Parkway e-News Story

Parkway Celebrates African American Achievement

Parkway recently honored 327 students at its annual Spirit of Excellence (SOE) celebration. The awards ceremony, now in its 13th year, honors African American students in grades 3-12 who have a GPA of 3.5 or higher.

The celebration has always been held in February in conjunction with Black History Month. This year’s event was held on February 23 at the Touhill Performing Arts Center on the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus.

Click here to view a video about the event or here to watch the story that aired on FOX 2 news.

Highlights of the evening include:

  • 327 African American students—the greatest number in the history of SOE—were honored. Of those, 19 have a 4.0 GPA or higher.
  • Emcees were brothers Alex (pictured above, left) and Andre Booker (pictured above, right) who attend Parkway Central High. Both have been recipients of SOE awards since they were in elementary school.
  • Over 1,400 people, representing students, families, friends and staff were in attendance.
  • The Central Middle School Step Team performed (pictured right). The team is composed of 7th and 8th graders and is the only middle school step team in Parkway.
  • VICC(Voluntary Interdistrict Choice Corporation) counselors were honored with the "Committed to Excellence" award. They are: Vicki Williams; LaVerne Mitchom; Jennifer Christy; Mildred Scott; and Mary Meehan.
  • High school students who attended the summer Business Academy were recognized. The academy is a partnership between Parkway and the University of Missouri-Columbia.
  • Dr. Don Cook (pictured below), middle school mentor and former Parkway board member, closed the program with a saxophone performance. Dr. Cook's wife, Wilma, is a reading specialist at Barretts and their daughter Kimberly, a West High grad, is in the Parkway Alumni Hall of Fame.

As work continues toward eliminating the African American Achievement Gap, Spirit of Excellence serves as a reminder of the many successes already realized.