From bachelor’s degree to Ph.D.

Photo: Lucas Foguth, of Elburn (bottom right) is pictured with his family. Photo by Sandy Kaczmarski

Local prodigy awarded fellowship from Massachusetts Institute of Technology
by Sandy Kaczmarski
Elburn—When a student is awarded a full fellowship from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), it’s certainly an impressive accomplishment, given that MIT is widely considered among the most prestigious universities in the world.

Such an opportunity might be expected when the student completes his undergraduate work by graduating summa cum laude from Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Mich., with a 3.94 grade point average.

But what’s truly astounding is this student— Lucas Foguth of Elburn—is only 19. And he’s beginning work toward his Ph.D. next month doing research.

“It’s very selective to go straight (from a bachelor’s degree) to a Ph.D. program,” said Bob Foguth, Lucas’s dad. “His scores were right at the top.”

A quiet young man with a smile on his face, Lucas said there was nothing particularly special about his education that put him in such an elite educational class.

Lucas and his three younger sisters—Rebekah, 18; Rachel, 16; and Sarah, 11—are all home-schooled by their mother, Shelly. Bob said she loves nothing more than teaching kids to read, but did nothing special to promote advanced learning.

Lucas did attend pre-school, and was disappointed when his mother suggested he stay home the next year to begin the first-grade curriculum when he was 5, putting him one year ahead of other children.

Shelly said it wasn’t until he took advanced classes in chemistry at Waubonsee Community College at age 15 that Lucas realized his potential.

“That was the light bulb,” she said.

It was a turning point for Lucas.

“I actually had my life planned out,” he said. “I was going to go to Franciscan University of Steubenville, get my degree in Theology, and then I was going to become a priest.”

The family attends St. Gall Catholic Church in Elburn. When Lucas was contacted by Michigan Tech during his senior year in high school, he said he did a lot of praying to figure out what he should do.

“I found God was calling me in a different way, and figured I was supposed to go to Michigan Tech,” he said.

By the time Lucas graduated from high school just before his 17th birthday, he had 35 college credits to transfer to Michigan Tech, where he finished his degree in three years.

“In chemical engineering, there’s a four-year progression of classes,” Bob said. “So almost nobody gets out early in chemical engineering.”

Surprisingly, Lucas said he wasn’t the youngest on campus; there was a girl two months younger who was also a student.

Lucas said the research program he’s starting this summer is “on the pharmaceutical side of chemical engineering.”

“It sounds really interesting,” he said. “But we’ll see if I enjoy it.”

So, how does a young man who had a pretty normal and unremarkable childhood end up with such a bright future?

“Homeschooling gave him good study habits,” Bob said. “But he’s a disciplined kid to begin with. He’s very focused.

“And he found something he really likes to do.”

Editor’s note: This story first appeared in last week’s edition of the newspaper. However, in that version, the Elburn Herald replaced “Massachusetts” with “Michigan” when referencing MIT. Since the crux of the story is that a local 19-year-old earned a fellowship at one of the most prestigious universities in the world, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), we both apologize for our initial error and are more than happy to reprint the correct article in full.

Graduates, families invited to baccalaureate

KANELAND–Kaneland High School’s 2011 graduates and their families are invited to attend the class of 2011 Kaneland Community Baccalaureate on Tuesday, May 24, at 7 p.m. in the Kaneland High School auditorium.

There will be a senior slide show, student testimonies, special music and a speaker from the community. Graduates should arrive by 6:30 p.m. with their caps and gowns.

Kaneland High School Baccalaureate is sponsored by Christ Community Church’s Blackberry Campus, Lord of Life Church and Village Bible Church’s Sugar Grove Campus’s student ministry groups.

Board recognizes staff with 25 year of district service

KANELAND—The Kaneland School Board on Monday recognized and provided a gift to Kaneland High School teachers Doug Ecker and Kurt Green, and Blackberry Creek teacher Lynda McGowen, for their 25 years of service in the school district.

According to a memo from Kaneland Superintendent Jeff Schuler, the district thanked Ecker, Green and McGowen for their dedication and the many lives they have touched in 25 years of teaching.

WCC becomes approved provider of national solar energy test

Photo: It was a sunny day this past October when Waubonsee Community College’s photovoltaic array was installed on the Sugar Grove Campus. The college was recently approved as a North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) PV Entry Level Exam Provider. Courtesy Photo

SUGAR GROVE—While its first courses started running just this semester, Waubonsee Community College’s photovoltaic program has already achieved an important milestone—it has been approved as a North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) PV Entry Level Exam Provider.

Upon completion of Waubonsee’s three photovoltaic courses, “Introduction to Photovoltaic Systems,” “Photovoltaic System Selection and Design,” and “Installing and Maintaining Photovoltaic Systems,” students will be eligible to sit for the NABCEP exam. By passing the exam, students demonstrate their knowledge of the fundamental principles of photovoltaic systems and mastery of the 10 learning objectives set out by NABCEP.

“Students who can prove their skills to an employer by passing this test have a distinct advantage in the workplace,” said Dr. Paul Hummel, Waubonsee’s dean for technology, mathematics and physical sciences. “Given the relative newness of the photovoltaic industry, such proof takes on added importance.”

Photovoltaic systems convert sunlight into electricity. Funded by a grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation, Waubonsee installed its own ground-mounted photovoltaic array on the north side of the college’s Sugar Grove Campus in October. The outdoor array, 12 indoor lab stations and mock-up of a roof-mounted array system are all used in the college’s photovoltaic curriculum, which includes three courses and two certificates.

The basic “Introduction to Photovoltaic Systems” course will be offered this summer at the Sugar Grove Campus. The course meets from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from June 6 to July 29.

For more information on Waubonsee’s photovoltaic program and other renewable energy technologies courses, visit or call (630) 466-7900, ext. 2319.

New President

Ema first female president of St. Charles Sportsment’s Club
by Lynn Meredith
ELBURN—When Andrea Ema was going through a transition time in her life, she was looking for something she could do that she really enjoyed. After taking a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) course called “Becoming an Outdoor Woman,” she knew she’d found it. She started learning how to shoot a rifle and pursue other outdoor sports. Today she is the first female president of the St. Charles Sportsmen’s Club in Elburn.

“When you break that first target, it’s just so exciting,” Ema said. “I didn’t take it up until my daughter left home. I wanted to find something I really enjoyed. It’s challenging. It’s social.”

Ema compares the fun of shooting at moving targets, like trap and skeet, to golf.

“It’s focus, focus, focus. It’s 90 percent mental, like golf. Eventually you get the technique down, and then you blend it with the focus,” she explained. “It’s really a competition with yourself.”

Having been raised around guns in her childhood in Idaho and Michigan, where hunting and shooting are very common, Ema didn’t have any formal training until she joined a shooting club eight years ago, eventually finding her way to St. Charles Sportsmen’s Club. There she found a group of women who also wanted to shoot.

“My problem as a single woman was to find a group to go be with and be comfortable with. I found that at St. Charles,” she said. “I found a women’s group. It was nice to have that little back up.”

Today there are roughly 20 women who shoot, many of them wives of husbands who also shoot. The club invites anyone to come on the third Saturday of the month to take a beginning class to get them started on shooting as a sport. The class is open to the public.

The club has about 500 full members and 800 shooting members, with people coming from as far away as Chicago. It has various levels of memberships, but does hold special events that are open to the public, like the Paralyzed Veterans Association shoot in June, as well as events whose proceeds go to charities like the Special Olympics. The club is membership-owned and operated with volunteers giving their time and money to keep it going.

The club began in St. Charles with 175 members. As that area became developed, the club purchased 70 acres west of Route 47 on Keslinger Road. The facility has seven lit trap fields, a lit skeet field, sporting clays course, rifle and pistol range, 1.5-acre stocked pond and a clubhouse.

“We try to be good neighbors. We don’t start shooting until 9 a.m. and are done by 10 p.m. We make sure that nothing leaves the property (shells, etc.). Our quiet days are Easter and Christmas,” Ema said.

She said that their club has been “grandfathered in,” in terms of the noise ordinances in Elburn.

“The great thing about the club is no matter where you come from, no matter how much money you have, nobody knows that when you get out into the field. No one’s going to say anything if you miss a target,” Ema said. “Shooting is fun. Breaking targets is fun.”

For more information on special events open to the public and membership opportunities, visit

Special event
open to the public

Paralyzed Veteran’s of America (PVA)
15th Annual National
Trapshoot Circuit

June 17-19
St. Charles Sportsmen’s Club
The event is open to all shooters.
The cost is $160 for 300 targets
and 300 shells, two breakfasts,
two lunches, a banquet

Call (630) 365-9881 or
for more information

State could sink village budget

Anderson calls for community support to keep village funds
by Lynn Meredith
ELBURN—Village President Dave Anderson will head to the state capital in Springfield this week to voice his concerns about pending legislation, and he called for the community to join in and express their views as well. The proposed legislation would rescind the Local Government Distributive Fund (LGDF), which gives back to municipalities a portion of the income tax collected by the state.

Anderson encourages citizens to call or e-mail representatives to make it clear that this legislation would adversely affect Elburn and communities like Elburn whose populations have tipped the 5,000 mark.

“E-mail (state Senator) Chris Lauzen. Write him a letter. E-mail (state Representative) Kay Hatcher. Write her a letter. This should not be happening. We have a group here (the Village Board) that’s been pretty financially astute in dealing with issues as they come up. This is going to be tough,” Anderson said.

He said that if the legislation passes, it will keep over $130,000 that was collected in income taxes from Elburn residents, the equivalent of 30 percent of the village’s budget.

“It’s your money coming back to you if you live in the village of Elburn. The village of Elburn provides snowplowing, water and sewer … The state of Illinois doesn’t provide it,” he said. “We’re not going to plow snow at two inches. We may not plow it at six inches …We’ve got to pay our bills. We’re not going to put ourselves in debt.”

The LGDF was established in 1969, when municipalities agreed with then-Gov. Oglive to support a state income tax on the condition that municipalities receive back a portion of monies collected from their residents.

Our local representatives
State Representative Kay Hatcher
50th District
Springfield Office: (217) 782-1486
District Office: (630) 553-3223

State Senator Chris Lauzen
25th District
Springfield Office: (217) 782-0052
District Office: (630) 264-2334

Kaneland grad to return from Afghanistan

Photo: Gen. David Petraeus (left) and Private First Class Thomas Leonard. Courtesy photo

AFGHANISTAN—U. S. Army Private First Class (PFC) Thomas Leonard, 24, recently returned home from a one-year tour of duty in Afghanistan. He is a Kaneland High School graduate.

PFC Leonard joined the Army in November 2009. He is a Combat Engineer with the 2nd Engineer Battalion based in White Sands, New Mexico. A Combat Engineers’ job is to clear the paths and roadways of IEDs and bombs.

PFC Leonard was deployed to Afghanistan on May 2, 2010. He was injured in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) explosion on Sept. 19, 2010, that critically injured another soldier during combat operations. PFC Leonard was blown 20 feet from the blast and suffered a severe concussion and shrapnel to the neck. Despite his injuries, he saw a fellow soldier severely injured and rendered life saving aid. For his actions, PFC Leonard was awarded the Army Commendation Medal with Valor by General David Petraeus. He was also awarded the Purple Heart for his injuries.

PFC Leonard is a father of one and lives in Aurora.

Village approves non-standard pavement amendment

by Keith Beebe
SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday voted 5-1 to approve a text amendment allowing the use of non-standard at-grade pavement in driveway right-of-way aprons.

According to a document from Community Development Director Richard Young, contractors and homeowners over the last few years have requested permission to match their driveway apron, located in the village right-of-way, with their driveway material.

The document also states that several municipalities in the area use non-standard pavement materials such as stamped concrete, colored concrete, stamped asphalt and brick pavers in the right-of-way.

With the new amendment, non-standard at-grade pavement will be allowed in village right-of-ways if the property owner files for a building permit, as well as a “Non-Standard Pavement ROW Permit Agreement and Covenant,” which means the owner agrees that the village is not responsible for the cost of any non-standard pavement materials, even if said materials are damaged by the village during right-of-way work.

Trustee Bob Bohler voted against the amendment.

“I don’t think this is a good idea. I don’t know what recourse we’re going to have,” he said. “Let’s say that apron does go to hell, and water starts corroding underneath and damaging our roadway or damaging our gutter. How are we going to go back after the homeowner? First of all, we’re not going to be fixing the apron, which is brick. What recourse do we have to repair this? I think it’s a horrible idea.”

The issue of subsequent homeowners having to agree to non-standard pavement terms with the village was also posed during the meeting. Trustee Mari Johnson said if the village is going to allow something out of the ordinary, the onus needs to be on the homeowner and the future homeowner, as well.

Approval of the amendment is subject to attorney review.

Library Friends help celebrate summer reading program

by Keith Beebe
SUGAR GROVE—It’s unlikely that William Shakespeare had the Sugar Grove Library Friends’ “A Midsummer Knight’s Read” reading program theme in mind when he penned the comedy “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in the 1590’s. Nevertheless, Shakespeare still would’ve certainly appreciated the hard work and sheer artistry that has gone into the Library Friends’ summer reading program this year.

After all, this program includes a reading castle constructed inside of the library, and it’s protected by dragons … sort of.

The plywood castle is 12 feet high and 12 feet wide, and was built by Mike Sawicki of DNM Builders, INC. Sawicki’s wife, Donna, painted the castle, which also features a painted knight and princess with head cut-outs so people can pose and look the part of a medieval warrior or maiden.

Library staff used the “Dragon Maker’s Handbook,” by Dan Reeder, to construct the dragons by hand.

Donna said she and her husband began the castle project in late March/early April, and started taking measurements to make sure the castle fit exactly where the Library Friends intended the structure to go.

“It fit perfectly,” she said. “I (initially) drew it out on the plywood for my husband and painted it while it was in pieces, and then my husband put it together in the library,” Donna said. “I pretty much painted throughout the month of April. His (job) was probably the quickest part.”

Donna, a skilled artist who helps run Mike’s building business, as well as her own Simply Donna Designs business, was recommended for the project by her neighbor, Ken Wiesner, a Library Friends member who was aware of Donna’s painting prowess. Donna then met with library staff and began working out the details of the castle.

“I do all kinds of artistic things. I’ve done murals, and I do graphic design,” she said. “So I drew up a sketch of an idea we could put together, and the (Library Friends) liked it, so we started building it. They said they wanted it to be a faНade so that people could walk through it.”

Sugar Grove Library Friends President Pat Graceffa said the Library Friends are thrilled to once again work with the library to provide the summer reading program to library patrons.

“Our members and local businesses have really stepped forward to support the program, both financially and with their time, to make this year’s program the best ever,” she said.

The Sugar Grove Library’s summer reading program begins June 11.

Elburn Lions May 2011 Calendar Raffle winners

Elburn—The following were $25 winners in the Elburn Lions Park May 2011 Calendar Raffle winners: Tom Reynolds, ATM & Tar, Harry Neely, Brody Guthrie, Lou Drendel and Jim Yurachek, all of Elburn; Ray Polte of Hoffman Estates, Ill.;Tracey Pankow, Jenny Lienau and Regina Kurth, all of Geneva; Dave Kleckner of Sycamore, Ill.; Ed Drafke of Hinckley; Karen Gholson and Reed Overhaug of Oswego, Ill.; Frank Kreuger of Marengo, Ill.; Dan Gallagher of Homewood, Ill.; Linda Torres of Batavia; Mike Gentile of Lombard, Ill.; Justin Maggs of Montgomery, Ill.; Meghan Cairns of Carol Stream, Ill; Samantha Callaghan of Maple Park; Cheryl Regner of Hales Corners, Wisc.; John Jackson of DeWitt, Iowa; and Duncan Gilkey and Loyal Order of Moose #5 of DeKalb, Ill.
The following were $50 winners: Tar & Chip and Kyle McKittrick of Elburn, Lindsey Chron of Northbrook, Ill., and John Biernat of Green Oak, Wisc.
The $150 winners were Andy Gebel of Davis Junction, Ill., and Beth Robertson of Wheaton, Ill.

Church news for May 20

Swedish pancake
breakfast planned

BATAVIA—”Simply Swedish … Simply Good” is the theme of the 12th annual benefit Swedish Pancake Breakfast, presented by the Swedish American Children’s Choir on Saturday, May 21, from 9:30 a.m. to noon at Bethany Lutheran Church, 8 S Lincoln St. in Batavia.
Also available will be a bake sale, Scandinavian gift items and live Swedish music, including a brief performance by the Swedish American Children’s Choir. All proceeds from the event will be used to defray expenses for the choir’s tour fund.
Breakfast tickets are by reservation only, and carry-out orders are available.
Tickets are $11 for adults, $6 for children 4-10 years old, and under 4 are free.
Call the choir office (630) 414-9700 for reservations.

St. Gall Church to hold pancake breakfast
ELBURN—St. Gall Church will hold a pancake breakfast on Sunday, May 22, from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
The Boy Scouts of St. Gall Parish will prepare the pancake breakfast. Donations to the St. Vincent de Paul Society of St. Gall are requested.
St. Gall is located at 120 W. Shannon Street. Call (630) 365-6030.

Union Church hosts
World War II Radio Hour

NORTH AURORA—Union Church, 405 W. State St. in North Aurora, will honor all veterans with a World War II Radio Hour concert presented by The Festive Singers on Sunday, May 22, at 7 p.m.
Come and enjoy the music and stay for fellowship with light refreshments after the performance. There will be a love offering taken with the proceeds going to the Hines Veterans Hospital. Call (630) 897-0013 for more information.

Faith Baptist
offers spring luncheon

Geneva—The Ladies of Faith Baptist Church in Mill Creek in Geneva will host “Variety is the Spice of Life” at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 28. This spring luncheon will provide great food and fellowship, as well as entertainment and door prizes. The event is free.
RSVP at (630) 845-2532, by Sunday, May 15.

KHS Prom Court

The Kaneland High School 2011 Prom Court includes Brian Dixon (left to right), Hayley Guyton, Michael Caballero, Hannah Schuppner, Queen Sophia Blank, King Curtis Secrest, Princess Amanda Schiff, Prince Corey Landers, Elaine Cannell, Christian Limbo, Allie Grossman and Drew French. Courtesy Photo

Board votes to approve handbook changes

KANELAND—The Kaneland School Board on Monday voted 7-0 to approve changes made to the Food Service, Transportation, and Support Staff Handbooks on first reading.

According to a memo from Kaneland Superintendent Jeff Schuler, per the language in the handbook, recommended changes in policy or practice are reviewed by district directors in March and April. The changes are then brought to the Board of Education for review prior to June 1 each year. Once approved, the changes are posted and distributed electronically to employees.

The memo also states that changes made to the food service and transportation handbooks are reviewed with employees at the start of each school year.

‘Kaneland Celebrations’ continues

KANELAND—The Kaneland School Board on Monday continued its “Kaneland Celebrations” series by viewing presentations from John Shields Elementary and Blackberry Creek Elementary.

The John Shields portion featured “Biography Museums” presentations from students who were required to research a famous person who influenced society and create a speech detailing the person’s life and work.

Blackberry Creek’s presentation featured the creation of a school “Reading Cafe,” where students are able to relax on couches and read books.

Fox Valley Career Center will wrap up the “Kaneland Celebrations” series with a presentation at the next School Board meeting.

Four-midable outing for Lady Knights track at Sectional

Photo: Brooke Patterson manages to clear the bar during Thursday’s Class 2A Track Sectional in Ottawa, Ill. Patterson helped the Lady Knights qualify for State in four events for this weekend at Eastern Illinois University. Photo by Ben Draper

by Mike Slodki
OTTAWA—KHS girls track followers will have four reasons to visit Charleston, Ill., this May.

With an eighth-place showing at this past Thursday’s Class 2A Sectional at Ottawa Townahip High School, Kaneland girls track saw a State Qualifiying effort in four separate events on Thursday, and will be sending six girls to the IHSA State Final on the campus of Eastern Illinois University.

Senior Brooke Patterson qualified in the pole vault with a third-place finish.

“Brooke has gotten better technique-wise at the pole vault,” KHS coach Doug Ecker said. “She’s been a lot more consistent.”

The 4×800 meter relay unit of senior Kris Bowen, senior Andie Strang, freshman Sydney Strang and Zick finished fourth, good enough for State qualification.

Meanwhile, the elder Strang returns to the State gathering once again after a fourth-place nod in the 1600m run.

Freshman Lauren Zick qualified in the 400 meter dash with a third-place finish.

In the finals, Zick finished in 59.96 seconds, one of four girls to qualify for State.

“I’m excited that it’s going to be tough competition,” Zick said. “I know it’s going to be really hard to do well. If I’m going to do well, I’ll know I’ll have to work really hard at these practices this week.”

Sycamore’s Lake Kwaza won the event at 57.87 seconds, while Ottawa’s Alex Ortiz finished second in 58.62.

Strang’s 5:21.33 time in the 1600m run made her fourth out of seven qualifiers, with Yorkville junior Ali Hester’s 5:13.97 taking the cake.

Patterson continues the long line of noteworthy KHS pole vaulters that includes Sara Wallace, Jordan Pinkston and Michelle Hannemann, among others, after being one of six qualifiers.

The senior vaulted 10 feet, six inches.

“This year I have more experience and I’m not as nervous. My goal is to get top-five,” Patterson said.

Rochelle’s Taylor Jenkins vaulted 11 feet.

Finally, in the lone relay qualifier, Kaneland’s gang of four ran the track in 9:51.49, just .22 seconds behind third-place Yorkville. Seven qualifers in the event are headed to Charleston.

“There was a lot more knowledge and experience going into the meet,” Bowen said. “I knew what to expect. Last year, we were disappointed in not making finals. This year, we wanted to get back there and improve.”

The younger Strang is ready to contribute on the State scale.

“The other girls really helped me a lot and led by example,” Strang said. “I think I’m the same runner as before, just improved a little health-wise.”

Teamwise, Rochelle was tops with 69.5 points, followed by Burlington Central’s 65 points. Sycamore finished third with 59, as did Marengo, and Hampshire rounded out the top five with 58. Yorkville (50) and Sterling (46) edged Kaneland.

One year ago, Kaneland qualified for State in the long jump, pole vault, triple jump, 4x800m relay and 800m run.

Boys track stakes claim to NIB-12 title

OTTAWA—The venue name of Friday’s Northern Illinois Big XII Conference meet was appropriate—King Field.

Because that’s the level of performance put forth by Kaneland boys track.

With 122 points, Kaneland was far and away the winner of the meet, followed by host Ottawa (80) and Sterling (80). Yorkville and Dixon, both with 65 team points, rounded out the top five.

For field events, senior Matt Spitzzeri finished second in the triple jump with an effort of 41 feet, nine inches.

On the track side, the KHS group of Taylor Andrews, Jesse Balluf, Brandon Cottier and Tommy Whittaker won the 4x100m relay in 44.23 seconds.

Senior standout Trevor Holm was conference champ in the 3200m run with a time of 9:49.42.

Andrews added to his belt notches with a 14.45 second effort in the 110m hurdles, winning the race.

Whittaker’s time of 11.07 in the 100m dash was good enough for the NIB-12 win. Teammate Mickey Marin won the 800m run with a time of 2:03.66.

In the 4x200m relay, Kaneland’s crew of Balluf, Sean Carter, Cottier and Curtis Secrest took second with a time of 1:33.80.

Andrews also blazed by the field in the 300m low hurdles with a time of 39.90 seconds, beating Dixon’s Ricky Laskowski by .32.

The 4x400m relay saw KHS runners Andrews, Cottier, Secrest and Whittaker finish second at 3:28.22.

The Knights’ next challenge is on Thursday, May 19, at 4 p.m. for the Class 2A Rochelle Sectional.

Kaneland baseball lineup clinches share of NIB-12

KANELAND—Rosters change from year to year, so do conference alignments, but success doesn’t have to.

After a 7-1 win over Morris on Thursday, Kaneland cinched a tie for the Northern Illinois Big XII Conference East Division title with the Redskins.

Additionally, after an 8-3 win on Tuesday over visiting Wheaton Academy, the Knights found themselves at 15-10 overall with a 10-5 mark in NIB-12 play.

Sycamore had a chance to make it a three-way tie for the conference, but lost on Thursday.

This marks the second straight conference crown for the Knights, who last year captured the Western Sun Conference outright.

Kaneland’s Kyle Davidson produced a win after a complete-game effort of three hits allowed and seven strikeouts.

Bobby Thorson showed his penchant for the long-ball with a three-run homer in the fifth inning, while Cory Landers also hit a homer with two runs scored.

Sophomore action had Kaneland beat Morris by an 11-7 final. Zach Martinelli went 4-for-4 and Matt Limbrunner got the win. KHS sophomore baseball saw its record improve to 20-4 (13-2 NIB-12) en route to a conference title.

Against the Warriors, the Knights were behind 3-2 in the sixth before a prolific six-run rally in the bottom of the inning.

Davidson, bound for Millikin University in Decatur, Ill., this fall, had yet another iron-man type outing with seven innings thrown and four K’s, while giving up just two earned runs on seven hits.

Thorson went 2-for-3 with 3 RBI and a homer, while Drew French went 2-for-3 with two RBI and a double.

Senior Night For a Cause
Thursday, May 19, at Elfstrom Stadium in Geneva,
Kaneland and Batavia High School baseball teams hold their Senior Nights. The sophomore game starts at 4:30 p.m., with varsity at 6:45 p.m.

The two schools will celebrate their seniors, along with raising funds for David Helm, 4-year-old brother of KHS two-sport standout Daniel Helm. David has been diagnosed with leukemia and is undergoing treatment.

David plans to throw the ceremonial first pitch to brother Daniel before the start of the varsity game.

For how you can help and to monitor David’s progress, check:

Feeling Big Blue
Kaneland senior Kyle Davidson plans to attend Millikin University in Decatur, Ill., for the next step in his baseball life.

Millikin, part of the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin, was also the college home of KHS head coach Brian Aversa.

“Kyle can expect to work his butt off for a starting position. I’m sure there are guys on the team in front of him, but the good thing about college is if you perform you will play, no matter what year you are in school,” Aversa said.

Davidson, who has pitched and played shortstop this season, was also a standout football player and wrestler for Kaneland. The senior is 5-0 on the mound in 2011.

“Kyle’s mound presence and glove on defense are both solid and his bat has been great this year as well. Taking his skills to Millikin will do wonders for them, and I’m sure that he will excel himself,” Aversa said.

Softball suffers setbacks to Minooka, Yorkville

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—There’s still a little bit of time to make Maple Park feel like home-field advantage, but not much.

With three regular season contests left, the Lady Knights are trying to put three losses behind them.

On Thursday, the Lady Knights were defeated by host Yorkville in the bottom of the eighth inning, 6-4, and were swept by Minooka on Saturday, 7-1 and 11-5.

Kaneland now sits at 12-17 with a 3-7 mark in Northern Illinois Big XII Conference play.

Against the Lady Foxes, the hitting was supplied by Andrea Potts, who went 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI. Delani Vest scattered six runs on nine hits while pitching all eight innings.

The lone run in game one on Saturday was supplied by a steal of home from Lanie Callaghan.

Alexis Villarreal fanned three and gave up seven runs on nine hits, but has shown a tendency to put a losing effort behind her.

“She threw the ball well today, it’s those one or two bad innings that we have,” KHS coach Brian Willis said. “We executed, had the right defense out there. We missed a couple clutch hits, but you’re playing a quality team out there.”

In game two, KHS was up 5-1 before allowing 10 runs in the sixth inning.

Kaneland hosts Marengo on Thursday, May 19, at 4:30 p.m.

Lady Knights soccer in playoff quest

The winner of (No. 2) Kaneland vs. (No. 3) Illinois Math & Science Academy match from Wednesday faces (No. 1) Rosary on Saturday, May 21, in IHSA Class 2A Rosary Regional Championship at 11 a.m.

In earlier regional action. Rosary beat Aurora Central Catholic 1-0 on Tuesday, after ACC beat Yorkville 1-0 on Friday.

Guest editorial: May is National Foster Care Month

by Jan Ramming
Program and Outreach Coordinator
CASA Kane County

Each May, National Foster Care Month provides an opportunity to shine a light on the experiences of the more than 400,000 children and youth in the foster care system. The campaign raises awareness about the urgent needs of these young people and encourages citizens from every walk of life to get involved—as foster or adoptive parents, volunteers, mentors, employers or in other ways.

With the help of dedicated people, many formerly abused or neglected children and teens will either reunite safely with their parents, be cared for by relatives or be adopted by loving families. Thanks to the many advocates, child welfare professionals, elected officials and support groups around the country, the total number of children in foster care has decreased over recent years.

CASA volunteers are ordinary people who do extraordinary things for abused and neglected children in the foster care system. Candidates must complete 40 hours of training before being sworn in by the Juvenile Court Judge. Their responsibilities include meeting monthly with the children on their case, attending meetings with the children’s teachers, caseworkers and foster parents, and preparing a report for the judge prior to all court hearings. CASA’s speak up for the best interests of these young victims during a difficult time. Last year, the CASA Kane County program volunteers served over 500 children.
Please help ensure that these children are not forgotten. For more information on becoming a CASA Kane County volunteer, visit or call us at (630) 232-4484. Our next general information meeting is Thursday, May 19 at 6 p.m. at Grahams 318, 318 S. Third St., in Geneva. You can be the difference in the life of a child.

KHS to hold auditions for summer production

KANELAND—If you love musical theatre and have a heart for performing, consider participating in the Kaneland Community Summer Theatre Production.

This year’s production is “Bye Bye Birdie,” under the direction of Diane McFarlin, vocal direction of Brandon Staker, and musical direction of Maria Dripps-Paulson.

Performances are July 8-10 and 15-17. However, auditions are coming up quickly for those who are interested in being on stage for this production. Anyone who is currently in middle school or older may audition. Auditions will be held on Thursday and Friday, May 19 and 20, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, May 21, at 9 a.m.

Those interested should enter through the F7 door at the northeast corner of Kaneland High School (follow the signs) for auditions. There are specific audition requirements and information, so be sure to visit For questions regarding the production, e-mail

A pit orchestra for the musical is being formed and will be directed by Dripps-Paulson. Auditions are not necessary for musicians, although a recommendation from a student’s music teacher is required for students in middle or high school. Please e-mail if you are interested in playing in the pit orchestra for this production.

Letter: Friends of the Library Annual Plant Sale

Thank you to everyone in our community who supported the Friends of the Town & Country Public Library 8th Annual Plant Sale fundraiser May 6 and 7.

We had over 90 dozen locally grown colorful geraniums, gerbera daisies, tuberous begonias, petunias, star clusters, ivy and coleus. The proceeds from this sale benefit the library’s Summer Reading program, beginning June 6, for adults and children.

There were over 1,300 participants in the 2010 Summer Reading program. Our library continues to be a great place for everyone to expand their knowledge with a variety of programs and media.

The Friends are a 501(c)3 volunteer organization created to support our library’s programs and services to the community. Come check us out and be a “Friend.”

Joan Hansen
Friends of the Town & Country
Public Library

Letter: Thanks to Easter Egg Hunt volunteers

The Maple Park Library Board of Trustees would like to extend our deepest appreciation to all of our volunteers at the annual Library Easter Egg Hunt.

This year’s hunt was a huge success and would not have been possible without the caring support and energetic spirit of our community. Thank you to our volunteers, Daisy Scout Troop 4387, Lexi Slowick, Ally McPhee, Julia Pence and John Latsis. Special thanks to the Latsis Baking Company for the extremely generous and delicious donation of the best cupcakes ever tasted. They were the hit of the event.

Finally, thank you to Melissa Brady for donating to our cause. We look forward to hosting the event again next year.

Thank you.

Beth Miller
Library Board President
Maple Park Public Library

Letter: A thank you to Girl Scout Troop #892

Thanks to Elburn’s Girl Scout Troop #892, downtown Elburn is beautiful for the spring and summer seasons once more.

On May 11, John Stewart Elementary Girl Scout Troop planted beautiful flowers in the potters at the business fronts of downtown Elburn. This troop includes Lindsay P., Mycayla G., Grace G., Marissa D., Ashley P., Rachel F., and Reah F.

These potters are now filled with a variety of flowers and greenery, which were made available to us through a generous discount from our friends at Wiltse’s Greenhouse and Farm. We also received a much appreciated supply of mulch from Kane County Landscape Material and Supply. A special thank you to these two businesses for being very helpful and patient with us.

A big thanks to all the businesses who have volunteered to Adopt-A-Pot and help maintain these flowers through the summer. Also, thanks to committee chairs Lucy Gain and Patti Mangis for all of their donated time, hard work and generosity.

Cindy Gurke
Elburn Chamber of Commerce

Letter: A thank you from Blazing Prairie Stars

A key component to the success of many organizations is their team of volunteers. At Blazing Prairie Stars, a Maple Park therapeutic
equestrian center, this is especially true.

Several times each year, we organize appreciation parties and activities to let our pediatric clients and students express their gratitude to the volunteers that make the programs possible. We want to thank Kate Wiltse from Wiltse’s Farm Produce and Greenhouse in Maple Park for donating flowers, pots and soil, which the children used to make a special gift for their volunteer. The donation was so generous, and we want everyone to know what a great community partner Wiltse’s is to our area. Be sure to get out there for your spring planting needs.

Carrie Capes
Volunteer coordinator,
therapeutic riding instructor
Blazing Prairie Stars

Batavia teen killed in single-vehicle accident

Elburn—A Batavia High School student was killed and another was in critical condition following a traffic accident on Green Road, south of Hughes Road, in unincorporated Blackberry Township Monday evening.

According to a release from the Sheriff’s Department, sheriff’s deputies and Elburn Fire Department personnel responded to a report of a traffic accident at approximately 8:30 p.m. on Monday. The responders discovered a vhicle off the road against a tree on Green Road.

According to the initial investigation, the vehicle, a 1989 Dodge 4-door, was traveling north on Green Road near Clover Hill Road when it left the roadway near a curve. The vehicle crossed into the oncoming lane and then left the roadway on the west side of Green Road, at which point it struck a tree. Elburn Fire Department personnel extricated both the driver and a passenger, transporting them to Delnor Hospital in Geneva.

The driver, Lynlee Gilbert, 17, of Batavia, was pronounced deceased at Delnor. The passenger, Sarah Ginter, 18, of Batavia, was in critical condition at Delnor Hospital.

Both the driver and passenger were Batavia High School students. School staff were notified of the accident and immediately put their crisis team in place to provide support for family and friends of the victims.

The Kane County Office of Emergency Management and the Batavia Police Department assisted Sheriff’s Deputies. Detectives from the Kane County Sheriff’s Office and the Kane County Accident Reconstruction Team are continuing their investigation into the cause of the crash, which remains unknown as of press time.

Lt. Governor to visit WCC speak at graduation

SUGAR GROVE—Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila Simon will visit Waubonsee Community College’s Sugar Grove Campus on Thursday, May 19, as part of her year-long tour of the state’s community colleges. Starting from the Student Center at 3 p.m., Lt. Gov. Simon will take a short tour of the college and then return to the Student Center to speak with college officials and students from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

At 7:30 p.m., Lt. Gov. Simon will deliver the commencement address at Waubonsee’s 2011 graduation ceremony in Erickson Hall on the north side of campus

Lt. Gov. Simon announced earlier this year that the state of Illinois wants to increase the proportion of working-age adults with college degrees or certificates to 60 percent, up from 41 percent, by 2025. As the governor’s point person on education reform, she is touring the state’s 48 community colleges to see completion efforts at each campus, while also compiling ideas to overcome the barriers to each college’s completion goals. Waubonsee will share its success stories and highlight the numerous initiatives it has launched to meet this state and national goal.

“Nearly two-thirds of all jobs in the future will require a college education, whether that’s a certificate, associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree,” Lt. Gov. Simon said. “But at today’s pace, less than half of our workforce will ever achieve that level of education. Illinois is serious about making reforms that will prepare our students for the next generation of good-paying jobs.”

Simon graduated from Georgetown University’s Law School before beginning a life of public service. She has worked for the Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance, as an assistant state’s attorney in Jackson County, and as a law professor at Southern Illinois University. She also served on the Carbondale City Council for four years before being elected lieutenant governor.

KHS student recognized at FVCC

KANELAND—Kaneland High School student Lucas Hale (Electrician I) has been named one of the Fox Valley Career Center’s Students of the Month for April 2011.

To receive this honor, students are selected by their program instructors because they have demonstrated the ability to do excellent work and accomplish the goals for their particular career training program during the past month.

Cancer and the law: insurance options after cancer

GENEVA—The LivingWell Cancer Resource Center will host a presentation led by Monica Fawzy, a staff attorney at The Cancer Legal Resource Center, on Wednesday, May 25, from 7 to 9 p.m. The presentation will discuss health and life insurance options after a cancer diagnosis.

Some questions that will be answered during this discussion include:
• How does cancer impact your ability to get health insurance or life insurance?
• What impact will the healthcare reform have for survivors in need of health insurance?

This program is free and open to the public, but registration is required by calling (630) 262-1111. Questions are encouraged, so please bring yours to this presentation.

Graduates, families invited to baccalaureate

KANELAND–Kaneland High School’s 2011 graduates and their families are invited to attend the class of 2011 Kaneland Community Baccalaureate on Tuesday, May 24, at 7 p.m. in the Kaneland High School auditorium.

There will be a senior slide show, student testimonies, special music and a speaker from the community. Graduates should arrive by 6:30 p.m. with their caps and gowns.

Kaneland High School Baccalaureate is sponsored by Christ Community Church’s Blackberry Campus, Lord of Life Church and Village Bible Church’s Sugar Grove Campus’s student ministry groups.

School Board recognizes retirees

by Keith Beebe
KANELAND—The Kaneland School Board on Monday recognized district staff who will retire this June.

The list of 2011 retirees includes John Stewart teacher Jan Gramley (16 years of service), Blackberry Creek teacher Susan Hasenauer (22 years), John Stewart teacher Nancy Hensley (19 years), Fox Valley Career Center Director Larry Imel (9 years), Blackberry Creek Principal Kyle Kuhns (28 years), Harter Middle School teacher Linda Lanthrum (20 years), John Shields teacher Sherene Lyon (11 years), Blackberry Creek teacher Lynda McGowen (25 years), John Stewart art specialist Bonnie Whildin (25.5 years), Kaneland High School teacher Joe Thorgesen (33 years), Kaneland High School teacher Doug Ecker (25 years), Harter Middle School Psychologist Deb Vensel (18 years), John Stewart reading specialist Jenny Wagner (15 years), John Shields teacher Candy Soper (19 years) and John Shields teacher Karen Springer (7 years).

“We are blessed to have worked with such a committed and passionate group of educators,” Kaneland Superintendent Jeff Schuler said. “The group of retirees collectively have taught for almost 300 years. They have touched a lot of lives, and for that we owe them a great deal.”

Each retiree spoke briefly upon receiving their plaque from the board and expressed what it meant to teach in the Kaneland School District.

Gramley, whose husband, Elmer, is vice president of the board, also said she looked forward to having regular conversations with her husband.

“When people say, ‘What are you going to do when you retire?’ (I tell them) Elmer and I are going to have many wonderful dinners where we don’t say, ‘We can’t talk about that,’” she said.

Kuhns said he appreciated everything Kaneland had provided him while he served as a special education teacher, fourth-grade teacher, librarian and then principal at Blackberry Creek. He also quickly drew laughs from those in attendance by poking fun at his own age.

“It’s been a lot of years, and in my advanced age, if I could remember most of them, I’m sure I would have wonderful thoughts,” Kuhns said.

Schuler said the appreciation expressed by each retiree was indicative of the quality of the Kaneland School District community and staff.

“That says a lot about the quality of our School District when you hear people talk with that level of passion and appreciation for Kaneland,” he said.