Courtesy of Marshalltown Community School District
Sam Ibarra said the Marshalltown community and the school district gave him so much when he was younger, that he considers what he does now as payback.
Ibarra is a 2005 Marshalltown High School graduate who works as a shipping department clerk at Emerson. He also has past experience in customer service and human resources at the leading global valve manufacturer. He toured Emerson while he was a sophomore at MHS and was impressed.
“I thought it was a great company,” Ibarra said.
Prior to his time at Emerson, Ibarra worked as a manager at Sports Page in Marshalltown, where he said Todd Thimesch served as a great mentor.
Ibarra, 31, is a youth soccer coach, serves on the United Way Board of Directors, the Marshalltown Convention and Visitors Bureau Board of Directors and the Marshalltown Business Education Alliance, where he helped recently with area career tours for Marshalltown High School sophomores.
“It makes me feel like I’m doing the right things,” Ibarra said of his community involvement. “That I’m on the right path in a positive way.”
Impacted by supportive teachers
Sam arrived in Iowa with his family from Mexico in 1997 as a 10-year-old not knowing much English.
He said many Marshalltown teachers along the way impacted him in a very positive way including Bob Gilbertson at Woodbury Elementary School, and Deb Holsapple and Gary Mertens at MHS.
“They were supportive teachers who took me under their wing,” Ibarra said.
Gilbertson, who now teaches at Miller Middle School, said Sam and his brothers were hard-working, respectful and had a thirst for knowledge.
“Samuel learned things so quickly, picking up on English and learning the classroom content simultaneously,” Gilbertson said.
Ibarra plans to work toward an eventual bachelor’s degree in human resources and wants to continue to better himself to be even more productive in the community.
Continued support of the schools
Whether it’s helping with the MHS Trio Club program, tutoring Lenihan Intermediate School students, serving as a DJ at a school dance or helping high school students tour local businesses, Ibarra loves to give back to Marshalltown Schools.
“I get satisfied that I’m giving back to the school that gave me a lot,” Ibarra said. “It made me the man I am today.”