Education Matters: Aerial photo captures ‘super’ power at Estelle Sauget in Cahokia

Students at the Estelle Sauget School of Choice in Cahokia took an aerial photo of all the students through a partnership with the St. Louis Downtown Airport.
Students at the Estelle Sauget School of Choice in Cahokia took an aerial photo of all the students through a partnership with the St. Louis Downtown Airport. Provided photo

Students at the Estelle Sauget School of Choice in Cahokia again partnered with the St. Louis Downtown Airport to take an aerial photo of all the students. This year, the 290 kindergarten through eighth-grade students and about 45 staff members formed a Superman logo on the school grounds. Each wore a “Character Is Our Superpower” T-shirt supplied by the school, and each student’s shirt has his or her college graduation date on it. The school uses college graduation to “align with our school’s mission of setting high expectations,” said Katie Goelz, special education teacher at the school.

Heroin abuse message spreads

A team of police investigators joined the assistant principal at Collinsville High School to present an anti-heroin message at the middle school’s assembly on Friday.

There were 26 heroin overdose deaths in Madison County in 2014; and the county has already had more than 30 through July of this year, according to the state’s attorney’s office.

Kari Karidis, the assistant principal, spoke personally about heroin overdoses. Her son Charles did of an overdose in 2013; he was 23. Karidis urged the seventh- and eighth-graders to talk about drug use, especially when students know a friend or relative is using.

She will present the same information to the Collinsville High School freshmen on Wednesday. Karidis also started Companion’s Companion, a website that provides resources, education and a “safety net of stability” to friends and family of those addicted.

Tom Gibbons, Madison County State’s Attorney, will join the county coroner, chief investigator and a D.A.R.E. officer to share heroin realities with the middle school students. The team will make similar presentations to students throughout the county this school year.

Eighth-grade retreat

Eighth-graders from Saints Peter and Paul Elementary in Waterloo visited The National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville for a retreat on Oct. 21.The retreat featured Cooper Ray, a speaker and musician who shares his faith through music, story and humor. The retreat was part of students being Disciples of Christ for Confirmation.

Honoring veterans

O’Fallon Township High School history students are hosting a reception for family and friends of 15 veterans. Kristen Strubhart’s history students will share their documentary that showcases the stories of the veterans of World War II, Korea, Vietnam and Desert Storm. Each veteran featured will also receive a DVD of the documentary.

The reception is from 2 to 4 p.m. Nov. 8 at the OTHS Milburn campus. Other partners for the reception are the Daughters of the American Revolution Cahokia Mound Chapter, the OTHS JROTC and the O’Fallon Historical Society, as well as the Boeing Employee Community Fund.

Kindergarten readiness night

Mark your calendar for the Zion Lutheran School kindergarten readiness night from 6 to 7 p.m. Nov. 17. The free event is open to the community; childcare will be provided and pizza swerved. Reservations are requested by emailing Erica Stelling, the admissions and marketing director at Zion, at or calling the Belleville school at 618-234-0275. Zion educators will talk about academic, emotional and social readiness children need for kindergarten.

County Board honors band

The St. Clair County Board members honored the O’Fallon Township High School Marching Panthers on Monday at the board’s meeting, noting their win at the regional contest at the Bands of America Regional competition in Clarksville, Tenn.