Hart Mrs. Ruth M. Hart, age 96, of Rockford passed away on Tuesday, February 9, 2010. She grew up on Godfrey Street in Grand Rapids and was a 1931 graduate of Lee High School and then attended Davis Tech. It was the time of the Great Depression, and her father had lost his job. He purchased the property on Young Avenue in Rockford where he farmed as a means of feeding his family. On September 11, 1937, Ruth married Pyrle “Peak” Hart. The Depression shaped Mrs. Hart’s life. She was always well organized and well prepared. In 1951, she and her husband turned the farm into the Hart’s Christmas Tree Farm. The farm has produced enjoyment for hundreds of thousands of people during the Christmas season. For 12 years, Mrs. Hart worked for the brokerage firm of DeYoung-Larson-Tornga. After her children were in school, she worked at the Rockford Paper Mill until her retirement at the age of 65. This was a job where she enjoyed the great relationships with her co-workers. Mrs. Hart was a “doer” not a “sitter.” She was the hub of the wheel that kept everything going. She and Peak loved to travel, visiting all 50 states and touring Europe several times. Always there, Mrs. Hart was the caregiver of her total family. She is survived by her children, Marilyn Hart-Tardy and her husband, David Tardy, Kriss and Gerald Slot, Tom and Gwen Hart, all of Rockford; six grandchildren, Amy Gillis, Julie and David Parrish, Rebecca Slot, John and Jamie Slot, Kim Hart, Nick Hart; two great-grandchildren, Seth Gillis, Isaac Parrish; and two nieces. She was preceded in death by her husband, Pyrle “Peak” Hart; her daughter, Phyllis Ruth; sister, Audrey; and two brothers, Earl and Red. A special thank you is extended to the angels at Pilgrim Manor for their tender love and care given to Mrs. Hart. The service for Mrs. Hart was Saturday at 11:00 a.m. at the Pederson Funeral Home with Ila Flo Barfuss, chaplain of Pilgrim Manor officiating. Interment was in Grandville Cemetery. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider the endowment fund at Pilgrim Manor. Arrangements were made by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford.
February 18 2010
NRMS pilots Ram Buddies program by LARRY WATTERS, Assistant Principal North Rockford Middle School In the words of Albus Dumbledore from the Harry Potter series, “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we really are, far more than our abilities.” One of the choices we have made this year at Rockford Public Schools that I am extremely proud of is the Ram Buddies program being piloted by North Rockford Middle School (NRMS) and Lakes Elementary School. This program, initiated by parents active in the lives of their special needs children, is an opportunity for students without disabilities to develop relationships with students with special needs. This service learning activity helps to provide support, friendship and encouragement while reinforcing our goal of academic and social success through the cooperative efforts of staff, parents and peers. The Ram Buddies application process required interested students to obtain parent permission and teachers’ recommendations prior to being selected for the program. Once selected, students received training from counseling and special education staff. The training consisted of the basics of friendship, leadership and disability awareness. When the training was completed, Ram Buddies were matched and made commitments to spend time together during the marking period. These commitments could be as simple as meeting at a locker, eating lunch together, visiting during intervention time, or possibly attending a sporting or after-school event together. Currently at NRMS, 12 special needs children are “buddied” with 32 general education students. In most cases it is indistinguishable as to who is providing the service and who is receiving. As we assess the value of the program in the future, I am confident the benefits gained by the special needs students will be abundant, but the growth of everyone involved will be unmistakable. It is our choices in life that help define us, and Ram Buddies is another reason Rockford Public Schools can be described as a student-centered district providing opportunities to learn and develop in a social world.
Lyons on Deans List at Ferris State University Former Rockford High School graduate Nicholas Lyons has earned a place on the College of Engineering Technology Dean’s List for the 2009 fall semester at Ferris State University, College of Technology. The minimum requirement for the Dean’s List is a 3.50 honor point average for a 12 credit load. Lyons has been on the Kent Skills HVACR Advisory committee for the past three years and an active member of the Michigan Service Contractors Association (MSCA).
Three students from East Rockford Middle School were selected to participate in the All-State Middle School Band. The selection process involved an audition process that included sight reading, scales and a prepared etude. Over 2,300 middle school students from around the state competed for a coveted spot in the concert. Three days of rehearsals culminated in a concert given at DeVos Performance Hall on January 23, 2010. The Middle School Band was directed by the renowned guest conductor Dr. Andrea DeRenzis Strauss. The honored students only had three rehearsals to practice together on five new pieces of music before their performance in front of the lights and crowds at DeVos Hall. Between rehearsals, the students had an opportunity to visit the Michigan Music Conference, as well as attend concerts by the famous Boston Brass and the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra. The All-State Middle School Band was sponsored by the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association