BOTKINS – Sunday was a special day for anyone ever touched by the Botkins school system.
“The Trojan Journey: The Story of Botkins School” premiered to a packed room of previous faculty and students, and current faculty and students.
“It’s really an honor for me to come in and tell your story,” John Ondo, the producer of the film, said on Sunday.
“These small towns are what make up our country and they’re kind of in some ways fading and not what they used to be, so we kind of want to document those so future generations can see what it’s like,” he said.
Botkins Superintendent Connie Schneider said their goal was to preserve memories and she thinks they achieved that.
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, 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 special 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 grade 12 under one roof.
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 Jan. 4 and all the upgrades, remodels, and additions that happened in between.
After the film ended, Ondo presented a big framed movie poster for the film to Schneider and asked her to ask Fort Loramie if they had a movie, a former rivalry that was talked about in the film.
Schneider said the version that was shown on Sunday wasn’t the final version, she finally found colored photos of the old gymnasium, “The Kitchen,” that will be included in the version sold to the public.
DVDs of the 55 minute film are available for purchase for $10 by contacting Schneider or the school. All the proceeds will go to the scholarship fund so it can go back to the students, she said.
More information about the history of Botkins Schools and the film can be found at botkinsmemories.com or the Botkins Memories Facebook page.
Reach this writer at 937-538-4825; follow on Twitter @SDNAlexandraN