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James McGuire “The Little Things Matter” Scholarship Fund

Established 2023

The James McGuire “The Little Things Matter” Scholarship Fund will award a scholarship to one Yorkville High School senior annually. The student must be a member of the Yorkville High School Football team for all four years to be eligible.

Jim was born on July 6, 1941 in Darlington, Wisconsin and spent his early years in nearby Calamine, WI working on area farms where he created lifelong friends and a ‘never say quit’ work ethic. Most importantly, he joined a second farm family led by Merville Hillary with whom he worked for several years. He especially enjoyed the great meals and ice cream with them after a long day working on the farm.

However, Jim’s mother was a teacher and instilled in him the importance of an education so that was the career path he followed. Jim started as the only student in his grade until he eventually attended Darlington High School where he played basketball, ran track, and was all-conference in football. After graduating from Darlington High School, he attended college at nearby University of Wisconsin – Platteville where he received his degree in education.

After graduating college, Jim came to Aurora, Illinois to begin his long and noteworthy teaching career. He began teaching at Todd Elementary school for several years until he returned to Platteville and earned his master’s degree. He spent his entire career in West Aurora School District #129 at Todd and Franklin Elementary, Washington Junior High, and finally, West Aurora High School. In addition to his teaching duties, Jim coached track, basketball, and football at various levels. He was a well-respected English teacher and coach, being named Teacher of the Year and elected President of the West Aurora Teachers Association several times, but most importantly, he will be remembered for being a friend to students, colleagues, custodians, and secretaries alike. Above all, he believed people should be well-rounded and would spend extra time with his students and players whenever he could so that they could achieve all their goals.

Jim retired in 2002 after teaching and coaching for 38 years but continued to substitute teach and coach at both West Aurora District #129 and Yorkville District #115 for many years. He also began coaching with his son at Yorkville High School and spent 17 years on the basketball court or football field being a Yorkville Fox. During his time giving back to the Yorkville community, he fostered many relationships with players and fellow coaches with his energy, integrity, and love for the game. Jim always did “the little things” to make people feel special.

If you are eligible and would like to apply for the James McGuire “Little Things Matter” Scholarship, complete the application and email it to Dan McGuire at

Click Here to Apply for this Scholarship

This scholarship fund is open to receive donations. Some past contributors have included:

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A community foundation is a donor-driven organization that helps donors custom-design funds that reflect their charitable interests. Through the years, grants from these funds have made a significant impact on our local communities.

Sharon Stredde

President Emeritus

As a first-generation college student from a low-income family, I was worried about how I was going to pay for books and supplies. This scholarship will allow me to focus more on my studies instead of worrying about how to afford college. I am working to not only create opportunities for myself but to motivate future generations. Thank you so much for helping me along this journey!

Moises J.

Claude & Alice Allen Memorial Scholarship Recipient

…you can always start small, even $25 can make a difference. Remember we can’t take our money with us. Even if it’s just your gift of time. Volunteer and get involved.

Cris Anderson

Cristina & Thomas S. Anderson Endowment Fund | Tom & Cris Anderson Colonial Advisory Fund

We chose the Community Foundation because of its reputation. It’s well known, established and we can trust them to do the job for us.

Dick Schindel

Richard and Susan Schindel Scholarship Funds

Thank you very much for supporting my college education for these four years. I will never be able to repay you for the opportunity that this scholarship has given to me.

Julia H.

[Renewing Scholarship Recipient] Graduate of Hinkley-Big Rock High School

There’s no question in my mind that the scholarship I received opened up possibilities.

Marianne Renner

Past Scholarship Recipient & Current Leadership Coach

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