The teachers in Rockford Public Schools work each day to reach out to community children who cross the threshold of their classroom. To extend this impact and benefit children both locally and regionally, the Rockford teachers’ union, the Rockford Education Association, has recently made donations to North Kent Community Services and the Salvation Army. To assist with restocking the North Kent food pantry after a demanding winter, a donation of $500 was made. This donation provides funding to purchase 3,125 pounds of groceries or 6,250 pounds of dairy products. A donation of $200 was made to the Salvation Army’s Angel Baby drive, a countywide effort jointly pursued by the Kent County Education Association and the Salvation Army. The Angel Baby drive collects critically needed items for children ages 5 and younger. The donation made can be used for diapers, formula, clothing, and children’s safety products. The Rockford teachers’ union members are proud of their annual efforts to not only educate Rockford’s children but also reach out to the larger community.
March 10 2011
If Jessalyn Gingrich wins any more competitions, she’s going to need a bigger jacket. The Rockford resident has been riding horses since she’s been able to walk, and has racked up so many wins in competitions from barrel racing to roping that the list of her championships, embroidered on her coat, literally can’t get any longer. But she continues to win. Jessalyn is a junior at Grand Rapids Christian High School. Competition in 2011 represents her sixth year of involvement in Michigan High School Rodeo. She competed at the junior high level (sixth through eighth grade) and now competes at the high school level (ninth through 12th). Jessalyn uses three horses in her competition. Booker is a Palomino that she uses for barrel racing, Jax is a big black mare used for pole bending and goat tying, and Nick is the roping horse used in breakaway roping and team roping. Jessalyn was selected to be a member of Team Cinch, which is the All Star team. In order to qualify, riders must be a top contestant in one of the seven events. Jessalyn’s selection was based on her team roping event. She was a national qualifier in three events: pole bending, goat tying, and team roping. To qualify for nationals, Jess ended the season in the top four of the event. National finals were held in Gillette, Wyo. in July 2010. The Gingrich family made the trip with all three horses along with another family to share expenses. Competition consists of qualifiers from each state, Canadian provinces and even Australia. High school rodeo is also committed to community involvement in Michigan. Jessalyn participated in a Special Needs Rodeo held at Bristle Farms in Tecumseh, Mich. last October. High school contestants gave demonstrations of rodeo events to kids with varying degrees of disability. They also pair up with the kids and teach them the events with roping dummies, stick horses, and a mechanical bull. It’s hard to say who has more fun, the high school contestants or the kids with the disabilities. Jessalyn is also involved in open rodeos outside of high school competition. In February, she had the privilege of carrying the American flag at a rodeo held at JDJ ranch in Evart, Mich. It […]
Belmont Elementary students learned about history, dress up as favorite characters and perform for their teachers and peers Wednesay, March 3. As part of the school’s wax museum project, kids prepared a historic account of a famous Americans and dressed up in period outfits, including an early wheelchair for President Franklin D. Roosevelt. As the wax museum part of the program, children held a pose as they waited for someone to put a ticket into their custom-made boxes to prompt a 30-second performance before the student returned to their pose and wait for another customer.
Scogg wins state championship for his mom by JIM COOPER A state championship is never a small feat. The hard work that goes into winning a title can never be emphasized enough. Unquestionably, it’s one of the greatest accomplishments most athletes who do will ever achieve. But sometimes, it’s much more than just a state championship. Sometimes it’s more than the medal and the fanfare. When Rockford junior Austin Scogg won the state individual championship at 152 pounds in Auburn Hills on Saturday, March 5, no superlative could describe the power of the moment. In December, Scogg’s mother, Renee, was diagnosed with stage three ovarian cancer. Her doctor scheduled surgery at the most immediate time available. She’s been undergoing chemotherapy since then. While, for many competitors, that might be a hindrance to their performance, it helped Scogg intensify his focus. “Ever since I found out about my mom having cancer, I’ve been wrestling for her,” said Scogg. “I’ve been trying to put a smile on her face.” It wasn’t hard to tell she had a huge smile on her face as Renee danced and cheered wildly in the stands after her son’s match at the Palace of Auburn Hills. But why not dance? In that moment, all the pain and fatigue of her battle with cancer was nonexistent. For the entire Scogg family, on that night, the worries were gone. It was the perfect distraction from the reality of their situation. It wasn’t only a distraction for Renee. It was therapeutic, as well. “Watching Austin wrestle the last few months has given me something else to think about,” she said after the medal ceremony. Scogg’s father, Andy, was also beaming. “We couldn’t be more proud of Austin,” he commented. “It’s great to see him realize his dreams, even through the adversity he’s faced. When he was a little kid, I asked him where he wanted to be. He said, ‘In a gym, on the wrestling mat.’ I asked him why, and he said, ‘To get a medal.’ He’s done that.” Ram wrestling coach Brian Richardson acknowledged Scogg’s accomplishment as one of the most special thing’s he’d ever been a part of. “A championship is always a big thing,” Richardson said, “but when a kid faces […]
The Rockford boys ski team has pulled out a last-minute victory in their last race of the season to win their second conference championship in a row. The team has had their ups and downs this season but never gave up. Winning the championship this season shows that they have had a strong season and that every skier on the team played a part in this victory. Their season ended in the regional ski race at Schuss Mountain. The conditions were very poor and the skiing was challenging. The boys took seventh overall at the regional race. The girls ski team took third place in the conference and sixth place at the regional race. To top off the season, the following skiers were recognized for their accomplishments this season. Ben Avink, Taylor Noakes, Ryan Donley and Julie Daukss were selected for the All Conference team in giant slalom, slalom and the combined. Jake Lewis was named All Conference in slalom and Honorable Mention in giant slalom and combined. Selected to the Honorable Mention team for slalom were Emily Macauley and Bethany Hicks. Macauley was also selected for the giant slalom and the combined Honorable Mention teams. Avink and Daukss qualified to race in the state finals on February 28 in Marquette. The ski teams’ athletes practice weekly in some very cold weather and their fans are usually their family members. The racers could not have succeeded without the assistance of their coaches Molly Noakes and Mark Brace.