Kankakee Community College is the place to be for music, fireworks and family-friendly fun this July 4th.
Gates will open at 4 p.m. Admission is $20 a carload. The event is hosted by the Kankakee Valley Symphony and proceeds from admissions benefit the symphony and youth symphony.
Orchestra performances begin at 5 p.m. Some food concessions will be available. The evening will end with a spectacular fireworks show.
KCC’s grounds are handicapped accessible and picnicking is permitted. Concertgoers should bring chairs and blankets; no seating is provided. Ample indoor restrooms are available. Personal fireworks, including sparklers, are not permitted.
KCC is located south of downtown Kankakee near River Road, off U.S. 45-52, or take Interstate 57 to Exit 308 and follow the signs. Directions are at www.kcc.edu/directions/.
Richard (Dick) Frey has retired from KCC’s board of trustees after 20 years of service.
A Kankakee resident, Frey served on the board from 2001 to 2021. Before being elected to the board, Frey was a KCC staff member and administrator, from August 1969 until retiring June 30, 2000. His roles as a KCC employee were mainly as registrar and Dean of Adult and Continuing Education, though he held other titles.
KCC will host a reception to honor Frey in August 2021.
“In his time as an employee here at the college, Mr. Frey’s impact was significant in almost every program and systems we have in place now,” said KCC’s president, Dr. Michael Boyd. “He’s been a part of the college from the very beginning, and through this level of commitment he has gained so much insight and awareness of how KCC serves students. That’s also what makes him a great supporter of the college as a member of the board of trustees. Through his leadership and guidance, we’ve been able to achieve such high levels of quality in our services. He’s made a lasting impact on everything we do here.”
“Dick’s value to the work of the trustees can’t be understated,” said Brad Hove, chairman of the KCC Board of Trustees. “As KCC’s representative to the Illinois Community College Trustee Association and our legislative liaison, he ensured that our practices locally reflected state-wide expectations. His engagement at that level really raised the bar for expectations here in our community.”
Frey was involved in the establishment of both KCC and Parkland College in Champaign. At KCC in the early 1970s, Frey helped structure the curriculum, build class schedules, and set up a student financial payment system, among other accomplishments. He supported KCC athletics throughout his career. He served as play-by-play announcer and voice of Cavaliers basketball for 30 years, and at times he volunteered as the team bus driver.
As a member of the KCC board of trustees, Frey served as the college's Illinois Community College Trustees Association representative and legislative liaison from November 2003 until he retired from the board. In this role, he shared information with legislators at the local, state and national levels on issues related to community colleges, their programs and students.
Recently, Frey was also instrumental in the implementation of Association of Community College Trustees’ Diversity Equity & Inclusion initiatives at KCC.
“I loved working with community college students, especially the adult education students,” Frey said. “It’s very rewarding when students complete their education and go on to lead successful careers and lives. I’ve enjoyed my roles at the college because I know that the work was impactful. There wasn’t a day that I didn’t love going to work. KCC has made a difference for so many people. Being a part of the college certainly had a positive impact on my life.”
When discussing KCC’s successful impact in the community, Frey defers to others he’s worked alongside. “In my 20 years on this board, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to work with so many other trustees whose focus is on service and student success. I’ve also been privileged to work with three of KCC’s college presidents, each of whom did amazing things to ensure the progress of KCC.”
Frey and his wife, Nicky, have six sons. Five of them are KCC graduates. Nicky Frey is also a KCC alumnus and retiree. She was director of KCC’s Respiratory Therapist program.
At the June KCC board meeting, Michael Proctor was appointed to complete Frey’s term on the board. Proctor is Manager, Bulk Utilities at CSL Behring. He holds a bachelor’s degree in occupational safety from Murray State University in Kentucky and a Master’s in Business Administration from Olivet Nazarene University.
“Receiving this appointment is a real honor,” said Proctor. “KCC is well-known and respected in this community for delivering high quality instruction, and I’ve witnessed this excellence first-hand watching my daughter graduate from the college’s nursing program. I’m eager to collaborate with the other trustees and with Dr. Boyd as we lead the college into the future.”
Proctor, his wife Demetra and their youngest daughter Maya reside in Bourbonnais.
The first conversation between Pat Klette and Melissa Weston was about becoming co-authors of a book.
It was the spring of 2017, and Klette had been approached by a technical book publisher to write a math book with electrical applications.
“One criteria to getting the book written was I needed to co-author with math instructor at a community college,” Klette said. “A lot of my students talked about what a good teacher Dr. Weston was, so I approached her with the idea.”
“Pat provided examples of how math was used to solve a problem dealing with electrical concepts and I wrote the text to present the instruction of the math concepts,” Weston said. At the time she was a math professor at Kankakee Community College, where Klette also works as coordinator of the Electrical Engineering Technology program.
“Together we developed exercises to be included at the end of each chapter to provide students the opportunity to practice the math concepts in practical scenarios. It was truly a collaborative effort,” Weston said. Their goals included providing context for the information and “immediate relevancy for the learner,” Weston said. “As a math teacher, this is truly exciting!”
Two years into the collaboration, Weston departed KCC. She is now an assistant professor at Johnson County Community College in Kansas.
“Melissa is a great partner,” Klette said. “We took the approach that if it couldn’t be applied in the field, it wasn’t going in the book.
“This book is for people who are maybe preparing to get into the electrical union, or who are attending college to get a degree in any electrical or electrical technology field,” Klette continued. “We want them be more comfortable with the math that is going to be required by them out in the field and we want them to understand how math is incorporated in almost every aspect in the electrical field.”
The book includes 288 illustrations, plus QR codes that link to online resources related to the content, including quizzes, flash cards, tutorials, worksheets videos and animations.
The publisher is American Technical Publishers, Inc. of Orland Park, which specializes in trade-related textbooks.
“Fundamental math concepts through advanced math concepts are taught and then reinforced using electrical applications with numbered math steps,” said Bill Hendricks, technical editor with ATP. “I think most people want to take courses that will teach them something they can apply on their current or future job. ‘Electrical Math Principles and Applications’ will help them learn how electrical technicians use math concepts every day on the job.”
In addition to coordinating Electrical Engineering Technology programs at KCC, Klette teaches courses including Fluid Power, Fundamentals of Electricity, and Industrial Programmable Controllers and Robotics.
Klette has another published book, “Fluid Power Systems,” (2010), also through ATP. A second edition came out in 2014.
Weston previously contributed to three books by writing chapters or serving as editor. Those books are “21st Century Education: A Reference Handbook,” (2008); “Future Curricular Trends in School Algebra and Geometry,” (2010); and “Approaches to Studying the Enacted Mathematics Curriculum” (2012).
Klette has an associate in applied science degree in industrial electrical technology from KCC, a bachelor’s degree in electronic systems technology from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and a master’s degree in technology education from Illinois State University in Normal.
Weston has an Associate in Arts degree from Crowder College of Neosho, Missouri; a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Arkansas, a master’s degree in mathematics from Pittsburg State University and an doctorate in mathematics curriculum and instruction from the University of Missouri.
Kankakee Community College baseball player Owen Jackson has earned a spot on the NJCAA Division II Third Team All-American list.
As a freshman for the Cavaliers in 2021, Jackson batted .408 in 42 games.
The Kankakee resident and Bishop McNamara Catholic High School graduate pounded out 17 home runs to finish the season ranked sixth in the nation. Jackson was 10th in the nation with 69 runs batted in. Another of Jackson’s strong stats was his 132 total bases, which landed him at 15th in the nation. In the field, Jackson played first base and was part of 247 put-outs. He had a fielding percentage of .958.
“Owen had a big freshman year for us offensively and is being highly recruited by Division I programs,” said Todd Post, the Cavaliers head baseball coach. “He has a very bright future ahead of him.”
Jackson was also named to the First team All-Region IV squad, along with Dylan Wolff, a pitcher from Joliet.
The Region IV second team included three Cavaliers: Garrett Latoz, a catcher from Georgetown; Ian Sanders, an infielder from Tinley Park; and Joey Humphrey, an outfielder from Logansport.