5 alumni, 2 teachers make cut
KEWANEE — The Wethersfield Academic Foundation Selection Committee has announced the five alumni and two retired teachers who will be inducted into the Wethersfield Academic Hall of Fame on Saturday, Sept. 29. The induction banquet will be held at The Kewanee Dunes.
Graduates to be inducted for 2018 are Tyler Hunt (Class of 1953), Jim Elliott (Class of 1982), Karen Oliver-Behee (Class of 1992), Mary Ann Spiegel (Class of 1982), and Gail (Brown) Frazer (Class of 1964).
Former staff members to be inducted are Robert McPheeters, English teacher and coach, and Jean Mann, elementary grade school teacher, both retired.
n Hunt, who now lives in Naperville, was as electrical engineer in the fields of space exploration, Department of Defense programs, commercial electronics and computer technology for 42 years. His career included work on the Titan missile program and helping develop the first large-scale production of a personal computer terminal for connection to the University of Illinois PLATO computer education system which introduced a personal computer for commercial applications.
n Elliott, who now lives in Fishers, Ind., has been employed for 32 years with Syngenta AG, a global agribusiness company where he has helped to increase sales from $11.3 to $20.2 million as agronomy and district manager and in transition leadership during business integration as Agronomy Services Manager. Elliott developed and established 12 Synganta Learning Centers and 60 Grow More Experience sites in the U.S. and Canada providing integrated field trial research and training programs for over 70,000 customers.
n Oliver-Behee, now of Chicago, is Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Northern Trust Corporation, an international financial services company with headquarters in Chicago. She was part of an executive team that completed an 18-month restructuring and realignment of Northern's global workforce that was strategically aligned and built on its unique cultural strengths. She previously was Executive Director of Human Resources for Health Care Service Corporation, a customer-owned health insurance company serving 15 million members.
n Spiegel, who now lives in Elmhurst, is Deputy General Counsel in charge of Ethics and Compliance for Illinois Tool Works, a Fortune 500 company based in Glenview, Ill. After graduating from Cornell Law School, she worked in the Chicago office of the global acounting firm of Coopers & Lybrand. Spiegel is also a volunteer reader with Librivox, a global web community whose goal is to make an audio recording of every public domain book through the work of volunteers. She has been sole reader on more than 50 books.
n Frazer, born Gail Lynn Brown, daughter of the late Fred and Grace Brown, of Kewanee, was the author of 25 historical mystery novels and short stories. Most of them were about a 15th century nun and part-time slueth, Sister Frevisse, and written under the pen name Margaret Frazer. Her books received several nominations for Edgar Awards from the Mystery Writers of America, and the Herodotus Award for "Best Short Story" from The Historical Mystery Appreciation Society. She lived in Elk River, Minn., and died in 2013 at age 66 from breast cancer.
n Mann was an elementary teacher at Wethersfield for nearly 30 years, retiring in 2002. She was the district's first Title I Special Reading teacher in 1971, a part-time position, then began full-time in 1974. Former student Janel Smith, remembered for her "Write On" program in fourth grade, where each week students were given a bare bones plot and told to create and write their own story. Mann selected a few to read out loud at the end of the week. After retirement, Mann continued to assist teachers and