Student is known for his ‘come on, keep trying’ attitude Luke Schuring, 10, is the son of Kathy and Jason Schuring and sibling to Haylee, 13, and Derrik, 8. Open-minded, willing to try new things, honest and thoughtful of others are the words Luke’s teachers use to describe him. An example of this young man’s giving nature was provided by his mother. She had given him some money for doing chores around the house without being asked. Later, at the store, he had picked out some candy to buy with his money. When he approached the cashier, he noticed a donation container. He put back the candy and asked his mother if it was alright if he donated his money instead. Luke has a “come on, keep trying” attitude and his teachers say he never gives up once he sets his mind to a goal. Wise beyond his years, he is described as a “thirty-year-old man trapped in a ten-year-old’s body.” Luke’s teachers say he is willing to follow suggestions and directions and is known for his cheerful attitude. He is known in school by his classmates and staff for being quick to volunteer any help he can to others. He is an Early Childhood Special Education helper at school as well as a lunch room helper. Outside of school his caring nature is also evident and he enjoys collecting for food drives. Motivated by the self-satisfaction of doing his best and never holding back, Luke loves to help others succeed as well. He is as much interested in helping others meet their goals as he is in his own success. His determination and enthusiasm are always evident and he brings out the same attitude in others by example. Luke loves art and has had his work displayed at Bishop Hills Elder Care Community. He is also a Boy Scout and loves earning new patches. Also an athlete, Luke was named Most Valuable Player on his soccer team. Among his accomplishments is taking first place in the Boy Scout Father and Son Cake Bake. Luke loves to read, create art, play football and soccer and run. He is an avid outdoors person who loves to fish, camp and build shelters outdoors. A joy to have […]
Megan is a leader in and out of the classroom Megan Derby, 10, is the daughter of Ed and Jennifer and the sister to Josh. All who meet her describe her as kind-hearted and sweet. Megan is described by her teachers as a thoughtful young lady, a willing helper, and very bright student. She goes out of her way to help everyone. She is a hard worker showing passion and commitment to a task. She shows her integrity by knowing what is right and doing it. Megan is a leader in and out of the classroom. She shows great responsibility in all her tasks. She thinks of others before herself. Megan finds ways to help others. She shows her service to community as a lunchroom helper. She also volunteers to help Mr. Bob with recycling during the lunch period. She serves as a Safety and as a STAR technology student helping out in the computer lab. “Megan is the type of student willing to help anyone who needs it,” her teachers say of her. She is always willing to be a study buddy with any of her classmates. Megan’s “can-do” attitude is evident daily. She is always positive with every task given to her. Her teachers note that she seems intrinsically motivated to do her best and has the support and love of her family behind her. Not only does she strive for her personal best, she helps others achieve their personal best as well. Megan is a very involved young lady. She has been a competitive dancer with the Rockford School of Dance for the last six years dancing tap, jazz and ballet. Megan also loves sports and participates in Community Education soccer, baseball and basketball. She has also participated in Parkside’s Odyssey of the Mind team and is an altar server at Our Lady of Consolation Catholic Church. Meagan earned first place in Parkside’s Spelling Bee in fourth and fifth grades and will represent our school at the regional bee. Megan is clearly a student with strong values who is not afraid to do what is right. Her determination, kind nature, and willingness to make a difference in her everyday actions make her an Example in Excellence for Parkside Elementary School.
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 […]
Rachel Cruden, 10, is the daughter of John and Lisa Cruden and sister to Andy, 9, and Hannah, 7, and has been named as one of the “Examples in Excellence” for 2010 through Rockford Public Schools. This hardworking student is committed to accomplishing her goals and is helpful to her teachers, her classmates and at home. Staff at Parkside Elementary say that Rachel often goes out of her way to help and mentor others. She is described as courageous and helps her peers believe in their own abilities. Rachel is also known for her responsibility and respect for others. Among Rachel’s accomplishments are her participation in Odyssey of the Mind and her church outreach program where she helps distribute food at St. Stephen Lutheran Church’s pantry. She was the top speller in her fourth-grade spelling bee and is involved in Girl Scouts. Rachel is a problem-solver, and doesn’t take the easy route in life. She pushes herself to be the best she can be and her attitude is contagious to those around her. This year Rachel had open heart surgery, and while in the hospital she made friends with her roommate, a friendship she still maintains. Rachel is interested in music, gymnastics, reading and writing and has had her work published. She would like to be an author someday. Teachers and staff recognize the tenacious spirit of this student who is not afraid to take a stand for what she knows is right.
It has been nearly a decade since Rockford Public Schools (RPS), Douglas Photography and The Rockford Squire newspaper have teamed up to recogonize special students. Over the years their stories have been moving and inspirational. This year is no exception. Examples in Excellence, Rockford Students Making A Difference, a supplement to the Squire was unveiled Monday, February 8. Find your copy in this issue, pick one up at the Rockford Public Schools administrative building on Main Street or at the Squire at 331 Northland Drive. Each RPS school has selected one student based on their strength of character to be included in this once-a-year program. One youngster underwent open heart surgery this school year. Another has started her own non-profit organization to help the homeless to stay warm. It was standing room only during the ceremony as parents, siblings, grandparents, school staff and the Rockford Board of Education honored the students. Dr. Shibler, Rockford Superintendent, said he values the group effort this program requires. “I am so proud of the partnershipRockford Public Schools has with the Squire and Douglas Photography,” he said. “It is a tribute to our community and families that we have students such as these.” Examples in Excellence is possible because of the advertisers who support the program. Please take time to thank the ones you know and visit the ones you don’t. If you know the students in this year’s Example in Excellence, be sure to congratulate them on this great honor.