Celebrating a 65-year career with Marshalltown Schools

I first met Marilyn Rhodes nearly 10 years ago.

I was working as a reporter with the Times-Republican and worked with Marilyn, the executive assistant to the superintendent of Marshalltown Schools, quite often.

Most Fridays before school board meetings, Marilyn would offer any help I needed with the agenda. I could tell she gave her heart to her job, which is why she kept at it for 65 years. Yes, she started in the role in 1952 and her career spanned seven different superintendents.

If our conversation occurred during college football season, I would make sure to ask Marilyn one simple question before I hung up the phone:

“Are the Hawkeyes going to win this weekend?” I would ask.

Marilyn always came back with the same two-word reply.

“You bet!”

If all Hawkeye games went as Marilyn predicted, Iowa would be on a 325-game winning streak as we speak.

No matter how the season was going, her steadfast support of the Hawkeyes never wavered.

One interaction I had with Marilyn was prior to a school board meeting. I forgot to bring a pen to the meeting and had to borrow one of hers. I know, a reporter without a pen is not much of a reporter at all.

She said something to the effect of “that’s a new one” and graciously let me borrow a pen.

Marilyn retired earlier this year from the district and we are planning a special reception to honor her 65 years of service. It will be from 4-6 p.m. on Friday, April 14 in the team room of the Marshalltown High School Roundhouse. Everyone is welcome to attend.

While we are at it, I also wanted to pass along that we will honor our 2017 district retirees during the Marshalltown Education Association/Marshalltown Community School District retirement tea at 4 p.m. on May 17 at Dejardin Hall on the Marshalltown Community College campus. It’s always a fun event to be able to recognize our staff who have impacted so many young lives through the years.

Thanks to Marilyn and our other retiring staff for their dedication to the youth of Marshalltown. You have definitely made a difference and we wish you all the best in your retirement.


Andrew Potter is communications director with the Marshalltown Community School District.