2018 Lifetime Ceremony

Sixth Annual Lifetime Achievement Ceremony, 2018

The 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award (LTA) program, as in the past, was presented to TAC members and the public on September, Saturday afternoon, September 29, this year, in the Stratford Room at the “Holiday” in Olney, 1:00 to 3:00.

We enjoyed an outstanding program of five recipients that combines district employees with us alumni, (two) posthumous as well as three very much alive ones whom many of you know fondly!



Before the event, when we knew whom we'd be honoring, Clarence, "Smitty," Smith,TAC Director, Lifetime Achievement chair and reception m.c., wrote . . . 

“It is my pleasure to announce that all recipients or those accepting for them are excited and looking forward to the 2018 Tiger Alumni Center (TAC) Lifetime Achievement Award (LTA) ceremony.  We are finalizing the preparations and anxiously awaiting the day of presentation.” 



The 2018 TAC Lifetime Achievement Recipients

Pictured Above, From L to R: Sisters Janice Zwilling (Seiler), (Class of 1977) and Maridel (Seiler) Schonert accepting the posthumous award of their uncle, Mr. Earl Holtz; Honoree Christen L. Bishop Nikitas, ERHS, 1987; Susan Lynn Bishop, Longtime District and Area Educator; Donald C. Graham, Educator and Band Director; and, accepting the posthumous award for Mrs. Naomi Gaede, Educator, 1934 to 1975, are son Keith Gaede, ERHS 1963, and daughter, Carolyn Gaede (Couch), ERHS 1961.


The recipients for TAC’s Lifetime Achievement Award for 2018 are listed below with a brief description (much more shared during the awards ceremony)  Click on the name heading for more information.


Susie Bishop and Daughter Christen


 Christen L. Bishop Nikitas, ERHS 1987.  


Christen with Past Superintendent and

Current TAC Director Marilyn Holt 



Graduation Picture, 1987

“Christie” received her Bachelors’ Degree from the University of Illinois and her Juris Doctor Degree from the University of Illinois College of Law.  Currently she is a Circuit Judge for the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit Court in Lake County, Illinois.  A member of many professional organizations, she has received numerous awards including being named the 19th Judicial Circuit Outstanding Judge in the Criminal Division.


Susan Lynn Bishop, District and Area Educator


Susie with Marilyn Holt 


“Susie” came to Olney in 1976 and taught for the East Richland School District for 27 years.  She has worked in education in Illinois for over thirty-five years and continues to serve others, as a child advocate, a family conference facilitator, a counselor, and a recipient of state, regional, and local awards.


Donald C. Graham, Educator and Band Director


Don with Marilyn Holt 


“Don” came to Olney in 1972 as a music teacher in the East Richland School District.   In 1976 the District opened the new Middle School and Don became the Director of Bands and Choir.  He held this position until his retirement in 2003. For many years he has performed as the director for the Cummins Municipal Band.  Suggested by Mary Ann Noerenberg (Cummings) (ERHS 1970)


And the Posthumous



Naomi Gaede, Educator, 1934 to 1975.


Daughter, Carolyn Gaede (Couch), ERHS 1961, and son Keith Gaede, ERHS 1963 Accepting their Mother's Award with TAC Director Nancy Rumsey


Naomi Gaede service covered most of Richland County, including several of the schools described in Ron Scherer’s and Yvonne Scherer Meckfessel’s book, “Before the Big Yellow School Bus.”  She also taught in Noble, Claremont, Dundas (where she also served as principal) and later at the Olney Jr. High School. She also served as Assistant County Superintendent of Richland County Schools for twelve years.  Mrs. Gaede was recommended by her son Keith Gaede, ERHS 1963, who, with his sister Carolyn Gaede (Couch), ERHS 1961, are accepting their mother’s award.


Earl Holtz, Educator


Sisters Maridel Seiler Schonert (Class of 1973) and Janice Seiler Zwilling (Class of 1977) accepting the posthumous award of their uncle, Mr. Earl Holtz


“Mr. Earl Holtz started teaching in a one-room school house, I think it was Oak Dale. At that time he was teaching my mother and my uncle. In his early years he taught at some of the outlying (one-room) schools” before being assigned to teach at Cherry Street where he later served as principal, too. He won “Teacher of the Year” for Richland County in 1958-59 school year. Mr. Holtz taught Sunday School for at Mt. Gilead Church. “Mr. Holtz was one of the best teacher ever.” Submitted by Rebecca Lawley Swisher, ERHS 1967. Accepting for Mr. Earl Holtz is his niece, Maridel Schonert.