Blythe Bernhard's memorable stories from 2021: Some good news, for a break from pandemic stress

Education coverage in 2021 was a lot like 2020 — students in and out of virtual school, fights over masks and a lot of worry about what it means to grow up during a pandemic. That's why I'm highlighting some good news stories, more memorable for what they aren't about (COVID-19) than what they are. I tried to work some of these positive stories into the beat, because the memories are real and important, too:

The first girls in St. Louis earn the rank of Eagle Scout: “This is a powerful moment for these young women, for all Eagle Scouts, and for our nation,” said Jenn Hancock, the BSA’s national chair for programs. “People recognize Eagle Scouts as individuals of the highest caliber, and for the first time, that title isn’t limited by gender.”

Two sets of triplets graduate from Metro East high school: Jay Krause, Metro-East Lutheran principal, said it was a special experience to guide two sets of triplets through high school. The six scholars all had successful high school careers, with various starting roles on the school’s basketball, volleyball and baseball teams. “It became clear that these kids are leaders,” Krause said. “They are outstanding young people.”

Washington U. grad vows to create second chances for other ex-prisoners: Jim Brock, 50, graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Washington University, earned through its Prison Education Project. He plans to build his dog-training business by hiring other former inmates.

Mehlville students embrace adventure in new P.E. class: A new elective physical education class at Mehlville and Oakville high schools introduces students to kayaking, fishing, hiking, archery, camping and rock climbing. “If I could do this class all day, I would,” said sophomore Carlos Mueller, 15.

Hancock Place, Bishop DuBourg team up for football: High school and football go hand-in-hand, except when schools are too small to field a team. The Bishop DuBourg Cavaliers and Hancock Tigers joined forces five years ago to get across the goal line. They are among 30 high schools in Missouri and 48 in Illinois that have formed co-op football teams this fall.