Student’s achievements already impressive Alex Quinn, 18, is the son of Allan and Cindy Quinn and brother to Adam and Alysse. Teachers at Rockford High School couldn’t say enough about Alex, and described him as optimistic, helpful, enterprising, sociable, easygoing, scholarly, resourceful, purposeful, attentive, confident, dedicated, discerning and persevering. “Alex assists and tutors others,” they report. He founded a nonpartisan political club, Junior State of America (JSA), designed to promote political awareness and increase political activism. He led a petition drive to help students advocate for resolution to the perpetual school budget crisis. He takes time to befriend newcomers such as foreign exchange students. He provides insightful contributions to classroom discussions and encourages others to speak up and get involved. Among Alex’s activities are mentoring and peer ministry. He is a coach for Special Olympics in track and field and downhill ski, and is a coach for the Cannonsburg Challenged Ski Association, and has been an intern for State Senator Mark Jansen. Alex’s positive can-do attitude is combined with a compassionate spirit. He sees challenges as opportunities for personal growth and strives to achieve his personal best without putting himself above others. This student is open, outgoing, agreeable and a conscientious leader. Alex has a passion for making a positive difference in the lives of others and has delight in pushing the envelope to achieve his personal best. If Alex’s future is indicated by his past achievements, he will go far. He has been a Michigan JSA senator, RHS JSA chapter president, junior class vice president, selected to leadership conferences (JSA Future Leaders, Rotary Life Leadership, Michigan Boys State), and he was one of the first rising freshmen to attend Princeton University JSA summer school and one of the first rising sophomores to attend Georgetown University JSA summer school. Alex was a Samsung American Legion Scholarship finalist, a Michigan Mathematics prize finalist, band section leader in baritone, wind ensemble first chair euphonium, Honor Caddy, Student of the Month as both freshman and junior, winner of the Harvard Book Award, earned an ACT composite of 35, is an advanced placement scholar with honors with a 4.66 GPA, was in District 10 Honors band 2010 and received a First Division rating in District 10 Solo and Ensemble 2011. Alex’s […]
Examples in Excellence
Examples in Excellence tenth year of students recognized Dr. Michael Shibler was the first of many speakers during the tenth annual Examples in Excellence, Rockford Students Making a Difference ceremony Monday, February 28 at the district administration building. Shibler called Examples a highlight of the school year. The program is a joint effort by the district, Douglas Photography and The Rockford Squire newspaper to recognize students for the difference they make in the lives of those around them. Each school in the district annually chooses one student for their strength of character and each principal describes that student before a crowd of family members, friends and the entire school board. This year’s Example in Excellence is available at the Squire, Douglas Photography and at the RPS administration building. Student biographies and photos will also be published in the coming editions of the Squire. Congratulations to each of the fine young men and women who were honored.
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 […]
Natural leader has a strong moral compass Kory Young, 14, is the son of Brian and Kim Young and brother to Brianna, 11, and Christina, 9. Kory’s teachers call him responsible, trustworthy and hardworking. “Kory is so accepting of others,” staff at ERMS said of him. “He shows that it is a good thing to have good character and it is a good thing not to judge.” Kory is the type of student you can count on to do what needs to be done. When he is given a challenge, he will follow through one hundred percent. He is reliable and works without supervision. His teacher said she would trust him to watch over children because he has so much character and a strong sense of morals. In football, it is easy to see Kory’s strong natural leadership. He is captain of his team and makes sure no one is left out. He is also a leader in his video production class. His positive attitude is reflected in his determination to improve any situation. He pays attention to details and has a natural moral compass as his guide. He challenges himself and rises to meet those challenges. Kory has been chosen as Student of the Month at East Rockford Middle School and is on the National Junior Honors Society. He earns a placement on the Principal’s Honor Roll and has been Writer of the Month. Kory became a brown belt in Tae Kwon Do when he was just 8—only two levels below a black belt, the highest level. He enjoys baseball, football, snowboarding, drawing, painting, hiking and mountain biking. He volunteers at God’s Kitchen to help those less fortunate. Kory is a hard worker and natural leader with great strength of character. His ability to put his best effort in all he does, yet still make sure those around him receive any help he can offer, make him an Example in Excellence at East Rockford Middle School.
Eclectic student shows calm confidence, dedication Jordan Sherwin has a wide range of interests and experience. He is currently working on earning a certificate in welding at Kent Community Technical Center and plans to complete the Grand Rapids Community College welding program. He can sew and enjoys working on clothing. Jordan is also interested in screen printing. This eclectic student is an outdoorsman who likes hunting, fishing and hiking. He is an avid bicycle rider and would like to learn foreign languages. Jordan’s calm confidence and dedication to meeting his goals is evident in his approach to school. He is a model of appropriate behavior and work ethic. His teachers constantly remark on his desire and ability to excel not only at River Valley Academy but at the next stages of his life as well. Most importantly, Jordan is an example of determination. Others can look to him for inspiration when things become difficult and see that great things are possible. Jordan plans on working in a welding career after college and then start a clothing business. He would like to travel while working in his profession and learn about different cultures and people.