Retirement open house for Melissa Keeler planned for June 29 at Franklin Elementary School


Melissa Keeler

Franklin Elementary School will host a retirement open house for Melissa Keeler from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 29 at the school.

All are invited to honor Mrs. Keeler as she retires after 41 years working for Marshalltown Schools. The event will be held in the Franklin playground area or indoors at the Franklin media center if there is inclement weather.

Mrs. Keeler started working in the district in 1976 and has worked at Albion Elementary, Marshalltown High School, Glick Elementary and is retiring as secretary at Franklin.

Franklin Elementary Principal Tim Holmgren said Mrs. Keeler has provided tremendous support for him during his 10 years as principal.

“You can’t measure the impact Melissa has had on students, families and staff,” Holmgren said. “I have always appreciated her support, commitment and consistency. Mrs. Keeler will be greatly missed.”

Mrs. Keeler asks that no gifts be given, but cards will be accepted at the open house.

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Finders named curriculum leader for Marshalltown Schools


Erica Finders

Erica Finders has been named the new Curriculum and Professional Development Leader for the Marshalltown Community School District for the preschool through sixth grade level.

As part of this role, which is under the Teacher Leadership and Compensation (TLC) system, Finders will help implement elementary and intermediate level curriculum and professional development.

Finders, a 1997 Marshalltown High School graduate, moves from her role as instructional coach at Lenihan Intermediate School, which is also a part of TLC. She taught previously at Lenihan and the former Anson Middle School. Finders said she looks forward to helping implement the new math curriculum this year and other new curriculum to come.

“I’m very excited to be able to work with all the elementary schools in addition to continuing to support Lenihan in a different capacity than I have in the past,” Finders said. “We have such amazing educators in Marshalltown and I can’t wait to work with even more of these dedicated teachers and principals next year.”

MCSD Director of Instruction Dr. Lisa Stevenson said Finders has been a successful instructional coach at Lenihan and a valuable team member in the district for many years.

“Erica is well-respected by her fellow TLC staff as well as by teachers across the district,” Dr. Stevenson said. “I am looking forward to learning and leading with her.”

Finders holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Northern Iowa, a master’s degree in education from Viterbo University and a certificate of advanced studies (comprehensive literacy coach) from UNI.

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Six Miller students earn opportunity to secure college credit as eighth graders


Katia Saldana recently finished her eighth grade year at Miller Middle School. She also was one of six Miller students to earn the opportunity to receive college credit in Spanish courses.

Six Miller Middle School students earned the opportunity to secure college credit as eighth graders as part of an exam they took after years in Marshalltown’s dual language program.

The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) test is arranged for dual language learners, who have been learning English and Spanish since their years at Woodbury Elementary School.

This online exam measures the knowledge and skills students have acquired in Spanish through their educational experiences and academic learning as part of the program.

Each college reserves the right to set its own academic standards in accepting CLEP test results for credit.

Should these students enroll at Marshalltown Community College after graduation from Marshalltown High School, they would have already completed 12 college credits in foreign language coursework.


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Four seats on the ballot for school board election on September 12

The Marshalltown Community School District will have four school board seats up for election during the September 12, 2017 school election.

The four seats are currently held by board members Kendall Derby, Ben Fletcher, Bea Niblock and Mike Miller.

Three of the seats up for election are four-year terms and one seat has two years remaining on the term. The first day to file nomination papers with MCSD Board Secretary Brian Bartz will be July 10. The deadline to file completed forms as a candidate is August 3, 2017.

To become a candidate
Those looking to be on the ballot for the September 12 election are required to complete an affidavit of candidacy and acquire 50 signatures from eligible voters in the school district.

The forms can be picked up currently from Brian Bartz at the school district offices at 1002. S. 3rd. Ave., the auditor’s office in the Marshall County Courthouse or via the Iowa Secretary of State’s website.

An affidavit of candidacy can be located at and a nomination petition can be located at

These completed forms would need to be returned to Brian Bartz, MCSD Board Secretary, 1002 S. 3rd. Ave., Marshalltown, Iowa, 50158 by 5 p.m. on August 3, 2017.

For more information, call the school district offices at 641-754-1000 or email

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MHS students learn manufacturing field as part of Emerson summer internship


These four Marshalltown High School students are part of six total students who are taking part in the summer internship program with Emerson. Pictured, front row, from left, Riley Lolwing and Calvin Morrison. Back row, Noah Albee and Aaron Walker.

A group of Marshalltown High School students are spending their summer learning real world skills as part of an internship with Emerson.

The students are part of a 10-week paid internship program as they learn about work at the global leader in valve manufacturing. The internship group is primarily made up of seniors this fall.

“The main goal is to have them come back as full-time employees eventually,” said Sam Ibarra, Human Resources Admin at the Emerson Governor Road plant.

The six total students are spending the first two weeks in the classroom learning from retired Emerson employee Jimmy Richardson. Then, the program moves into eight weeks of work at the Governor Road plant as they learn skills in manufacturing.

“The first two weeks they learn the basics and the last eight weeks is more hands-on,” Ibarra said.

MHS student Calvin Morrison is an intern in the program and said his dad works in manufacturing at Lennox.

“I’m following in my dad’s footsteps,” Calvin said of his potential career field.

He also said it’s enjoyable for him to work in the manufacturing field.

“You get to work with your hands and it’s challenging,” Calvin said.


Jimmy Richardson goes over the basics of a blueprint with the internship class on June 7.


Sam Ibarra, right, of Emerson Human Resources, talks to Emerson intern Aaron Walker.

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MCSD staff honored with Employee of the Quarter, service awards at staff recognition event


These three Marshalltown Community School District Employees received Employee of the Quarter awards for the fourth quarter. Pictured, from left are Jeni Sloan (Hoglan Elementary), Laurie Rink (Marshalltown High School) and Mary Abbe (Woodbury Elementary).

The Marshalltown Community School District held a staff recognition event at the Marshalltown High School/Community Auditorium on June 5. Employee of the Quarter award winners for the fourth quarter were recognized as were service award recipients.

Employee of the Quarter award winners for the fourth quarter included Mary Abbe from Woodbury Elementary School, Laurie Rink from Marshalltown High School and Jeni Sloan from Hoglan Elementary School.

Abbe is retiring this month after 43 years at Woodbury. She started in 1974 as a paraeducator and has been serving since 1988 as the Woodbury secretary.

Rink is a reading and language arts teacher at MHS. She has worked at MHS since 2011 and spearheaded the highly-successful Pier program at MHS to help students recoup credits.

Sloan is teacher librarian at Hoglan, where she has worked since 2009. She will be changing roles to be a fourth grade teacher at Hoglan this fall.

Service awards
Also recognized at the event were service award recipients for those serving for 20, 25, 30 and 35 years in the school district (pictured below).

Not pictured are 35 year service award recipients Gary Nymeyer and William Myers.


Marshalltown Community School District employees who received 20 year service awards and certificates included, from left, Sheryl Edwards, Scott Bittner, Teresa Rubendall, Adam Rundall, Kimberly Hurley, Diane Broshar, Deanna Gauthier, Judy Graves, Connie Uhlenberg, Jason Hempy, Tonia Emerson, Chad Spear, Mark Bohan and Justin Boliver. Not pictured are David Adland and Kaye Ruport.



Those who received 25 year service awards and certificates included, from left, Michele Irwin, Sue Cleveringa, Kimberly Sogge, Leiah Craun, Amy Phillips and Jamie Wilson. Not pictured is Vicki Vopava.



30 year service award recipient Penny Duer

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Project Based Learning class at Miller gives back to community


Three Miller Middle School students are pictured delivering a toy truck they built to the McFarland Clinic Pediatrics Unit. Pictured with McFarland staff are Miller students front row, Nolan Bartlett and back row, Miguel Ibarra Campos and Xander Pickett.

Students from Mrs. Rebecca Callahan’s Project Based Learning class at Miller Middle School donated the projects they built to the Marshalltown Public Library and McFarland Clinic on June 2.

“It has been a very interesting class to teach and very busy,” said Callahan. “There were days when five groups of students were working on their different projects.”

One group designed and built a truck that was donated to the McFarland Clinic Pediatric Unit.

While another group researched why employees need breaks, what types of break rooms are beneficial and then put their ideas to work creating a blueprint of a room into a staff break room.

Another group designed and built a mini skateboard park that was donated to the Marshalltown Public Library. While another student researched energy use, surveyed the staff, calculated the cost of wasted electricity in the building, and finally presented her ideas of how to save electricity.

Finally, another group researched the advantages and disadvantages to alternative classroom seating. They put together a slideshow of their findings and built a standing student desk.
“It has been a very rewarding experience teaching this class, watching the students conduct their own research and learn different skills.” Callahan said. “ I’m glad students have the opportunity to experience this at Miller Middle School.”


Pictured are Miller Middle School students Andrew Kodis and Kenny Carillo Vazquez with youth services librarian Joa LaVille and the Marshalltown Public Library. The students built a mini skateboard park and donated it to the library for display.

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