High school students face off in academic challenge

Students from 26 southwestern Illinois high schools competed in the Illinois Sectional Tournament of the 2015 Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering Academic Challenge on Monday at McKendree University in Lebanon.

The top school teams in each of the four divisions, based on enrollment size, were Edwardsville High School, Salem Community High School, Bond County Community High School in Greenville and Governor French Academy in Belleville.

The Academic Challenge tests high school students in seven subjects. Competing individually and on school teams, students are tested on biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering graphics, English, math and physics.

Teams from Governor French, Gibault, Red Bud, Mascoutah, Edwardsville and O’Fallon, as well as almost 50 students, have advanced to the state finals to be held in Champaign.

This is the 12th year McKendree has hosted the competition.

Last month, students from 18 regional high schools competed in the Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering Academic Challenge held at the Southwestern Illinois College’s Belleville Campus.

In the unlimited-student school division, O’Fallon High ranked first and Belleville West second.

In the 1,500 student school division, Waterloo ranked first; Highland third; and Triad fourth.

In the 700 to 1,500 student school division, Mascoutah ranked second.

In the 700 student school division, Red Bud ranked first, Columbia second, Freeburg third and Dupo fourth.

In the 300 student school division, Gibault ranked fourth, Governor French Academy ranked second and Lebanon fourth.

O’Fallon High School sophomore Parker Crain of Boy Scout Troop 85 is hosting a recycling drive from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday at Central Christian Church, located at 1420 Illini Drive. The recycling drive is for more than just electronics. It also includes appliances, garden equipment, scrap metal and more. Crain’s recycling drive last year collected more than 20 tons of electronics and raised more than $2,000 to donate to a local school technology program.

East St. Louis School District 189 will host a Key Communicator Network meeting at 6 p.m., Monday, March 16 in the board room of the district’s administrative office, located at 1005 State St. in East St. Louis. Superintendent Arthur Culver will discuss what is going on in the district with community members. To RSVP for the meeting, contact Kimberly Roberson at or 618-646-3092. Another communicator meeting will be held May 6.

Wolf Branch Elementary School in Swansea will hold kindergarten registration for next school school year: from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 17; 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 18 and 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 19. Students must be 5 years old by Sept. 1. For more information, call 277-2100.

The Scholar Bowl Team at Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic School in Waterloo, along with other schools from the Cahokia Conference, recently came together at Waterloo Junior High School for their season-culminating Scholar Bowl Tournament.

Freeburg, Smithton Consolidated, Waterloo Junior High, New Athens Grade School, Columbia Middle School, Millstadt Consolidated, Red Bud Elementary, Valmeyer Elementary and Saints Peter and Paul competed in a round robin, all-day tournament, which resulted in Saints Peter and Paul being crowned the winner of the conference. The team is coached by Katie Kreher. Team member Josh Eichholz was named the team’s tournament MVP as he answered the most toss up questions — 26 correct — throughout the day.

More than 450 individuals supported Special Olympics athletes by jumping into the waters of Miller Park Lake in Bloomington on Feb. 28 — raising more than $141,000. Several Plunge teams and individuals were recognized for their accomplishments after the plunge including Dupo High School, which was recognized as the largest school team with 38 plungers and the school that raised the most money with $3,374 in donations.

The metro-east students honored at the “Do the Right Thing” ceremony Feb. 25 were as follows: Damon Crawford, Henry Raab Elementary, Bridget Custer, Westhaven Elementary, Makeena Luster, Union Elementary, Ashley Marcus, Westhaven Elementary; all in Belleville District 118; Jillian Cross, Olivia Morley and Kyla Watkins, all students at Smithton School; and Na’Anna Rica, Delores Moye Elementary in O’Fallon District 90. Do The Right Thing is a program that recognizes St. Louis-area students for positive character traits.

Three students at High Mount School in Swansea were recognized at the Picture the Music event at Powell Symphony Hall on Feb. 25. Aubree Rice-Peterson won the St. Louis Symphony Medal. Logan Jesse finished top 25 and Devin Compton finished top 100.

Over 300 people attended Collinsville Middle School’s second annual Family Reading Night on Feb. 24. The event was organized by the English department teachers, including Jennifer Rowland, Robert Dettmers, Christine Weeks, Becky Juelfs, Marylynn Elliot and Stacey Jackstadt. Student volunteers were recruited to assist at various booths around the cafeteria.

Related stories from Belleville News-Democrat