Angeles Moran is retiring, and the Latin Dance Team at Belleville West will retire with her.
“There is no one else,” who can take it on as a sponsor, she said. “Because they don’t feel confident in the dancing.”
Moran, a Spanish teacher at Belleville West, started the Spanish Club about 25 years ago. As part of it, she started teaching dance, which became so well-liked by a few students that the clubs were separated. The Latin Dance Team started with six students and has had as many as 30. She says this year’s roster is about 15.
“I’m Hispanic so I just love dancing, so I travel, and I go to performances and I buy the DVDs,” she said. “I would practice and pass it to my students.”
One thing that made the team different, Moran said, is that she accepted every student who wanted to learn to dance.
“Some of them were problem students, disciplinary students, I even had one on probation,” Moran said. “They learn discipline in my group, and that they are worth it. Some of them make a big turnaround in their behavior. All they need to do is want to learn to dance.”
Laura Kern, of Belleville East High School, has won a Philanthropic Educational Organization STAR Scholarship of $2,500. The award is based on leadership, extracurricular activities, community service, academics and potential for future success, according to a news release. The student must be recommended by a P.E.O. chapter.
“Each chapter is allowed to submit one candidate who answers a series of questions and writes an essay as part of the application process. My chapter..is thrilled to have a winner this year,” said Joann Hoffmann, of the P.E.O.
Hoffmann and Marsha Cremer presented the award to Kern at the school recently.
The Philanthropic Educational Organization is an international group dedicated to promoting educational opportunities for women.
Three women have been awarded scholarships from First Command Financial Service’s O’Fallon office and the First Command Education Foundation. Representatives from Scott Air Force Base and the Scott Spouses’ Club Charitable Association presented a $2,000 scholarship to Kiara Stewart, a $1,000 scholarship to Elizabeth Swogger and a $1,000 scholarship to Charlotte Unterseher.
Stewart and Swogger are 2015 high school graduates, and Unterseher is a military spouse.
Several metro-east students were honored at the Do The Right Thing ceremony on May 13 at the St. Louis County Police Headquarters. They were: Devontae Davis, of West Junior High in Belleville; Rebecca Nance, of Henry Raab in Belleville; Cameron Clark, Claire Gibson and Jacob Shields, of Signal Hill School in Belleville; and Lauren Garn from Delores Moye School in O’Fallon. Do The Right Thing is a program that recognizes St. Louis-area students for positive character traits.
Saints Peter and Paul Catholic School in Waterloo had its 162nd graduation on May 14 with a special Mass. Honor awards and scholarships were also presented. Scholarships went to Daniela Perez, Breanna Wirth, Elgin Scherff and Savannah Mitchell, who will attend Gibault High School. Grace Lyons was awarded a merit scholarship of $5,000, renewable for all four years of high school, to Nerinx Hall in St. Louis.
Top Jump Rope for Heart earners at Belle Valley School in Belleville were rewarded for their work with strawberry picking and a custard treat on May 18 at Eckert’s in Belleville.
More than 400 Belle Valley students raised nearly $8,492 for the program, including 31 who raised at least $125 — the minimum for the trip. The top fund-raiser was fourth-grader Avery Morgan.
Kristin Strubhart, who teaches at O’Fallon Township High School, was presented with the Illinois Society Sons of the American Revolution Charles and Eleanor Schweizer History Teacher Award on May 16 in Springfield.
Strubhart was recognized for starting a Veterans History Project at the school, in an effort to foster patriotism and an appreciation for those who fought for the ideals of the Declaration of Independence. History students interviewed veterans of foreign wars, and video production students handled the technical aspect of the project.
“The most rewarding aspect of this project is seeing the connections made between the students and veterans,” Strubhart said.
The Cougar Council at Albert Cassens Elementary School in Glen Carbon made handmade get-well cards for patients at Anderson Hospital in Maryville. According to a news release from the hospital, “a colorful greeting card can help brighten a patient’s day. And when the card is handmade by an elementary student with a big heart, it makes it even better.”
The council is made up of students from each class, who had to submit an essay to be considered for the council. Third-grade teacher Liz Speicher, who helps lead the council, said the students “enjoy working together to create positive additions to the school and their community.”
Students at Westhaven Elementary School in Belleville have concluded its Shoeman Collection, having received about 2,100 pairs of donated shoes for the project. Schools that also helped collect for the shoes-to-water project were Central Junior High, West Junior High, Union, Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, Henry Raab and Washington. Sponsor Marie Davis, a Westhaven teacher, said the shoes are sold by the pound to help pay for clean water systems throughout the world.