Education Matters: Shiloh girl takes Gold Award

Marlie Howell tests out a prosthetic hand made by a 3D printer.
Marlie Howell tests out a prosthetic hand made by a 3D printer.

Sarozjani Hunter, of Shiloh, has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award in the organization.

For her project, Hashtag Stay Active, Sarozjani promoted physical fitness and a healthy lifestyle at a summer camp for children in grades kindergarten through second. She created a lesson plan with sports and activities, including a motivational quote and a nutritional tip. She also developed a balanced menu that could be used by the summer camp for years to come.

“I am a sports enthusiast; I have been involved in a variety of sports from a young age,” Sarozjani said. “I wanted other children to learn about the importance of physical fitness and a healthy lifestyle at a fundamental age in their lives just as I did.”

Sarozjani is the daughter of Janfrey and Cynthia Hunter. She is currently a junior at Governor French Academy and later plans to major in biomedical engineering. Sarozjani has been a Girl Scout for 9 years.

Only about 6 percent of eligible girls earn the prestigious Gold Award.

Yearbooks for sale

Today’s Bellevinois staff are overrun with old copies of the yearbook, their co-adviser Lannette Story says, and they’re looking to find new homes for the towering stacks.

Staff will be selling old copies — first come, first served — of Bellevinois from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Belleville West Commons.

Yearbooks go back to the 1920s, and cost per book is determined by its age. Yearbooks between the 1920s and 1970s cost $5. Yearbooks from the 1980s and 1990s are $10, and years 2000 through 2011 and 2013 are $15. The most recent volume, the 2015 Bellevinois, remains at $60 full price until the spring. Discounts are available for bulk purchases, starting with three books.

Story says all but two years are available; 2012 and 2014 are sold out.

The yearbook sale will render not only more space for the yearbook staff, but also the proceeds will go toward new equipment and training for yearbook staff.

Email Story at for more information.

ISBE wants your opinion

Granite City will be home to one of the Illinois State Board of Education public hearings about spending needs and prioritizes for the agency.

“One of ISBE’s top priorities is to establish an adequate and equitable education finance system,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith. “I encourage educators, students, parents and community members to help our advocacy efforts and weigh in on the programs and services that make a difference for students.”

The hearing from 4 to 6 p.m. Nov. 12 at the Granite City High School Atrium, at 3101 Madison Ave., is ahead of the agency’s fiscal year 2017 budget recommendations.

Go to for more information; those unable to attend the meeting can send a form about the budget to

University students lend a hand

Washington University medical school students brought prosthetic limbs made from their own 3D printers to show students at Notre Dame Academy in Belleville what they could do with theirs.

Notre Dame Academy Principal Linda Hobbs said a donor had given the school a 3D printer, and the students were eager to see what the university students were doing with similar equipment. The Washington University students spent the afternoon at the school on Oct. 28.

Winners of poster contest named

Three Madison County students have won the Fifth Annual Anti-Drug Poster Contest. The theme was “Respect Yourself. Be Drug Free.” for the annual contest that concedes with Red Ribbon Week.

Winners are: Hanna Behnen, third grade, and Samantha Bock, fourth grade, both of Woodland Elementary in Edwardsville; and Savannah Squires, fifth grade, of South Roxana Elementary.

Tom Gibbons, Madison County state’s attorney, will supply a pizza party to each of the winner’s classes.

The winning posters will be displayed on the fourth floor of the County Administration Building, just outside the State’s Attorney’s Office.

“I always enjoy seeing how they interpret each year’s them through art,” Gibbons said in a news release. “We want our poster contest to encourage kids to think about what it means to be drug-free.”

Along with the winners, finalists from each grade also have their posters displayed at the County Administration Building. Posters were judged by a committee within the office.

O’Fallon Winds going to national festival

The O’Fallon Township High School Wind Ensemble has been invited to perform at the 2016 Music for All National Festival in March in Indianapolis. The 65 students perform under the direction of Melissa Gustafson-Hinds. The ensemble was selected to perform from a recorded audition.

The 49 band and percussion ensembles participating in the festival come from Illinois and Indiana as well as 16 other states.

Festival and ticket information will be available at or by calling 800-848-2263.

Information about the OTHS Wind Ensemble and other Panther Bands can be found at and

Blood drive at Mater Dei

More than 60 pints of blood were collected at the Mater Dei Student Council blood drive. More than 70 students and staff tried to donate; a $250 scholarship will be granted randomly to a senior who donated.

‘Mix it up’

Saints Peter and Paul Catholic School in Waterloo joined a nationwide event on Oct. 27 called “Mix It Up at Lunch” Day. Children in the kindergarten through eighth grade, as well as the teachers and staff, were randomly assigned tables instead of eating with their usual groups.

The school often “mixes it up,” they say, with pairing different grades together with “buddies” to celebrate weekly masses, holidays and other events.