Mehlville students a source of pride for the community

Tom Diehl

Tom Diehl

By TOM DIEHL

Did you catch the recent local television news report that showed 40 of our high school students spending their Saturday at Mehlville Senior High School to work with county election officials in the Feb. 5 presidential primary?

The trainer praised the students for their technical savvy and their willingness to volunteer on Election Day.

If you follow our school district in the Call and the Messenger, however, this news probably doesn’t surprise you. Our students, teachers, administrators and staff are active in numerous projects, volunteering their time and talent and raising money to help others and better our community.

Over the past few weeks, our Beasley Choir Club sang at the Veterans Administration Hospital, Wohlwend Elementary third- and fourth-graders sang at Bethesda Southgate, Forder fifth-graders raised money for Autism Speaks and Point third-graders presented phone cards to veterans currently being treated in the VA’s Spinal Cord Unit. Mehlville National Honor Society members presented 350 shoe boxes with gifts to inner-city elementary kids for Christmas.

This past year, our students raised money for a variety of projects and charities. Oakville Middle School children raised $1,700 for the St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

Hagemann pupils raised more than $1,500 for the American Cancer Society, and Wohlwend youngsters and Bernard Middle School pupils raised nearly $3,300 each for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Washington Middle School children raised more than $3,500 for Basket of Hope, an organization that works with children diagnosed with cancer or other serious illnesses. SCOPE students organized “Share Your Soles” to collect shoes for the needy.

Wohlwend pupils also prepared care packages for our military men and women serving in Iraq and Buerkle Middle students made holiday cards for American soldiers. Washington Middle School youngsters traveled to Mississippi to help Hurricane Katrina survivors.

Our older students routinely serve as tutors and mentors for younger pupils. Mehlville High students annually sponsor — 10 years and counting — the Special Olympics in which more than 200 athletes are paired with Mehlville student “buddies.”

Oakville High varsity wrestlers conducted an instructional camp for the Junior Tigers.

Critics of public education are quick to speak in broad generalities and lay the blame for all of society’s ills at our doorstep. I believe those folks just don’t know Mehlville’s students.

Our children are exuberant, energetic and competitive. When it comes to values, our students exemplify those character traits that we cherish and admire most — responsibility, integrity, compassion, empathy, selflessness and stewardship.

They consistently rise to a challenge and strive to make our world a better place. They reflect the spirit and generosity of their parents, grandparents and teachers.

Mehlville students are a source of pride for south county and deserve our respect, admiration and support.