Photo of J. Neil Admire

J. Neil Admire

2008 Inductee

Dr. Admire served as an educator with distinction for over 40 years.  A teacher, superintendent, and college administrator, he made a positive impact on the lives of generations of students.  As president of Lewis and Clark Community College, he was instrumental in helping them achieve prominence as an educational institution.  Dr. Admire played a major role in raising funds to complete the Gillespie Public Library Expansion, donating time, effort, and financial assistance, all of which enabled the endeavor to become reality. …

Photo of Monica Ahrens

Monica Ahrens

School Psychologist

Photo of Kristine Alderson Lytton

Kristine Alderson Lytton

2017 Inductee

Mrs. Alderson Lytton, a 1978 graduate of Gillespie High School, and a member of the Washington State House of Representatives have dedicated most of her adult life to public services to better the lives of children and to better the community in which she lives.  Mrs. Alderson-Lytton has served on multiple local and state boards, including President of Anacortes School Board, Anacortes School Foundation, Anacortes Museum Foundation, Washington FIRST Robotics, Anacortes Senior College, Anacortes/San Juan Island Red Cross, Skagit County Community Actions Agency, and Washington Ecosystem Coordinating Board. …

Photo of Amber Allan

Amber Allan


Physical Education

Photo of Donnie Allan

Donnie Allan


Girls Track

Photo of Keri Bailey

Keri Bailey

Bus Driver

Bus Driver

Photo of Benard Baldridge

Benard Baldridge

2005 Inductee

A notable chemist and design engineer, Bernard excelled in the aerospace industry.  He had a 20-year career with General Electric Company.  During this time he worked on major defense projects and the Apollo Spacecraft systems.  In 1968 Bernard was named Quality Control Manager for aircraft and weapons systems.  He holds patents in the television industry and radar operations. …

Photo of Lisa Ballinger

Lisa Ballinger


Title Reading

Photo of Jerry Balzraine

Jerry Balzraine


Photo of Neil Balzraine

Neil Balzraine


GHS Custodian

Photo of Troy Barker

Troy Barker


Honors Calculus, Honors Pre-Calculus, Algebra II

Photo of Dalton Barnes

Dalton Barnes


Social Science
Head Football Coach


Photo of Nickie Barrett

Nickie Barrett


2nd Grade

Photo of Vanessa Barrett

Vanessa Barrett



Photo of Crystal Bartels-Stangle

Crystal Bartels-Stangle

2013 Inductee

An accomplished administrator and owner of the Goreville Family Practice Medical Clinic, Crystal has made a positive impact on her community through her endless volunteer efforts and donations to various charities.  Recognized as one of America’s Hardest Working Women by Hormel, Crystal puts in long hours at the medical clinic, is an active mother of three, and serves as Girl Scout troop leader, while being a serious couponer. …

Photo of Cathy Barylske

Cathy Barylske


Photo of Chris Bates

Chris Bates

Litchfield HS Coach

HS Boys’ Soccer Coach

Photo of Peyton Bernot (He/ Him/ His)

Peyton Bernot (He/ Him/ His)

Board of Education Member

Peyton was initially elected to the Board of Education in 2011 while he was a senior at Gillespie High School and served until 2018. Peyton rejoined the board in 2023. He obtained his undergraduate degree in political science and graduate degree in public sector labor relations from the University of Illinois. Peyton was a former staffer for the Illinois General Assembly’s bipartisan committee, the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, a former Human Rights Investigator and is currently the Grant Manager for the Rebuild Illinois Program in Springfield at the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s Office of Community Development, carrying out local public infrastructure improvements throughout the State.…

Photo of Mike Bertagnolli

Mike Bertagnolli

Teacher, Athletic Director, Dean of Students

HS Physical Education
Athletic Director
GHS Track Coach

Photo of Peggy Bertagnolli Allan

Peggy Bertagnolli Allan

2000 Inductee

An Illinois State “Teacher of the Year” and accomplished educator, she has earned both state and national recognition for her teaching excellence.  Peggy has served as a consultant on many state and national educational issues, while maintaining a “grassroots interest” in her community.

Photo of John Bertetti

John Bertetti

2000 Inductee

A retired successful general manager of Pan-American Southern Corp. and a chemical engineer, John patented four inventions.  Two were assigned to Standard Oil.  He established the Bertetti Foundation, whose charitable charter contributed to the creation of the Frank Bertetti Library and other city projects.

Photo of Michelle Bertetto

Michelle Bertetto


GMS Resource (Garde)

Christy Besserman


Bus Aide

Photo of Tim Besserman

Tim Besserman

Transportation Director

Transportation Director

Photo of Rachel Bethard

Rachel Bethard


Special Education

Photo of Dawn Biersborn

Dawn Biersborn

Special Education Supervisor

South Macoupin Association for Special Education

Photo of Timothy Biggs

Timothy Biggs


HS Business

Photo of Christina Blevins

Christina Blevins


6th Grade Science/ STEM Encore

Photo of Staci Blevins

Staci Blevins


Photo of Kathleen Bode

Kathleen Bode

2008 Inductee

An accomplished nurse and administrator in the medical field, Kathleen has served the medical community with distinction for over thirty-five years.  She was instrumental in establishing medical programs ranging from skilled nursing units to home health agencies.  In addition, Kathleen served as a missionary in the Philippines from 1959-1970.  Nursing education has greatly influenced her professional life; therefore, she plays an active role in numerous nursing organizations.…

Photo of Cory Bonstead

Cory Bonstead


HS Resource Teacher
Football Coach

Photo of Emil Borgini

Emil Borgini

2005 Inductee

As a devoted teacher, coach, and administrator, Emil dedicated his life to his school and community.  An “old school” educator who loved kids, he was actively involved in Benld and Gillespie schools for almost 30 years.  He was also active in both church and community affairs.  He was also active in both church and community affairs. …

Photo of Rachel Bouillon

Rachel Bouillon

School Nurse

Photo of Matt Brawner

Matt Brawner


8th Grade Math
GMS Grade Girls Basketball Coach
GHS Girls Basketball Coach

Photo of Nikki Brawner

Nikki Brawner


GHS Fine Arts
GMS Girls Basketball Coach
GHS Asst. Girls Basketball Coach
GMS Track Coach

Photo of Stephanie Bray

Stephanie Bray

Technology Integration Specialist

Technology Integration
GMS Student Records

Photo of Jason Brown

Jason Brown


Photo of Jennifer Brown

Jennifer Brown


Psychology, Sociology, Drivers Ed, Geography, Western Civilization
SADD/Impact’d Advisor
GHS Student Council Sponsor

Photo of Philip Brown

Philip Brown

2002 Inductee

As a dedicated Circuit Clerk, Phil tirelessly served Macoupin County for 36 years.  He was a Golden Glove Boxer for 10 years and was National Lightweight Champion in 1941.  As a decorated army veteran, he received the Purple Heart in World War II.  Phil has been acknowledged for his contributions to area boxing and will always be known as “The Champ” to his friends.

Photo of Kelly Bulla

Kelly Bulla

Special Education Teacher

Special Education Resource

Photo of Jack Burns

Jack Burns

Retired Teacher/School Board Member

Cross Country Coach

Photo of Melissa Bussmann

Melissa Bussmann


4th Grade

Photo of Andrea Card

Andrea Card

Social Worker

Social Worker

Photo of Mark Carpani

Mark Carpani

Technology Director

Photo of Bill Carter

Bill Carter

School Board Member/Secretary

Photo of Theresa Carter

Theresa Carter


Photo of Cheryl Cavallo, Ph.D.

Cheryl Cavallo, Ph.D.

2015 Inductee

Dr. Cavallo, recognized as an expert in physical medicine and rehabilitation, has served with distinction in the field.  As Chief of the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation department at St. Mary’s Health Center in Richmond Heights, Missouri, and asst. professor emerita of physical therapy at St. Louis University, she has been the recipient of several awards including the SLU Student Government Association’s “Faculty Excellence Award” five times. …

Photo of George “Red” Cavanaugh

George “Red” Cavanaugh

2000 Inductee

An outstanding volunteer to the local community and Gillespie H.S., he dedicated over 40 years to coaching and umpiring.  “Red” was a true sports fan, who willingly gave his time and effort to Gillespie H.S. athletics.  He also served as a volunteer teacher and coach at S.S. Simon and Jude Catholic School.

Photo of Janelle Cherry

Janelle Cherry

Sub Bus Driver

Sub Bus Driver

Photo of Angie Clark

Angie Clark

Special Education Teacher

Special Education Instruction

Photo of Korben Clark

Korben Clark


Physical Science, Environmental Science, Earth Science, Space Biology
HS Football
7th Grade MS Basketball

Photo of Alicia Claro

Alicia Claro


Kaylee Collins

Speech Pathologist

Photo of Steve Compton

Steve Compton

Technology Assistant

Photo of Shanna Connor

Shanna Connor


8th Grade ELA

Photo of Tara Cooper

Tara Cooper

Assistant Principal

Photo of Paula Cox

Paula Cox


Photo of Anita Crites Smith Crawford

Anita Crites Smith Crawford

2011 Inductee

As an accomplished attorney, Anita had a distinguished career in private and public law for over fifty years.  Beginning her career in private practice with her husband, she specialized in domestic relations cases.  In the early 1960’s she served as an assistant state’s attorney in Champaign County specializing in child support cases.  In addition, she served as the regional representative for the state Department of Public Aid. …

Photo of Senator Vince Demuzio

Senator Vince Demuzio

2003 Inductee

As a dedicated state politician, Vince’s career in Illinois politics started in 1974.  As “Dean of the Senate” he was ultimately elected Senate Majority Leader.  Over the past 28, years he has used his influence to bring state and federal funding to local communities.  He has been a “voice of downstate politics” in the Illinois General Assembly. …

Photo of Richard J. DeStefane

Richard J. DeStefane

2013 Inductee

Am accomplished administrator and owner of a variety of health care services, Richard has made a positive impact on his community by financially supporting a variety of non-profit organizations.  He is the owner and president of Reliant Care Group, L.L.C., which owns thirteen skilled nursing facilities in Missouri.  In addition, Richard is the chairman of the board of Surgery Center of North Central Missouri and board member of St.…

Photo of Jody Dunn

Jody Dunn


2nd Grade

Photo of Casey Edgerton

Casey Edgerton


7th Grade Social Studies/ Photography/Yearbook Encore
GMS Yearbook Sponsor

Photo of Daniel Edgerton

Daniel Edgerton


Algebra, Geometry, Transitional Math & Statistics

Photo of Cathy Edwards

Cathy Edwards

District Secretary


Photo of Louis Eilers, Ph.D.

Louis Eilers, Ph.D.

2003 Inductee

As a research chemist, Louis started his 38-year career with Eastman Kodak in 1934.  He became President in 1967 and eventually CEO and Chairman of the Board.  Eastman Kodak’s sales and earnings doubled during his tenure as president.  After retirement in 1972, he remained on the Board of Directors of Eastman Kodak and other organizations.  Louis is responsible for major contributions in film manufacturing, including the development of the Kodak Instamatic Pocket Camera.

Photo of Lori Emmons

Lori Emmons


Special Education Resource

Photo of Thomas English

Thomas English

2005 Inductee

An esteemed professor of English, Thomas’s 66-year involvement with Emory University started in 1925.  He also briefly taught at the Universities of Florida, Wisconsin, Princeton, and Yale.  At Emory University he served as a literary scholar and author.  Active in the university library, he served as the curator of the Joel Chandler Harris Collection for over 50 Years. …

Photo of Carol Enriico DeLucca, Ed.D.

Carol Enriico DeLucca, Ed.D.

2003 Inductee

A respected educator and school counselor, Carol dedicated her entire career, to students seeking higher education goals.  She served as consultant, instructor, and administrator at Napa Valley College and in 1980 founded an “educational consulting business” to assist high school students going to college.  She served on several California state educational committees and community boards.  Carol’s family has established a scholarship in her name at Gillespie High School.

Photo of Colleen Favre

Colleen Favre



Photo of Penny Feeley

Penny Feeley

Head Cafeteria

High School/Middle School

Dustin Fletcher


Sub Bus Driver

Photo of John Frew

John Frew

2000 Inductee

A retired vice-president with a distinguished 30-year career with Olin Corp, Jack is an active participant in many Alton community affairs.  As a volunteer, he has donated time to many worthwhile projects, including the United Way and the Piasa Bird project.  He serves on the Board of Directors of several River Bend businesses and organizations.

Photo of Frank Fries

Frank Fries

2001 Inductee

As an outstanding community leader, Frank first served the area as a County Sheriff and State Legislator.  From 1937-1941 he served in the U.S. House of Representatives and was instrumental in helping pass the Mine Safety Act.  He also served as an arbitrator for the Coal Operators and the United Mine Workers.  An advocate of youth activities, Frank also donated the land for the Gillespie Welfare Park.

Photo of William Frinsko Ed. D

William Frinsko Ed. D

2015 Inductee

Dr. Frinsko, an accomplished educator for over thirty years, taught at the elementary school and university levels with distinction.  William’s career included directing the Master of Arts in Teaching Program at South Releford Township at Wayne State University and, as a member of the faculty of the Illinois State University, Dr. Frinsko received the 1969 Bone Distinguished Teacher Award. …

Photo of Becky Fritz

Becky Fritz


Special Education

Photo of Robert “Bob” Fulton, Jr.

Robert “Bob” Fulton, Jr.

2017 Inductee

Mr. Fulton a 1984 graduate of Gillespie High School has earned both a B.S. degree with a specialization in Genetic Engineering and an M.S. degree, both from Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville.  Mr. Fulton began his career as a geneticist at Wahington University, St. Louis, and in 1994 joined the McDonnell Genome Institute (MGI), where he serves as the Director of Project Development and Management. …

Photo of Tammy Garde-Laboray

Tammy Garde-Laboray

Special Education Teacher

Special Education 7th Grade Resource

Photo of Amy Gerdes

Amy Gerdes


2nd Grade

Photo of Ashlee Gibbs

Ashlee Gibbs


Algebra, Geometry, Algebra II Honors

Photo of Jeff Gibson

Jeff Gibson


BES Custodian

Photo of Tina Gibson

Tina Gibson

Guidance Secretary

HS Guidance Secretary

Photo of Robyn Giesen

Robyn Giesen


Special Education

Photo of Amy Gill

Amy Gill


GHS Secretary

Photo of Darian Gill

Darian Gill


GHS Paraprofessional
GHS Cheerleading Coach
GMS Cheerleading Coach

Photo of Amy Goldasich

Amy Goldasich


English, English Honors

Photo of Mark Goldasich

Mark Goldasich


Construction Trades, Automotive, Electricity

Photo of Dr. Joseph Grandone

Dr. Joseph Grandone

2001 Inductee

A dedicated family doctor in Gillespie and the surrounding area for 47 years, “Doctor Joe” was also on the staff of local hospitals.  He was instrumental in helping establish the Gillespie Nursing Home and St. Francis Hospital.  His true dedication to his patients and community will leave lasting memories on those he faithfully served.

Photo of Kevin Gray

Kevin Gray

Head Coach

GHS Head Girls Basketball Coach

Photo of Angie Greene

Angie Greene

Special Education Speech

Photo of Gary Hagarty

Gary Hagarty

Bus Driver

Bus Driver

Photo of Janice Hammann

Janice Hammann


MS/HS Cook

Photo of Gordon G. Hartweger

Gordon G. Hartweger

2019 Inductee

A former member of Who’s Who Among American Attorneys, Mr. Hartweger graduated from St. Louis University in 1961 and returned to receive his Juris Doctorate degree in 1964.  Gordon actively served indigent defendants pro bono, served as president of the De Smet Jesuit High School Men’s Club, as well as the St. Richard Men’s Athletic Association, and was an active fundraiser for the St.…

Photo of Becky Hatlee

Becky Hatlee

School Board Member

Photo of Mark Hayes

Mark Hayes

School Board President & Treasurer

Photo of Melissa Heigert

Melissa Heigert


Photo of Charles R. Heinz

Charles R. Heinz

2009 Inductee

As an accomplished educator, Charles positively influenced the lives of many students in a variety of professional roles.  Teaching on the local and collegiate level, he was known to look out for less privileged students.  Charles’ distinguished administrative career included serving as Director of the Southern Illinois Regional Office of the Illinois State Board of Education, Superintendent of Community Unit School District #7, and Macoupin County Assistant Superintendent of Schools. …

Photo of Kim Henderson

Kim Henderson


6th Grade ELA

Photo of R. Michael “Mick” Henderson

R. Michael “Mick” Henderson

2006 Inductee

An accomplished and respected attorney, Mick has distinguished himself in a variety of legal fields.  In addition to Federal Court and Illinois Supreme Court appointments, he has been admitted to practice in Illinois and Federal Courts, as well as the United States Supreme Court.  A past board member and president of the Lawyers Trust Fund of Illinois, Mick has been instrumental in providing legal services for the poor, handicapped, and disadvantaged. …

Photo of Wade Hendricks

Wade Hendricks

Student Resource Officer

District Resource Officer

Photo of Nate Henrichs

Nate Henrichs


6th Grade Social Studies
6th Geography Encore
GHS Assistant Football Coach

Photo of Jarrod Herron

Jarrod Herron


8th Grade Social Studies/ Lego Robotics Encore
GHS Scholar Bowl
GHS Assistant Track Coach

Photo of Victor Hicken

Victor Hicken

2002 Inductee

A former “Distinguished University Professor” at Western Illinois University, Victor is one of the premier authors of history in Illinois.  He has written several journal articles and books, including the prestigious “Illinois in the Civil War,” a classic amoung Civil War historians.  He was also very active in the Illinois State Historical Society, serving as president during the 1976 Bicentennial. …

Photo of Hugh Hill

Hugh Hill

2003 Inductee

A career journalist, Hugh spent almost 50 years in Chicago broadcasting.  Through the years he has covered local, national, and international news stories.  He has won 2 Emmy Awards for news stories and various other “journalism awards.”  In 1982, the Associated Press named him the “Best News Reporter in Illinois.”  Hugh was also inducted into the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame and in 2000 he received the “Silver Circle Award” by the Chicago Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Photo of James Hlafka

James Hlafka

2001 Inductee

As an accomplished teacher and coach, Jim’s dedication and love of basketball has led him to a successful coaching career.  His greatest achievements have come as a successful Bunker Hill High School boys’ basketball coach for over 40 years.  He is a member of the Illinois Coaches Basketball Hall of Fame and one of the top ten coaches in Illinois with over 740 wins.

Photo of Anastasia Hobaugh

Anastasia Hobaugh



Photo of Tracy Hostettler

Tracy Hostettler


5th Grade

Photo of Jennifer Houck

Jennifer Houck


Special Education Instructional

Photo of Elizabeth Isaacs

Elizabeth Isaacs

2005 Inductee

As a respected literature professor, Elizabeth was affectionately known as “Mother Cornell” because of her distinguished tenure.  She taught at Cornell College for 35 years and was honored with the title of Professor of English Emerita in 1983.  She wrote a variety of published and unpublished pieces of literature and was considered a scholar of Robert Frost. …

Lance Jarman


Transportation Driver

Photo of Marcia Johns

Marcia Johns


Special Education

Photo of Christie Johnson

Christie Johnson

Special Education

South Macoupin Association for Special Education

Photo of Celia Jubelt

Celia Jubelt


5th Grade Teacher
GHS Head Coach Volleyball
GMS Head Coach Volleyball

Photo of Valerie Jubelt

Valerie Jubelt


4th Grade

Photo of Shelia Katich

Shelia Katich


Photo of Howard Keel

Howard Keel

2005 Inductee

An internationally renowned singer and actor, Howard will always be remembered as the “good-looking” baritone in such musicals as “Kiss Me, Kate,” “Showboat, ” “Annie Get Your Gun” and “Calamity Jane.”  He performed in over 30 movies in both leading and supporting roles.  Howard also starred for 10 years in the television series “Dallas” and in the Tony Award Broadway hit, “Sunrise at Campobello.”  As a recording artist, he also produced several gold record albums. …

Photo of Jacob Kellebrew

Jacob Kellebrew


GHS Fishing Coach
GHS Boys Basketball

Photo of Jessica Kelly

Jessica Kelly

Special Education Teacher

6th Grade Special Education Resource
GHS Track Coach

Photo of Joe Kelly

Joe Kelly


GHS Assistant Girl’s Softball

Photo of Rosemarry Keupper Valle, Ph.D.

Rosemarry Keupper Valle, Ph.D.

2011 Inductee

Dr. Valle was a respected educator in the fields of bacteriological research, public health, and epidemiology.  A publisher of numerous articles in professional journals, she was a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Society of Microbiology.  In 1972 Dr. Valle was elected to the Societe Internationale d’Historie de la Medicine. …

Photo of Kyle Lamore

Kyle Lamore


7th Grade Science/ Health Encore
GMS Scholar Bowl

Alicia Landreth

Bus Driver

Bus Driver

Photo of Katie Lievers

Katie Lievers


3rd Grade

Photo of Liz Logsdon

Liz Logsdon


Parent Educator

Photo of Jen Lubrant

Jen Lubrant

Birth to 3

Coordinator/Parent Educator

Photo of Jessi Luketich

Jessi Luketich


1st Grade

Photo of Alexis Lupkey

Alexis Lupkey

SMASE Paraprofessional

GMS Resource Para (J.Kelly)
Assistant HS/MS Cheer Coach

Photo of Rob Macias

Rob Macias


Physical Education

Photo of Ben Maddox

Ben Maddox

Bus Driver

Bus Driver

Photo of Amanda Manley

Amanda Manley


Photo of Matt Manley

Matt Manley


GHS/GMS Custodian

Photo of Henry “Hank” J. Marcacci

Henry “Hank” J. Marcacci

2006 Inductee

A dedicated educator and community leader, Hand taught business in Mt. Clare, Benld, and Gillespie schools.  Hank established an annual spaghetti dinner in the mid-1950s, which still serves as a major fundraiser for Benld Elementary School.  As Regional Superintendent for two terms, he initiated successful projects such as the Macoupin County Film-Co-op and the creation of a special education district. …

Photo of JIm Matesa

JIm Matesa

GHS/GMS Assistant Softball Coach

Photo of Cindy McCarty

Cindy McCarty

Bus Paraprofessional

Special Education Bus Aide

Photo of Benjamin McCullough

Benjamin McCullough


GHS/GMS Choir Director
6th Grade Music Encore

Photo of Kathy McDaniel

Kathy McDaniel

CUSD7 School Board Secretary

Photo of Holley McFarland

Holley McFarland


Health, Physical Education

Photo of Patrick Mcginthy

Patrick Mcginthy

Gillespie Middle School Principal

Photo of Jackie McKinney

Jackie McKinney


Head Cook

Photo of Kevin McNicholas

Kevin McNicholas

Social Worker

District Social Worker

Photo of Judy Melchert

Judy Melchert



Photo of Dominic Meldi M.D.

Dominic Meldi M.D.

2011 Inductee

Dr. Meldi, a widely respected physician, has established a distinguished career in internal medicine.  Considered an expert in the field of integrated health systems, Dr. Meldi is credited with developing such innovations as a patient registry.  As St. John’s Health System Board Chairman and medical chief of staff, Meldi was instrumental in the organization being recognized as the top integrated health system in the United States in 2007. …

Photo of J. Richard “Dick” Meno

J. Richard “Dick” Meno

2011 Inductee

A gifted attorney and talented musician, Dick served the Gillespie and Benld communities in professional and civic roles.  He served as the City Attorney for the City of Benld for over thirty years after graduating from the St. Louis University School of Law in 1973.  In addition, Dick was widely respected for representing impoverished individuals as a public defender. …

Photo of Ralph H. Monaghan

Ralph H. Monaghan

2019 Inductee

A true story of perseverance, Mr. Monaghan lived on his own from the age of fifteen until graduating from Gillespie High School in 1942.  Upon completion of high school, Ralph moved to Chicago to live with his sister, enrolling in Stratton Business College, and later enlisting in the United States Navy during World War II.  Mr.…

Photo of Mike Morris

Mike Morris


BenGil Elem

Photo of Chelsey Murphy

Chelsey Murphy



Photo of Marsha Mussatto

Marsha Mussatto


GMS Secretary

Photo of Shelle Needs

Shelle Needs


SMASE Special Education/ Mrs. Grosze’s Para

Photo of Jeff Nehls

Jeff Nehls

Teacher/Bus Driver

Adv. Chemistry, Chemistry, General Science, Genetics, Physics
GHS Track Coach
Half Route Bus Driver

Photo of Holly Nejmanowski

Holly Nejmanowski



Photo of Alexandria Newton

Alexandria Newton


3rd Grade

Photo of Gary Niehaus

Gary Niehaus

Sub Bus Driver

Sub Bus Driver

Photo of Holly Niehaus

Holly Niehaus

Bus Paraprofessional

Special Education Bus Aide

Photo of Paige Niemeyer

Paige Niemeyer

GHS Girls Assistant Soccer Coach

Photo of Robin Niemeyer

Robin Niemeyer

GHS Girls Soccer Coach

Photo of Darrick Orban

Darrick Orban


3rd Grade

Photo of John B. Orler

John B. Orler

2009 Inductee

As a successful teacher, principal, and superintendent in Community Unit School District #7, John made a positive impact on the lives of thousands of students.  As a teacher, he also was one of the founding members of the local teachers union.  A tireless community volunteer, John served his community in a variety of roles including as a mayor, school board member, and founding member of the Benld Gillespie Development Association. …

Photo of Shane Owsley

Shane Owsley


Photo of Sydney Owsley

Sydney Owsley


1st Grade

Photo of Brian Page

Brian Page

Maintenance Director

Photo of Whitney Page

Whitney Page

GHS/GMS School Nurse

HS/MS Nurse

Photo of Jennifer Parker

Jennifer Parker


5th Grade

Photo of Keith Parker

Keith Parker

2008 Inductee

A respected athlete, coach, and basketball official, Keith had a positive impact on high school and college athletics.  He participated in football and track and field at the University of Missouri, eventually enjoying brief career in professional football.  As a coach for over thirty-five years, Keith assisted many student-athletes in reaching their full potential as productive citizens. …

Photo of Misty Parker

Misty Parker


Photo of William “Bill” L. Parmentier

William “Bill” L. Parmentier

2019 Inductee

A respected educator and coach, Bill spent thirty-five years in education and over fifty years in coaching.  Serving the needs of students in many area schools, Coach Parmentier found success in every sport he coached.  He served as head football, basketball, and track coach at Gillespie High School while teaching physical education, American History, and driver education. …

Ashton Peacock


Photo of Tracy Petersen

Tracy Petersen


Permanent Substitute

Photo of Chase Peterson

Chase Peterson


6th Grade Math
8th Grade Boys Basketball Coach
GMS Track Coach

Photo of Jim Pickett

Jim Pickett

2005 Inductee

A successful chemist and community volunteer, Jim has excelled as a chemist, manager and Division Director for Olin Corporation.  He holds 6 U.S. patents and many international patents for ammunition-related systems.  Jim is very active in church, community, and school activities.  He was involved in the Cub Scouts and is presently Director of “The Partnership for Educational Excellence.”  In 1990, he received the 1st Ziegler Alumni Service Award from Blackburn College.

Photo of Cate Plovich

Cate Plovich



Photo of Dwayne Pomatto

Dwayne Pomatto

2015 Inductee

Mr. Pomatto’s life is the essence of the commitment to the community.  This commitment was evident in high school as he assisted in a variety of charitable events, captained the baseball team, and was the caretaker of facilities following athletic events as well as an enthusiastic participant in all pep assemblies.  Dwayne has volunteered time and effort to the Lions Club, the Coal Country Chamber of Commerce, and the Black Diamond Days Festival.

Photo of Katherine Prange

Katherine Prange


Accounting, Holocaust, English II, English II Honors, English IV Honors

Photo of Amy Price

Amy Price


1st Grade

Photo of Rachelle Prough

Rachelle Prough


Special Education 8th Grade Resource
8th Grade Encore

Photo of Amy Reiniesch

Amy Reiniesch


Photo of Teresa Remer

Teresa Remer


Photo of Sherry Ricchiardi Folwell

Sherry Ricchiardi Folwell

2000 Inductee

A distinguished educator, author, Fulbright scholar and lecturer, and award-winning journalist, her international travels have taken her on assignments throughout the world.  Sherry has covered stories in Asia, Africa, and the Balkans.  As an international media consultant, she oversees the Freedom Forum Library in Croatia, an organization striving to ensure a free press.

Photo of Joseph James Ricci

Joseph James Ricci

Inducted 2019

A decorated war hero, Mr. Ricci proudly served his country during World War II.  During his time serving with the 82nd Airborne 505, Joseph earned two Purple Hearts and two Bronze Stars for his bravery and participation at the invasions of Sicily and Normandy.  Upon leaving the military, he returned to Bethalto, Illinois, and served as a city councilman, trustee at Bethalto National Band and the Village of Bethalto. …

Peggy Jo Rice

Hearing Itinerant


Photo of Tommy Richards

Tommy Richards


GHS Custodian

Photo of Stuart Ringer

Stuart Ringer


Business Technology Concepts, Personal Finance, Introduction to Business
GMS 7th Grade Computers Encore

Photo of Ella May Roemer

Ella May Roemer


Classroom Para (Prough)

Photo of Jill Rosentreter

Jill Rosentreter

Secondary School Administrator/HS Principal

Photo of Amanda Ross

Amanda Ross

Board Member

Photo of Dr. Juanita Rule

Dr. Juanita Rule

2013 Inductee

As an accomplished and dedicated educator, Juanita positively influenced the lives of the many students she touched.  Her career was on of distinguished service as a teacher, principal, guidance counselor, special education coordinator and professor.  Juanita served her community also as president of the Springfield Council PTA, member of the Girard Chamber of Commerce, Heritage Manor Nursing Care Board, and as the Baptist Association Recreational Director, which encompassed the Springfield and Decatur areas. …

Photo of George H. Salovich

George H. Salovich

2009 Inductee

A respected educator, George served with distinction in the areas of business education and cooperative office programming.  His long tenure as a teacher in the business department of Edwardsville High School included serving as department chairman and initiation the Cooperative Office Education Program, placing students in jobs in local businesses.  In addition, George initiated a scholarship program through the Illinois Office of Education Association. …

Photo of Angela Sandretto

Angela Sandretto

Elementary Principal

Photo of Ed “Eddy” Saracco

Ed “Eddy” Saracco

2015 Inductee

As a lifelong resident of Benld, Illinois, Mr. Saracco has contributed to Community Unit School District #7 and the community in a variety of roles.  A tireless advocate for students, Ed was a teacher, coach, and administrator in CUSD #7 where he also served on the Wall of Honor and All-Weather Track Committees.  His efforts to improve his community include twenty-five years of service to the Benld Fire Department and the Benld Fire and Rescue Association.

Photo of Kara Saracco

Kara Saracco


Special Education Resource

Photo of Mindy Savant

Mindy Savant



Photo of Leanna Sawyer

Leanna Sawyer


Vocal Music

Photo of Cora Schalk

Cora Schalk

MS/HS Cook

Photo of Jami Schmid

Jami Schmid


2nd Grade

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John Schmidt

2000 Inductee

As a successful businessman and philanthropist, and as president of the William E. Schmidt Charitable Foundation, John has contributed to many educational and community projects.  He has been a major donor to the Gillespie School District, the Partnership for Educational Excellence, and other civic organizations and charities.

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Nancy Schmidt


4th Grade

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Weye Schmidt

School Board Member

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Brandi Schoen


GHS Classroom Para (Bulla)

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Kristin Schoen


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Nick Schoen

Bus Mechanic

Bus Driver

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Mary Schuette


GHS/GMS Media Services, English Novel
GHS Yearbook

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Carrie Scott


1st Grade

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Betty Sherman


BenGil Elementary

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Casey Sholtis


HS/MS Dean of Students
GHS Boys Basketball Head Coach
GHS Golf Coach

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Beth Sies

Speech Pathologist

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Zach Simon


District Band Director

Samantha Sinclair

SMASE Social Worker

Social Worker

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Dan Smith

GHS Boys Assistant Baseball

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Jeremy Smith


8th Grade Social Studies
8th Grade Encore
Head GMS Baseball Coach
Head GHS Baseball Coach

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Karissa Smith


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Michelle Smith


Biology, Advanced Biology, Anatomy/Physiology
GHS Head Softball Coach
GMS Head Softball Coach

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Mike Smith

Bus Driver

Bus Driver

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Brad Snyder

Bus Driver

Bus Driver

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Rick Spencer

2004 Inductee

A tireless community volunteer and educator, Rick has devoted his career to teaching agribusiness.  As a “master gardener, ” he has been involved in the city’s beautification plans and has also won local achievements awards.  As a sponsor of Gillespie’s successful “Future Farmers of America,” Rick has produced both district and state champions and has encouraged many to pursue careers in agriculture. …

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Rick Spencer


Part time Welding I
Sub Bus Driver

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Trish Spencer

Administrative Secretary

Administrative Secretary

Emily Steward



Photo of Kelly Stewart

Kelly Stewart


4th Grade

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Nichole Stoecker


English II, English III, English Honors

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Allison Storm

Special Education Director

SMASE Special Education Director

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Jill Strole

GHS Guidance Counselor

HS Guidance Counselor

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Lorraine Strutner


Title Reading

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Adam Tallman

GHS Vol. Asst. Baseball Coach

Photo of Kent Tarro, M.S., R.D.

Kent Tarro, M.S., R.D.

2017 Inductee

Mr. Taro, a 1971 graduate of Gillespie High School, has shown outstanding leadership in his home community as well as the rest of Macoupin County.  Mr. Tarro earned a B.S. in Business Administration from Illinois State University, an M.S. in Clinical Nutrition from the University of Illinois at Springfield, and a Public Health Leadership Institute Fellowship from Unversity of Illinois at Chicago. …

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Bradley Taulbee

Band Director

District Band Director

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Elizabeth Thackrey


7th Grade Math
GMS Student Council Sponsor
GMS Volleyball Coach

Photo of Americus “Mac” Tiburzi

Americus “Mac” Tiburzi

2008 Inductee

Dennis Tiburzi

School Board Member

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Dana Tieman

Title Teacher

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Shelsie Timmermier

GHS Volleyball Coach

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John Toigo

2000 Inductee

A successful New York advertising executive, John was the first major contributor to a Gillespie H.S. foundation.  Single-handedly, his efforts and contributions transformed a small school library into one of the distinction-the Marian Toigo Memorial Library.  Displaying his love for the children and education, he taught briefly in South America upon his retirement.

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Matthew Donald Turcol

2013 Inductee

A devoted life-long volunteer for education, civic organizations, and public service, Matt dedicated his life to helping others and making his community a better place to live.  Serving his community as an alderman and eventually mayor, Matt was instrumental in improving the lives of all within his community.  As a national officer selected to the Croatian Fraternal Union of America, Matt served as a fiscal advisor in Pittsburgh for the lodge.…

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Barb Turner


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Jackie VanDoren

Birth to 3

Parent Educator

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Michael Verticchio

2004 Inductee

A dedicated community leader and educator, Mike spent over 40 years in the field of education as a Gillespie teacher/principal and eventually Macoupin County Superintendent of Schools.  Miike’s community spirit helped bring a nursing home and “specialized handicapped services” to the area.  A lifelong area volunteer, he has served as office on several county organizations.  Mike co-invented a chemical product to absorb and deodorize spills and authored a book about life in fictional “small mining town.”

Photo of Paul Verticchio

Paul Verticchio

2001 Inductee

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Kellie Vesper

Board of Education Member

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Mike Viano

2004 Inductee

As a successful entrepreneur and community volunteer, Mike’s career has centered around the sport of “track and field.”  He was an accomplished NCAA runner at both Valdosta State and Eastern Illinois Universities.  In 1993, Mike built “First to the Finish” into a prosperous multi-million dollar “track and field” mail-order business.  He has shared his prosperity as a volunteer and sponsor in his community. …

Photo of Neil Joseph Vidmar

Neil Joseph Vidmar

2009 Inductee

An accomplished educator and author in the field of law, Neil has served with distinction in a career encompassing the interface of social science and the law, criminal law, legal malpractice, and jury systems.  Named a Russell M. Robinson Professor of Law and Professor of Psychology at Duke University in 1989, he is a prolific author of books and articles pertaining to a variety of social and legal issues. …

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Pete Visintin


3rd Grade

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James Vlasich, Ph.D

2002 Inductee

As a respected historian and author, James is a distinguished Professor of History at Southern Utah University.  He is considered one of the country’s leading baseball historians and has appeared as a guest speaker at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown and on NBC’s “Today” show.  A notable lecturer on American Indian Culture, James has received many awards, including “1998 Educator of the Year.”

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Tim Wargo


GMS Assistant Baseball Coach
GHS Assistant Baseball Coach

Photo of John G. Wargo Ed.D

John G. Wargo Ed.D

2006 Inductee

A respected educator and community leader, John’s career was one of distinguished service.  A teacher, principal, superintendent and professor, he left a lifelong positive impact on education in Illinois.  As Executive Director of the Illinois Association of School Administrators, he was instrumental in the passage of education bills into law.  In addition, John served on a variety of Illinois State Board of Education and American Association of School Administrators committees.…

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Jay Weber


Cross Country Coach

Cindy Weishaupt

Bus Driver

Special Education Bus Driver

Photo of Jasper “Jack” Wenzel

Jasper “Jack” Wenzel

2004 Inductee

As a devoted community leader and lawyer, Jack practiced law for over 40 years.  He was a decorated World War II naval pilot and was Illinois Director of Aeronautics from 1961-1972.  During his tenure, Jack helped bring improvements to Springfields Capital Airport.  Always willing to assist the hopeless, Jack was a national labor arbitrator and help negotiate the cleanup of hazardous mine waste in the area. …

Amanda Werner

SMASE Teacher

MS Special Education Teacher

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Sharon Wernle


Permanent Substitute

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Jacob West


GMS Physical Education

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Judith Wilcox Messerle

2002 Inductee

As an accomplished medical librarian, Judith has risen to the top of her career.  She was director of the St.Louis University Medical Library and in 1889 became director of the Countway Library of Medicine, one of the premier medical libraries in the world serving the Havard and Boston Medical Schools.  She has been a national consultant and has held numerous national offices in medical librarianship. …

Photo of Andrea Williamson

Andrea Williamson


Special Education Instructional
GHS Dance Team Sponsor

Photo of Kayla Wills

Kayla Wills


Introduction to Agriculture, Horticulture Science, Horticulture Production Management, Agriculture Mechanics, Agriculture Business, Agriculture Science

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Stephanie Wilson


7th Grade ELA
Student Council Sponsor

Photo of Jessica Yeager

Jessica Yeager



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Tiffany Yinger

Social Worker

Social Worker

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Edward W. Young

2006 Inductee

A respected leader in the insurance field, Edward’s career with Allstate Insurance Company spanned 33 years.  Beginning in the actuarial planning and marketing areas, he eventually held the positions of Regional, Territorial, Group, and Senior Vice-President.  A member of the American Academy of Actuaries, he received a Fellowship in the Casualty Actuarial Society in 1983.  Edward’s career culminated with an appointment to the Allstate Board of Directors in 1994 and accession to the Presidency of Allstate International in 1995.

Photo of Nikki Zenner

Nikki Zenner



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Dr Dominic Zerbolio

2000 Inductee

A physician and true family doctor, “Doc” served the people of Benld and the surrounding area for over 50 years.  He served on the Board of Directors of area hospitals and helped found Staunton Hospital.  His dedication to his medicine, his patients, and his community left many lasting memories to those he served.