August 23, 2012 // 0 Comments

Rockford High School announces foyer dedication Last year, several Rockford High School students volunteered at the West Michigan Healing Field located at the Cannonsburg Ski Area. Students assisted in carrying and setting some of the 3,200 flags representing lives lost on that somber day. Many of the flags from the project will be proudly displayed at Rockford High School. Four flags are now incorporated into a new design in the front foyer of the school. These flags were ceremonially folded by members of the U.S. Marine Corps, placed in flag displays, and incorporated into a patriotic display that symbolizes the spirit and resolve of our great country in remembrance of the September 11 attacks on the United States. A formal dedication of the foyer is scheduled for Tuesday, September 11, 2012 at 9:00 a.m. For additional information, please contact Rockford High School Principal Dan Zang at (616) 863-6030.  

Students learn about capturing nature’s bounty

August 23, 2012 // 0 Comments

Students in the Earth Keepers Magnet at East Rockford Middle School (ERMS) spent last school year on a variety of projects to learn about responsible earth keeping. As a service-learning project, the 55 students identified the need to limit the amount of storm water runoff that was entering the nearby Bostwick Lake through ERMS parking lot drains. “We just looked for the areas that the water was running to after a rain,” stated student Emma Wilkinson. During the school year the students heard from guest speakers from West Michigan Environmental Action Council and the River City Wild Ones about how planting a rain garden would improve water quality. With the help of Tom Laage, brother of teacher Linda Spencer, the chosen area was excavated and prepared for planting. Students removed rocks from the site and used them to create a rock drainage swale in another area and spread seven yards of hardwood mulch to prepare the site. “Mr. Mike and Ms. Amy helped us pick out the plants so we had plants that could survive. Some of them have very long roots so they can really soak up the water,” said student Meriah Gannon. Most of the plants were purchased with a grant that teachers Spencer and Barb Altizer were awarded from GROUNDSWELL, a coalition of community partners that is focused on improving the Great Lakes Watershed through hands-on learning opportunities. The Earth Keepers partnered with the Baldwin Foundation, Amy Heilman of River City Wild Ones, Michael Bruggink of Fenview Landscape Design, and Nate Haan of Calvin College to plan, design and plant the rain garden. “Did you know that storm water is emptied directly into our waterways?” asked sixth-grader Casey Lenon, who went on to explain, “All that stuff that is on the pavement and roof top is channeled right to our waters and is called non-point source pollution!” On June 5, the students planted the 150+ plants and labeled them with plans to add to the garden in the future. Student Josh Wittenbach explained, “A rain garden will filter the oils and other pollutants out of the water so they never make it to the lake.” The students were excited to complete the garden and look forward to seeing it grow over their […]

Lakes Presents Olson as Example in Excellence

August 9, 2012 // 0 Comments

Jenna’s eyes sparkle with fun and warmth and reveal her personality to everyone. She is self-motivated and wants her environment to be a little happier, a little nicer, a little more creative and a little less stressful because she is in it. Jenna Olson, 10, is the daughter of Todd and Jennifer Olson and sister to James. Jenna is described by her teachers at Lakes Elementary as wise, forgiving, hard working, fun and a leader among her peers. “Jenna reaches out to other students without being prompted,” her teachers describe. An example of her generosity of spirit is evident in her work in the Lakes’ Ram Buddies program. Her teachers say Jenna went out of her way to make a true connection, befriending other students. “This year those skills are very evident in the classroom and playgrounds as I see her quickly choose to work with others who may not normally be in her peer group,” said Sandy Knottnerus, her fifth-grade teacher. She is able to accept the differences in others with grace, innately understanding that diversity of ability, background and belief is something to be celebrated. Another example of Jenna’s maturity is her ability to understand the importance of the relationships of family. Parents tell their children often that their siblings will be their friends when they become older. Jenna is proud to announce that her brother is her best friend now. Jenna’s leadership and enthusiasm are recognized by her peers as well as teachers and staff and she was voted as president of Student Council by her classmates. n addition to her academic endeavors, Jenna is a member of the St. Luke’s Lutheran Church Youth Group and the Rockford Community Theater. She includes art and drama among her hobbies. This smart, caring student makes an impression on those around her and proves that the efforts of an individual really can make a difference in the lives of others. Jenna Olson is a true Example in Excellence for Lakes Elementary School.

Valley View presents Johnson as Example in Excellence

August 2, 2012 // 0 Comments

Student’s positive joy for life has great impact on classmates, teachers Mavis Johnson is the daughter of  Chuck and Sheryl Johnson and sister to Cailie, Clifton and Madelyne. Mavis is an exemplary leader who sets the bar high by her example. She continually uses the life skills of patience, respect, perseverance, flexibility, friendship and effort on a daily basis. Her spark and smile never falter, even when the going gets tough. Teachers and staff at Valley View Elementary can always count on Mavis to volunteer when help is needed or one of her peers need assistance. She also contributes in class where her positive approach becomes contagious. It is not long before her fellow classmates catch some of her spirit and “can-do” attitude. Described as a delightful student, Mavis displays a positive joy for life and has a great impact on her classmates and teachers. At Valley View, Mavis is a servant leader for the school store as she assists the other students with a smile once again. As a Safety for her school, Mavis takes her role very seriously. As with her studies, she is punctual and responsible in that role as well. Mavis is especially nurturing with younger students. Mavis’ leadership transcends the classroom and school setting as well. She participates in many activities, including soccer and volleyball. Mavis is her brother and sister’s biggest fan as they pursue their own athletic careers. Mavis loves animals, as is evidenced by having two dogs and three cats that she independently cares for. Finally, Mavis wants to be a mom and a teacher when she grows up—more evidence of her servant leadership attitude. Mavis helps to make Valley View the special school family that it is. For all her fine qualities, Mavis Johnson is clearly an Example in Excellence at Valley View Elementary School.

Heider awarded GVSU scholarship

August 2, 2012 // 0 Comments

Katelyn Heider of Rockford has been named a recipient of a faculty scholarship to Grand Valley State University (GVSU). Heider, a recent graduate of Rockford High School, is the daughter of Charlie and Debbie Heider. To be considered for a faculty scholarship, the recipient must have a 3.6 high school grade-point average (GPA), a minimum ACT score of 29, and attend a scholarship competition. The award is renewable for three additional years with a minimum of a 3.5 GPA or better. GVSU is dedicated to providing a rich learning environment for students, offering a wide range of majors and hands-on research opportunities. Highly credentialed and responsive faculty and individual advisors and mentors promote a liberal arts emphasis that teaches students critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

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