Rockford Area Historical Society News & Update

history2Terry Konkle – President

One of the responders to the last “Nugget of Rockford History” question was one of my favorite people Zell Gill. Her answer was not correct, but her comments were more important than an incorrect answer. She said “One of the things I really enjoy about the questions is that they bring back so many great memories of things that were so much a part of my life. I enjoy recalling the people and times that I enjoyed so much”. The question was “Who was the last principal of Rockford High School when the high school was located on North Main Street”. I know that when Zell learns that Jerry Fox was the right answer, she will have many good memories of that fine man.

The high school moved to the building now known as North Rockford Middle School in the fall of 1960. The move came after the year had begun (probably in late October or early November). Perhaps readers can recall the exact time. Mr. Fox was the principal and there was much excitement among the students, teachers and community at the time. The senior class of 1961 would be the first to graduate from the new building. It was my first year as a Rockford High School English teacher, and I was involved in the transition. When I entered the new school and settled into “Room 4”, it was a thrill for me. At the time, however, I did not know that the rest of my teaching career of thirty years would take place in the same location. I have loads of fond memories and I agree with Zell Gill that good memories can be a result of thinking about history.

Of those responding with answers, only five readers had the correct response with three of them members of the class of 1961. They were Bonnie Bovee Orvis, Merri Beth Richardson and Cindy Hegle (called from St. Louis, Missouri). Bill Boyd also knew the answer as did Bob Boyer. Mr. Boyer was the new principal of Rockford Junior High School which was located in the North Main Street building in 1960-61 and a good friend of Mr. Fox. As a sidelight, I would add that I was hired to take Bob Boyer’s teaching position when he was promoted to his principal’s job.

Rockford’s school superintendent in 1960-61 was E.J. Kleinert. Both he and Jerry Fox were long time Rockford School employees. Ironically, neither man would be in the same position the next school year (1961-62). Superintendent Kleinert took a similar position with the county schools, and Mr. Fox became the business manager for Rockford Schools.

This brings me to the new “Nugget” question. It is a two part one and readers can answer either one or both parts of it. “When Mr. Kleinert and Mr. Fox left their positions, who took over as Rockford’s superintendent and/or who became our new high school principal?” Please contact me at 1-616-866-0530 with your answers. Let me remind readers to contact me with questions or corrections, and also if I missed including you in the correct answer group.



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