Longtime Bobcat supporters honored with Friend of the School awards


Al Hoop and Linda Leaton were honored with the Friend of the School award during the football game on October 14. Both are longtime Bobcat supporters. The award is sponsored by the Iowa High School Athletic Association.

Longtime supporters of Marshalltown High School athletics Al Hoop and Linda Leaton were presented Iowa High School Athletic Association Friend of the School awards during the home football game against Southeast Polk on October 14.

The awards, which are a nod to their support of Bobcat athletics through the years, came as a surprise to both of them when they were presented by MHS Associate Principal Deb Holsapple.

Hoop, a current Marshalltown City Council member, is a retired Emerson/Fisher employee. He is currently a volunteer baseball coach for the Bobcats. In the past he has coached football and basketball as well at MHS and also worked in the athletic department as equipment manager for five years.

“I was not expecting that,” Hoop said of the award. “Anytime you get something from the school you feel proud.”

Leaton served as secretary in the MHS athletic department for 42 years before retiring in 2011. She has continued to be heavily involved as a volunteer at several Bobcat athletic events since her retirement.

“MHS was like my second home,” Leaton said. “I’m glad to do anything I can to help.”

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Science project leads to problem solving at Franklin


Franklin Elementary School second grader Camden Roe pours water to see if his group’s house project can be protected from flooding during a science project at the school on October 14.

Students in the second grade class taught by Kate Pimlott at Franklin Elementary School took on a special science project on October 14.

The students built small houses and were given supplies to see how they could protect the houses from water in a small plastic tray.

The students used items such as sponges, cotton balls and marshmallows as part of the project.

“What I like about this is that they’re excited,” Pimlott said.

The teacher also liked that she saw students talking over potential issues with the project and using trial and error just like scientists.

After the project was over, the students wrote down what they observed and the conclusions they reached on their project.

As they completed this project, the class also learned about the recent flooding in the Cedar Rapids area.


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MHS teacher selected to review statewide social studies standards


Alex Abbe

Marshalltown High School history and government teacher Alex Abbe has been selected to be part of a statewide team to conduct a public review of the draft of the Iowa standards for social studies.

Abbe and the rest of the 20-member team will have its first meeting on November 8 to go over the draft standards.

The draft standards, developed over the past year by a statewide writing team, outline what students should know and be able to do in social studies from kindergarten through 12th grade.


“The current social studies standards date back to 2008, have never been updated, and are desperately in need of an overhaul,” Abbe said. “This is a unique opportunity to work with other colleagues from across the state and play a role in finalizing the standards that teachers and students will be responsible for.”

Among the group of educators who wrote the draft standards was Christian Davison, also a teacher from Marshalltown High School.

Abbe said these standards are just a part of the direction the high school will take as it works to “make progress towards our goal of creating independent thinkers who not just consume information, but evaluate it and use it to meet their needs in their post-secondary education or careers.”

Abbe said he was asked to participate in the statewide team by a consultant with the Iowa Department of Education.

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MHS student presents at statewide technology conference


Marshalltown High School student Keaten Collinson, center, is interviewed by a student camera crew about his presentation on networking at the Iowa Technology and Education Connection Conference in Des Moines on October 11.


Keaten Collinson

Marshalltown High School freshman Keaten Collinson made a presentation at the Iowa Technology and Education Connection (ITEC) Conference in Des Moines on October 11.

Collinson was invited to present at the conference after winning a purple ribbon at the Central Iowa Tech Fair last spring at Iowa State University as an eighth grader.

Collinson’s table top presentation at ITEC was on networking.

“I was very excited to be there and lots of people came by and asked questions,” Collinson said. “They gave me some encouraging comments and some said it was a very well set up project.”

ITEC promotes the use of technology in education by demonstrating to its members, other educators and the public, developments in educational technology and how its appropriate use supports teaching and learning.

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Less than one month until “Footloose” musical hits MHS stage


Marshalltown High School students in the fall musical “Footloose” are pictured during a rehearsal. Pictured in the front row, from left, are Hadley Wagner, Bell Russell, Hannah Shirar and Nick Cooper. The musical will be presented at 7 p.m. both November 11 and 12 at the MHS/Community Auditorium.

The musical “Footloose” is coming to Marshalltown High School in less than one month.

Directed by Heather Lee and Amy Ose, rehearsals are continuing at the high school in anticipation of the shows, which will be at 7 p.m. both Friday, November 11 and Saturday, November 12 at the MHS/Community Auditorium.

The musical is based on the 1984 hit movie of the same name. It centers on the ban of dancing and rock music in the small town of Bomont and the teenage rebellion that followed the ban.

Many of those who were around in the 1980s will remember several of the hit songs that were part of the soundtrack including “Holding Out For a Hero,” “Almost Paradise,” “Let’s Hear It for the Boy,” the title track “Footloose” and others.

“The songs people will remember but the music is a little more theatrical,” Ose said.

The buzz is building around the musical, which has been moved to the fall this year at MHS.

“A lot of people are excited about the show,” Ose said. “I believe it matches the strengths of the students.”

Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children (kindergarten through eighth grade) with activity tickets honored.

For a brief video of the rehearsal, click here.


Lucas Thiessen, left, and Eva Hernandez are pictured in a rehearsal for “Footloose.”

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Marching band season winds down; Extravaganza show is October 17


The Bobcat Marching Band is pictured during the Homecoming parade last month. The band has had a successful competition season.

The Marshalltown High School Bobcat Marching Band is winding down another fine season of competition and other performances. The band competed September 24 in the Marching Dutch Invitational in Pella where they placed 5th in Class 4A and 6th overall out of 21 bands.  The following week the band competed in the Urbandale Marching Invitational in Urbandale where they again placed 5th in Class 4A and 8th overall out of 20 bands.  The MHS Drill Team was named best guard in Class 4A and received the highest score of all competing bands.

On October 8, the Bobcat Marching Band competed in the Iowa High School Music Association State Marching Band Festival in Fort Dodge and received a Division I Rating with a score of 83.2.  This is the band’s 16th consecutive Division I rating.

Future events

Band Extravaganza show October 17
The Bobcat Band Extravaganza is planned for 7 p.m. on Monday October 17 in the MHS/ Community Auditorium.  Featured groups for the show include: MHS Jazz II under the direction of Brett Umthun, MHS Jazz I under the direction of Bret Lee, several Drill Team solos under the direction of Megan Umthun and the Bobcat Marching Band.  Admission is $5 for adults and students in grades 7th-12th and $3 for students in kindergarten through sixth grade with activity cards honored.

Pasta dinner is October 25
The annual Bobcat Band pasta dinner is scheduled for Tuesday, October 25 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. in the MHS cafeteria. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased from an MHS band student or at the door. Proceeds will be used to help fund registration and transportation costs for the MHS Band as well as building the marching band uniform fund for future uniform purchases.

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Students learn about history during trip


This group of students from Marshalltown High School, Miller Middle School and Lenihan Intermediate School took a trip to Des Moines on October 7 to learn about history at the Iowa Historical Building.

A group of students from Marshalltown High School, Miller Middle School, and Lenihan Intermediate School went to an event at the Iowa Historical Building in Des Moines on October 7 focused on this year’s National History Day theme, “Taking a Stand in History.”

Students had the opportunity to listen to the real-life experience of John Tinker of Tinker vs. the Des Moines School District (Supreme Court case).  In regards to taking a stand, Tinker emphasized “the importance of obeying your conscience” and encouraged students to “think for yourselves.”

Students rotated through sessions about creating documentaries and exhibits, writing papers and building a performance to demonstrate their learning.

All students who were on the trip are Extended Learning Program (XLP) students from fifth grade all the way through the high school in the Marshalltown Community School District.  XLP teachers Susan Fritzell (MHS), Ann Jackson (Miller), and Vanessa Engel (Lenihan) were all a part of the trip.

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