MHS competes at state individual speech contest

The Marshalltown High School speech team competed at the Iowa High School Speech Association individual state contest at North Scott High School in Eldridge on March 9.

MHS students who earned Division I ratings at state included: 
Ashlyn Ruiz (2 events), Yatnia Hernandez, Rojin Kahraman, Carissa King, Mackenzie Moyer, Hay Oo, Phoebe Osgood, Stella Roseburrough Borras and Anan Shen.
Students who earned Division II ratings from MHS included:
Fynn Piepenschneider (2 events), Jesse DeMeyer, Hay Htu, Nasteho Mohammed, Alejandra Morales Fernandez, Ana Nolasco, Reena Pearson and Matthew Waldon.
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Emerson Women in STEM group volunteers in Marshalltown classrooms


Pictured are two Emerson staff members volunteering in STEM classrooms in Marshalltown Schools as part of the Emerson Women in STEM group. At left is Maria Alfaro-Garcia at Woodbury Elementary School and at right is Cherra Meloy at Fisher Elementary School assisting student Olivia Wise, right.

The Emerson Women in STEM group has partnered with Marshalltown Schools to provide classroom volunteers for the third grade STEM special classes. A total of 17 Emerson employees visit the elementary classrooms throughout the district once a month.

“We wanted to give the kids contact with someone who works in the STEM fields,” said Sara Duncan of Emerson who leads this group. “It is an opportunity for us to interact with kids of all different backgrounds and abilities. It is also a chance for us to give back to our community.”

Cherra Meloy is an engineer at Emerson, a global leader in valve manufacturing. She volunteers at Fisher Elementary School.

“We use these kinds of concepts every day to design valves,” Meloy said of how her work skills translate to the classroom STEM projects.

Maria Alfaro-Garcia works as a systems administrator at Emerson and volunteers at Woodbury Elementary School.

“This was a good way to serve my community,” Alfaro-Garcia said. “I really wanted to be involved in volunteering and helping out the community,”

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Lenihan students awarded for their flag essays


Pictured with Randy Kessler of the American Legion are the three winners of the flag essay contest. From left are Jose Lizarde (3rd place), Josiah Kurian (second place) and Anessa Morrison (first place).

Three fifth graders from Lenihan Intermediate School were given awards for their flag essays and recited their essays at the American Legion on March 7. Winning first place in the American Legion contest was Anessa Morrison, second place was Josiah Kurian and third place was Jose Lizarde.

These students participate in the writer’s workshop program at Lenihan as part of the Extended Learning program, led by teacher Vanessa Engel.

Below are their essays.

The American Flag Means to Me

By:Anessa Morrison – First Place

Red, white, and blue inside one flag, it seems like just some colors mixed together to some people. I see what our country has fought for, how every step in a war was a step towards  freedom. So many people lost their lives and loved ones. Everyone knew once you went to war, it was likely you would never come back. We were and still are more than lucky to have people who are willing to give up their lives to fight and give this country freedom.

During wars our nation went through a lot of hardships, we had to look at the flag and gain strength because war was brutal in most cases. One thing it did was bring this country together and we realized our country is a lot stronger when we unite as one.

The American flag symbolizes how much our country believes in having freedom and being independant. I love the American flag because every single time I look at it I feel a sense of pride and freedom. Every single time I take into account that a lot of people have put their lives on the line to let us be free.

On holidays I volunteer to hang flags in our town because it reminds me that so many people honor our veterans and our freedom. Our flag is not just a flag, it is a symbol that represents freedom, liberty, and neutrality. The flag has had a significance in the past and will continue to have one in the future.

My Flag Essay

By Josiah Kurian – Second Place

What does the American Flag mean to you?

Well when I think of the American flag I think of the fifty states and the thirteen colonies which is what the fifty stars and thirteen stripes on the flag represent.

Another thing the American flag reminds me  of is freedom, because America is a free country which means you have the rights to believe anything you want to.  It reminds me of peace because there isn’t much conflict and war in America.

I think  the American flag means justice. I think this because America is always just and has good leaders. Another reason I think U.S Flag means justice is when other countries attempt to attack us usually we don’t let them.  America is a fair country because they have fair rules and is fair to everyone. I also think it means helping others because, American Forces have helped various countries in different wars. The American Flag reminds me of tragic events that took place in America.

Some of these tragic events would be, The attacks on September 11, or, The Civil War. The U.S flag reminds me of wealth because America is a wealthy country and there isn’t a lot of people without homes or people dying from sickness there is no cure for unlike other countries. The American flag reminds me of the army that fights for our freedom. Another thing it reminds me of is slavery and segregation in America and how we treated african americans.  The american flag also reminds me of World War l and World War ll. It reminds me of this because America fought and fought in both wars to stop Germany and Japan.

What The Flag Means To Me

By: Jose Lizarde- Third Place

What does The Flag mean to me. Well one is pride. I have pride for this country. I have it in so many ways that I could spend quite some time speaking about my pride to this country. There’s just three things that just gives me the most. Pride, honor, and courage. The flag has a couple of meanings in my opinion. In the way that I think of it.

The Flag represents our country. Betsy Ross was the person to design and sew the flag. It also gives hope to people. In war people would hang it up proudly and to find hope. It’s a symbol to all of us, it’s a symbol in a good way or in other ways.

Back to what I’m here to talk about. My pride to The Flag. When I’m around The Flag it gives me confidence. The many people that are by The Flag feel like that but not in the way that I feel. It’s hard to explain so I’ll try to do my best.

The Flag means to me one honor, well people give their life to the country they get little honor but they still get honor from the flag. There are people like me who get honor from the flag even if I people don’t think that way and people think it’s weird but I don’t think like that. Another thing that gives me honor are the people who fought for the flag and its meaning of freedom.

Now for the courage part. The courage it gives to not just me but to everyone in the country as a symbol of freedom like nothing there has ever been. So that is what I think of the flag in the most truthful way.


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100 Women Who Care group donates $14,100 toward new MHS marching band uniforms


Pictured at the check presentation and donation to the MHS marching band uniform fund are, from left, Carol Barlow of 100 Women Who Care, MHS marching band member David Hernandez, MHS Associate Band Director Nick Gardner and MHS Band Director Brett Umthun.

The fund to purchase new marching band uniforms for Marshalltown High School received a big boost thanks to the generosity of a local group. The group known as 100 Women Who Care donated $14,100 to go toward new uniforms.

“People are really excited about this for the community,” said Maureen Lyons of the 100 Women Who Care, which meets three times a year and votes on projects to help fund.

MHS Band Director Brett Umthun welcomed the donation during a check presentation on March 6.

“It’s an amazing contribution and support from community members,” Umthun said.

Fundraising continues for the new uniforms, which are expected to be delivered in February 2020, just in time for the marching band trip to Orlando, Florida in March 2020.

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JBS and UFCW donate $1,000 each to six Marshalltown elementary schools


Pictured are representatives from JBS and UFCW and principals of Marshalltown elementary schools. JBS and UFCW donated $1,000 checks to each of the six elementary schools in the district for the third straight year. From left are Niko Aguirre of JBS, Anson Principal Ronnie Manis, Franklin Principal Tim Holmgren, Fisher Principal Mark Lee, Mike Graves of the UFCW, Woodbury Principal Anel Garza, Margarita Heredia of the UFCW and Hoglan Principal Amy Williams. Not pictured is Rogers Principal Mick Jurgensen.

JBS and the United Food & Commercial Workers Local 1149 donated $1,000 to each of the six elementary schools in the Marshalltown Community School District on March 5.

Checks were presented to the principals of the schools by JBS and UFCW representatives. This is the third straight year that JBS and the UFCW have made these donations to the schools.

Mike Graves of the UFCW said it’s important for them to support the students and Niko Aguirre of JBS agreed.

“They’re the future so we’ve got to do our part,” Aguirre said.

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Roundhouse Phase II dedication ceremony, open house planned for March 30


The Marshalltown High School Roundhouse Phase II project will be unveiled during an open house ceremony on Saturday, March 30. The event will begin at 5 p.m. with a dedication ceremony for the Allie Morrison Wrestling Training Room and a ribbon cutting with an open house to follow.

The near $7 million project also includes an auxiliary gym for MHS. A total of $2.7 million was raised privately for the project. The project was led by general contractor Ball Team and FEH Architects.

The ceremony is open to the public, who are asked to meet in the Roundhouse (main gym) prior to the opening of Phase II.  Many former Bobcat wrestlers and coaches are expected to be in attendance at the event.

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Miller students selected for Blank Summer Institute


Marshalltown Miller Middle School students Locke Bloomquist, left, and Josh Reynolds have been selected for the Blank Summer Institute at the University of Iowa.

Two Miller Middle School students, Locke Bloomquist and Josh Reynolds, have been selected for the prestigious Blank Summer Institute at the University of Iowa. Bloomquist was selected in the area of Innovation and Invention and Reynolds was selected in the area of Math Problem Solving.

The Blank Summer Institute for the Arts & Sciences is a one-week residential summer program for 120 of Iowa’s gifted students who are in seventh and eighth grades. The institute provides exceptionally talented students with an intensive and advanced educational experience designed to enhance their intellectual and social growth. The institute will be held June 23-28 in Iowa City.

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