Local Student Wins Prestigious Award

March 19, 2009 // 0 Comments

by CHRISTINE BIGNEY Courtney Fedeson knows the importance of sticking to a project until it’s finished. In this particular case, $1,000 and a trip to Washington, D.C. was the reward. Courtney, a seventh-grader at North Rockford Middle School, was awarded an engraved silver medallion that signified her selection as one of Michigan’s top two youth volunteers for 2009 in the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program. The ceremony took place at the school board meeting on Monday, March 9. The award, sponsored in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), is part of a broad initiative created by Prudential Financial to encourage young people to become involved with community service. The award was presented by Douglas Kliewer, a financial planner and representative from the well-known insurance company. “We want to recognize the students who donate an insurmountable amount of hours for their community,” said Kliewer. Courtney was honored for helping her Girl Scout troop lead a project that landscaped and beautified the front entrance of her school. They raised approximately $12,000 to fund this project. “I think I understand now what a great community I live in; a place where people will pitch in and volunteer,” Courtney said. “All you have to do is take the initiative and act.” Courtney was one of 104 other top honorees from across the country to win this prestigious award. She will join them in early May in Washington, D.C. for several days of national recognition events. Ten of them will be named America’s top youth volunteers for 2009 at that time. Courtney’s father, Brian Fedeson, is extremely proud of his daughter’s accomplishments. “This is an impressive award. If Courtney wins one of the top ten, $5,000 comes back to the Rockford area to help area charities.” Courtney plans on saving her $1,000 award for college. She wants to become a lawyer. “I found out that I can make a difference,” said Courtney.

Our Greatest Natural Resource is Our Kids

March 19, 2009 // 0 Comments

by DAN ZANG Principal, Rockford High School “Kids these days…” This statement tends to be tossed around from time to time to describe our youth; I imagine out of frustration more times than not—perhaps a statement we run to when we don’t quite understand what our young people are thinking. I assure you, in my role, I am amazed daily by “kids these days.” As the storms of economic gloom hover over us, I am excited for the future! Our greatest natural resource, our children, are ready to set out and make a difference in this world. Walking the halls of Rockford High School I encounter students who: organize blood drives for the American Red Cross; take an active role in protecting nature and cleaning the White Pine Trail; provide peer tutoring to their classmates after school; sponsor food drives throughout the year to assist the North Kent Service Center; raise funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association; participate in the Relay for Life fundraiser in Rockford; are working after school to assist their families, who are struggling in these difficult financial times; have helped provide assistance to community members with vehicles stuck in the snow; take the time to venture into downtown Grand Rapids to help feed the homeless; have provided warm clothes and other winter essentials to several inner-city schools; adopted several Rockford area families and made the holiday season very special for families who were unable to otherwise have gifts and essentials for the season; are active in church youth groups, providing for the greater good in our community, our state, our nation, and the world; are polite and willing to assist their classmates and their community. Do we have students who find trouble from time to time? Sure we do. With the help of parents, family members, teachers, counselors, church members, and other resources, we can generally provide students with the assistance they need. Sometimes the “school of hard knocks” will deliver the lesson that ultimately gets them on track. I could go on and on with numerous other examples. They may dress differently than we did at their age, their vocabulary is different, and they have technical skills we were never exposed to, but they do have one thing in common […]

Celebrity Red Carpet Event through Student Run Credit Unions!

March 19, 2009 // 0 Comments

This Student Run Credit Union is the “reel” deal! Red Carpet Events will be held in three Rockford area schools. Rockford Community Federal Credit Union is making savings fun in schools through a movie and celebrity themed, fully functioning “reel” Student Run Credit Union. Schools participating in programs are Belmont, Roguewood, and Our Lady of Consolation School. The schools recognize the need to teach students how to save for the future. In a partnership with Rockford Community Federal Credit Union the Student Run Credit Union was established. This program is now in its 6th year of operation. “By partnering with the schools, it provides the students an opportunity and a first hand experience with money management and financial education. Students learn as employees and as members who make deposits and withdrawals. Good habits learned early are more likely to last a lifetime,” said Connie Taylor, CEO of Rockford Community Federal Credit Union. These Credit Unions are now fully functional and run once a week for students to be able to make deposits, withdrawals and learn how to save money. The students get rewarded for good savings through games and prizes. As an added bonus, students in 5th grade have the opportunity to become an employee of the Student Run Credit Union. Lisa Smith, the Educational Coordinator for Rockford Community Federal Credit Union, oversees the Student Run Credit Unions. She says, “in these tough economic times our goal with the all Student Run Credit Unions is to provide a “reel” life financial literacy-based program that teaches students about saving money, decision-making and critical thinking while they are young.” The Credit Union hopes that by having the Credit Union, students will be more responsible with their money management and finances in the future. The Red Carpet was rolled out February 9, at Belmont Elementary, February 11 in Roguewood Elementary, and February 12 in Our Lady of Consolation School. These super star celebrations had snacks and Emmy pictures with celebrities for all student members.

Local Students Named to Dean’s Lists

March 12, 2009 // 0 Comments

Alma College has named over 380 students to the Dean’s List for outstanding academic performance during the 2008 fall term. Students who achieve a 3.5 or better grade-point average during a term, while carrying a minimum of 13 credits, at least eight of which are evaluative grades, are named to the Dean’s List. Two Rockford High School graduates, Linnae Caurdy and Ryan DeHaan, both seniors at Alma, have been named to the Dean’s List. Calvin College has announced its winter 2008 Dean’s List, requiring that a student maintains at least a 3.5 grade-point average for the semester and has at least a 3.3 cumulative grade-point average. The following Rockford High School graduates were named to the list: Sarah Robinson of Belmont, a sophomore majoring in speech pathology and audiology, is the daughter of Daniel and Burnetta Robinson; Cassaundra Bell of Rockford, a freshman majoring in English, is the daughter of Hal and Karen Bell; Denise Britton of Rockford, a senior majoring in Spanish, is the daughter of Daryl and Dorothy Britton; Jennifer Erickson of Rockford, a sophomore majoring in Spanish, is the daughter of Timothy and Carole Erickson; Rachelle Grandia of Rockford, a sophomore majoring in business/math group, is the daughter of Roger and Diane Grandia; Paul Haverkamp of Rockford, a senior majoring in biology, is the son of Phyllis Haverkamp; Lauren Kelley of Rockford, a sophomore majoring in biochemistry, is the daughter of Michael and Kathleen Kelley; Jessica Roodvoets of Grand Rapids, a junior majoring in art, is the daughter of Diane Roodvoets. Also named to the list are the following Northpointe Christian High School graduates: Lindsay Bailey of Rockford, a senior majoring in elementary education (three minors), is the daughter of Michael and Sue Bailey; Sarah Bratt of Rockford, a sophomore majoring in nursing, is the daughter of David and Ruth Ann Bratt; Deborah Gray of Rockford, a senior majoring in English, is the daughter of Charles and Jeanette Gray; Samuel Lefurge-Mcleod of Rockford, a freshman majoring in communications A&S, is the son of David and Tamalette Lefurge-Mcleod; Luke Pettinga of Rockford, a senior majoring in geology, is the son of Ross and Jonell Pettinga; Andrea Waldo of Rockford, a junior majoring in music, is the daughter of Carl and Gerdina Waldo. Central […]

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