Three MHS seniors selected as student school board representatives


The three new student school board representatives for the school year are Marshalltown High School seniors, from left, Carmen Araiza, Mia Barajas and Diana Sanchez.

The Marshalltown Community School District Board of Education named three new student school board representatives from Marshalltown High School to provide the student perspective to the school board during meetings.  They include MHS seniors Carmen Araiza, Mia Barajas and Diana Sanchez.

Carmen Araiza
Carmen has been involved in Mock Trial, STEP (Students Teaching & Empowering Philanthropy), Envirothon, Poetry Out Loud, Battle of the Books, Science Olympiad, Delegation for the Advancement of History, band and drama. She plans to attend Tennessee State University and major in architectural engineering.

Mia Barajas
Mia is involved as a Student Rotarian, in track, cross country, STEP and Big Brothers BIg Sisters.  She plans to attend Northern Illinois University and major in psychology.

Diana Sanchez
Diana is involved in Science Bound, TRIO, Delegation for the Advancement of History and as a  Gear Up Ambassador. She plans to attend Iowa State University and major in computer science.

The three will serve in this role throughout the 2019-20 school year. They are non-voting members of the board, but will provide student feedback and updates from MHS.

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MHS students receive academic awards during recognition night


Marshalltown High School senior Aida Almanza, left, was among the students recognized for academic achievement during the academic letter award night at the MHS/Community Auditorium on August 28. Aida is pictured receiving her award from MHS Principal Jacque Wyant.

The annual academic letter award night was held on August 28 at the Marshalltown High School/Community Auditorium.

The event recognizes current MHS sophomores, juniors and seniors who achieved at least a 3.5 grade point average for both semesters last school year.  Those who received this distinction for the first time received an “M” letter while those receiving this honor for a second or third time received a bar pin for their letter.

Presenters on the night included MHS Principal Jacque Wyant and Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte.

“You have developed skills that will benefit you for a lifetime,” Wyant told the students. “Our school staff and administration are proud of you and of the hard work that you demonstrated to earn this award.”

To view more photos from this event, visit the MCSD Facebook Page.


MHS senior Joe Burnes receives his recognition from MHS Principal Jacque Wyant.

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Four MHS graduates recognized in AP Scholar program

Ap Scholar

Four 2019 Marshalltown High School graduates have been recognized as part of the AP Scholar program as a result of their scores on the AP (Advanced Placement) tests in May 2019.

Their names and the colleges they are attending this fall are listed below.

AP Scholar with Distinction

  • Jane Ragland- attending Elon University
  • Stella Roseburrough Borras- attending Middlebury College

AP Scholar with Distinction is granted to students who receive an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP exams taken and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams.

AP Scholar

  • Carissa King- attending Wheaton College
  • Emily Miller- attending the University of Iowa

AP Scholar is granted to students who receive scores of 3 or higher on three or more AP exams.

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New drum majors excited to start marching season


Marshalltown High School junior Emily Manis, left, and senior Caleb Jones are the new drum majors this year for the Bobcat Marching Band.

The two new drum majors of the Bobcat Marching Band are excited as band camp opened this week. Marshalltown High School junior Emily Manis and senior Caleb Jones have taken on the student leadership roles in the band this year.

“It’s a really fun experience,” Manis said. “It’s a lot different than doing the marching.”

Jones said he likes to help guide the younger members of the band.

“I enjoy leading the band and teaching the new students new things,” Jones said.

Both said band camp is going well as the band not only prepares for the marching season, but also has bonding time before school starts.

“We make sure everybody has fun, while also playing their role,” Manis said.

Both said they are honored to continue the stellar tradition of the Bobcat Marching Band, which has received Division I ratings at the state marching band contest for 18 straight years.

This is a special school year to be leading the band as a big band trip to Orlando, Florida is planned for March 2020 to play at Disney World.

“It will be fun to take this group,” Jones said.

Check out the marching band performing at halftime at home varsity Bobcat football games this year. MHS staff leading the marching band are Band Director Brett Umthun and Associate Band Director Christian Loaiza.

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Design agency owner follows her artistic passion


Tana M. Llinas is a 1998 Marshalltown High School graduate and owner and creative director of the brand design firm, Brand Poets, which is based in Miami and Los Angeles.

1998 MHS graduate Tana M. Llinas founder of Brand Poets

Tana M. Llinas followed her passion by tapping into her artistic creativity, which has led to success in the business world. Llinas is a 1998 graduate of Marshalltown High School, where she was known then as Tana Martin.

She now is the owner and creative director for Brand Poets, a boutique brand design agency based in Miami and Los Angeles. Her main advice to the younger generation is to follow something with fervor.

“Go all in,” she said. “Identify what you’re passionate about, then make everything you do all about that passion.”

She also indicated those business connections with someone in the field can be invaluable for the future.

“Find a mentor in that field, get an internship alongside her or him, then listen and learn,” she said.

Time in Marshalltown
Tana has fond memories of her time at MHS where her mother Alix taught. She participated in soccer and volleyball in high school and also remembers time spent in the community at Ev’s ice cream shop, Crosby Pool, the Y and sledding down the St. Henry’s hill. Her parents still live in Marshalltown where her father, Bill Martin, serves on the Marshalltown City Council.

Managing a design agency
In her role as a business owner and creative director, Tana manages creative staff but also has to keep tabs on the overall financial health of the company.

“I pitch new business, negotiate contracts, and watch the bottom line to make sure our agency is growing,” Llinas said.

But she didn’t get there overnight. She earned her graphic design degree from the Rhode Island School of Design and also worked in design for years before starting Brand Poets.

“I always knew I wanted to be in the creative world, but I knew I had to support myself doing it,” Llinas said. “So I went to art school and found myself several amazing business mentors early on, which pushed me to understand the value of my work and how to manage a team.”

She still gets a kick out of seeing a logo she designed on a billboard or T-shirt while she’s out in public. She also knows success can mean different things to different people.

“Success is personal,” she said. “I measure success on having stability of work, great projects, an amazing team and a healthy family.”

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Playground bench honors memory of Franklin student


A crowd gathers for a photo at the bench dedication ceremony to honor Christian Maxon at Franklin Elementary School on August 10.

A large group of family, friends and Franklin Elementary School staff honored the memory of Christian Maxon during a bench dedication in his honor on August 10 at the school.

Maxon was the 8-year-old who passed away after an accident after school in May.  The Marshall County Landfill donated the bench, which is made out of recycled plastic bags, and Dick’s Concrete donated the concrete base it rests on.

The bench is located just steps from the Franklin playground and is called a “buddy bench” to be used by students who are in need of a friend to play with. To name a “buddy bench” after Christian is very appropriate, according to Christian’s father, Timothy Maxon.

“Anybody that knows Christian knows that he would be the first to grab somebody (who needed a friend),” Timothy Maxon said.

Christian’s father thanked the crowd and community for its support during this trying time for the family.

“I want to extend a thank you to everybody,” he said.

Christian’s mother, Brittany, was also at the event along with dozens of other family members and friends.

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Benches dedicated to memory of Corey Brown at Miller Middle School


Pictured is a group at the Corey Brown bench dedication ceremony at Miller Middle School. From left are Miller Associate Principal Dave Glenn, Miller Principal Pat Rial, Nancy Mach of the Marshall County Landfill, Miller staff member Ryan O’Neal, Corey’s mother Michelle Brown, Marshalltown Schools Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte, Corey’s father Craig Brown, Miller staff member Creighton Jenness, Corey’s grandmother Mary Johnson and Miller staff member Jen O’Neal.

Family members, Miller Middle School staff and others gathered for a bench dedication ceremony on August 6 to honor the memory of former Miller student Corey Brown, who passed away at the age of 13 in January.

The two benches are located by a tree near the bus loading zone at the school and were made possible by a student-led project at Miller in a partnership with the Marshall County Landfill and a grant from the Iowa Grocery Industry Association.

The benches are made from recycled plastic grocery bags and each feature a Seattle Seahawks logo, Corey’s favorite professional sports team.

Corey Brown Memorial 5K
The first Corey Brown Memorial 5K fun run and walk will be held at 6 p.m. on Saturday, August 17, starting at the Marshalltown High School track. Walk up registration opens at 5 p.m. that day.

Race proceeds will go to purchase new uniforms for MHS track and cross country teams in memory of Corey, who loved running.

“We appreciate the support we’ve received,” said Corey’s mother Michelle Brown. “We want to be able to give back.”

The race will start and finish at the MHS track and the route will include neighborhoods surrounding the high school.

Cost is $20 per adult and $15 for youth under 18. For questions or early registration information contact Maggie Stalzer at 641-475-3370.


Corey’s parents Michelle and Craig Brown take a closer look at the new benches.

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