Belleville West offers a variety of clubs and organizations for students to become involved with during their high school years. Some of the clubs serve as volunteer groups within our community while others recognize academic achievement. Whatever extra-curricular a student decides to participate in serves as evidence of their commitment to activities beyond the school day. The question for Maroons should not be “Do I get involved,” but rather “How do I get involved?” Students who do get involved in clubs and organizations in high school tend to do better in their classes, too!
The following listings have been prepared to highlight our clubs here at Belleville West and provide a contact person for all who want to become an integral part of the Belleville West community. Besides creating relationships with others and having fun, membership in one or more of these clubs helps to build impressive resumes for scholarships and college acceptance.
When students excel academically, they are often invited to become members of important honor societies. The next section looks at some of the honor societies you can aspire to become members of over your high school career.
Arts & Performance
#ProjectLITMaroons is a group where students can read and discuss diverse young adult novels. It is a national, grassroots LITeracy movement, a network of dedicated teachers and students who are committed to increasing access to culturally relevant books and promoting a love of reading in our schools and communities. We meet once per semester, November and March, in the BW Library.
Basketball Band is a volunteer band open to all band students that performs for Men’s Varsity Basketball games. We perform modern music, old school soul, funk, and jazz. We provide quite a bit of energy to the game, performing absolutely as much as possible!
The 5th Hour Jazz Band anchors the group and for this class attendance is a course requirement. The Jazz Band is featured before each game and performs a set of its own.
Attire: Band Shirt and Jeans. Additional band shirts are $15.00 if you need one.
Perks: Rock star status, all-access backstage passes, great seats, solid game analysis from the saxophone section, and plentiful nachos
The Belleville West Book Club provides students with an opportunity to read and discuss books simply for enjoyment. The club meets in the Library after school four times during the school year (in October, November, January, and April) to enjoy refreshments and discuss books selected by the student members.
Debate is a competitive team which travels both locally and to Chicago for competitions. Debaters must write, practice, and argue a case on a number of issues of controversy. Tryouts will begin the week of September 7th. We meet on Thursdays at 3:30pm in B214.
Sponsor: Mr. Brandon Hentze; Mr. Dave Van Zummeren
Harambee is an organization of students interested in experiencing African-American history and culture and promoting cultural diversity. We also address social justice, equity, mental health and wellness issues that affect teens today. All students are welcome to join. To remain active, students must pass all classes every quarter and maintain good character. The February Harambee Show performance is the major event. Rehearsals are in December, January, and February. We have monthly general meetings from 6:30 – 8:00p.
Sponsor: Ms. Carnetta Chalmers
The Belleville West Hy News has been reporting the news of Belleville Township High School and then Belleville West High School for over 80 years. This student publication is a co-curricular activity, produced by its staff, which includes freshmen through seniors.
Sponsor: Mr. Stephen Garland
Belleville West Little Theatre stages five productions each school year: the fall play, the freshman-sophomore show, the children’s play, the traveling contest drama, and the spring musical. The group sponsors monthly informational meetings, social events, workshops for actors and technicians, and a spring honors reception. Organizational meetings are the first Tuesday of each month at 3:30p.
Page One Literary & Art Magazine
Page One, the Belleville West Literary and Art Magazine, is published in May of each year. Applications for staff positions on the magazine are available each fall. Students from all grade levels may submit poetry, short stories, essays, photography, and art each spring.
Pit Orchestra (BW Musical)
Speech & Acting Club
The Speech and Acting Team is a competitive group that travels around the area. We compete in 14 different events. Some students give speeches, some do acting performances, and some do both. Members perform dramatic, humorous, and public speaking pieces. The season runs from October to February. We meet Thursdays at 3:35pm in B107.
Sponsor: Mr. Adam Jenkins
We stage a musical every spring and it’s a fun and exciting way to get involved, make friends, and build skills and confidence. We are always looking forward to having NEW FACES join the musical. Please consider trying out. We would love to have you! We meet after school mid-February through April, from 3:30 – 5:30p @ PAC & A111.
Visual Arts Club
Athletics & Teams
Boys Track & Field
Competitive Basketball Cheerleading
Cross Country (Boys & Girls)
Fellowship of Christian Athletes
We create and foster competitive esports programs. These programs cultivate talents in potentially underserved populations and provide a pathway to college scholarships and careers in the gaming industry.
Sponsors: Mr. Caleb Hawkins; Mr. Joe Nesbit; Mr. Dave Van Zummeren
Students on the GO!
Students on the GO! (SOTG) Is a 17 week, team-based fitness program run by GO! St. Louis to train high school students to run the 10k (6.2 miles) or half marathon (13.1 miles) at the GO! St. Louis Half Marathon each April. GO! St. Louis supports participating students and school staff with motivational advice, nutrition tips, and training tools to carry out the program successfully.
Sponsor: Ms. Ashley Hays
Varsity Football Cheer
Academics & Honors
The Academic Challenge event is a high school competition that was created and is conducted annually by Eastern Illinois University. We meet after school during second semester.
Sponsors: Mr. Scott Bergmann
All Students who are interested in French are welcome to join The French Club. French Club meets twice a month on Friday mornings at 7:55am and has various activities such as field trips, films, guest speakers, playing games, holding French conversation sessions (Causeries Francaises), cooking, eating and parties.
Sponsor: Ms. Kelly York
French National Honor Society
Our goal is to promote the French language and culture in our school and community. We meet on various days throughout the year.
Sponsor: Ms. Kelly York
The focus of this club is to expose students to the German language and culture. We meet after school once per month and play games to learn vocabulary, make crafts specific to upcoming holidays and participate in community events.
Sponsor: Ms. Katie McDowell
German National Honor Society
We meet after school once per month and discuss opportunities for students to earn service hours, which are available through volunteering with the Belleville Historical Society.
Sponsor: Ms. Katie McDowell
History Alive meets Wednesdays once or twice a month to discuss historical events, host debates, play historical games, and generally celebrate history. As a club, we are committed to uplifting diverse history and we host several events around the school each year. All students and grade levels are invited to join history club! Meetings are held after school.
Sponsor: Ms. Amanda Borkowski
Illinois YMCA Youth & Government
Illinois YMCA Youth & Government is a leadership development program for high school students. Participants immerse themselves in all aspects of Illinois government by assuming roles of legislators, attorneys, executive officials, lobbyists, press members and more. The culmination of each program year is a 3 day conference in which students debate issues and student-created legislation using the actual Illinois Capitol and Supreme Court facilities. Meeting days are currently TBD.
Sponsor: Ms. Cari Novaria
Math Team exists to allow those that love and or excel in math to push themselves even further! It’s a fun group! We meet Tuesdays after school.
Sponsors: Mr. Matthew Nimmons; Mrs. Tiffany Stellhorn; Ms. Jessica Hoffman; Mr. John Niebruegge
Mu Alpha Theta Mathematics Honor Society
- Ms. Annie Jenkins
- Mr. Brent James
National English Honor Society
The objectives of NEHS are to encourage and recognize literary and intellectual thought, advance students’ knowledge of English, aid the civic community with its appreciation of reading and writing, and encourage students to participate in community service. The hope is to encourage a dedication within students toward the pursuit of English knowledge that benefits our campus and community. NEHS members will plan and participate in such events as the Shakespeare festival, the author visit, National Poetry Month, Banned Books Week, BW Book Club, and various fundraising activities.
We meet one Wednesday per month and have a service project each semester.
Sponsors: Mr. John Lodle, Mr. Alex Schobert
National Honor Society
N.H.S. is an academic and service organization. Students who maintain a 3.5 cumulative grade point average, are involved in campus and community activities, and demonstrate strong character and leadership are eligible for consideration after the first semester of their junior year. Once accepted , students must maintain the high standards of character, scholarship, leadership, and service. Active members attend monthly meetings and complete 30 service hours during their senior year in order to earn the right to wear the N.H.S. cords at graduation.
Sponsor: Ms. Lisa Quandt & Mr. Brett Patterson
The focus of Next Generation is to provide a safe space for students of color in Honors/AP classes to socialize, grow, and articulate the challenges of high school. The objective is to influence and support more students of color to challenge themselves academically thus increasing the number of total students graduating in the top percentile and closing the achievement gap in our school.
To be a full member you must have 3.7 GPA and at least 2 Honors/AP classes. Provisional members: 3.5 GPA and 1 Honors/AP class.
Sponsor: Mr. Alonzo Nelson
Location: BW Library or B346
Rho Kappa Social Studies Honor Society
Rho Kappa National Social Studies Honor Society is the only national organization for high school students that recognizes excellence in the field of Social Studies. Rho Kappa encourages an interest in, understanding of, and appreciation for the social studies. Membership is open to qualifying seniors and the application process will be completed during the spring semester of junior year for those who meet specific criteria. Rho Kappa members have an induction ceremony in the fall as well as planned activities and service learning opportunities throughout the school year. Rho Kappa members who successfully complete the honor society requirements will have the opportunity to wear cords at graduation. Meeting days and times are TBD.
Sponsors: Ms. Cyndi Oberle-Dahm; Cari Novaria
Scholar Bowl is an IHSA quiz game that tests players on a wide variety of academic subjects like English, math, science, social studies and miscellaneous areas like current events, entertainment, the arts, and sports. Teams of five players are read questions and try to score points for their team by buzzing first and responding with the correct answer. Belleville West team members compete with other high school teams across the area. Tryouts for Scholar Bowl Varsity and Junior Varsity teams are held in October and practices begin in November. The season lasts from December through March.
Sponsors: Ms. Kati Richardson & Ms. Grace Bartlett
Location: BW Library
Science Olympiad competitions are like academic track meets, consisting of a series of 23 team events in each division. Students work with a friend to prepare materials for a specific event they want to do. Popular events among the students are; Dynamic Planet, Cell Biology, Anatomy and Physiology, Experimental Design, Write It-Do It, and Green Generation. The events can be in the form of a lab, building, or a test. The students spend mid October – March preparing their events for one tournament called the Regional Tournament that occurs in February. Students must be able to commit to their availability to participate in the tournament.
Sponsors: Mrs. Heather Harris, Mr. Hemmer, & Mrs. Souders
Celebrate and learn about cultures from different Spanish speaking countries! No requirements, you don’t have to be in a Spanish class, and you can attend as many or as few meetings as you want. ¡Bienvenidos a todos! (Everyone is welcome!)
Sponsors: Ms. Sophia Border and Ms. Kayla Hosier
Location: B123, 124 or 128
Spanish Honor Society
The Spanish Honor Society (La Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica) consists of students that have devoted themselves to the study of the Spanish language and wish to promote global friendship and cultural understanding between different countries of the world. Students who have completed 3-4 years of Spanish can apply to be recognized at graduation with honors cords. Senior inductees tutor lower-level Spanish students throughout the year as needed.
Sponsor: Ms. Rachel Latinette
Other Special Interests
Astronomy Club is a student led group dedicated to all things space related. We host an annual star party once a year. We’ll meet every other Friday morning, 8:00 – 8:25a
Sponsors: Mr. Jared Hemmer
The Chess Team meets on Mondays at 3:30p in the Belleville West Library throughout the school year. Members are instructed in chess playing strategies and participate in both practice games and competitive events. New members are always welcome.
Sponsor: Mr. Lucas Spriggs
District 201 JROTC Club
Learn about all branches of the military with weekly guest speakers. We teach basic drill and ceremony. We have our own Dist 201 JROTC Color Guard that performs in our community that is optional. We teach leadership, integrity, team building, physical training and more. Open to all students. No commitment to the military.
Sponsor: Ms. Anne Belline
Location: Belleville East Cafeteria
The purpose of Educators Rising is to give all those interested in a career in education an opportunity to learn about and grow their passion for education. We meet on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month at 3:30p.
Sponsor: Ms. Grace Bartlett; Mr. Derek O’Chiu
FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) is the largest business career student organization in the world. The aim is to help students establish career goals, improve public speaking and business skills, become effective leaders, learn how to dress for success, develop character and self-confidence, and network with people across the state. FBLA Township is now on the East and West campuses. We assist with the East Family Food Drive and coordinate the East American Red Cross Spring Blood Drive. We compete at the regional, state and some years even the National level.
Sponsors: Mrs. Julie Siebers
First Priority is for students who want to join other Christians at our school. We meet on Wednesday mornings at 7:50am for student-led Bible study and fellowship and have a social outing at least one time a month. Our goal is to unite the Christian community to reach our high school campuses for Christ.
Sponsor: Ms. Katy Stinson
H.O.P.E. Club is a social organization which aims to promote interaction between regular education and special education students. H.O.P.E. stands for “Helping Other People Excel.” Those who enjoy helping others and would like to serve as a positive role model will find that this club is a great opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others. H.O.P.E. Club typically meets once per month and plans one club outing per month. Some of the outings in the past have included: the Zoo, SkyZone, Fun Spot, bowling, Laser Tag, and Eckert’s Fun Farm. New members are always welcome.
Sponsor: Ms. Tara Tieman
Mighty Maroon Sports Medicine Club
This club will offer speakers within the Health Occupations realm, and the opportunity to learn about injury assessment and injury rehabilitation. CPR/AED certification offered.
Sponsor: Ms. Keli Keener; Mr. Tony Frierdich
Location: Athletic Training Room
Model United Nations
Model United Nations (Model UN) is an academic simulation of the United Nations that aims to educate students about current events, topics in international relations, diplomacy and the United Nations agenda. Students role play as diplomats representing a nation in a simulated session of a committee of the United Nations, such as the Special Political committee or the Science and Technology Committee. Students research a country, take on the role of a diplomat, investigate and debate current issues, debate, deliberate, consult, and then develop solutions to world problems. Students will write a resolution, defend their resolution and question other delegate’s resolutions.
Sponsor: Ms. Cyndi Oberle-Dahm; Mr. Brandon Hentze
Rare Disease Awareness Club
RDAC is a group that studies, discusses and promotes information regarding rare diseases. Each semester this group raises money to donate to further the study of one of the diseases they studied. We meet every other Monday at 8:00a.
Sponsor: Ms. Cyndi Oberle-Dahm
Sewing Club (Fashion & Design Club)
Come learn and develop skills related to sewing and fashion. Group meets Wednesdays at 3:30pm.
Sponsor: Ms. Jane Steinkuehler
This is a club for students that are interested in the skilled trades. SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. We will meet the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month at 3:05p.
Sponsor: Mr. Tyler Oberkfell
Spectrum is our gay-straight alliance on campus. It provides a safe space for members of the LGBTQIA community and allies to support each other! Spectrum meets every other Wednesday at 3:30p.
Sponsor: Mr. Stephen Garland
Location: BW Library
VAMF provides a space for students who want to participate in Video games, Anime, Manga, and Fantasy games after school. Open to everyone! You’ll need to arrange transportation home.
Sponsors: Ms. Chelsea Kilzer; Ms. Laura Hanlon
Location: B113, 117