Collinsville Middle School's P.E. program receives award

News-DemocratDecember 17, 2013 

Collinsville Middle School's physical education department earned the 2013 Blue Ribbon Award from the Illinois Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

"It's not an award that's given out very often," Principal Kimberly Jackson said. "Our P.E. department came through with shining colors and was recognized as a quality program."

P.E. Department Chairperson Audrey Hill said she began the blue ribbon award application process a year ago. "It was a long process," she said, "but we wanted to be recognized as one of the premiere programs in the state."

The Blue Ribbon Award recognizes physical education programs in Illinois that meet the association's standards for excellence in dozens of measurable objectives across five major categories: curriculum; instruction; medical and safety; facilities; equipment and financing; and administration of physical education.

Hill and P.E. teacher Julie Semith accepted the award on behalf of Collinsville Middle School's P.E. department last month at the association's state convention in St. Charles, Ill.

"It's very exciting," Hill said, "and shows the importance of physical education and how it ties into academics."

The 2012 physical education department staff members that garnered the award were Hill, Semith, Doug Kirk, Chad Burgess, Tom King, Linda Kaspar and Curt Berger.

The nearly 1,000 seventh and eighth-graders at Collinsville Middle School receive P.E. for about an hour every weekday, Hill said.

Hill has taught at Collinsville Middle School for the past 11 years and was recognized as the middle school physical education teacher of the year in 2012 by the association.

Collinsville Middle School will retain Blue Ribbon status until 2018 when it must reapply.


Waterloo Community Unit School District 5 school board approved Monday the employment of Brian Charron as its next superintendent.

Charron, who is principal of Waterloo High School, will replace Superintendent James Helton, who will retire at the end of the school year.

Charron's tenure as superintendent will begin July 1 and run through June 30, 2017.


This week, students at Jefferson Elementary School in Belleville are fundraising for the Crown Ridge Tiger Sanctuary Project in Ste. Genevieve, Mo. The school's Student Council is holding dress-up days through Friday for students who pay 25 cents each day. The fundraiser was initiated by Student Council member Emmalaine Barney, a fifth-grader at the school.

"She is a very sweet girl with a very big heart and a soft spot for animals," said her teacher Elissa Garland.


The Harmony School District 175 Parent Teacher Organization now has its own website at The site includes information about the organization and events sponsored by the PTO.


Belleville West graduate Jill (Muren) Sisko received a Teacher of the Month award last month. Sisko is an eighth-grade literature teacher at Pontiac Middle School in Pontiac, Mich.

Sisko, who was born and raised in Belleville, lives in Rochester, Mich., with her husband Joe. They have two adult children. Sisko is the daughter of Joyce and Wayne Muren, of Belleville.

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