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Highland Community College Foundation recognizes Distinguished Alumni

Highland Community College Foundation recognizes Distinguished Alumni

On November 16, the Highland Community College Foundation recognized five Distinguished Alumni at the Freeport Club.

This is the 27th year the Foundation has recognized individuals who made their start at Highland Community College, have shown community leadership, and believe in the mission of higher education. To date, Highland has named more than 160 individuals as Distinguished Alumni.

“These distinguished alumni exemplify the inspiring power of education,” said Dan Dick, Highland Community College Foundation Executive Director. “With unwavering commitment and exceptional achievements, they have not only carved their own success stories but continue to inspire and elevate Highland Community College and Northwest Illinois. Starting at Highland, these outstanding individuals embody the spirit of innovation, leadership, and service.”

The following were recognized as Distinguished Alumni:

Terry Camplain (Davis Junction)

Nominated by Vicki Schulz

Camplain began his path to his psychology career with an Associate Degree from Highland in 1986, going on to advanced education and a successful career as a school psychologist and for the past 19 years as Principal of Chana Education Center, a therapeutic day school of the Ogle County Educational Cooperative. This program focuses on the social and emotional growth of students. Camplain has been recognized as the Illinois School Psychologist of the Year and Focus House Volunteer of the Year. He is also a member of the Ogle County Juvenile Justice Council and a Certified Trainer for Trauma Informed School Approaches. Since 2008, he has been sharing his experience as a speaker for the Highland First Year Experience class and works with HCC education majors.

Drew Groezinger (Stockton)

Nominated by Pattie Krippendorf

While earning his Associate Degree at Highland in 2020, Groezinger was working full-time building his business. What began as one greenhouse producing vegetables for his 35 CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) customers has grown to five greenhouses, four tunnels, and 14 acres of cut flower production with seven employees. He is active in the Association of Cut Flower Growers (ASCFC) serving as an industry expert at their national conferences. He is currently serving his second term with the University of Illinois Extension Council. He has been an industry speaker at the Illinois State Floral Association conference and Extension conferences. He shares his knowledge about the cut flower production industry and wedding design industry on his Podcast “Between Me and Drew.”

Benjamin Huber (Monroe, Wis.)

Nominated by Kevin Heimerdinger

Huber is a native of Lena and a 2004 Highland Community College graduate. While pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture Education at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, he was recruited by Frontier FS as a Crop Specialist and has since held positions as Crop Specialist, Seed Specialist, Agronomy Marketing Manager, Strategic Marketing Manager, Energy Marketing Manager, and Agronomy Department Manager. Since 2022, he has been General Manager and CEO of Insight FS. As an advocate for agriculture and community service, he has served as a member of the Green County Farm Bureau Board of Directors, including a role as president. In his current role, he promotes the value of educational opportunities, especially from those at community and technical colleges.

Steven Kenneke (Lantana, Texas)

Nominated by Chrislyn Senneff

Kenneke is a 1991 graduate of Highland. He earned both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree while working for UPS. He began his career with UPS as a porter and part-time package driver, and now holds the position of Vice-President of Air Operations over the Central Zone of the United States, overseeing the largest air operation in the U.S and the work of 5,000 employees who handle more than $33 million in business per year. He has embodied the mission of higher education and has strived to share this as widely as possible through his roles as Ambassador for UPS Congressional Awareness Program, Community Internship Program-Diversity & Inclusion, and executive sponsor for Veterans Business Resource Group (BRG), Advisory Council for the Frontiers of Flight Museum-Dallas, TX, and Adult Leader for Boy Scouts of America.

Kristin Rademaker (Freeport)

Nominated by Nicole Vick

Rademaker is a 1995 graduate of Highland, going on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and Administration. She has been involved in education for more than 20 years, spending the first part of her career teaching elementary and middle school students who are deaf or hard of hearing, moving on to teaching high school science in regular and special education classrooms. She has been president and secretary for the Illinois Science Teachers Association and co-lead of the Storylines Working Group. She also serves as a National Science Teachers Association Curator and on the Equip Peer Review Panel member for Achieve. She is a writer for the Next Generation Storylines website and has shared her work at state and national conferences. In 2017, she received the Robert E. Yager Excellence in Teaching Award from the National Science Teachers Association and was named that year’s Yager Scholar.

For more on the Highland Community College Foundation, visit


Distinguished Alumni (L to R): Benjamin Huber, Terry Camplain, Kristin Rademaker, Steven Kenneke, Drew Groezinger.