August 5, 2014

Playing their hearts out: Metro-east marching bands get in step for season

In preparation for the upcoming band competition season, marching band students at metro-east high schools are participating in annual band camps.

Belleville East's band camp began Monday at the school, and O'Fallon Township High School began their camp late last month.

The Marching Panthers camp runs from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. through Wednesday. The Marching Lancers camp runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

Director of bands at East, Mark Tessereau, said the name of the 2014 show is "Be Still My Beating Heart." It will feature nearly 200 students including band members, color guard and dancers.

Band contests begin shortly after the school year. Two major competitions will be held Sept. 13: the Belleville East Marching Invitational and the Metro-East Marching Classic at OTHS.


Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House and Catholic Urban Programs will sponsor the sixth annual Bookbag Giveaway -- Ready, Set, Go! -- at the Family Development Center on State Street, next to the East St. Louis School District 189 offices. The free event will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

It will include: bookbags and school supplies for students kindergarten through 12th grade; back-to-school physical, dental and vision checkups; stylists offering haircuts, lunch, entertainment, games, face painting and art projects. District 189 representatives will be on hand to help parents complete school registrations.

Volunteers from churches and organizations from the greater East St. Louis area will assist with the activities.


The second annual Mascoutah Indian Pride Run will be Saturday. The day starts with a 5K run at 8 a.m. for those who register. Immediately following 5K awards, but not before 9 a.m., a youth mile run for kids 12 and under gets underway. A 400-meter dash at the football stadium for kids ages 5 and under will then cap the Indian Pride run. A medal ceremony will follow.

The event is a fundraiser for Positive Behavior Intervention System, a program at Mascoutah High School that provides incentives to students for positive behavior and achievement.

Advanced registration costs $25 for adults. The youth mile run and 400-meter dash registration costs $10. Registration forms are at various businesses in the city. Those interested can also register online at


A memorial service for longtime educator Mary McHugh, 83, of Belleville will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Franklin School, 301 N. Second St. in Belleville. McHugh, who helped create the Franklin Neighborhood Community Association in Belleville, died last month after a short battle with liver cancer. She taught at Franklin School for more than 40 years.


Joshua Branch of East St. Louis, Amelia Flowers of Alorton and Kyle Schenewerk of Freeburg recently scored top honors in the 2014 Allsup Academy business plan competition at Southwestern Illinois College in Belleville. They won $100 each for their idea to create a portable medical simulator for use in surgical training. The trio competed against six other teams. Approximately 35 high school students from throughout the region took part in the weeklong business workshop, sponsored by SWIC and Allsup Inc.

Jeff Quellmalz and Kirk Brown, both of O'Fallon; Cornelius Leflore of East St. Louis; and Herbert Patterson of Belleville won second place and received $75 each for their idea to create a camera/mirror system for tractor-trailers. Stefan Jones of O'Fallon, Celena Jentsch of Collinsville, Kenny Roberson of East St. Louis and Alexandria Waller of Cahokia placed third and took home $50 each for their idea to start a unique day care service.


The Rotary Club of St. Clair County West recently awarded scholarships to Gabrielle Hickey, a graduate of Belleville West and Rachel Beyersdorfer, a graduate of Althoff Catholic High School. Each student received a $1,500 scholarship to help with their studies for 2014-2015.


O'Fallon Township District 203 Superintendent Darcy Benway was part of specially trained superintendents to graduate from Illinois School for Advanced Leadership in June.

The two-year program was developed and is sponsored by the Illinois Association of School Administrators, the statewide organization that represents public school superintendents and administrators. The goal was to create a new level of leadership in public education.

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 @BND_JForsythe.

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