Your tax dollars… thank you! by CAROL HILLMAN Board of Education Trustee Every school year, the staff for the Rockford School District begins with a kick-off morning at Rockford High School. Support and teaching staff, along with administration and the school board, congregate in the auditorium and a motivating, fun-filled, informative event occurs. It’s a super way to get the engines running again on behalf of the students for the school year. It is planned in such a way that the entire staff looks forward to the morning, rather than feeling like “just one more meeting.” A statistic raised this year by Dr. Ryan Kelley sparked the writing of this article. Although the expansion of our athletic fields seems to be the most visible improvement to our district due to the bond passage in 2008, it represents the smallest amount of money devoted to improvements to our district. Only 13% of the money you voted to support our district’s constant desire to improve is supporting the wonderful additions to the athletic facilities for the school system. Another 17% of the bond is devoted to technology enhancements for our staff and students. Your tax dollars are a huge morale booster for our teachers to begin this school year. What a point of pride it is for them to have teaching materials like projector systems and audio enhancements that stimulate them, and allow the students to become more computer/technology savvy as well. Thanks to you, the tax supporter for education in our district, this is a reality in most of our buildings this year, and in all by next fall. The majority of the community supported the bond passage, of which 70% is devoted to new classrooms and renovations for the existing buildings that serve this district. It’s the “meat and potatoes” of what we need to continue to meet the needs of the students we serve. I invite you to take a personal tour of the district and, yes, look at the great new fields, but look a little deeper (like in the back) and discover the additions being built. One example alone—Cannonsburg Elementary, which is basically doubling in size—is so exciting to see. You deserve a bird’s-eye view of your tax dollars at work. Not […]
Students in Mrs. Icabone-Berg’s fifth-grade class at Valley View Elementary invent some crazy burgers as a response to a contest sponsored by Red Robin restaurants. Students worked as a team to design and create original burger recipes using a total of eight unique ingredients. Teamwork was not the only focus area. With the help of student teacher, Kim Belles, students also wrote a process paper with directions for building their unique burgers as well as a persuasive paper to influence the Red Robin judges. All entries were sent in for this national competition, but the fun didn’t stop there. Students ran their own “taste test” at the school, with teachers as guest judges. Even though the Baconlicious Burger won, all students had a chance to be a master chef for a day.
by TONY ANDERSON The Rams hosted the Falcons of East Kentwood on Friday night, Oct. 16. The Falcons lacked one win to make the playoffs, but the one thing they didn’t lack was speed. East Kentwood won the coin toss and elected to receive the opening kick. The Falcons returned the opening kick to the 19-yard line. East Kentwood picked up three first downs before the Rockford defense forced a third down with nine yards to go. The Rams stopped them just short, forcing a punt. Rockford started their first offensive possession on the 20-yard line. The Rams mixed the run and pass plays and picked up three first downs before stumbling, then Taylor Masiewicz was sacked on third down with nine yards to go. Paul Mudgett came in and attempted a 47-yard field goal, but it was wide left. The Falcons started on the 20-yard line and seemed to be headed for a sure touchdown when Zach Haugen intercepted the Falcon pass in the end zone. The Rams fumbled on the first play from the 20-yard line and the East Kentwood defender picked up the ball and returned 23 yards for the score. The next Rockford possession started on the 20-yard line and after three straight pass attempts, and then had to punt. East Kentwood started on the Ram 48-yard line. Aided by a huge run, the Falcons scored in three plays. The point after, however, was no good. Rockford’s next possession started at the 7-yard line after a block-in-the-back penalty. The Rams went to the ground and picked up two first downs before the first quarter came to a close, with East Kentwood at 13 and Rockford 0. The Rams opened the second quarter with a first-and-10 on the 32-yard line, but the Ram drive faltered and they had to punt. The punt carried to the 6-yard line. The Falcons saw a hungry Ram defense that forced a three-and-out punt. Rockford started on the East Kentwood 27-yard line. After two plays, the Rams saw a third-and-one, but were unable to pick it up. The Rams went for 28-yard field goal, but the attempt was blocked. The Falcons’ drive was slowed by a holding call, bringing up a third-and-15, and the Rams defense […]
Rockford’s young and successful boys varsity-B team represented the cross country heritage of the school well on Saturday at the Kent County Cross Country Championship, held at Grand Rapids Christian School’s Gainey Complex on East Paris Ave. Rockford Head Coach Andrew Martin made the decision to rest his varsity-A team in preparation for the upcoming conference and regional meets as the team tries to recover from illness. Coach Martin’s day did not start out the way he planned, as senior runner Kyle Alberta fell ill just before the start of the boys varsity race. Martin commented, “Kyle has been running really well lately. His best times ever have come in the past two weeks. This will create an opportunity for someone else to step up.” On a perfect day for running, with temperatures in the low 40s and very light wind, it did not take long to see that there would be some very fast times posted. East Kentwood’s Isaac Cox, one of the pre-race favorites, won the race in 16 minutes flat, as Kentwood also brought home the invitational trophy with a first-place finish. It also did not take long to see that Rockford’s boys were up to the task of performing strong even when the team was not at full strength. Led by senior Ryan Romain (17:23, 21st place overall), the Ram runners took the next three places, with Taylor Swihart (17:26), Connor Jewell (17:28) and Evan Bruin (17:32) all scoring points for the team. Senior co-captain Brett Johnson was the final Ram to score points, as he finished in 34th place with a time of 17:57. Rockford’s junior varsity team also ran at Gainey with some very respectable times. They were led by fast-improving sophomore Tyler Harney in a personal best 17:43. Harney was followed by fellow underclassmen Nate Macqueen (18:08), Jon Hazy (18:14), Andrew Pitcher (18:20) and Stephen Knape (18:26). Much like the varsity squad, the JV runners packed up very nicely and ran and pushed each other throughout the race. “Pack running has been our strategy for years,” commented Coach Martin. “We practice together, so we like to race together. This mentality has brought us a great deal of success.” The Rams next race at East Kentwood High School on […]
The women’s cross country team of Rockford claimed first place at the inaugural Kent County Cross Country Championship this past Saturday, Oct. 17. Though only nine teams in Kent County participated, the start line featured some very highly ranked teams in Rockford and East Kentwood in Division I state rankings of number one and number six, and East Grand Rapids and Grand Rapids Christian in Division II state rankings of number one and number two. “This field was extremely competitive today,” said Coach Ben Watson. “Kent County is home to some great cross country teams and the race today featured a number of them.” Sophomore Jane Hawks once again led the way for the Rams in turning in an individual runner-up effort with a fast time of 18:33. Next for the Lady Rams with strong performances were Taylor Manett and Catie Rietsema who finished with times of 19:05 and 19:18 respectively, good for sixth and seventh place. Senior Katie Carlson continued her stand-out season by turning in a lifetime personal record of 19:21, which was good for eighth place and bettered her previous best by 14 seconds. Rounding out the scoring for the Rams was Allison Hazy with a time of 20:10, which was good for 19th place. Sawyer Rocheleau concluded the varsity racing with a time of 20:46. “We had a couple great races which allowed us to come out with the victory, but in the weeks ahead we are going to need seven great races in order to accomplish some of the goals we have set for ourselves,” said Watson. The Lady Rams, who have an undefeated dual meet record, will be competing for the OK Red conference championship this Thursday, Oct. 22, at East Kentwood with races starting at 3:00 p.m.