Random Thoughts

Downtown revitalization, parent-teacher conferences and a golf championship

The Gallery Garden is a great addition to downtown Marshalltown and highlights the revitalization of an area along East Main Street.

The recent unveiling of the garden showcases a transformation of what was once “a pile of rubble after an arsonist-induced fire collapsed a three-story building … to a comfortable and enviro-friendly setting where one can read a book, visit with friends, or have a cup of coffee, while listening to the calming effects of a nearby fountain.”

This effort, thanks to a significant investment of private and grant monies, as well as work on the Tallcorn Towers and Marshalltown Senior Residences (formerly the Iowa Wholesale Building), makes downtown Marshalltown more attractive and welcoming.

These endeavors hopefully spark a real resurgence in interest in what the downtown area has to offer, both in terms of business, housing and quality of life.

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In an age where technology can connect people through email, texting or social media, it’s still important to make those face-to-face connections.

That was message earlier this month when the Marshalltown school district held its fall parent-teacher conferences.

“It’s for parents to get to meet the teacher in a more personal, one-on-one way,” said the district’s Director of Instruction Dr. Lisa Stevenson. “It also allows parents to ask teachers questions that they might have specific to their child, as well as for teachers to share information about how the child is progressing.

“I do believe there’s still some importance in having that group of people at the table — parents, student, teacher — getting to all hear the same message at the same time with that face-to-face contact.”

Stevenson is right, of course, because while there is convenience and value in what technology can offer, having that opportunity to sit down and discuss issues that are critical to a child’s education is paramount if that child is to succeed.

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Kudos to the Marshalltown High School Boys Class 4A State Champion golf team who claimed an impressive victory during tough conditions last weekend at Elmwood Country Club.

The team, including state individual champion Nate Vance, teammates Cole Davis, Luke Appel, JD Pollard, Keygan Hansen, Tate Carlson and Mason Reid, along with their coaches Lucas Johnson and Michael Appel, showcased athletic prowess and poise as they went onto a 16-stroke victory over their closest competitor.

And while there’s no question the dedication and hard work these golfers exhibited propelled them to victory, much credit has to go to their focus as a team.

“Teamwork is what makes common people capable of uncommon results,” said the late Coach Pat Summitt.

Indeed, what the MHS golf squad has done together is nothing short of remarkable. Congratulations to the Bobcats!

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Contact Jeff Hutton at 641-753-6611 or jhutton@timesrepublican.com