Education Matters: Your art could be in the U.S. Capitol

Builders Club members Claire Huebner, left, Hannah Janson, Nick Prindiville and Katrina Costner scoop ingredients for Kids Against Hunger. The Builders Club members are seventh and eighth graders at Immaculate Conception School.
Builders Club members Claire Huebner, left, Hannah Janson, Nick Prindiville and Katrina Costner scoop ingredients for Kids Against Hunger. The Builders Club members are seventh and eighth graders at Immaculate Conception School.

The annual Congressional Art Competition, where high school students’ winning art is displayed for the representatives to see on their walk to the Capitol.

The deadline for the 2016 Congressional Art Competition is Feb. 25. U.S. Rep. Mike Bost, Republican from Murphysboro, is accepting artwork at his district office at 23 Public Square, Suite 404, in Belleville. If that drop off site isn’t convenient, call the office by Friday at 618-233-8026 to make alternate arrangements.

Winning artwork will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

“Southern Illinois is a unique part of America, filled with memorable places, a diverse and hardworking workforce, and families who take great pride in their heritage,” Bost said. “I look forward to seeing this year’s submissions and learning why these young artists are proud to call Southern Illinois home.”

Submitted art must be two dimensional; no larger than 28 inches wide, 28 inches tall, and four inches thick when framed; and not weigh more than 15 pounds when framed. It must be original in concept, design and execution and may not violate copyright laws.

Red Bud High seeking new principal

Red Bud Community School Unit 132 hired a familiar face to its open curriculum director position at a February board meeting, according to the board secretary.

Principal Dustin Nail will be the curriculum director for the district effective July 1, Kim Schaefer said. The school district is advertising for a new principal for the 400-student Red Bud High School.

Curriculum director Ryan McClellan’s resignation for June 30 was accepted by the board in November. He will be principal at Evansville Elementary School and the curriculum director at Sparta Community Unit School District 140, Schaefer said.

Military Career Night planned

Belleville East is hosting Military Career Night from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday.

The Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy and Coast Guard will be represented, as will the service academies and several colleges that have ROTC options. There is no obligation to those attending.

Anne Belline, the Belleville District 201 JROTC coordinator, said there are more than 100 community members planning to attend and asks that those interested provide the number in their party so that refreshments can be provided for all. The RSVP form may be filled out online – it does not ask for names – at

Science team advances to state

The Science Olympiad team at Immaculate Conception School in Columbia placed third, missing a tie for first with just one point, in regional competition on Saturday.

The team is made up of sixth through eighth-grade students and qualified for state competition at the Western Illinois University regional against teams that included high school freshman. Students placing first, second or third in 17 of events were Noah Newton, Isabella Frasure, Eve Melliere, Jane Whelan, Spencer Biske, Mary Wessel, Lexi Hennes, Charlie Soetaert, Ben Traxler, Spencer Biske, Maggie Schulte, Jack Burke and Kaylum Furlow. Several students placed in more than one event.

State competition is April 16 at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Mascoutah High meets SARA

More than 200 students at Mascoutah High School took a break from math and science classes last week to visit some futuristic exhibits housed in an Army trailer.

The U.S. Army’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Experience, provided by the U.S. Army Accessions Support Brigade’s Mission Support Battalion, is part of the MSB’s mission to keep the country connected with the military service. It is a simulation in which the year is 2032 and a radical political group is threatening attacks.

Students passed through three areas, in which they learned about the threats and about SARA, a search and rescue autonomous hybrid the Army is developing. They also worked as a team to navigate and find survivors of an explosion.

Belleville East seeking nominations for Wall of Fame

Belleville East is looking for former students, former teachers and former school-related personnel who deserve to be named to the Wall of Fame. Nominations are due May 1.

Those making nominations need to write a 200 to 250-word biography explaining the worthiness of the person being nominated. A resume can also be attached to the online application at ​​.

The Wall of Fame recognizes individuals who have made outstanding achievement in the community and in society and added to the honor and prestige of the high school.

Former students should be a member of a class that graduated five years ago and attended the school for at least two years. Former teachers should have been employed at the school for at least five years and been retired or have left at least five years ago. School-related personnel should have shown outstanding performance as an administrator, board member or non-teaching staff. The candidate should also have been employed at Belleville East for at least five years and also been retired or left for at least five years.

Each candidate’s achievement should be “so outstanding as to eliminate any question as to selection,” according to a news release.

Contact Principal Jason Karstens at for more information.

Meals to Honduras

About 30 members of the Builders Club from Immaculate Conception School in Columbia joined a community effort to prepare more than 2,300 packets that will make more than 14,000 meals for children in Honduras.

The Builders Club raised more than $3,000 with donations and fundraising projects to help fund the meals. The food provided was engineered, according to the school, and is a mix of rice, soy, dried vegetables and enough nutrients to provide nutrition for one person for one day. Each package feeds six people.

ICS’s Builders Club is a service organization for seventh and eighth-graders and is sponsored by the Columbia Kiwanis Club. The Columbia Key Club also helped prepare the meals earlier this month.

Hundreds attend dinner auction

More than 300 people attended the 22nd annual dinner auction at St. John Neumann Catholic School in Maryville. The fairy-tale themed night on Feb. 6 included a Mardi Gras-themed raffle and auction for trips to Holiday World, Cardinals and Blues tickets, and a new American Doll girl.

Wolf Branch schedules kindergarten registration

Wolf Branch Elementary School in Swansea is holding kindergarten registration from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on March 8 and 10, and 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on March 9. To register for the coming school year, students must be 5 years old by Sept. 1 and will need their original birth certificate and a parent’s photo identification with current address, a utility bill and a real estate tax bill or homeowners or renters insurance declaration page. For more information, call 618-277-2100.

Students take Valentines to neighbors

More than 60 stuffed elephants found their way to St. Paul Apartments and Nursing home in Belleville by way of Franklin Elementary School students. The students added messages and hearts and delivered the good wishes on Feb. 10.

New voters

Mascoutah High School registered more than 50 new voters on Feb. 10 during a lunchtime drive. Those 17 year olds can register and vote as long as they turn 18 before the general election in November.

West student wins $98K scholarship

Culver-Stockton College, in Canton, Mo., has announced that a senior from Belleville West High School has won the Pillars for Excellence scholarship. Julia Rosenstengel is among the winners of the $98,000 scholarship, which covers four full years of tuition at the school.

It is an academic scholarship; the average GPA of the seven winners is 3.93 with an average ACT score of 28.