Education Matters: Science Olympiad teams advance to state contest

Cadet Tremaine Watson leads fellow cadets and teachers in a physical training session using Army standards at the JROTC open house in early February.
Cadet Tremaine Watson leads fellow cadets and teachers in a physical training session using Army standards at the JROTC open house in early February.

Eight metro-east Science Olympiad teams are going to the state competition after advancing from regional competition at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville on Feb. 13.

In middle school competition, Millstadt Consolidated School came in first, with Mascoutah and Pontiac Junior High coming in second and third. In high school competition, a Springfield-area school took first place with Edwardsville, Collinsville, Belleville West, Mascoutah and Belleville East high schools coming in second through sixth.

The Science Olympiad has several interactive, hands-on events including Bridge Building, Elastic Launch Glider and Disease Detectives.

SIUE’s event is one of nine regional competitions in the state. Leading teams from each regional tournament will advance to the state tournament held at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on April 16.

John Deere at school

Columbia schools are celebrating Future Farmers of America this week with a special day every day. Tuesday was “Drive your tractor to work day” at the high school. The eighth-graders will have a leadership activity on Friday, and every day has a special dress request.

Immaculate Conception takes first at Scholastic Bowl

Immaculate Conception School, in Columbia, took first place at the Scholastic Bowl Tournament at the Mater Dei Invitational on Feb. 13. ICS had seven wins in the championship, and its record is 16-3. The team is coached by Tiffany Taylor, Dan Kassebaum and Jen Schauster.

SEMO awards scholarships

Four students from the metro-east have been awarded scholarships to attend Southeast Missouri State University.

▪  Taylor Tovar, of Mascoutah High School, has received the Residence Life Leadership Award and Midwest Achievement Award.

▪  Isabel Leggitt, of Edwardsville High School, has received the Midwest Achievement Award and University Scholarship.

▪  Rebecca Marselle, of Belleville East High School, has received the University Scholarship, Residence Life Leadership Award and Midwest Achievement Award.

▪  Blake Schobert, of Collinsville High School, has received the Regents’ Scholarship.

Belleville West students place at state speech contest

Belleville West students placed third, fourth and sixth at various events at the Illinois High School Association’s State Speech Tournament. The statewide tournament was Feb. 19 and 20 at the Peoria Civic Center.

Senior Nathan Hirst and Junior Janae Robinson placed third in Humorous Duet Acting. Senior Sam Geiger placed fourth in Informative Speaking; senior Brooke Ingram placed sixth in Special Occasion Speaking and sophomore Cassidy Farrar placed sixth in Radio Broadcast.

Children raise money for Torch Run

“The Givers,” a group of students at Evans Elementary in O’Fallon, raised money for the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics. The Givers made felt animals, yarn jewelry and other items to sell to other students. Students and staff also had a hat day to raise money for the Torch Run.

Members of The Givers gave a check for $239.16 to Eric Andrew of the O’Fallon Police Department on Feb. 19.

Three nominated to Air Force Academy

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin has nominated three local students to the Air Force Academy. They are: Caitlyn D. Brizzi, of Dupo; Angela M. Buch, of O’Fallon; and Timothy J. Sanderson, of Belleville.

“Every year I am honored to nominate some of Illinois’ best and brightest young men and women for our nation’s service academies,” Durbin said in a statement. “These individuals are the leaders of tomorrow, and I have no doubt that they will make their families and their country proud.”

JROTC hosts open house

The Cahokia High School JROTC hosted an open house to school’s teachers and administrators on Feb. 2. The open house, part of the cadets’ continuous improvement plan, gave an overview of the program and included some physical training and an unarmed drill.

Red Bud closing campus

In the fall, students at Red Bud High School will need to stay on campus during lunch hours.

The Red Bud Board of Education unanimously approved closing the high school campus during lunch hours at its February meeting.

Buddies team up for microscopes

Kindergarteners at St. John Neumann School, in Columbia, explored the microscopic world with help from their seventh-grade buddies during a combined science class recently.

8th-grader serves as principal for a day

Saints Peter and Paul School, in Waterloo, was led for one day by an eighth-grade student.

On Feb. 18, Student Principal Ashlyn Wightman ordered a no-uniform day and took a few friends to Applebee’s for lunch, with Lisa Buchheit, acting assistant principal, paying for lunch. Principal Wightman also had Buchheit buy ice cream for the school.

The opportunity for Ashlyn to be principal for the day was bought by her parents at last year’s Spring Gala. Principal Buchheit returned to her full authority at 3 p.m.

Preschool screenings set

Belleville District 118 is planning presechool screenings for the next four months. Appointments will be scheduled between 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on March 22, April 22, May 17 and June 8. Call 618-233-2515 for an appointment.

The screening will take about 90 minutes.

Kids read 3 million words

The average fourth-grader reads about 300,000 words a year, according to the Young Adult Library Services Association.

Four students in Collinsville Community Unit School District 10 surpassed that, reading more than 3 million words each this school year.

Madelyn Mueller and Elliot Schusky, of Twin Echo Elementary, and Kennedy Bowman and Devasish Tiwari, of Maryville Elementary, were the first to reach 3 million words in the district this year.