Belleville student runs away with $500 essay award

News-DemocratJuly 23, 2013 

Belleville student Alexandra Hardy, 13, recently was awarded $500 for an essay she wrote as part of the Girls on the Run program. Alexandra, the daughter of Sherrie and Marcus Hardy, was one of 12 essay winners selected from the United States and Canada.

Though a home school student last academic year, Alexandra participated in the Girls on the Run program through Westhaven Elementary School in Belleville. Girls on the Run aims to empower girls for a lifetime of healthy living.

Her mother Sherrie Hardy said the program helped Alexandra "connect with other girls in the area" and build her confidence.

Alexandra never had an issue with low self-esteem, but Hardy said Girls on the Run opened her daughter's eyes to the need to mentor other girls.

In her essay, Alexandra wrote, "Every girl on this earth is beautifully unique, but they don't always know that, and it is our responsibility to tell them. Because, who knows? It may be the day they need to hear it most."

Alexandra plans to attend the eighth-grade this year at Central Junior High School in Belleville.


The inaugural Back-to-School B.A.S.H. (Backpack And Supplies Handout) held by Illinois Parent Teacher Association-Southern Region will be from noon to 7 p.m. Thursday at the Regency Convention Center, 400 Regency Park in O'Fallon. The event is free for metro-east families.

The back-to-school event will include entertainment, demonstrations, Kohl's Safety Street, giveaways and special guest appearances.

Kohl's Safety Street is an interactive injury prevention program for kindergarten through fifth-grade students. The 4,000-square-feet life-size cityscape and picture panels, create a shared experience that aims to teach children pedestrian safety, stray animal safety, stranger safety, train safety, water safety and bicycle safety.

For more information, call Carolyn McCarty at 618-792-4570.


Mascoutah School District 19 is holding a centralized one-stop registration this week at Mascoutah High School.

During a three-day period -- Thursday, Friday and Tuesday -- parents and guardians of all students will register their children, pay fees, establish meal accounts, pick up student schedules and complete all the tasks necessary to get their children enrolled for the new school year.

The district established an alphabetical system with suggested times for parents to attend: Parents of students whose last names begin with the letters A through K may register between 2 and 7 p.m. Thursday. Parents of students whose last names begin with the letters L through Z may register between noon and 7 p.m. Tuesday.

A catch-all day for any parents unable to make the two designated alphabetical days occurs from 7 to 10 a.m. Friday. Parents with students who have different last names may register all their students at the same time.

For more information, visit or call Cathy Thomas at 618-566-2927.


The 2013-14 school year new student registration for Belleville School District 118 will be held from 9 to 11:30 a.m. and from 1 to 3 p.m. Friday at all schools in the district. The registration will include those children who will be 5 years old on or before Sept. 1, and who reside within the school district, plus students new to the district.

Parents must bring the child's birth certificate and three proofs of residence at the time of registration. Physical, immunization and dental exam forms will be distributed during registration.


Madelyn McGlynn, 18, from Belleville, was selected as a regional scholarship winner for the Kohl's Cares Scholarship Program. Madelyn, the daughter of Michael and Claire McGlynn, was chosen from more than 35,000 nominees nationwide for making a positive impact in her community.

Madelyn, who attended Althoff Catholic High School, founded NETwork Against Malaria, dedicated to providing youths in Uganda with malaria nets. Through her fundraising efforts, Madelyn collected enough money to distribute 10,000 malaria nets to students in Uganda last year. Her efforts earned her a $1,000 scholarship from Kohl's.


Pontiac-William Holliday School District 105 school board is seeking candidates to fill a school board position following the resignation of board member Wendy Fuchs. The position will expire in April 2015 at which time a candidate will be elected to fill a four-year board position.

A candidate must be at least 18, a resident of the district for at least one year and a registered voter. Those interested in being appointed to the District 105 school board are asked to write a letter of interest including personal and professional qualifications and reasons for wanting to serve. Letters are due by July 31 and can be dropped off or mailed to the district office at 400 Ashland in Fairview Heights. For more information, call the district office at 618-233-2320.


With employment projections indicating an imminent hiring boom in the aviation industry, Southwestern Illinois College is ready to meet the demand for well-trained professionals. SWIC is expanding its courses by offering in-depth training on state-of-the art industry technology.

SWIC is planning a CRJ700 Regional Jet Systems Training Course for both pilot and aircraft maintenance students, according to Keith Mueller, SWIC Aviation Management and Pilot Training Program coordinator.

The CRJ700 Regional Jet Systems training course provides future pilots and maintenance personnel an overview of the systems incorporated on the Bombardier CRJ700 Regional Jetliner, one of the most popular regional jets. The course will be offered during the fall semester in the traditional one-semester format. A 10-day class will be offered as early as May 2014 for those needing an accelerated format.

Do you have an item for Education Matters or an education-related story tip? We want to know about it. Send your ideas to Jamie Forsythe at or call 618-239-2562. Follow her on Twitter at

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