Dr. Benway named to state position related to addressing needs of military-impacted students

Dr. Darcy Benway

O’FALLON – OTHS Superintendent, Dr. Darcy Benway, was recently appointed as the Illinois Commissioner for the Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission (MIC3) by the Illinois P-20 Council, at the recommendation of Col. Leslie Maher, commander of the 375th Air Mobility Wing at Scott Air Force Base, and also with the endorsement of Dr. Cindy Doil, OTHS school liaison officer for Scott Air Force Base.

The Illinois P-20 council was established ten years ago to foster the collaboration among state agencies, education institutions, local schools, community groups, employers, tax payers and families and to collectively identify needed reforms to develop a seamless and sustainable state-wide system of quality education and support. A sub-committee of the P-20 Council is the MIC3. 

Each state appoints a commissioner to oversee the state’s implementation of the MIC3, and to serve on the national MIC3 commission. The Council of State Governments (CSG), in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Defense, drafted the Interstate Compact in 2006 to address some of the educational challenges and obstacles that are unique to military-impacted students including enrollment, placement, attendance, eligibility and graduation.

OTHS Principal Rich Bickel made the announcement of Benway’s appointment during last month’s school board meeting, adding “Dr. Benway has been working very closely with Scott Air Force Base and our military families to support military-impacted students and to east their transition into OTHS, but also on a larger, regional level to ease the issues that military-impacted families and students face.”

School Board Academy holds first meeting

The B.E.S.T. Committee hosted the first of ten training sessions Tuesday night, as part of their Board Training Academy.

The committee, formed in 2006, is comprised of superintendents, board members and community members that serve Shiloh District 85, O’Fallon District 90, Central District 104 and O’Fallon High School District 203.

The Board Training Academy looks to provide additional training to current board members, as well as community members who may be interested in serving on a school board in the future. The committee meetings and training academy sessions are open to the public.

Meetings will be held every other month, typically at the O’Fallon City Hall. This month’s meeting covered Board Governance, with presentations by current board presidents on policy development, board relations, communications and board policy. Future topics will include safety & security, school finance, student discipline & bullying, culturally responsive schools and strategic planning.

St. Clare School to celebrate Catholic Schools Week

O’FALLON – St. Clare Catholic School will celebrate Catholic Schools Week Jan. 27-Feb. 3. The week of activities kicks off with an open house for the community and kindergarten registration from 1:30 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 27 at the main campus at 214 W. 3rd Street in downtown O’Fallon.

The open house will feature tours of the school, including the addition that opened in 2013, and will showcase the school’s enhanced offerings, such as 1:1 iPads in grades 4-8, Spanish and the expanded fine arts curriculum. Grades K-8 attend the main campus. The school’s Good Shepherd preschool program for children ages 3-5 is located in the Good Shepherd Center at St. Nicholas Catholic Church, 627 St. Nicholas Drive in O’Fallon. 

“We have so much more to offer our students and their families, and we want to welcome everyone,” Principal Clarice McKay notes. “Our faith and service opportunities, extensive curriculum, expanded building, family atmosphere and emphasis on experiential learning and personalized instruction are among our strongest assets.”

“By incorporating faith formation into all aspects of our curriculum, we are not only building smart students, but we also are building strong Catholics, who we hope will lead the way in our faith as they grow,” McKay notes.

“For Catholic Schools Week, we will focus on gratitude for dedicated Catholics and our three parishes who provide a quality, faith-based, academically strong education,” says Director of Faith Formation Diane Overmann.

To kick off Catholic Schools Week, students and parents will serve as liturgical ministers at the weekend Masses at the three churches affiliated with St. Clare School – St. Clare of Assisi, St. Nicholas and Corpus Christi Catholic churches. School families will thank parishioners for their generous support. In addition, after Monday’s prayer service, students will have the opportunity to talk about their faith role models. Each student is asked to dress as someone who is a model of faith to him/her. They can dress as Saints, friends, relatives, community members or leaders (living or deceased). 

“Throughout this special week, we also will focus on our Catholic identity – what it means to live a Catholic life and follow Jesus in all you say and do,” says Overmann. “Our Catholic identity includes an understanding of the value of all human life and service to help provide for the needs of others.”

For example, school families, with the guidance of Catholic Relief Services, will join in daily prayer for people who suffer from natural disasters around the world. Our students will also be collecting gently used children’s books, which will be donated to the St. John Bosco Children’s Center.

Students and teachers will thank those people who work in our community for their service and present them with a card. Then, as a celebration of our unity and our buddy program, the students will go bowling together. On Wednesday, St. Clare families are invited to have a picnic-style lunch to share some quality family time together.

Christian rock artist Karl Zimmerman and his band will play music at 8:30 a.m. Mass on Thursday and perform a concert after Mass.

On Friday, students and parents will celebrate the teachers. The eighth-grade students will teach classes in the morning, and the St. Clare School Parents and Friends organization will host a faculty and staff appreciation luncheon. Then, students and teachers will do trivia together in the gym. 

The faculty and staff will create their list of “Top 10 Reasons We Love Teaching at a Catholic School,” and each homeroom will create their own list of “Top 10 Reasons We Love Attending a Catholic School.” These will be displayed at the open house. 

The week of celebration closes with a pancake breakfast, hosted for the community by the Parents and Friends organization, from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 3 in the school cafeteria and gym. Donations will be accepted at the door.

O’Fallon Garden Club to offer scholarship to student in environmental related discipline

O’FALLON – The O’Fallon Garden Club is offering a scholarship of $500 to a student who is pursuing a career in a plant-related discipline. 

The O’Fallon Garden Club 2019 Scholarship is open to high school students who may intend on studying a discipline such as agronomy, agricultural studies, floriculture, horticulture, landscaping, botany, biology, forestry, plant pathology/science, city/rural/urban planning, ecology or environmental studies. 

The scholarship is also open to full or part- time community college, college or university students who are pursuing the same careers.

Applications for the scholarship must include: 

Applicants name, complete mailing address, e-mail address, telephone number and signature and statement of the applicant’s intent to enroll in a college for the 2019 fall semester, letter of recommendation on official school letterhead from a faculty member currently employed by a high school, university, college or junior college.  The letter should discuss the candidate’s academic achievement, character and ability to meet goals. 

There also must be a brief statement by the candidate of academic and personal goals, experience in plant-related activities or inspiration that led candidate to plant-related interests, and financial need.

Preference by the Garden Club will be given to applicants who are residents of the city of O’Fallon or the Village of Shiloh or to those who are currently attending or have graduated from O’Fallon Township High School.  

Those seeking preference should provide proof of current status as an OTHS senior or past graduation from OTHS or proof of O’Fallon or Shiloh residency by a copy of the applicant’s Illinois driver’s license or other document.

All materials must be submitted online via the O’Fallon Garden Club’s website no later than March 1, 2019.  Materials submitted after the deadline will not be considered.  

If the O’Fallon Garden Club Scholarship Committee receives an application that is acceptable, one $500 scholarship will be announced on April 2, 2019, at the O’Fallon Garden Club meeting.  

The winner will be expected to make a short presentation regarding his or her future plans. The winner’s check will be made payable jointly to the winner and the university/college/community college upon proof of enrollment and presented in accordance with the school’s requirements.  

Harriet Baker of the O’Fallon Garden Club said that the scholarship is an “amazing opportunity” for any student in the community.

Shiloh teacher publishes book with first grade students

First grade students at their Publishing Party with student- teacher Alissa Wieman

Shiloh first grade teacher Brooke Sterns recently published her second book in collaboration with her students titled “Happiness Is.” 

In the spring of 2018, Sterns first grade students were studying butterflies and came up with the idea to create the book “Come Fly With Me” through the website https://studentreasures.com

“Come Fly With Me was about each child becoming a butterfly and writing about where he or she would fly to,” Sterns said. “I took their pictures, gave them a butterfly body, glued their picture to it, they decorated it, and wrote about where they would go and what they would do.  Many students put facts about butterflies in their book.  Many of them stopped on their journey to suck nectar from different colored flowers.”

Sterns said that the Come Fly With Me book turned out so great, she had to do it again with her 2018-2019 students. 

In November, Sterns said that she was trying to come up with the theme of the second book that would go with the approaching holidays. 

“I didn’t want to do gifts they want and I have the Peanuts book Happiness Is…so we read that book, listened to the song, and talked about all the things that make us happy.  I thought it would be a great gift and keepsake for parents who ordered the book,” she said. 

Studentreasures Publishing sent Sterns all of the materials after she requested them on the website. 

“Once we had all the pages ready to go I mailed it back in and they published the book for us.  They sent a video that showed the kids how they make the books and sent us a congratulations email.  Parents were able to pre-order the book and they can still purchase a book now through the website.”

Sterns mailed their finished product by Nov. 2. On Nov. 26, Sterns classroom had a publishing party with ice cream sandwiches. Each student took a turn reading their page aloud.  

“It is a hard back book, so I know after seeing it they were very proud. It was a great process.  We talked a lot about the writing process and how everyone makes mistakes and how important it is to make several drafts until you have your final draft that is perfect,” Sterns said. “We read each others and they helped each other make changes and make sure they made sense. When they had a great final draft, they then copied it onto their paper for the book. We talked a lot about describing words and parts and how when we read books we want them to sound interesting with lots of details.” 

Sterns said that some of her favorite quotes from the book are: 

  • “Happiness is reading the best book ever.
  • Happiness is a cold drink of chocolate milk.
  • Happiness is getting a kiss before bed.
  • Happiness is extra recess on a sunny day.
  • Happiness is playing soccer with my dad and snuggling with my mom.” 

Sterns said that she would recommend Studentreasures Publishing to other teachers. 

“It is a great way to go through the writing process together.  It is a lot of work, but getting the book pays off at the end,” she said. “It is great for the students to see and hold something they are so capable of doing. They all have something to be proud of.”

Happiness Is is written and illustrated by Mrs. Sterns and Miss Wieman’s first grade class at Shiloh Elementary School

Moye names January Character Students

(Submitted Photo)

Delores Moye Elementary School recently named its Character Education Students of the Month for January. The Character Education word of the month at Moye self-control, having control over your thoughts and actions by making good choices. The following are students who are being recognized for exhibiting self-control.

Lucy Nance, Joey Shewmaker, Emmett Fischer, Lydia Watson, Charlotte Heidenreich, Olivia Betley, Sophia Klucker, Zoey Zimmerman, Maroun Abuaita, Ameirah Watchha, Elise Johnson, Jacob Franklin, Leah Weber, Mackenzie Schutt, Sam Diloretta, Emma Wood, Joey Nguyen, Ashlyn Schmied, Mason Griffith, Dominick Asher, Lyla Twenhafel, Logan Farmer, Hunter Edmiston, Sanaa Mckinney, Jashan Lawrenz, Jamie McCottrell.

Central Elementary names December Students of the Month

(Submitted Photo)

Central Elementary School recently named their students of the month for December. The following students are being recognized for their outstanding efforts. Front Row: Sydney Hutter, Travis Leonard, Mackenzie Bailey, Elijah Pattuma, Rebecca Belvin, Layla Murphy, Gavin Gatchell, Miguel Jimenez. Back Row: Haylee Ballard, Grace Evans, Alicia Ingram, Daniel McComb, Colby Lehr, Isabella Chapline. Not Pictured:Zahora Born, Kayden McCarty, Aanylah Johnson

Central 104 Board hears report about five-year plan for elementary school

O’FALLON – Central Elementary School Principal Jayson Baker informed the Central 104 Board of Education that Central staff recently spent time discussing a five year plan for the school. 

Baker’s report, which was given at Monday evening’s Board of Education meeting, was positive and expressed optimism. 

“We got a really good dialogue going,” Baker said. “We narrowed in on four big goals for our school.” 

According to Baker, the four items that Central Elementary wishes to improve upon over the next five years are as followed: 

• Increase collaboration time as a school

• Increase community involvement/ influence outsider perception of the “great things” going on at Central and make the public more knowledgeable about District 104

• Adopt/create a school-wide/district-wide Social-Emotional Curriculum with an emphasis on Growth Mindset

• Review, improve and customize spiraling curricula to include more student-led learning situations

In other business…

• Board member Laurie Burian spoke about her experience at the 2018 IASB Conference in November. 

During the conference, Burian listened in on key address by Civil Rights icon Ruby Bridges. Burian described it as “inspiring.” 

Prior to the conference, Burian said that she read a book about school desegregation from a historical and legal perspective. 

“To hear Ms. Bridges talk about desegregation from a child’s point of view was inspiring. Her experiences showed that true social change is not only achieved by legislative remedy but may require the personal courage, commitment and sacrifice of everyday citizens who, only later, are viewed as heroes,” Burian said in her conference report. 

Burian said that she also attended the Legal & Administrative Perspectives on Transgender Students.

Burian said that a panel of two social workers shared their experiences and outlined best supportive practices to ensure the safety and availability to learn for transgender students. 

She said that they summarized the existing legal framework as well as recognized the current political climate which has led to a lack of clarity regarding policy and procedures.

 Burian outlined the key points of the report: 

• Identify student needs. 

• Identify access options. 

• Identify privacy options for all students.

“They also stressed the need to be aware of community sentiment as well as modifications that may be needed to school facilities to accommodate effected students,” Burian said in her conference report. 

• Superintendent Dawn Elser said that Central 104 has hired a new Director of Technology, Erica Sandman, and that she has “hit the ground running.” 

Elser said that Sandman has already made calls and received new cameras for the district. 

• According to Elser, the Board Academy Series will start on Jan. 22 at the Public Safety Building, 285 N. 7 Hills Road, at 5:30. The topic will be School Board Governance instead of Community Engagement.

Topics covered at the Jan. 22 board academy will be: Policy development, Roberts Rules of Order, Board member relations, Communication, IASB services. Board presidents from local districts will be presenting. 

After the first board academy meeting on Jan. 22, sessions will begin to be held at the O’Fallon City Council Chambers, 255 S. Lincoln, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. 

• Principal of Joseph Arthur Middle School (JAMS) Tron Young said that the Conference Spelling Bee was held on Friday, Jan. 11 and that the middle school team came in first place. 

Eighth grader Kourtnie Macon came in second place overall and fifth grader Jeremiah Reed came in third overall at the Spelling Bee. 

“I’m really excited that the top six — three of them were from Joseph Arthur. They did an awesome job there,” Young said. 

• Young also said that students from JAMS Student Council collected over 1000 cans for the O’Fallon Food Pantry in the month of December. 

School Boards to host educational academy

O’FALLON – Running a school district is a very complicated and, at times, confusing job. Members of the four local school district boards of education recognized this and have created a new program to help enlighten their peers about the different aspects of keeping a school district running.

The Boards of Education for O’Fallon District 90, Central 104, Shiloh 85 and OTHS 203 will be conducting a “Board Academy” over the next several months. 

John Wagnon, President of the District 90 Board of Education, said the program is designed to offer ongoing training and education for both elected school board members as well as those interested in perhaps joining a school board.

“The intent of this academy is to provide ongoing training for current board members but also allow new and prospective board members a chance to learn about several aspects of what a school board member does and is expected to do. School board members don’t have the opportunity to receive very much formal training, so the local boards organized this training program to allow for ongoing professional training,” Wagnon explained. 

The Board Academy is primarily targeted at current and prospective board members, but these sessions are open to anyone who wants to attend.

District 203 placed on the College Board’s 9th Annual AP District Honor Roll for significant gains in student access and success

O’Fallon Township High School is one of 373 school districts in the U.S. and Canada being honored by the College Board with placement on the 9th Annual AP® District Honor Roll.  To be included on the 9th Annual Honor Roll, O’Fallon Township High School, District 203, had to, since 2016, increase the number of students participating in AP while also increasing or maintaining the percentage of students earning AP Exam scores of 3 or higher. Reaching these goals shows that this district is successfully identifying motivated, academically prepared students who are ready for AP.

“We are thrilled to be recognized for this honor as it represents the hard work of our teachers, staff, students, and administration at OTHS.  Although OTHS is receiving this honor, we believe it is representative of a much larger pool of people as this success is also representative of the family partnership we are so fortunate to have in our community.  Everyone within OTHS will continue to work toward delivering the best possible education for all of our students.  We will celebrate this recognition but also recognize it is one moment in time and we must always be mindful to continue to deliver our very best every day,” Superintendent, Dr. Darcy Benway, stated upon receipt of the award. 

National data from 2018 show that among American Indian/Alaska Native, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students with a high degree of readiness for AP, only about half are participating. The first step to getting more of these students to participate is to give them access. 

Helping more students learn at a higher level and earn higher AP scores is an objective of all members of the AP community, from AP teachers to district and school administrators to college professors. Many districts are experimenting with initiatives and strategies to see how they can expand access and improve student performance at the same time. 

“Success in Advanced Placement is a combination of students’ own motivation and the opportunities educators provide for them,” said Trevor Packer, senior vice president of AP and Instruction at the College Board. “I’m inspired by the teachers and administrators in this district who have worked to clear a path for more students of all backgrounds to earn college credit during high school.” 

In 2018, more than 4,000 colleges and universities around the world received AP scores for college credit, advanced placement, or both, and/or consideration in the admissions process. Inclusion in the 9th Annual AP District Honor Roll is based on a review of three years of AP data, from 2016 to 2018, looking across 38 AP Exams, including world language and culture. The following criteria were used.

Districts must: 

• Increase participation/access to AP by at least 4% in large districts, at least 6% in medium districts, and at least 11% in small districts; 

• Increased or maintained the percentage of American Indian/Alaska Native, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students taking exams and increased or maintained the percentage of American Indian/Alaska Native, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students scoring 3+ on at least one AP Exam; and

• Improve or maintain performance levels when comparing the 2018 percentage of students scoring a 3 or higher to the 2016 percentage, unless the district has already attained a performance level at which more than 70% of its AP students earn a 3 or higher. 

OTHS is one of the premier schools to have achieved these standards and is being recognized for the opportunities they create for all of their students.

District 90 approves tax levy, approves intergovernmental agreement for transportation director job posting

At their meeting, the Board of Education recognized Lujuana Bruner, of Moye Elementary, as the “D90 Support Staff Member of the Month”, sponsored by O’Fallon Fraternal Order of Police.
Her principals said, “Lujuana is a genuinely good person who is always willing to work and help any student who is in need. Overall, Lujuana is an outstanding person of high character, integrity, and dedication. She is definitely an asset to District 90.”
Pictured from left: Detective Brian Gimpel, Assistant Principal Rudy, Ms. Bruner, Principal Williams, and Board President Wagnon. (Submitted Photo)

O’FALLON – At the O’Fallon District 90 meeting on Dec. 18, the board approved the 2018 tax levy as it was presented. The amount raised through the 4.99 percent levy will be $17,671,817.50.

$9,494,269.81 will be applied to the education fund, while $2,712,648.52 will be for operations and maintenance purposes. 

$813,794.55 will be used for transportation purposes and $339,081.06 will be applied to the working cash fund. 

$525,143 was levied for Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund purposes and $601,231 for social security purposes. 

$339,081.06 will be applied to fire, prevention, safety, energy, conservation, handicapped accessibility and school security purposes, while $2,371,855 will be used for tort immunity.

Finally, $135,632.43 will be applied to special education purposes, and $339,081.06 will be used for leasing of educational facilities or computer equipment.

According to the board agenda, Dina Thurlow of the St. Clair County Clerk’s office believes the anticipated EAV (estimated assessed value) growth will be an increase of about 3.783 percent for the district. 

In other business…

The board also approved an intergovernmental agreement between District 85, District 104 and District 203 to post a job for a shared transportation director. 

The agreement came as a way for the districts to provide transportation services for all of their students more economically and efficiently by sharing the services and costs associated with providing such services among themselves. 

Under the agreement, District 90 would be the employer of the transportation director and also establish the job description for the position. The other districts within the agreement will share the costs associated. 

The Board of Education recognized Karen Baxter, Evans Kindergarten teacher, as the “D90 Teacher of the Month”, sponsored by O’Fallon Fraternal Order of Police.
Principal Ryan Keller said, “Mrs. Baxter is one of those exceptional educators who take great pride in her profession and expects nothing in return. Children love to be in her classroom and parents sing her praises often. She is very focused on presenting content, skills and assessment in her classroom each day. Karen is respected by peers at Evans School and across the district also willing to take a leadership role in district grade level team meetings and the School Leadership Team. District 90 is fortunate to have her on our team.”
Pictured from left: Detective Gimpel, Mrs. Baxter, Principal Keller, and Board President Wagnon (Submitted Photo)

“We have the most routes, the most students, the most busses — so it makes sense for us to be the administrative agent,” Superintendent Carrie Hruby said. 

“There are a lot of districts that do it themselves and there are a lot of districts that take this on, so we think we owe it to the public and to our district to take it seriously.”

The board also approved the job description of the transportation director.  

Board President John Wagnon said that the upcoming board academy will have its first session on January 22 at the O’Fallon City Hall chambers.  

“I’m really excited about the board academy,” Board Member Mary Baskett said. “I really compliment the people that worked so hard on it.” 

Hruby said that there will be speakers at the first board academy session. The sessions will be open to the public and prospective board members are encouraged to attend. 

Board Member Rebecca Huller said that the district’s mental health board met on Thursday evening, Dec. 20. 

The mental health board consists of people from the community and the district and its goal is to “see what the community can do together to help support District 90 students.” 

Hruby said that there are mental health professionals, such as psychologists, therapists and psychiatrists within the mental health board. 

Lebanon School District approves 3.99 percent levy increase

By Angela Simmons

LEBANON – The Lebanon School Board recently voted to approve their 2018 tax levy. The total levy for $4,209,892 will now be filed with St. Clair County. The 3.99 percent increase in the levy will begin bringing in funds for the district in the 2019 fiscal year.

$2,600,265 is being levied for the education fund. Other levied funds include $407,564 for operations and maintenance, $163,025 for transportation, $543,528 for tort immunity, and $32,604 for special education. $40,755 is being levied for both the working cash and fire prevention & safety funds. 

$159,601 is being levied for Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund and $197,668 for Social Security contributions. 

“This is put together in December, and finalized or approved in March. This is the tax collected from local homeowners, businesses and railroads, and any other farmland, for next year’s school year,” explained Superintendent Patrick Keeney. 

He also explained how the TIF district would impact the district during future levies, but indicated that there were no effects from it at this time.

The board also approved the purchase of a large bus with storage in the amount of $81,284 through Midwest International. The bus will hold up to 71 passengers and come equipped with storage for team bags and a camera system and is ready to deliver to the school.

The board approved the purchase of two large buses last month, one with storage underneath and one without. Since then, a third bus began having issues and Keeney and the district transportation director recommended replacing it. Trade in-value for the bus with issues would be $6,700. 

Board member Pam Leggans was the only vote against the purchase, citing concerns of spending large amounts and then possibly having to be hit with multiple buses needing to be replaced in a single year in the future.

The next board meeting will be January 16 at 7:30 p.m.

In Other News:

• Parent Roberto Roma is encouraging the school board and soccer coaches to make him a Christmas wish list. He offered to help with the Lebanon High School soccer team, particularly helping students that wouldn’t otherwise be able to play have the means to pay for the program. 

Roma, who is originally from Italy and has previously played professional soccer in his home country, has two sons that are very active in the sport. His oldest son has played internationally and was on the high school soccer team this past season. Roma noticed that the team could use some equipment that it currently cannot afford, and wanted to help make the program available to any child that wants to play. 

He will be partnering with a local nonprofit organization, Chapter One Project, as a means to distribute funding. Also through the Chapter One Project, any student that needs cleats or other equipment will be able to get what they need. 

Roma and his sons are also nationally licensed referees, and he has 20 years of coaching experience. He assured the board that he does not want to coach the team, but does want to lend his experience to Head Coach Cameran Keepper and the assistant coaches. 

“There’s only one coach, and that’s not what I’m here for,” Roma said. He also volunteered to utilize all of his connections in the sport to bring in more resources to help the team. 

Roma said “The cool thing is there’s nowhere to go from here but up.”

District 90 and the Weekly Present the December 2018 Student Service Award Recipients

The following students have been named by their principals in recognition for their efforts to make their school and community a better place.

Hinchcliffe Elementary
Corinne Lillis (on right)

Corinne Lillis is wonderful with her schoolmate, Briella.  She constantly looks out for her.  Corinne takes initiative to go down and get the school supplies Briella’s needs for the day,  such as her spelling list or headphones.  Corinne is a wonderful friend and mentor.  She sets a great example of someone who is caring and patient, while demonstrating a terrific sense of humor.  Hinchcliffe is proud of her kind heart and caring personality!

Evans Elementary
Brayden Bernreuter

Brayden Bernreuter is a true kid of character who displays respect, responsibility, and good choice making on a daily basis.  He is always willing to be helpful to his classmates and his teachers.  His teacher, Mr. Bell says, “Brayden is eager to do things out of the sense of doing what is right, without any care or concern about getting a reward.  We are proud to have Brayden represent the Evans Eagles!”

Estelle Kampmeyer
Sibulele Memani

Sibu is a caring student in the third grade at Estelle Kampmeyer. He often volunteers to stay in at recess and help another child with math. Jumping at any chance to help students and staff, he exudes enthusiasm. This goes for learning as well. He doesn’t give up until he understands a concept, and will go above and beyond to expand his learning. His positive personality is contagious. 

Delores Moye Elementary
Matty Weatherly

Matty Weatherly is an all around great person. Matty is a good student who always does his best.  Also, he is a friend to everyone which was very evident this Fall when a student who was new to Illinois joined our classroom.  Matty helped this boy by showing him around school and learning our routines.  Matty is a wonderful example of kindness.

Marie Schaefer Elementary
Samantha Valentine

Through an application and interview process, Samantha was selected by her teachers to serve as the Mayor of Biztown (a Junior Achievement business learning lab program).  Samantha was selected because she is an excellent leader, respectful of all of her classmates, and a positive role model for others. While at Biztown she addressed the entire “town” in multiple formal speeches. Samantha thanked the numerous volunteers for their service and was in charge of making sure the businesses ran smoothly and had all the materials to be successful. She was responsible for selecting the “Business of the Day” and the “Citizens of the Day.” This decision was particularly difficult because all of the Schaefer 5th graders were outstanding during the simulation.  Throughout the school year, Samantha has helped other classmates that were struggling with various issues; from organization to making friends. She consistently volunteers to help anyone who needs it.

Carriel Junior High
Jesse Dittmar, Isabella Saldana

Fulton Junior High
Nathanael Boston, Bryce Mikos, Devin Aiello

Several O’Fallon District 90 Students were recently selected to perform in the All-Illinois Jr. Band, held at the University of Illinois.  This is an All-State Level band where students send in recorded auditions from across Illinois, and the top performers are invited to perform in the All-State Band for two days in February.

Nathanael Boston and Bryce Mikos, both 8th graders from Fulton Jr. High were selected on trumpet, along with Jesse Dittmar and Isabella Saldana, both 8th graders from Carriel Jr. High were selected on flute.  Additionally, Devin Aiello, a 7th grader from Fulton Jr. High was selected as the first alternate for percussion. 

All five are in the District 90 Bands, were selected as Illinois Music Education Association All-District Musicians, and participate in the District 90 Symphonic Winds.  Nathanael, Bryce, and Devin are also in the Fulton Jazz band, while Isabella plays piano in the Carriel Jazz Band.  They all take private lessons on their instruments and wanted to thank their private instructors: Mr. Matt Bittles, Mr. Rob Boston, Dr. Matthew Allison, and Mr. Brian O’Donnell.

Mr. Mark Donahue, the District 90 Band Director, said; “All five of the kids are exceptionally driven.  You can find them practicing their instruments every day of the week and setting really ambitious goals for themselves.  They are leaders in the band program and we’re very excited for their accomplishments!