Introducing the Champaign Urbana Schools Foundation All-Star Awards Class of 2022: two Champaign/Central Maroons, two Urbana Tigers and one Centennial Charger. We’ll dive deeper into their stories between now and the gala on April 8, but here’s a quick trip down memory lane, courtesy of Editor-in-Chief JEFF D’ALESSIO.
SUE GRAY Centenary ’79
At Kenwood Elementary, the one Jackie Ziff “made us feel like we could do anything,” says the current president and CEO of United Way of Champaign County. And to Edison, then 100 years old, Rick Romero was more than a mentor and popular Spanish teacher: “Funniest guy ever, and now we’d call his daily jokes ‘dad jokes’.”
DIANNE MASSOCK MESSINA-STANLEY Champagne ’66
The television writer/producer grew up in another Champaign, with “cows across the street and a cornfield next to” her South Prospect Avenue home. “I was fortunate to be part of the short-term Humanities program” at Champaign High, which meant learning from Charlotte Anderson, who “taught the importance of kindness, empathy and responsibility social”.
HERBERT BURNETT Urbana ’82
You may know him as “Hub” – the energetic, good-doing U.S. Army veteran who wouldn’t be where he is today without all the programs at Douglass Community Center he attended. participated or had Henry Meares as director: “He gave me a picture of what a successful African-American man looked like and always dressed and acted professionally.”
AMARIAH HAYS Central ’02
A recipient of the 2022 Forty Under 40, the Champaign County CASA Advocate Coordinator’s favorite childhood memories include breakfast at Aunt Sonya’s, playing in John Currey’s Central Marching Band and the educator who changed everything – Edison’s Kathy Alexis, “who sat down with me and worked with me so that I could rise to the standards of her class.
Impact on the local business community
SETH FEIN Urbana ’97
The Smile Politely founder’s list of influential educators begins with Dorothy Vickers Shelley — and her words for living: “Life is short; therefore, I will be a crusader in the fight against ignorance and fear; starting with myself. Other Difference Makers: Don Owen, Kevin Erlinger, Jackie Matthews, Polly Washington, Ray Stoia, Jeff Nelson and Marilyn Mastny.