Belleville High School-West

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Belleville Township High School-West
Address
4063 Frank Scott Parkway
Belleville, Illinois, 62223
United States
Information
School type Public Secondary
Opened 1916
School district Belleville Township District 201
Superintendent Dr. Jeff Dosier, Superintendent
Principal Rich Mertens
Grades 9–12
Mascot Maroons
Newspaper Hy-News
Yearbook Bellevinois
Website

Belleville Township High School West (also known as Belleville West) is a public comprehensive high school in Belleville, Illinois that is part of Belleville Township High School District 201.

Traditions[edit]

There are many traditions at Belleville West, the majority of which started before 1950. These traditions include Hobo Day, Miss Maroon, Donkey Basketball, and Senior Skip Day. In 1950, Donkey Basketball was senior boys versus senior girls, as it still is today. Hobo Day festivities started out as an assembly at school, followed by a large parade, complete with class floats, down Main Street to the fountain, ending in a large rally in front of courthouse. Over time, the parade became smaller and smaller, until there was none. Today, there is still an assembly complete with the long-time tradition of the sliders competition, but class floats have been replaced by class frame building.

In the mid and mid-late 1900s, sporting events were widely supported by the student body, and often basketball and football games would be sold out. The biggest game of the year was the varsity football game against East St. Louis on Thanksgiving Day. This tradition was lost when IHSA State Playoffs began, and the enthusiasm for the East St. Louis game was transition to the Belleville East varsity football game, which is still very popular today.

Academics[edit]

At the school's opening in 1917, there were 389 students enrolled in Belleville Township. The school was accommodated with 17 faculty, 2 buildings, and the curriculum consisted of only 30 courses. Many changes have been made since then. In 1980, Belleville Township High School was now Belleville West and Belleville East. East was built in order to accommodate the growing number of high school students. Belleville West had 2250 students, over 150 faculty, and ten permanent buildings along with some temporary buildings. The curriculum now consisted of 215 courses, which included many interesting courses that have since ceased to exist. There was a typewriting class, which is much like a simplified version of the keyboarding class offered today. A shorthand class, guitar class, and a jewelry design class were some of the interesting courses offered in 1980 that are no longer in the curriculum. No honors courses were offered for foreign language or English classes. Even though honors was offered in history, science, and math classes, no Advanced Placement classes were available for college credit. Juniors could choose between 2 history options for graduation requirements. They could either take one full year of US History or take 4 mini courses (each course being a ten week long class). The driver's ed fee in 1980 was only $1; today it is $50. Just by looking at this, you can see how much the times have changed. Belleville West is now located at the new location on Frank Scott Parkway with a complete enclosed campus. The school today has a curriculum with 292 courses and many AP options for multiple subjects. Although a lot has changed in order to meet the requirements of testing such as ACT or PSAE, some aspects of academics have remained the same. Many graduation requirements are the same as they were in 1983, but the new freshman class (Class of 2013) must earn 20.5 credits rather than the usual 19.5.

Belleville West Academics Departments

Career & Technical Education Drivers Education, Health, & Physical Education Mathematics English Science Fine Arts, Music, & World Languages Social Studies Individualized Education

Athletics[edit]

The Maroons, as West teams are known, compete in the Southwestern Conference The sports at West are divided into three separate seasons - held respectively during the Fall, Winter and Spring. Each season has its own individual and team sports which begin with a try-out session and an introductory night of activities and ends with an awards ceremony. A season lasts for approximately 3 months. The sports within a season are organized by teams, usually based on age and athletic ability, with the varsity designation as the highest level. Athletics at Belleville West are governed by the by-laws of the Illinois High School Association. You can learn a lot about this organization by visiting their website at www.ihsa.org.

We are quite proud of our tradition of success in athletics. Our teams consistently win Southwestern Conference Championships, IHSA Regional and Sectional Championships, and regularly appear in the "Elite Eight" of the IHSA State Championship Series. Our philosophy, though, does not center solely on winning. Belleville West believes that sports should play an integral role in a student's overall education. Our teams and coaches place a high emphasis on character, responsibility, commitment, and discipline. We have high expectations for our student athletes and work hard to create an environment which stresses those attributes. All athletes must sign and accept an Athletic Code which spells out these expectations.

The most important part of high school is education. Belleville West athletes must meet certain academic standards in order to compete. At a minimum, every athlete must pass four classes to play and many coaches have higher demands. In order to monitor each athlete's academic progress during the season, weekly grade checks are turned in by the teachers.

Activities[edit]

Fine & Performing Arts[edit]

Little Theatre is an organization that promotes theatrical events on the Belleville West campus. The group sponsors monthly informational meetings, social events, and a spring honors reception. The theater always puts on a total of five plays per year. These include a fall play, a children's play, a musical, and contest play in the second semester. There is an evening of One Acts every year as well for freshman and sophomores.
Thespians: The International Thespian Society is an honor organization founded in 1929 by teachers in West Virginia. Belleville West has been a member of the Thespian Society for over 50 years. In order for a theatre student to achieve the rank of Thespian, he or she must work 300 hours in the West theatre program, and at least 150 of these hours must be in technical work on our stage. The thespian motto is, "Act well your part; there all honor lies."

Student Publication: Hy News, student newspaper[edit]

The Belleville West Hy News,student newspaper, has been reporting the news of Belleville Township High School and then Belleville West High School for over 80 years. This student publication is a co-curricular activity, produced by its 38-member staff, which includes freshmen through seniors.

The 2011-2012 Hy News staff will produce ten monthly issues this year as well as a special Spirit Week insert in the September issue and a Senior Issue insert in the May paper.

Notable Alumni[edit]