STEP program at MHS awards grants to community


Karina Hernandez from Mid-Iowa Community Action, accepts a check for $3,430 from Marshalltown High School students in the Students Teaching and Empowering Philanthropy (STEP) program during a grant awards ceremony on April 18 in the MHS Roundhouse team room.

Students Teaching and Empowering Philanthropy (STEP) held a grant awards ceremony at the Marshalltown High School Roundhouse team room on April 18. STEP includes students from MHS and is led by Heidi Dalal of the Martha-Ellen Tye Foundation.

STEP utilizes grant funds from the METF and the Community Foundation of Marshall County, then hands out grants to agencies after students consider their applications.

Dalal credited the hard work of the students who have been active participants in STEP.

“This year has been an incredible year,” Dalal said.

STEP students handed out $10,001 in grant funds at the event which included:

– $3,430 to Mid-Iowa Community Action for its Pre-kindergarten camps
– $3,205 to Child Abuse Prevention Services for its crisis childcare
– $1,000 the Marshalltown Youth Foundation to help with athletic fees for families
– $1,000 to Youth and Shelter Services for its Achieving Maximum Potential program
– $908 to Big Brothers Big Sisters for match enhancement
– $458 to the Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA for manikins for CPR education.


Nikki Hartwig accepts a $3,205 grant on behalf of Child Abuse Prevention Services.


Dylan Does, Carrie Barr and Kevin Hitchins accept a $1,000 grant on behalf of the Marshalltown Youth Foundation.


David Hicks of Youth and Shelter Services accepts a $1,000 grant.


Janet Stegmann of Big Brothers Big Sisters accepts a $908 grant.


Kim Jass-Ramirez and Carol Hibbs of the Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA accept a $458 grant.

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MHS inducts newest members into National Honor Society


The newest inductees into the National Honor Society were honored on April 18 at Marshalltown High School. 

Marshalltown High School inducted the newest group of students into the National Honor Society during a ceremony held at the MHS/Community Auditorium on April 18.

Students are selected for the National Honor Society by displaying character, leadership and service qualities and also achieving at least a 3.5 grade point average.

Community Foundation of Marshall County Director Dylan Does gave the keynote address, where he told the students the importance of having strong character. He also said the future was bright from what he has seen from the young leaders he met in the National Honor Society.

Inducted into the National Honor Society at the ceremony were MHS students:  Maria Aguilera, Emily Albarran, Aida Almanza, Jordan Anderson, Katherine Avalos Sanchez, Sophie Blubaugh, Olivia Brintnall, Wade Canaday, Mayah Carson, Lisbeth Cervantes Reynosa,           Leydi Chavarria, Madison Finch, Grace Fisher, Kaylee Foth, Kierra Gardner, Caroline Gassman, Jack Gruening, Dane Hansen, Joseph Harris, Amanda Hoffman, Hay Hman Htu, Itzel Hueso, Emily Jacobs, Erica Johnson, Trevor Ketcham, Jillian Lang, Casey Linsenmeyer, Lizbett Lomeli Nunez, Luke McKibben, Nasteho Mohammed, Taylor Naughton, Hay Hman Oo, Emma Pfantz, Mung Piang, Leslie Rebelo, Abbileni Rodriguez, Diana Sanchez, Mackenzy Scales, Austin Shomo, Molly Sickles, Avygail Smith, Luke Smith, Samantha Snyder, Jade Tejada, Hel Ter, Kaci Uhde, Hanai Vega, Sloan Vry, David Wahl, Chloe Whitehead and Amy Yepez Gomez.

For more photos from the event, visit the MCSD Facebook page.




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Graduation rate increases at MHS


Pictured is the Class of 2017 during commencement at the Marshalltown High School Roundhouse.

Marshalltown High School saw its student graduation rate increase by 4 percent in the past year, according to recent numbers released by the Iowa Department of Education.

The rate increased from 84 percent in 2016 to 88 percent in 2017. The rate reflects the group of students who started in the 9th grade at MHS in 2013.

The district also saw a decrease in the dropout rate, which is also positive news.  From 2016 to 2017 the dropout rate decreased from 4.4 percent to 3.6 percent. The dropout rate is determined from the number of all students in grades 7-12 who leave high school before graduation.

“Many teachers, administrators, support staff, and community members have collaborated to ensure that all MCSD students are supported in personalized ways to ensure that they receive their high school diploma, which is the first step in preparation for their college and career plans,” said Marshalltown Schools Director of Instruction Dr. Lisa Stevenson. “We are proud of these students and these results.”

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MHS places fourth at state Envirothon competition


Members of the Marshalltown High School Envirothon team which placed fourth in the state finals include, from left, Zyrus Whitehead, Monica Carroll, Ben Harris, Emily Sickles and Jasmine Mendoza.

Marshalltown High School placed fourth in the state Envirothon competition, which was held at the YMCA Camp of Des Moines in Boone on April 16. MHS placed first in the oral presentation category with their management plan for the Marietta Sand Prairie. The team also placed first in the wildlife category.

The contest consisted of five tests: wildlife, soils, aquatics, forestry and this year’s current topic of rangeland management as well as an oral presentation based on a challenge that each team had to come up with a management plan for a local prairie. Over 60 teams from across the state competed in six district contests. The top 16 scoring teams qualified to compete at the state finals.  

“I am very proud of this group of students who, despite their incredibly busy schedules, were able to pull off such a high finish,” said MHS Extended Learning Program teacher Susan Fritzell.

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MHS participates in state solo/ensemble music contest

Marshalltown High School participated in the state solo/ensemble music contest on April 14 at Dowling Catholic High School in West Des Moines. MHS had 75 students compete, according to MHS instrumental music director Brett Umthun.

“Our students received outstanding ratings and comments from the judges throughout the day,” Umthun said.

MHS received Division I ratings in 37 events (some with perfect scores), Division II ratings in 21 events and Division III ratings in seven events.


Olivia Stone

The Outstanding Performer Award for Center 4 was given to MHS student Olivia Stone.  She will perform her bass clarinet solo on May 9 at the Outstanding Performance Recital in the Music Hall at Iowa State University.

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Three receive Employee of the Quarter awards

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Marshalltown Schools Employee of the Quarter award winners for the third quarter are from left, Connie Reinert, Bob Rush and Elaine Johnson.

Three Marshalltown Community School District employees were honored with Employee of the Quarter awards for the third quarter of the school year recently including Connie Reinert, Bob Rush and Elaine Johnson.

Reinert is in her 17th year as administrative assistant in the transportation department. She was nominated for the award by bus driver Dave Adland.

“Connie is always there when we need her to assist in all communications regarding bus routes, scheduling, student placements and other administrative tasks,” Adland wrote in his nomination form.  “Connie has a caring personality and her ability to interact with parents, students and staff is one of her greatest assets. All of us at the bus barn are lucky to have her in the position that she’s in.”

Rush is in his second year in food service at Fisher Elementary School.  He was nominated for the award by food service supervisor Nancy Mayer and Director of Food Service Lynn Large.

“Bob is an exceptional employee,” Large wrote in her nomination form. “He is dedicated to the students at Fisher Elementary. Bob goes above and beyond in helping students have a positive experience. He is organized, kind and demonstrates effective communication and team skills.”

Johnson is a counselor at Lenihan Intermediate School, where she has worked since 2006. She has worked in the district since 1990.

She was nominated for the award by three Lenihan staff members including Renae DeVenney, Joan Furjanic and Elizabeth Luttrell.

“Elaine is one of the most dedicated employees; she goes above and beyond to meet with our students and to help them,” DeVenney said. “She is very compassionate toward the students and builds a trust with them. She is also very highly respected among her peers.”  



Dave Adland hugs Connie Reinert


Pictured during the award presentation are, from left, are Chad Novotny, Paulette Newbold, Jerry Flathers, Chuck Springer, Connie Reinert, Kevin Beye, Dave Adland and Dr. Theron Schutte.



Pictured from left, Lynn Large, Dr. Theron Schutte, Bob Rush, Mark Lee and Nancy Mayer.


Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte congratulates Bob Rush.


Pictured at Lenihan, from left, Kyle Young, Elizabeth Luttrell, Lisa Crouch, Renae DeVenney, Elaine Johnson, Dr. Liz Jurgensen, Joan Furjanic and Dr. Theron Schutte.

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Donation made to Franklin Elementary School in honor of former teacher


A donation of $600 was made to Franklin Elementary School in honor of a former teacher, the late Ann Jass. Pictured are, front row, from left, Barb Vovos, Franklin students Cayde Boydstun, Caisha Dailey and Vicente Rodriguez. Back row, Franklin teacher librarian Jodi Duffy, Franklin Principal Tim Holmgren and Glenda Barton.

Friends and former co-workers of the late Ann Jass made a donation in her honor at the place where she impacted so many youth.

A donation of $600 was made to Franklin Elementary School in Ann’s honor from the group. Ann taught at Franklin from the late 1960s through 1996 and passed away last month. Former Franklin teachers Barb Vovos and Glenda Barton presented the donation to Franklin staff and students on April 9.

“Many of us taught with Ann and we wanted to do something in her memory as a contribution to the school,” Vovos said.

The money will be utilized in the school’s library.  

“Teaching at Franklin was Ann’s passion and we are thrilled to do this,” Vovos said.

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