Henryk Ptasiewicz, a world-renowned artist and the Steelville Arts Council Artist in Residence during the month of August, visited Steelville High School art classes on Monday, working with students on drawing skills. During his residence, he has also been painting en plein air around the Steelville area and has completed many portraits. His portrait work, entitled “Go Figure,” has been on exhibit throughout the month. Henryk’s artist reception and talk will be held on Friday, August 28 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Gallery Zeke on Main Street. This offers an opportunity to meet the artist, view his artwork, and gain insight into his work through his talk. This weekend will be the last chance to view his work. Gallery Zeke will be open on Friday and Saturday, August 28 and 29 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, August 30 from 1 to 4 p.m.
Six young ladies from Steelville will compete for the title of Harvest Festival Queen this year. The 2015 pageant will be held on Thursday, September 10 at the Meramec Music Theatre at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 at the door for everyone over age three. Contestants are: front row, from left: Kaitlyn Mahurin, sponsored by STE Communications, a senior at SHS, and the daughter of Melinda Blankenship and Denver Mahurin; Katlyn Smith, sponsored by Mobil On the Run, another SHS senior, and the daughter of Mortey and Teresa Smith; Kaytlin Rivera, sponsored by Hair & Body Care Unlimited, a senior at Steelville High School (SHS), and the daughter of Brenda McClain and Frank Rivera. Back row: Paige Brown, sponsored by FCNB, a junior at SHS, and the daughter of Roger and Michelle Brown; Paige Yeomans, sponsored by Shelter Insurance, a senior at SHS, and the daughter of Phillip and Dawn Yeomans; Sarah Davis, sponsored by Gibb's Care Center, an SHS junior, and the daughter of Oliver and Amy Davis.
Administrators in Steelville all agreed the first day of the 2015-2016 school year went well, although Superintendent Mike Whittaker lamented the drop in enrollment for the district over last year. Whittaker and the building principals reported on the first day at the school board meeting held that evening, on Thursday, August 20.
Whittaker pointed out school personnel had been preparing well for the start of the school year. “I’m really pleased with the work that’s been going on in all the buildings,” he said. “I can’t tell you how many teachers started in early August—I appreciate their extra commitment.”
Student safety is a priority in the Steelville School District but a special committee of staff members is working to update the crisis plan currently in place to ensure students and staff remain safe in a variety of potentially dangerous situations.
At the August 20 school board meeting, the board heard a report from Steelville Middle School Principal John Bunch on plans to update resources and procedures for optimal safety. Bunch discussed new plans for the drills conducted to prepare students and staff for various situations, potential involvement of local first responders, creation of school building maps for those emergency personnel, transportation safety, and classroom door locking.
Kelsie Booker, a Steelville High School graduate of the Class of 2015, finished in the top ten at the Missouri State Fair Queen Pageant held in Sedalia on August 13 and 14. Earlier this summer, she was crowned the Meramec Community Fair Queen in Sullivan. Kelsie added these accomplishments to her pageant successes over the past couple of years. She also competed at the State Fair last summer, after she was named Crawford County Fair Queen. She began her pageant career at home in Steelville in 2013 when she won the Harvest Festival Queen Pageant.