The Canton Community College/Spoon River College Alumni Association hosted their annual Alumni Association Awards Reception and Athletic Hall of Fame Induction at the Canton Campus on Saturday, October 12, 2013.
Welcoming the honorees and guests were SRC President Curtis Oldfield, SRC Foundation Chair Gary Davis, and CCC/SRC Alumni Association President Denny Delmasso.
Alumni Achievement Awards
(Dean Clary, Crystal Dobbs, Dwight Helle, Sheila Henderson, and Bill McCamey)
Dean Clary, Lewistown, has served as the Director of Technology Services at Spoon River College since 2008. He has been married for 15 years to Anissa (Lehman) Clary and has one daughter, Isabella, age 12, and one son, Blayne, age 8. He is a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Lewistown and is the director of the Lewistown Junior Football League.
Clary attended Spoon River College from 2000-2002 before attending Devry University. Prior to him employment with Spoon River College, he was employed at Pekin Hospital where he received three Personal Excellence Awards for Service, and then advanced to the position of Manager of Information Technology and Telecommunications.
Clary was the selected as the Spoon River College Employee of the Quarter in September 2010.
“At Spoon River College, I was able to learn the skills I needed to be successful in my field. I am very glad to have had instructors that pushed me to my full potential and who mentored me. I am also very thankful to be able to work and help give back to the community in which I grew up in,” said Clary.
Crystal Dobbs, Adair, presently serves as the Leader of Obstetrics and Gynecology at McDonough District Hospital in Macomb. She is married to Jerad Dobbs and they have two children, Makalie, age 10, and Chase, age 6.
Dobbs attended Spoon River College from 2004-2006 and received her Associate Degree in Nursing. She is currently pursuing a B.S. in Nursing Degree.
While a student at Spoon River College, Dobbs received the Student Nurse of the Year Award and the Florence Nightingale Award. In 2009, she received the McDonough District Hospital Apple Award. She is currently a member of the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses.
“SRC has proven very beneficial. When I graduated with my ADN in 2006, I knew that I was prepared for whatever came at me. I began working Obstetrics as soon as I graduated and have fallen in love with my profession. When I began taking general education courses to obtain my Bachelor’s in Nursing, I once again turned to SRC because I was confident that it would be able to provide me with everything that I needed. I was appointed the leader of Obstetrics and Gynecology in March of 2013 and I am currently enrolled in the BSN program at Western Illinois University,” said Dobbs.
Dwight Helle, Farmington, is the senior engineer of Sawmill Hydraulics, Inc. in Farmington. He and wife Joyce are the parents of Joyce Maree Rizer, Douglas Helle, and Christopher Helle. The couple has five grandchildren.
Helle is a member of many civic and fraternal organizations including the Farmington Rotary, where he received the Paul Harris Fellow Award. He has served on several boards including the Fulton County Rehabilitation Center, the SRC Foundation, the Farmington Betterment Association, the Farmington Chamber of Commerce, the Destroyer Escort Sailors Association, and is a life member of the American Legion. He also was a founding member of the Farmington Italian Fest Committee.
Dwight attended Spoon River College from 1962-1964 when it was known as Canton Community College.
“My time at SRC was a very delightful period in my life as it filled the gap between high school and the US Navy. All of my credits transferred to Bradley University where I received my Bachelors degree in 1976. The fond memories are all about the people...great students like Ray LaHood and wonderful teachers like Ed Fitzgibbon and Daisy Mae Cody. We only had three classrooms, but it was home to us. It was there that I walked out of the library on November 22, 1963 and heard the kids wondering aloud what kind of President Lyndon Johnson would be,” said Helle.
Sheila Henderson, Canton, began her career at MidAmerica National Bank in 1978 as a teller. Today she is the Retail/Operations Officer for the bank, and is a member of the Executive Management Team.
Henderson resides in Canton with husband Jerry. They are the parents of Kara, Ryan, Amanda, and Dustin, and grandparents to Madelyn, Colin, Johah, Kael, and Ava. They also have the “cutest beagle ever, Maggie Mae.”
Henderson’s road to a degree was non-traditional.
"My class time at SRC was not the normal time span, so to speak. I first attended SRC right after high school, full-time for the first year in 1977-78. Then I decided to work full time, so I spent the next 12 years taking evening courses at SRC. It took 12 years for me to complete my second year but I finally earned my associate degree in 1990. I really enjoyed the instructors at Spoon River College and I met a lot of people of all ages.”
Henderson is a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, serves as treasurer for the Kiwanis Club of Canton, and is a member and treasurer of the Class of 1977 committee. She was presented the Kiwanian of the Year Award in 2004.
Bill McCamey, Canton, has taught for the National Fire Academy, been a Canton firefighter, a police officer, an investigator, a paramedic and, for the past 32 years, a professor emeritus at Western Illinois University.
McCamey’s professional career coincides with his multiple academic degrees. He holds an Associate degree in Science from Spoon River College, was a chemistry major at Bradley University, has a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Western Illinois University in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration, and a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa in Higher Education Administration.
McCamey’s work in criminal justice education includes the chairing of student theses and hearings, developing college standards for courses, authoring 30 referred criminal justice and fire science articles, and the authoring of four textbooks, the latest of which is due out in 2014. He is a past recipient of the Professor of the Year Award at WIU.
McCamey is also very active in civic organizations. He is a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church where he is a Eucharistic Minister. He is a trustee of the Cuba Fire Protection District Board and a State Director of the Illinois Association of Fire Protection Districts, and a former member of the SRC Board of Trustees.
McCamey is the son of Toby and the late William H. McCamey. He and his wife Jody have two daughters, Diana (Troy) Eeten and Becky (Dan)Buchan, and six grandchildren.
McCamey, who said his most memorable time at SRC was having Larry Overcash as his Chemistry lab partner, shared his personal philosophy.
“There comes a time in your life when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Forget the bad and focus on the good. Love the people who treat you right; pray for the ones who don’t. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life; getting back up is living.”
Distinguished Alumni Award
(Dr. Larry Frank Overcash)
Dr. Larry Overcash is entering his 28th year of private practice in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Following his pursuit of an M.D. at the University of Illinois and an internship at St. John’s Mercy Medical Center in St. Louis, he began his practice in 1986 with the late Dr. Harry N. Ores. In 1999, Overcash and Dr. Ores formed the Women’s Health Institute.
Overcash is a member of the American Medical Association, Illinois State Medical Society and the Peoria Gynecologic Society. He maintains active staff privileges at OSF Saint Francis, Methodist Medical Center/Unity Point of Illinois and Proctor Hospital. He is on the Board of Directors at Peoria Day Surgical Center, and is a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Illinois College Of Medicine mentoring medical students and residents.
Overcash farms more than 700 acres with his father and brother, and he and wife Susan are busy dismantling, restoring, and raising a vintage Fulton County barn – once used by his grandfather and thought to be built in the 1800s – which will serve as their home in Tazewell County. He calls the work a “labor of love.” He enjoys hunting and spending time outdoors with his two sons (Luke and Ty), his daughter (Tess), their spouses and children.
Overcash recalls SRC moving from downtown Canton to the new campus and being the first student member to the Board of Trustees, where he helped shape a new college governance system. Dr. Gary King, his collegiate role model, hired him as a chemistry lab assistant and Overcash spent most of his winter break moving the lab to the new campus. He was elected to the student council and even witnessed students “streaking” through the woods behind the cafeteria. With the help of Ketric Klingman, he formed a six member pep band that played at home basketball games. Overcash considers the instructors at SRC the very best and to this day, he encourages youth to begin their experience at a junior college. “In today’s world, it should be a requirement,” he states.
Distinguished Retiree Award
(Monill McClure and Willa Stroman-Schnarr)
Monill McClure taught at the SRC Macomb campus from 1979 to 2011. While at the college, she received the H. Truman Standard Outstanding Faculty Award in 1995 and 2005, was an Illinois Community College Faculty of the Year Nominee in 1988 and 1995, received the SRCFA Dedicated Service Award in 2005 and was also recognized as an SRC Employee of the Month.
While at SRC, McClure was Chair of Curriculum committee, All College Senate, and the SRC Faculty Association and its Executive and Peer committees. She was active in the Association of Career and Technical Education and the Illinois, National, and Western Illinois Area Business Education Association. McClure served as a member of BPW, the McDonough District Hospital Auxiliary, and the Frist Christian Church of Macomb.
McClure resides in Macomb with her husband Kent. They are the parents of son Matt (Jamie) and grandparents to Lauren, Sam, Madeline, and Eli.
“The people and the chemistry at the Macomb campus made nearly every day fun. We all worked together, regardless of position. If the bookstore was swamped with book buy-back or beginning of semester demands, it was not uncommon to see instructors, administrators, and maintenance people helping out. I also made good friends on the Canton campus as well. My best advice to anyone working there is to get involved. The time I spent on committees was how I got to know how the college operates. Yes, I love retirement, but I definitely miss the people,” McClure said.
Willa Stroman-Schnarr attended Canton Community College from 1965 to 1967, and then was employed by the College for more than 30 years, retiring in 1999. She began as the bookstore manager and in the business office, and was also the Director of Auxiliary Services for two years. She served as President of the SRC Classified staff, was an advisor for the College’s newspaper The Lancer, and was a member of the SRC Alumni Association.
Stroman-Schnarr is a member of the Maples Mill United Methodist Church, where she has taught Sunday and Bible schools. She is a member of Love, Inc., is a former hospice volunteer and a former superintendent of the Fulton County Fair.
Stroman-Schnarr and her husband Harold enjoy traveling, going to auctions and flea markets, trying new recipes, and spending time with their four dogs. They are the parents of Nick Stroman and Brett, Bob, and Phillip Schnarr.
“When SRC moved from downtown Canton to the new campus, I was fortunate to help design the new bookstore where students would have a ‘store’ to call their own with textbooks, SRC shirts, school supplies and gifts in a true college atmosphere. It was a great experience to watch SRC grow to serve Macomb, Havana, and Rushville as well. In addition to working with a wonderful group of co-workers for 33 years, I truly miss interacting with students. Their enthusiasm and energy made each work day unique and invigorating. Thirty-three years of great people, great memories, it was such a big part of my life,” said Stroman-Schnarr.
Outstanding Community Service Award
(Jenny Beal and Carol Blackfelner)
Carol Blackfelner and Jenny Beal have enjoyed serving as the coordinators for the Spoon River College Foundation/Parlin-Ingersoll Library community wide reading program since its inception in 2007. Formerly known as The Big Read, Spoon River Reads strives to bring the community together to read, discuss and celebrate great literature. 2013 marks the seventh year area communities will have the opportunity to participate in over twenty events designed to promote an appreciation for the chosen book. This year Spoon River Reads presents John Steinbeck’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel, The Grapes of Wrath.
Blackfelner and Beal are both retired educators from the Canton Schools. Blackfelner taught in the primary grades for 34 years and Beals taught science in middle and high school for 24 years. They have been instrumental in developing successful students, as well as successful schools. Blackfelner developed the Westview Outdoor Education Classroom, served on the Westview Blue Ribbon School Committee in 2004, served as the second grade teacher chair from 1990-2003, is a past president of the CEA and was awarded the Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year award in 2004.
Beal was a member of the action team resulting in Ingersoll Middle School being recognized as a national Horizon School in 2005. She served as the science department chairperson from 2000-2006 and on the steering committee developing Outward Ingersoll, a three day environmental adventure program for all eighth graders that has continued since1997.
The sisters have called Canton “home” for most of their adult lives. Raised in a close knit family in Chenoa, a small McLean County farming community, their parents showed by example the importance of serving your community. Blackfelner and Beal were recipients of the YWCA Woman of Achievement Award in 2009. They are both active members in a number of civic organizations and at Wesley United Methodist Church. Blackfelner is currently the chairman of the Fulton County Health and Wellness Board, and Beal is a past board member and chairman for the Fulton County Habitat for Humanity Chapter and currently serves on the Spoon River College Foundation Board.
Blackfelner and her husband Loren enjoy traveling and time with their children and five grandchildren who all reside in Canton. Beal and her husband Bruce also enjoy traveling and visiting their family in Scottsdale, AZ and Golden, CO. They have one grandson.
For more information on the Alumni Association or to nominate an individual for 2014, visit www.src.edu/foundation/Pages/alumni.aspx. Additional pictures of the event can be seen on the Spoon River College Facebook page.
Athletic Hall of Fame Induction
(1980 Men’s Cross Country team was inducted).
Members of the team were Mike Adams, Willy Adams, Mark Ford, Jon Juraco, Vern Keller, Ken Krock, Rich Smith, and Larry Taylor.
With Charlie Black as their coach, the team had the most successful season in the College’s history. In 1980, the team had five first-place finishes, two second-place, won the Region IV Regional Championship, and finished the NJCAA National Championship in 11th place.
That successful year resulted in Black being named Coach of the Year and seven runners competing in the National Championship race. Charlie Black was inducted into the SRC Athletic Hall of Fame last year, as was Rich Smith.
For information about nominating a team or an individual for next year’s Athletic Hall of Fame Induction, visit www.src.edu/foundation/Pages/alumni.aspx Additional pictures of the event can be viewed on the Spoon River College Facebook page.