Francis Howell Choir excels at state contest
The Francis Howell High School Choir received honors for its performances at the Missouri State High School Activities Association All-State Solo and Ensemble Contest on May 2 at the University of Missouri.
The contest is designed for high school students to perform meticulously prepared music for a certified judge. Students are given a rating on fundamental technique and musical effect, based on a-five point system, with one being exemplary, two being outstanding, three being good, four being fair and five being poor.
Among the 20 students who participated in the competition, several were given a one rating or a two rating. Students that received a one rating include vocal soloists Lauren Bellamy, Emmy Robertson and Kenzie Sheehy; girls sextet singers Aly Aherron, Madi Jackson, Lydia Frederick, Kayla Thuet, Macie Parker and Gillian Steeno; and Girls Chamber Double Quartet singers Allison Schult, Erin Hediger, Jenny Moreno, Emily Scherbring, Sarah Mason, Alex Janssen, Jenna Hutfless and Emmy Robertson. Students who received a two rating include vocal soloists Rachel Anthonis, Rebekah Anthonis, Erin Hediger and Kirra Wilson; and Girls Quartet singers Jenna Hutfless, Alex Janssen, Sarah Mason and Jenny Moreno.
Fort Zumwalt graduate awarded Fulbright grant
Erin Lee, a graduate of Fort Zumwalt North High and Vanderbilt University, was recently offered a Fulbright U.S. Student Program grant. Lee will use the money to go to Germany for an English teaching assistantship.
Lee is one of over 1,900 citizens who will travel abroad for the 2015-2016 academic year through the Fulbright program. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields.
The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government, which operates in over 160 countries worldwide.
Immanuel Lutheran receives Innovative Technology Education Fund grant
After receiving an Innovative Technology Education Fund grant, Immanuel Lutheran plans to increase the number of its younger students exposed to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through its new robotics program.
The grants allow schools to transform libraries into “makerspaces,” introducing robotics and animation to elementary art students, and putting computers with advanced software in the hands of middle school students.
Immanuel Lutheran’s robotics program for third- through eighth-grade students offers opportunities to solve engineering challenges and program robotics as a regular part of the school’s science curriculum. The ITEF grant will help students participate in robotics projects and develop knowledge and skills related to STEM content.
Immanuel Lutheran was one of six schools in the area to receive funding, with grants ranging from $33,000 to $77,000.
Lindenwood student receives scholarship
Meaghan Murphy, a Lindenwood University junior, was recently awarded the university’s 2015 Pachyderm scholarship.
The scholarship was presented to Murphy at a dinner on April 24. The $1,000 scholarship is presented in cooperation with the St. Charles Country Pachyderm Club and is annually renewable.
Murphy, a resident of St. Charles, transferred to Lindenwood in fall 2014 from St. Charles Community College, where she participated in the A+ scholarship program.
Murphy graduated from Wentzville Timberland High. During her time there, she was very involved in athletics, playing volleyball throughout her high school career. She was named her team’s Offensive Player of the Year and Most Valuable Player in her senior year.
After graduation, Murphy intends to seek a master’s in accounting and would like to start, co-own and run a sports facility.
Student helps kids with disabilities play volleyball
Tori Stuart, an eighth-grade student at Immanuel Lutheran, was selected as this year’s Lutheran Student Ambassador by the Lutheran Elementary School Association.
Stuart received the award and a $500 scholarship on April 18 at LESA’s 11th annual “A Night for Kids” dinner auction. The award recognizes Lutheran elementary school students who demonstrate courage, compassion, leadership, academic achievement and a commitment to their community.
Stuart won the award for her role in developing the Victory Volleyball Camp, which is a summer mini-camp for children with disabilities and special needs. She and a friend, Sam Eaker, who ia a student at Atonement Lutheran School, came up with the idea two years ago to help Sam’s younger sister Olivia, who has Spina Bifida.
“We both play volleyball and we felt bad that she couldn’t go with us to volleyball camp. You could see the disappointment in her face because she was old enough to go, but couldn’t,” said Stuart. “So we were like, ‘why don’t we just create our own camp?’”
Stuart hopes to serve more athletes this summer when the camp moves to the Team Activities for Special Kids facility in Fenton. TASK is a St. Louis-based nonprofit organization that provides athletic and social opportunities to kids with special needs. Stuart’s program, which will run from July 22-23, is open to children and young adults ages 6-24.
National Merit Scholarship winners announced
On May 6, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced this year’s National Merit Scholarship winners. Among the winners were Pracheta S. Bhagat of Fort Zumwalt South High and Saivaroon G. Gajagowni of Fort Zumwalt West High.
Winners received a $2,500 scholarship, and may use their awards at any regionally-accredited U.S. college or university. Applicants were judged on their academic record, including level of difficulty in subjects studied and grades earned, scores from two standardized tests, contributions and leadership in school and community activities, a written essay and a recommendation from a high school official.
The 2,500 Merit Scholar designees were chosen from a talent pool of more than 15,000 outstanding finalists in the 2015 National Merit Scholarship Program.
Francis Howell students’ art hangs at State Capitol
The Senate Art Exhibit, located on the grounds of the Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City, houses the best artwork from schools in all of the state’s 34 Senate Districts, with three of the top four pieces of art created by Francis Howell students Quinn Puga, Darby Copeland and Erica Gitlen.
The Senate Art Exhibit, which was started in 2014 by the Missouri Alliance for Arts in Education, the Missouri Art Education Association and senator David Pearce, allows four winners to hang their art in the Capitol quarterly throughout the year.
Puga, a kindergartner at Fairmont Elementary, completed her winning art project during the third quarter of this school year. She won second place in Senatorial District 2.
“Fairmount is so proud of student-artist, Quinn Puga,” said her teacher, Dr. Heidi L. Styrk. “She is a great example of creativity, craftsmanship and character.”
Francis Howell Central High students Copeland and Gitlen also placed in the competition. Copeland impressed the judges with her modern photographic art techniques, and Gitlen beat the competition with her gorgeous, yet conventional, color palette, while using technology to enhance her art.
“I was so proud of my students!” exclaimed Michelle McCune, art teacher at Francis Howell Central. “It was kind of neat that two of the classes I teach are represented – printmaking and graphic design.”
The winners and their artwork will be recognized at the MAEA Spring Conference.