Niles schools looking for Wall of Fame candidates

Published 9:22 am Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Niles Community Schools is making a renewed effort to find eligible candidates for the district’s Alumni Wall of Fame.

Located outside the high school auditorium, the Wall of Fame currently has just one member: famous 1960s musician Tommy James of Tommy James and The Shondells. The band’s classic single, “Mony Mony” reached number one of the U.K. Singles Chart in 1968.

Niles Supt. Michael Lindley said he would like to see more distinguished alumni accompany James on the wall.

“Recognizing the past is crucial to future development,” said Dr. Michael Lindley, Interim Superintendent of Niles Community Schools. “An Alumni Wall of Fame honoring those who have made tremendous contributions within and beyond our community will serve as inspiration to our students — helping them realize what can be achieved through determination and effort.”

Considered the highest honor that can be awarded to a Niles Community Schools alumni, the Wall of Fame recognizes a particular achievement or series of achievements. It is bestowed upon someone who exemplifies community values and inspires the younger generation of learners.

Lindley said there are many Niles alumni who would be good candidates for the Wall of Fame. He hopes the district will make a concerted effort to find and recognize these people.

“I think it is something the district needs to do,” he said.

Nominees eligible for consideration will be evaluated in one of six categories: • Medicine and science

• Business and professional

• Arts and entertainment

• Humanitarian and service

• Athletics

• Professional achievement or military service distinction

Names submitted will be selected by a public committee, with the exception of two anonymous alumni, and will be assessed according to their high levels of accomplishment and values.

Jane Brandstatter, president of the Niles Education Foundation, said her organization and the school’s board of education recognized the importance of enhancing and enriching the Niles community through efforts like the Wall of Fame.

“It is motivational for current students to see what is possible by showcasing the success of others who have passed through Niles Community Schools before them,” she said.

Nomination applications can be found on the school website Forms for the next class of Wall of Fame inductees will be accepted until Dec. 31, 2014. After that, calls for nominations will continue annually.

To ensure appropriate candidates are being presented for consideration, the district is looking for people to serve on the nomination/selection committee.

Individuals interested must be objective, willing to meet three to five times and possess some history of the school district and community.

If interested, contact Lindley by email at or by phone at (269) 683-0732.