

Vicki Vopava
The Fisher Elementary Principal retires after working for the district since 1992. Vicki especially thanked her fellow elementary principals for helping her through the years.


Don Wiser

Don Wiser
The retiring physical education teacher and coach was honored by his former principal at Anson Elementary, Bea Niblock, and others he has worked with. Don taught for Marshalltown Schools for 39 years.

Other retirees not in attendance but recognized at the event included: Kay Burr (substitute caller), Barb Gummert (Franklin paraeducator), Deb Johnson (Miller teacher),  Bret Lee (MHS instrumental music), Melissa Keeler (Franklin secretary), Ann Noe (Woodbury custodian) Mary Oetker (Fisher teacher), and Marilyn Rhodes (executive assistant to the superintendent).


MEA Scholarship recipients Leah Edel and Austin Tullis

Scholarship recipients
MHS seniors Leah Edel and Austin Tullis received $250 MEA Scholarships at the event. Edel plans to attend Simpson College and major in elementary education while Tullis plans to attend the University of Iowa on a pre-medicine track.


Friend of Education Award winner Lynn Jensen, left, of Emerson, and Paula Johnson.

Friend of Education Award
Lynn Jensen of Emerson received the Friend of Education award, which was presented by a group of Lenihan Intermediate School staff members. Jensen started a tutoring program last school year which has brought Emerson staff to Lenihan to tutor. A total of 36 Emerson staff volunteered as tutors this school year. Jensen has also volunteered at several Lenihan events.

Orchestra students from Marshalltown High School entertained the guests prior to the event.

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Woodbury principal receives legacy award from the University of Northern Iowa


Woodbury Elementary School Principal Anel Garza, center, holding award, received the University of Northern Iowa Educational Leadership Legacy Award on May 17. She is pictured with Woodbury staff members.

Woodbury Elementary School Principal Anel Garza was awarded the University of Northern Iowa Educational Leadership Legacy Award on May 17 at the school. Woodbury staff, district leaders and UNI Educational Leadership Department representatives attended the event.

The Legacy Award is awarded annually to an alum of the UNI Principalship, Superintendency or Doctoral Programs who has demonstrated exemplary educational leadership as a leader of learning, service and change.

Garza, who is a former teacher at Woodbury, is in her fourth year as principal of the school. She said the award is not just a recognition for her, but a reflection of the work done by the entire staff at Woodbury.

“Anel is just the epitome of a phenomenal educational leader,” said Sue Alborn-Yilek, coordinator of the principal preparation program at the UNI. “We could not be more proud to give her this award.”

For a video of the event, click here.


Anel Garza with award presented by Dr. Nick Pace of the University of Northern Iowa.


Anel Garza with Marshalltown Schools leadership and University of Northern Iowa Educational Leadership Department staff.

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Wall of Honor completed at Roundhouse, thanks to dedicated staff members


Jean Wilkens, left, and Tobi Greene are pictured in front of the Athletic Wall of Honor in the Marshalltown High School Roundhouse. The two spent many hours putting together the old photos of the all-state Bobcats, which have returned to the renovated Roundhouse.


MHS Athletic Wall of Honor

Finishing touches to the Athletic Wall of Honor in the Marshalltown High School Roundhouse have been made and a project months in the making has concluded.

That project was led by Jean Wilkens, concessions manager, with the help of concessions worker Tobi Greene.

Wilkens gathered the old photos of the all-state Bobcats in the past, sent the damaged ones to Stalzer Photography, put on new labels and was able to mix new photos with old on the new and improved Wall of Honor.

“It was a project that needed to be done,” said Wilkens. “ I think it looks nice.”

So too does MHS Activities Director Rollie Ackerman. Due to the Roundhouse renovation, the all-state pictures went away for a time.

“People were hoping to see the pictures back up and when they went back up it brought back a lot of memories,” Ackerman said. “There’s that tradition of those photos being in the Roundhouse.”

Ackerman said it was a very daunting task to take the stacks of old photos, many in broken frames, and make sense of the project moving forward.

“Jean and Tobi’s efforts were invaluable,” Ackerman said. “It wouldn’t have happened this quickly without them.”

Jean would also like to thank John Stalzer and Mackenzie Duncan from Stalzer Photography for donating their time to the project to help brush up and print out the photos that were damaged.

“They were awesome,” Wilkens said.

Two more graphics were added to the project on May 17 by a sports graphics company to wrap up the project including a photo of the first-ever basketball game in the Roundhouse from February 12, 1966 and a graphic with the title “Marshalltown High School Athletic Wall of Honor.”


A photo of the first ever basketball game played in the Roundhouse from 1966 was one of the final additions to the new and improved Wall of Honor.





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MHS students perform for local women’s group


The Marshalltown High School students pictured performed for the Starpha women’s group at the Orpheum Theater on May 16. Pictured from left, are Ma Tway, Isabella Pedersen, Nick Cooper and Phoebe Osgood.

Four Marshalltown High School students visited a local women’s group luncheon and provided entertainment during a meeting held on May 16 at the Orpheum’s Black Box Theater.

Students Ma Tway, Isabella Pedersen, Nick Cooper and Phoebe Osgood performed for the Starpha group with the assistance of MHS teachers Jocelyn Frohwein and Amy Ose. The students recited poetry, performed speech competition examples and sang as part of the quick variety show.

Their performance was met with applause from the women’s social group.

For some video highlights of the performances, click here.


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MHS student selected for summer program at Minneapolis College of Art and Design


Marshalltown High School junior ShayeLyn Pickett has an interest in graphic design. She has been selected for a three-week summer program at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

Marshalltown High School junior ShayeLyn Pickett has been selected to attend a pre-college summer program at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in July. The three-week program will include studio classes as well as a trip around Minneapolis.

Pickett was selected for the program after submitting an application, portfolio of her art and letters of reference. Pickett has an interest in graphic design and is taught the subject at MHS by Kirk Niehouse.

“I like the concept of brainstorming graphic design ideas and how companies come up with ads or a logo,” Pickett said.

Niehouse said a representative of Minneapolis College of Art and Design visited MHS recently as part of an increased effort on the part of MHS art staff to invite more colleges to speak. Niehouse believes ShayeLyn’s future is bright in the field of graphic design, if she chooses to pursue that field.

“She has a nice feeling for what a good design is,” Niehouse said.

Pickett had her poster design selected as the promotional poster for the MHS musical “Mary Poppins” last year and her poster on Career and Technical Education offerings received a youth art month award from the district.


ShayeLyn has started a Go Fund Me page to help pay for the summer program (


Play Poster.jpg

Play poster designed by MHS student ShayeLyn Pickett


Poster designed by MHS student ShayeLyn Pickett


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