Rockford Students Making A Difference

Student strength of character to be recognized

February 4, 2010 // 0 Comments

It is one of the most positive stories the Squire covers in the course of a year. Actually, it is over a dozen separate stories. From every school in the Rockford district, principals and staff have the hard task of picking just one student for a very special honor. In Examples in Excellence, Rockford Students Making a Difference, we honor young people chosen for their generosity of heart and strength of character. In a joint effort with Rockford Public Schools, Douglas Photography and The Rockford Squire, students are recognized in print, in portrait photography and in person next Monday, February 8. Photographer Dan Davison brought to Rockford the idea of recognizing kids for all they do to make a difference in the lives of others. The students are chosen by the school staff, the first step in a long process that culminates at an unveiling ceremony that will be held at 7:30 p.m. at the auditorium at the Rockford Schools Administration building. Parents, grandparents, siblings, friends, school staff and the Board of Education recognize these youngsters and first see the biographies and photographs published in an heirloom publication that will be treasured for a lifetime. Douglas Photography’s Davidson donates his time and cost in taking portraits of the kids and creating large framed photos that will be displayed in the administration offices for the next full year. After, each family is given the portrait as a gift. At the ceremony, the portraits are seen for the first time. The Squire publishes a keepsake edition supplement to the newspaper, a stand-alone, full color Examples in Excellence, Rockford Students Making a Difference. Supported by local businesses, the publication is also unveiled for the first time at the ceremony before being distributed in the Squire and at participating companies. “It gives us an opportunity to recognize these very well-rounded students,” said Lisa Jacobs, Director of Rockford Community Education Services. In its ninth year, the ceremony continues to be packed with proud supporters of these students. “These students are always very humble, very thankful to be recognized,” Jacobs said. Each year the families are thrilled that their child was chosen for such an elite honor and for such a good cause. “Any time we have an opportunity to recognize […]

Meadow Ridge Elementary’s John Hammer: An Example in Excellence

March 5, 2009 // 0 Comments

Student ‘a great questioner with uplifting personality’ John Hammer, age 11, is the son of Tom and Lynn Hammer and brother to three little sisters, Maggie, Natalie and Dana. At Meadow Ridge Elementary, John is recognized for being a kind, thoughtful and reliable student. He is a hardworking boy who is quick to offer assistance to others, inside the classroom or out. John is a lunchroom helper at his school two days a week. He helps younger students get their hot lunches as well as offers assistance to lunch room servers. Teachers say John always has a smile on his face and is very curious about what’s going on in his classroom as well as the world around him. He is a great questioner who often wonders and asks “why?” of situations he doesn’t understand. He wants to get to the bottom of problems and persists until he finds an acceptable reason or answer. John has a positive attitude, an uplifting personality and a desire to help others. These qualities lead his teachers to believe he will be a person who will do all he can to make the world a better place. Teachers at Meadow Ridge say, “John seems to work from an inner drive, desires to really understand what he is learning, and does his personal best in all he attempts.” This versatile student has taken piano lessons since he was in first grade. He helped start summer book clubs for his classmates the last two summers, and has a new hobby of collecting business cards. When asked what prompted him to start the unusual hobby, he said, “If I want to look something up, I’ll know where to go.” He has also played soccer since kindergarten and currently plays for the Soccer Club of Rockford. He is involved with his church, Blythefield Hills Baptist, where his favorite activities include Wild Wednesdays and Virtual City. John tries to live out his faith not only on Sunday but every day of the week, at home and at school. His curiosity, tenacity and uplifting personality make him a wonderful Example in Excellence at Meadow Ridge Elementary. Examples in Excellence, Rockford Students Making A Difference is an annual project created by partnership between Rockford Public Schools, […]