Local business owner recognized for support of Bobcats activities

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Local business owner, Bobcats supporter and MHS alum Vic Hellberg, left, is presented with an IHSAA Friend of the School Award by MHS Activities/Athletics Director Ryan Isgrig Tuesday evening in the Roundhouse.

Marshalltown small business owner Vic Hellberg was recognized for his support of Marshalltown Community School District at Tuesday’s Marshalltown High School basketball game. 

The Hellberg’s Jewelers owner was presented with an Iowa High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) Friend of the School award due to his outstanding support of high school activities.  

“Vic Hellberg truly embodies the spirit of this award. He has been a friend of Marshalltown High School since his graduation in 1964. As a proud MHS alum, Vic has been generous with time, money, and resources,” said MHS Athletics/Activities Director Ryan Isgrig in his nomination letter for Hellberg. “Vic Hellberg is a man of service. He has the heart of a Bobcat and embodies the spirit of Bobcat Pride. Vic is Marshalltown Strong. Vic is truly a friend of our school.” 

Hellberg has contributed time and resources to various MHS activities for decades. He has helped film basketball and football games, operated the scoreboard and clock for basketball games, and has been an active booster club member, as well as a hardworking Marshalltown community member and business owner. 

“It’s quite exhilarating. That’s really something, it’s a really nice honor,” Hellberg said after receiving the award during halftime of Tuesday’s boys basketball game at the Roundhouse.

The IHSAA’s Friend of the School award allows school districts to honor those in the community who consistently support school activities.

Also recognized during halftime of Tuesday evening’s game were MHS senior student-athletes Jordan Anderson and Casey Linsenmeyer, who were awarded the John White and Nick Norris scholarship awards, respectively. 

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Vic Hellberg, center, presents MHS senior student-athlete Jordan Anderson, left, with the 2019-20 John White Scholarship Award. Also pictured is MHS Head Football Coach Adam Goodvin.

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MHS senior student-athlete Casey Linsenmeyer, center, was named the 2019-2020 recipient of the Nick Norris Award. Erik C. Nilius of United Bank and Trust, left, and MHS Head Football Coach Adam Goodvin, right, presented the award to Linsenmeyer.

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Marshalltown High School names new head baseball coach

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Derek Wrage said he is ready to take charge of the Marshalltown High School baseball team.

Marshalltown High School is proud to announce Derek Wrage as the next head baseball coach. He will replace longtime head coach Steve Hanson. Wrage will also serve as a special education teacher in the Marshalltown Community School District, pending school board approval on February 17, 2020. 

“I’m very excited,” Wrage said. “Growing up in Newton, Marshalltown was always a program I had a ton of respect for. There’s a ton of tradition and a ton of success.”

After graduating from Newton CSD, Wrage played baseball collegiately at Cornell College in Mount Vernon. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history education and received dean’s list honors. Wrage was also a Presidential Scholarship Recipient and the Gast Award Winner (awarded for academic excellence and outstanding teaching from the Cornell Education Department.) 

Wrage has served in the Newton Community School District for the past two years as a special education/at-risk teacher. He comes to Marshalltown after serving as an assistant varsity baseball coach for Newton and Montezuma. His father, Jeff, is a 1981 graduate of Marshalltown High School. 

“Derek was very impressive throughout the hiring process. We are excited about his energy, professionalism and his overall knowledge of the game. He wants to be here and be a Marshalltown Bobcat,” said Marshalltown High School Athletic Director Ryan Isgrig. “We are getting someone who will develop great relationships with the stakeholders in this program. He is a hard-working teacher and coach and we look forward to seeing him lead the Marshalltown baseball program and continue the Bobcat baseball legacy.”

Joining Wrage’s baseball staff will be veteran coach and 1980 Marshalltown alumni, Kevin Goodman, also contingent on future board approval. Goodman played baseball collegiately at Iowa State University. He has experience as an umpire with the Iowa Cubs as well as several years experience coaching youth baseball and softball in the Marshalltown area.  Goodman was an assistant on the Bobcat baseball team from 2012-2015.

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MCSD celebrates National School Counseling Week

NSCW2020They guide, they advise, they advocate and they make a positive impact on countless students each year. School counselors are a crucial for student success at Marshalltown Schools, and they are being celebrated during National School Counseling Week. 

Counselors offer different services at each academic level, from helping meet elementary students’ developmental needs to guiding high school students toward a rewarding post-secondary path.

MCSD school counselors discussed why they love their careers this week. Check out what they had to say below:


Williams, Heidi“I wanted to become a school counselor because I have a passion for helping and working with kids. I love encouraging students to see the value in themselves and what they are capable of by supporting their academic, career and social/emotional development. I enjoy the fact that I am able to build relationships with all of our students, families, and staff members. Being a school counselor is a very rewarding experience and I love what I do.”
Heidi Williams, Woodbury Elementary School

Augustine, John“I enjoy helping and watching students grow academically, socially, and emotionally. I take pride in helping students through tough situations. I also enjoy working with students as they plan out their future high school schedules and begin to look at future careers. I am blessed to work with great students, staff, and parents.” – John Augustine, Miller Middle School

Mussig, Karen“I love being a school counselor because each day I have an opportunity to share in the educational journey with our students in the district. Part of education is learning how to respond to life’s challenges. As a school counselor, I get to work with students and their families to discover their gifts and talents and to help them build the skills to be successful throughout their lives. ”
Karen Mussig, Lenihan Intermediate

Edel, Meri

Each and every day, I am honored and humbled with the trust that our students put into us as school counselors. Marshalltown High School students are intelligent, kind, resilient and brave. It is a privilege to serve them, and they are what motivates me on a daily basis!
Meri Edel, Marshalltown High School


Corson, Valerie“I love being a school counselor because of the connections I get to make with my students. Every day I have an opportunity to nurture hearts and inspire growth in my students so they can build dreams and reach their full potential. The most rewarding part of my career is being able to have a positive impact on the lives of students and celebrating their success.”
Valerie Corson, Marshalltown High School

The district’s counselors were recognized at this week’s Marshalltown School  Board meeting. District Human Resources Director Dr. Nora Ryan read a proclamation declaring this week National School Counseling Week.

For more information about National School Counseling week and to learn more about what benefits counselors bring to students, click here.















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Lenihan students enjoy Battle of the Books


This team of Lenihan students earned a third-place finish in this year’s Battle of the Books competition. Pictured from left: Carter Hutchison, Jamison Niehouse, Eduardo Bañuelos, Lizzie Bethel, Gavin Freiberg, and Elise Brott.

Dozens of Lenihan Intermediate School students have been reading avidly over the past several weeks, and their hard work was rewarded Monday at the Battle of the Books Bash. 

Marshalltown Public Library hosted the 78 Lenihan Battle of the Books participants, along with several St. Francis Catholic School students. Small teams of students were tasked with reading 25 books and their knowledge of those books was tested Monday. 

The teams competed in a quote quiz, where they tried to correctly match a given quote with one of the books they read, and a team of Lenihan students emerged victorious in that contest. 

The local Battle of the Books competition is hosted by Marshalltown Public Library. The goal of the program is to spark students’ interest and passion for reading books.

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Pathways to student success the focus of Marshalltown Business-Education Alliance meeting

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David Ottavianelli speaks to MBEA members about John Deere’s student outreach efforts.

Marshalltown education and business leaders are focused on providing students with opportunities to learn about potential career paths in a variety of ways.

The Marshalltown Business-Education Alliance (MBEA) recently heard a presentation by Iowa Business Council Executive Director Joe Murphy. He discussed the organization’s 2020 Dashboard, specifically as it relates to helping K-12 students find post-secondary success.

David Ottavianelli, Director Strategic Projects & Labor Relations for John Deere World Headquarters, also presented on the Iowa High School Registered Apprenticeship Program. He said the program has been effective in several Iowa communities, including in the Quad Cities.

MBEA is a partnership between the Marshalltown Community School District, Iowa Valley Community College District and the local business community. The organization is committed to building a skilled workforce pipeline that meets the needs of local business and industry through outstanding educational and employment opportunities. The alliance membership includes 26 members representing MCSD, IVCCD and twelve local businesses and supporting organizations such as the Marshalltown Area Chamber of Commerce, Vision Marshalltown and Iowa Works.


Iowa Business Council Executive Director Joe Murphy presents to MBEA members on pathways to success for Iowa students.

The goals of the MBEA are to:

  • Develop and expand career pathways for students, aligned with the needs of local business and industry, that lead to post-secondary success (endorsements, certifications and degree attainment).
  • Engage students, parents, and educators in work-based learning experiences (career fairs, tours, job shadows, internships, externships, apprenticeships, etc.) that develop awareness of local business and industry employment opportunities and the knowledge, skills, talents and aptitudes required to be successful in the workplace.
  • Provide One Voice Advocacy for Policy Issues Affecting Education Excellence.
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Woodbury STEM Night brings fun science, robotics activities to students

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A family works together to form a DNA strand out of candy at Thursday’s Woodbury STEM Night.

Woodbury Elementary School students and families enjoyed an evening of learning Thursday at the school’s first ever STEM Night. 

The students had several activities to choose from, including hands-on experiences with robotics. They also learned about DNA from the Iowa State University Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) program. 

The robotics area included tablets which allowed students to control where a ball-shaped robot rolled on the floor, as well as a coding activity where students – and plenty of parents – controlled how tiny robots scurried across a piece of paper. 

The Marshalltown High School BotCats student group was also on hand to talk about some of their robotics projects, and officials from Central Rivers Area Education Agency  supported the robotics activities Thursday. 

In another classroom, two Iowa State University students from the WISE program used licorice and gummy candies to teach the students about the different parts of a DNA strand. Using toothpicks, students stuck the gummies and licorice together and formed them into the DNA double-helix shape. 

“I think it’s very important for parents to know these are things they can look into for their child,” said Mid-Iowa Community Action (MICA) Full Service Bilingual Site Coordinator Tania Fonseca.

Fonseca is one of the MICA coordinators working at MCSD elementary schools through the federal Full Service Community Schools grant program

In addition to WISE, Central Rivers AEA and the BotCats, officials from the Marshall County Auditor and Recorder’s office were also present at Woodbury STEM Night. They presented information about voting in Marshall County to students and parents. 

“I’m really happy that all of our partners joining us tonight have worked very collaboratively with us,” Fonseca said. 

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Kentucky radio personalities visit Roundhouse, learn about Coach Adolph Rupp’s history at MHS

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Kentucky Sports Radio personalities stopped by the Roundhouse Thursday to learn more about legendary University of Kentucky basketball coach Adolph Rupp, who led the MHS wrestling team in 1925-26. Pictured from left: Ryan Lemond, Matt Jones, Drew Franklin, and Shannon “The Dude” Grigsby. Coach Rupp is depicted on the wall third from right.

Though his name now adorns one of the most prominent venues in college sports, legendary University of Kentucky basketball coach Adolph Rupp’s early career saw him come to Marshalltown High School to coach an entirely different sport – wrestling.

Rupp’s history with MHS brought a group of Kentucky Sports Radio personalities to the Roundhouse Thursday for a tour with MCSD Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte and other district staff.

“I think it’s really cool that there’s a connection between Kentucky and Adolph Rupp with this high school in Iowa … not as a basketball coach, as a wrestling coach!” said Ryan Lemond of Kentucky Sports Radio. 

The group from Kentucky checked out the artwork depicting Rupp, as well as Olympic Gold Medalist wrestler and MHS alum Allie Morrison,  in the newly-renovated wrestling area of the Roundhouse. The radio personalities were in the area for news coverage of presidential candidates ahead of the Iowa Caucuses.

“The wrestling coach (job) is almost like a trivia question that you could stump Adolph Rupp fans with,” said Drew Franklin of Kentucky Sports Radio with a smile. 

After graduating from college, Rupp sought a job with Marshalltown Schools as a basketball coach. However, he was offered the position of high school wrestling coach. Allie Morrison, a student-athlete at the time, had been acting as the team’s head coach prior to Rupp’s arrival.

Dr. Schutte said Rupp had no prior experience with wrestling and went to the library to read all he could about the sport. Despite his lack of experience, Rupp’s Bobcats won a state wrestling championship in 1926.

After his time at MHS, Rupp went on to other coaching gigs before finally landing at the University of Kentucky. The rest, as the saying goes, is history – Rupp went on to win four NCAA titles and coached at UK for more than four decades.

The UK Wildcats now play their home games at Rupp Arena and continue to be among the best college basketball programs in the country.

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