O'Fallon band needs your help getting to Tournament of Roses Parade

News-DemocratMarch 18, 2014 

The O'Fallon Township High School Marching Panthers have been selected to participate in the 2015 Tournament of Roses Parade in California, but the band needs the community's help in getting there.

The Marching Panthers need to raise $25,000 to get the band students and their equipment to California. A fundraiser will be held Monday at Texas Roadhouse in Shiloh.

Only 20 high schools from across the United States and the world were selected to participate in the 126th Rose Parade, which has the theme "Inspiring Stories." Bands are selected by the Tournament of Roses based on a variety of criteria including musicianship, marching ability, entertainment and special interest value.

In addition to marching in the 5.5-mile long Rose Parade on New Year's Day, bands also perform in one of three Bandfest events scheduled for Dec. 29 and 30 at Pasadena City College.

For more information about fundraisers, visit http://www.othsband.com.


Metro-east girls, ages 12 to 18, are invited to participate in a one-day workshop focused on self-esteem and character education from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Southwestern Illinois College in Belleville. The event is sponsored by the nonprofit organization Project Compassion.

The keynote speaker will be Chloe Graham, founder and editor-in-chief of USTYLEU Magazine in Chicago. The cost to attend is $50. For more information or to register, call 618-397-1790 or visit http://www.projectcompassionnfp.org.


Harmony-Emge School District 175 will accept closed bids for the former Harmony school building. The school board unanimously approved selling the building through sealed bids at a minimum price determined by board members in closed session last week. The minimum price is not being disclosed by district officials.

Superintendent Pam Leonard said a walk-through of the former school building, at 500 Wilshire in Belleville, will be held before the end of the month. Interested individuals must schedule with the district to participate in the walk-through. For more information, call the district office at 618-397-8444.

District officials will open the sealed bids at 10 a.m. March 31. The building will be sold as is, Leonard said.


Belleville West High School's English Department and library entered this year's Follett Grant Challenge to highlight the school's Community of Readers Program. A major factor in determining winners is the number of votes the school's video receives. You can vote through April 4 at http://www.follettchallenge.com.

There will be 15 prize winners, four semi-finalists and a grand prize winner. Schools can win between $5,000 and $30,000 of products, including books.


The school board at Whiteside School District 115 has a new member Kim Rist, who was appointed to fill Kelly West's seat. West, the principal at Signal Hill School in Belleville, resigned her school board position at the end of last year.

"With her experience in education, she was a great asset to the board and will certainly be missed," said Peggy Burke, Whiteside superintendent.

Rist is a Whiteside parent and the director of human resources at Allsup. "She brings a lot of relevant knowledge and experience to the board," Burke said.


Belleville West High School's Varsity Scholar Bowl Team won regionals March 10. The team was led by Kevin Fleming, Alan Jefferson, Louis Holm, Justin Buettner and Eli Tiemann. The team started the night by defeating Marquette who was seeded as the number one team in the area. The team went on to defeat Mascoutah and Freeburg to claim the title of regional champions. The team is coached by Katie Munden.


Belleville West High School placed first in the speech division, second in the debate division and first overall out of nine schools March 8 at the National Speech and Debate Association's District Tournament.

These students qualified for this summer's national tournament in Kansas City:

* Kevin Fleming and Rosa Millsap in public forum debate

* Jaylah Jones and Jamecia Laws in public forum debate

* Bethany Dain in U.S. extemporaneous speaking

* J'ambre Chalmers in dramatic interpretation

* Henry Holm and Brooke Ingram in duo interpretation

* Jacob Cange and Kole Schlich in duo interpretation

The team is coached by Brandon Hentze.


An O'Fallon Township student received the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor the organization offers.

Hannah Pavlisin, a senior, received the honor for her work at St. Louis Children's Hospital. Hannah created a space-theme for a play area at the hospital. She built a "castle above the clouds" out of cardboard for kids to play in and made a station where kids can make pretend jet packs.

She also provided paintings, decorated cupcakes and made arrangements for local firefighters, police, a pilot, a pastry chef, artists and Olympians to come to the hospital to talk to kids.

Hannah is the daughter of James and Pennie Pavlisin. She plans to attend Bradley University in the fall.


High school students are invited to participate in the 2014 Congressional Art Competition for the 13th Congressional District. The winner's artwork will be displayed for one year at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Entries must be submitted by Friday to Rep. Davis' district offices. The entry only needs to be framed if it is selected as the winner to be displayed in the U.S. Capitol. Participating students' artwork will be on display from March 24-28 at Richland Community College David Erlanson Art Gallery in Decatur with a special reception on March 28 -- when this year's winner will be announced.

For more information, contact Jen White in Rep. Davis' office at 217-403-4690 orjen.white@mail.house.gov.


Maryville Christian School is celebrating its 10th year with a concert dinner event from 6 to 9 p.m. March 28 at First Baptist Maryville, 7110 State Route 162. The cost to attend is $20.

The event will feature a concert by Matt Vollmar and The Great Romance, along with a dinner and an auction. Tickets can be purchased online at http://go-mcs.orgor http://register.fbmaryville.org.

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 education@bnd.com or call 618-239-2562. Follow her on Twitter at @BND_JForsythe.

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