February 25 2010

Board lauds superintendent in annual review

February 25, 2010 // 0 Comments

The Rockford Board of Education issued the following summary of Superintendent Dr. Shibler’s performance evaluation, conducted on Monday, Feb. 22, 2010: Dr. Shibler is in the midst of his 21st year as Superintendent of the Rockford Public Schools. In the face of unprecedented financial constraints, he has again pursued and helped achieve his goal for the district of continuous improvement. The Education YES! grades for the district were all A’s for the fifth consecutive year. Student performance in academics and co-curricular activities continues to be exemplary. He maintains his role as an instructor for future educators and facilitates others on his staff to do so as well. The district has an unusually strong relationship with our surrounding community due to his skills as a liaison. Perhaps his most visible accomplishment, apart from his customary activities as superintendent, is his outstanding performance as chair of the KISD grassroots network. Legislation has been influenced and even initiated by him in Lansing. It is remarkable that he has accomplished all of this while spearheading a successful non-homestead renewal election. Dr. Shibler’s professional skills are second to none. Both generally and in a number of specialized educational fields, he is recognized as an expert on a local and statewide level. His philosophy of education can be summed up quite simply: Whatever is best for kids trumps all other factors. He is very professional and admired throughout the state. He is a phenomenal leader as evidenced by the number of individuals, both in his peer group and in the general community, who gravitate to his views on educational issues. Even if one conflicts with his position, he or she comes away with renewed respect for him. He is in almost constant demand as a spokesperson for education in West Michigan because he is extremely articulate, both orally and in his writing. Upon facing a new challenge, he is quick to perceive its parameters and pursue an effective approach to overcome it. He can be quite creative in his actions, with a voracious attention to detail. It should be noted that all of these attributes do not cloud his overall common sense that has served our district well. Dr. Shibler’s management style includes extensive and effective delegation of authority. As an […]

Words on Weather & Climate — February 25, 2010

February 25, 2010 // 0 Comments

Climate Data, Part II by CRAIG JAMES If you didn’t see my article from last week, I showed this chart from NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies supposedly showing about .8 degree C (1.4 degree F) warming across the globe since 1880. I think this chart is pure fantasy. Here is more on why. Last week I wrote about the United States Historical Climate Network (USHCN) and the problems with bad location of thermometers on or near tarmacs, next to buildings, on paved driveways and roads, in waste treatment plants, on rooftops, near air conditioner exhausts and more. In addition, there are problems with the adjustments made for the urban heat island effect, changing thermometer locations and thermometer calibration. This article looks at the Global Historical Climate Network (GHCN). Back in the 1970s, there were about 6,000 climate-reporting stations in the GHCN, but that number had dropped to around 1,500 in 1990 and to a little over 1,000 now. That is the entire number of land-based surface observations used in calculating the global temperature. Temperature readings are still taken at most of the original stations, but for some reason, they have been deleted from the database. A computer expert by the name of E. Michael Smith has done an exhaustive analysis of which stations have disappeared from the record and how the remaining data has been manipulated. You can read the details at his website at chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/07/30/agw-basics-of-whats-wrong/. To summarize, it appears that stations placed in historically cooler, rural areas of higher latitude and elevation were deleted from the data series in favor of more urban locales at lower latitudes and elevations, which are of course warmer. Consequently, readings after 1990 have been biased to the warm side not only by selective geographic location, but also by the influence of the urban heat island effect. For example, guess how many climate stations are now in the GHCN database for California? Just four! They are San Francisco, Santa Maria, Los Angeles, and San Diego. These are all coastal, urban and low-elevation stations. All of the high-elevation, rural and cold thermometers have been eliminated. In Canada, the number of reporting stations dropped from 496 in 1989 to just 44 in 1991 with only one—that’s right, just one—station north of […]

RCS middle school students participate in local Feeding America event

February 25, 2010 // 0 Comments

  Twenty-six Rockford Christian School (RCS) junior high students recently participated in the Feeding America event sponsored by the Merritt Lamb American Legion Post 102 in Rockford. Feeding America is the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity. Their mission is to feed America’s hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and engage the country in the fight to end hunger. Each year, the Feeding America network provides food to more than 37 million low-income people facing hunger in the United States, including more than14 million children and nearly 3 million seniors. Feeding America has a network of more than 200 food banks to serve all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, securing and distributing more than 2.5 billion pounds of food and grocery products annually. Those member food banks support approximately 63,000 local charitable agencies and 70,000 programs, which provide food directly to individuals and families in need. The teens arrived at the Post and were given a briefing on how to process the food and assist the visitors. When the Feeding America delivery arrived, the students unloaded 5,000 pounds of food from the truck. While the students worked hard unloading the food, approximately 100 families waited patiently and registered for the event. Each family received about 50 pounds of food. The American Legion volunteers gently guided the RCS students and provided a smooth-functioning system for distribution. The students enjoyed meeting the people and talking with them on various topics. Once all the food was distributed, the students helped the Post members tear down and clean up the facility. Many students were grateful for the opportunity to serve and conveyed how meaningful the day was for them personally. The students involved in the Feeding America event were Julia Blanker, Drew Bouwkamp, Audrey Conrad, Lindsey Frontjes, Tristan Fuller, Andrew Holesinger, Kaitlynn Kimmel, Bailey Kolenda, Jake Melton, Nkatha Mwenda, Nathaniel Overmeyer, Beau Redfield, Austin Rumsey, Andrew Schumacher, Hannah Stimac, Zach Terpstra, and Laura Vanderhorst.

Lady Ram Cagers fall, still hold on to first in OK Red

February 25, 2010 // 0 Comments

  Five weeks ago, January 15, it took a Herculean effort for Grand Haven to overcome an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter and double overtime to defeat the Rockford girls basketball team. However, Friday, Feb. 19, the Buccaneers defeated the Rams in regulation play 48-36. Grand Haven’s game plan apparently was to crash the defensive boards, make quick outlet passes to open Bucs, and push the ball up court, scoring easy points inside. The taller Bucs were able to accomplish this on numerous occasions, taking a 13-4 first-quarter lead. The Rams were finding it difficult to hit the open player inside and were finding it equally difficult scoring from outside. Grand Haven took a 22-8 advantage into intermission, holding the Rams to their fewest points all season. Rockford’s Lady Rams fought back, outscoring the taller Bucs in the third quarter, 11-8, on gritty play from sophomore Kimberly Weston, and seniors Allison Huyser and Katherine Huyser. Grand Haven held Rockford in check offensively by blocking a considerable number of shots during the second half. Unfortunately, the Rams never found their offense and seemed unable to push the ball up court to open players. The difficulty in scoring made it hard for the Rams to transition into their full court pressure, a trademark of their success all season. Leading the Lady Rams in scoring were Weston (10 points), A. Huyser (9), Caitlyn Patterson (7), K. Huyser (4), Megan Kelley (4), and Halle Peterson (2). Rockford was 7-9 from the charity line, with Grand Haven at 17-24. Rockford had 17 fouls; Grand Haven 11. After this game, a three-way tie exists atop the OK Red conference: Rockford, Grand Haven and West Ottawa, all with identical 9-3 records. Tuesday, Feb. 23, the Rams host Jenison, then host Muskegon on Friday, Feb. 26. • • •

Rams varsity cheer ‘never looks back’

February 25, 2010 // 0 Comments

by MARY JO HUMPHREYS-HILLS The Rockford varsity competitive cheer team jumped and tumbled their way to a sixth-place finish on February 19 at the district meet in Jenison. In one of the most exciting meets this year, the Lady Rams were within a point of a fifth-place finish, scoring a total of 776.2 in all three rounds. A charged round one resulted in a score of 221.4, followed by 16 solid team tucks for a total of 239.9 in round two. The round three score was 314.9, as the cheerleaders performed one of their top performances this season. The district competition followed another exciting meet in West Ottawa the previous Tuesday, where the Lady Rams had their best scores this season. The Lady Rams tied for fourth place in conference standings and finished another close fifth in the final OK Red conference post-season competition on February 16. Each cheer round was split by a narrow margin between all the teams in Division I. The Lady Rams tallied solid scores of 222 in round one and 248 in round two, while finishing with a final round three score of 323, setting a new school record. Seniors Torri Mills and Nicole Siderius set the foundation for the future for this group of women. Mills is finishing her fourth year and was energized by the drive and heart of this team for the sport. “This team wants to be here,” commented Mills. Her facial expressions, motions and solid experience as a flyer make her a lasting impression. Also in her fourth year, Siderius, who is also in all three rounds, worked to strengthen the confidence in the underclassmen. She is always ready to work and never steps back from a challenge. “This team has grown so much this year. It has been fun to work with a group who will listen and work to step up their game,” she said. Both seniors are fantastic leaders who lead by example on the floor. All the seniors have shown remarkable leadership this year in building the strong team with a big heart. Coach Kathy Jo Resseguie summed up the season, “I am so extremely proud of the girls this season. They fought till the end and never backed down. We […]

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