A family’s letter to RHS graduating seniors

Graduation is a wonderful time of transition filled with both excitement and nervousness. Our daughter and sister, Kailey Sturr, will also be experiencing this transition into adulthood along with you, her peers, beginning with that walk across the stage on June 7.

For those who do not know, Kailey has Angelman Syndrome. Her educational journey here in Rockford is one that individuals of her level of cognitive functioning rarely get to experience and benefit from, as she has done so beautifully and successfully. But Kailey is not the only one who has benefited. Many of you students, as well as adults, personally have been touched by learning side by side with Kailey. As well, Kailey has been touched and learned crucial skills by being schooled together with you. You taught her valuable social skills by being with you that could not be taught by educators in a segregated disabled campus. She lacked for nothing as she strove to reach her potential.

As you go on to become our future educators, business owners, doctors, caregivers, therapists, neighbors and even special needs parents yourself, our hope and prayer is that you can take with you the inherent value of ALL students being educated together in their home schools regardless of “label.” The unlimited value to the student, the family and ultimately the entire community cannot be expressed fully here. Know that our hearts are overflowing with pride, gratitude, a sense of belonging and truly being full members of our community.

Our vision for Kailey as well as our goal in educating others has always come from our family belief: “Within the heart of each community, EVERYONE belongs.” School is one very important part of a community. The process of educating Kailey in her home school has been full of many obstacles and stretched many administrators’ and educators’ comfort levels, stereotypes and set practices. As a whole, Rockford has embraced Kailey and continues to do so in creative and genuine ways. We are so thankful.

Though Kailey is non-verbal, when we walk her across that stage, her smile will be saying LOUD and CLEAR, “I’m so glad to have shared these years with all of you!” Mother Theresa once said, “In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love.” Small acts of love through volunteerism is Kailey’s choice of career for her future in Rockford. Best of luck to each of you as you discover how best to use your special gifts!

Tom, Beth and Cooper Sturr
Rockford residents

Reader worries about inconsistent water removal

Dear Editor,

Throughout the spring, I have been observing WWW Tannery site; there seems to be an 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday storm water control off the site. Mother Nature does not punch a time clock. Rain falls at any time of the day or night and for however long and any day of the week. Water is only being pumped off the site between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Any other time of day or week storm water is not being pumped off the site.

This is disturbing; soil erosion and sediment control (SESC) should be more effective. After all, this was a 100-year-old tannery, and tanneries have a less-than-pristine reputation as far as potential for hazardous material is concerned. The DEQ has not tested the site for any potential hazardous material. Now that the buildings and asphalt are gone, what is to prevent potential hazardous material from flowing into the Rogue River and Rum Creek and rain water to take the material down into the ground?

Our lakes, rivers and streams are on loan to us from our children and grandchildren; they are counting on us to take precious care of them.

Gail Mancewicz
Rockford resident

Squire classifieds get results

Dear Editor,

In this age of eBay and craigslist, it is ever so reassuring to find that good old-fashioned print “classified ads” are still providing gratifying results. In the past two months, I have listed for sale in the Squire newspaper classifieds section two items: an Old Town canoe and a Yamaha Clavinova Digital Piano. Amazingly both items received immediate responses from potential buyers and both items, again amazingly, sold at the full asking price.

Thank you, Rockford Squire, for providing this valuable and economical venue that apparently reaches and is read by many people.

Nancy Lee Fahner
Rockford resident

Squire offers a tasteful thank-you to Twisted Vine

Twisted Vine owner Laura DeWilde stopped by the office to tell us about her new picnic basket lunches she will soon be offering and learned we were having our weekly staff meeting the following day. We were surprised to be the recipients of a lunch for each of us the next day. Delicious chicken salad and turkey sandwiches were accompanied by broccoli salad, chips and a dessert—so good, what was that? It is fun to have a friend who can cook. Thank you, Laura, from all of us at the Squire.

Beth, Carrie, Kym, Karn, Joyce, Melanie and Kate





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The Squire has been Rockford’s free weekly newspaper since 1871. Our loyal readership includes over fifteen thousand homes in the Rockford area, including the affluent Lakes area of Lake Bella Vista, Bostwick Lake and Silver Lake; Belmont, Blythefield, as well as Algoma, Courtland, Cannon and Plainfield Townships. The Squire is distributed through the U.S. Post Office every Thursday. We also deliver to in-town businesses and homes with paper carriers and news stands in our grocery stores and over thirty local shops.