McDaniel to be USD 421’s first inductee into Ring of Honor

LYNDON – Jim McDaniel, a lifetime Lyndon resident, will be recognized and inducted as the first member of the USD 421 Ring of Honor. The induction ceremony will be held at halftime of the homecoming football game on Friday, Sept. 20. The game begins at 7 p.m.

McDaniel was the president of the Lyndon High School class of 1954. While in school he played football, basketball and track, and participated in band, chorus, and play productions. Following his graduation from Lyndon High School, McDaniel maintained his loyalty to the Tigers’ colors of orange and black by attending Baker University where he lettered in basketball and track. He was the captain of the Baker University track squad his junior year.

After completing his formal education, McDaniel returned home to Lyndon where he joined the family hardware and appliance business. He was a fixture at McDaniel’s Hardware store for 35 years.

Jim’s most obvious contribution to the school has been announcing at the football games for the past 49 years.

“Yes, Mr. McDaniel has been announcing the football games from the press box for 49 years!” said USD 421 Superintendent Brian Spencer.

But, “announcing the games is only a small part of what Jim does for the school,” Spencer said, explaining that McDaniel has been the president of the Lyndon Endowment Association since 1996. Under McDaniel’s leadership the association has annually awarded scholarships to Lyndon graduates for many years.

The induction also denotes that McDaniel’s dedication extends well beyond the school and into the community. He was the president of the Chamber of Commerce for eight years, and was the co-chairman of Lyndon’s centennial celebration in 1970. He also used his announcer skills to announce the Christmas Parade for several years, until that conflicted with the endowment association’s craft show at the school, held in conjunction with the parade.

McDaniel’s commitment to the younger students in the community is evidenced by his six years of coaching little league and his 14 years as a Cub Scout or Boy Scout scoutmaster.

The Ring of Honor is a prestigious honor that may occur no more than once every two years. Recipients must first be nominated by a letter to the USD 421 district office. The signatures of community members, Lyndon Schools’ alumni, USD 421 employees or former employees are a required part of the nomination letter. To be eligible for nomination individuals must be a USD 421 employee or former employee, former Lyndon High School student, or a USD 421 resident. There are other factors considered within each of those categories.

Michelle Feltner summarized Jim’s credentials fittingly in her letter of nomination when she stated, “Jim fits the criteria for all three levels. He is an employee in the sense that he works at all the football games, he is a former student, and he is a resident of Lyndon. He always has a smile on his face and enjoys watching the players turn into adults. I recommend that Jim McDaniel should be placed in the Ring of Honor.”

The nomination committee, chaired by USD 421 Board of Education Vice-President Lynda Farwell, agreed unanimously and recommended to the Board of Education at the Feb. 13, 2013 board meeting that McDaniel be the first inductee into the Ring of Honor. The motion passed unanimously.

“Congratulations and thank you to Jim McDaniel,” Spencer said. “You have made Lyndon a better place the past 77 years!”

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