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Okawville High School To Show Two Films

By Jill Moon

At the meeting of the West Washington School Board on March 23 Okawville High School Principal Keith Senior announced the presentation of two films aimed directly at dealing with issues that today’s students face daily.

The first, called “Paper Tigers”, deals with stresses modern day students face and how to address them and help students deal with them and improve their school experience. It will be presented April 5 at 4:45 and is open to the public. A light supper will be offered at 4:00 with discussion following. Space is limited to 300 people; registration contacts are Christy Sweet at and Debi Jo Klausing at

The second film is called “Chasing Dragons” and deals with preventing heroin addiction. Superintendent Scott Fuhrhop, who has screened it, described it as a riveting look at the paths students took to end up addicted to heroin. It will be shown only to the high school students at an assembly on April 21.

Senior also reported his plan of “teachers teaching teachers” has been very successful. He said he has seen practices learned by a few teachers implemented in other classrooms in a very short time.

The Board voted to extend Enterprise Zone tax abatement status for Prairie State Energy Campus for another 15 years. The current terms would stay in effect for the first nine years then for the remaining six years it would change to $800,000 or 50% of the taxes Prairie State would have paid.

The board also voted to keep their current audit contract with Susan Lyons for the next three years. Superintendent Scott Fuhrhop explained she had done the audit for several years and he had locked in last year’s price of $56,000 for the next three years.

The Board accepted the resignation of Junior High School Basketball Coach Matt Ritzel and Softball Coach Rhonda Hormann. Also resigning is High School Science teacher Joseph Gibbons.

The Board agreed on having eighth grade graduation on Wednesday, May 18, at 7:00pm. High school graduation was set for Sunday, May 22, at 2:00pm.

Fuhrhop recommended awarding the grass cutting bid to the company Quality Turf and the motion carried.

Fuhrhop also asked the board for permission to use unused building funds to pay for some concrete work on the concession stands, which need to be made wheelchair-accessible. A solid quote of $20,000 has been made to finish the needed concrete work. The Board approved.

The Board also agreed to extend its contract with Lehde Bus Service thru 2022 under the same terms it has now. They also agreed to renew the school’s membership in the Illinois High School Association.

Principal Leon Spinka called the recent book fair a “success”, putting 430 books into classrooms. He said that when it was all over he expected kindergarten registration to be about the same as last year, with a little over 30 kids. The state testing had been shortened somewhat but not what he had been hoping for, particularly regarding third graders, as the tests required a long time for their age group to remain focused. As all grades took them online this year teachers reported difficulty in scheduling computer time.