Urbana High School inducted the 2015 Hall of Fame class during halftime of the UHS homecoming game vs. Peoria Notre Dame on Friday, October 9, 2015. This year’s class included four former student athletes and two “Tiger for Life” recipients. Biographies and introductions of the 2015 Hall of Fame inductees are included below. Pictures courtesy of Superintendent Owen.
Mykhail Chambers (UHS Class of 2008): Mykhail was a two-sport athlete during his time at UHS, earning three varsity letters in basketball and four in Track & Field. As a track athlete, Mykhail competed in multiple events, but was a stand out in the high jump. Mykhail was a five time Big 12 Conference Champ with three indoor and two outdoor titles, three-time IHSA Sectional Champ, three-time IHSA state medalist, and earned All-American Honors by placing in the top 8 in the country at both the AAU and USATF Jr. Nationals for four consecutive years. In 2008, Mykhail placed first at the Illinois Top Times Indoor State Meet with a leap of 6’10”, became the current record holder for the News Gazette Honor Roll Meet with a jump of 6’9”, and was the IHSA Class-AA Outdoor State Champion. Mykhail went on to compete in track & field for Georgia Tech, earning points for the Yellow Jackets by consistently placing among the top 8 at the Atlantic Coast Conference Championships and was also a three-time NCAA Division-I National First Round Qualifier.
Mykhail graduated from Georgia Tech in May of 2013 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Science, Technology & Culture with a concentration in Digital Media. He currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia where he works for Careerbuilder.com as a website maintenance and technical support specialist. For the inductee ceremony, Mykhail was escorted by his mother Carla Chambers, and his former track & field coach and fellow UHS Hall of Famer, Harbert Jones.
Mandy Kirby (UHS Class of 2008): Mandy was a three sport athlete who received ten varsity letters during her time at Urbana High School. Mandy received four varsity letters for basketball and softball. Mandy served as the starting point guard all four years. In 2008, Mandy helped her basketball team win Urbana’s first big 12 championship. Mandy received 1st team All Conference for softball in 2008. Mandy’s passion was always basketball, where she was Big 12 All Conference for 2007 & 2008. She also received 1st team all area in 2008 along with News-Gazette Player of the Year. Mandy received honorable mention from the Illinois state Basketball Association and was asked to play in 2008 Illinois All Star Game. Mandy continued her basketball career at Illinois Central College for two years and then finished playing her last two years at Missouri Baptist University.
Mandy graduated from Missouri Baptist University in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Cross-Categorical disabilities. Mandy now resides in Saint Louis where she teaches special education at Carman Trails Elementary. Mandy was escorted by her parents Marty and Tammie Kirby, her twin sister Megan Kirby, and her former high school basketball coach Aimee Smith.
Shannon McFarland (UHS Class of 2005): Shannon McFarland, a 2005 graduate of Urbana High School, was an influential athlete and student amongst her peers. She was a four time letter winner in track & field, a three time letter winner in volleyball, and a three time MVP in volleyball and track & field for Tiger Athletics, having held a school record with her 4x400m State Qualifying relay team. She was also class vice-president and began the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Huddle at UHS. McFarland earned a volleyball scholarship at Clark Atlanta University, studying Public Relations Management. Coaching her senior year, she assisted to a third place finish in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. While receiving her MS in Recreation and Sport Management from Florida International University in Miami, she worked with the championship winning Miami HEAT Basketball Corporation, and the FIU Women’s Basketball program as Director of basketball operations. She is now a second year freshman volleyball coach for the Tigers and writer for the Champion Diaries Agency.
Daniel Wingler (UHS Class of 2001): Daniel was a two sport athlete while attending UHS, earning two Varsity letters in Baseball, and two varsity letters in Football. As a baseball player, he earned the Most Improved player as a Sophomore on the JV team in 1998, and Most RBI’s in a season on Varsity in 2000. He was also a scholar athlete in 2000. Football is where Daniel excelled most. He earned Special Mention Offense All-Conference as a Junior in 1999, also earning the Outstanding Lineman (Pittman) Award in 1999 which is voted on by his teammates. As a Senior in 2000, he was voted Team Captain, earned Honorable Mention Defense All-Conference, Unanimous Offense All-Conference, Outstanding Lineman (Pittman) Award, and was voted on the East-West All-Star Team. After High School, Daniel attended Monmouth College, where he was a three year starter as a Guard on the Offensive Line on the football team. As a Junior in 2003, he earned 1st team Offense All-Conference. As a senior he was voted Team Captain, while earning Unanimous 1st team Offense All-Conference, and Honorable mention Offense All-American.
Daniel graduated from Monmouth College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science. After college, he accepted an Internship at Milikin University where he was Assistant Offensive line and Tight End coach, also Assistant Strength and Conditioning coach.
Daniel currently resides in Champaign, Illinois and works for Bodine Electric as a first year apprentice electrician. He was escorted by his wife Shelby Wingler.
‘Tiger for Life’ recipients:
John Dimit: John attended Yankee Ridge Elementary School and completed one year at Urbana Middle School before his family moved from the community. John returned to Urbana to attend the University of Illinois, where he earned a Bachelor Degree in Urbana Planning. He chose to stay in Urbana where he embarked upon a nearly 50-year career with the Champaign County Regional Planning Commission and the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation, serving as CEO of both of those organizations for a total of over 15 years. John was first elected to the Urbana School District 116 Board of Education in 1987. In the ensuing 28 years, he has been an agent for positive change for the District working to adopt universal all-day kindergarten, updating all facilities, and strengthening academic offerings. John championed the construction of the Urbana Aquatic Center, as well as the construction of the Urbana Athletic Complex, insuring that the needs of the swim, football, soccer, and track & field teams plus the Marching Tigers were all considered in the planning and execution of the projects. John also led the district volunteer efforts for the remodeling of the Cobb Memorial Auditorium and the UHS Commons, as well as renovations to the Urbana Middle School cafetorium, which brought to the District state-of-the-art space for student gathering, drama and music performances.
John was accompanied by his wife of 32 years, Angie, and his two sons – John, UHS class of 2008, and Jordan, UHS class of 2009.
Dr. Preston L. Williams, Jr.: Dr. Williams began teaching in Urbana School District #116 in 1987 at Urbana High School as a social studies teacher. He was the head boys’ basketball coach and also the head baseball coach. Dr. Williams left the classroom and began a career in educational administration beginning at Urbana Middle School as an assistant principal. Later during his career with Urbana, he was named the Director of Human Resources/ Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, Associate Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, and Deputy Superintendent. In 2007, Dr. Williams became the Superintendent of Urbana School District #116. During Dr. Williams’ tenure as Superintendent, the district began an aggressive campaign of revitalizing the facilities within the district. Among the projects that Dr. Williams was responsible for were a number of athletic facilities: replacing the infield surfaces for both girls’ softball and boy’s baseball fields. New scoreboards and backstops for both facilities, new surfaces for the tennis complex at Blair Park, renovations at both Urbana Middle School and Urbana High School gymnasiums (including new scoreboards), regulation size gymnasiums at both Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School and Dr. Preston L. Williams Jr. Elementary School. He was also very instrumental in the creation and completion of one of the finest athletic complexes in the nation, the Urbana Tiger Academic and Athletic Complex. Dr. Williams retired in 2013 and is currently a senior associate with Hunter and Associates, as well as the CEO and founder of his own educational consultant firm. Dr. Williams is married to Ivy Williams, they have been married for 32 years and they are the proud parents of two Urbana High School graduates as well as athletic Hall of Famers; Jacquelyn Williams (Douglas) (UHS Class of 2003) and Preston L. Williams III (UHS Class of 2005). They are also the proud grandparents of Gemma and Amaya Douglas. Dr. Williams was present that evening with his wife Ivy.