Belleville West

English Department








English Department Chair

John Lodle

Phone: (618) 222-7622

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Courses Offered

9th Grade

  • English 1-2 (4000)
  • English 1-2 Honors (4002) *
  • English 1-2 (4006) *

10th Grade

  • English 3-4 (4133)
  • English 3-4 Honors (4132)
  • English 3-4 (4149)

11th Grade

  • English 5-6 (4153)
  • English 5-6 Honors (4152)
  • English 5-6 (4154)

12th Grade

  • English 7-8 (4602)
  • English 7-8 Honors/AP (4540)
  • English 7-8 (4608)

Additional Electives:

  • African-American Literature
  • Creative Writing
  • Film as Literature
  • Journalism
  • Mass Media
  • Public Speaking


AP / Dual Credit Courses

Southwestern Illinois College - Wikipedia

Advanced Placement

  • English 7-8 Honors/AP (4540)

St. Louis University

  • English 7-8 Honors/AP (4540)

Southwestern Illinois College

  • African-American Literature (4610, 4611)

  • Public Speaking (4467, 4468)

Honors Credit

  • English 1-2 Honors (4002)
  • English 3-4 Honors (4132)

  • English 5-6 Honors (4152)

  • English 7-8 Honors/AP (4540)

    Theatre and Speech

    Little Theatre
    Advisor:  Mr. John Lodle

    Belleville West Little Theatre stages five productions each school year—the fall play, a night of one acts for freshman and sophomore casts, the children’s play, the contest play, and the musical. Little Theatre sponsors monthly information meetings, social events, workshops for actors and technicians, and a spring honors reception.

    Thespian Troupe #369
    Advisor:  Mr. John Lodle

    Thespian Troupe #369 is a chapter of the International Thespian Organization, an honors organization devoted to the theatre arts. In order to qualify for membership, students must complete a minimum of 300 hours in the Belleville West theatre, at least 150 in technical work. New members are inducted into the troupe twice each year.

    Fall Play
    Directors:  Mr. John Lodle & Mr. Jamie Klein

    West presents three evening performances and two matinee shows (for local junior high students) of the fall play each October. Students in all grade levels may audition at the start of the school year, and a large student tech crew builds the set, organizes costumes and props, and runs lights and sound. Recent shows have included both classic dramas and modern comedies.

    Freshman-Sophomore One Acts
    Directors:  Dr. Brandon Hentze, Mr. Adam Jenkins, & Ms. Grace Bartlett, &

    The one act plays are open to any freshman or sophomore interested in experiencing theatre—either onstage or backstage. Traditionally, three plays are cast each year in October. Performances are held in the middle of November. Students interested in auditioning or in working on tech crews should watch the bulletin for more information.

    Children’s Play
    Directors:  Dr. Brandon Hentze, Ms. Anna Kurtz, Mr. Jamie Klein,,

    The children’s show is a musical production that is performed for local grade school students. Students who are interested can audition for singing and non-singing roles or can choose to work backstage on the technical crew. Auditions for the show are in November, and rehearsals are in December and January.

    Contest Play
    Directors:  Mr. John Lodle & Mr. Tyler Herron

    The contest play, held each march, offers theatre students a unique opportunity: the 40-minute show travels and competes against other schools. Students in all grade levels may audition (usually in December), and a large student tech crew builds the traveling set.  Rehearsals are held in January through March.

    Directors:  Mr. Nick Johnson & Mr. John Lodle

    The theatre season concludes with the musical, held the first weekend of May.  Students in all grade levels may audition for the large cast of singers and dancers.  Students may also join the technical crew (to build sets, run lights and sound, organize costumes), or play in the pit orchestra.

    Speech and Acting Team
    Advisors:  Mr. Adam Jenkins,  Mr. Russ Reidelberger, Mr. Tyler Herron, Ms. Anna Kurtz,,

    The speech and acting team competes all over Illinois (and various other places for nationals) in categories such as dramatic and humorous acting, public speaking, current events, and radio broadcasting.  A student can compete in just one of those areas or in all of them.  Practices are held about once a week

    Debate/Student Congress
    Advisor:  Dr. Brandon Hentze

    Debate is a competitive public speaking squad that participates in two formats:  Public Forum and Student Congress. Public Forum is a competition in which partners debate current events.  Student Congress is a mock session of Congress.  The season runs from September through March.

    Other Activities

    Advisor:  Ms. Carnetta Chalmers

    Harambee is an organization of students interested in experiencing African-American history.  Students involved pledge to establish a harmonious culture for the school. The group’s mottos is “Let’s all pull together.”  Students must pass every class each triad and demonstrate good character.  Activities include the Harambee Show, social events, fundraisers, community service, and cultural field trips.

    Book Club
    Advisors:  Mr. John Lodle, Julie Schloesser,

    The Book Club provides students with an opportunity to read and discuss books simply for enjoyment. The club meets off campus four times during the year (in October, December, January, and April) to discuss books which the members select.  Students may register at an information meeting in August

    National English Honor Society

    Advisors:  Mr. John Lodle ( and Mr. Alex Schobert (

    The objectives of NEHS are to encourage and recognize literary and intellectual thought, advance students’ knowledge of English, aid the civic community with its appreciation of reading and writing, and encourage students to participate in community service.  The hope is to encourage a dedication within students toward the pursuit of English knowledge that benefits our campus and community.  NEHS members will plan and participate in such events as the Shakespeare festival, the author visit, National Poetry Month, Banned Books Week, BW Book Club, and various fundraising activities.

    English Activities & Updates




    Advisors:  Mrs. Ashley Short

    The Bellevinois is the Belleville West yearbook. Editors and staff members take photographs of activities throughout the year, write short articles about student events, and design the final book. Students may learn more about applying for the yearbook staff in B328, the Bellevinois office.

    Hy News

    Advisor:  Mr. Stephen Garland

    The Hy News is Belleville West’s student newspaper. Any student from second semester freshman through senior can apply to be on staff. Distributed monthly, 11 issues a year, the Hy News is student-led and produced. Positions include reporters, artists, photographers, and business staffers. The Hy News office is B326.

    Page One

    Advisor:  Mrs. Amber Thurnau

    Page One, the Belleville West Literary and Art Magazine, is published in May of each year.  Students from all grade levels may submit poetry, short stories, essays, photography, and art from September through March. Applications for staff positions on the magazine are available each spring.

    Tutoring Options

    Any student who would like some extra assistance with an English class can now receive tutoring through the Belleville West English Department.  To attend a tutoring session, the student simply needs to request a pass from his/her English teacher

    Tutoring is available before school and during all lunch hours every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

    Belleville West 2023-2024 Course Guide