Du Quoin High School's fresh start

Du Quoin High School's fresh start

DU QUOIN, IL (KFVS) - The building has everything from new computers and science labs.

But administrators made sure the tradition of the Du Quoin Indians were not forgotten with a brand new building.

The halls and classrooms are new to Ryan Summers, but the job dips deep into family tradition.

"I still have people coming to me and say your mom is just amazing," Summers said.

Summers is a social studies teacher at Du Quoin's brand new high school.

A fresh facade in the same district his mom taught kindergarten two decades before.

"Which is the reason I am here today," he said.

The motivator behind his decision to become an educator in a district that holds so many memories.

"You kind of hope for a chance to come back to DHS, and I thought, 'Well maybe I will,' if I had the opportunity I would jump on it and I did," he said.

His mom, Brenda, passed away 19 years ago, but her legacy is something summer's still sees today.

"It's great, I don't know what other words express it, it's a fantastic feeling that she still has an impact on people and she's been gone for 19 years," he said.

Since then, four generations of Summers have worn Du Quoin's red and black colors and walked the changing halls of the high school.

And this year is no different.

But a new building doesn't mean the traditions are left behind.

"The comments we heard from kids walking into this building last year was, 'Man it's so much brighter,' you know and you can just see that and that automatically instills a little more pride," said Principal Matt Hawkins.

It's a building that's now big enough to display its accomplishments proudly.

"Kind of show off a little bit," he said.

Superintendent Gary Kelly says the $20 million facility was worth the eight years it took to get the project started.

"We're just excited to see it all come together, it's a culmination of a lot of work from a lot of people."

Two weeks into the school year, Summer says it's just the start of many years to come.

"It's something that Du Quoin can be proud of, the students should be proud of. Their kids, their grand kids, generations are going to come to this school and I think we need to take a lot of pride in it," said Summers.

There will be a dedication September 24 where signs and plagues from the old building will be installed in the school's courtyard.

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