LaSalle News Tribune | LaSalle, IL
Due to weather related issues, in some areas there may be delayed deliveries of your Monday issue of the NewsTribune.
If road conditions are severe enough, your delivery person may not be able to deliver your NewsTribune at all on Monday.
In this case, your Monday edition will be delivered with your Tuesday newspaper.
We ask you to be understanding for the safety of our carriers.

You can view Tuesday's newspaper online at

home : news : news   April 29, 2016

4/10/2014 9:12:00 AM
Firing back at gossip: Ottawa High picks apart Facebook and its friends

Kevin Caufield
NewsTribune Reporter

OTTAWA — Ottawa Township High School officials are firing back against social media discussion claiming the district had eliminated all of its career and technical education curriculum.

OTHS Superintendent Matt Winchester and board chairman Tim Creedon released a joint statement to the NewsTribune meant to highlight the 54 courses outside of the core curriculum of English, math, science, social science and physical education that exist at the high school.

“Claims stating that Ottawa Township High School has eliminated all of its CTE (career and technical education) courses are simply not true,” Winchester stated. “While a projected $3.5 million deficit has forced (OTHS) to make a reduction in one vocational course, an extensive career and technical education (CTE) curriculum continues to exist for the 2014-2015 school year.”

The district has come under scrutiny for the board’s March 17 decision to layoff building trades instructor Dave Keely and thereby ending the building trades program in an effort to save money. The district is currently operating with a $3.5 million deficit budget and is quickly using up its reserve savings, forcing the administration and board to look for ways to cut costs and raise revenue.

In response, hundreds of students staged a non-violent protest by leaving classes on March 18 and holding signs in support of the building trades program and Keely. The administration responded by doling out three-day suspensions and denying extracurricular activities to those students who did not go back to class.

Additionally, the board’s decision and subsequent student protest has drawn national attention after former “Dirty Jobs” host Mike Rowe created a movie clip and has done television interviews supporting the school’s building trades program and commending the student protests.

Winchester said the school still offers students a variety of opportunities to explore and learn about construction trades and industrial manufacturing. Those courses include learning about architecture, engineering and design, computer aided drafting, measuring, construction, and wood working. The district also has a computer aided drafting and design curriculum and several courses in auto mechanics.

Lastly, there are an additional 44 elective courses in six different career fields such as family and consumer science, health occupations, agriculture, business, art and cooperating education.

“The financial environment for schools in the state of Illinois is bleak,” Winchester stated. “Schools continue to face difficult decisions in regards to maintaining a comprehensive curriculum. Despite this challenge…the board of education and administration will continue to focus on educating students in a safe, positive, challenging environment which promotes responsible citizenship and active lifelong learning.”

Kevin Caufield can be reached at (815) 220-6932 or

Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, April 10, 2014
Article comment by: Anonymous92930

It sounds like a great variety of cou rses for both college bound or work bound graduates.Maybe the strife is caused by the teachers union smarting from the meager adminstrative raises given.

Login to your account:
Remember me
Login reminder
  If you'd like to comment on this article, please log in or click here to subscribe.


Subscription Login

Area Roundup: Lady Red Devils track sneaks by with win
Updated: 4/29/2016 11:05:00 AM
Prep of the Week: La Salle-Peru's Quincie Weber
Updated: 4/29/2016 10:59:00 AM
Briefs: Owlsley resigns at Henry-Midland
No MAP grants, no degree for a laid-off mother of five (VIDEO)
For the Record (4-29-2016): Police reports, marriage licenses
Earlville historians plant homegrown art show Sunday

Illinois Valley Events
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Photo GalleryVideo LibraryMagazinesDealsAbout UsAP Terms of UseAdvertise With UsExtra Content

Copyright 2016 NewsTribune, LaSalle, Illinois. All rights reserved.

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved