Miller students deliver holiday cards to retirement community


Miller Middle School English Language Learner students made holiday cards for residents at The Embers retirement community and delivered the cards on December 18. Pictured outside of Miller are, from left, Siang Tial, teacher Shawna Hutchison, Sandra Merida Mendez, Jacqueline Ibarra Rodriguez and Eden Par.

English Language Learner students from Miller Middle School taught by Shawna Hutchison delivered 100 holiday cards to residents at The Embers retirement community on December 18.

The students created the cards as they work on their language skills and the importance of thinking of others. The students visited Embers during lunch time and sang a holiday song to the residents as well.

“I am so proud of the hard work that my students put into this project and the happiness that this small act of kindness brought to both students and residents alike,” Hutchison said.

Posted in Uncategorized

Miller class sells cookies, raises $350 for children’s hospital


These Miller Middle School students donated $350 to the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital on December 19. The class baked and sold cookies to raise the money. Pictured front row, from left, are Neftali Camarena Aguilar, Jorge Rodriguez Zavala, Joel Gomez, Demetrus Mayer and teacher Linda Russell. Back row, teacher Lyndsey Wycoff, Shyann Borton, Seth Pedersen, Charlie Sinclair and Ashley Hoff of the hospital.

Students in a Project Based Learning class at Miller Middle School took a project from its infancy to a successful completion recently.

The students baked cookies and sold 444 of them to Miller staff, raising $350 for the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital and St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

The class, taught by Linda Russell and Lyndsey Wycoff, presented a check to Ashley Hoff of the hospital on December 19.

Mrs. Russell said the students went “above and beyond” on this project as they researched recipes and ingredients and also took time selecting a place to donate the money.

Hoff was very thankful and impressed with all the work the students put into the project.

“You guys did an awesome job,” Hoff told the students.


Posted in Uncategorized

MHS freshman wins school’s Poetry Out Loud contest


Marshalltown High School freshman Olivia Adams-Zmolek, center won the school’s Poetry Out Loud contest on December 18. Also pictured are Phoebe Osgood, left, who placed second and Zyrus Whitehead who placed third.

Marshalltown High School freshman Olivia Adams-Zmolek won first place at the school’s Poetry Out Loud contest held on December 18 in the MHS/Community Auditorium.

Eight MHS students took part in the contest, which has them recite two poems that test them on memorization and recitation. Olivia recited “The Owl” by Edward Thomas and “It was not Death, for I stood up, (355)” by Emily Dickinson.

Taking second place was junior Phoebe Osgood while junior Zyrus Whitehead placed third. MHS Extended Learning Program teacher Susan Fritzell facilitates the program at MHS and said all of the students showed amazing growth the past several weeks.

“They make me so proud,” Fritzell said after the event.

Olivia now advances to the state Poetry Out Loud contest at the State Historical Museum in Des Moines on March 4.


Uriel Campos Padilla


Alex Stansberry


Eve Nettesheim


Luke Pedersen


Phoebe Osgood


Victor Zavala-Livengood


Zyrus Whitehead


Olivia Adams-Zmolek

Posted in Uncategorized

MHS student earns scholarship to Minneapolis College of Art and Design


Marshalltown High School student ShayeLyn Pickett is pictured with one her graphic design projects. The senior has earned a scholarship to the Minneapolis College of Art and Design to study graphic design.

Marshalltown High School senior ShayeLyn Pickett said she was in tears when she found out she had been accepted into the prestigious Minneapolis College of Art and Design. The icing on the cake was when she later found out she had earned a half-scholarship and a MacBook Pro from the school as well.

“Even more emotions came through when I found out about the scholarship,” Pickett said.

A talented graphic designer, ShayeLyn will have completed four classes in graphic design when her four years at MHS are finished in May.

“I love the concept of being able to create something that everyone is going to see,” Pickett said of graphic design.

She also credits the art instructors at MHS including Kirk Niehouse, Rebecca Erickson and Wade Judge for helping her along the way.

“They have done so much, not only in art, but building me up as a person,” Pickett said. “I couldn’t have been around better people.”

The feeling is mutual with Mr. Niehouse.

“We are very proud of her,” Niehouse said. “She puts in the extra time and extra work to make sure her designs look good.”

Pickett already has some real-world experience to take with her to college. She currently works part-time doing graphic design work for the local printing company, Minuteman.

“ShayeLyn does great work,” said Jonathan Bizios, co-owner of Minuteman. “She’s got a creative mind and she works really hard. It’s a pleasure to have her around.”

She attended a summer program last year at MCAD and will return this next summer as well as she gears up to be a full-time college student next fall. It’s no secret she plans to study graphic design at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. ShayeLyn looks forward to seeing what she can create at the next level.

“Being in Minneapolis, it’s such an artistic place,” she said. “There’s so much inspiration.”

Posted in Uncategorized

MHS students recite poetry to Lenihan students


Marshalltown High School student Olivia Adams-Zmolek, recites poetry to students at Lenihan Intermediate School on December 8. Also pictured are fellow MHS students and Poetry Out Loud group members Phoebe Osgood, left, and Zyrus Whitehead.

Three current Marshalltown High School students who are former Lenihan Intermediate School students visited Lenihan on December 8 to talk about their Poetry Out Loud group at the high school.

Olivia Adams-Zmolek, Phoebe Osgood and Zyrus Whitehead visited sixth graders in the Mathias Clement Cove neighborhood to recite poetry. The high school students will have a competition at MHS on December 18 with the winner advancing to the state Poetry Out Loud contest.

While it was good practice for the MHS students, it was also beneficial for the Leninan students who are learning more about language fluency through poetry.

“We also hope our students see this as an extracurricular opportunity for them when they get to high school,” said Lenihan teacher Leah Mattox.

Posted in Uncategorized

Interactive technology in the spotlight at Family Coding Night


Students of all ages were able to try out interactive robotic exhibits as part of Family Coding Night at Miller Middle School on December 6.

Hundreds of people attended the second annual Family Coding Night on December 6 at the gym at Miller Middle School. Families with children of all ages took part in the interactive exhibits focused on STEM, computer science, robotics and other technology.

Exhibits were led by Marshalltown Community School District students, staff and representatives from Central Rivers Area Education Agency.

The event also served as a recognition for those companies which donated to the new ST Math curriculum in the district.

For a recap of the event, see the Times-Republican.

For a video of the event, click here.



Representatives from companies which donated to the ST Math curriculum were recognized with new Bobcat Pride College and Career Ready Partner signs. Pictured, are front row, from left, Jeff Mathis of Great Western Bank, Jerrod Leffler of Farmers Savings Bank, Danielle Gudith of Pinnacle Bank, Niko Aguirre of JBS and Aaron Wedo of UnityPoint Health. Back row, Jeff Rasmussen of Marshalltown Company, Steve Martin of Emerson, David Barajas of the Marshalltown Regional Partnership, James Gruening of Mechdyne and Carrie Loney of RACOM.






Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte with Karn Gregoire of the Martha-Ellen Tye Foundation

Posted in Uncategorized

MHS robotics team opens season, prepares for upcoming competitions


Team members on the Marshalltown High School robotics team known as the Botcats talk about their robot to a judge at the competition held on December 2 in the MHS Roundhouse.

The Marshalltown High School FIRST Robotics team, the Botcats, competed in its first league meet of the year at the MHS Roundhouse on December 2. Seven other total teams participated as well from Ankeny, Nevada, Bondurant, Collins-Maxwell and Newton.  

“We placed fifth out of eight teams, but earned points that will help us in the league tournament in January,” said MHS teacher Mike Lazere, who coaches the team along with Emerson engineer Yan Qiu.

FIRST is a national robotics program started by inventor and engineer Dean Kamen. Students build robots that must complete a number of tasks, both autonomously and with a driver.  The MHS Botcats now prepare for meets on December 16 at West Des Moines Valley High School and January  6 in Ankeny.

“We are still fundraising to cover the cost of transportation to meets and to purchase supplies for the robot,” Lazere said.

If you would like more information on how to donate, contact Lazere at



Pictured are MHS Robotics team members, front row, from left, Jordan May, Marek Jablonski, Marcos Medina and Morgan Johnson. Second row, Itzy Avalos and Jose Palmerin-Andrade. Back row, coaches Mike Lazere and Yan Qiu. 

Posted in Uncategorized