Marissa teacher receives Peabody award

News-DemocratApril 30, 2013 

Marissa Elementary School second-grade teacher Jenna Schneider was named a Peabody Energy Leader in Education and awarded $1,000 for her compassion and commitment to students.

Schneider did not expect the award when she was notified last week. "It was a wonderful surprise," Schneider said. "I feel very blessed to receive this award. There are so many teachers here at Marissa who are so deserving also."

She credited her colleagues with making her the teacher she is today.

Schneider's goal in life is to make learning enjoyable for her students. "The kids face so many challenges today in their lives," she said. "I want school to be a place they enjoy. I try to make it fun for them to learn everyday."

Schneider is active inside and outside the classroom. She is leading a book writing project to give students the opportunity to publish their own books.

Schneider, who lives in Red Bud, also is involved in the school's Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support and Response to Intervention programs at Marissa Elementary. She previously coached cheerleading for six years.

The Peabody Energy Leaders in Education program rewards dedicated education professionals who inspire and motivate youth to succeed. Award recipients are selected throughout the school year by a committee of top educators and business leaders.


The 14th annual Cinco de Mayo Festival and Celebration will be held from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday at Kreitner Elementary School in Collinsville. Activities will include performances by Kreitner Dancers and Spanish songs. The school also will promote literacy by holding a Scholastic Book Fair to raise funds for the school library and student activities. The event will conclude with authentic Mexican cuisine.


This week, the Columbia Unit School District No. 4 and the Columbia Heritage and Preservation Commission are providing a unique experience to second graders studying Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Little House on the Prairie." During Prairie Days, which began Tuesday and will continue Wednesday and Thursday, students will experience what it was like to have up to 50 students in a one-room schoolhouse, with one teacher and all eight grades together. They will sit in old desks, see a potbelly stove, write on slate boards and learn how children were responsible to help the teacher bring in fire wood, clean the floors and clap the erasers, among other chores.


Belleville East High School seniors Hannah Cole and Lauren Dermody both won honors at the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Friends of Lovejoy Writing Contest. Hannah won the poetry category for her poem "Secret Keeper" and earned $500. Lauren won honorable mention in the non-fiction category. In addition, Lauren was the Illinois winner for the National Peace Essay Contest for the State of Illinois and received a $1,000 scholarship and an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., this summer. Harrison Danet won honorable mention in the essay contest.


The Illinois Retired Teachers Association Foundation Area 6 scholarship winner is Emily Pritchett of Belleville. She attends Illinois College and is pursuing a bachelor's degree in elementary education with a concentration in mathematics. A scholarship presentation will be made at the St. Clair County Retired Teachers Association meeting on June 5.


The Scholastic Bowl Team at Immaculate Conception School in Columbia captured a regional win April 24 to advance to sectional competition. ICS beat Aviston 235-150 and Mt. Olive 235-70, rounding out the season record at 34-10. Regional toss up leaders were Thomas Herrmann, Dalton Scace, John Cygnarowicz and James Haller. Other team members include Jake Heet, Jay Hollman, Morgan Ladyman, Ben Mueth, Alejandro Perez, Maddie Ritter, Elena Biske, Zack Gillan, Dan Haller, Jacob Hennes and Andy Loless. Coaches are Tiffany Green and Dan Kassebaum.


The following local students were honored with "Do The Right Thing" awards during a ceremony April 23 at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville: Jared Addison from Union Elementary School in Belleville District 118; Ethan Friedrick from Union School;Taylor Lawrence from Westhaven Elementary School in District 118; Analynn Wagner from Signal Hill School; and Deonte Wright from Signal Hill School.

Do The Right Thing is a program that recognizes St. Louis-area students for exhibiting positive character traits.


St. Louis-based Sansone Group will award a $2,500 scholarship to the winner of an essay contest. Participants must be 18 and registered full time at a college or university for the fall semester. Students can enter the contest by going to

The contest ends June 15. Two finalists will be posted on Sansone Group's Facebook page each week and contestants are encouraged to resubmit if they were not chosen as a finalist. A winner will be announced on July 1. Participants must live in Missouri or the Illinois counties of Bond, Calhoun, Clinton, Jersey, Macoupin, Madison, Monroe and St. Clair.


The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Schools of Pharmacy, Nursing and Dental Medicine will hold the weeklong 2013 SIUE Healthcare Diversity Summer Camp on campus June 16-21. The camp is open to junior and senior high school students interested in a future healthcare career.

Students will stay on campus and be exposed to pharmacy, nursing and dental medicine in addition to an ACT preparation course and other skills to help prepare them for college. The camp is free. Applications can be found at:

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