Meet Mrs. Philby!

My husband, Mike, and I live on an acreage near Sully with two of our children (Leah, age 16 and Samuel, age 18).  We also have two golden retrievers who let our outdoor cat get in the house through the dog door!  Our oldest son, Noah, lives in Ames and works for American Packaging Corporation in Story City.  This is my 24th year in education and my 2nd year teaching preschool at East Marshall.

My two youngest children were born in Albuquerque, New Mexico. (Samuel was born at home!) We lived there for about 10 years, and in that time I taught in the public schools and a private Lutheran school, and stayed home for two years with my babies.

Screenshot 2023 09 06 at 9.37.47 AM Screenshot 2023 09 06 at 9.37.39 AM

Mission Statement

Our mission at The Little Mustangs Preschool is to empower all students through age-appropriate early childhood experiences in a nurturing environment. We strive to provide students with an academic hands on curriculum, social emotional learning, and individualized experiences to become successful members of the community. 

What You Need to Know

  • East Marshall participates in the Statewide Voluntary Preschool Program
  • Children must be 4 years old before Sept. 15 to participate.
  • Students will join us for two full days (Monday/Thursday, Tuesday/Friday)
  • The preschool school calendar will mirror the district school calendar with the exception of their start date
  • Preschool classes have the following start dates:
          September 7th for Monday/Thursday group
          September 9th for Tuesday/Friday group
  • During rest time students may bring a blanket or stuffed animal

East Marshall Preschool Handbook 23-24


The East Marshall preschool follows the Iowa Quality Preschool Program and the Early Learning Standards in conjunction with the following.

  • The Creative Curriculum
  • Handwriting Without Tears
  •  Really Great Reading phonics, phonological and phonemic awareness
  • Pint Size Science
  • Hands on student focused learning

Daily Activities

  • Hands on literacy/math
  • Sensory experiences
  • STEM integration
  • Dramatic play
  • Small group instruction
  • Large motor movement
  • Social emotional learning

Daily Schedule

8:15 Arrival (bathrooms/ sign in (question of the day and name writing)
morning work)
8:40 Morning meeting (Good morning song/ Jobs/ Schedule/ Calendar
9:00 Large Group
9:20 Recess
10:00 Small Group
10:20 Music/ Movement
10:35 Letter of the day (Handwriting without tears)
10:50 Bathroom Break/Handwashing/Getting ready for lunch
11:00 Lunch
11:25/11:30 Pick up students from lunch
11:30 Recess
12:00 Bathroom/getting ready for rest time
12:10 Rest Time
1:10 Bathroom Break
1:15 Snack
1:30 Centers
2:30 Large Group Book Time
2:45 Bathroom/ pack bags
3:05 Load Buses
3:20 Dismissal for pick-ups


Can preschoolers ride the bus?

Yes! Preschoolers may ride the bus to and from school.

Can preschoolers start riding the bus midyear?

Yes, preschoolers can begin riding the bus at any time during the year.  Please contact the elementary or the preschool teacher to update their transportation routine.

Can preschoolers ride the bus either to school but not home? 

Yes, preschoolers can ride just in the morning or afternoon or they can ride to and from school.  Be sure to communicate how your child will get to and from school along with any changes throughout the year.

Where are the pick up and drop off locations?

We have pickup and dropoff spots in LeGrand, Waterbeck’s Corner, Dunbar, Ferguson, and Gilman.  If you live in the country, contact Curt Sawyer, our transportation director, to make arrangements for your child to be picked up/dropped off on the route. 

Curt Sawyer  641-479-2790  

Where do preschoolers go when they get off the bus at the elementary?

  • The teacher at the entrance will help your preschooler get to where they need to go

Can preschool students participate in breakfast?

  • Yes! Breakfast is not served on late start days

Are preschoolers able to participate in the school lunch program?

  • Absolutely! Preschoolers can eat school lunch or bring a lunch from home.