Dinner Saturday, tickets at the door “Our two districts can help each other, even if we want to kill each other on the football field,” said Jill Ericksen, Rockford Education Foundation (REF) board member and organizer of the new Rockford Public Schools Hall of Fame. REF members from the Grandville School District helped organizing Rockford’s new RPS Hall of Fame. A monument which bears the names of the first inductees was installed Tuesday, September 28 at Rockford High School. Patten Monument built the column, a nearly four-ton India jet black granite work which arrived to Long Beach, California via ocean freighter. The raw stone was held up in customs, nearly causing a delay. The new recognition program is 14 months in the making and recognizes Rockford graduates or citizens in four categories. A ribbon cutting for the monument takes place this Friday at 4 p.m. at the high school. The dinner honoring the inductees will be Saturday at the school and will be a “roaming dinner party” with a variety of food from Bostwick Lake Inn, Jonny B’z, Grill One Eleven and the Grist Mill/Honey Creek Inn. Local celebrities will MC the event. “It won’t be like a sit-down dinner. You can roam around and sample all the restaurants,” Ericksen stated. Inductees are ten people, all with incredible stories of accomplishments in different fields. “We have people coming from all over the country,” Ericksen said. One Rockford graduate negotiates world peace between countries, another has invented flexible cement. All are worthy of the recognition. The dinner is open to the public and tickets are available at the door or at rockfordschools.org/ref (click events page), $50 adults, $20 students. Appetizers will be served beginning at 5:30 p.m. Inductees will be added every other year, and a form for candidates will be provided at the dinner.
Rockford Public School Hall of Fame
New RPS Hall of Fame accepting nominations through June 15 Time is running out to nominate an outstanding Rockford graduate for the new Rockford Public Schools Hall of Fame. Nominations are being accepted for the inaugural class of the Hall of Fame through June 15 using forms available at www.rockfordschools.org. The Hall of Fame, sponsored by the Rockford Public Schools (RPS) and Rockford Education Foundation (REF), will recognize those who have demonstrated exceptional achievements in their chosen field or who have made significant contributions to RPS or the Rockford community. Rockford alumni who graduated in the year 2000 or earlier will be honored for achievements in categories for Cultural/Performing Arts, Academic/Career Accomplishments, and Service to RPS/Community. In addition, the Hall of Fame will include a category for honorary achievement and contribution to RPS. The honorary achievement award may be given to a non-Rockford graduate. The Hall of Fame honorees will be selected by an advisory committee composed of school, community and business leaders. Those selected for the Hall of Fame will be honored at a special induction ceremony and dinner on October 2, and their names will be engraved on a permanent monument that will be installed on the grounds of Rockford High School. “Our goal is to inspire today’s students with vision and encouragement from the examples set by the inductees,” said Lisa Jacobs, executive director of community services for RPS. “We plan to have the inductees meet with our students so they can learn from the examples of these role models.” The Hall of Fame dinner will also serve as a fundraiser for the REF, which awards grants that enrich the educational experience in Rockford public and private schools. Event chairs are Jon and Carol Muth and Pete and Amy Kruer. Information about the event and tickets will be available at www.rockfordschools.org/ref. “The Hall of Fame is a celebration of the exceptional educational opportunities we have in Rockford schools,” said Jill Ericksen, a trustee of the REF. “We’re not only honoring the outstanding achievements of our inductees, but also the rich educational experiences created for every student in our community.”