Back the Cats sign fundraiser to benefit MHS Bobcat Boosters


These Back the Cats signs will be traveling around lawns in Marshalltown as part of a fundraiser for the Marshalltown Bobcat Booster Club.

Starting now and ending in late October, area residents might get a surprise in their front lawns.

The Marshalltown Bobcat Booster Club has several sets of “Back the Cats” Bobcat signs that will be placed on lawns unexpectedly. In order for them to be moved, a donation is requested to the Booster Club. Then, the signs can be moved to the yard of a friend, neighbor, family member or someone who likes to support Bobcat athletics.

Donations are not mandatory and phone numbers and more information will be attached to the signs to get them moved.

This past year, the boosters have provided more than $29,000 for Bobcat programs. For more information on the Booster Club, visit

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State Board of Education visits Marshalltown Schools


Dr. Ryan Wise, director of the Iowa Department of Education checks in on the work of Lenihan Intermediate School sixth grader Eddy Alcocer during a visit to Marshalltown on September 14. The State Board of Education toured Lenihan and Anson Elementary School during its visit to Marshalltown.

Iowa Department of Education Director Dr. Ryan Wise and the Iowa State Board of Education made a visit to Marshalltown Schools on September 14. The group toured Lenihan Intermediate School and Anson Elementary School and heard an overview of district programs from district staff.

The State Board of Education was in town for a regular meeting, which was held at Marshalltown Community College.



























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4-H Club enters third year at MHS


Caleb Carver, second from right, speaks with students in the Marshalltown High School 4-H Club during a meeting on September 12.

The Marshalltown High School 4-H Club has returned for the third year at the school.

Leading the program are Caleb Carver from Iowa State University, Grisel Chavez and Norma Dorado-Robles from Iowa State University Extension, Meredith Goldman and Scott Johannes from Marshalltown High School and Karina Hernandez of Mid-Iowa Community Action (and recently elected to the school board).

While open to all students, the club is made up of primarily Latino/Latina students.

Carver said the club has a few main focus areas including citizenship, college and career readiness and community service.

The club volunteers at various events and activities throughout the year. The club meets twice a month, one meeting being a regular classroom meeting and the other being a group activity or volunteer outing.


Grisel Chavez of Iowa State University Extension speaks to the group of MHS students.

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Lenihan students raise more than $1,000 for Hurricane Harvey victims


Students crowd around Lenihan teacher Marki Allensworth on Friday as they donate in a penny war to help victims of Hurricane Harvey. Lenihan raised $1,000 this week for hurricane victims.

Lenihan Intermediate School students collected more than $1,000 as part of the penny war at the school to donate to a school in Houston affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Many of the students have seen the hurricane coverage on the news and wondered how they could help. That sparked the idea of a penny war between different classes in the school going against each other to see which one could raise the most money.

“It’s a good team-building and leadership activity and it’s fun,” said Lenihan teacher Kate Niedermann, one of the organizers of the project. “It also makes the hurricane more real to them.”

The money will be donated to Wilson Intermediate School in Houston, which is located in a school district that current Lenihan teacher Joan Furjanic worked at previously.

“My friend at Wilson said they have some students who have nothing left,” Furjanic said.


Lenihan teacher Brandon Goldman accepts some change for the effort.

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New cross country shelter house dedicated to Tim Bell


Longtime Marshalltown High School activities director and cross country coach Tim Bell, second from left, receives a plaque in his honor at the dedication of a new shelter house at the Marshalltown Community College cross country course. Also pictured, from left, Marshalltown Schools Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte, Tim’s wife, Deanna Bell and MHS staff member Eric Weeden, who was the project manager of the shelter house.

A new shelter house for cross country on the campus of Marshalltown Community College was dedicated in honor of Tim Bell on September 7, 2017. Bell is a legendary Bobcat coach and athletic director.

Bell worked for Marshalltown Schools for 35 years before retiring in 2013. He spent 12 years as a junior high health teacher, nine years as high school assistant principal, and 14 years as athletic director.

He coached boys cross country for 32 years, as well as 9th grade boys basketball, high school girls track and junior high track. Bell coached 541 different cross country runners in his 32 years as coach, which is the longest tenure of any head coach of any sport in MHS history.

Bell’s family as well as many of his former cross country runners attended the event as did many other members of the public. Also recognized at the event was MHS staff member Eric Weeden, who led the project, and the donors who contributed to get the shelter built.

For a video of the event, click here.


Tim Bell, seated next to his dad, Bob Bell, with several of Tim’s former Bobcat cross country runners.


The new shelter house

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Woodbury students write letters to Houston students affected by Hurricane Harvey


Woodbury Elementary School second grade students are writing letters to a school in Houston to show their support after the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. Pictured are Maritza Barajas, left, and Javier Tellez Mendoza.

Second grade students in classes taught by Olivia Romero and Lorena Patlan at Woodbury Elementary School are showing their support for elementary students in Houston displaced by Hurricane Harvey.

The students are writing letters of support to students at De Chaumes Elementary School in Houston, as Patlan has a social media connection to a teacher there. The schools have a unique connection as both are dual language schools teaching English and Spanish.

“Many of our students saw the hurricane destruction on the news and then we talked about what we could do,” Patlan said. “They are excited to write the letters.”

Patlan said there are other benefits to this project as well. She said it’s a way for the students to practice their writing in Spanish and also goes well with their lesson of being a leader and being kind.

The teachers said they will hold off on sending the letters as the students are not yet in school as clean up efforts continue in Houston.


Woodbury second graders Kevin Ibanez, left, and Allison Rodriguez write letters to students in Houston.

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MHS student awarded for her pottery at Iowa State Fair


Marshalltown High School junior Alyssa Sirdoreus is pictured in the MHS art room with her three-award winning pottery pieces from the Iowa State Fair. 

Marshalltown High School junior Alyssa Sirdoreus took home three ribbons from the Iowa State Fair for her 4-H entries of pottery she created at the school.

Sirdoreus received a blue ribbon first place and two red ribbon second place achievements for her ceramic work at the state fair.

Sirdoreus qualified for the state fair after being awarded for her entries at the Central Iowa Fair. She didn’t know about her state results until she visited the 4-H building at the fair in Des Moines and saw for herself.

“It was really exciting,” Sirdoreus said of seeing her awards.

She has completed two pottery classes at MHS and she said MHS pottery teacher Kirk Niehouse is one of her favorites. She said he teaches much more than art.

“He’s been there when I’ve had questions about other classes or about college,” Sirdoreus said. “He’s always willing to take the time to help me.”

Mr. Niehouse said Alyssa works hard and deserves the recognition.

“Alyssa has done a wonderful job in pottery,” Niehouse said. “She has only spent two semesters learning about ceramics and she is already an award-winning potter. The MHS art department is very proud to have Alyssa in our program and she is a great example of the students we have in our art program.”

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