BATAVIA – The achievements of eight inductees will be celebrated when Batavia School District 101 welcomes its fourth class into the Hall of Honor at Batavia High School on Sept. 20.
The BPS101 Hall of Honor was initiated by the Batavia Foundation for Educational Excellence and BPS101 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 their association with the district, a news release stated.
The induction ceremony will take place at the Batavia Fine Arts Centre, beginning at 6 p.m., when doors open for a dessert reception in the atrium, followed at 7 p.m. by the Hall of Honor unveiling, and the awards ceremony at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available online at hallofhonor.ezregister.com. Tickets cost $15 for adults, $5 for students and are free for children age 5 and younger.
The inductees also will be recognized at that week's homecoming parade on Sept. 19 and football game Sept. 21.
Six of the eight inductees will be installed as BHS alumni, one as a BPS101 staff member, and one as a friend of Batavia for loyal support and dedication to BPS101.
BHS alumni inductees
Samira Ahmed (Class of 1989)
During her four years at Batavia High School, Ahmed played on the tennis team, was editor of the BHS Spectator, president of National Honor Society, and an Illinois State Scholar. Described as a proud Bulldog at pep assemblies, she attended the University of Chicago where she graduated with joint bachelor's and master's degrees in 1993. She went on to 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 and New York Daily News and on Fox News, NBC, NY1, NPR and BBC Radio. Her creative nonfiction and poetry have appeared in Jaggery Lit, Entropy, the Fem, Claudius Speaks, the Spine Out novelists series and in anthologies.
Her first novel, "Love, Hate & Other Filters,” a coming-of-age story for young adults about growing up Muslim in America, was published in early 2018, and debuted on the New York Times Bestseller list. It is available on every continent. Ahmed will be releasing two new novels in 2019 – “Internment” and “Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know.”
Eldon Frydendall (1956)
After graduating from Batavia High School, the fourth-generation Batavian served in the U.S. Army and later attended Aurora University. He married Batavian Jo Saum in 1966. They 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.
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.
Frydendall was a Boy Scout leader for Troop 12 for many years and helped start the annual Boy Scout Christmas tree sale. He was president of the Batavia Park Board from 1976-78, president of the Batavia Chamber of Commerce in 1980, served on the Batavia MainStreet board, and volunteered his time during the construction of the Batavia Riverwalk. He represented the 5th Ward as alderman for 32 years, making him the longest-serving alderman for the city of Batavia. During his time as alderman, he was the public utilities chairman for 30 years. He serves on the Batavia Historical Society Board of Directors.
Matt Holm (1987)
Coming from a long line of Batavia alumni, Holm was a standout in baseball and football at the beginning of the Mike Gaspari era. He did his undergraduate studies at North Central College where he played football. 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 head baseball coach for BHS. In the late ’90s, while coaching both sports, Holm earned his master’s degree in history at Northern Illinois University. In 2001, he transferred to BHS. 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 Dual Credit American History, through Waubonsee Community College. In 2016, after 24 seasons as head baseball coach, Holm retired from the position with 449 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. The 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, Marshall, have joined the clan.
Sharron Moran Jauregui (1960)
A former Ladies Professional Golf Association golfer, 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 degree in social studies and biology. She planned to become a teacher and continued on to San Diego State University to earn a master's 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 athletes such as Arnold Palmer, Byron Nelson, Bart Starr, Jesse Owens and Gordon Howe. 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 golfing, she traveled the world for tournaments. She 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. She has 11 grandchildren and another on the way.
Michael Spillane (1986)
He has lived in Batavia since he was 5. He played sports throughout his childhood and continued playing football and baseball at Batavia 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 Jennifer in 1992, they had four children. 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 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.
Max Striedl (1954)
Born and raised in Batavia, Striedl was valedictorian of his Batavia High School class. He participated in football, basketball, track and field, baseball, the Latin Club and Student Council. A 1958 graduate of the University of Illinois, he earned a bachelor's degree 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's 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 BHS 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 homeless shelter, and is a coordinator for the Great Lakes Catholic Men’s Conference. He and his wife, Mary Ann, have five grandchildren.
Sue Bauer (29 years of service)
She arrived in Batavia in 1970 and embarked on a career 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 grew rapidly and within a year, the club's Mr. BHS fundraiser 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 involved in 4-H programs and is the Kiwanis advisor to Hoover-Wood School and Grace McWayne K-Kids, and the Kiwanis advisor to the Batavia High School Key Club.
When CHIP IN Batavia formed five years ago, Bauer 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.
Ron Karabowicz grew up in Chicago, graduating with a bachelor's degree in both computer science and physics from Loyola University of Chicago. He and his wife, Judy, moved to Batavia in 1986, when 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.
Growing interest among young people in competitions where robots and STEM concepts are celebrated encouraged Karabowicz to form the nonprofit organization Fox Valley Robotics/Batavia Robotics. FVR/BR encourages first- through 12th- grade students to build, program and compete with LEGO and metal robots. In 2017-18, 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.
For more information about the BPS Hall of Honor, visit BPS101.net/BPShallofhonor.