News Briefs from Rockton & Roscoe: 2/11/2022


The Rockton School District is planning to schedule a special meeting to vote on making their schools mask-optional. Nearly all board members at the Committee of the Whole meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 9 seemed to support the change. They said they had voted to require masks in August when the COVID threat was more serious, before the milder Omicron variant became dominant and before Gov. Pritziker issued his mask mandate. Two board members, who are also attorneys, said that now that a judge has invalidated the rule changes that had applied to schools, they believe Rockton School District can legally drop its mask rules if they want. However, the Open Records Act doesn't allow public bodies to change their policy without 48 hours notice. Earlier in the meeting, about 200 community members demanded that the school board "do the right thing" by making masks optional, but all but six were gone when the school board began its discussion.

Hononegah was given a hand, actually an arm, through the very generous donation of a Sawyer 7 Axis Robotic Arm from Heim Family Modern Forge, Modern Group & Advanced Manufacturing to their manufacturing and engineering program. Special thanks to Todd Berkenpas, Shawn Curtin, & Bob Hamilton for arranging the donation. Mrs. McLevige is excited to begin integrating the Sawyer 7 into coursework to allow students to build familiarity with the programming and project automation capabilities the Sawyer 7 Axis Robotic Arm brings to her courses.

Colton Heinrich, senior offensive lineman at Hononegah, has committed to play football next year at Wisconsin Lutheran College in Milwaukee. Colton is president of the Grace on Campus club and says, "I cannot wait to continue my athletic and academic career at a Christ-centered college."

Emily Grace Armendariz of Roscoe has been named to the Deans' List at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for Fall 2021. Armendariz, a sophomore majoring in hospitality, restaurant and tourism management, is part of the College of Education and Human Sciences, so she had to earn at least a 3.75 grade point average.

Gabriella Galluzzo of Roscoe was named to the Dean's List at Millikin University for Fall 2021. Millikin is a private four year university in Decatur, IL with approximately 2,000 students, many of whom are studying performing arts.

The Hononegah girls bowling team placed 3rd in the Machesney Park Harlem regional Saturday, bowling a 5743 series for six games.  Individual regional champion senior Kyley Olson had a 1309 series (218.17) average and 2nd place junior Madison Davenport had 1291 (215.16) average. They move on to sectionals on Saturday, Feb. 12 at Don Carter Lanes, 4007 E State Street, Rockford. Tickets to the sectional ($7, digital tickets) must be purchased in advance through

Rockton PTO President Abby Czaja says they hope to have a new playground completed in Summer 2023, with a budget of $200,000. It will include a buddy bench at Whitman Post. The cost will be covered by the PTO, the Rockton Board of Education,  corporate sponsors, and possibly grant money. The PTO also wants to provide $750 for dinners for the teachers, who will be at school during the parent-teacher conferences. This time there will be an in-person option, and parents are signing up quickly for that.

Supporters are collecting signatures by March 14 to put their favorite candidates on the ballot. For those in Rockton and Roscoe, all the candidates in the June 28 primary will be Republican. Both candidates for Illinois General Assembly are Republican: Andrew Chesney running for Illinois Senate District 45 and John Cabello running for Illinois House District 90. There is no Democratic candidate to succeed retiring Rep. Adam Kinzinger for the new 16th District. Darin LaHood and Michael Rebresh are running for Congress on the Republican side. With no Democrat running for County Clerk or County Sheriff, the only Democrat on the ballot will be Sue Goral, the incumbent Winnebago County Treasurer, and even she has no primary challenger. But she will have a Republican opponent in November for the first time this century: either Randy Johnson from Rockton and Steve Schultz from Roscoe. All the seats on the Winnebago County Board are up for reelection, but no Democrat is running for any of the Rockton or Roscoe seats. All the local county board members are Republican: Jim Webster, Brad Lindmark, Paul Arena, plus Steve Schultz, who is running for County Treasurer.

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