A passion for working with people


Leah (Landt) Struthers is a 2006 Marshalltown High School graduate. She is working toward her master’s degree to become a therapist.

2006 MHS graduate works to become a therapist

Story written by volunteer writer and MHS graduate Samantha Edwards

Leah (Landt) Struthers loved playing sports and was a wrestling cheerleader all four years of high school; but, she said, her preferred activity — pottery — was completed in the art space.

“I think the favorite part of my school time was all the time spent in the pottery studio, in the art room,” said Struthers, who is a 2006 Marshalltown High School graduate. “Looking back, what I valued the most then, and value even more now, was learning about the creative arts, and pottery in particular.”

Struthers currently lives in Omaha, Nebraska and works in foster care.

Her undergraduate degree is in family life and counseling from Nebraska Christian College, and her master’s degree will be in counseling and psychology from Hope International University.

“My hope is to become a therapist,” she said.

College courses at MHS
When asked how MHS helped get her ready for college, she said, “Definitely all the college classes that I was able to take in high school was a huge asset for me, in not only getting me college credit, but not have as stressful of a course load when I went to college. So, just getting to take those classes and getting a taste of what college credit classes would potentially be like.“

It was in those college-level classes in high school that exposed her to psychology and sociology, which led her to a career decision.

“Those two [classes] helped me make a decision about wanting to work with people, wanting to work with kids in particular,” Struthers said. “I think for me, growing up in the church and wanting to do ministry in some way, just feeling that God had a plan for me — in terms of having a positive impact on people. So, I think that also influenced me to choose that path that I did.”

Living in Omaha now, she sees how a town that is the size of Marshalltown creates a strong environment where teachers care about the students, and they have time to invest in them.