State board wants high school students to serve on advisory council

News-DemocratMay 21, 2013 

The Illinois State Board of Education is taking applications from high school students interested in serving on the state agency's Student Advisory Council for the 2013-14 school year.

The Student Advisory Council represents a diverse group of students from across Illinois who have demonstrated a strong work ethic, the ability to think creatively and work well in groups. Eligibility for the council is open to students attending a public high school in Illinois who are entering the fall semester as a sophomore, junior or senior.

The members represent student concerns and can provide thoughts on ISBE's existing and proposed programs, policies and regulations. The student members also choose a special project to research and present before the board at the end of the school year.

Four student members plan to return to the council next year including Sabrina Flohr of Collinsville High School. Those graduating this year after serving on ISBE's Student Advisory Council include Daniel Williams of East St. Louis High School.

The deadline to submit an application for the 2013-14 Student Advisory Council is 5 p.m. Friday, May 31. Interviews will be scheduled in July for those applicants chosen as possible members. For more information contact Mike Hatfill of ISBE at 217-524-4832 or


Three metro-east schools were selected as winners of the "Home Run for Character" service learning recognition program sponsored by GCS Credit Union.

Granite City High School, Freeburg School District 70 and High Mount School District 116 were recognized during separate ceremonies last week.

The winning schools each received banners to celebrate their dedication to good character and service learning. In addition, every student and staff member received a free ticket to attend the Gateway Grizzlies minor-league baseball game on June 11.

GCS Credit Union, in partnership with the Gateway Grizzlies and CHARACTERplus, sponsors the program for Madison and St. Clair County public and private schools. The winning schools made academic connections to real community needs and have integrated student leadership and reflection into their academic programs.

CHARACTERplus is a program of Cooperating School Districts of Greater St. Louis. For more information, visit


Conner Thomas Ruhl, 16, and Forrest Channing Hunter 17, both students at Governor French Academy in Belleville, won a fourth place award and $500 at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair last week in Phoenix.

Student winners are ninth through 12th graders who earned the right to compete at the Intel ISEF 2013 by winning a top prize at a local, regional, state or national science fair.


A 2013 McKendree University graduate and an inspirational speech communication professor were announced as top student and faculty awardees at the May 11 commencement ceremony.

Andrea Jenkins of Fairview Heights won the 2013 Technos International College Prize. Sponsored by the Tanaka Ikueikai Educational Trust to foster multi-cultural awareness, it is given to a graduating senior chosen by the faculty for outstanding academic performance and abiding commitment to international understanding.

Jenkins graduated with a degree in international relations and mathematics.

Dr. Betsy Gordon of Lebanon, a tenured professor of speech communication, received the 2013 William Norman Grandy Faculty Award from the Alumni Board.


Danielle Villhard, a freshman at Father McGivney Catholic High School in Maryville, was one of only 19 high school students selected from across the country to participate in the University of Missouri School of Journalism's summer workshop beginning July 9.

The workshop aims to get students interested in going to college and motivated in journalism.


National Merit Scholarship award winners from the metro-east include: Kevin Hawickhorst, Columbia High School; Haley Koch, Belleville East; Katelyn Brinker, Highland High School; and Laura Porath and Michelle Weyhaupt, O'Fallon Township High School.

Approximately 1,000 distinguished high school seniors have won corporate-sponsored National Merit Scholarship awards financed by approximately 200 corporations, company foundations and other business organizations.

Most of these awards are renewable for up to four years of college undergraduate study and provide annual stipends that range from $500 to $10,000 per year. Some provide a single payment between $2,500 and $5,000.


The Olin Corporation awarded scholarships to Nathan Huelsmann of Mater Dei Catholic High School in Breese (son of Randy and Gina Huelsmann) and Andrew Wiggenhorn of Metro-East Lutheran High School in Edwardsville (son of Matt and Tracy Wiggenhorn).

The scholarships are given each year to the sons and daughters of Olin employees based on ACT scores. The initial award is $2,500 renewable for an additional three years based on satisfactory academic progress, for a total award of $10,000.


Sixteen students from schools within the Okaw Regional Vocational System have been awarded Jim Heil Career and Tech Ed scholarships for the 2013-14 school year.

Winners include: Tyler Overmann, Columbia High School; Owen Brenning and Steven Cahoon, Marissa Junior-Senior High School; and Jonathon Deutsch, Dylan Harper and Brandon Karbon, New Athens High School. Scholarship awards range from $500 to $1,000.


The Delta Epilson Iota Academic Honor Society has selected Tyler J. Mode of Shiloh for membership in the local chapter at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Mode, the son of Pete and Pat Mode, is a graduate of O'Fallon Township High School.

He is a computer science major.


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