Bobcat students receive COVID-19 vaccines

MHS students Magdalena Marceleno (at top) and Abraham Madrigal (at bottom) receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine Friday.

Another major step in fighting the coronavirus pandemic was taken Friday afternoon as several Marshalltown High School students – ages 16 and older – received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. 

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines were free to students thanks to MCSD’s partnership with Meskwaki Health Services. Several students said they were happy for the opportunity to be vaccinated prior to the end of the school year. 

A follow-up clinic for students to get their second dose of the vaccine is scheduled for Friday, June 4. Students vaccinated on Friday and their families will be sent more information about the follow-up clinic in the near future, and further opportunities for students to get vaccinated will also be shared once details are available.

We are so proud of all of the Bobcat students who were willing to sign up for and get a vaccine this week. More vaccinations will create a safer school environment for all students, staff, and Marshalltown Community members!

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New Wall of Honor recognizes Bobcats’ athletic achievements from 1906-1964

The new athletic Wall of Honor (1906-1964) unveiled Wednesday received a warm welcome from featured Bobcat alumni. Pictured, from left: MHS Athletics/Activities Director Ryan Isgrig, MHS Athletics historian Brad Braga, Class of ’64 alumni Willie Andrews and Dick Tomhave, Class of ’62 alumni Jerry Gazaway and John Readout, Class of ’55 alum David Day, and MCSD Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte.

Nearly six decades of Bobcat excellence is now on full display at the Marshalltown High School Roundhouse after a new athletic Wall of Honor was unveiled Wednesday.

Students, staff, alumni and visitors have long enjoyed displays honoring Bobcat student-athletes’ successes from 1965-present in the Roundhouse. Now, with the addition of the new Wall of Honor for the years 1906-1964 installed at the north end of the Roundhouse, the rich and hallowed history of Bobcats’ state-level accolades can be fully appreciated.

The new display received a warm welcome from several MHS alumni. Former student-athletes Willie Andrews and Dick Tomhave (Class of 1964), Jerry Gazaway and John Readout (Class of 1962), and David Day (Class of 1955) attended the ceremony and enjoyed finding familiar names shown on the Wall of Honor, including their own.

Class of 1955 alum David Day explores the new athletic Wall of Honor (1906-1964) now on display on the north end of the MHS Roundhouse.

The 1906-1964 Wall of Honor project was driven by MCSD Superintendent and Class of 1981 graduate Dr. Theron Schutte’s vision and passion for Bobcat history and excellence.

Class of 1970 alum and Bobcat Athletics historian Brad Braga was a key collaborator on the project. Braga used his records to validate Dr. Schutte’s research on MHS student-athletes’ achievements from 1906-1964; the display was brought to life by Jack and Bob Lashier of LRI Graphics & Signs.

Along with the athletic Wall of Honor unveiled this week, Dr. Schutte also led the effort to install the Fine Arts Honor Wall in the Marshalltown Performing Arts Center Auditorium lobby. That display – added during the 2019-20 school year – showcases past state-level Band, Chorus, Orchestra and Speech accolades earned by Bobcat students. 

Such displays of past MHS athletics and fine arts glory are valuable not only as an important historical record, but also for inspiring today’s Bobcat students to strive for excellence in their own pursuits. We are proud of our rich history and excited to witness the current and future achievements of Bobcat students!

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“Foliage Hall of Fame” recognizes community tree restoration efforts

Pictured, from left: Lyle Jensen of the MHS Class of 1969 & MHS Alumni Fund, Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte, and Class of 1969 Secretary Billy Wilson display the “Foliage Hall of Fame” plaques honoring Bobcat alumni, businesses, and civic organizations which have raised $132,000 for tree restoration efforts.

The Marshalltown Community has withstood two major wind storms in recent years, and both the 2018 tornado and the 2020 derecho dealt significant damage to trees throughout the community. 

In response, the Marshalltown Tree Restoration Project – a collaborative effort of more than 20 MHS alumni classes and more than 20 civic organizations and businesses – has so far raised $132,000 toward the restoration of beautiful greenery, shade and foliage throughout the city.

To recognize and celebrate the dozens of Bobcat alumni classes, businesses, and organizations which have contributed to the tree restoration effort, special “Foliage Hall of Fame” plaques will be displayed at the Marshalltown CSD Central Office, Marshalltown High School, Marshalltown City Hall, the Iowa Veterans Home, and the Marshall County Courthouse.

Pictured, from left: Billy Wilson, MHS Principal Jacque Wyant, and Lyle Jensen show the “Foliage Hall of Fame” plaques set to be displayed at the high school.

The Marshalltown Tree Restoration Project has made a major impact, with 435 trees planted thus far. Many of those young trees have established their roots on MCSD school grounds, including several evergreens planted just north of the Marshalltown Tennis Complex in October of 2020.

Lyle Jensen – MHS Class of 1969 Vice President & MHS Alumni Fund Vice President/Treasurer – and Class of 1969 Secretary Billy Wilson have both been deeply involved in the Marshalltown Tree Restoration Project. Jensen said funds are still being raised and there are hundreds of trees yet to be planted. 

The Marshalltown CSD is deeply grateful for the Marshalltown Tree Restoration Project and the Bobcat alumni, businesses, and organizations which have contributed to this important work!

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Celebrating National School Nurses Day 2021

School nurses throughout the Marshalltown CSD look after the health and safety of Bobcat students each day, and their hard work and expertise have proven especially invaluable over the past year.

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, all of the District’s school nurses have worked tirelessly to educate students, families and staff about COVID-19 symptoms and safety measures. They have also continued to provide important day-to-day health services to students and staff.

The school nurses at Marshalltown Schools understand the importance of the health of the whole child; physical, mental, and emotional health are all key to students’ success. We thank the entire MCSD team of school nurses for their important work to keep Bobcat students safe and healthy!

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Annual Retirement Tea set for Tuesday, June 1

Mark your calendar for Tuesday, June 1, 2021 to help us celebrate this year’s retirees at the Marshalltown Community School District/Marshalltown Education Association Retirement Tea Reception!

The Tea has been a beloved Bobcat tradition for many years; this year’s event will be held in the MHS cafeteria from 4:30-6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 1.

Along with this year’s retirees, a Friend of Education recipient will be honored at the Tea; two high school scholarship winners will also be awarded.

To RSVP for the 2021 MCSD/MEA Retirement Tea, please fill out and submit this brief Google Form.

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MCSD celebrates Teacher Appreciation Week

Public school teachers are among the most important and hardest-working professionals in the country, and this week the Marshalltown CSD is celebrating our teachers’ commitment to the success and growth of Bobcat students!

This year’s National Teacher Appreciation Week runs from May 3-7, with Teacher Appreciation Day taking place today, Tuesday, May 4. Along with celebrating the dedication of public school teachers, this week also provides a great opportunity to reflect on the importance of the teaching profession.

Teachers are key to the success of future generations, and Marshalltown Schools is blessed with an incredible team of teachers. They bring their knowledge, positivity, energy, and empathy to class for their students throughout the school year.

Despite the challenges brought by the coronavirus pandemic this school year, MCSD’s teachers have time and again shown their resilience, determination, and optimism as they continue to provide Bobcat students with a high-quality education.

Thank you to all of our great teachers!

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School Board members’ service celebrated for School Board Recognition month

May is School Board Recognition Month, sponsored by the Iowa Association of School Boards to celebrate the contributions of board members to Iowa public education. This year’s theme is “School Boards: Leading Through Uncharted Waters.”

The Marshalltown Community School District is celebrating the work of our incredible school board, each member of which has maintained their commitment to students, schools, and our community while facing challenges and making decisions they never could have anticipated when they were elected.

The Marshalltown School Board is charged with charting the course for our school district. They oversee the budget, develop policies, set the atmosphere for the District, and make decisions that impact the entire community.

The board members’ hard work in service to the District was highlighted at the Monday, May 3 regular board meeting. We thank all seven board members – Board President Bea Niblock, Vice President Sean Heitmann, Mike Miller, Karina Hernandez, Sara Faltys, Jan McGinnis, and Niko Aguirre – for their ongoing leadership and commitment to the success of Marshalltown Schools!

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School Board seeks letters of interest to fill vacancy

The Marshalltown Community School District Board of Education will have a vacancy due to the resignation of board member Nicolas Aguirre effective Friday, May 7. This is a notice of intent to fill a vacancy on the board. 

Letters of interest for appointment
Individuals wishing to be considered to be appointed to fill the school board vacancy can submit a letter of interest to MCSD Board Secretary Paulette Newbold, 1002 S. 3rd Ave., Marshalltown, IA 50158. Letters of interest will be accepted through 4:30 p.m. Friday, May 14.

For more information on submitting a letter of interest, contact Newbold at 641-754-1000 or send an email to

Petition for a special election
In accordance with Iowa law, electors have the right to file a petition calling for the vacancy to be filled by a special election. Per state law, the deadline to submit a petition for a special election to fill this school board vacancy is 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 18.

For information on the petition and signatory process, contact Newbold at 641-754-1000 or email

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MCSD Director of Instruction Dr. Stevenson named Central Office Administrator of the Year finalist

School Administrators of Iowa (SAI) named Marshalltown CSD Director of Instruction Dr. Lisa Stevenson as a finalist for the 2021 Iowa Central Office Administrator of the Year award this week.

During her five years in Marshalltown, Dr. Stevenson has collaborated with numerous community organizations, the Department of Education, the AEA, administrators, and teachers to launch projects designed to support the District’s mission and vision for all PK-12 learners.

  • At the preschool level, through the “Young Bobcats Moving Forward” plan, the program went from zero to four community partners that joined the local program and preschool participation has increased from around 60-65% per site to around 75-80% per site.
  • In collaboration with the at-risk committee and secondary staff, the number of dropouts has decreased from 114 in 2016 to 65 in 2020 due to intentional work with MTSS, credit recovery, and professional learning communities. The graduation rate rose from 83.97% to over 90% in 2020.
  • All 427 certified staff members are active participants every 5-6 days within their specific professional learning community (PLC) where they plan, review, and reflect about their teaching and student learning outcomes.
  • The dual language Spanish/English program was expanded to now include offerings at K-12 and the Seal of Biliteracy program began.  Over the last two years, due to combined efforts by teachers and administrators, the number of Seal of Biliteracy participants rose from 16 to 54 students.
  • In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Stevenson coordinated a Return to Learn team of over 72 stakeholders to review and plan for mitigation, staffing, and support for over 1,400 virtual learners. This work has led to the creation of a new PK-12 school for 2021-22 – the Marshalltown Virtual Academy.

Dr. Stevenson has been the Director of Instruction at MCSD since 2016. Before coming to the District, she was an elementary principal and preschool director in Bettendorf Community School District for six years. She also served as the administrator for the West Liberty Early Learning Center and curriculum director for West Liberty Community School District for five years.

SAI, a statewide organization founded in 1987, represents more than 1,800 Iowa educational administrators. SAI’s mission is to enhance PreK-12 education through effective leadership by school administrators.

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Bobcat students inducted into National Honor Society

Marshalltown High School NHS President and senior Emily Manis, left, gives remarks during Wednesday’s Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 National Honor Society induction ceremony.

Students in the National Honor Society show qualities of good character, leadership, and service to the community, and several Bobcats joined the respected organization’s ranks Wednesday evening.

The ceremony had special significance as two groups of students – Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 inductees – officially joined the National Honor Society. The Fall 2020 ceremony had to be put on hold due to coronavirus pandemic concerns. Wednesday’s ceremony at the Marshalltown Performing Arts Center gave all of the students a chance to celebrate their exceptional accomplishment with their families; the event included social distancing, required face masks, and other COVID-19 safety measures.

“The membership of the Marshalltown High School chapter of the National Honor Society has been earned by the effective demonstration of the four qualities held in high esteem by the society – scholarship, leadership, character and service,” said Marshalltown High School senior and NHS President Emily Manis.

NHS member students Ana Palmerin Andrade, Hae Tha Lay Paw, Odaly Joya Flores, and Elijah Thiessen spoke about the importance of scholarship, leadership, character, and service. As each quality was highlighted, fellow NHS member Noah Hermanson lit a candle representing that quality.

MHS Class of 2014 alum Emily Barske delivers the induction ceremony’s keynote address.

The keynote speaker at Wednesday’s ceremony was Des Moines Business Record Editor Emily Barske, an MHS Class of 2014 alum and NHS member. 

“Anyone can be a leader if you have the passion for serving others,” she said. “You can be somebody who is younger or older, somebody who is an introvert or extrovert … if you believe in service over self, as well as making a positive impact in your community, you can be a leader.” 

Barske encouraged the new inductees to pursue leadership opportunities and use their fresh perspectives and sense of service to benefit their community.

“I encourage you to not ever let your age or other characteristics that you hold be the reason that you don’t pursue something that you love or care about,” she said. “Just because the position has never been held by someone your age, or someone who looks like you, doesn’t mean you’re not the best person for the job.”

Wednesday’s ceremony concluded with inductees reciting the NHS pledge and celebrations with their family members outside the auditorium. 

Congratulations to all of the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 Bobcat NHS inductees! See the full list of new National Honor Society members, as well as more photos from the event, below:

NHS member students Hae Tha Lay Paw, left, and Noah Hermanson, right, take part in the traditional lighting of candles at Wednesday’s ceremony. Each candle stands for one of the four qualities sought in NHS members: scholarship, leadership, character and service.

Fall 2021 Inductees:

  • Marianna Albarracin
  • John Loney
  • Moses Albarran
  • Kale McKibbin
  • Rochelle Avalos
  • Hayden Oetker
  • Marcus Barker
  • Andrea Ordaz Jimenez
  • Ethan Benscoter
  • Jadyn Palmer
  • Samantha Bradley
  • K Du Paw
  • Drake Polley
  • Lily Duff
  • Haley Reed
  • Natalie Duncan
  • Jolcey Santana
  • Alivia Eaton
  • Colin Schmit
  • Diana Espinoza
  • Aaron Seberger
  • Amber Henson
  • Kendall See
  • Phoebe Hermanson
  • Veronica Herrera
  • Brittany Sichra
  • Marco Herrera
  • Kaylin Smith
  • Claire Hughes

  • Rachel Smith
  • Kathryn Johnson
  • Eysak Stanfield
  • Taylor Jones
  • Rebekah Stone
  • Kiara Juarez Parra
  • Jovanny Tellez
  • Emma Kuhlers
  • Jose Manuel Vergara
  • Brynn Van Buren
  • Norah Wilson

Spring 2021 Inductees:

  • Tarryn Bell
  • Grace Bethel
  • Averi Bolar
  • Lizeth Castillo
  • Nile Christensen
  • Jaxson Eisenbarth
  • Melissa Hernandez Morales
  • Gavin Jablonski
  • Derek Ketcham
  • Drew Loney
  • Bawi Par
  • Eleanor Seberger
  • Erin Stanley
  • Chesni Uhde
  • Moises Vasquez
  • Cassidy Wedemeyer
  • Quinn Weidenaar
Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte shares an elbow bump with NHS inductee Jovany Tellez
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