Name Dropping | Triathlete hit the ground running as Academy High teacher | Columns






Kyle Hamill

Kyle Hamill, athletic director and track coach at Academy High, joined three of his athletes at the school in Champaign: (from left) Sam Laufenberg, Eleanor Laufenberg and Jong Min.









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Kyle Hamill competes at Oceanside.




Kyle Hamill had no classroom teaching experience prior to joining the faculty at Champaign Academy High School. But as he does when it comes to fitness and training, he’s started jogging.

This is the assessment of School Principal John Carpenter.

Hamel does not let obstacles stand in his way. This is what helped him to compete in several triathlons and earn the status of world champion in the Ironman competition.

“As a runner, it’s called, ‘Don’t hit the wall, run across it,'” Hamill said of the pain in training and competition.

It can also be true of any life challenge. Don’t let doubt, fear and inexperience stop you. Meet her face to face.

As with many smaller schools—founded in 2017, Academy High has a enrollment of about 65—many staff members wear a variety of hats. Carpenter said Hummel coaches race cross-country, works as an athletic director, teaches physical education and health and wellness classes and “has thrown himself into founding our first gym program.”

A Washington state native, Hamill, 40, competed for years in triathlons, winning the Central American Half Ironman, and the U.S. title before eventually becoming the world champion in the Half Ironman class.

His original plan was to be a professional triple player. But in 2009, three weeks before planning to compete in the first full Ironman competition, Hummel was shocked by an SUV while training on his bike. Both were going 30 mph. Hummel flew over 30 feet.

This was the first time he had been injured, but it was cloudy. He looked down to see his cane bone sticking out and knew it was broken.

He thought he would never compete again. But he did not give up. He had to go back to live with his parents during the healing process.

“My parents were very supportive of me,” Hamill said. “My dad said something good would come of it. ‘You’ll never run again,'” my doctor said.

Being able to prove him wrong, he said, “made the return trip even sweeter.”

It wasn’t easy. It was heavy work. I need 24 hour care. Not being able to move for a while wasn’t fun. Hamill said he was not depressed, but bored. For a man who was used to being active, not being able to get up and go was frustrating.

He’s one of those rare people who struggles with training, Hamill said.

“I love it,” he said. “If I don’t hurt, I feel sluggish. I feel terrible – I feel bad. Most people, when they feel pain, quit.”

After two years of no running and a recovery that included five surgeries, Hummel was able to compete in the Iron Man half three years after the accident.

Ironman is a triathlon—only more difficult—that requires a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, and 26.2-mile run.

A triathlon refers to any distance to swim, bike, or run. He has won several triplex races.

It wasn’t the only physical shock that Hummel would face if she was hit by a car. In 2013, he was diagnosed with pneumonia and pleurisy. He ended up having emergency lung surgery. Doctors originally thought he had cancer, but it turned out he had an abscess in his lung and his diaphragm that had to be cut out.

Less than three months later he won his first Ironman 70.3 AG World Championship.

Hamill tries to instill what he has learned into others. Perhaps one of the most valuable is what he has learned in the field of health and wellness.

“In terms of nutrition, the most common mistake that the general public make is not knowing what they are eating,” he said. “You would be surprised how many people don’t know how to read a food label. What most people have learned about nutrition is the amount of calories. It comes down to, do you want to be healthy or not?”

Hummel plans his meals for every day of the month.

“A lot of athletes don’t get enough carbohydrates,” he said. “My diet is rich in carbohydrates, and I make sure I get enough calories. A lot of people feel that butter is bad for you. Butter is fine if you do it in moderation.”

Hamill and his wife Randy moved to this area when she took on a new job.

Hamill didn’t know if he would be a good teacher, but he wasn’t afraid to try. It turns out that he gives education as much as he does training.

High school students seem to have bought in, according to Carpenter.

“He’s a normal person,” said teacher Carpenter, “and the kids really responded to him.”






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Jordyn Huskisson with her father, Chuck, left, and Thomasboro’s public works supervisor, Chad Polsky.




Donate a blessed box

Young Miss America Jordyn Huskisson of Fisher enjoys giving to others.

Her most recent act of kindness was to set up blessing boxes for her town and Thomasboro.

A pond box is a small structure that contains basic items that people may need such as paper products, children’s needs and food.

Rhonda Scott gave Huskisson a $250 Thrivent Team Scholarship to help with expenses. Donations are welcome in the Al Baraka Fund, she said.

Huskisson and her parents, Chuck and Amy, built the box.

Huskison said she chose Thomasboro “because they don’t have a pantry and that will help until they can get to the church or pantry.”

“I think blessed boxes are a good way to get young children involved in volunteer work,” she said. Most volunteers are 16 and over, so it’s hard to do things if you want to. This way anyone can help keep it full.”

Huskison said she’s excited to see how the community uses it.

Scott was on hand with Thomasboro Public Works Director Chad Polsky when Huskisson donated the pond fund. Polsky said it will be located outside the public works facility at 606 W. Central Ave.

President Hyatt Tabed Jesus

Eric Hyatt of Savoy has been appointed Illinois President Jayss No. 91.

A member of the Champaign-Urbana Jaycees, Hiatt was elected during the annual Illinois Jaycees meeting on November 13 in Springfield.

He is the first state president in Champaign County in nearly 70 years.

Illinois Jaycees is part of JCI, a global network of more than 5,000 chapters with more than 200,000 members in 120 countries around the world.

Hyatt, 33, is employed at the University of Illinois as a resource and policy analyst. He helped the Champaign-Urbana Jaycees backlash in 2018 after a job change brought him to Champaign County. He previously served as a member of the Springfield Jaycees, where he led the Capital Celebration, one of the biggest events in the class.






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White




White receives McDonald’s scholarship

Paige White of Champaign, who will attend Spelman College, has been selected to receive McDonald’s Black & Positively Golden Scholarship.

To help students relieve some of their concerns and provide access to needed support, McDonald’s Black & Positively Golden Scholarship Program awards $500,000 in scholarships to 35 students studying at historic black colleges and universities in partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund as well as lifetime memberships for Shine, a leading minority-owned stress and anxiety management app.

Rantoul Room Award Winners for Room Names

Paula Hopkins-Blaquette, who owns and operates A House of Flowers By Paula, was named Citizen of the Year by the Rantoul District Chamber of Commerce at a recent annual banquet.

Other award winners:

– Schitts & Giggles, Best New Work of the Year;

– Agave Mexican Restaurant, Minority Business Award;

– Pat Patton, Young Professional Award;

— Rich Carr, Marv Reimers Volunteer of the Year;

– Karen Hughes and Jenny Friedrich, Teachers of the Year;

– Sheer Excellence Business Salon of the Year.






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Mark Hall, left, and Tim Hall




monster prize

Mark and Tim Hall, owners of the Raminator and Rammunition monster trucks, based in rural Thomasboro, have been inducted into the Monster Truck International Hall of Fame.

“We and our entire team at Hall Brothers Racing are honored and honored to be honored by the Monster Truck International Hall of Fame,” said Tim Hall. “For the past 35 years, we have been grateful for the opportunity to do what we love. It feels great to be recognized as one of the best people to do so. This is a defining moment in our careers for sure.”

The Hall brothers will celebrate their 35th anniversary as a racing team in 2022. They have amassed 28 Championship Series, 26 of which are attributed to driver Mark Hall, the MTRA Multi Driver of the Year, while Tim Hall is the MTRA Multi Mechanic of the Year.

From 2014 through 2020, the Hall brothers’ Raminator monster truck held the Guiness world record for fastest monster truck, reaching 99.10 mph. Raminator has also been crowned the MTRA truck seven times.






Clark Lindsay Donisha Edwards

Edwards Ekong









Clark Lindsay im Ekong

EME EKONG




Clark-Lindsey pair has been promoted

Clark Lindsay announced two promotions to Assistant Director of Nursing.

Eme Ekong and Donisha Edwards will serve in these positions.

They will supervise and monitor all nursing activities, ensuring comfort and care for residents. They are responsible for auditing rooms, charts, and staff compliance at Meadowbrook Health Center and Green House Homes.

They will investigate fall incidents and perform various clinical and administrative tasks in the nursing room. Also, they will supervise and direct employees and assist with education.

Edwards joined Clark Lindsay in October 2014 as a Certified Nursing Assistant. She said she came to Clark Lindsay “in search of stability and a great job to call home.” She received her Associate of Nursing degree in 2020 from Parkland College.

Ekong joined Clark Lindsay in 2014 as a registered nurse at Meadowbrook Health Center. She graduated from School of Nursing in 1986 in Nigeria and worked there until 2002. She became a practicing nurse in the US in 2004. Ekung started as an obstetrics and gynecology nurse and moved to seniors as she enjoys working with a wide range of patients.

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