Botkins documentary premieres July 12

BOTKINS– Botkins Local School will be celebrated July 12.

A documentary film that has been in production for nearly two years will premiere to a crowd of community members, alumni, current students and faculty.

The documentary looks at the history and tradition of the school. This past winter the students moved into a new school building, replacing the previous facility that served over three generations of students.

The Louise Sheets Fund provided a local grant that funded the entire project.

The Trojan Journey: The Story of Botkins School was produced by John Ondo, an Emmy Award Winning TV Producer, Media Consultant and Author.

His company Ondo Media, a video production company based in Columbus, specializes in creating films preserving the history of small town America.

When plans for a new school were finalized, Botkins Superintendent Connie Schneider contacted Ondo to see what they could arrange. Ondo has done several similar films for schools in Allen County, and is originally from Lima himself.

He said he really enjoys this part of Ohio. The passion the people of Botkins have for their family and school was clear, Ondo said. He enjoyed hearing what made it speacial and listening to people share all their cool memories.

Botkins Local School is one of a shrinking number of schools in the country that has all grades from kindergarten through twelve under one roof.

The school system dates back to 1902 and remains too small to even have a high school football program, yet has resisted consolidation into larger school districts. This May the senior class graduated 42 students, and the school maintains an excellent education rating from the State of Ohio.

The film features interviews with students, faculty and alumni, highlights the school’s traditions, history, as well as some of the educators who have become legends. Also, the film documents the transition from the old school building that was built in 1957 to the new building that was opened on January 4.

The screening of the film is a free event and open to the public. It will be at 3 p.m. on Sunday, July 12 at Botkins Local School. The aim is that it is a huge red carpet-like event for the community, Ondo said. They are encouraging not just Botkins community members to come, but anyone in the area; anyone who ever played in the old gymnasium.

After the premiere, the film will be posted online for anyone to watch. More information about the film and a 3-minute trailer can be found at

Reach this writer at 937-538-4825; follow on Twitter @SDNAlexandraN