Lonnie Hogeland donation supports Fisher playground upgrade

Lonnie Hogeland, right, presents a $4,000 donation toward the Fisher Elementary playground resurfacing project at the Monday, March 21 Marshalltown School Board meeting. Also pictured is Buildings and Grounds Director Todd Goulding, left.

Local business owner Lonnie Hogeland has made yet another generous donation to the Marshalltown CSD, this time in support of the Fisher Elementary playground resurfacing project.

“I’m here to say thanks for the opportunity to help,” Hogeland said at the Monday, March 21 Marshalltown School Board meeting, where the board accepted his $4,000 donation. “I’m just wanting to give back.”

The Fisher playground project will include replacing the existing pea gravel play surface with a new rubberized surface. Buildings and Grounds Director Todd Goulding said Hogeland’s donation will allow for the installation of two additional play panels for Bobcat students.

Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte said the donation was the latest example of the 1986 MHS graduate’s support of Marshalltown Schools.

“[Hogeland] has done a lot of work in helping add equipment and spaces for recreational play at many of our elementary schools over time,” Dr. Schutte said. 

Testaments to the Hogeland Auto Plaza owner’s generosity can be found in many places across the District, from a swing set at Fisher Elementary to the safety vests worn by crossing guards after the tragic loss of Franklin Elementary student Christian Maxon in 2019.

Thank you to Lonnie Hogeland for another generous donation!

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Stanley named Poetry Out Loud state champion

Landon Stanley performs at the Marshalltown Performing Arts Center during the MHS Poetry Out Loud contest. He went on to win the state-level competition this season.

For the second year in a row, a Marshalltown High School student has won the Poetry Out Loud state finals, the Iowa Arts Council announced today.

MHS freshman Landon Stanley took first place in this year’s contest, earning a chance to compete for a national championship and a share of $50,000 in scholarships and school prize money. MHS alum Elijah Thiessen took first place last year.

Stanley won this year’s contest with recitations of “Broken Promises” by David Kirby, “A Graveyard” by Marianne Moore, and “La Belle Dame sans Merci: A Ballad” by John Keats. With his victory, Stanley received a $200 cash prize and $500 for MHS to purchase poetry books, courtesy of the Poetry Foundation.

He will compete virtually against students from all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and several U.S. territories in the national semifinals, which will be streamed on Sunday, May 1, at arts.gov.

This year’s virtual state competition capped off a season during which nearly 500 Iowa students memorized and recited poems for school and semi-final state competitions. The top 18 scoring students advanced to the recent state contest.

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Three MCSD teachers selected for special National History Day program

National History Day (NHD) has selected three MCSD teachers to take part in this spring’s Historical Argumentation Webinar Series.

MHS Heritage Spanish teacher Kristin Stuchis, MHS ELL teacher Shawna Hutchison and Marshalltown Learning Academy English teacher Katherine Mummert were among five teachers in Iowa, and 120 nationwide, chosen for this great opportunity.

MCSD teachers (from left) Shawna Hutchison, Katherine Mummert, and Kristin Stuchis will take part in this spring’s NHD Historical Argumentation Seminar.

“The teachers who participate in Historical Argumentation are all dedicated to teaching students about the nuances of creating a sound claim backed by evidence,” said NHD Executive Director Dr. Cathy Gorn.

The webinar series features resources from the Library of Congress. Through the course, teachers develop strategies to help their students think like a historian and develop a solid historical argument.

Upon completing the series, the teachers will have demonstrated they can use Library of Congress resources to map out a model historical argument. Participants earn professional development credits upon course completion.

Congratulations to Kristin Stuchis, Shawna Hutchison, and Katherine Mummert!

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Three named Employees of the Quarter for the 2nd Quarter

Employee of the Quarter Award honorees (from left) Micki Butler, Kristy DeFrance, and Heather Van Buren were nominated for going above and beyond throughout the Second Quarter of the school year.

Three Marshalltown CSD staff members were recognized for going above and beyond to serve students and support their peers in the Second Quarter of the 2021-22 school year.

Miller Middle School Counseling Office administrative assistant Micki Butler, Rogers Elementary Food Service staff member Kristy DeFrance, and Fisher Elementary nurse Heather Van Buren were awarded after being nominated by their peers.

Miller behavior interventionist Chad Spear and special education teacher Derek Wrage nominated Micki Butler for the award, saying “Teachers and students often come to [Butler] for answers and advice. She is able to foster positive relationships with all types of students, which is really appreciated since she is the first person someone sees when they come into the counseling office.”

At Rogers, Kristy DeFrance was nominated for being organized, efficient and friendly. Food Service Director Lynn Large said DeFrance “… has stepped up as a leader to work with different Food Service staff members. Kris approaches her work in a selfless way.”

Heather Van Buren was nominated by Fisher kindergarten teacher Lauren McKibben.

“Nurse Heather takes the time to get to know the students at Fisher Elementary,” McKibben said. “She is constantly on the go, assisting staff and students without failing to bring a positive attitude into the room.”

Congrats to all three of these outstanding Bobcat staff members!

Pictured, from left: Miller Middle School Co-Principal Dave Glenn, District HR Director Dr. Nora Ryan, Miller Counseling Office administrative assistant Micki Butler, Miller Co-Principal Kristyn Kell, Miller behavior interventionist Chad Spear, and Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte recognize Butler as an Employee of the Quarter. Not pictured: special education teacher Derek Wrage, who joined Spear in nominating Butler.
Rogers Elementary Food Service staff member Kristy DeFrance, second from right, is celebrated as an Employee of the Quarter honoree. She is joined by (from left) Dr. Schutte, Nutrition Supervisor Michelle Diers, and Food Service Director Lynn Large.
Fisher Elementary nurse Heather Van Buren, second from right, is celebrated as an Employee of the Quarter. Also pictured, from left: Dr. Ryan, Fisher Principal Mark Lee, Fisher kindergarten teacher Lauren McKibben, and Dr. Schutte.
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MHS announces new Bobcats Baseball head coach

Todd Oberthien

Marshalltown High School Athletics is proud to introduce Todd Oberthien as the next head coach of the Bobcats Baseball program.

As a former player and a coach, Coach Oberthien has exemplary leadership skills, extensive knowledge of baseball and genuine passion for the game. He currently serves as Housing Coordinator and assistant baseball coach for Marshalltown Community College.

“I am excited for the opportunity to help grow and lead the Bobcats Baseball program,” Oberthien said. “I will be looking to bring new energy and a new style of play to the team. I want kids to want to join the baseball team and know they are a part of something special. Bobcat Baseball is going to be fun, competitive, and energetic – it will be a community staple going forward.”

Oberthien’s background includes baseball coaching experience at Central College and Hartwick Ladora Victor Community School District. He also brings extensive coaching experience at camps and clinics for the Diamond Dreams Academy in North Liberty, as well as at Perfect Game All-Iowa Select in Cedar Rapids. 

“We are very excited to see what Todd will do to build and sustain Bobcats Baseball for the next generation of Marshalltown kids,” said MHS Activities Director Ryan Isgrig. “Not only will he bring his knowledge of baseball analytics, techniques, mechanics and logistics, but Todd will also sharpen our kids with life skills – leadership, teamwork, discipline and dedication – the things they need to be successful in life.”

As a player, Oberthien was no stranger to success. He graduated from Solon High School in 2013, where he earned distinction as an All-District utility player and was part of back-to-back Iowa State High School Baseball Championship teams in 2010 and 2011.

Oberthien continued his baseball career for two years at MCC. Upon graduation, he transferred to Mount Mercy University, earning a B.A. in Business and Sports Management in 2018. That same year, he was named the Heart of America Conference Honorable Mention Relief Pitcher.

“I believe Coach Oberthien will rekindle that fire that the Marshalltown community has always had for baseball,” Isgrig said. “I am confident he will cultivate a sense of pride in the Bobcats Baseball uniform and will ignite a renewed passion for the game among our student-athletes.”

The Bobcats Baseball season officially begins on May 2, 2022.

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Alliant Energy named a valuable MCSD Career Readiness Partner

Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte, left, presents an MCSD Career Readiness Partner Award to Alliant Energy Training Specialist Lori Wildman, center, and Senior Manager of Customer Operations Carla Gall, right.

Alliant Energy is an incredibly valuable partner in the Marshalltown CSD’s Bobcat Ready efforts, and the company has been recognized with an MCSD Career Readiness Partner Award!

“I’ve been very appreciative of [Alliant Energy] getting on board with Junior Achievement – they were one of the first organizations that sent external volunteers to help us with that effort,” said Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte, who presented the award to Alliant Energy Training Specialist Lori Wildman and Senior Manager of Customer Operations Carla Gall.

Dr. Schutte also pointed to the company’s support of bringing Miller Middle School’s Modular Technology Lab to life and it’s key role in the Marshalltown Business and Education Alliance (MBEA) as further examples of commitment to Bobcat students’ career readiness.

Alliant Energy has also hosted MCSD teachers for externship academy experiences, and has implemented online programs allowing Bobcat students to learn about energy basics. Students are able to access valuable internship and pre-apprenticeship experiences through the MCSD-Alliant Energy partnership.

“We just like to engage students whenever we can,” Wildman said.

Thank you to Alliant Energy for being excellent partners in ensuring students are Bobcat Ready!

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Emerson celebrated as MCSD Career Readiness Partner

Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte, left, presents the MCSD Career Readiness Partner Award to Emerson Director of Human Resources for the Americas Sarah Erickson, right.

Another top-notch community partner has been presented with an MCSD Career Readiness Partner Award! 

Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte said Emerson-Fisher Controls has played a crucial role in several career readiness initiatives for Bobcat students. Emerson Director of Human Resources for the Americas Sarah Erickson accepted the award on the company’s behalf this week.

“They have been highly engaged with the District providing human capital support encouraging their employees to volunteer for Junior Achievement, the Lenihan tutoring program and the Women’s Impact Network,” Dr. Schutte said of Emerson. “They have been significant financial supporters of PLTW, STEM and CTE initiatives such as ST Math.”

He added that Emerson has played a key role as a member of the Marshalltown Business and Education Alliance (MBEA), and has provided Bobcat students with unique summer work-based learning opportunities.

Thank you to Emerson-Fisher Controls for being an outstanding partner in our Bobcat Career Ready efforts!

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Theisen’s More for Your Community Grant to support student transportation

Lenihan Associate Principal Dr. Liz Jurgensen, right, celebrates a generous grant award with Marshalltown Theisen’s manager Rod Lorenzen, left.

Having a safe, reliable way to get to and from school each day is incredibly important for all Bobcat students, and a recent grant award will support student transportation.

Lenihan Intermediate School was awarded $1,000 through the Theisen’s More for Your Community Grant – the funds will cover the cost of Marshalltown Municipal Transit bus passes for Lenihan students who do not ride a District school bus. The school was one of more than 350 grant applicants.

This award will support the partnership between MCSD and the City of Marshalltown to provide transportation services for all students, regardless of where they live within the District.

Thank you to Theisen’s for supporting Bobcat students!

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Lennox Industries highlighted as valuable Career Readiness Partner

Lennox Director of Plant Operations Miguel Gutierrez, right, and HR Director Jess O’Neil, center, accept a Career Readiness Partner award from Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte, left.

Lennox Industries is among Marshalltown’s top employers, and the company has been an outstanding Career Readiness Partner with MCSD in supporting students, their parents and District staff in career readiness efforts.

“I thank you from the bottom of my heart for that support for our District,” said Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte, who presented an MCSD Career Readiness Partnership award to Lennox Director of Plant Operations Miguel Gutierrez and HR Director Jess O’Neil earlier this week.

Gutierrez said he looks forward to continuing Lennox’s partnership with Marshalltown Schools on Bobcat Ready efforts.

In addition to the company’s support of STEM and career and technical education initiatives, including ST Math and Project Lead the Way, Lennox employees have consistently volunteered to provide career-based learning for Bobcat students through the Junior Achievement program. Lennox is also a committed member of the Marshalltown Business Education Alliance (MBEA).

Most recently, Lennox has partnered with MCSD on projects to install new air conditioning at the original portion of Marshalltown High School and to perform renovation work at Anson Elementary School. Thank you to Lennox Industries!

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Four MCSD staff members receive Employee of the Quarter honors

Four exemplary Marshalltown CSD staff members have been recognized with an Employee of the Quarter award for the First Quarter of 2021-22. The honorees include:

  • Hannah Pfantz – Hoglan Elementary third grade teacher
  • Yolanda Mejia – Woodbury Elementary food service
  • Paul Sibbel – Lenihan Intermediate School band director
  • Randy Weir – District Transportation bus driver

All four Employees of the Quarter were nominated by their peers due to their exceptional dedication, positive attitudes, and going above and beyond to serve Bobcat students and families.

Hannah Pfantz, center, receives her Employee of the Quarter Award. Also pictured are, from left: Director of Instruction Shauna Smith, XLP teacher Nicole Holman Lankelma, Hoglan Principal Amy Williams, and Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte.

“Not only is Hannah part of an amazing grade level teaching team which fosters innovation to engage and educate every student, she goes the extra mile to form connections with each of her students,” said XLP teacher Nicole Holman Lankelma, who nominated Pfantz.

At Woodbury Elementary, Yolanda Mejia was applauded for her positivity and hard work as part of the District’s nutrition team. She was nominated by Nutrition Supervisor Michelle Diers. 

“Yolanda is the ‘glue’ to our Woodbury kitchen. She builds rapport with students and staff, she’s friendly, a team player and a leader,” Diers said. “She knows individual student dietary needs and collaborates well with the on-site nurse for allergy accommodations.”

Lenihan Band Director Paul Sibbel does a great job of bringing music into students’ lives. 

Yolanda Mejia, second from left, is a crucial member of the Woodbury Elementary and District Food Service team. Also pictured are, from left: Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte, Woodbury Principal Anel Garza, and Nutrition Supervisor Michelle Diers.

“Mr. Sibbel has single-handedly recruited over 130 fifth-graders into our band program. This recruitment effort is felt through his 6th grade band, Miller’s 7th/8th grade bands, and in the High School band program,” said MHS Assistant Band Director Brian Lewsadder, who nominated Sibbel. “His efforts inspire young musicians to be the best they can be.”

Lenihan Band Director Paul Sibbel, center, was joined by Principal Kyle Young, Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte, and Associate Principal Dr. Liz Jurgensen, as well as several students, as he accepted his Employee of the Quarter Award.

Bus driver Randy Weir’s dedication to getting students to and from school safely, and his willingness to support the District’s transportation needs, were qualities highlighted in his nomination.

“Randy goes beyond just driving a route; whenever a call for assistance is put out over the radio communications from dispatch, Randy responds that he is available to help,” said MCSD Transportation Director Rex Kozak. “He works with the other drivers to make sure they understand what is expected and helps them out in any way he can. He will help the mechanics get buses to different locations for repairs when needed.”

Bus driver Randy Weir, second from left, earned an Employee of the Quarter award. Also pictured, from left: Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte, Transportation Director Rex Kozak, and lead mechanic Jerry Flathers.

Thank you to these four incredible school staff members!

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