WestEastPostImageBND, By Mary Cooley

Belleville District 201 students can opt for new physical education classes next year that are a little less physical than usual: Introduction to Officiating and Personal Fitness.

“It’s an alternative to team sports,” Melissa Taylor, director of special services, told the board. “I could see personal fitness being very popular.”

She said a lot of students have part-time jobs working officiating with Belle-Clair or for the Khoury League, and the officiating class could be of great use to them.

In other action

▪ The district board approved a technology lease, which includes infrastructure and individual student lab computers, at its Monday night meeting.

▪ It also authorized a sign language club at Belleville East.

▪ Assistant Superintendent Brian Mentzer told the board he would have information for them at the November meeting concerning the district’s health insurance plan.

“It’s a specific focus because it is such a large expense, we cover about 1,000 peoples lives,” he said, noting that the district has both a responsiblity for health but also to maintain fiscal responsibility.

Before the meeting, Mentzer had said the district is looking at options but “in general” feels that the public school trust the district uses is serving the district well.

▪ Declared a school vehicle, a 1990 Ford F150, to be surplus.


▪ Belleville East Principal Jason Karstens recognized student Christian Roe, who is a commended student in the national merit program, in the National Honor Society, in the drama club and a counselor for His Kids, a camp for children with cancer. Christian is a cancer survivor and maintains a 4.44 grade point average on a 4.0 scale, Karstens said.

▪ Special Education teacher Sara Svoboda, who is with Team Phoenix in support of 40 students, was commended for her positive personality. Karstens said Svoboda gives students the environment where they can grow both socially and academically. He read several student comments, including: “I wouldn’t even come to school” if it weren’t for the program and Svoboda.”

▪ Belleville West Rich Mertens commended math teacher and tennis coach Jennifer Mennerick has a classroom that “runs like a well-oiled machine.”

▪ Members of the Bridges Community Garden spoke to the board about their gardening efforts, including the pounds of produce grown and donated each year. Several students in the program spoke before the capacity crowd, which included about 20 students from Lindenwood who were observing the proceedings for their “Orientation to Educational Experiences” class.

Teachers involved with the Bridges Program are Robyn Lewis, Bob Dahm, Christine Gooding and Carol Jorns.