Providing leadership and direction


Bethney (Larson) Ahrendsen is Executive Vice President for Communications for Kuder, Inc. in Adel. She is a 1999 Marshalltown High School graduate.

1999 MHS graduate helps company grow

Bethney (Larson) Ahrendsen said she is lucky to have found a career she is passionate about at a company where she can participate as a leader to drive future growth.

She is a 1999 Marshalltown High School graduate who currently works as Executive Vice President of Communications for Kuder, Inc. in Adel. Kuder provides career guidance tools to educational institutions that help students and adults of all ages find the right career path and make plans to get there.

“Primarily, I lead the marketing communications and client relations teams for the company,” Ahrendsen said. “I help ensure we are attracting and retaining clients as well as protecting the company brand and overseeing corporate communications.”

Time at MHS
She credits her time in Marshalltown Schools for setting her up for future success.

“MHS gave me a great foundation that helped shape my work ethic, my drive and ambition, and desire to keep learning,” Ahrendsen said. “MHS definitely set me up to be successful in undergrad as well as graduate school and taught me about working hard. I believe I learned that through sports and the classroom.”

She also formed lifelong bonds with her fellow Bobcats while taking road trips to sporting events, participating in Homecoming and school dances, and other school activities. The Class of 1999 is currently planning their 20th reunion this summer.

“I made lifelong friends at MHS,” Ahrendsen said. “I am still in regular contact with most of my close friends from high school.”

After her time at MHS, Bethney went on to get bachelor’s degrees in journalism and mass communications and communications studies from the University of Iowa in 2003. She later earned a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) from Drake University.

She is proud to be part of the important decisions that have helped shape a successful company through the years.

“I’ve had some great opportunities in my company to help it grow and expand and provide leadership,” she said. “The company was very small when I started. I am proud that I have opportunities to help shape its vision, mission, and reach on a global basis, while experiencing and contributing to many different aspects of the business and its development.”

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MHS hosts CIML Conference art show


Marshalltown High School student Madi Dougall, left, was a category winner in altered photography in the CIML Art show while Peyton Hilsabeck from MHS took Honorable Mention in the category. MHS hosted the show on April 17 which featured student art from Ames, Fort Dodge, Mason City and MHS.

Marshalltown High School hosted the CIML Conference art show on April 17 at the MHS/Community Auditorium. Participating schools included Ames, Fort Dodge, Marshalltown and Mason City.

Marshalltown High School had three students named category winners in the competition as Tatum Englund won in the commercial graphic design category, Charlie Steggall won best non-ceramic sculpture and Madi Dougall won the altered photography category.

Three students from Mason City took top overall honors as Meredith Shaffer won Best in Show overall, Myah Lewerke won Best in Show 2D, and Morgan Lupkes won Best in Show 3D. Caylee Fuqua from Ames won the overall Student Choice Award.

Juror of the show was local artist Missy Sharer Pieters.

Click here for a list of all of the winners and honorable mention honorees.


MHS student Charlie Steggall won the non-ceramic sculpture category for her piece pictured below.

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Piece by Charlie Steggall


Tatum Englund from MHS winner in Commercial Graphic Design

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Design by Tatum Englund



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Altered Photography winner by Madi Dougall.


Best in Show Overall winner Meredith Shaffer from Mason City High School.

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Military Science class at MHS completes STEM robotics project


Marshalltown High School freshman Dylano Castellanos puts the finishing touches on a robotics device at the school as part of the Military Science class.

A STEM project a few weeks in the making is coming to a completion in the Military Science class at Marshalltown High School.

Students assembled what is known as a SeaPerch, which a robotics device that can float above water and also venture under water.

They have learned about soldering, wiring, robotics and other STEM-related skills as part of this project. They will soon test out the robot in the water.

The course is taught at MHS by Eric Goslinga, who also serves as principal of Marshalltown Learning Academy. He said the SeaPerch project “crosses a lot of standards from a lot of courses” including technical skills and problem solving.

Military Science class
The Military Science class is in its second year as part of the Career Pathways program at MHS.
“It’s a broad introduction to a variety of career fields that link to military occupations,” Goslinga said.

MHS junior Christian Ruiz said he has enjoyed the class.

“I’m thinking about going into the Marines,” Ruiz said.


Marshalltown High School junior Christian Ruiz tests out the motor for his robotics creation.

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Lexia reading program progresses in year 3 in district


Anson Elementary School kindergarten student Ma Aye using the Lexia Core 5 Reading program at the school recently.

The Lexia Core 5 Reading program is in year three of implementation in the Marshalltown Community School District in grades kindergarten through sixth grade. Lexia is an online personalized learning experience in six areas of reading instruction.

“It’s given us really good information about which kids need more support in phonics, phonemic awareness, reading comprehension, grammar and vocabulary,” said Marshalltown Schools Director of Instruction Dr. Lisa Stevenson.

Students are tested in the fall and the results from that test give each student a recommended time usage goal to hit each week.  While that is the goal in Marshalltown classrooms, often times other instruction and activities can get in the way of reaching 100 percent weekly usage.

Class recognition
An Anson Elementary School kindergarten class taught by Jessica Althaus recently was honored by Lexia for reaching 100 percent usage rates for a two-week time span of the contest.

“My students typically get their usage completed each week, so I thought it would be fun to enter the contest,” Althaus said. “I have tried motivating my students to complete their Lexia usage goal by having our own classroom contests each week with a special reward, such as eating lunch with a teacher. Having our weekly contests has helped motivate students.”

Dr. Stevenson said she is encouraged that Lexia can also be utilized for learning outside of the normal school day, including during tutoring time and summer school.

“That gives students an opportunity to catch up,” Stevenson said.



Anson kindergartner Quardell Kelly, left, talks with his teacher Jessica Althaus as he uses the Lexia Core 5 Reading program, Also pictured at right is student Jasmin Castro.

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MHS to host CIML Conference Art Show


Marshalltown High School students display a small sampling of their work which will be on display at the CIML Conference Art Show at the high school. Pictured from left are, Hney Nuai, Madi Dougall, Zyrus Whitehead, Daisy Lopez, Fynn Piepenschneider and Peyton Hilsabeck.

Marshalltown High School will host the 2019 CIML Conference Art Show  on April 16-17 in the MHS/Community Auditorium.  Schools participating this year are Ames High School, Fort Dodge Senior High and Mason City High School, along with Marshalltown High School.

Art work has been chosen by each school’s art teachers and sent to MHS to be displayed on the walls of the auditorium hallways.

Public showing April 16
On Tuesday, April 16, from 6 to 8 p.m., MHS is hosting an opening of the CIML Art Show for the public.  Parents, families and community members from all four schools are invited to view the show that evening.

Students visit April 17
Students from the participating schools will be visiting Marshalltown on April 17 to tour local art galleries, view the CIML show and have a conference awards presentation that day. The awards will recognize excellence in student work in each of 23 categories, with an additional 4 major awards- Best in Show 2-Dimensional Art, Best in Show 3-Dimensional Art, Student Choice Award and Best in Show Award from all categories.

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MHS has strong showing at State Solo and Small Ensemble contest


Pictured are Marshalltown High School students who were named Outstanding Performers at the State Solo and Small Ensemble Contest held in Newton on April 6. Pictured from left are Uriel Campos-Padilla, Colin Jensen, Yatnia Hernandez and Elijah Thiessen.

Marshalltown High School music students traveled to Newton High School for the State Solo and Small Ensemble Contest on April 6. A total of 93 students represented MHS in 78 events throughout the day.  Each event performed before one judge who awarded points in multiple categories, which were totaled and converted to the Division rating that each event earned.

There are 5 Division ratings that can be earned.  The highest rating, a “Division I” is awarded to those performances considered to be “Superior.”  The second highest rating, a “Division II” is awarded to “Excellent” performances.

The results from the MHS music department are:
Band Department:  36 events performed with 23 earning a Division I rating and 9 earning a Division II rating.
Vocal Department:  32 events performed with 18 earning a Division I rating and 13 earning a Division II rating.
Orchestra Department: 10 events performed with 4 earning a Division I rating and 5 earning a Division II rating.

Outstanding Performance students
In addition to the strong showing by all of the Marshalltown musicians, four students were awarded beyond their ratings as they were named the Outstanding Performance in their respective performance centers.  These students are invited to participate in the Outstanding Performance Recital to be held at the Music Hall on the campus of Iowa State University in Ames on May 16 with honorees from all over the state.

Honored MHS performances are:
Uriel Campos-Padilla (10th grade) -Violin Solo
Yatnia Hernandez (12th grade) and Colin Jensen (11th grade) – Vocal Duet
Yatnia Hernandez and Elijah Thiessen (10th grade) -Vocal Duet

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MHS team wins Junior Achievement Stock Market Challenge


Pictured is the team from Marshalltown High School which won the Junior Achievement Stock Market Challenge on April 9. From left is Junior Achievement of Central Iowa President Ryan Osborn and MHS students Drake Stalzer, Carson Beals, Will Van Buren and David Wahl.

A team from Marshalltown High School won the Junior Achievement Stock Market Challenge on April 9, held at the John Deere Financial Building in Johnston.

The team of Drake Stalzer, Carson Beals, Will Van Buren and David Wahl took home top honors  in the contest, which was a simulation of 60 trading days on the stock market. They started with a mock portfolio of $500,000 and ended with a portfolio valued at $824,020.

There were a total of 33 teams competing at the event from 13 schools. MHS also finished first on average portfolio as both MHS teams collectively averaged a portfolio of $725,635. The other MHS team included Tyler Downey, Brent Johnson, Jose Orozco Beltre and Caleb Summers.


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