Kelly SmitsEducation and Environmental Reporter | Belleville News-Democrat
Kelly Smits joined the Belleville News-Democrat as a news intern in July 2023 before becoming the education and environment reporter. She recently completed a joint master’s program at Sciences Po Paris, where she studied journalism and environmental policy. Previously, she has reported for the Green Bay Press-Gazette and PolitiFact Wisconsin and freelanced for the River City Journalism Fund.
The longtime program is housed on the western side of Collinsville's high school and provides vocational training in a wide variety of trades to juniors and seniors from nine area high schools.
The search comes after Darcy Benway said she would step back from her role because for "medical purposes," according to the school board's president. Benway's replacement will be hired next July.
Belleville joins Collinsville and other Metro East school districts who have embraced the Community Eligibility Provision since it was first implemented in Illinois during the 2011-12 academic year.
St. Louis will be among the five metro areas most impacted by an “extreme heat belt” projected to emerge across the central U.S. in the next 30 years, according to a study published last summer.