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The Insider: 2.24.16

If you tune into Morgan Freeman’s new series, The Story of God, debuting April 3 on National Geographic, chances are you’ll see some local faces! Holland Saltsman, owner of The Novel Neighbor bookstore in Webster Groves, and her two children,  Cullen and Sadie, were extras on set during a recent trip to L.A. They were visiting friend and former Webster University student ‘Kraemer’, who is a line producer on the new show. The trio enjoyed chatting  with Freeman during breaks on set and are scheduled to appear in an April episode.

FOCUS St. Louis has honored Dr. Jason Q. Purnell, assistant professor in the Brown School at Washington University, with the 2016 Leadership Award for his work on the For the Sake of All project. The racial justice initiative brought together community partners to focus on the impact of education, health and economic inequalities on our region.

Parkway teacher Brian Austin has written and illustrated a children’s book, I Am Toast, to teach kids about understanding idioms, accepting differences and living with learning disabilities. Austin is a teacher at Ross Elementary.

50 year strong. The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis is celebrating its 50th anniversary with the upcoming 2016-17 season. The lineup, starting in September, includes: Follies, Until the Flood, A Christmas Carol, All My Sons, To Kill A Mockingbird and Million Dollar Quartet. Bravo!

Congrats to the 15 prominent inductees into the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame, among them longtime columnist Bill McClellan, former FleishmanHillard CEO David Senay and KMOX news editor John Sabin.

Victoria Williams

Margaret van Bakergem

Kudos to The Wilson School alums Victoria Williams (‘09) and Margaret van Bakergem (‘97) for receiving the school’s 2016 Alumni Achievement Awards. Van Bakergem is the Center for Geospatial Analytics Student Fellow at North Carolina State University and the co-founder of a medical clinic in Yantalo, Peru. Williams, a cancer survivor, AP Scholar and National Merit Scholar, is the recipient of the four-year academic award, the Baker Scholarship, at Davidson College.

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