Berklee College of Music announces that John Farquharson of Belmont has earned placement on the Dean’s List for the fall semester of the 2010 academic year. To be eligible for this honor, a full-time student must achieve a grade-point average of 3.4 or above; a part-time student must achieve a grade-point average of 3.6 or above. The Berklee curriculum focuses on practical career preparation for today’s music industry. Four-year degrees are offered in performance, jazz composition, music production and engineering, film scoring, music business/management, composition, music synthesis, contemporary writing and production, music education, songwriting, music therapy, and professional music. Berklee College of Music was founded on the revolutionary principle that the best way to prepare students for careers in music was through the study and practice of contemporary music. For over half a century, the college has evolved constantly to reflect the state of the art of music and the music business. With over a dozen performance and nonperformance majors, a diverse and talented student body representing over 70 countries, and a music industry “who’s who” of alumni, Berklee is the world’s premier learning lab for the music of today—and tomorrow.
Board of Education
January is School Board Recognition Month, and Rockford Public Schools is joining 552 local and 57 intermediate school districts across the state to thank these community volunteers for their untiring dedication to public education. “Michiganders benefit every day from the dedicated energies and countless hours devoted by a group of more than 4,000 men and women across the state,” said Dr. Michael Shibler, Superintendent of Rockford Public Schools. “These public servants are elected by our community to serve, and receive little recognition for the difficult job that they do. They are dedicated individuals who are committed to the continuing success of our schools and students.” In a climate of change and challenge, school board members in Rockford develop policies and make tough decisions on complex educational and social issues that affect the entire community and impact individual students. They bear responsibility an oversight for an annual budget of $72 million, approximately 8,000 students, 900 employees and 17 buildings. “We proudly join educators and community members in saluting these education advocates as they provide vision and leadership for student achievement, academic programs, district funding and school facilities. Their service ensures that decisions about local public schools are made by those most familiar with the needs of our community’s children and families,” said Shibler. “They preserve the core of our democracy—public education.” Board members will be formally recognized at the January 10 Board of Education meeting at the Rockford Administration Building. The men and women currently serving on the Rockford Public Schools Board of Education (with first year elected) are: David M. Keller, president (2006); Laura L. Featherston, vice president (2006); Miles J. Postema, secretary (2004); Carol A. Hillman, treasurer (2003); and trustees Timothy J. Lewis (2010), Tamara J. Schollaart (1998), and Randall C. Sellhorn (1995).
School Beat Are schools political or practical? by RANDY SELLHORN, Trustee, Board of Education I have been a school board trustee for many years now. I have come to expect certain things at certain times of the year as we move through the activities of a school year. Kindergarten roundup, graduation, budget development, purchasing buses to replace worn vehicles, spring break, all of these events happen at a similar time each school year. Let me share with you what I expect from an election year. This being an election year and the start of spring drills for political football season is underway. Political football season comes every two years, when politicians select their “platform” to promote their election campaigns. I am certain at the top of the list of platform topics will be Michigan’s failing public schools and the cost of public school funding. They feel that bashing public schools is a winning play almost as certain to score votes as the wrap-around draw (a favorite play of Rockford football fans) is to score a touchdown. I would be foolish to claim that there are not public schools that deserve the reputation the politicians will describe, and equally foolish if I told you the current budget circumstances can be easily resolved. The politicians will claim that public schools fail to graduate the majority of the students that start school in the ninth grade; that the schools will not accept accountability for student performance, that they are economically inefficient, that they are attempting to overtax the residents, and schools are unwilling to change to correct these shortcomings. I want to demonstrate to you that they are not talking about Rockford Public Schools when they make their accusations. I am here to proclaim that Rockford Public Schools is an example of what is right about public school education. We have high expectations for our students and ourselves. We get extraordinary results from both. We graduate almost every student that starts the ninth grade in Rockford. Only 2.2% drop out; some of those are transfers to another school to complete their education. In addition, every graduate of Rockford High School since the class of 1995 is required to pass a reading and mathematics proficiency test to receive a diploma. […]
David Pawloski, a 2003 graduate of Rockford High School, has earned a place on the College of Engineering Technology Dean’s List for the 2008 fall semester at Ferris State University. The minimum requirement for the Dean’s List is a 3.5 honor-point average for a 12-credit load. Pawloski’s honor-point average was 3.9. His proud parents are Don and Lish Pawloski of Belmont.
by TAMMY SCHOLLAART Vice President, Board of Education While this is the beginning of a new calendar year, we are actually about halfway through the school year, which means we are beginning to make plans for the 2009-2010 school year. Chief among those plans will be the budget. As you have been hearing in the news, the economy in Michigan is not good. The revenue hearing held on January 9 affirmed there is less revenue coming into the state. As of this moment, we don’t know what this news will mean for the schools, but chances are good that we will not see any increases, and we are really hopeful there will not be any reductions. We budget conservatively and will continue this same process. We will keep you informed as we learn what the impact will be to Rockford Public Schools. Another area of planning is the orientations for the fifth-to-sixth-grade, sixth-to-seventh-grade and eighth-to-ninth-grade transitions. These will be held beginning mid-February. Watch your newsletters so you don’t miss the opportunity to learn how to help your student select the best classes as well as learn what new opportunities will be available. The high school students will also begin selecting classes for the 2009-2010 school year. Realizing we are only halfway through the second trimester, I hope you are talking with your student about their experience with trimesters so far. You are strongly encouraged to let either the principals or counseling staff know if you have any concerns, as well as letting them know any positive comments. Finally, I want to take this opportunity to say what a great community we live in. Not only was there great support for the football state championship game, but the support and encouragement was also great for the landscaping project the Girl Scouts from North Rockford Middle School completed, which cumulated in the placement of a new Ram statue. If you haven’t seen it, drive through the parking lot at North Rockford Middle School on the corner of Ten Mile Road and Wolverine Boulevard – you can’t miss it!