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New scholarship honors longtime superintendent

Rockford — The Rockford Education Foundation has established a new scholarship for graduating high school seniors in honor of Rockford Public Schools’ longtime, retiring superintendent.

The Dr. Michael Shibler Scholarship will be awarded annually to a Rockford High School senior with “qualities that demonstrate a commitment to excellence, innovative thinking, passionate pursuit of interests, perseverance and continuous academic improvement throughout their educational career,” the REF said in a statement. The student should be “well-rounded and engaged in multiple co-curricular or volunteer activities” and pursuing a career path either at a college/university or in the skilled trades. 

This is the first scholarship to be issued by the REF, which is currently accepting donations for the scholarship fund. The money raised will determine the amount of the scholarship. The deadline to apply is March 15 for students graduating in spring 2022. 

Shibler, a founding member of the REF in 1991, has served more than 53 years in education, with 32 years as superintendent of RPS. He is set to retire at the end of the calendar year

For more information on the Dr. Michael Shibler Scholarship, find the REF online or email ref@rockfordschools.org. 

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Beth Heinen Bell
Beth Heinen Bell is a reporter and copy editor, covering Rockford, Lowell, Grandville and Cedar Springs. She is an award-winning journalist who got her start as the education reporter for the Grand Haven Tribune. A Calvin University graduate, she later returned to her alma mater to help manage its national writing festival and edit and write for enrollment communications. Beth has also written for The Grand Rapids Press, Fox 17 and several West Michigan businesses and nonprofits. She is fascinated by the nuances of language, loves to travel and has strong feelings about the Oxford comma. Read Beth's full bio


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