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Established for the betterment of academic, cultural, and athletic opportunities for students of Vandalia Community School District #203

Who We Are

Welcome to the Vandalia Alumni & Friends Website (We've changed our name!)

Formerly the Vandalia Community Schools Foundation - Our mission remains the same! We've changed our name to reflect just who we are. 

Would you like to donate to the foundation?

Doing so is easy! Use your PayPal account.



 Vandalia High School Distinguished Alumni Award

And the winners are.....

Dr. Jeff Alender - Class of 1971

Founder of Innovative Chemical Technologies, Inc.; Chairman-elect of the Chemical & Specialty Manufacturing Council


Dr. Robert Shively - Class of 1961

 Director of the Sports Medicine Fellowship Program at Washington University; Retired Orthopedic Surgeon; US Army Retired and Colonel in the Medical Corps.  


Mr. Warren Sperry - Class of 1964

Present Edgar County Community Foundation Development Manager; Past Director of Bands at Paris High School 1968- 1999 and Assistant Principal of Mayo Middle School 1999-2013. 


The Vandalia Alumni and Friends Foundation, and Vandalia Community School District 203 are pleased to announce the creation of a “Distinguished Alumni Award” to be presented annually at the Alumni Banquet each fall. Its purpose is to honor alumni of Vandalia High School who have distinguished themselves through exemplary accomplishments. Selection is based on professional impact or career achievements, civic involvement, professional honors and awards, philanthropic service, and other admirable accomplishments in life.

The Distinguished Alumni Award committee invites you to nominate a worthy candidate whom you feel is deserving of this award. Criteria for candidates include:

• Be a graduate of Vandalia High School

• Have graduated at least 20 years prior to nomination

• Have outstanding accomplishments in his/her profession

• Have made significant contributions to their community or society

• Maximum of 3 selected in any year 

The Nominator should submit the following:

Nominations are due to the Superintendent’s Office by January 1st. Information can be mailed to Vandalia Community School District 203, 1109 North Eighth Street, Vandalia, IL 62471, ATTN: Distinguished Alumni Award. Information may also be e-mailed to vandaliaalumniandfriends@gmail.com. A selection committee has been formed to review nominations of Distinguished Alumni recipients. Nominated candidates not selected will automatically be carried over for consideration in future years.

Winners will receive an individual award and be recognized permanently on a plaque at the high school. Photos and biographies of the recipients will be displayed at Vandalia High School throughout the year.

Be sure to recognize that special person in your class!! Nominate now! Nomination form can be downloaded <here>.




Become a member of Vandalia Alumni and Friends


Download a VAF brochure <here>.

Children are our most valuable assets. With that in mind, the Vandalia Alumni and Friends school foundation was founded in February of 2007, as a means of providing a vehicle for individuals, families, foundations, and corporations to help make the students of this community become their very best. The foundation's mission is to better the academic, cultural, and athletic opportunities for the students of Vandalia Community School District, #203. The underlying thought is that our School Board cannot offer everything that is needed in order to provide all educational opportunities for our children. Through the foundation, we can provide financial support to supplement and enrich quality programs and educational opportunities for the students of the district.

Vandalia Alumni and Friends is aligned with the Old Capitol Foundation of the First National Bank of Vandalia which has a 501(c)(3) status. VAF has its own board of directors which represents the community at large and is governed by its own by-laws, plus rules and regulations of the Old Capitol Board of Directors. 

Donations are 100% tax deductible. By donating to VAF, you are supporting our youth, our schools, and the future of our country. Our nation can only be as strong as our educated citizenry. By supporting and donating to the foundation, you are believing in our youth, their future, and our future. 

Vandalia Alumni and Friends Board of Directors

Joe Barth
Rick Gottman
Rick Gottman is the current mayor of the city of Vandalia. He was recently elected to a second term.
Liz Heinzmann
Liz is a life-long resident of St. Peter, Illinois. She graduated from LaGrove High School (presently, South Central High School) in 1977. Liz has worked at The First National Bank of Vandalia for thirty years, and she is currently the Trust Officer for that institution. She serves as secretary of Soroptimist International Women's Club/Vandalia Chapter. For ten years she was a 4H Club Leader, and she has been a volunteer EMT.
Donna Johnson
Donna Walton Johnson graduated from Vandalia High School in 1966. She is a real estate broker in Fayette and the surrounding counties. She is married to Harold and has four children and five grandchildren. She serves on the Sharon Township and Fayette Rural Water Boards. 
Marc Kelly
Marc is a 1991 graduate of Vandalia Community High School, a graduate of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and from John Marshall Law School in Chicago. After ten years in a private legal practice, he was sworn in as an associate judge for the Fourth Judicial Circuit in March of 2011.  Marc is married to Michelle (Johnson) and continues to reside in Vandalia with their son, Andrew. 
Sharon LaDage
Sharon Mortland LaDage grew up in Vandalia, and graduated from the Vandalia Community Schools. After graduating from college, she and her husband, Bill, returned to teach in the Vandalia School System for 34 years. Presently, she is retired from Vandalia Community High School, but still pursues her love of teaching as a current teacher for the Illinois Virtual High School. She is passionate about offering the best education possible to the children of Vandalia.
Lori Meseke
Lori is a 1981 graduate of the Vandalia Community Schools and has been employed by the Vandalia School District since 1997.
Mark Ritter
Mark is a 1991 graduate of Vandalia High School and a 1996 graduate of Southern Illinois University Carbondale with a Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering.  He is currently a Licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Illinois and a LEED Accredited Professional with the United States Green Building Council.  He is a shareholder and project manager for Hurst-Rosche Engineers/Design Architects, Inc. in Hillsboro, Illinois. 
Ken Roberts
Ken is a 1972 graduate of VCHS and a 1976 graduate of EIU. He taught 8th Grade Science at Vandalia Junior High School for 33 years before retiring in 2009. Ken also coached 4 different sports and was the Junior High Athletic Director. He and his wife Kathy (Barth) have 2 daughters and 2 grandchildren. 
Steve Stombaugh
Steve Stombaugh graduated from Vandalia Community High School in 1973 and is currently President of Stombaugh HVAC Inc. He is the 4th generation in a 96 year old family business. Graduating from the University of Illinois in 1977, he became a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Illinois. In Vandalia he has served with the Vandalia Fire Department for 27 years, as a member of Rotary Club, the Industrial Commission, and the Chamber of Commerce.
Rich Well
Graduating from Lewistown High School, Lewistown, Illinois, Rich came to Vandalia in 1990 as a teacher, Varsity Baseball and Varsity Basketball coach. He married a local girl, Kim Lotz, and decided to make Vandalia his permanent home. He served as Assistant Principal and Athletic Director for three years and the Principal of Vandalia High School  for one year before becoming the current Superintendent of Vandalia Community School District, #203. He has served on The Fellowship of Christian Athletes Leadership Board, First United Methodist Church Board, and was an International Softball Congress Area Representative.
Connie Goldsmith
Julie Wollerman
Julie is the Regional Superintendent of Schools for Bond, Fayette, and Effingham Counties. Julie has served on the Kaskaskia College Vandalia Campaign as the Education Committee chair. She has also coached Family Y softball and baseball and currently leads Shafter Friends 4H Club. Julie is married to Lynn and the parents of four children who attend or have graduated from Vandalia Community Schools: Austin, Haley Jo, Nic, and Kanon.





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