2006 graduate thankful for opportunities at MHS


Ashley (Morford) O’Brien is a 2006 Marshalltown High School graduate. She said she is thankful of all of the opportunities she had at MHS.

Story written by Samantha Edwards, volunteer writer

“If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”

Ashley (Morford) O’Brien, a 2006 graduate from Marshalltown High School, uses the quote to explain how sociology classes at MHS benefited her.

Her first career choice was to become an art teacher, and she said the art classes she took at MHS might have been superior to other high school art classes.

“I like the diversity of classes that were offered, especially in art,” she said. “We had a really, really great art department, which we were really fortunate to have.”

All the extracurricular activities at MHS also strongly impressed Ashley, and she was in several involving: a volunteerism association called KEY club, tennis, cheerleading, art club, Spanish club, Educational Talent Search and even an assistant in Special Olympics bowling.

“Students could be involved in [activities] that spark their current interest or may spark interest in something they didn’t know much about,” she said.

Ashley works at a leasing company located in Cedar Rapids with the title as a sales support person.

“Basically, I support our sales reps. Our sales reps call our office equipment dealers and try to build a relationship with them. I try to build that relationship too. I try to make deals work and benefit both my company and the dealer,” she said.

Other duties include processing documents, problem solving, the financial aspect and answering phone calls.

“Essentially, we’re kind of like a bank,” she explained.

Her main job is at the leasing company, but her passion is photography, and primarily she takes pictures of families. Ashley started photography in college, and now is the manager of AO photography. She was happy to say that she took a college-credited photography class at Marshalltown High School.

Samantha 2006 graduate
Volunteer writer Samantha Edwards is a 
2006 graduate of Marshalltown High School.
BobcatPride logo-2
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Students, staff recognized by Belin-Blank Center at University of Iowa


These Extended Learning Program students and staff from Marshalltown were among those honored at the Belin-Blank Center Recognition Ceremony at the University of Iowa on September 30. Pictured, from left, are MHS students Lilly Duff and Alivia Eaton, Lenihan teacher Vanessa Engel, Miller Middle School student Adrian Juarez, Lenihan student Izaiah Correa, elementary teacher Deb Christenson and Lenihan student Ella Spitzli. Several other Marshalltown students and one staff member were honored but not in attendance.

Several Marshalltown Schools staff and students were honored at the Belin-Blank Recognition Ceremony on September 30 at the University of Iowa.

Three Marshalltown Extended Learning Program teachers were recognized including Deb Christenson from Fisher, Franklin and Rogers elementary schools, Vanessa Engel from Lenihan Intermediate School and Ann Jackson from Miller Middle School. These staff were nominated by Marshalltown students who were asked to identify a teacher who has made a significant impact on their lives.

Marshalltown students recognized included Adrian Juarez of Miller Middle School and Lenihan students Izaiah Correa, Ella Spitzli and Isaac Benscoter. These students were awarded for their performance in the I-Excel test (above level test) last spring while at Lenihan.

Several MHS freshmen were recognized for their participation in the Blank Summer Institute for Arts and Sciences including Lilly Duff, Alivia Eaton, Jacob Swartz, Marcus Barker, Erin Stanley, Zoe Johnson and Jesse DeMeyer.

Posted in Uncategorized

Heading to “Hamilton”


Marshalltown High School students are pictured holding up “Hamilton” musical signs and a thank you sign. Students in this class are among the 102 MHS students heading to see the “Hamilton” musical on October 4 in Minneapolis.

Students excited for field trip to award-winning musical in Minneapolis

Marshalltown High School students are buzzing about a highly-anticipated field trip they will be taking on Thursday, October 4.

A total of 102 MHS students in American History and AP Government classes taught by Tim Johnson and Brad Rahmiller will take a trip to Minneapolis to see a matinee performance of the Tony award winning musical “Hamilton” by Lin-Manuel Miranda.

In addition, the students will participate in a question and answer session with cast members and view a student performance workshop.

“It’s a once in a lifetime experience to see the musical and to ask questions of the cast,” Rahmiller said.

Johnson said most of the students are familiar with the “Hamilton” musical.

“There’s a lot of excitement and most of them are aware of how popular the musical is,” Johnson said.

Funding for the tickets and program that day were through the Hamilton Education Program. The Martha-Ellen Tye Foundation and the Ann Keyser Trust have provided donations for dinner and transportation costs. The musical and activities that day will be held at the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis.

Posted in Uncategorized

Homecoming Queen and King crowned


Marshalltown High School crowned 2018 Homecoming royalty on September 27 at the MHS/Community Auditorium as Daisy Lopez and Derrick Garth were named Queen and King.

The night also included a pep rally featuring dance and cheer teams, and music from choir students and the jazz band.

Homecoming events continue with the football game vs. Sioux City West at 7 p.m. at Leonard Cole Field on September 28.

The events will wrap up with the Homecoming dance from 8 to 11 p.m. at the MHS cafeteria on Saturday, September 29.

View more photos from Thursday’s events at the MCSD Facebook page.



Posted in Uncategorized

Lenihan sixth graders learn real world skills at Junior Achievement BizTown


Lenihan Intermediate School sixth grade students work on a mock construction project during a recent visit to the Junior Achievement BizTown facility in Des Moines.

Lenihan Intermediate School sixth graders visited the Junior Achievement BizTown facility in Des Moines over the course of six different days recently. JA BizTown combines classroom activities with real world skills training through mock businesses.

“The kids have been highly engaged in several weeks of learning that has led to this culminating event,” said Lenihan Principal Kyle Young. “Everyone that I’ve talked to has really loved the experience.”

Marshalltown Schools Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte visited JA BizTown to help Lenihan students with the activities on September 19. Also joining the students throughout the six days were Lenihan staff and many parent volunteers.

“The Lenihan Intermediate students have been such a joy to have at our facility and it has been amazing to see their eyes light up when they walk in the door,” said JA BizTown Manager Shannon Gerard.

Junior Achievement, which has local professionals imparting their business knowledge while teaching real world skills in the classroom, continues to grow in Marshalltown Schools after its re-launch in the district last school year.

To learn more about being a Junior Achievement volunteer in our schools,  email Theron Schutte at tschutte@marshalltown.k12.ia.us or Erica Finders at efinders@marshalltown.k12.ia.us.


Lenihan students work in the publishing center as they learn about media.


Marshalltown Schools Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte works with students at the Wells Fargo station.



Posted in Uncategorized

Michigan school district sends care packages to staff at Marshalltown elementary schools located in tornado’s path


Three Woodbury Elementary School staff members are pictured with care packages they received from Northville Public Schools in Northville, Michigan. Pictured are Woodbury teachers, from left, Todd Beare and Myriam Montiel-Arellano and Woodbury Principal Anel Garza. The Northville district sent care packages to staff at the three schools most affected by the July 19 tornado including Woodbury, Rogers and Franklin elementary schools. 

Northville Public Schools in Northville, Michigan recently sent care packages to each staff member at the three schools affected most by the July 19 Marshalltown tornado.

Staff at Franklin, Rogers and Woodbury elementary schools in Marshalltown received the packages with notes recently in what Northville Schools staff say is their “Adopt a Staff Member” effort.

Denise (Stover) Bryan is principal of Moraine Elementary School in Northville and is a 1979 Marshalltown High School graduate. Moraine is one of six elementary schools in Northville which made donations to this project.  Bryan said this is a way to show support for the staff at the three schools.

“Sometimes just knowing others care helps brighten a day,” Bryan said.

The packages included various items such as school supplies, household items, snacks and more. Woodbury staff were given their care packages on September 21.

“It has given our staff a warm feeling to know that people from states away are still thinking of us and wishing us the best as we heal through this process,” said Woodbury Elementary School Principal Anel Garza.

Posted in Uncategorized

Community leaders, MHS success stories speak at Gear Up assembly


2005 Marshalltown High School graduate Noemi Calderon spoke to students as part of a Gear Up week assembly on September 17 at MHS. Calderon is an engineer at Emerson.

Marshalltown High School kicked off Gear Up week with an all-school assembly on September 17 featuring a variety of speakers.

Gear Up is a federal grant to assist with college and career readiness for the Class of 2020 at MHS.

Several community leaders and MHS graduates spoke at the ceremony to inspire all MHS students to become college and career ready. Many shared their own personal success stories.

Those who spoke at the assembly included:

  • Marshalltown Mayor Joel Greer
  • MHS graduate and Marshalltown Schools Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte
  • State Representative Mark Smith of Marshalltown
  • MHS graduate and Times-Republican News Editor Emily Barske
  • Marshalltown Community College Provost Dr. Robin Lilienthal
  • Gear Up statewide staff
  • MHS graduate and Emerson engineer Noemi Calderon
  • MHS graduate and Emerson welder Adan Rodriguez
  • MHS Gear Up Coordinator Connie Gardalen

To view a video from the assembly, click here.



Marshalltown Mayor Joel Greer


Marshalltown Schools Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte


State Representative Mark Smith


MHS graduate and Times-Republican News Editor Emily Barske


Marshalltown Community College Provost Dr. Robin Lilienthal


MHS Gear Up Coordinator Connie Gardalen, left, and MHS graduate and Emerson welder Adan Rodriguez

Posted in Uncategorized