On Thursday, Sept. 20, Batavia Unit District 101 will welcome eight inductees into its fourth annual Hall of Honor at Batavia High School.
The Hall of Honor was initiated by the Batavia Foundation for Educational Excellence and the school district to promote pride in Batavia public schools and to honor alumni, faculty, and friends who have made outstanding accomplishments in their communities and personal lives since they have been associated with the district. The Hall of Honor induction ceremony will take place at the Batavia Fine Arts Centre; use the Wilson Street entrance.
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 on the main stage at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are available online at hallofhonor.ezregister.com. Tickets are $15 or $5 for youth; children, age 5 or younger, are admitted free.
The Hall of Honor inductees also will be recognized at the Homecoming Parade on Wednesday, Sept. 19, and the Batavia High Homecoming football game on Friday, Sept. 21.
Six of the eight inductees will be installed as Batavia High School alumni, one will enter the Hall of Honor as a Staff Member, and one will be installed as a Friend of Batavia for loyal support and dedication to the school district.
â€¢ Samira Ahmed (1989): During her four years at Batavia High School, Samira Ahmed 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 of Arts and a Master of Arts in Teaching degrees in 1993. She went on teach high school English in the Chicago suburbs and New York City. After leaving the classroom for the private sector, Ahmed 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 throughout New York state. She has appeared in the New York Times, New York Daily News, Fox News, NBC, NY1, NPR, and on BBC Radio. Her creative nonfiction and poetry has appeared in Jaggery Lit, Entropy, the Fem, Claudius Speaks, the Spine Out novelists series and the anthologies, “This is What a Librarian Looks Like” and “Who Speaks for America.” Her debut novel, “Love, Hate & Other Filters,” published in January 2018, debuted on the New York Times Bestseller list. Ahmed will be releasing two new novels in 2019, “Internment” and “Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know.”
â€¢ Eldon Frydendall (1956): Frydendall is a fourth-generation Batavian. After graduation from Batavia High School, 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 near downtown Batavia where they raised their two daughters Polly (Clark) and Peggy (Flamand.) Both girls and their families also live in Batavia where they continue to enjoy the community in which they grew up. Frydendall’s love and dedication to the city of Batavia has been lifelong. 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 for the city of Batavia is impressive. He was a Boy Scout leader for Troop 12 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 of Commerce in 1980, served on the Batavia Main Street board, and volunteered his time during the construction of the downtown Batavia Riverwalk. He was proud to represent the Fifth Ward of Batavia serving as alderman for 32 years, which made him the longest-serving alderman for the city of Batavia. During his time as alderman, he was also the public utilities chairman for 30 years. He currently serves on the Batavia Historical Society board of directors. 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. His strong roots and love for Batavia have grown deeper throughout the years.
â€¢ Matt Holm (1987): Holm’s family has a long line of Batavia alumni. He was a standout in baseball and football at the beginning of the Mike Gaspari era. He did his undergraduate studying at North Central College where he also played football, starting at middle linebacker in his sophomore year. In 1991, he was hired as a history teacher at Batavia Junior High, the year before it became Rotolo Middle School. That same fall, he joined Coach Gaspari’s football staff. In the fall of 1992, he was hired as the head baseball coach for BHS. In the late 1990s, while coaching both sports, Holm earned his master’s degree in history at Northern Illinois University. 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. He is a consummate reader of history. In 2016, after 24 seasons as head baseball coach, Holm 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. Most recently, a new daughter-in-law, Nikki, and a grandson (future linebacker) Marshall, have joined the clan.
â€¢ Sharron Moran Jauregui (1960): Former LPGA golfer, Sharron Moran Jauregui credits her enjoyment of the Fox River, which provided hours of skating, fishing, canoeing, building rafts, and exploring, for delaying her golf game until she was 13. One year later, she achieved the highlight of her amateur golf career, winning the Aurora Beacon News’ Ladies Championship. When she was 18, she won the Illinois State Medal Play tournament in Peoria. She went on to play on the University of Arizona’s women’s golf team for four years where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in social studies and biology. She planned to become a teacher and continued on to San Diego State University to earn a Master of Arts degree in secondary education. Her plans 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 exceptional athletes such as Arnold Palmer, Byron Nelson, Bart Starr, Jesse Owens, Gordon Howe and more. She played professional golf for the next eight years and earned a Rookie of the Year Award at the beginning 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, Calif., in the winter and Crested Butte, Colo., in the summer. Her life is busy and rewarding with 11 grandchildren and another on the way.
â€¢ Michael Spillane (1986): Spillane has lived in Batavia since he was 5 years old, attending Batavia schools from kindergarten through high school. He played sports throughout his childhood and continued playing football and baseball at Batavia High School. After high school, he played football at both MacMurray College and Augustana College, and earned a bachelor’s degree from Aurora University in marketing and a second bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University in fire science management. During college, he spent summers working various construction jobs in the area, including concrete, roofing, framing, and electrical. Spillane became a firefighter and paramedic for the City of Geneva in 1992. In 1996, he switched to the City of Evanston where he has been for the past 22 years. After marrying his wife, Jennifer, in 1992, his family grew quickly, adding four children to the Spillane clan. As the 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 and Sons Building and Remodeling and has continued to build and remodel homes in the Fox Valley area ever since, many of which have been here in Batavia. In addition to doing his own projects, Spillane works with the Kane County Office of Community Reinvestment to renovate foreclosed, dilapidated homes in Kane County as part of a Housing Rehabilitation Program. Spillane loves breathing life into these old structures and preserving them for future generations to enjoy. He is proud to be able to make a positive impact in the community where he lives and has raised his own family.
â€¢ Max Striedl (1954): Born and raised in Batavia, Max Striedl was valedictorian of the Batavia High School class of 1954. He participated in football, basketball, track and field, baseball, the Latin Club, and Student Council. A 1958 graduate of the University of Illinois, Striedl earned a B.S. in civil engineering and the “C.C. Wiley Traveling Award” in highway engineering. Striedl married Mary Ann Rothermel in 1963, and they raised their family of five in Batavia. During his college summers, Striedl coached Batavia Youth Baseball and later coached Little League for his sons. After serving many years on the board for Batavia Boys Baseball, he was recognized by having a Batavia 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 troop 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, Striedl was chairman of the fundraising committee and coordinator of the annual Batavia High hoagie sale. A lifelong member of Holy Cross Church, Striedl was a young catechist, co-chair for the church’s Barn Sale, and a member of the building committee for the new church and the parish school. Still active at Holy Cross, Striedl serves on the board of the Batavia Brotherhood Banquet, volunteers regularly at Hesed House, and is a coordinator for the Great Lakes Catholic Men’s Conference. He and his wife, Mary Ann, are the proud grandparents of five grandchildren.
â€¢ Sue Bauer (29 years of service): Bauer arrived in Batavia in 1970 to begin a new adventure. That adventure led her to a career in teaching at Batavia Junior High School and Batavia High School. She taught mathematics, 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 as all fledgling groups do — a very small group of five with lofty goals. The club grew rapidly and 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. Bauer also coached the Future Problem Solvers Club, and was one of the math team coaches. She retired from teaching in 2002 and began taking on different roles. She was on the board of directors for Batavia RSVP 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 School Key Club. When CHIP-In Batavia formed five years ago, Bauer felt it was a good fit for her and she became the liaison to Hoover-Wood School and serves on the advisory committee. She enjoys facilitating CHIP-In Batavia’s Birthday Bag Program. For all of her volunteer work, Bauer has received the Kiwanis International George F. Hixson Award, Legion of Honor Award, and Presidential Zeller Award.
â€¢ Ronald E. Karabowicz: Karabowicz grew up in Chicago, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in both computer science and physics from Loyola University of Chicago. He and his wife Judy moved to Batavia in 1986. That same year, he founded his information technology company K & A Tech Services. In 2002, Karabowicz gained a new passion when his youngest daughter Denise 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, Karabowicz stepped up as coach for the FLL robotics team. The single-team robotics club did not stay small for long. Growing interest among young people in competitions where robots and STEM concepts were celebrated encouraged Karabowicz to form the nonprofit organization Fox Valley Robotics/Batavia Robotics. It encourages first- to 12th- grade students to build, program, and compete with Lego and metal robots. The three divisions, LegoWolves (first to third grade), LegoDogs (fourth to eighth grade), and Coyotes (eighth to 12th grade), correspond with international programs developed by FIRST (firstinspires.org) and VEX, vexrobotics.co. Hundreds of children and teenagers have competed under Karabowicz and his organization. In 2017-2018, more than 160 students on 34 teams were registered with FVR/BR. Each year, Karabowicz coordinates dozens of mentors and volunteers to coach individual teams, run summer programs, and host competitions for the three divisions. When not busy with robots and his actual job, Karabowicz enjoys running, martial arts, camping, and fishing.