Aug. 2, 2021 Board Meeting

3 Aug
Marshall County Arts & Culture Alliance Executive Director Amber Danielson, left, speaks about the new sculpture coming to the Marshalltown Performing Arts Center. Also pictured is Marshalltown Public Art Committee Chairman Ben Fletcher. BELOW: A rendition of “Scherzo” was shared at Monday’s meeting.

Public art to be installed at Marshalltown Performing Arts Center this fall
A large, colorful, expressive public sculpture will soon greet visitors outside the Marshalltown Performing Arts Center Auditorium.

The Marshalltown Community School District and Marshalltown Performing Arts Center Foundation, in partnership with the Marshall County Arts & Culture Alliance, announced artist Stephen Johnson as the finalist whose sculpture – “Scherzo” – will be displayed at the Performing Arts Center. Examples of Johnson’s public art can be found across the U.S., from Brooklyn and Los Angeles to Dallas and Kansas City.

The colorful sculpture will feature abstract forms based on music notations. The piece’s emphasis on music, rhythm, movement, and color will serve as an excellent complement to the beautiful Marshalltown Performing Arts Center.

“[Johnson] is a really amazing and talented artist,” said Arts & Culture Alliance Executive Director Amber Danielson at the Monday, Aug. 2 Marshalltown School Board meeting. “We’re really excited to show the community how beautiful this facility is and welcome them into the Performing Arts Center.”

Danielson said “Scherzo” is expected to be installed later in the fall of this year. Once in place, the sculpture will join many excellent pieces of public art on display across the Marshalltown CSD, including “Drills” at the MHS Roundhouse and the Sidewalk Safety Murals at multiple schools.

Generous donation to Miller Auditorium renovation highlighted
Members of the Marshalltown Community Theatre Board of Directors presented a donation of $1,750 toward renovations at the Miller Middle School Auditorium at Monday’s meeting.

Theatre Board President Lisa Naig said proceeds for the donation were raised during a recent performance of “Unconditional Surrender: A Visit with Ulysses S. Grant” at the Miller Auditorium.

“The District really appreciates the thought and effort to raise money to improve the Miller Auditorium. It’s on our radar as one of a number of larger-scale projects we wish to embark on, hopefully, in the future,” said Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte.

The Miller Auditorium has served as a temporary home for Marshalltown Community Theatre after the organization was displaced from its usual venue – the Fisher Community Center Auditorium – due to the 2020 derecho. Naig said another performance is scheduled at the Miller Auditorium in October.

MCSD Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte, left, accepts a generous donation from members of the Marshalltown Community Theatre Board of Directors. Also pictured (from left): Theatre Board President Lisa Naig, Theatre Board member Bill Roberts, performer Pete Grady, Theatre Board Vice President Hobz Hooley, and Theatre Board members Barb Lageschulte and Rick Gooding.

Finken ready to bring wealth of education experience to MHS
Marshalltown High School will welcome new Associate Principal Mark Finken this fall. Finken brings considerable teaching and leadership experience with him to Marshalltown, and will be a great addition to the MHS and District teams. 

Finken previously taught language arts at Waukee Community School District for 14 years, and worked at Des Moines Community Schools prior to his time in Waukee. Along with teaching, Finken has received praise for his work in curriculum development as a teacher leader.

New MHS Associate Principal Mark Finken, right, was introduced to the school board Monday evening. Also pictured is MHS Principal Jacque Wyant, left.

Parking lot repair project moves forward
Repairs are coming to the parking lot outside the Marshalltown Performing Arts Center after board action on Monday. 
Des Moines Asphalt and Paving was approved to perform asphalt repair work on the parking lot, located on the north side of the MHS Roundhouse. District Director of Buildings and Grounds Todd Goulding said funds for the work were built into the District’s summer projects budget.

2021-22 school board, superintendent goals approved
The Marshalltown School Board and superintendent goals for the 2021-22 school were approved Monday evening. The goals can be seen here.

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

  • 702 Cash in School Buildings (adopted, second reading waived)
  • 706.3 Pay Deductions (adopted, second reading waived)
  • 706.3-R1 Pay Deduction Regulation (adopted, second reading waived)
  • 203 Board of Directors Conflict of Interest (amended, second reading waived)
  • 707.4 Audits (amended, second reading waived)
  • 707.5-R1 Internal Controls Procedures (amended, second reading waived)
  • 801.4 Site Acquisition (amended, second reading waived)

Initial Review – 

  • 200.3 Responsibilities of the Board of Directors (will come back for a first reading)
  • 206.1 President (will come back for a first reading)
  • 206.2 Vice President (will come back for a first reading)
  • 213 Public Participation in Board Meetings (will come back for a first reading)
  • 213.1 Public Complaints (will come back for a first reading)
  • 401.14 Employee Expression (will come back for a first reading)
  • 606.2 School Ceremonies and Observances (will come back for a first reading)
  • 701.2 Transfer of Funds (will come back for a first reading)
  • 803.1 Disposition of Obsolete Equipment (will come back for a first reading)

From Board President Bea Niblock
“August is the month where we start afresh – a new year for each of us; a chance to start again. We started the new year in the boardroom with new equipment – cameras and microphones.

We strive to be available to the community and transparent to our stakeholders. The new microphones make everything audible and the new cameras allow everyone to be seen. You don’t see anyone’s back nor just see their lips move. The new equipment is remarkable for our use.

Amy Harmsen, Director of Technology, is masterful at making sure everything functions as it should. Seeing and hearing all of the speakers will make the audience watching live streaming or delayed broadcast more enjoyable – almost as if you are in the boardroom!” – Bea Niblock

The next Marshalltown School Board meeting is set for 5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 16, 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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