The Canton Community College/Spoon River College Alumni Association hosted its annual Alumni Association Awards Reception and Athletic Hall of Fame Induction at the Canton Campus on Saturday, October 11, 2014.
Welcoming the honorees and guests were SRC President Curtis Oldfield, SRC Foundation Chair Gary Davis, and CCC/SRC Alumni Association President Denny Dalmasso.
Alumni Achievement Award
(Dr. Ruben Gayon)
family fled Cuba, shortly after Fidel Castro took power, in search of the
American Dream. Ruben is a first generation Cuban American. He was
born in Florida to Ruben and Mayra Gayon.
Ruben attended Spoon River
College from 1999-2001.
“Spoon River College was
the foundation of my education,” Ruben states. “I was very fortunate to
have gone to SRC. The teachers were very helpful and caring as well as
He also believes that his
participation in the SRC Drama Program was a great experience for his future
As owner of Gayon High
Performance Chiropractic and Rehab, Inc. in Canton, Illinois, Ruben makes a
difference in the lives of others.
Working with students has
been important to him as well. For the past eight years, Ruben has
served as the team physician for Farmington High School sports.
Alumni Achievement Award (Ken
of Canton, Illinois, graduated from Canton High School in 1969 and immediately
enrolled at Spoon River College, attending from 1969-1971. His future
wife, Nina, also attended SRC from 1971-1973.
Ken currently serves as
Executive Vice President/Chief Financial Officer at MidAmerica National Bank
where he has been employed for over 40 years. Ken’s daughter, Keely
Vollmar is a teacher at Canton High School and his son, Brian, is a structural
engineer with Morton Buildings.
Ken embodies the term
“community-minded.” He has served on numerous community organizations
throughout his life. His favorite has been the Kiwanis Club of Canton
where he was a charter member. He has served as both President and Vice
President of that charitable organization.
Ken says that “SRC provided
me the opportunity to expand my horizons by continuing my education, by
participating in extracurricular activities and through meeting new people.”
Alumni Achievement Award (Kevin
Peoria, Illinois, is in his 33rd year of teaching and coaching. He attended
Spoon River College in the Fall of 1975 and then from 1977-1978.
Since becoming an educator,
Kevin has been a teacher, co-athletic director, head boys’ basketball coach and
assistant baseball coach at East Peoria High School for 16 years and 9 years at
Peoria District 150. Currently, he is in his 8th year at Limestone
Community High School where he teaches drivers education and is the head girls’
basketball coach and the assistant boys’ and girls’ soccer coach.
Kevin has been married to
his wife Colleen for 31 years and has twins Amber and Riley Metzer who are now
age 24. Colleen is employed at District 150, while Amber is employed at
OSF and Riley is completing an internship at the Christian Center.
Kevin is very involved in
organizations and has received several awards. He is currently a member
of the Illinois High School and College Driver Education Association and a
member of the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association as well as on the Board
of Directors. He was named to the Woodruff High School Hall of Fame as a
Varsity Assistant Baseball Coach for the 1987 Team and was the 2013 IBCA
District 12 Coach of the Year.
“My time at SRC provided me with the
opportunity to develop confidence within myself both academically and
socially,” Kevin states. “It was SRC’s Ed Georgieff and Martha Strode
that led me into the education field. They provided me with the
confidence and leadership that I could make an impact in the lives of students
Alumni Achievement Award (Jane
Jane Myers, Macomb, Illinois, is the
Hospitalist Nurse Director at McDonough District Hospital. She is married
to Dr. Eldon Myers, Jr. and has two sons, Marc (Toni) Baxter of Macomb and Ryan
Baxter of Louisville, KY. She also has one grandson, Lukas.
Jane attended Spoon River College while a
student at Graham Hospital School of Nursing. She graduated from Graham
Hospital School of Nursing and received her BA and MA in Gerontology from
Western Illinois University. She is a Certified Diabetes Educator.
She has practiced in Illinois, Mississippi,
New York, Washington, and Iowa. While living in Iowa, she was honored in
2010 as one of 100 Great Iowa Nurses. She has worked in pediatrics,
medical/surgical, and intensive care units with recent emphasis on care of
patients with chronic diseases.
In her current position at McDonough District
Hospital, Jane provides administrative, case management, and communication
support to the hospitalists. She also serves as a liaison with patients,
their families, and the hospital’s nursing and ancillary staff.
Jane says, “Spoon River College, in its
unique downtown setting, provided me with a solid base in the arts and sciences
complimenting my nursing program.”
Alumni Achievement Award (Steve
Steve Moore graduated from Canton High School
in 1966. In August of that same year,
Steve entered Spoon River College at the age of 17. His stay at SRC was brief because he entered
military service when he turned 18 and spent 30 months serving his country. Most of Steve’s service was in Vietnam. When Steve came home, he returned to SRC and
graduated in 1971.
Steve credits Cyril Cavanaugh, Kathryn
Doubet, Faye Hedin, and Helen Lawson with helping him make it through SRC
successfully. Steve transferred to
Eastern Illinois and graduated with a B. S. in Education in 1973.
Steve and his wife Marcia (Pilcher) were
employed by The Highland School District where Steve taught American History
and Literature. The Highland District
received a federal grant to begin an Alternative School program designed for
students who “should be able to graduate, but for some reason had difficulty in
the regular classroom.” Through that
program, Steve took on the students that no one else wanted and helped to make
those students successful.
Steve received two Masters degrees — the first
from Eastern Illinois University in 1979 and the second from the University of
Illinois in 1982. He became part of the
adjunct faculty at Illinois State University in 1985.
After 30 years of teaching at Highland High
School, Steve retired in 2004 and he and Marcia returned to Canton to be closer
to family. The couple has one son,
Quinn, who lives in Oswego with his wife Danielle and son, Patrick.
“Spoon River College was a great place to
start,” Steve states. “The cost was low
and the instruction was exceptional. It
was my time at SRC which helped me decide to become a teacher. I would recommend Spoon River College to
anyone seeking education beyond high school.”
Outstanding Service Award (Mike
Coming from a small town, Mike Martin didn’t
think he was ready for a big university and so he chose Canton Community
College in 1965 where “you could get help and the teachers knew who you
were.” He received his degree in the
spring of 1967. Mike remembers that he attended
classes downtown where there were “a couple of pool tables, a snack area, and
lots of card games” going on.
Mike says, “Sometimes it was hard to go to
class, but I did.” He also played on the
baseball team and in intramurals like touch football and basketball at the
YMCA. He spent a lot of time watching
the CCC basketball team and a lot of time in the library as well.
Mike transferred to WIU and received a
Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree. He
student taught at Lewistown High School in 1969 and served as a volunteer coach
for the baseball and track teams. In
July 1970, he was drafted into the Army and spent 19 months in South Korea as
an MP dog handler guarding missile sites.
he was hired as a 6th grade teacher at Isaac Swan School in 1972 upon the
suggestion of his boss at Senn-Soldwedel Dairy, Mike’s lifelong coaching career
began. Over the years, Mike coached
winning junior high boys’ basketball and football and girls’ softball teams.
1982, Mike became the Junior High Girls 7th and 8th grade basketball coach and
has continued to coach at either or both levels ever since. The girls’ teams have had great success over
the years with 19 state tournament appearances.
They received 2 fourth place trophies, 3 third place trophies, 5 second
place trophies, and 4 first place trophies.
combined record for all the boys’ and girls’ teams he coached is 828 wins/308
losses. The teams have won a total of 81
tournament championships including 30 regionals, 22 sectionals, and four large
school state championships.
retired from teaching in 2002 but has never retired from coaching. He was the IBCA Girls Junior High/North Coach
of the Year in 2003 and has been the IBCA District 16 Girls Coach of the Year 5
times. In the Spring of 2014, Mike was
inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame.
Distinguished Retiree Award (Ed Georgieff)
Godfather of SRC Athletics” by BJ McCullum, Ed Georgieff’s tenure at Spoon
River College extended from 1966 to 1993.
“It was an
exciting and challenging time to be a part of the birth of an institution,”
says Ed. “It was an opportunity to work
with a talented professional group of individuals who helped take the
institution from birth through adolescence to maturity.”
many accolades and honors including being inducted into the Granite City High
School Athletic Hall of Fame in 1997. He
is also a member of the Basketball Team William Jewell College Athletics Hall
of Fame and the Spoon River College Athletic Hall of Fame. In 1973, Ed was named the NJCAA Section V
Basketball Coach of the Year.
his community as a member and past president of the Kiwanis Club of
Canton. He is also a former member of
the Canton Area Chamber of Commerce and its Ambassador Club.
Ed lives in
Canton with his wife Betty where they enjoy attending their grandchildren’s
many activities. Betty and Ed have one
daughter, Dimana Minder, (husband Mark, children Alyssa and Kyra) and one son,
Edward (wife Rhonda, children Meghan and Sarah).
is only born once,” Ed continues, “and the care given to it by all was
admirable. I will always cherish having
worked with students, faculty, administration, staff and board. Spoon River College will always be dear to my
Distinguished Retiree Award (Marian Guyton)
Eleanor Smith was born in Kansas City, Missouri in 1916. She graduated from Canton High School in
1933, skipping one full year of school.
She graduated from Monmouth College in 1937 with a B.A. degree, received
the Mortar Board Honor, was secretary of the student body, and a member of the
Kappa Delta sorority. She received her
Master’s Degree from Bradley University in 1971.
Marian began teaching in 1937 and
continued teaching in Blandinsville, Macomb, and St. Charles, Illinois until
1945. She then taught tennis for the
Canton Park District in the 1950s and 60s implementing and directing the Fulton
County Tennis Tournament for many years.
She was a journalist for the Canton Daily Ledger from 1958-1966
including a position as city editor.
From 1966-1978, Marian taught at Canton Community College/Spoon River
Marian and her husband Joseph Guyton
married in November 22, 1945. Marian
acquired three stepchildren (Joe, Jon and Mary Alice) and the couple later had
two children of their own (Sally and Tom).
Marian and Joe had 10 grandchildren.
Marian died on October 12, 1994 in
Lenexa, Kansas. Upon her death, her
daughter Sally discovered this quote from Marian in a desk drawer…
“I’m the last of a dying breed, an
independent liberal who still smokes cigarettes, who takes no pills, and who
corresponds with my adult children instead of phoning them. I neither have — nor wish to have— a
microwave, a dishwasher nor a VCR. I’m happy.”
Sports Hall of Fame
Inductee (Dr. Randy Klinedinst)
Dr. Randy L. Klinedinst participated in Cross
Country, Indoor/Outdoor Track and Field and Baseball at Spoon River College
from 1974-1976 while taking classes in the pre-medical curriculum.
After graduating from Canton High School where
he excelled his senior year in cross country as the school’s number one runner,
along with MVP honors, Randy naturally wanted to continue running in college. At the time, SRC had no cross country
program, but Coach Charlie Black convinced Randy to attend SRC on scholarship
if one was instated.
At SRC, Randy participated in many track and
field events including individual running events and several relays. He most notably ran in the 600 yard dash, 880
yard run, 800 meter run, and the 1000 yard run in which he set SRC records. At the Region IV Regional Championships held
in the Armory of the University of Illinois, he qualified for the NJCAA
Nationals each year in the 1000 yard run.
Both years, he went on to run at Nationals held at the University of
Missouri in Columbia.
While training to qualify for Nationals, he
suffered an injury where he was unable to run.
This caused him to seek chiropractic care. That experience made such a difference for
him and his performance that he calls it “A Life Changer.” He attributes his running experience at SRC
as a defining moment in his life.
Dr. Klinedinst has been
a doctor of chiropractic for over 30 years in Canton, Illinois, practicing at
Klinedinst Chiropractic. His son, Tyson,
recently joined him in his practice where they hope to make the same difference
in the lives of their patients.
Randy was awarded SRC’s
first Distinguished Alumnus award in 1983.
An interesting side
note: Randy’s wife, Samantha, and his
two sons, Tyson and Seth, all graduated with Associate Degrees from Spoon River
Sports Hall of Fame
Inductee (William “BJ” McCullum)
BJ McCullum played basketball and golf at Spoon River College and was also
an assistant coach, a head coach, the athletic director and eventually the
director of athletics and auxiliary services.
With a record of 118-98 in seven years, BJ’s basketball teams received
rankings as high as 6th in 1989-90 and 3rd in 1990-91 tying for most wins (26)
in a season and having the best winning percentage. BJ’s best record as an SRC coach was 25-7.
During his years at SRC, BJ recruited and coached six Division I athletes
including Hall of Fame members Bobby Allen and Vance Clarke. He also coached Shannon Pritchard who has the
5th most points (64) ever scored in an NJCAA game.
Two former players, Bobby Allen and Jeff Holloway, played over eight years
professionally overseas. BJ also brought
diversity to SRC by recruiting athletes from Jamaica, Canada, Russia, Israel,
the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands, and Antigua.
BJ says that when his assistant coach Jon Grzanich became head coach at
SRC, Jon “unseated me as the winningest coach in history.”
BJ served as an assistant and head coach for over 20 years at three different
colleges: Spoon River, Lincoln, and
Black Hawk East. His record was 411-276
overall and 394-266 as a head coach. His
teams played in three national tournaments and he recruited and/or coached two
National Players of the Year and 12 Junior College All Americans. Twenty five of his players went on to play
Division I Basketball and dozens of former players are educated, employed and
productive members of society.
BJ thanks Ed Georgieff for
the success that SRC athletics experienced and Martha Strode who helped teach
him the consequences of work. He most of
all thanks his parents for being role models and his wife and son who
sacrificed so that BJ could “chase his dream.”
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.