'Believe, Dream, Inspire:' 18 students advance to state

News-DemocratApril 1, 2014 

Eighteen students from Southern Illinois will advance to the State PTA Reflections program.

This year's PTA Reflections theme "Believe, Dream, Inspire" was brought to life by students' original creations in the categories of dance, film, literature, music, photography and visual art.

The students include:

* Belleville: Alex Murphy, Melissa Murphy, Morgan Murphy, Alexandra Hardy, Mahlik Good and Victoria Herndon

* Granite City: Kyle Pearman, Ava Hoppe, Jacyn Connolly, Isabelle Leyba and Laryn Evans

* Maryville: Landon Mahat, Luke Weller, Jared Lundak, Gavin Chrisman and Hannah Mims

* Millstadt: Olivia Gettinger and Lily Stedman

These students will be honored Thursday during the Illinois PTA -Southern Region annual meeting held at Belleville West High School.

On May 3, the Illinois PTA will host "Spotlight: A Children's Celebration of Art and Community" at the Millikin University Kirkland Fine Arts Center in Decatur to celebrate the youth of Illinois and their creativity through the PTA Reflections program. All art pieces submitted to the state level will be on display during the event.

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Seven metro-east students will compete in the 2014 Illinois State Geographic Bee on Friday at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn.

Local students selected as semifinalists include:

* Luke Schreder, St. Teresa Catholic School in Belleville;

* Michael Koziatek, Emge Junior High School in Belleville;

* Jack Sainz, Immaculate Conception School in Columbia;

* Robert Luo, Lincoln Middle School in Edwardsville;

* Andrew Romano, Millstadt Consolidated School;

* Jessica Finck, St. Clare School in O'Fallon; and

* Daniel Giles, Wolf Branch Middle School in Swansea.

This is the second level of the National Geographic Bee competition. Bees were held in schools with fourth- through eighth-grade students throughout the state to determine each school's winner. School-level winners then took a qualifying test, which they submitted to the National Geographic Society. The Society invited the students with the top 100 scores in each of the 50 states to compete at the state level.

The state winner will receive $100 and a trip to Washington, D.C., to represent Illinois in the National Geographic Bee finals to be held at Society headquarters, May 19-21. The national winner will receive a $50,000 college scholarship.

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Mascoutah School District 19 Board of Education has selected the name "Wingate Elementary School" for the new school being built in Shiloh on the western boundary of the school district. The choice came after a special advisory committee was formed to decide an appropriate name for the school. Other names considered included Mascoutah Elementary School at Wingate, Mascoutah Elementary School West and Green Mount Elementary School.

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Belleville School District 118 is hosting its seventh annual Drive Away Hunger campaign for local food pantries. Superintendent Matt Klosterman said the district partners with businesses, neighboring school districts and other organizations in the community to collect non-perishable food and personal hygiene items for four food pantries in the area. Items will be collected through April 11. Anyone who would like to donate or get more information can call Klosterman at 618-233-2830.

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Two local residents -- Thomas Fields of Belleville and Marquece Lomax of East St. Louis -- will compete in the final round of Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation's 4th Annual St. Louis Teen Talent Competition. They will be competing on The Fabulous Fox stage Friday for scholarships and prizes. Thomas is a singer who attends St. Louis University High School, and Marquece is a tap dancer who attends Central Visual and Performing Arts High School in St. Louis. A complete list of acts can be found online at http://www.foxpacf.org/teen-talent-showcase.aspx.

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East St. Louis School District 189 will hold a meeting with parents of Tomorrow's Builders Youth Build Charter School at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Board of Education building, 1005 State St. in East St. Louis. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss with parents how the district plans to transition students to schools for the 2014-15 school year.

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Belleville School District 118 will host kindergarten registration for the 2014-15 school year during the week of April 7. All of the district's elementary schools will be registering children from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. Parents who are unable to be at the school during these times should contact their home school principal to arrange a time to register their children.

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Saint Paul's Lutheran Church and School in Troy will host a community blood drive from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday in the Ministry Center gym, 112 North Border St. T-shirts will be given to donors while supplies last. For more information, contact Kathy Brumm at 618-667-6681.

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East St. Louis School District 189 will host the last Key Communicator Network meeting of the year at 6 p.m., Wednesday, April 9 at the East St. Louis School District 189 Board of Education building, 1005 State St. in East St. Louis. Dinner will be provided.

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Signal Hill School in Belleville is now taking appointments for pre-kindergarten and kindergarten screenings and registration for next school year. Kindergarten registration will be held Wednesday, April 9 and Thursday, April 10 for children who will turn 5 by Sept. 1. Pre-kindergarten registration will be held Thursday, April 10 and Friday, April 11 for children who are 3 or 4 years old. Parents should call the office at 618-397-0325 to set up an appointment.

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Kindergarten registration at Scott Elementary School will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 9. For more information, contact the office at 618-746-4738.

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The Greater East St. Louis Community Fund has a scholarship program for graduating East St. Louis and Brooklyn residents. The scholarship is up to a maximum of $4,000 per student. Students must have a 2.5 grade point average and must be admitted full-time to an accredited college or university for the fall semester. The application deadline is April 11. For more information, contact Pamela Coaxum at 618-271-2200 or visit http://www.estlfund.org.

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The Knights of Columbus from O'Fallon Council 4239 hosted its local competition for the 2014 Spelling Bee Championship. The competition was open to all boys and girls up to the age of 15. The competition is sponsored annually by the Knights of Columbus. Local council winners were:

* First place Thomas Padgett III;

* Second place Emily Jansen; and

* Third place Francesco Galante.

Regional winners were:

* First place, Sara Stehlik from Columbia;

* Second place, Alycie Caya from Columbia; and

* Third place, Sam Roberds from Granite City.

The state finals will be held April 12 in Springfield.

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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