Four teacher librarians participate in computer science institute

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Four teacher librarians from Marshalltown Schools participated in a computer science institute recently in Bloomington, Indiana. Pictured from left are Alicia Patten, Erin Faas, Jodi Duffy and Val Ehlers.

Four Marshalltown School Community School district teacher librarians from the elementary level recently participated in the Infosys Pathfinders Summer Institute in Bloomington, Indiana.

This institute provides an intensive week of high-quality hands on training in computer science and making.  Erin Faas (Rogers Elementary School) and Alicia Patten (Fisher Elementary School) attended Makerspace Bootcamp where they focused on how to implement Makerspaces and the idea of making through both tech and non-tech avenues. This learning will be shared and implemented this fall in grades K-6 along with materials thanks to the district receiving Computer Science and Making STEM Connections grants.  

Jodi Duffy (Franklin Elementary School) and Val Ehlers (Woodbury Elementary School) attended Tynker Coding for Kids where they focused on digging deeper into how the district can efficiently support students on the path to coding mastery.  Elementary library curriculum currently utilizes Tynker with 3rd and 4th grade students. 

Pathfinders Institute is in its second year of existence and included 400+ teachers from 45 different states. This opportunity is mainly funded through Infosys.  

“Our teacher librarians are thankful we were given this opportunity,” Faas said.

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MHS junior expands her global view in Paraguay


Marshalltown High School junior Abbey Welden holds the flag of Paraguay during her youth ambassador trip to the South American country this summer.

Welden was a US Youth Ambassador this summer

Marshalltown High School junior Abbey Welden said in many ways one summer trip to South America has changed her for the better. Welden has returned from a month in Paraguay as part of the US Youth Ambassadors Program.

“It exceeded all of my expectations,” she said.  “Just to be immersed in a culture and experience it first hand.”

The US Youth Ambassadors Program is a program of the US Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and US Embassies.

While in Paraguay, she worked with a foundation to help those in need in the community, visited schools and stayed with a host family there. Abbey enjoyed the experience so much that she is already looking into other ways to study abroad next summer.

“There is so much to be gained by working toward being a global citizen,” Welden said.

Dual Language program her get started
Abbey is a big advocate of the dual language program in Marshalltown Schools and remembers knowing only a few words in Spanish when she started in the program as a kindergarten student. By the time Abbey was in fourth grade, she was fluent in Spanish.

“I was already taking steps to be a global citizen,” she said.

See a video of her trip below.



Abbey Welden is pictured speaking to school children in Paraguay.

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MHS athletics fundraiser sets record with more than $14,000 raised


Stacy O’Hare sends her ball onto the green during the Marshalltown High School athletics fundraiser golf outing on June 13 at the American Legion Golf Course.

The 2019 Marshalltown High School athletics fundraiser golf outing held on June 13 at the American Legion Golf Course was a huge success.

The event raised a record amount of more than $14,000 for MHS athletics and featured a record number of total golfers at 256.

“We would like to thank the sponsors and players for participating in this great community event,” said Tim Bell, retired MHS athletics director and committee chair for the event.

The overall winning team was the foursome of Kassy Vest, Brian Wilkie, Mike Younkin and Chad Weir with a 16 under par in the best shot tournament. Planning is underway for the 2020 athletics golf outing, which will be held in June.

For more photos from the event,
visit the MCSD Facebook Page.


MHS Dean of Students Dan Terrones and Principal Jacque Wyant grilled burgers at the event.


The MHS dance team served up the meal at the outing.


Jeff Nunn follows through with a drive during the event.


Pictured are the foursome of , from left, Drake Stalzer, Madi Stalzer, Duncan Ferch and John Stalzer.





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Professor stresses importance of hard work and kindness


Dr. Emily Heying is a 2006 Marshalltown High School graduate who is a professor in the nutrition department at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University in Minnesota.

Dr. Heying is a 2006 MHS graduate

Dr. Emily Heying said Marshalltown High School teachers pushed her to do her best. Now, the 2006 MHS graduate is in a similar role.

Heying is a professor in the nutrition department at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University in Minnesota.

“My dad (Jerry) was a long-time biology teacher at MHS so I was introduced to science at an early age,” Heying said. “I loved learning how the world worked and knew that broadly, science was the only field for me.”

Heying went on to get her undergraduate degree in biochemistry from Wartburg College in 2010. She later received her doctorate in nutritional sciences from the University of Wisconsin in Madison in 2014.

Among the many Marshalltown teachers who inspired her were former MHS science teacher Pam Brewer-Michael, who is now a curriculum director for Marshalltown Schools, and retired MHS English teacher Cheryl LaVille. A couple of her other favorite memories from MHS are qualifying for state tennis and celebrating in a muddy field after the Bobcat football team beat Newton for the first time in 32 years.

Heying’s advice for young people is to work hard and don’t compare yourself to others or worry about things as frivolous as being popular in high school.

“Just be kind to others and work on bettering yourself — whether it be in the classroom, in relationships with others, or on other skills to help you move forward professionally,” she said.


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Aguirre selected to fill school board vacancy


Nicolas “Niko” Aguirre

Nicolas “Niko” Aguirre was selected by the Marshalltown Community School District Board of Education to fill a four-month vacancy on the school board during a special meeting on July 2. Aguirre, who is originally from Nebraska, works as Human Resources Director at JBS in Marshalltown.

He considers himself a “servant leader” who said he has been very involved in the community during his more than two years in Marshalltown.

“I have attempted to be extremely active in the community since I’ve been here,” Aguirre said.

Aguirre said he can also relate to many of the Marshalltown students as he is a first generation American.

“I am of them,” Aguirre said.

Aguirre was selected among three candidates who expressed interest in filling the seat recently vacated by Ross Harris. Two other candidates interviewed by the school board on Tuesday included Ashtyn Beek and John Johnson, both of whom are parents in the district.

This seat now filled by Aguirre will be up for election along with three other school board seats in November.

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Three submit letters of interest in school board vacancy

Three Marshalltown residents have submitted letters of interest to fill a four-month vacancy (one opening) on the Marshalltown Community School District Board of Education and are planned to be interviewed by the school board on Tuesday, July 2.

The residents interested in the vacancy include Nicolas Aguirre, Ashtyn Beek and John Johnson. The board will interview the candidates in open public session, then make a decision to fill the vacancy that night.

The interviews will not take place if there is a call for a special election by a school district resident who submits the required 276 signatures of electors by 5 p.m. on July 1.

The vacancy was recently created due to the resignation of board member Ross Harris with four months left on the four-year term. The seat will be up for election again this November.

Board candidate interview schedule (located at board room at 1002 S. 3rd. Ave) on Tuesday, July 2.

5 p.m. – Nicolas “Niko” Aguirre
5:30 p.m. – Ashtyn Beek
6 p.m. – John Johnson

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Dr. Nora Ryan selected as next Director of Human Resources for Marshalltown Schools


Dr. Nora Ryan

Dr. Nora Ryan has been named the next Director of Human Resources for the Marshalltown Community School District. Dr. Ryan currently serves as Inclusion Services Coordinator within the Office of Equal Opportunity at Iowa State University.

“I am delighted to be joining the MCSD team this summer under the direction of Superintendent Dr. Schutte,” Dr. Ryan said. “I look forward to supporting the entire Bobcat team in order to further the mission of developing well-rounded learners through personalized learning experiences.”

Dr. Ryan is originally from Story City and has several immediate and extended family members who work in education.

“While I have spent the last few years in higher education, I am thrilled to return to K-12, where my career began,” she said.

Dr. Ryan received both her Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish (with an Iowa State teaching licensure) and her Master’s in Public Administration from Iowa State University. She received her doctorate in Public Administration and Public Policy from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. in 2017.

She has previous teaching experience, has worked in human resources and has spent one year as a Statistician Fellow working in the Executive Office of the President of the United States from May 2015-16.

“We are really excited to have Dr. Nora Ryan join our District Administrative Team as the new MCSD Director of Human Resources on July 1, 2019,” said Marshalltown Schools Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte. “Dr. Ryan brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in all of the various facets of this multi-dimensional role. She has a demonstrated history of service and volunteerism within the communities she has served in the past.”

Ryan’s appointment will be up for school board approval at the June 17 board meeting.

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