Education

Belleville West and East lunch prices going up 10 cents

Belleville District 201 slightly increased some costs to the high school student body at its Monday board meeting.

This coming school year, lunch will cost $2.60 cents for students, up 10 cents, and breakfast will be $1.60. Adult costs will be $3.10 and $1.60; also an increase of 10 cents.

General book fees will increase by $3; and costs to intro to graphic arts will be $34 for a new tool kit that administrators say students will be able to use throughout their art classes.

Student parking fees will also increase $10 to $60 for the year.

Tax matters

▪  The schools will hold a community engagement meeting on the possibility of a one-cent St. Clair County sales tax, which would go to schools. The meeting will be at 7 p.m. June 29 in the Belleville West cafeteria.

▪  The board agreed to enter an intergovernmental agreement with the city of Fairview Heights concerning two tax increment financing districts in the city.

“It’s their decision to approve (the TIF); it’s our position to negotiate the best position for us,” Superintendent Jeff Dosier said after the meeting.

Brian Mentzer, assistant superintendent, said the agreements with the city are new, although the discussion has been going on for more than a year. The agreement is for a return of 33 percent of surplus revenue from the TIF district.

“It’s the best possible outcome for us as a taxing body given that we don’t have the ability to recommend or not recommend the approval of a TIF,” Mentzer said.

Student recognition

Belleville East Principal Jason Karstens recognized a number of his students, including graduates who will attend the United States Air Force Academy.

▪  Abby Anderson and Joseph Heard will attend the U.S. Air Force Academy in the fall; both plan to become pilots. Abby was on the track and cross country teams, as well as a member of the student council, robotics club and other activities. Joseph was a commander of the District 201 JROTC program, as well as a member of several honor societies, clubs, and the tennis team.

▪  Allison LaSalvia earned the Girl Scout Gold Award for her project, Growing Roots, which built four gardens at the Scott Air Force Base Youth Center. Allison is undecided between the English and creative writing programs at the University of Iowa or Knox College.

▪  Matthew Bergmann earned the Boy Scout Eagle Rank by building bird feeders for the Wolf Branch Middle School. He plans to become a physician assistant.

▪ Abby Zaiz and Rayna Campbell were two of the 12 finalists in the St. Louis Teen Talent Competition at the Fabulous Fox Theatre. Belleville East was the only school to have two representatives in the final; Abby as a dancer and Rayna as an opera singer. Abby just finished her junior year; Rayna graduated and hopes to attend either Eastman School of music or Julliard School of Music.

▪ Danielle Lanxon will be on the USA National Team, competing in the snowshoe event, at the Special Olympic World Games in Austria in 2017. She will be attending the District 201 Bridges Connection Program in the fall.

Teacher moves

Two English teachers, Megan Hoelscher and Emily Storment, resigned as of the end of the school year. On Monday night, the district hired several other teachers. They are:

▪  Erin Pettus, Madison Dodd and Kathryn Guebert, English

▪  Alonzo Nelson, alternative school math

▪  Nicole Pelch, science

▪  Neilie Sternau, social worker

▪  Stephanie McGarrity, individualized education

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