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Bulletin Board: Soccer champs enjoy repeat success

Coach Alex Boekholt with members of the Andrews Academy third-grade soccer team

Coach Alex Boekholt with members of the Andrews Academy third-grade soccer team

Soccer champs enjoy repeat success

The Andrews Academy third-grade soccer team won the Vetta Indoor Soccer Championship this fall for the second year in a row.

Andrews Academy Lake Saint Louis is a private school for children in grades kindergarten through grade six.

Allison Foster

Allison Foster

Student published in Journal of Perinatology

Allison Foster could be your doctor one day.

The student from Francis Howell High took part in the prestigious Students and Teachers as Research Scientists [STARS] program, and in doing so became a co-author of a manuscript published in the Johns Hopkins Medicine Journal of Perinatology, a rare accomplishment for someone so young.

Dr. Amit Mathur, who is a professor of pediatrics at Washington University in St. Louis and the medical director at the neonatal intensive care unit for St. Louis Children’s Hospital, worked with Foster on the project, which involved the study of critical physiology in premature infants.

“It was evident early on during her six-week stint that Allison was up to taking on a relatively challenging clinical project for anyone at this early stage in her career,” Mathur said. “Allison investigated factors that determined which babies responded to [dopamine] and whether this response was a marker for brain injury in this population. She plotted hourly baseline blood pressure values for each baby three hours prior to initiation of dopamine, and then tracked the blood pressure change every hour for an additional three hours.”

The infants were then classified according to their response to the medication.

“The results of this project are novel, and while she was not able to finish this project in the short period she was here, her work significantly contributed to the overall success of the project,” Mathur said.

The study accepted to the Journal of Perinatology is titled “Response to dopamine in prematurity: a biomarker for brain injury?” by Zachary Vesoulis, Nathalie El Ters, Allison Foster, Shamik Trivedi, Steve Liao, and Amit Mathur.

“Allison’s curiosity, maturity, work ethic and unflappable nature were the key drivers of her success this past summer,” Mathur said. “I am certain she will be successful at whatever she chooses to do.”

New school planned for Wentzville district 

A rendering of a new elementary school proposed for Hwy. Z.

A rendering of a new elementary school proposed for Hwy. Z.

The Wentzville School District Board of Education has voted to move ahead with a plan to build its 11th elementary school, partially using funds from reserves, and to move all elementary buildings to kindergarten through sixth grade for the 2017-18 school year.

The board had been discussing how to address the continued enrollment growth of the district, beyond the current projects that resulted from the passing of Proposition E in April 2015. The board held two open work sessions in June and August to examine year-round schools, cycles and building a school that would allow the district to place sixth-graders in elementary schools and relieve overcrowding at the district’s three middle schools.

“This option would not have been possible without a number of things coming together,” said superintendent Dr. Curtis Cain. “The passing of Proposition E, along with higher assessments and having exceptionally healthy reserves put us in a position where we could increase what we are paying towards our existing debt, thus allowing us to consider this option without having to go back to the voters for an additional tax increase.”

In April 2015, voters in the Wentzville district passed a 25-cent tax increase to fund phase II of Liberty High, additions at four schools, classroom updates at Wentzville Middle, security upgrades and a new elementary school. The district has purchased 31 acres of land on Hwy. Z at Perry Cate Boulevard in Wentzville for that school.

“The idea is the 11th elementary would be built simultaneously with the 10th elementary planned on Hwy. Z so that both schools would hopefully be ready to open for the 2017-18 school year,” said Board of Education President Dale Schaper. “This would allow us to re-district all at once and move our sixth-graders into all the elementary buildings, freeing up space we need at the middle schools which are already at or near capacity. This should buy us time – maybe three to five years depending on growth – before we would need to return to the voters for funds to build another school.”

By that time, the board hopes the district will be in a position to go to the polls with a no-tax-increase bond issue.

Wentzville has been the fastest growing school district in Missouri in the 21st Century. Enrollment has increased by more than 8,000 students since 2001, averaging between 500 and 600 new students every year.

Duchesne students chosen for Girls State 

Duchesne High School Girls State participants [from left] are Dolores Boschert, Molly Sifford [2015 participant] and Liz Buchholz.

Duchesne High School Girls State participants [from left] are Dolores Boschert, Molly Sifford [2015 participant] and Liz Buchholz.

Dolores Boschert and Liz Buchholz, juniors at Duchesne High, have both been chosen to attend the American Legion Auxiliary’s 2016 Missouri Girls State Program, to be held June 26-July 2 at Central Missouri State University in Warrensburg.

An annual leadership program that originated in 1940, Girls State provides the opportunity for rising and current high school seniors to come together to study city, county and state government. Girls of different backgrounds from different high schools all across the state come together at Girls State to learn to work together in unity for the common good.

Girls State nominations originate with high school faculty and staff members. Duchesne High has a long tradition of participation, having sent at least one representative annually, sometimes two. Candidates must demonstrate high moral character, show strong leadership abilities and show above-average scholastic achievement. This year, 21 juniors were nominated at Duchesne.

“I am honored to be attending Missouri Girls State this summer. I am excited to meet new people and work with them on figuring out how to better our community,” said Boschert.

Buchholz said she was looking forward to “learning more about the inner workings of government and the specific role that I play in it.”

“This unique experience will allow me to further develop my political, social and leadership skills,” Buchholz said.

Local student breaks Guinness World Record

MacKenzie Martin with her record-breaking staple chain.

MacKenzie Martin with her record-breaking staple chain.

Teachers and parents say it all the time: You can accomplish anything if you set your mind to it. MacKenzie Martin, a student at Francis Howell High, set her mind to breaking the Guinness World Record for longest staple chain and she recently accomplished her long-awaited goal. In a fun event that included Martin’s family, friends and a local surveying company, she laid down an 1,104-foot chain of staples that signified her ambition and dedication.

The school’s principal, Dr. Dave Wedlock, said “We encourage students to express their talents in a variety of ways and pursue their dreams and goals. Makenzie’s record is a wonderful example of a student who believed she could accomplish a goal, and worked diligently to achieve it.”

Martin’s chain was more than 400 feet longer than the previous record.

Martin’s mom, Kelly, said that when Martin was in fifth grade, she checked out the Guinness Book of World Records and brought it home. “She said, ‘Mom, I’m going to be in this book.’ I said, ‘Sure, knock yourself out!’”

Martin searched high and low for a record she could break, and finally found the staple chain record.

“She likes to stay busy,” Kelly said, “and she likes to keep her fingers busy. So she carried a row of staples in her pocket and did every one of these links by hand. Since fifth grade, she’s been working on this record. She and her dad get the chain out, measure it, and see where she is. Mid-summer she thought she was pretty close to the world record mark. She kept working on it, and that’s what has led us here.”

Martin said, “My teachers used to say if you set your mind to something, you can achieve it. And the funny thing is, I’ve done that without even knowing it. It took me a little while to realize that I had set my mind to something, and I really did it.

“I don’t think I’m ever going to be done with it, it’s kind of like a comfort thing. It gives me something to do with my hands and actually helps me focus in class. It has more benefits than people might guess.”

“We’re just proud of her,” Kelly said. “We think it’s so fun that she stuck to it. She never let her eyes off that goal.”

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