Education Matters: Belleville East boys dance in boxers in ‘Mr. Lancer’ pageant

Neil Wegrzyn plays at the Jazz at the B’Eastro fundraiser.
Neil Wegrzyn plays at the Jazz at the B’Eastro fundraiser.

Two dozen Lancers shared their talents at the 18th annual Mr. Lancer pageant, a fundraiser for the Renaissance program at Belleville East.

Victor Ly, representing the Science Olympiad, won the pageant.

Before the pageant, the male students took a picture demonstrating their school spirit and had to decorate boxer shorts to represent their club or activity. They also had dance practice to learn the opening number for the pageant, in which they wore their decorated boxers. Along with their ticket sales, those pre-pageant activities and their efforts in the talent part of the pageant determined which 10 would face the interview portion of the pageant.

“It was something light, like ‘Describe yourself using letters spelling the word Lancer,” said teacher Jean Meyer, who co-directed the pageant with Mary Ann Loyet. “There was a lot of ‘lovable, adorable...’”

The first runner-up was Jacob Dorsey representing Fellowship of Christian Athletes and second runner-up was Jared Brockmeyer of Belleville Achieves Strength In Character.

The Renaissance program is a rewards program at Belleville East, for students with good grades and attendance, Meyer said. It includes tangible rewards for being caught being good, as well as a celebration breakfast.

Do The Right Thing students named

Area students honored at the February Do The Right Thing ceremony were: Zara Caruthers, of Jefferson School in Belleville; Tyson Edmonds and Abigail Stone, both of Westhaven School in Belleville; Ava Combs and Skyley Budde, both of Signal Hill School in Belleville; Haylee Carpenter, of Delores Moye Elementary School in O’Fallon; and Anna Miller and Grace Shaw, both of Smithton District 130.

Do the Right Thing of Greater St. Louis is a police-backed, non-profit organization that recognizes the positive behaviors and actions of area children every month.

B’Eastro night raises $13,000

Belleville East’s “Jazz at the B’Eastro 2016” raised more than $13,000 for new instruments on the drumline and six tubas.

Nearly 200 guests listened to the seven Lancer ensembles at Bellecourt Manor in Belleville on Feb. 20. The Belleville East Band Orchestra Parents are planning a similar event for Feb. 25, 2017.

Seven schools in Speech Meet

Immaculate Conception School in Columbia hosted the Diocese of Belleville’s Annual Intermediate Speech Meet on Feb. 20. Principal Mike Kish said there is not a school named as a winner at the event, but more than 30 students from seven schools participated.

Schools were ICS, Saints Peter and Paul Catholic School, St. John in Red Bud, St. Agatha in New Athens, St. John in Smithton, St. Joseph in Freeburg and St. Mary in Chester.

Saints Peter and Paul reported that its students brought home two perfect scores, three first places and two second places. Grace Busch and Marie Wilson took home perfect score ribbons from humorous duet. Winners were Faith Miskell and Sarah Southworth, first place, and Megan and Katie Jung, second place, for humorous duet; and Elayna Hermanns for humorous monologue.

Dr. Ice Cream comes to Whiteside

“Dr. Ice Cream” spoke to about 150 third-grade students at Whiteside Elementary School on Feb. 18. The doctor is better known as Maya M. Warren, director of research and development for Cold Stone Creamery.

Warren talked to the students about the science behind ice cream, and her role as tastemaster for the company.

Warren also shared clips of televisions “The Amazing Race,” which she and a laboratory mate won.

Bully Free night scheduled

Team Bully Free night will be 6:30 p.m. March 9 at the Southwestern Illinois College Belleville Campus. The event is free and open to the public. Assembly topics include tattling versus reporting, teasing versus taunting, cyberbullying and more. Storyteller Chris McBrien will use humor to provide solutions to bullying in schools.

“Bullying continues to be an issue in schools, yet students and parents don’t always know the best way to handle an issue,” says Jeff Blue, coordinator of college activities and theater operations. “This event provides practical information that can be applied to help deal with bullying situations and prevent future incidents.”

For more information, call 618-235-2700, ext. 5561.

Shimkus looking for art

Congressman John Shimkus, R-Maryville, is accepting entries from high school students for the 2016 Congressional Art Competition.

“This is an annual competition that we are pleased to participate in,” Shimkus said. “The winning artwork from my district will be displayed in Washington, D.C., in a tunnel that connects the Cannon House Office Building to the Capitol. Hundreds of staff and visitors will see the artwork each day.”

Entries are due by April 15. For more information about the contest, which includes paintings, drawings, prints and computer generated art, go to

Shimkus’ office said the winning artist will be flown to a Washington, D.C. ceremony with a guest for free.