May 3, 2021 Board Meeting

4 May

Special recognitions given to teachers, school board members
The arrival of May brings with it several celebrations of school leaders and staff who are essential to the success of students.

May is School Board Recognition Month, and the seven members of the Marshalltown School Board were commended by Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte on behalf of the District at the Monday, May 3 regular board meeting.

“Being on the board is a lot more than just attending two board meetings a month,” he said. “There’s a lot of subcommittee work, a lot of meetings and workshops that the board is engaged in.”

Dr. Schutte added the board members have also invested considerable time and energy into developing as leaders.

Also celebrated were the District’s hundreds of dedicated, knowledgeable, and caring teachers. This week is National Teacher Appreciation Week, and Board President Bea Niblock read a statement from President Joe Biden honoring the teachers of America, all of whom have had to adapt to meet the needs of students during the pandemic this school year.

“May I extend the board’s thanks to our teachers for all they have done this year to keep us afloat during the pandemic and all of the stresses,” said Niblock, herself a retired educator and school administrator. “We do appreciate your work.”

Board announces vacancy, encourages letters of interest to fill seat
The Marshalltown School Board is seeking letters of interest from District community members who would like to take up an important leadership role; board member Niko Aguirre announced his resignation from the board effective this week.

To be considered for appointment to the board, an interested individual must send a letter of interest to 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.More information about the process to fill this board vacancy can be found here. For questions, please contact Newbold at (641) 754-1000 or email

Bobcat success at state Poetry Out Loud contest celebrated
Two Marshalltown High School students gave exceptional performances at this year’s state Poetry Out Loud contest, and their achievements were recognized at Monday’s meeting.

MHS seniors Elijah Thiessen and Olivia Adams-Zmolek won first place and third place, respectively, at the state competition. Thiessen also performed at the national level, where he placed 24th overall and eighth regionally.

“I ended up really enjoying it,” Thiessen said of participating in Poetry Out Loud. “In literature, you have this opportunity to learn things about other people and their experiences … especially when you have to memorize it the way I did for Poetry Out Loud.”

Ben Barker shares a check for $9,806 toward the MHS Pool Ceiling and Lighting project from generous community members Monday

Generous donation goes toward MHS Pool Ceiling & Lighting project
More than four dozen local businesses, families, and individuals banded together to provide the District with a check for $9,806 toward the MHS Pool Ceiling and Lighting project. Community member Ben Barker presented the check on behalf of the generous donors Monday.

“Thank you for letting this project come to life,” Barker, an MHS alum, said. “With the overwhelming support, it wasn’t really all that difficult to raise the funds.”

MHS Agriculture students (from left) Drew Carson, Kaylee Tyda, and Kyran Stanfield join Agriculture program instructor Tara Leytham (right) for a presentation at the May 3 board meeting.

MHS Agriculture program highlighted
Several Marshalltown High School students have enjoyed an exciting addition to the school’s course offerings this year – the MHS Agriculture program has given students several enriching experiences, from hatching chickens to creating and marketing their own brands of beef jerky. 

MHS Agriculture instructor Tara Leytham brought three students from the program to showcase what they had learned in the past several months.

“My favorite part was the beef jerky project. We got five pounds of beef and we had to cut it and marinate it and come up with the recipe in our group,” said MHS senior Kaylee Tyda. “We had to create the packaging for it, the logo for it, who our buyers were going to be, and then we had to actually go out and sell it.”

Fellow Ag students Drew Carson, a senior, and Kyran Stanfield, a freshman, agreed that they enjoyed the beef jerky project. The students also discussed hatching chicks, dissections, DNA extraction, and other key activities from the program.

Leytham said one goal for the MHS Ag program is to start an official Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapter for MCSD. She said she hopes to see the program’s enrollment grow in the coming years.

Student School Board Representative Haley Reed, right, and MHS English teacher Jo Frohwein, left, share information on the recent Triangle of Excellence project undertaken by the MHS Mentors in Violence Prevention program.

Student School Board Representatives update
Student School Board Representative Haley Reed shared an update on the happenings at Marshalltown High School Monday evening. Here are the key highlights from the presentation: 

  • Bobcats Sports: 
    – Bobcat Track & Field student-athletes Malachi Holmes, Jaiden Buchanan, Jayzek Lee, and Deonte Dean featured in this year’s Drake Relays. All four ran in the 4×100 relay, and Dean placed 6th in the individual 100-meter sprint.
    – The upcoming schedules for the MHS Girls Track & Field, Girls & Boys Tennis, and Girls & Boys Soccer programs were also shared.
  • Prom: This spring saw the return of Prom after the event was cancelled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The students had fun while following important safety measures.
  • Bobcat Bands: A busy, exciting schedule lays ahead for band students, with several events coming up in May. The Band program will host two fundraisers, the Jazz Band Coffee Concert, the Band Awards Banquet, and will perform at the MHS Commencement Ceremony on May 30.
  • Mentors in Violence Prevention: The MVP program, which seeks to mentor freshmen students as they transition into high school, introduced a big project last week. The Triangle of Excellence, a project to build empathy, was presented to freshmen students. The students were given hypothetical scenarios and were asked to identify which portion of the Triangle fits them best, based on how they would react to the scenario.
  • National Honor Society induction: A ceremony was recently held for both the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 National Honor Society inductees

Summer facilities projects, operations sharing agreement discussed
District Buildings and Grounds Director Todd Goulding presented this year’s list of summer facilities projects Monday evening. He said he has been conducting building walk-throughs and receiving input from building administrators regarding future needs.Additionally, the board approved an operations sharing agreement with East Marshall Schools. The agreement will see Goulding assist with EMCSD’s operations for a portion of each week for one year; the arrangement will be revisited at the end of the one-year period to determine next steps.

2021-22 Student Handbooks approved, MLA handbook presented
The board voted to approve several 2021-22 school year student handbooks Monday. The handbooks for the preschool and elementary levels, Lenihan Intermediate School, Miller Middle School, Marshalltown High School, and District Transportation were all presented at the April 19 meeting. Additionally, the board heard an update on the 2021-22 Marshalltown Learning Academy student handbook from Principal Eric Goslinga. The MLA handbook will be up for board approval at the next regular meeting.

Communications Director Adam Sodders reviewed the good news from the district by sharing newspaper articles as well as school communications articles. That list can be seen here.

Personnel items
For a list of personnel items approved Monday, click here.

First Reading

  • 905.9 (new 905.2) Smoking and Tobacco Use on School District Facilities (adopted, second reading waived)

Initial Review

  • 310.4 MCSD Organizational Chart (marked as reviewed)
  • 312.1 Administrative Personnel Employment-Individual Contracts (will come back for a first reading)
  • 403.3-R1 Exposure Control Plan (will come back for a first reading)
  • 501.3-E2 Attendance Regulations (will come back for a first reading)
  • 701.1 Depository of Funds (marked as reviewed)
  • 704.5 School Activity Fund (marked as reviewed)
  • 707.5 Internal Controls (will come back for a first reading)
  • 708-R1 Care, Maintenance and Disposal of School District Records (marked as reviewed)

From Board President Bea Niblock
“Monday’s meeting found us celebrating a number of recognitions. Two among those were Teacher Appreciation Week and School Board Recognition Week – 2 groups so appropriate to share a week!

All school board members are elected from their communities and volunteer their time. My fellow board members give of their time to oversee the happenings within the district. Many more hours are given than the time needed for two meetings a month. With pride, I thank my colleagues for the service given to make MCSD a great place for staff and students.

A proclamation by President Biden was shared to kick off Teacher Appreciation Week. This week, and every week, we honor and celebrate the teachers in our district for their dedication and passion for helping students succeed. It is with admiration, appreciation and gratitude that we thank you for your hard work in helping MCSD become the ‘district of choice.’” – Bea Niblock

The next Marshalltown School Board meeting is set for 5 p.m. Monday, May 17, 2021 at the Central Administration Office, 1002 S. 3rd Ave. The meeting will be available to watch via live stream through the Bobcat News Network (BNN) YouTube channel.

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