Private School Tour: Defining success at Rockford Lutheran School
By Don Gillingham
Executive Director, Rockford Lutheran School
One measure of success is an individual’s or organization’s ability to find meaningful partnerships and develop a shared vision of success with others who share their values. I am confident that what too many people overlook as they evaluate the quality of life in the greater Rockford area is the tremendous synergy that exists among a wide range of community institutions. If there was such a thing as a combined calendar for all who read this paper, we would see the tremendous energy that is the result of serious planning by leaders of neighborhoods, churches, cultural organizations, schools and many other institutions that are touched by this paper.
Rockford Lutheran experienced tremendous success last year winning the Mayor’s Arts Award for Creative Cultural Event while bringing our region’s history to life with a fourth-grade musical Hometown History. Rockford Lutheran again is part of an ad hoc civic group that will bring focus to the tremendous creativity of this community with a series of events being planned for the month of May 2013. The school’s contribution this year will be highlighted by another musical written by Rockford resident Darcy Hill titled On Being Wright. The theme highlights the life of a creative genius who is the architect of a local treasure.
Many other groups, including the Rockford Area Arts Council and the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois, have joined together in sponsorship of this month-long observance and planning for individual events. You can see a complete list of those involved and the calendar that is being filled by going to www.rockfordlutheran.org/outofthebox. The venture will have its own site shortly, thanks to the involvement of Chicago & Beyond, a group that specifically promoted activities in many towns in our local area.
Collaboration is not unusual for Rockford Lutheran, as we are also a member of the Greater Rockford Area Lutheran Schools. This group helps to promote activities and events within the system of Lutheran education. You can learn more about the schools in the group by going to GRALS.org, which serves as a portal to all the websites of our schools.
Education is about helping people to develop, promote and implement the ideas that serve as the bedrock for solid communities. The greater Rockford area has many educational options available for parents, and we encourage readers to investigate the strengths of each of the schools that work daily to promote the success of our children.
It is the role of every individual to encourage the schools in their local district, as well as the private schools to which they have connections, to provide leadership as we build the next generation of those who will define our cities and towns. Each of us has a responsibility to work tirelessly, spreading the message that a lifelong love of learning cannot be confined to any one classroom, any one school or even any community within this region and beyond. I am confident that the involvement of citizens in the support of education will help to define our success.
Don Gillingham came to Rockford Lutheran School in January 2010 to fill the office of executive director. Since that time, he has become involved in efforts to unify the community and help us focus on what brings us together.
From the Feb. 27-March 5, 2013, issue
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