By Charlie Feldman
Recognition of several individuals with Maryville connections was the highlight of the Wednesday, April 21 Maryville Village Board meeting.
Courtney Wright of the Maryville Community Improvement Board presented the fourth and fifth annual Young Citizens of The Year Awards. Last year’s ceremony had been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Only one of last year’s winners, Sophie Corradini, was able to attend in person. All three of this year’s recipients were present.
These annual awards are given out in three age categories – kindergarten through grade 4, grades 5-8 and grades 9-12. Any student who resides or attends church or school in Maryville is eligible. The purpose of this award is to recognize outstanding citizenship from the youth in the community and to encourage students to take an active role in their communities, schools and churches to go “above and beyond.” Each recipient has received a plaque. Their names are listed with all winners from previous years on another plaque on display at Village Hall.
Receiving recognition for the 2019-20 school year were:
· Kindergarten through Grade 4 – Sophie Corradini, whose long list of experience by the end of third grade included being a training volunteer at the St. Louis Children’s Hospital psych unit, baking goods for the Hope Center Homeless Shelter and for the Shiloh Christian Children’s Ranch, stuffing teddy bears for the fire department to give to children on their calls, building a Blessing Box and serving as a volunteer at the Maryville Food Pantry, the nursery at Copper Creek Christian Church in Maryville and at nursing home parties. This is the short list of her accomplishments. She is the daughter of Jaimie and David Corradini of Collinsville.
· Grades 5-8: Cole Shelton McClusky, son of Dr. Kristopher and Christina McClusky of Maryville, was in eighth grade when he filled in for the ailing National Junior Honor Society president at a seventh-grade orientation event at Collinsville Middle School. He quickly prepared a speech and delivered it in the gym to an audience of 300. He became the new president shortly after that. In addition to maintaining over a 3.6 grade point average at all times to participate in sports, he volunteered at Willoughby Heritage Farms to assist in restoring and maintaining the grounds and even reached out to a classmate who was having difficult family problems. Cole is now active in high school sports.
· High School: McKayla Hendrick, daughter of David and Cortland Hendrick of St. Jacob, served on the planning team at Cornerstone Farms, a local non-profit organization that provides opportunities for children with special needs and refugees to experience activities that they might otherwise never do. And as a highly trained equestrian, she even is able to provide children with the joy of riding horses. As a senior in high school, she showed the ability to lead and motivate others in areas of service. Now she’s in college.
This year’s recipients are:
· Kindergarten through Grade 4: Riley Oller, 9, the daughter of Jill and David Oller of Collinsville, is in the fourth grade at Maryville Elementary School. During Christmas, she encouraged her family to adopt a family whose parents were both teachers and another family who recently lost a member to cancer. She helped with the shopping, wrapping and delivery of gifts. She read Christmas books to shelter dogs to help their socialization, asked for donations to the Partners For Pets shelter instead of birthday gifts, supported police by talking to peaceful protestors with her dad and bought restaurant gift cards to thank police officers. She sang the National Anthem at a gymnastic meet and was recently selected to sing at a St. Louis Ambush indoor soccer game.
· Grades 5-8: Arianna Nichols, 13, is the daughter of Todd and Laura Nichols of St. Jacob and attends St. John Neumann Catholic School. She makes crosses out of Perler beads for first responders to show her support and spread the word of God. She made one for a family friend when she was 8 years old, then later for the entire department. Now she has given more than 35,000 crosses to first responders in all 50 states and Australia to put on their vests. She has met many police chiefs, visited many departments and has been featured on local TV stations and on the TV shows “Fox and Friends” and “People Now.”
· High School: Sara Cox, 18, is the daughter of Mark and Faith Cox of Glen Carbon and attends Maryville Christian High School. In addition to volunteering at several camps for younger children and at Cornerstone Farms, she is a member of student council, secretary of the school’s chapter of the National Honor Society, a huddle leader in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and is the captain of the varsity cheerleading team.
“This is one of our favorite things to do,” said Mayor Craig Short after the last of these awards was presented. “To honor our young citizens and hopefully look at the future of our community. So we thank you all.
“We know that the award winners are great but we know that they have some good examples in their lives too and they’re setting examples for the people coming behind them,” he said.
Also receiving special recognition was Assistant Fire Chief George May, who was the recipient of the Department of Defense Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve Award. An individual supervisor or boss is nominated by a National Guard member for providing support directly to him or his family including flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment and caring for families, granting leaves of absences.
“He already got this award,” the mayor said, “but I wanted everybody to know about it.”
Maryville beat out Collinsville, Glen Carbon and Edwardsville to win the Mayors’ Fitness Challenge. A presenter had a scheduling conflict, so the village will receive it several weeks from now. This community vs. community contest was to see which would be the fittest town.
The fire department will add another part-time EMS to its roster. Rachel Roberts of Maryville, a paramedic, joins the list at a $17.50 per hour rate. This will not increase the number of hours per month. It will just increase the duty roster, according to May.
In other matters the board approved:
· the purchase of a 2007 GMC C6500 dump truck for the Street Department by auction at a cost not to exceed $50,000.
· water service and pre-annexation agreements for Gardenhire, 36 Bliss Terrace and Nowicki/Kampwerth, 2 Bliss Terrace, both in Collinsville and the annexation of 2135 Ravenwood Avenue in Glen Carbon.
The next village board meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 5 at 6:30 p.m. at Village Hall.