[Diane McFarlin receives a plaque from District 302 Superintendent Todd Leden during her induction into the 2018 Kaneland Hall of Fame on May 21 at Kaneland High School in Maple Park.]
McFarlin was being inducted into the Kaneland Hall of Fame in the Friend of Kaneland category for her meritorious service to the district. In particular she had a passion to encourage her students to explore, which included her introducing and practicing the art of theater.
She told the seniors that as they go out into the real world they will bust open doors, find new adventures and meet people and start new relationships. [Diane McFarlin and Dr. Charles McCormick were inducted into the Kaneland Hall of Fame on May 21 at Kaneland High School.]
“Relationships as friends, relationships as relationships and I wish for all of you, your Peter Lopatin,” she said. “And if you know him, you know what I mean. He is my partner, my husband, my support, my foundation, my life, my heart, and I would not be here standing here without [him].”
McFarlin was able to make a huge impact during her career and she expects these graduates to do the same.
“You change the world by being artists,” she said. “You just do. Your creative expression is who you are uniquely. Don’t lose it. I have three artistic children who are brilliant and they change the world every time they experience art.” [2018 Kaneland Hall of Fame Inductee DIane McFarlin with Kaneland School District 302 Superintendent Todd Leden on May 21 at Kaneland High School in Maple Park.]
McFarlin spent 23 years in the Kaneland school district and 32 years overall as a teacher, vocational director, instructional coordinator, dean and assistant principal. She directed the theatrical productions at the high school for 10 years and served as the artistic director of the Kaneland Arts Initiative.
Despite all that she has given the Kaneland community, McFarlin was as surprised to be honored. [Charles McCormick and Maria Dripps-Paulson chat before his Hall of Fame Induction on May 21 in Maple Park.]
“I was absolutely shocked,” she said. “I’m being recognized for the work in the arts community within the district and into the community and this is so much fun for me to do. It makes my heart sing and it’s an extra honor to be recognized, but it’s also a part of who I am. I love the arts.”
Charles McCormick joined McFarlin in the Hall of Fame as he was recognized in the Commitment category after serving as the superintendent of Kaneland schools from 1998 through 2010. [Diane McFarlin gives a speech as she is inducted into the Kaneland Hall of Fame at Kaneland High School in Maple Park on May 21.]
His seemingly countless list of accolades includes being named the 2008 Kane County Administrator of the Year, but he never imagined ever getting the call for the Hall of Fame.
“[Current District 302 Superintendent Todd Leden] called me and it was out of the clear blue,” McCormick said. “I just never envisioned that it would ever happen, and quite frankly, I’m incredibly honored. You look at the names in the group of that category and those are some of the finest educators I ever knew. How could one not be honored to be in that group?” [Charles McCormick receives a plaque from District 302 Superintendent Todd Leden during his induction into the 2018 Kaneland Hall of Fame at Kaneland High School in Maple Park on May 21.]
Longtime educator Bernie Looney, who presented for McCormick, explained that McCormick was responsible for programs like the Hall of Fame.
“It was during Charlie’s tenure as a school superintendent that this outstanding recognition program was just started,” he said. “Known for his calm, cool and collected style, Charlie guided the school district through a myriad of challenges.” [Charles McCormick gives a speech as he is inducted into the Kaneland Hall of Fame on May 21 at Kaneland High School.]
That included getting an auditorium at the high school, the same one McCormick was speaking in that night. He explained that from 1958 until 2004 all of Kaneland’s concerts, musicals and plays were performed in the two gymnasiums.
“One of the reasons I’m standing here tonight is the role I played in getting this auditorium built,” he said. “For 46 years everyone made due with the facilities we had as best as they could, but when one compared those to the auditoriums at high schools around us, we clearly were not giving students, performers or audiences adequate facilities.”
Now they have more than adequate facilities, where they will be celebrating again on June 6 when Lesley Hudgins and Dana Lettow-Wagner are inducted into the Hall of Fame for Individual Athletic Achievement.
MAPLE PARK — Kaneland School District 302 may have held its commencement ceremony a day earlier, but some of those who just graduated were lucky enough to hear some inspiring words from Diane McFarlin and Charles McCormick on May 21 during Performing Arts Senior Night.
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