Local legislators, community and school leaders made three school stops in the Marshalltown Community School District on January 5.
The group included State Representatives Mark Smith and Dean Fisher, Marshalltown Regional Partnership CEO David Barajas, Vision Marshalltown Executive Director Kyley Leger, Marshalltown Schools Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte and Marshalltown Schools Director of Instruction Dr. Lisa Stevenson.
The group visited Fisher Elementary School, Woodbury Elementary School and Marshalltown High School to learn more about programs at the schools. The visit was especially important as the state legislature is set to reconvene on January 9.
At Fisher the group, led by Principal Vicki Vopava, visited a first grade classroom taught by Mary Pepper and a preschool class taught by Brienna Wolf. Topics of discussion at Fisher included English Language Learners, preschool, third grade reading retention, student attendance and parent engagement.
The Woodbury stop, led by Principal Anel Garza, included visits to the dual language classrooms of Katie Hilby (kindergarten) and Becky Jacobson (second grade). Discussion topics included extensive information on the dual language program, mental health needs, the work of the guidance counselor (Heidi Williams) and other topics.
“We have an absolutely great program here,” Garza said of the dual language program, which has students learning in both Spanish and English. The dual language program at Woodbury is 13 years old and is a state leader.
Marshalltown High School
MHS Principal Jacque Wyant led the group as they visited two Project Lead the Way classrooms – the biomedical science program taught by Erica Malloy and the engineering program taught by Mike Lazere.
Malloy said students get excited in project-based learning as it applies what they are learning to the real world.
Lazere said they are working with local engineers to lend their expertise and show students careers they can land in engineering. Marshalltown is a state leader in Project Lead the Way curriculum.