Message to the Class of 2012 by MICHAEL S. SHIBLER, Ph.D. Superintendent of Schools Rockford Public Schools On behalf of the Rockford Public Schools Board of Education, employees, and Rockford area community, congratulations to our graduating seniors from Rockford High School, River Valley Academy, and Adult Education. You have reached a very important milestone in your lives, and we are proud of your accomplishments. While there is much to celebrate this time of year, let us take time to remember the staff and students we have lost over the years. May you carry precious memories as you embark on a new chapter in your life. I encourage you to use your Rockford High School diploma as a springboard to further educational opportunities that will prepare you for a quality life tomorrow and in the future. Albert Einstein is quoted as saying that learning begins at birth and should not end until death. How true that is! Especially when today’s good jobs require more specialized training and education. Combine that fact with the potential of fewer jobs, and the competition has become intense. You have a great foundation from which to build, and I encourage you to take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. Those who choose to “tread water” will eventually lose the energy to move forward or, worse, drown. I encourage you to keep moving forward and improving yourself and the people who are a part of your living and working environment. Each one of you is very special. You possess unique abilities and skills that no one else has. The key to your success will be your willingness to expend the energy and effort required to reach your goals through small, deliberate steps and persevering when things become tough. I wish each and every one of our graduates the best that life has to offer. As always, I encourage you to contact me with any questions or concerns, and I wish you and your family a relaxing and safe summer!