Eight distinguished Plainfield High School (now Central Campus) graduates will be inducted into the Plainfield Foundation for Excellence Alumni Hall of Fame at a special ceremony at the Foundation’s annual dinner and auction on April 11.
The event, which serves as the Foundation’s main fundraiser, will be held at the Bolingbrook Golf Club, 2001 Rodeo Drive, Bolingbrook.The dinner is sold out.
The Foundation for Excellence Alumni Hall of Fame was founded in 2011 to recognize and showcase graduates from District 202 to recognize those individuals who have created a legacy for current and future students.
All inductees must have graduated at least 20 years ago. Therefore, all inductees attended (then) Plainfield High School.
Those selected for induction have both achieved much in their chosen profession, and given back to District 202, their community or society. All inductees are nominated by community members.
The Alumni Hall of Fame Class of 2018 comprises (in alphabetical order):
• 1993 graduate Victoria Coley (business and commerce)
Victoria Coley is the market vice president for Humana’s Mountain and Desert States teams that sell health and ancillary products to employer groups.
Coley returned to Plainfield after graduating from Arizona State University and started in the Chicago sales office with Humana in 1999 as an entry level sales role. She was promoted through various sales and leadership positions in the following 12 years at Humana, to her current role in 2014 in Phoenix, Arizona.
She credits her success to her passion for her job and sharing that passion with her team, clients, and the community. Her workplace was recognized by the Healthy Arizona Worksites Program with its first Platinum Award for excellence in worksite wellness, as well as first place awards as both the Healthiest Employer and Best Places to Work in Arizona.
Coley serves on the board of directors of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce and is active with Care to Act, which both promote business and nonprofit involvement in the community.
She has also been recognized for her civic leadership in education, children’s services and protection of animals. She is a Trustee for San Miguel High School, leads a project to fundraise for and build 100 Little Free Library book stations to boost child literacy throughout the city, and leads Humana’s “Humana-tarians” walk raise money for children with disabilities annually.
After volunteering at the Arizona Humane Society in 100-plus degree heat, she made it her mission to personally build a shade structure to aid in dog exercise and adoption during summer.
As an active business and community leader, Coley was featured in “Most Powerful Leaders under 40” in 2015; Phoenix Magazine as #13 on the “2018 Health Care Power List”; “2018 AZ Business Most Influential Women in Arizona”; and the 2015 and 2019 “AZ Health Insurance Leaders” showcase.
• 1955 graduate Richard A. “Skip” Davis (science and technology)
Richard Davis was a college professor for 40 years: eight at Western Michigan University and 32 at the University of South Florida where he retired as a distinguished professor having served as department chair, associate dean, acting dean and program director.
Davis was a visiting professor at the universities of Melbourne and Sydney in Australia, Waikato University in New Zealand, Copenhagen in Denmark, Utrecht in the Netherlands, and Sevilla and Huelva in Spain as well as Duke University, the University of North Carolina and Texas A&M in the United States.
He has written or edited 26 books in sedimentary geology with concentration on coastal environments.
• 1988 graduate John David Ivlow (government and military, and sports and recreation)
John Ivlow graduated attended and played football at both Northwestern University and Colorado State University.
In 1992, while attending Colorado State, Ivlow was rated the 39th best rusher in the Western Athletic Conference and No. 5 for rushing yards per attempt.
He entered the National Football League in 1993 and played for the Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos and the San Francisco 49ers when they won Super Bowl XXIX in 1995. Ivlow is one of four high school graduates to play in the NFL.
After his professional football career, the Bolingbrook Police Department hired Ivlow as a patrolman. In 2000, he was reassigned to Bolingbrook High School as a school resource officer. There he combined his passion for football with his calling to positively impact the lives of youth by becoming an assistant football coach.
After Head Coach Phil Action retired in 2002, Ivlow took over the BHS squad and led them to six conference championship titles and one state championship Title to date.
As a police officer for over 22 years, Ivlow has received 16 chief’s commendations and many thank you letters from the public. In addition, he was the Bolingbrook Exchange Club 2009 Officer of the Year and a 2015 candidate for the Bolingbrook Police Department Officer of the Year.
In 2017, he was also named a “Pillar of Valley View” by the Valley View School District School Board for his dedication to the district.
• 1979 graduate Michael A. Lambert (community service and volunteerism)
Michael Lambert attended the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC), where he pursued his long-time interest in architecture and history.
From an early age, Lambert followed his passion of architecture and urban planning. During his junior and senior years at Plainfield High School, he helped his parents redevelop an abandoned church, rectory, medical office, and two residences in downtown Plainfield.
Lambert completed his first architectural design project: the renovation of the abandoned St. Mary Immaculate church building (erected in 1868) as it was converted to a restaurant.
He also served as a Plainfield village trustee from 1991-1996.
From the mid-1980s through 2013, Lambert was a regular columnist for several local publications. He has begun a draft of his long-requested book about Plainfield and its historical evolution and is continuing his rehabilitation of an 1852 home in Plainfield.
Lambert has been an active member of the Plainfield community since high school. He has quietly given countless hours of his time, representing more than 40 years of often-unheralded service to the Plainfield community.
• 1971 graduate Deb Olsen and 1969 graduate Clayton Olsen (business and commerce)
Both Debbie and Clayton Olsen have spent their lives living and making improvements in the Village of Plainfield.
Their latest development, Warehouse 109 and the surrounding warehouse district, brought a much-needed venue to Plainfield.
They restored a worn-out old building/box factory into a destination for weddings, reunions and other events. The Warehouse District has added a brewery, coffee shop, distiller, dog training and other rentals.
Most recently they added a garden area to host outside weddings, creating an award-winning destination and venue that Plainfield can be proud of that also generates local jobs.
Over the years they have improved several other properties in Plainfield which adds value to all of Plainfield. Their work has been done with attention to detail and pride.
The Olsens have been constant supporters of the Village Preservation Association, Plainfield Riverfront Foundation, Plainfield Historical Society, Plainfield Alumni Association and other local organizations.
They are also the founding members of the Plainfield Irish Parade and VPA, and perennial Plainfield volunteers.
Deb Olsen has also served on many boards including the Central Elementary School PTA, Indian Trail Middle School PTO and the PHS PTSO.
As a co-president of Central Elementary, she helped start Landscape Day that then took off at many of the District 202 schools. Clayton Olsen has donated labor and equipment time to help various school and organization projects.
Both individually and as a team, the Olsens have made significant contributions to the work to make Plainfield a nice place to live.
• 1988 graduate John W. Sparlin (education and humanities)
John Sparlin has had a successful education career, starting as a middle school teacher and coach at Humphrey Middle School in the Valley View school district.
He later became a high school dean of students, assistant principal, middle school and high school principal, human resources executive director, assistant superintendent and associate superintendent.
Sparlin is in his third year as Superintendent of Schools for Community Unit School District 308 in Oswego.
Sparlin coached and served several athletes throughout his education career. His teams have won multiple conference titles and have had numerous state qualifiers and state champions. He was also honored in the 2004-2005 “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.”
During his tenure, District 308 has received several recognitions including being named one of the top school districts in Illinois. He has led District 308 though many challenges.
He truly believes in the power of community, values the opinions of others, and fosters positive relationships with his staff, community and local leaders. He is regarded as a kind, sincere, caring person who always put others before himself.
• 1994 graduate Thomas Withrow (education and humanities)
Thomas Withrow attended Harvard University where he received his S.B in biomedical engineering in June 2000.
He received his M.S.E. in biomedical engineering in December 2001, a M.S.E in mechanical engineering in December 2002 and a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering in December 2005 from the University of Michigan. His Ph.D., thesis was titled “Anterior Cruciate Ligament Stain: An Investigation of Muscular and Positional Constraints in a Cadaveric Impact Model.”
Withrow served as the assistant professor of the practice from August 2009 till June 2016 at Vanderbilt University. Currently he serves as assistant dean for design for the Vanderbilt School of Engineering and associate professor of the practice, both in the School of Engineering Department of Mechanical Engineering.
In those roles he leads the undergraduate engineering students design curriculum with emphasis on the mechanics, design and fabrication.
For the past few years he had led the capstone design curriculum across the school of engineering that has culminated in the largest VUSE showcase of the undergraduate engineers-Design Day-the last day of spring term.
Withrow’s latest medical research projects with MED and the CAOS labs include the design, development and fabrication of small, bone mounted, automated image-guided micro stereotactic frames for performing precision intracranial milling and drilling.
His awards received include: The Eagle Scout in the Boys Scouts of America; The Arnold Horween Scholar-Athlete Award at Harvard University; Winthrop House Community Service Award; Winner of the American Orthopaedic Society of Sports Medicine Excellence in Research Award, and many others.
He has also served on several community boards including serving as the Site Leader for the Detroit Project and a member of the ASEE, IEEE and the past director of the BMES.
The Plainfield Foundation for Excellence Alumni Hall of Fame comprises:
The Class of 2018
• Plainfield Police Sergeant Eric Munson (1987) for achievement in government and military
• Accountant and business owner Jean Smith Brannen (1974) for achievement in service and volunteerism
• School Superintendent Jennifer White Kelsall (1989) for achievement in education and humanities
The Class of 2017
• Nequa Valley High School athletic director Barbara Barrows (1978) for achievement in education and humanities
• AeroTek Design Labs, LLC founder Greg Chapman (1972) for achievement in business and commerce
• Businessman Terry D’Arcy (19740 for achievement in philanthropy and non-profit service
• Dr. Allen Saxon (1967) for achievement in medicine and health
• Firefighter and paramedic Charles “Chuck” Willard (1982) for achievement in government and military
The Class of 2016
• Nursing professor Amber Kujath (1993), for achievement in medicine and health
• Retired FBI trainer and administrator Catherine Fletcher (1974), for achievement in government and military service
• Retired District 202 educator and high school principal Tom Hensel (1967), for achievement in education and humanities
• Plainfield Central Elementary School Principal Linda DiLeo (1980), for achievement in education and humanities
• Scientist Lee Gehrke (1970), for achievement in science and technology
The Class of 2015:
• Business owner John Berst (1959) for achievement in business and commerce, community service and volunteerism and philanthropy and non-profit service.
• Communications Designer Justin Ahrens (1990) for achievement in arts and entertainment and philanthropy and non-profit service.
• Retired Air Force Lt. Col. and United States Air Force Bands Conductor Roger Sebby (1964) for achievement in arts and entertainment.
• Maria College (New Jersey) president Lea Johnson (1968) for achievement in education and humanities.
The Class of 2014:
• Plainfield Mayor Mike Collins (1964) for achievement in government and military
The Class of 2013:
• Architect Cliff Bender (1969) for achievement in science and technology
• Bonnie Lutter (1954)for her community service and volunteerism
• Dr. Jeff Ryan (1989) for achievement in medicine and health
The Class of 2012:
• Judy Avery (1959) for her outstanding accomplishments in community service and volunteerism, and
• Burt Saxon (1965) for his professional achievements in education.
The Class of 2011:
• Karen Hamilton (1958) for her community service and volunteerism
• Dr. Bradley Barnes (1977) for his work in the field of dentistry
• Lt. Col. Christopher Cozzi (1988) for his service in the U.S. Air Force, and
• Julie Ruddy (1988) for her service as a clinical psychologist for the U.S. Navy.
Since 1983 the Plainfield Foundation for Excellence has raised and contributed more than $500,000 to support District 202 students and staff in the form of grants, scholarships and special funding.
The Foundation has also supported special programs including a District Art Gallery, the Great Read community reading program and the 1847 Schoolhouse Restoration.