Rockford recognizes the top ten academic students of Class of 2018

Rockford High School 2018 top academic students (*Not Pictured: Morgan McBain)

With a graduating class of 570 students, it is quite an amazing accomplishment to be in the top ten academic students. We are proud to present to you the Top Ten Students for the Rockford Class of 2018.


Corrin Kliewer – GPA: 4.480

Corrin Kliewer is the tenth-place academic graduate with a grade point average of 4.480. She is the daughter of Christy and Doug Kliewer and the sister of Bryce and Trey Kliewer. Corrin plans to attend Oakland University to study the flute and music education.

“My favorite memory from high school is earning first place at states with the Rockford High School Marching Band in 2017,” said Corrin. “The hard work, dedication, and joy of success will always stay with me.”

Her advice to incoming students is that hard work beats talent when talent does not work hard.


Caleigh Dunn – GPA: 4.491

Caleigh Dunn is this year’s ninth place academic graduate of the year with a grade point average of 4.491. She is the daughter of Calvin and Carol Dunn and sister to Beth Helmstetter. She plans to attend Michigan Technological University to study Biomedical Engineering. She was asked to recall a time during her high school years.

“Most of my fondest memories of high school come from my experience on the cross-country team. Our outrageous adventures, like camping out in the tennis courts the night before the first practice and having a prank war with the boy’s team at cross country camp. I also met my best friends through the team and they made my high school experience even more enjoyable thanks to their constant support and their quirky sense of humor.”

Her advice to incoming students is to not stress the small things. “If there’s anything that my high school experience has taught me is that there are bigger things in life than an A minus. Focus your perspective on the bigger picture when dealing with all the stress and drama of high school. Try to find your strengths, learn from your mistakes, and make memories stay with you past graduation. Always try your best, but know that not everything is going to end up being perfect. Let go of the small stressors and appreciate the small joys that occur each day.”


Greta Kruse – GPA: 4.496

Greta Kruse is eighth in the academic student in this year’s graduating class with a grade point average of 4.496. She is the daughter of Bob Kruse and Ginny Mikita. Greta’s brother is Spencer Kruse, a junior studying threater at Webster University in Missouri. The family has two dogs, Chewy and Kadie.

Greta will be attending the University of Michigan in the fall with the intention to pursue political science and or law.

She was asked to share a memory of her high school years.

“The teachers I had while at Rockford High School made my high school experience great. I feel so lucky to have been taught by such wise, compassionate and dedicated individuals, and I will never be able to thank them all enough for helping me become a better student and person.”

She had the following advice to incoming high school students.

“Never be afraid to try something, especially the things you think you can’t do. I met so many great friends and learned about my own capabilities by trying new extracurriculars and taking classes I never thought I’d be able to pass (AP calculus, thank you Mr. Reusch!)


Ally Johnson – GPA: 4.504

Ally Johnson is the seventh academic student in this year’s Class of 2018 for Rockford High School. Ally has a grade point average of 4.504. She is the daughter of Nancy and Fletcher Johnson and sibling to older brother Ben and blind dog Lucy.

Ally will be attending the University of Michigan and majoring in Biopsychology, Cognition and Neuroscience. She remembers her times at Rockford High School, “Being involved in Spanish Immersion and the Women’s Awareness and Empowerment Club and my favorite teachers Sr. Dalman, Mrs. Decker, Mr. Reusch and Mr. Watson.

Her advice: “Get involved! Rockford has so many incredible opportunities.”


Donovan Jewell – GPA: 4.516

Donovan Jewell is sixth in this year’s graduating class with a grade point average of 4.516. He is the son of Jonathan and Carol Jewell and brother to two older brothers, Connor and Cullan and a sister in law, Olivia.

Donovan plans to study Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan.

He remembers his trip to Italy with the Rockford choir as one of his favorite times during his high school years. “We had a life changing experience and saw a myriad of unforgettable sights, especially St. Peter’s Basilica.”

His advice to incoming high school students, “Tackle everything with a positive attitude. High school flies by and your experience at RHS is what you make of it. Don’t be afraid to simply be yourself, that will make you happiest.”


Rose Charlotte Sears – GPA: 4.520

Rose Charlotte Sears is fifth academically in this year’s graduating class at Rockford. She earned a grade point average of 4.520. Rose is the daughter of Charles and Barbara Sears and sister to Grace Sears.

Rose will be attending Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Rose remembers the hours she spent with her crew family as among her best times during high school. Also, going to the Dominican Republic with Interact.

She has the following advice to incoming students at Rockford High School.

“There will be some rough days, but enduring any kind of day and carrying on with the right attitude will be what defines you. Remember to laugh obnoxiously loud and be happy and enjoy the present moment. Push yourself to the limits and surpass those so-called limits. Don’t be afraid to try new foods and new experiences.


Sarah Polkowski – GPA: 4.558

Sarah Polkowski, fourth academically, graduated with a 4.558 grade point average. She is the daughter of Dennis and Gina Polkowski and the sibling of Monica and Phillip Polkowski. Sarah plans to attend the honors college at Grand Valley State University, to study nursing, in hopes to become a nurse practitioner.

“My favorite memories from RHS involve my time in the marching band, particularly performing in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade and winning the state championship,” Sarah said.

Her advice to incoming students is to set high expectations and push yourself to achieve your goals. If you fall short, don’t be discouraged, but learn to recover from your mistakes. Ultimately, always try your best at everything you do, but don’t forget to enjoy the ride.


Jackson Danner – GPA: 4.573

Jackson Danner, third academically, graduates with a grade point average of 4.573. He is the son of Nicholas and Emily Danner and brother to Holland and Samuel. He plans to further his education at the University of Michigan pursuing a degree in Environmental Engineering.

Remembering his years at Rockford High School, Jackson had this to say.

“The best days at Rockford High School for me were Mondays and Tuesdays this fall. I’d start with a before school meeting, go through my day, sweat at tennis practice, eat a PB & J, and march into the night alongside 250 friends. Although I was tired then getting to my car at 9:30 p.m. and thinking of the homework I had left to do, I smile today remembering the drive home listening to some sick radio beats. Those full days were the best.”

His advice to incoming students is to dive into things that interest you. “Go for it. High school is a great time to make mistakes and get better every day.”


Meriah Gannon – GPA: 4.667

Meriah Gannon is the second-place academic student with a grade point average of 4.667. She is the daughter of Bree and Michael Gannon and the sibling of Colton a Maddox Gannon. Meriah plans to attend MIT in the fall to study in the STEM field.

“My favorite memory is visiting Boston to race in the Head of the Charles regatta with my friends from the crew team,” Meriah said.

Her advice to incoming students is life is what you make of it, and high school is the same way. Remember to step out of your comfort zone, meet new people and make amazing friends, see new places, and don’t stress about the small stuff, like high school, it will fly by.


Morgan McBain – GPA: 4.717

(*Not Pictured: Morgan McBain)

Morgan McBain is this year’s top academic student in the Rockford High School graduating class of 2018. She graduates with a grade point average of 4.717. Morgan is the daughter of Tammie and Scott McBain and sister to Melanie McBain.

Morgan continues her academic education by studying civil and environmental engineering while also taking courses in business and architecture at the University of Michigan.

To incoming RHS students, Morgan said, “Take advantage of any and all academic opportunities possible to make the most of the education Rockford can award you, yet don’t forget to connect with your peers, teachers and other fellow Rams along the way. The people of RHS and the Rockford community have so much humor, wisdom, love, and happiness to share with you. Finding a personal perfect balance between scholarship, service and pure fun will be your greatest success.