Dan Zang

The Class of 2015

July 9, 2015 // 0 Comments

By Dan Zang, RHS Principal   Mrs. Kreager, Board of Education President… “It is with great honor that I present to you the Rockford High School graduating Class of 2015. This class represents 595 graduates that have found individual and group success in their time at Rockford High School. They have excelled first and foremost in the classroom. They have left a great impression in the areas of fine arts, community service, and cocurricular activities. Their accolades and leadership have made us all very proud!” To the parents attending that evening: “Congratulations to each of you. We are so very proud to share this milestone with you! I am so very proud of this collective group of young adults and I can only imagine the pride and joy you are experiencing at this very moment. These young men and women will soon take flight – continue to grow – continue to make you even prouder than you feel this evening. I know it seemed just like yesterday you were packing their lunch boxes for the first day of Kindergarten. On behalf of the staff at Rockford High School and Rockford Public Schools, thank you for allowing us the opportunity and great fortune to work with your children; it has been a true pleasure.”   To the graduates: “In a very short while you will exit this arena one last time as a graduating class and a Rockford High School senior. As you sit waiting to walk across this stage, I want to congratulate each and every one of you on successfully making it here this evening. Each of you took varied paths to make it here and we celebrate that you have arrived and have accomplished much, although we know your story is yet untold and will take a new direction. Your launch begins this evening; take these diplomas, make differences, and soar!! “During the Honors Convocation, the tradition continued at Rockford High School of presenting our students heading into a military commitment post-graduation with a Red, White, and Blue Freedom Cord. Those seniors that were wearing the Freedom Cords were asked to stand and be recognized by their classmates and the audience. Freedom Cord recipients remained standing and were joined by those in the audience […]

RHS September 11 Tribute

August 9, 2012 // 0 Comments

by DAN ZANG Principal, Rockford High School “Our enemies have made the mistake that America’s enemies always make. They saw liberty and thought they saw weakness,” President George W. Bush. Very shortly we will start a new academic year at Rockford High School (RHS). It is very exciting to see not only our students come back to campus but to also welcome countless parents, guests and visitors. We are very proud of our longstanding tradition of excellence at Rockford Public Schools and our facility here at RHS. All who visit will soon see a patriotic display in remembrance of the September 11 attack on the United States. We were looking to redesign our front main office foyer at the high school and wanted it to be a theme that symbolized the spirit and resolve of our great country. As building principal at RHS, I have been involved and played witness to great events here at our school. Our staff and students are involved in many great causes here in Rockford, Kent County, and beyond. One such project our students were involved in last year was the West Michigan Healing Fields located at Cannonsburg Ski Area. Our students assisted in carrying and setting some of the 3,200 flags representing the lives lost on that somber day. Although many of our students were too young to recall exact memories of the attack, they were certainly aware of the impact on our country. All of our students were proud to have served in the Healing Fields project. Many flags from the Healing Fields project will be proudly displayed at RHS. Four flags will be incorporated into our design in the front foyer. These flags were ceremonially folded by members of the U.S. Marine Corps and placed in flag displays. The flags are in loving memory of four New York residents whose lives were lost on Sept. 11, 2001: Jason DeFazio, 29, Ivan Perez, 37, Michael Weinberg, 34, and William Wik, 44. Other facts and points of pride regarding our display include: •            RHS Art students, under the direction of RHS Art Instructor Barb Kent, created the vision and shared in the design of the project. •            Hands spell out COURAGE in American Sign Language to represent how our […]

Rockford men’s water polo fields 10 Academic All Americans

September 29, 2011 // 0 Comments

The Rockford men’s water polo team excels in the classroom as well as in the pool. Rockford Public Schools is honored to announce that 10 team members have been selected as Academic All Americans for the 2010-2011 school year. Dan Zang, Rockford High School principal, stated, “We are very proud of these fine young men and this very prestigious recognition. We wish them continued success in polo and so appreciate their commitment to excellence in the classroom.” To qualify for this honor, the selectees must have participated in a national water polo event. The Rockford Aquatic Club traveled to California this past summer to compete against teams from around the United States in the Water Polo Junior Olympics. Nominees must carry a minimum 3.6 GPA. Water polo coach Dave McWatters is very proud of the 10 students. “These young men represent the best of the Rockford student-athlete: succeeding in the classroom and in athletic competition. They are great role models for younger kids who want to accomplish great things both academically and athletically.” Gaining the honors are seniors Cody Brown, Eric Chisholm, Nick Dulak, Mac Finnie, Allyn Kinney and Alex Savage. Juniors honored are Mike Arend, Grant Beach, Corey Fase and Nick Willison. Further recognition goes to Arend, Beach, Dulak, Finnie, Kinney and Willison, who made “outstanding” recognition, which is carrying a GPA above 4.0. The water polo team has currently compiled a 19-1 record and is a model program in the state of Michigan. Superintendent of Rockford Public Schools Dr. Michael Shibler congratulates the team on their success and the 10 academic honorees. “The Rockford High School men’s water polo program is considered one of the most successful in the state of Michigan, if not the Midwest. This is because of our outstanding coaches, parent support, and our student-athletes, who excel in the classroom and in the pool. Without hesitation, I believe our men’s water polo program to be a ‘point of pride’ for the Rockford community.” Following are the plans of the senior recipients: • Cody Brown expects to attend Grand Rapids Community College for pre-med. • Eric Chisholm expects to attend Mercyhurst in Pennsylvania to study criminal justice. • Nick Dulak expects to attend Michigan Tech University to pursue engineering. • Mac […]


July 14, 2011 // 0 Comments

SCHOOL BEAT Presentation of a Graduating Class by DAN ZANG Principal, Rockford High School Rockford High School (RHS) recently celebrated our 2011 commencement ceremony. The class of 2011 is a tremendous group of young men and women who now move on to spread their wings. Below you will find excerpts from this year’s graduation speech: It is, with great honor that I present to you the Rockford High School graduating class of 2011. This class is composed of 590 graduates that have achieved great success in their time at Rockford High School. They have excelled first and foremost in the classroom. They have also excelled in fine arts, community service, and co-curricular activities. Their achievements and actions have made their parents, teachers, school and community very proud. To the parents here this evening: Congratulations on a job well done! As I look over this group of graduates one last time, I am so very proud of their many accomplishments. I can only imagine the pride and joy that you are feeling right now. An interesting fact to share with each and every one of you tonight is that our graduates were born in the year that we opened Rockford High School in its current location. On behalf of the staff at Rockford High School and Rockford Public Schools, thank you for allowing us the opportunity to work with your children. Rockford Public Schools’ success is directly attributed to the tremendous parent support we receive in its varying forms. We are proud to share this milestone with you parents; it has been a joy and pleasure to work with your children. To the graduates: In a short while you will exit this arena one last time as a Rockford High School senior. As you sit here waiting in great anticipation of walking across this stage, I want to take this opportunity to congratulate each and every one of you on a job well done. Each and every one of you has a story and a journey as to how you got here. We celebrate the fact that you have arrived and have accomplished. We know your story is only just beginning. Understand that the world you are facing is ever changing, interesting, and full of opportunities. […]

Gremel awarded Congressional Medal of Merit

April 22, 2010 // 0 Comments

Rockford senior Ashley Gremel has been recognized by the United States House of Representatives with the highly prestigious Congressional Medal of Merit. Gremel was recognized at a ceremony Saturday, April 17 at the Gerald R. Ford Museum in Grand Rapids. Congressman Vern Ehlers stated, “This award is being presented to you in recognition of your many achievements in the areas of academic excellence, school citizenship and community service. Your enthusiasm and dedication are qualities that all good leaders possess and strive to instill in others. You are truly an outstanding example of what is good about our young people today. Ashley’s nomination from Rockford High School read, “Generous spirit seeks to help the less fortunate: are the words used to describe Ashley. This exceptional young woman has a jovial spirit and is captain of her swim and water polo teams.  She also serves as Youth Initiative Treasurer, Blood Drive Coordinator, and Founder of the Cast Off the Cold Knitting and Donation Program. Through this effort, volunteers have donated over 1400 scarves to the homeless in Grand Rapids and Lansing. Ashley founded Cast Off in 2007, when she was just 15.  Always upbeat and positive, Ashley is a Dartmouth Book Award Winner, is recognized on the Principal’s Honor Roll, and is a YWCA Tribute Award Nominee.  She is a Four Year member of the Varsity Swim and Water Polo Teams and band, twice recognized as Academic All State, and she scored over 30 on her ACT.  Ashley believes in changing the world from a place where people are focused on serving themselves to a world where people are focused on serving humankind. The Congressional Medal of Merit is bestowed on one outstanding senior from each high school in the Third Congressional District (45 high schools total).  These students have demonstrated exemplary citizenship and academic excellence in their high school careers. They have been leaders in the areas of peer respect, community service, school citizenship, and involvement in extracurricular activities.  The students who receive a Congressional Medal of Merit have significantly contributed to making their school a better place and did not seek or expect recognition for their extraordinary efforts.

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