Bios of inaugural recipients of Distinguished Alumni Award

Warren Sperry, a 1964 graduate of Vandalia High School and of Eastern Illinois University in 1968, served as the Paris High School band director from 1968-99.
During that time, he was inducted into the National High School Band Directors Hall of Fame because of “standards of scholarship, musicianship and leadership in the world of high school band music.”
He traveled with his band through many states and entered numerous events with his band for 31 years, teaching not a note of music, but always teaching his students "how to act, think and produce.”
Becoming an administrator at Mayo Middle School allowed him to establish the Paris Scholars Award Program.
While there, he: worked with students in the Miles of Smiles Program, assisting with dental needs; enabled students to acquire eyeglasses; established a free clothing program for Mayo girls with donated clothing; and  established Paris Area Youth Services to employ youth.
He works hard at making people better.
As a community member, Mr. Sperry is heavily involved many organizations. He received the Paris Chamber of Commerce Parisian Award ‘’for a man who shows unselfish devotion and years of service to the community.”
He has been most effective as development manager for the Edgar County Community Foundation. His niche is the foundation that has assisted with libraries, youth activities, and playground equipment, and sponsored proactive luncheons and senior support programs.
Finally, the foundation has created and supported the Farmers Breakfast, the new splash park and the new high school development program. Its leader – Warren Sperry.

After graduating from Vandalia High School in 1961, Robert Shively attended Millikin University until 1963, graduated from the University of Illinois in 1965 and entered the University of Illinois School of Medicine in Chicago, where in 1969 he became Dr. Robert Shively.
In 1971, he joined the U.S. Army, and he and his family were shipped to Germany, where he served as the squadron surgeon. In 1973, they were transferred to Brussels, Belgium, where he served in the NATO Health Clinic.
In 1974, he and his wife, Sharon, and their children returned to St. Louis, where he did a four-year residency in orthopedics at St. Louis University.
From 1979-80, he followed his dream by taking a Sports Medicine Fellowship at the University of Oklahoma, allowing him to pursue sports medicine.
Returning to St. Louis, he became an orthopedic faculty member at Washington University School of Medicine, where he became the director of the Sports Medicine Fellowship Program at Washington University. He retired in 2010.
Dr. Shively was a pioneer – he instituted a program that provided convenient, pre-participation  discounted  athletic physicals at high schools throughout St. Louis.
He also developed a program to provide certified athletic training staff to numerous local high schools, as well as medical coverage for games.
From 1995-2000, Dr. Shively served as head team orthopedist for the St. Louis Rams and from 2001-12, he was an orthopedic surgeon for the Cardinals. He possesses both a Super Bowl ring and a World Series ring.
In 2007, he decided he wanted to give back, so he deployed to Iraq, where he treated hundreds of U.S. personnel, Iraqi soldiers and injured civilians. He has also participated in humanitarian missions to Haiti. He retired from the Army at the rank of colonel in the Medical Corps.

Graduating in 1971 from Vandalia High School and from the University of Illinois in 1975 with a degree in chemistry, Dr. Jeff Alender, went on to obtain his Ph.D. in physical organic chemistry from the University of New Orleans in 1981.
Becoming a highly successful businessman, he incorporated his outstanding achievements as a chemist and shared his high energy, positive attitude and strong work ethic with other individuals whom he has been able to touch as a mentor, colleague and friend.
In 1997, Jeff formed Innovative Chemical Technologies, Inc. and grew the company into a multi-million dollar, international specialty chemical manufacturing company. Today, the company markets products in more than 60 countries on six continents.
Jeff holds numerous U.S. and foreign patents, including stain resistant chemistries used in manufacturing StainMaster carpet.
Dr. Alender gives generously to many philanthropic organizations in Cartersville, Ga., including the United Way, and the Boys and Girls Club of Atlanta. He also provides summer internships from ICT to area high school and college students to further entrepreneurship and business skills.
A colleague states, “Jeff starts companies and nourishes them to success with astonishing regularity. He does the same with friendships and relationships with family, employees and   business   acquaintances. He’s a natural-born cultivator of people.”
Another colleague says, “Jeff offers a role model example to today’s young people in exhibiting the highest standards of moral principles, integrity, community spirit and the value of education and family as a key to a successful and rewarding life.”

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