Rockford Freshman Center

Rockford Freshman Center to hold Meijer State Games archery competition

June 21, 2012 // 0 Comments

Local cyclist, shooter a featured athlete Over 5,000 athletes are expected to participate in Michigan’s third Olympic-style State Games, which will take place throughout West Michigan through June 22, including the Rockford Freshman Center, 4100 Kroes Street. A Rockford cyclist and rifle marksman is also one of the featured athletes at the biking and small bore rifle competition portions of the State Games. Jeff DeRegnaucourt, of Rockford Sportsman’s Club, is organizing the archery competition at the center, which will take place June 22-24. Last year’s Meijer State Games archers from the Rockford Sportsman’s Club led the parade of athletes into the opening ceremonies at Fifth Third Ball Park. According to DeRegnaucourt, there are 108 archers ranging in age from 5 to 78 competing this year up from 60 last year.. Twenty-three are members of the National Archery in the Schools (NASP) from across the state of Michigan. The kids shoot the bows they were trained on in school as a physical education class. “We are dedicating the entire afternoon from 4 p.m. on Saturday, for their tournament,” he explained. On Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. will be the first day of the Federal International Archery (FITA) competition. Most amazing for audiences to watch are the two long-distance competitions, the longest of which is 90 meters, the length of a football field. The long distances will be shot Saturday and the shorter distances will be shot Sunday 9 a.m to 3 p.m. As the event is a Star FITA competition, should someone shoot a new national or world record, it will be official. Larry Johnson, who is a certified judge from the United States Archery organization, will officiate. All archers in both the FITA and NASP will participate in opening ceremonies, which this year will be held Friday evening at East Kentwood High School stadium, where they will participate in the parade of athletes along with athletes in 30 other sports. “In total we estimate 5,000 athletes from across Michigan,” DeRegnaucourt stated. The American flag will be flown in by skydivers and the National Anthem will be played with the lighting of the Official Caldron, where the games will be officially opened. The mayor pro tem for the City of Rockford will officiate the […]


May 17, 2012 // 0 Comments

The Rockford Leo Club by LION MIKE WESTGATE Assistant Principal Rockford Freshman Center Lions Clubs International is the world’s premier community service organization, with over 1.3 million members around the world dedicated to helping people in need. Leo clubs are part of the Lions international network with over 5,500 Leo clubs in more than 130 nations. The Rockford Lions Club is proud to sponsor our new Leo club. On February 29, 2012, over 100 students from North and East Rockford middle schools, the Rockford Freshman Center and high school were officially inducted at a ceremony in the Rockford High School auditorium. It was an impressive ceremony with esteemed speakers including Dr. Mike Shibler, superintendent of Rockford Public Schools, Lion Rock Wood, the vice district governor, Lion Ken Frary, the district governor, and Lion Dr. Gary Anderson, the Lions Club International director. It is the largest Leo club ever chartered in the state of Michigan. The Rockford Leo club will be a service-minded organization that will provide assistance to the Rockford schools and community and give its members a global identity. The Leo club motto, “Leadership, Experience, Opportunity,” says it all. Leos develop skills as project organizers, time managers and team leaders. They discover how teamwork and cooperation can bring exciting changes to the community. And most importantly, Leos make friends and feel the rewards of community service. Several Rockford Public Schools administrators are Lions and serve as advisors and mentors to the Leo club students in their buildings. The Leos have already been involved with many positive service projects such as: •            planted over 200 trees on school grounds; •            volunteered with seniors at Bishop Hills Elder Care; •            donations/toy drive for Toys for Tots; •            raised funds for Thirsting to Serve and Kids Food Basket; •            volunteered in third-grade classrooms at Meadow Ridge; •            cleaning up Rockford’s oldest cemetery, Pioneer Cemetery. Future community projects include working at the Start of Summer Celebration, the Farmer’s Market and helping to reclaim the old Rum Creek Mill Pond skating rink. If you or your teenager are interested in getting involved in an outstanding organization, please contact your building assistant principal.

Teen publishes first novel available at Aunt Candy’s

August 25, 2011 // 0 Comments

Girl wrote, illustrated first in series  A Rockford student is proud to offer her first book in a series of three for sale and believes the accomplishment is something anyone with a passion for writing can do if they put their mind to it. Riley Jensen, 14, will be attending the Rockford Freshman Center next school year and plans to complete the next two books in her “Alice Acadamy” series soon. She calls her main character Alice and the first book “Alice Acadamy,” which will be followed by “Finding Alice” and “Good-bye Alice.” “I have written my whole life and love to do so,” said Riley. “I also illustrated the drawings inside Alice Acadamy and plan to keep that as a tendency.” Riley said her family self-published the books and plans to keep doing so “until I have become more established or if someone makes me an offer.” Riley said she realized she wanted to write her own fiction when her sixth-grade English and history teacher, Sarah Reichard, gave the class a poetry assignment in which her piece “Foot” was printed in the newspaper. “I had always been trying to complete a book and never came close to finishing it,” Riley said. Riley also loves drawing and doing a bit of photography. “These are two things I am debating on also making a part of my career,” she said. “I also enjoy kayaking down the river with my family as a great exercise in addition to being able to witness nature. I have a love for swimming also, but do not like going into it competitively. Reading is also another of my hobbies.” Riley decided on Aunt Candy’s Toy Company as the venue from which to market her book because owner Candy Lancioni has been a life-long friend of the girl. “I have known Aunt Candy since I was a baby and she is a very close and dear friend of mine. Without her generous help, I wouldn’t have been able to sell my book like I have,” Riley stated. The books are $10 each with personal illustrations by the author. “Who better than the author herself to bring the characters to life?” Riley’s mother Yvonne said of her daughter’s efforts, “I’m very proud of her. Of […]

Rockford Freshman Center’s Maria Anel, an Example in Excellence

June 30, 2011 // 0 Comments

John Ball Zoo volunteer has giving nature Maria Anel, 15, is the daughter of Marlene Anel and sister to Arthur and Charlie. Maria is a student with a natural charisma who is responsible, determined, energetic, outgoing and supportive, with deep compassion and empathy. Maria’s giving nature is shown by her willingness to volunteer for others of all ages and her encouraging attitude with friends and teammates. She goes out of her way to find ways to help others in all situations. She is also a volunteer at John Ball Zoo, where she has put in over 100 hours. She is a leader for the Springhill Day Camp, is in student council, Diversity Club, Youth Initiative, a member of the track team, and active in her Bible study group. This student athlete is also an AAU basketball player and volunteers as a Ram Buddy mentor for students at North Rockford Middle School. Maria is strongly motivated to help others and it puts a smile on her face to know she is an instrument that God can use on behalf of those in need. She is an uplifting person with a positive attitude and the ability to problem-solve in many different situations, and is sensitive to others’ feelings. Planning to go to college and find a way to use her life to help others is Maria’s long-term plan. She wants to make her family proud of her accomplishments. Among achievements Maria can already count include authoring an article in fourth grade that was published in a newspaper. She took first place in a first-grade AWANA Bible quiz, and in fifth grade took first in a fundraising effort. As an eighth grader, Maria broke her school’s track record in the 400m. She has taken first-place wins in cross country, won numerous basketball and softball awards and medals, and reached her goal this summer of over 100 volunteer hours. Other activities Maria enjoys include basketball, competitive running, writing, reading, clubs, fishing and spending time with her brothers. She is also active in Blythefield Church. Rockford Freshman Center is proud to recognize Maria as a student with a strong track record of making a difference in the lives of others and a clear Example in Excellence.  

Rockford Aces high school men’s ensemble to release debut CD

June 2, 2011 // 0 Comments

The Rockford Aces, a high school men’s a cappella ensemble at Rockford High School, are getting used to surpassing expectations. In their first year, they became the talk of the choir program and began eliciting screams whenever they entered the stage. Their second year saw them selected as one of the most outstanding choirs in Michigan. Now, after just three years, the Rockford Aces have produced and recorded their first CD, “Unaccompanied Minors.” Their director, Rockford resident Jed Scott, explained, “We rehearse just two hours a week, but I think we create something pretty special. So it’s great to have such a wonderful memento of their musical achievement.” In March, they began fundraising on for an initial goal of $3,000. They ended up with pledges of over $4,000, enough to fund their CD project from beginning to end. In mid-April, they headed into Mackinaw Harvest Studios in Grand Rapids to record their album with noted local singer/songwriter and engineer Christopher Andrus. “Chris was amazing to work with, really encouraging the singers to do their best,” said Scott. “Performing in the recording studio is completely different from live performance… it’s one of the reasons I wanted to do this project. It’s very rare for high school students to get a professional recording experience like this, and I’m certain it’s something they’ll remember for a long time.” The Aces ended up spending about 12 hours in the studio recording, and that much again mixing. By the second week of May, the album was finished and off to production in New Jersey. “We expect the CDs to be back in our hands on June 1, just in time for our annual charity concert on June 3,” Scott said. The Aces hold an annual free concert in June, asking a five dollar donation per person, which they donate to charity. This year, they will donate the proceeds to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. The Aces invite all fans of a cappella and choral music to join them for the Aces Charity Concert on June 3 at 7 p.m. in the Rockford Freshman Center. For more details, visit or e-mail to  

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