After nearly two years of planning, 80 members of the Triad High School band and color guard spent several days at Walt Disney World Resort. But it wasn't just a fun trip: The students participated in two educational workshops and held a performance while in Orlando, Fla. Members of the color guard even got to perform a number with the iconic character Goofy, according to Kevin Devany, Triad band director.
The high school students left from Troy June 4. After driving through the night, Devany said they visited the Kennedy Space Center and went to Cocoa Beach, Fla.
Members of color guard traveled to the Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa on June 6 to take part in Disney's Auxiliration (Flag Unit) Disney Performing Arts workshop.
"The color guard had the opportunity to work with one of the cast members of the Disney Parks," Devany said. "They put on a small performance at the end of the clinic and performed with Goofy."
Other band members traveled to Epcot Center that same day to take part in You're Instrumental! Disney Performing Arts workshop. Devany said the students learned the difference between performing and rehearsing at the three-hour workshop in a studio.
"Every time the students performed they had a recording played back for them," he explained. "It was a really incredible experience."
The following day Triad band members traveled to the Downtown Disney Marketplace to take part in the Special Presentation program. Devany said the students performed four selections for an audience.
Band members raised money through various fundraisers to fund the trip, according to Devany.
The students also were able to visit several of the theme parks at Disney World including Epcot, Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios.
"It was one of the best trips," Devany said. "The students did a remarkable job."
Waterloo High School Marching Band also traveled to the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort June 11 to take part in the Main Street Electrical Pre-Parade program.
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville will celebrate more than 500 graduates during its commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday in the Vadalabene Center. SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe along with Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Ann Boyle will address the graduates.
The student speaker will be Alyssa Patton, of Bethalto. She is graduating with a bachelor's in political science. Kevin Nesselhauf, president-elect of the SIUE Alumni Association board of directors, also will speak.
The Cellular Connection is donating 60,000 backpacks full of school supplies to children through its School Rocks Backpack Giveaway initiative. More than 400 Cellular Connection stores across the United States are participating in the backpack giveaway including the store in Collinsville, located at 1108 Collinsville Crossing Blvd.
Local families are invited to bring their children to the store between noon and 2 p.m. Saturday to pick up a backpack filled with pencils, paper, a pencil box, folders, glue and more. Backpacks will be given away on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last. Each participating store will donate between 100 and 150 backpacks. Any leftover backpacks will be donated to local schools.
St. Mary-St. Augustine Catholic School in Belleville will hold an open house from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 6 for new and prospective students at the school located at 1900 W. Belle St. Registration for the 2013-14 school year will be accepted for incoming preschool (3 year olds), pre-kindergarten (4 year olds) and kindergarten students. There also are some openings for grades first through eighth.
Students registering for kindergarten must be age 5 by Sept. 1. All applications must be accompanied by a birth certificate. For more information, call the school office at 618-234-4958.
The fourth annual back-to-school backpack event will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Aug. 7 at Belleville West High School. The event is sponsored by the education committee of the Greater Belleville Chamber of Commerce.
"The purpose of the Belleville community event is to kick off the start of a new school year and at the same time provide backpacks full of school supplies to students in need," explained Matt Klosterman, superintendent of Belleville School District 118.
The event will feature vendor tables from community organizations and businesses, as well as free food including hot dogs, chips and water. Young attendees will enjoy carnival games and inflatables provided by Tribout's Carnival Supplies in Belleville.
Klosterman said the event is open to any students, kindergarten through eighth grade, registered at the following school districts in Belleville: District 118, Belle Valley 119, Harmony-Emge 175, Signal Hill 181 and Whiteside District 115. Private school students at the following schools also are invited: Zion Lutheran Grade School, Blessed Sacrament Catholic School, Cathedral Grade School, St. Teresa Catholic School, Our Lady Queen of Peace School, and St. Mary-St. Augustine Catholic Grade School.
One thousand backpacks will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis, according to Klosterman. There will be school/sports physicals available for $15 each at the event. Only cash will be accepted.
Fifth grade teacher Stephanie Berry at Smithton Community Consolidated School District 130 was selected as one of the top 10 history teachers in the state of Illinois. Berry received a certificate of excellence from the Illinois State Board of Education for being one of the top 10 finalists for 2013 Illinois History Teacher of the Year award. Twenty-seven history teachers applied for the award, which went to Laura Font, a teacher at Lombard School District 44 in DuPage County.
SIUE Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Narbeth Emmanuel named Kelly Jo Karnes as the new director of student involvement. Karnes succeeds long-time director Steve Sperotto, who retired at the end of the 2013 spring semester. She assumed the new role July 1.
Karnes is responsible for directing the Kimmel Leadership Center, which provides development, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of comprehensive educational, co-curricular and support services. She will supervise more than 200 student organizations. She also is responsible for advising and mentoring students, faculty and staff for the purpose of improving and enhancing campus life.
The Southwestern Illinois College Culinary Arts and Food Management program recently received a renewal of critical accreditation. The American Culinary Federation Education Foundation Accrediting Commission extended accreditation of the associate in applied science degree in Culinary Arts and Food Management through June 1, 2015. SWIC first was accredited by the American Culinary Federation in 1998.
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