Iowa Department of Education Director visits Miller Middle School, learns about abundant work-based learning opportunities at MCSD

Iowa Department of Education Director Dr. Ann Lebo talks with a Miller PLTW student during her visit Thursday afternoon.

Iowa Department of Education Director Dr. Ann Lebo visited Miller Middle School Thursday, and she got a firsthand look at the great work-based learning opportunities available to Bobcat students.

“A lot of our kids want to stay here, and it’s because of family and the culture,” said Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte. “We want to make sure that they’re dreaming big and that their dreams can be fulfilled right here in Marshalltown with the jobs that are available.”

Along with getting in-depth look at great work-based learning efforts taking place at Miller, Marshalltown High School, and Marshalltown Learning Academy, Dr. Lebo was able to tour the middle school’s Project Lead the Way (PLTW) and Modular Technology classroom areas.

In both classrooms, students work on a variety of projects designed to help them explore their career interests, from the medical field to aviation to engineering, and much more.

“To have that kind of opportunity at such a young age is really significant and a great example and model for others,” Dr. Lebo said of the work-based learning opportunities at MCSD.

Those opportunities have been strengthened by incredible partnerships between Marshalltown Schools and local businesses, with one example being the Marshalltown Business Education Alliance (MBEA).

Such partnerships have fueled key work-based learning programs, including pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship opportunities for students, teacher externships, the District’s two recent STEM Best initiatives, the Bobcat Ready college and career readiness program, the addition of ST Math and, most recently, the Career Trees program at the middle- and high school levels.

Students at Miller, MHS, and MLA will soon see large Career Tree graphics as they make their way to and from class. The Career Trees symbolize career paths available right here in Marshalltown, and the effort is being supported by 13 local businesses; Iowa Valley Community College District and Marshalltown Community College are partnering with MCSD to bring the Career Trees to students.

See more photos from Dr. Lebo’s visit to Miller below! Thursday’s visit served as the kick-off to the Director’s spring school tour focused on work-based learning, and the Marshalltown CSD serves as an excellent example of the benefits of work-based learning for students!

Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte, right, shares information about the many work-based learning opportunities available to Bobcat students during a visit from Dr. Ann Lebo.
MHS College and Career Readiness school counselor Miracle Mallory, left, discusses how the Xello program helps her work with students to identify career interests and develop career paths.