The History of Ava High School
Ava (population 662) is located in far southwestern Illinois about 15 miles southwest of DuQuoin. The Illinois Routes 4 and 151 intersect in this northwestern Jackson County town. The Spring Creek flows through Ava and the illinois Central Gulf Railroad has a branch line that reaches the western edge of town.
The history of Ava and its school system are in need of research. We are certain that Ava had at least a grade school in effect by the late 1800s. We are also certain that high school curriculum was introduced by the late 1800s or at least early 1900s. Ava High School served the students and townspeople of Ava for about 5 decades. It was in the late 1940s, we believe, that consolidation talks began between several schools in the Ava area began. The talks resulted in the creation of the Trico School District. We estimate this consolidation effort took place in the summer of 1948. The high school for the new district is located in Campbell Hill.
Vicki Delinger provided the following historical information regarding the Ava school:
“After high school consolidation, the school was K-8. In the 70’s, a junior high was built, attached to the high school, and grades 7-8 from all 5 towns in the district went there. My dad taught at the grade school and then at the jr high. He was also the basketball coach there and at the jr high. If it’s of interest, I must have photos somewhere or dad does.
Ava’s colors were red and white. They were the Ava Redwings. (When the new high school and then jr high opened, colors are blue and gold and they are the Pioneers.) I’m pretty sure Ava’s school fight song was an adaptation of the Notre Dame fight song.
At some point in the mid-70’s or so, Percy, Cutler, and Willisville grade schools were closed. Elementary students in the district were divided between the other two towns. I think K-3 at Campbell Hill and then 4-6 at Ava. My mom taught grade 4 at Campbell Hill before being moved to grade 4 at Ava.
Not sure of year, but a new elementary school was built near the high school and junior high. Maybe about 1979? All district elementary students are now bussed there.
The Ava Grade School was torn down after the new elementary school was built.”
If you have information on the history of Ava High School, especially a photo of the high school building, please contact us at email@example.com .
Ava High School Quick Facts
Year opened: late 1800s / early 1900s
Year closed: 1948
Consolidated to: Trico School District (Campbell Hill)
Ava HS team nickname: “Redwings”
Ava HS team colors: Red & White
School Fight Song: Cheers, Cheers for Old Ava High!