More than a dozen area high school students are participating this weekend in the preliminary round of Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation's St. Louis Teen Talent Competition.
Local students participating are singers Olivia Bosaw, Haleigh Stevenson, Emily Stricklin and Dylan Kroder, singers, all from Triad High School; singer Meadow Nguy, from O'Fallon Township High School; singers Imani "Faith" Horton, Cheyenne Groom and Zoe Popp and singers/dancers Aliyah Smith and Anabel Gonzales, all from Belleville West; opera singer Sarah Pistorius from Granite City High School; singers Beth Wallace and Mary Friedman, from Metro East Lutheran High School; and singers Kayla Thompson and Mattie Malone and singer/pianist Jilliane Ostlund, all from Red Bud High School.
The students are competing for a chance to perform April 12 on The Fabulous Fox stage and win scholarships and prizes. A total of $15,000 in scholarships will go to the top three finalists.
In all, more than 150 acts will perform during the preliminary round of competition. The two days of preliminary competition, Saturday and Sunday, are at three locations -- Lindenwood University in Belleville, St. Louis Community College in Forest Park and University of Missouri in St. Louis -- and will narrow the field to approximately 36 acts. Judges for the preliminary round include a cross section of professionals from the St. Louis performing arts community.
These acts will compete in the semifinal round of competition March 2, where 10 to 12 acts will be chosen to compete in the finals at The Fox on April 12. The preliminary and semifinal rounds are closed to the public; the finals are free and open to the public.
The Bethalto School District will have a series of special meetings in closed session this week to interview candidates for superintendent. The board met Monday and Tuesday and will meet Friday to interview candidates. The board also has a working session, closed to the public, scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday to discuss the superintendent candidate interviews. No action is expected to be taken during any of the closed sessions. Bethalto School District Superintendent Cindy Blasa will retire at the end of this school year. Her last day with the district will be June 30.
U.S. Attorney Stephen Wigginton and St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly are hosting a Heroin Awareness Forum for parents of Belleville West High School students from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at the school, 4063 Frank Scott Parkway West. An hour-long schoolwide assembly for students about heroin awareness is at 9:25 a.m. the following day. Similar heroin awareness events are scheduled for April at Belleville East High School.
Schools in the metro-east are participating in an earthquake drill at 10:15 a.m. Thursday. The third annual Great Central U.S. ShakeOut is a nine-state emergency preparedness drill designed to encourage residents to think about what to do before, during and after an earthquake.
Westhaven School in Belleville, Joseph Arthur Middle School in O'Fallon, Maryville Elementary School in Maryville, High Mount School in Swansea, Grant Middle School in Fairview Heights, Granite City High School and Coolidge Middle School in Granite City, Holy Childhood School in Mascoutah and Eagleview and Parkview elementary schools in Columbia are some of the schools that have signed up to participate in the drill. For more information, visit www.shakeout.org/centralus.
Belleville West High School is hosting a naturalization ceremony Friday. Interim Principal Rich Mertens said more than 90 new citizens are expected to participate in the 10 a.m. ceremony at the Performing Arts Ceremony. The Belleville West Jazz Band and Maroon Majic will perform at the ceremony.
The 31st annual Belleville School District 118 Young Authors Program is from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Central Junior High School in Belleville. More than 100 students and their parents will attend this event, which features breakfast, award certificates and guest author and illustrator Eric Rohmann, who hails from the Chicago area and has more than 30 titles to his credit.
During the awards ceremony, two students from each school will be designated as Best of Show and Special Recognition. Each will receive a signed book by Rohmann and an invitation to participate in the St. Clair County Young Authors Program in April. The program is supported with money from the District 118 PTA Council and a grant from the Illinois Reading Council.
The Belleville West Speech and Acting Team won the IHSA Regional Championship on Saturday. Granite City High School came in fourth overall and Belleville East placed fifth. The Belleville West team also took first in the special event Performance in the Round. Coach Adam Jenkins said the team advanced all 14 individual events to this Saturday's sectional tournament in Charleston.
The 17th annual Belleville School District 118 trivia night last month raised more than $3,100, according to Assistant Superintendent Lynn Clapp, who said $830 will go toward the Odyssey of the Mind extracurricular program and the remainder $2,285 will be donated to the District 118 Foundation.
Students at Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic School in Waterloo carried on a 23-year tradition -- donating essential items for the poor. This year, the 350 students of Ss. Peter and Paul School donated more than 1,000 items worth approximately $2,500, to Catholic Urban Programs.
Zack Gillan, a seventh-grade student at Immaculate Conception School in Columbia, won a poetry contest sponsored by the Seventh Grade Poetry Foundation in St. Louis. Zack will receive $25 in prize money and an autographed copy of the Pulitzer Prize winning book of poems "Native Guard," and he will be published in an anthology containing all schools' winning poems. Zack also will be included in an awards ceremony April 17 at St. Louis Public Library. Zack is the son of Eric and Denise Gillan of Columbia.
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