Marshalltown Walmart donates supplies to MCSD

Thousands of school supplies and sanitation wipes were donated by the Marshalltown Walmart Supercenter Wednesday. Pictured, from left, are MCSD Buildings and Grounds Director Todd Goulding and maintenance/utility staff members Cody Randall and Chris Robinson.

Marshalltown Schools received a trove of school supplies and sanitation wipes in a generous donation from the Marshalltown Walmart Supercenter on Wednesday. 

Valued at approximately $5,000, the donation will provide school staff and students with an influx of important items for day-to-day learning and safety.

Marshalltown Walmart store manager Scott Ferguson made Wednesday’s generous donation possible.

“We just knew that there was probably a need for it, and certainly the schools could probably use it,” said Marshalltown Walmart store manager Scott Ferguson of the donation. “It’s been a challenging year for everybody, and any way we could help out … that’s what we wanted to do.” 

Among the donated supplies were about 3,500 sanitation wipe packages, each depicting a colorful design and character. The wipes will contribute to the District’s sanitation measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus. 

Marshalltown Schools thanks Walmart for this generous donation of important classroom supplies and for continuing to consistently support Bobcat students and staff!

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MCSD joins Verizon Innovative Learning to provide internet access, classroom tech integration

An exciting new opportunity will bring important digital learning resources to Bobcat students this school year. The Marshalltown CSD is one of only 30 districts nationwide, and one of only two in Iowa, to be selected to join the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools program this spring.

In partnership with the nonprofit Digital Promise, the program will provide free hotspots over the next two years to students in grades 5-12 who qualify for free or reduced-price lunches and do not have high-quality internet access at home.

“We are so proud to join Verizon Innovative Learning,” said Marshalltown Community School District Director of Technology Amy Harmsen. “We are excited to bring more opportunities for internet access and classroom tech integration to Bobcat students.”

In addition to free access, the program will provide training and classroom technology integration support for school staff. Staff will be able to work with an instructional liaison to help grow student learning opportunities through technology.

“This is a great opportunity for the Marshalltown Community School District,” said Senator Jeff Edler. “I was very pleased to learn that our Marshalltown district was one of only 30 districts in the United States to be selected for this program. It will certainly benefit those students eligible to participate.”

Verizon Innovative Learning addresses barriers to digital inclusion and is a key initiative under Citizen Verizon, the company’s responsible business plan for economic, environmental and social advancement. This new partnership will build upon the District’s efforts to provide equitable digital learning opportunities to Bobcat students. 

About Verizon Innovative Learning

Verizon Innovative Learning, Verizon’s education initiative targeting Title 1 schools in partnership with Digital Promise, addresses barriers to digital inclusion. It’s a key program under Citizen Verizon, the company’s responsible business plan for economic, environmental and social advancement. The program provides free 1:1 devices, free internet access and a technology-driven curriculum with the goal to transform the learning experience. Through exposure to cutting-edge technology, the program enables students to develop the skills, knowledge, and confidence needed to build an innovative workforce of the future. Since 2012, Verizon Innovative Learning has committed a total of $535 million in STEM education efforts in support of digital inclusion. In 2019, Verizon launched its first 5G-enabled Verizon Innovative Learning classroom, with the goal of 100 in the coming years. The company is committed to providing 10 million youths with digital skills training by 2030. Learn more at CitizenVerizon.com

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Hundreds of MCSD employees receive COVID-19 vaccine

Lenihan’s Angie Lovell receives her COVID-19 vaccine Thursday

Staff members from across the Marshalltown Community School District received their first COVID-19 vaccine dose Thursday and Friday, bringing a new level of protection against the spread of the coronavirus.

District Nurse Stacey Tool-Crawford and Hy-Vee Pharmacist Jamie Stalzer teamed up to give hundreds of vaccinations this week. After receiving their dose, each employee was monitored for 15 minutes before returning to their day; District-wide, the process was simple, easy, and efficient.

Check out photos from this week’s round of COVID-19 staff vaccinations below, and be on the lookout for more vaccination updates as the second round of vaccine doses approaches!

Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte gives a thumbs-up as Jamie Stalzer of Hy-Vee gives him the COVID-19 vaccine Friday.
Fisher paraeducator Ann Soetenga gets her first COVID-19 vaccine dose
Director of Food Service Lynn Large gets her COVID-19 vaccine from District Nurse Stacey Tool-Crawford

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Marshalltown School Board earns IASB Team Achievement Award

The 2019-20 Marshalltown School Board was one of just five boards in the state to receive an IASB Team Achievement Award honor. Niblock, Heitmann, Hernandez, Faltys, McGinnis and Untiedt also won Individual Achievement Awards from IASB.

Each year, the Iowa Association of School Boards (IASB) recognizes leaders in public education who show outstanding commitment and teamwork; Marshalltown Community School District leaders earned several 2019-20 IASB Better Boardsmanship Awards honors. 

The 2019-20 Marshalltown School Board received one of the most prestigious IASB honors – the Team Achievement Award – and was one of only five board teams in the state to earn that honor. The members of the 2019-20 School Board include President Bea Niblock, Vice President Sean Heitmann, Mike Miller, Karina Hernandez, Sara Faltys, Jan McGinnis, and former board member Bob Untiedt.

In addition, Individual Achievement Awards were presented to six members of the 2019-20 board, including Faltys, Heitmann, Hernandez, McGinnis, Niblock, and Untiedt.

Dr. Schutte

Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte earned the Award of Honor from IASB for participating in a certain number of learning opportunities and having at least two board members receive Individual Achievement Awards. Dr. Schutte was one of just seven education leaders statewide to earn a 2019-20 Award of Honor.

Congratulations to our incredible Marshalltown School Board team!

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Marshalltown Virtual Academy will bring flexible, enriching education to students

The Marshalltown CSD is delighted to introduce the new Marshalltown Virtual Academy (MVA), which will offer flexible, personalized, enriching learning experiences to Bobcat students starting in the 2021-22 school year.

As a virtual learning option, the MVA will empower students and their families through flexible school schedules, personalized learning, and academic rigor. MVA students will also enjoy the same great extracurricular opportunities as their fellow Bobcat students, from school sports to fine arts to clubs and more!

Here are just a few of the benefits Bobcat students can enjoy through the Marshalltown Virtual Academy:

  • Flexible class schedules to suit your child’s needs and goals
  • Full access to school sports, fine arts, clubs, and other events and activities
  • Courses taught by MCSD’s very own highly-skilled certified teachers
  • Dual-language program offered (English & Spanish)
  • Inclusive programming for students with special needs, English language learners, and talented & gifted students 
  • Open to ALL PK-12 students – both current Bobcats and those new to Marshalltown Schools – from anywhere in Iowa!

PLEASE NOTE: If your child will be new to MCSD next fall, we must have them enrolled by March 1!

If you think the Marshalltown Virtual Academy would be a great fit for your child, please take our very brief interest survey as soon as possible. If your child will be new to MCSD next fall, we must have them enrolled by March 1! Take MVA interest survey here: https://bit.ly/2MOaXY7

To learn more about all of the ways the MVA can suit your child’s academic needs, visit www.marshalltown.k12.ia.us/marshalltown-virtual-academy/ or send an email to lstevenson@marshalltown.k12.ia.us (grades PK-6) or egoslinga@marshalltown.k12.ia.us (grades 7-12).

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Rogers students staying active with Mileage Club

Rogers third-graders Christine Tellez, left, and Maria Vargas, right, enjoy walking and running for the Mileage Club during recess.

Getting outside and walking, jogging, or running is a simple way to stay healthy and fit, and this school year Rogers Elementary students are showing their love for staying active through the school’s Mileage Club program.

The Mileage Club is open to all Rogers students. During recess, students can choose to take part in the club by donning their EZ Scan app lanyard and hitting the school’s track; the card on their lanyard counts their laps and miles, which are then recorded by Rogers staff.

Rogers student Maria Vargas shows her five-mile token. Students can select from many colorful tokens for every five miles they walk, run or jog

“I did a lot of research over the spring … I was able to look at a lot of programs and what would work,” said Rogers P.E. teacher Nicole Boliver. “I knew that I wanted to give them a program that was rewarding and positive at the same time.”

Because walking, jogging, and running are highly accessible activities, participation has been excellent, Boliver said. In fact, the students have logged well over 600 combined miles so far this school year.

One fun way students can celebrate mileage milestones is with special tokens earned for every five miles traveled. The tokens come in many colors, shapes, and sizes, and can be worn on their lanyards.

Boliver said the Rogers Elementary track facility has been key to the success of the Mileage Club this year. The school’s focus on student wellness has made it a natural fit for the program.

For students, the benefits of regular exercise extend well beyond recess, Boliver said.

“Active learners are active in the classroom as well,” she said. “The more physical activity they get outside, the better they are prepared for the classroom.”

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Marshalltown CSD celebrates National School Counseling Week

National School Counseling Week 2021 – “School Counselors: All in for All Students,” sponsored by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) – is being celebrated this week, Feb. 1–5, to focus public attention on the tremendous impact school counselors can have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career.

Chyma

The dedicated school counseling staff members at the Marshalltown Community School District help students in a wide variety of ways, from mentoring middle- and high school students as they discover career pathways to supporting an enriching learning environment, and much more.

“I get to be a small part of our students’ lives. I get to support students socially and emotionally and be there for them when they need that positive person in their life,” said Anson Elementary school counselor Ashley Chyma. “I love that each day is a new day with our students.”

Arevalo

At Marshalltown High School, Lydia Arevalo works with students who are considering their post-secondary career pathways. She also helps keep students on-track to graduation.

“I love helping students,” Arevalo said, adding she enjoys thinking “outside the box” to support and guide students.

Thank you to the entire MCSD school counseling team for all you do to help guide Bobcat students to success!

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Three presented with Employee of the Quarter awards

Employee of the Quarter honorees (from left) Megan Kellogg, Holly Harrelson, and Amanda Miller have been recognized for their extra efforts to serve students and support the District in the second quarter.

Three incredible Marshalltown Schools staff members are the first to earn Employee of the Quarter honors in the 2021 calendar year.

Lenihan Intermediate School custodian Holly Harrelson, Miller Middle School paraeducator Megan Kellogg and Lenihan computer science teacher Amanda Miller have all gone above and beyond in their respective roles throughout the second quarter of the school year. Get to know the honorees below:

Holly Harrelson
Lenihan custodian Holly Harrelson brings a bright, positive attitude to every hallway and classroom she visits. Not only does she keep the spaces she oversees pristine, she also leaves the students and staff she meets each day a little happier. 

“Holly works so well with the teachers in the neighborhood she cleans. She is kind, hard-working, and goes the extra mile to clean and abide by COVID-19 mitigation efforts.” said Lenihan fifth grade teacher Leah Piper, who nominated Harrelson for the honor. “It is hard to not be happy when she is around!”

Holly Harrelson, center, has a bright, positive presence at Lenihan Intermediate School. Pictured, from left: Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte, Director of Buildings and Grounds Todd Goulding, Harrelson, Lenihan teacher Leah Piper, and Lenihan Principal Kyle Young.

Megan Kellogg
Miller Middle School paraeducator Megan Kellogg has time and again proven her dedication, reliability, and genuine care for students in the building’s special education program. Kellogg is pivotal in supporting students, communicating needs and expectations, and working with fellow staff members to deliver high-quality learning to students.

“Megan creates a positive atmosphere with all students,” said Miller special education teacher Peter Nieland, one of Kellogg’s nominators. “She communicates with teachers about what strategies work best with each student and helps each teacher find a common area of interest to create a positive environment for each student.”

Fellow special education teacher and nominator Derek Wrage echoed Nieland’s praise of Kellogg. 

“No matter what is asked of Megan, she always does her best and always strives to learn more and be better at her job,” Wrage said.

Megan Kellogg, third from right, brings her great interpersonal skills to the classroom with her every day at Miller Middle School. Pictured, from left: Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte, Miller Co-Principal Kristyn Kell, Miller special education teacher Derek Wrage, Kellogg’s father and Miller custodian Scott Kellogg, and Miller special education teacher Peter Nieland.

Amanda Miller
Computer science education is key to so many of the career paths available today and in the future, and Lenihan’s Amanda Miller has provided students with an excellent academic foundation in that area. 

Miller’s exceptional attitude extends beyond her computer science classroom; she also forms strong bonds with students during after-school duty, where she helps safely see students off for the day. 

“Each day she waits with students until their ride has arrived … She waits with them – sometimes in the cold and rain – and helps them contact parents to come get them if needed. This makes the students feel safe and important,” said Miller’s fellow Lenihan teacher and nominator, Julie Finch. “I feel that she is a positive example to all of us.”

Lenihan’s Amanda Miller, second from right, not only delivers great computer science education, but also forms positive relationships with students while ensuring they are picked up by their parents after school. Pictured, from left: Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte, Lenihan teacher Julie Finch, Lenihan Associate Principal Dr. Liz Jurgensen, and Lenihan Principal Kyle Young.

Congratulations and thank you to all three Employee of the Quarter honorees!

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MHS alum, wrestling hall-of-famer Larry Jackson celebrated

Wrestling hall-of-famer and Bobcat alum Larry Jackson speaks during a celebration of his successful career Thursday evening.

Four decades after graduating from Marshalltown High School, Class of 1981 alum Larry Jackson returned to the Roundhouse on Thursday evening as his remarkable wrestling and coaching career was celebrated.

Jackson was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, Iowa Chapter last fall, and he joined fellow Bobcat legends in being named to the MHS Hall of Pride ahead of Thursday’s varsity wrestling meet against Ankeny.

“This award means so, so much to me,” Jackson said. “The people here at Marshalltown High School made a big difference in my life, and I can never, never thank them enough. Thank you all for celebrating this with me.”

The Bobcat alum said the love and care shown by his teachers and coaches at MHS were crucial in shaping him into the person he is today.

One of those key figures, Jackson’s high school wrestling coach Phil Henning, said he is incredibly proud of his former pupil. He said Jackson has done the Bobcats proud not only with his accomplishments on the mat, but also with his work as a coach and educator at Ballard-Huxley, Des Moines East High School, and Hammer Time Wrestling Academy.

“You’ve represented us so well. Thank you,” Henning said.

Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte – a fellow Class of 1981 MHS graduate – said the accolades Jackson has earned have been well-deserved, adding Jackson is an inspiring person, educator, and mentor.

“Larry, welcome home. It’s an honor and a privilege to have you back,” Dr. Schutte said. “We couldn’t be prouder of you.”

Larry Jackson (right) is joined by his wife, Tonia Jackson (center) and Marshalltown Schools Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte (left) during Thursday’s tribute to Jackson’s accomplishments as a wrestler and mentor.

Jackson has earned numerous accolades since he first stepped onto the mat as a Bobcat wrestler. Those accomplishments include:

Student-athlete accolades

  • MHS Wrestling Team Captain and Most Outstanding Wrestler – 1981
  • Fifth-place finish at State Wrestling in the 155 lb. weight class – 1981
  • NJCAA National Runner Up (33-2) – 1982
  • Selected to the 1982 All-Iowa Team
  • NJCAA National Team Qualifier-Third Place – 1983
  • 1983 Outstanding Wrestler – District Tournament
  • 1983 NJCAA National Champion (37-0) – first ever National Champion from Ellsworth 
  • 1983 Pan American Champion – Cali, Colombia
  • 2X NJCAA All American (1982 & 1983) and 
  • ISU Varsity Wrestling Letter earner – 1985 & 1986
  • Third-place finish in the Big 8 Wrestling Tournament in the 150 lb. weight class – 1985
  • NCAA Wrestling Championship Tournament qualifier – 1985

Coaching accolades

  • Coached 21 state qualifiers, four state place-winners, and one state champion in nine years at Ballard-Huxley
  • Coached 33 state qualifiers and eight state place-winners in 16 years at Des Moines East High School
  • Conference Coach of the Year – 2007

Career honors

  • Inducted into the Community College Hall of Fame – 1997
  • Inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, Iowa Chapter – 2020
  • Inducted into the MHS Hall of Pride – 2021

Congratulations to Larry Jackson – you are a great role model for Bobcat students and we are proud to call you a Bobcat!

Larry Jackson’s family joins him in celebration at the Roundhouse Thursday evening. Pictured, from left: Alyonna Busch (daughter), Chelsea Jackson (daughter), Larry Jackson, Malachi Jackson (grandson), Tonia Jackson (wife), and Alexa Jackson (daughter).
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Woodbury student interviews pilots, learns about aviation

Woodbury third-grader Theo Lewis sits in the pilot’s seat of a Meyer Agri-Air, Inc. crop duster.

Woodbury Elementary third-grader Theo Lewis has a deep interest in airplanes – from crop dusters to supersonic jets – and he has applied his interest through research projects this semester. 

Theo said his first experience flying in an airplane sparked his interest in aviation.

“The time that my interest really boosted was when I first went in an airplane to Atlanta,” he said. “I liked it … I felt like I was in the air.” 

Now, Theo can name several of the instruments a pilot must know to successfully fly a plane, as well as the various types of planes and how they are used. He even has a picture of a Cessna 172 cockpit on a wall at home. 

“Theo absorbs everything he can about things he’s passionate about and I’m just so impressed with all the work he’s done to expand his experience in this area,” said Woodbury Extended Learning Program teacher Nicole Holman Lankelma.

One recent research project saw Theo interview several pilots from different areas of the aviation industry. Through their firsthand experiences, Theo learned about commercial piloting, military flying, airshows, and flight school. 

In addition to reading up on aviation and interviewing pilots, Theo recently had the opportunity to sit in the pilot’s seat of a crop duster plane owned by Meyer Agri-Air at the Marshalltown Municipal Airport. He said the experience was fun and educational.

The Woodbury student said he currently plans to pursue a career as a private or commercial pilot, adding he will continue to learn more about the aviation industry. 

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