The student news site of New Trier High School

New Trier News

The student news site of New Trier High School

New Trier News

The student news site of New Trier High School

New Trier News

Athletic Department inducts 8 people into Hall of Honor

New Trier celebrates lasting contributions to athletics program with recent inductions
New Trier Instagram
Hall of Honor inductees recognized in between New Trier basketball games on Feb. 2

On Feb. 2, New Trier High School’s Athletic Department inducted eight new honorees into its Hall of Honor. To the school, these individuals exemplify the dedication and commitment that has made the athletic program what it is today.

The ceremony took place in between the girls and boys varsity basketball games against Evanston Township High School at the new East Side athletic facility, with honorees and the families of deceased recipients recognized.

For Assistant Athletic Director Jim Burnside, the night was particularly special: his father Pete Burnside was one of the eight individuals inducted.

“There really is a bigger understanding that I have having a parent who has been a coach,” Burnside said. “The time, the energy, and I can’t tell you how many times my dad came home and told me stories about players who accomplished something.”

There really is a bigger understanding that I have having a parent who has been a coach.

— Jim Burnside

Pete Burnside, a former Major League Baseball player, was a New Trier Kinetic Wellness teacher and coach after playing in the MLB. He was a head baseball coach and an assistant coach for boys cross country and boys basketball, gaining a reputation for deeply caring for his athletes. He retired in 1994 and passed away in 2022.

Burnside and the seven other honorees were selected by the awards and celebration committee within the Athletic Department, which was formed seven years ago. The committee has found ways to recognize student-athletes, such as the sendoff breakfasts for teams going to state, Athletic Director Augie Fontanetta noted. But they also wanted to make sure the school was honoring contributions from adults.

“We strive to make sure we recognize adults who have been committed to New Trier athletics,” Fontanetta said. “This year, we ended up with a larger class than we normally [have] because we had so many great candidates.”

The inaugural class inducted in the Class of 2018-19 also featured eight honorees, but typically 4-5 individuals have been inducted each year since. With the additions this year, the Hall of Honor now sits at 25 members, which are all commemorated with plaques along the wall of the second floor in the E-Building.

The committee considers applications submitted through an online form. Anyone can nominate someone for the Hall of Honor, most commonly community members, retired teachers, and current staff members. According to Fontanetta, they usually receive upwards of 2-3 times the number of applications than what they ultimately induct.

“We have a plethora of applications, and we carefully go through each one,” Fontanetta said. “But it’s difficult because we have such a rich tradition and such a long tradition of success.”

There are three categories of nominees that the committee considers: head coaches, assistant coaches, and at-large nominees. To qualify, head coaches must have 20 or more years of coaching experience, including at least 10 years as a head coach at New Trier. Assistants need at least 25 years of coaching experience and a minimum of 20 years at New Trier. 

Although most honorees are former coaches, the committee also looks for at-large nominees who have demonstrated their commitment to school athletics in other ways. 

“We just try to make sure we have a good balance,” Fontanetta said.

This year, Nancy Schroeder was admitted as an at-large nominee. Schroeder worked as an administrative assistant in the Athletic Department for three decades. She consistently contributed to the athletic program beyond the roles of her job, which is reflected in the high regard that students, staff, parents, and community members alike have for her.

Hall of Honor plaques commemorate the 25 inductees in the E-Building (Sanderson)

The rest of the nominees had all previously been New Trier coaches. Doug Chase taught social studies for 33 years and was the head coach of boys cross country and boys track and field. In these roles he fostered a tradition of success and had a positive impact on countless students and athletes.

Mary Jo Timmis came to New Trier in 1968 and served as a KW teacher. She also became the head girls tennis coach, winning six state championships, and going down as one of the most successful girls tennis coaches in Illinois history.

Another historic coach admitted was Flo Malizola, who started the badminton program at New Trier in 1967. She taught KW as well and helped lead the growth of girls sports. Known for her positivity, Malizola won four state championships, the final one coming the year she retired in 1993.

Jim McFadzean served in the Navy in World War II and later worked at New Trier as an advisor, KW teacher, and assistant coach for football and track and field. Additionally, he started the boys lacrosse program at New Trier, laying the groundwork for a highly successful program, and cementing himself as a “Founding Father” of Illinois high school lacrosse.

Another honoree was John Cadwell, whose tenure at New Trier stretched 42 years. He was the English department chair until 2019 and head softball coach, winning more than 500 games. A boys basketball and girls soccer assistant as well, Cadwell developed a reputation as a compassionate coach and teacher, loved by both students and athletes.

Gene Helfrich became a mentor for many students as a math teacher, adviser, and adviser chair. He became the assistant principal at the Northfield campus and coached baseball and football as an assistant. His favorite memory is helping lead New Trier to its first state baseball championship in 2000.

Jim Burnside sees the Hall of Honor inductions as a great way to honor people like his father.

“Paying honor to people who have had impacts small and large on students outside the classroom has been really great,” Burnside said. “And we’ll never get to all of them because there have been so many.”

Fontanetta agreed, highlighting the positive reception of the event. 

“Unfortunately, we probably won’t hit everybody, but we’ve made a really good dent,” he said. “I got a lot of great feedback from the people who were inducted [and] their families. It was just great.”

Leave a Comment

Comments (0)

The comment section provides a space for readers to voice their opinions. The New Trier News wants to amplify the voices of our audience, so comments will not be censored based on a difference of opinion. However, we will not accept the following forms of commentary: Racism, homophobia, or any other sort of prejudice Anything against the school policy clearly stated in the New Trier Student Handbook Violent threats or any form of harassment toward our staff and/or sources Any obscene or inappropriate language Anonymous comments will not be approved. The comments will be monitored by managing editors in consultation with our faculty advisers.
All New Trier News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *