West Campus Overview
JT West Name/Mascot: Tigers 1964-93 / Steelmen 1994-2010 / Tigers 2011 - present
NOTE: When the high school first opened, the students were known as Westmen. However, within a month the students voted to become Tigers.
JT West School Colors: Black, Gold & White
JT West Newspaper: Tiger Tales
JT West Yearbook: Alpha Omega
JT WEST LOYALTY
Fight…Fight… Fight! Fight! Fight!
Go! West High
Fight! Show the foe your might
Victory and glory bring
Every loyal son will sing!
Rah, Rah, Rah!
Black, gold and white
West is best, and that’s our battle cry
Loyalty and honor to the men of Joliet West High
In September of 1964, Joliet Township High School opened its West campus doors to students for the first time. The original construction of the building has now seen four additions. In 2003, the new cafeteria was added along with a new commons area, thirty-eight classrooms, an expanded library, modified office space, and remodeled science laboratories. The most exciting addition is the state-of-the-art West field house dedicated in opening ceremonies on October 28, 2008 enabling the district to facilitate the restoration of a separate sports program.
Since the fall of 1993, the campuses of JT West and JT Central have shared a sports program as Steelmen when the teams were combined due to district budget constraints. However, during the 2008-2009 school year, the district began to divide the school's athletic programs starting with the freshmen teams. By the school year of 2010-2011, all JT West teams will once again be known as the Tigers.
JT West offers a wide variety of sports for its students. Among the girls’ sports are cross country, golf, track and field, basketball, volleyball, softball, tennis, badminton, swimming, bowling, and gymnastics. Boys' sports include baseball, basketball, football, tennis, volleyball, golf, track and field, cross country, swimming, hockey and wrestling.
The Cheerleaders and the poms pons have always brought high recognition to the West campus for their exceptional routines. The dedicated sponsor for many years was Nicki Alander.
Academically, teams and individual students at West have been sectional and state champions in several specialty events including Drama, Speech, English, Math and Debate competition.
Looking through the collection of 44 West yearbooks, one will find references to the many clubs on the campus, i.e., Biology Club, History Club, Key Club, Math Club, Spanish Club, Latin Club, French Club, German Club, Lettermen’s Club, Physics Club, Earth Science Club, Speech Activities Club, Amateur Radio Club, Ballet Club, Art Club, Chess Club, Boosters Club, N.C.O.’s Club, Drama Club, and Modern Dance Club.
Campus organizations have included Future Teachers of America, Future Nurses of America, Future Farmers of America, TriHi Y, Future Homemakers of America, National Thespians, ROTC, National Honor Society, ETIA (Ethnic Teens in Acton), and Student Council. Many of the organizations and clubs still exist on campus today.
Outstanding music programs have been a tradition at JT West for nearly 50 years. Many graduates have continued to very successful careers in the performing arts due to their initial participation in the West choirs and bands.
The Marching Tigers, the high school’s marching band, and the musicianship of the West Jazz Band have received many top honors in state and national contests as well as at a variety of music festivals. Eric Wellman, 2014-present, continues the winning tradition of producing an outstanding West band program as the current band director.
The choir music department is under the leadership of its present director, Tim DeBoer, who joined the faculty in 2003. In 2004, West began an opera scenes program, which is nearly unprecedented among high schools. Jeffrey Ray, West ’87 alumnus, voice teacher, and international opera star was instrumental in guiding the program. West became the first high school to tackle light opera when the students presented “Too Many Sopranos” in 2008. The students have performed scenes from “The Magic Flute,” “The Marriage of Figaro,” “Carmen,” “LaBoheme, “Die Fledermaus, and “Tales of Hoffman.”
Over the past 44 years, the West choirs have consistently received high marks in their performances. In 2007 and 2008, the Concert Choir received high ratings in choral contests including “Best Bass Section” both years.