MHS graduate Anastasia King earns naval aviator wings


Anastasia King earned her naval aviator wings earlier this month in Florida. She is a 2013 Marshalltown High School graduate.

Six years ago, Anastasia King graduated from Marshalltown High School. Her accomplishments since then have been impressive and they are in rare air, literally.

King received her naval aviator golden wings after her completion of flight school during a recent ceremony held in Milton, Florida. It was the culmination of the past two years of Navy flight school, which is extremely rigorous.

She is a 2013 MHS graduate and the daughter of Rev. Richard and Valerie King.

“I chose a career in the military because I wanted to do something for others,” she said. “My father taught me that a life lived for others is both the most frustrating and most rewarding job in the world. The idea of a bond as strong as family in the workplace really interested me, as well as, the physical and mental strength required for a military career.”

One trait that is apparent about King is she goes after what she wants with passion.

“I was lucky enough to be selected for flight school as a Student Naval Aviator,” she said. “I graduated from Iowa State University on May 5th, 2017 and was commissioned as an officer in the Navy on May 6th, 2017. Two weeks later, I moved to Pensacola, Florida to start flight school.”

Flight School
King said flight school instructors take their job seriously “to see if you are cut out for Naval Aviation.”

Flight school started by learning the basics, then it advanced to dogfighting techniques, flying in clouds with no visibility, cross country flying, and flying at high speeds within 20 feet of another aircraft.

Once this was completed, she then moved on to focus her training on helicopters, where she eventually earned her wings.

“Part of the appeal was the challenge,” King said. “Every day consisted of a brief and a flight; both were considered tests. You had the opportunity to fail twice a day and only three chances to fail before you were kicked out of the program. Completing flight school meant that you had survived two years of two tests a day and had failed only two things at maximum.”

She also appreciated the bonds she formed in her time at flight school.

“I have met the most amazingly tough, hard working, disciplined, loyal people throughout this experience, and I would not trade them or this journey for anything,” she said.

Time in Marshalltown Schools
King has fond memories of her time at MHS, especially participating on the Bobcat girls swim team, girls soccer road trips and the band trip to Orlando.

She said MHS swim coaches such as Mike Loupee and Angie Nelson and teachers such as Tim Johnson (MHS) and Bob Gilbertson (Miller Middle School) were among the many ones who inspired her and helped her reach her potential.

“Tasia was one of those students in middle school that you just knew would be successful in whatever she decided to dedicate herself to,” Gilbertson said. “I remember her being a very intelligent, quick-witted and driven student. It has been so much fun to keep in touch with her and watch her live out the dreams she has set forth for herself.”

King’s interest in the military paid off while at MHS as before she graduated from high school she received a $180,000 NROTC Scholarship to Iowa State.

Her future
With her wings attained, King will move to the Naval Base in San Diego where she will fly the MH-60S (Seahawk) helicopter.

And in her true fashion, she already has her future goals mapped out.

“My future goals are to continue flying helicopters,” she said. “I plan to fly for the Navy for the next 8 years, then move to the Coast Guard and fly Search and Rescue units I reach my retirement. After I retire, I plan to fly EMS. “


Anastasia King is pictured from 2013 receiving a $180,000 college scholarship from the Navy during the scholarship awards night at Marshalltown High School.

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King with naval aviator wings


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More than 300 community volunteers build new playground at Woodbury Elementary School


Volunteers gather for the ribbon cutting of the new playground at Woodbury Elementary School in Marshalltown. More than 300 people came together on July 19 for the community build project.

In less than five hours, more than 300 volunteers built a new playground at Woodbury Elementary School in Marshalltown. The community build project was a partnership between KaBOOM!, Keurig Dr. Pepper, Fareway Meat and Grocery and Marshalltown Schools.

Along with the new playground, maps of the U.S and world were painted, picnic tables were added and more.

The event was held on the one-year anniversary of the tornado that swept through Marshalltown and damaged many homes in the Woodbury school neighborhood.

View a video of the event below.

For more photos visit our MCSD Facebook Page.






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Four teacher librarians participate in computer science institute

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Four teacher librarians from Marshalltown Schools participated in a computer science institute recently in Bloomington, Indiana. Pictured from left are Alicia Patten, Erin Faas, Jodi Duffy and Val Ehlers.

Four Marshalltown School Community School district teacher librarians from the elementary level recently participated in the Infosys Pathfinders Summer Institute in Bloomington, Indiana.

This institute provides an intensive week of high-quality hands on training in computer science and making.  Erin Faas (Rogers Elementary School) and Alicia Patten (Fisher Elementary School) attended Makerspace Bootcamp where they focused on how to implement Makerspaces and the idea of making through both tech and non-tech avenues. This learning will be shared and implemented this fall in grades K-6 along with materials thanks to the district receiving Computer Science and Making STEM Connections grants.  

Jodi Duffy (Franklin Elementary School) and Val Ehlers (Woodbury Elementary School) attended Tynker Coding for Kids where they focused on digging deeper into how the district can efficiently support students on the path to coding mastery.  Elementary library curriculum currently utilizes Tynker with 3rd and 4th grade students. 

Pathfinders Institute is in its second year of existence and included 400+ teachers from 45 different states. This opportunity is mainly funded through Infosys.  

“Our teacher librarians are thankful we were given this opportunity,” Faas said.

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MHS junior expands her global view in Paraguay


Marshalltown High School junior Abbey Welden holds the flag of Paraguay during her youth ambassador trip to the South American country this summer.

Welden was a US Youth Ambassador this summer

Marshalltown High School junior Abbey Welden said in many ways one summer trip to South America has changed her for the better. Welden has returned from a month in Paraguay as part of the US Youth Ambassadors Program.

“It exceeded all of my expectations,” she said.  “Just to be immersed in a culture and experience it first hand.”

The US Youth Ambassadors Program is a program of the US Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and US Embassies.

While in Paraguay, she worked with a foundation to help those in need in the community, visited schools and stayed with a host family there. Abbey enjoyed the experience so much that she is already looking into other ways to study abroad next summer.

“There is so much to be gained by working toward being a global citizen,” Welden said.

Dual Language program her get started
Abbey is a big advocate of the dual language program in Marshalltown Schools and remembers knowing only a few words in Spanish when she started in the program as a kindergarten student. By the time Abbey was in fourth grade, she was fluent in Spanish.

“I was already taking steps to be a global citizen,” she said.

See a video of her trip below.



Abbey Welden is pictured speaking to school children in Paraguay.

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MHS athletics fundraiser sets record with more than $14,000 raised


Stacy O’Hare sends her ball onto the green during the Marshalltown High School athletics fundraiser golf outing on June 13 at the American Legion Golf Course.

The 2019 Marshalltown High School athletics fundraiser golf outing held on June 13 at the American Legion Golf Course was a huge success.

The event raised a record amount of more than $14,000 for MHS athletics and featured a record number of total golfers at 256.

“We would like to thank the sponsors and players for participating in this great community event,” said Tim Bell, retired MHS athletics director and committee chair for the event.

The overall winning team was the foursome of Kassy Vest, Brian Wilkie, Mike Younkin and Chad Weir with a 16 under par in the best shot tournament. Planning is underway for the 2020 athletics golf outing, which will be held in June.

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


MHS Dean of Students Dan Terrones and Principal Jacque Wyant grilled burgers at the event.


The MHS dance team served up the meal at the outing.


Jeff Nunn follows through with a drive during the event.


Pictured are the foursome of , from left, Drake Stalzer, Madi Stalzer, Duncan Ferch and John Stalzer.





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Professor stresses importance of hard work and kindness


Dr. Emily Heying is a 2006 Marshalltown High School graduate who is a professor in the nutrition department at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University in Minnesota.

Dr. Heying is a 2006 MHS graduate

Dr. Emily Heying said Marshalltown High School teachers pushed her to do her best. Now, the 2006 MHS graduate is in a similar role.

Heying is a professor in the nutrition department at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University in Minnesota.

“My dad (Jerry) was a long-time biology teacher at MHS so I was introduced to science at an early age,” Heying said. “I loved learning how the world worked and knew that broadly, science was the only field for me.”

Heying went on to get her undergraduate degree in biochemistry from Wartburg College in 2010. She later received her doctorate in nutritional sciences from the University of Wisconsin in Madison in 2014.

Among the many Marshalltown teachers who inspired her were former MHS science teacher Pam Brewer-Michael, who is now a curriculum director for Marshalltown Schools, and retired MHS English teacher Cheryl LaVille. A couple of her other favorite memories from MHS are qualifying for state tennis and celebrating in a muddy field after the Bobcat football team beat Newton for the first time in 32 years.

Heying’s advice for young people is to work hard and don’t compare yourself to others or worry about things as frivolous as being popular in high school.

“Just be kind to others and work on bettering yourself — whether it be in the classroom, in relationships with others, or on other skills to help you move forward professionally,” she said.


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Aguirre selected to fill school board vacancy


Nicolas “Niko” Aguirre

Nicolas “Niko” Aguirre was selected by the Marshalltown Community School District Board of Education to fill a four-month vacancy on the school board during a special meeting on July 2. Aguirre, who is originally from Nebraska, works as Human Resources Director at JBS in Marshalltown.

He considers himself a “servant leader” who said he has been very involved in the community during his more than two years in Marshalltown.

“I have attempted to be extremely active in the community since I’ve been here,” Aguirre said.

Aguirre said he can also relate to many of the Marshalltown students as he is a first generation American.

“I am of them,” Aguirre said.

Aguirre was selected among three candidates who expressed interest in filling the seat recently vacated by Ross Harris. Two other candidates interviewed by the school board on Tuesday included Ashtyn Beek and John Johnson, both of whom are parents in the district.

This seat now filled by Aguirre will be up for election along with three other school board seats in November.

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