Batavia schools to honor 2018 Hall of Honor inductees
On Thursday, Sept. 20, Batavia Unit District 101 will welcome eight inductees into its fourth annual Hall of Honor at Batavia High School. The induction ceremony will take place at the Batavia Fine Arts Centre. The evening will start at 6 p.m. with a dessert reception in the atrium, followed by the unveiling of the Hall of Honor at 7 p.m., and the awards ceremony at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at hallofhonor.ezregister.com. Tickets are $15; $5 for youth ages 6 or older. The inductees also will be recognized at the Homecoming Parade Wednesday, Sept. 19, and football game Friday, Sept. 21. Six of the eight inductees will be installed as alumni, one will enter as a staff member, and one will be installed as a Friend of Batavia for loyal support and dedication to the district.
• During her four years, Samira Ahmed, Class of 1989, played on the tennis team, was editor of the BHS "Spectator," president of National Honor Society, and an Illinois State Scholar. A proud Bulldog, Ahmed enthusiastically greeted every sock hop and went hoarse many times while yelling during pep assemblies to ensure Class of 1989 pep stick dominance. Ahmed attended the University of Chicago, where she graduated with joint bachelor's and master's teaching degrees in 1993. She went on to teach high school English in the Chicago area and New York City. After leaving the classroom for the private sector, she worked to create more than 70 small high schools in New York City, and fought to secure billions of additional dollars to fairly fund public schools in the state. Her debut novel, "Love, Hate & Other Filters," was on The New York Times Bestseller list. She will be releasing two new novels in 2019, "Internment" and "Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know."
• Eldon Frydendall is a fourth-generation Batavian. After graduation in 1956, he served in the U.S. Army and later attended Aurora University. He married Batavian Jo (Saum) Frydendall in 1966. He and Jo still live in their historic home where they raised their two daughters, Polly and Peggy. Both girls and their families also still live in town. He purchased the Batavia Insurance Agency in 1973 from his uncle, Phil Carlson. Owning the business for 40 years allowed him the opportunity to get to know many Batavia residents on a personal level. Many policyholders would drop off their payments in person just so they could enjoy a cup of coffee with Frydendall and his friendly staff. His list of service to the city is impressive. He was a Boy Scout Troop 12 leader for many years and aided in the start of the annual Boy Scout Christmas tree sale that continues today. He was president of the Batavia Park Board from 1976-1978, president of the Batavia Chamber in 1980, served on the Batavia Main Street board, and volunteered his time during the construction of the downtown Batavia Riverwalk. He served as the Fifth Ward alderman for 32 years, which made him the longest-serving alderman. As alderman, he was also the public utilities chairman for 30 years. He currently serves on the Batavia Historical Society board. Retirement has given Frydendall and his wife more time to spend with their family in Batavia, as well as at their Wisconsin lake house. He also still enjoys an occasional cup of coffee downtown with longtime city friends.
• Matt Holm, a 1987 graduate, was a standout in baseball and football at the beginning of the Mike Gaspari era. He was an undergraduate at North Central College, where he played football, starting at middle linebacker as a sophomore. In 1991, he was hired as a history teacher at Batavia Junior High, the year before it became Rotolo Middle School. He also joined Coach Gaspari's football staff. In 1992, he was hired as the head baseball coach for BHS. In the late '90s, while coaching both sports, Holm earned a master's degree in history at NIU. In 2001, he transferred to Batavia High, crediting his success as a middle school teacher to creativity in the classroom. He still teaches through student discovery and service learning with his Tom Joad Service Project. He developed two courses, "Contemporary Issues in American Society" and the dual credit American history through Waubonsee Community College. In 2016, after 24 seasons as head baseball coach, he retired from the position with 349 wins and multiple conference and sectional championships, reaching the Elite 8 twice. In 2011, Holm became the defensive coordinator for Dennis Piron, beginning another era of Bulldog football. State titles in football in 2013 and 2017 are two of his proudest moments. These championships are only bested by marrying his high school sweetheart, Lori, and raising three Battlin' Bulldogs of his own: Axel, Jake, and Elise.
• Former LPGA golfer Sharron Moran Jauregui, Class of 1960, began playing golf when she was 13. One year later, she achieved the highlight of her amateur golf career, winning the Aurora Beacon News' Ladies Championship. At age 18, she won the Illinois State Medal Play tournament. She played on the women's golf team for four years at University of Arizona, where she earned a bachelor's in social studies and biology. She planned to become a teacher, but that changed when the PGA/Victor Golf company approached her about representing the organization on the LPGA Ladies' Tour. Soon after, she was invited to be on the Lincoln-Mercury sports panel, which included athletes such as Arnold Palmer, Byron Nelson, Bart Starr, Jesse Owens and Gordon Howe. She played professional golf for the next 8 years and earned a Rookie of the Year Award at the start of her career in 1967. During her professional golf experience, she traveled around the world for tournaments and had the opportunity to play with many well-known celebrities. She met and married Phillip Jauregui and they have two children, Gifford and Martha. She also has two stepsons, Phillip and Joe. Her present life combines her two loves, teaching and playing golf. She is a golf instructor in Palm Desert, California, in the winter and Crested Butte, Colorado, in the summer.
• Michael Spillane, a 1986 graduate, played football and baseball at Batavia High School. He then played football at MacMurray College and Augustana College, and earned a bachelor's degree from Aurora University in marketing and a second bachelor's degree from SIU in fire science management. During college, he spent summers working various construction job, including concrete, roofing, framing, and electrical. He became a firefighter and paramedic for the City of Geneva in 1992. In 1996, he was hired in Evanston, where he has been for the past 22 years. He married Jennifer in 1992. As their four kids grew up, he coached baseball and football, and volunteered as a Scout leader. His fire department schedule offered him the opportunity to start building and remodeling houses in 2000. Not long after, he established Spillane & Sons Building & Remodeling. He has built and remodeled homes in the Fox Valley area, many in Batavia. In addition to his own projects, he works with the Kane County Office of Community Reinvestment to renovate foreclosed, dilapidated homes as part of a housing rehab program. He loves restoring and preserving these old structures. He is proud to be able to make a positive impact in the community where he lives and raised his own family.
• Born and raised in Batavia, Max Striedl was valedictorian for the Class of 1954. He participated in football, basketball, track and field, baseball, Latin Club, and student council. He earned a B.S. in civil engineering and the "C.C. Wiley Traveling Award" in highway engineering at U of I in 1958. He married Mary Ann in 1963, and they raised their family of five in Batavia. During his college summers, he coached Batavia Youth Baseball, and later coached Little League for his sons. After serving many years on the Batavia Boys Baseball board, he was recognized by having a baseball field named in his honor. As official timekeeper for Batavia football and basketball for 48 years, Striedl was inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame in 1992. He was named Batavia's Citizen of the Year in 1993, the Les Hodge Bulldog Backer of the Year in 1995, and Batavia Basketball Fan of the Year in 1998. Striedl was active in Boy Scout Troop 12 as committee treasurer and coordinator of the Christmas tree lots for many years, and was awarded the Boy Scout District Award of Merit in 1992. Active for years in the Batavia Music Buffs, he was fundraising committee chair and coordinator of the annual hoagie sale. A lifelong member of Holy Cross Church, he was co-chair for the church's Barn Sale,\ and a building committee member for the new church and parish school. He also serves on the Batavia Brotherhood Banquet board, volunteers regularly at Hesed House, and is a coordinator for the Great Lakes Catholic Men's Conference.
• Sue Bauer (29 years) arrived in Batavia in 1970 to begin a new adventure. That adventure led her to a career in teaching at Batavia Junior High and Batavia High School. She taught math, science, and computer science, and developed the curriculum for the computer classes. In 1987, she was asked to start a service club at BHS. The Kiwanis Key Club began small but grew rapidly. Within a year, "Mr. BHS" was introduced to the school. About five years later, with the help of teachers at Rotolo Middle School, Bauer started the Kiwanis Builders Club. Both clubs are service organizations designed to enhance the community and the school. In 2002, she received the Illinois Eastern Iowa District Key Club Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award. She also coached the Future Problem Solvers Club, and was one of the math team coaches. After retiring in 2002, she was on the Batavia RSVP board until 2017, volunteered in the office, and gave many rides to seniors. She is currently involved in 4-H programs and is the Kiwanis adviser to Hoover-Wood School and Grace McWayne K-Kids, and the Kiwanis adviser to the Batavia High Key Club. When CHIP-In Batavia formed five years ago, she became the liaison to Hoover-Wood School, serves on the advisory committee, and works on the Birthday Bag Program. For all of her volunteer work, she received the Kiwanis International George F. Hixson Award, Legion of Honor Award, and Presidential Zeller Award.
• Ronald E. Karabowicz grew up in Chicago, graduating with a bachelor's in both computer science and physics from Loyola University-Chicago. He and his wife Judy moved to Batavia in 1986 and he founded K&A Tech Services. In 2002, his youngest daughter joined a Lego robotics club at Rotolo Middle School. FIRST Lego League's emphasis on teamwork, STEM concepts, and the construction of a robot from Lego bricks brought the father-daughter pair closer during the competition season. When the school club's coach retired, he stepped up as coach for the robotics team. Growing interest encouraged him to form the nonprofit Fox Valley Robotics/Batavia Robotics for students to build, program, and compete with Lego and metal robots. In 2017-18, more than 160 students on 34 teams were registered. Each year, he coordinates dozens of mentors and volunteers to coach individual teams, run summer programs, and host competitions for the three divisions.