Dan Davison

Tenth annual Examples unveiling to be held

February 24, 2011 // 0 Comments

by BETH ALTENA “I can’t believe it’s been ten years,” said Rockford photographer Dan Davison of Douglas Photography. Davison brought the Examples in Excellence program to Rockford Public Schools (RPS) a decade ago. In the years since RPS, Davison and The Rockford Squire newspaper have been working together to recognize a very special group of students. Rockford is known to be a powerhouse in athletics with dozens of state championships. It is also a leader in education, known as one of the state’s most desirable districts and the only district of its size to have every building a Blue Ribbon Exemplary School. The district is the only one in the state, however, that has a formal ceremony to recognize students for an entirely different reason than either academic or athletic achievement. In Rockford, students are also honored and recognized for strength of character. Examples in Excellence, Rockford Students Making a Difference is a three-part program. Staff from each school in the district, from elementary on up to the alternative high school, pick a student on the basis of being a good community citizen and for what they do for others. After meeting with the students, Davison creates a portrait which tells about the young man’s or woman’s personality and activities, which he then mounts on a board which is on prominent display at the administration building for a full year. The Squire contributes by producing biographies of each student and publishing them, along with the portraits, in an heirloom, keepsake publication on high-quality paper to last a lifetime. This year’s students, as in the past, are the ones who are often overlooked, despite their good deeds. “Examples” kids are students who don’t necessarily command attention or make a big deal out of their efforts. They might not be the star in the athletic arena and might not be the first to raise their hand when teachers ask for answers. What they are, are people who, at a young age, already get what is really important in life: looking out for others and doing the right thing. This year’s students include a girl who volunteers at the Kent County Humane Society, a ten-year-old who has a mind for business and a girl with a spirit of […]

Student strength of character to be recognized

February 4, 2010 // 0 Comments

It is one of the most positive stories the Squire covers in the course of a year. Actually, it is over a dozen separate stories. From every school in the Rockford district, principals and staff have the hard task of picking just one student for a very special honor. In Examples in Excellence, Rockford Students Making a Difference, we honor young people chosen for their generosity of heart and strength of character. In a joint effort with Rockford Public Schools, Douglas Photography and The Rockford Squire, students are recognized in print, in portrait photography and in person next Monday, February 8. Photographer Dan Davison brought to Rockford the idea of recognizing kids for all they do to make a difference in the lives of others. The students are chosen by the school staff, the first step in a long process that culminates at an unveiling ceremony that will be held at 7:30 p.m. at the auditorium at the Rockford Schools Administration building. Parents, grandparents, siblings, friends, school staff and the Board of Education recognize these youngsters and first see the biographies and photographs published in an heirloom publication that will be treasured for a lifetime. Douglas Photography’s Davidson donates his time and cost in taking portraits of the kids and creating large framed photos that will be displayed in the administration offices for the next full year. After, each family is given the portrait as a gift. At the ceremony, the portraits are seen for the first time. The Squire publishes a keepsake edition supplement to the newspaper, a stand-alone, full color Examples in Excellence, Rockford Students Making a Difference. Supported by local businesses, the publication is also unveiled for the first time at the ceremony before being distributed in the Squire and at participating companies. “It gives us an opportunity to recognize these very well-rounded students,” said Lisa Jacobs, Director of Rockford Community Education Services. In its ninth year, the ceremony continues to be packed with proud supporters of these students. “These students are always very humble, very thankful to be recognized,” Jacobs said. Each year the families are thrilled that their child was chosen for such an elite honor and for such a good cause. “Any time we have an opportunity to recognize […]