Director of Gifted, Honors, and Advanced Placement
Office of Learning Support Services
Thurgood Marshall School
4664 N. Rockton Ave.
Rockford, IL 61103
FAX (815) 972-3443
The Renaissance Gifted Academy is one of many specialized programs in the Rockford Public Schools. We recognize that gifted students, like other groups in the general school population, possess unique potential and needs which can only be addressed through modification of the regular curriculum. The goal of our program is to identify and nurture potential through the development of specialized curriculum offerings modified and adapted to meet the unique learning styles, learning rates, interests, abilities and needs of gifted students.
Every child has the right to learn something new every day.
- Gifted Children's Bill of Rights
We will have one final make-up testing session for entrance in the 2015-2016 school year. All information about our testing, including online registration, can be found on our Renaissance Testing Page.
New! There will be a make-up testing session for students currently in Grades K-9 on July 30, 2015. New!
PGE - Ruth Harris Scholarship - Application available now!!
Due to a change in PGE leadership, the Ruth Harris Scholarship did not make it out to students and families earlier in the year. We all apologize for the delay and inconvenience. However, the PGE Board decided they wanted to still make this opportunity available to students and continue to honor Ruth's memory. Due to the much shortened timeline, several adjustments have been made to the process so it is more streamlined for applicants. Application packets are available in the Auburn Renaissance Office and below.
The application deadline is May 22, 2015 and scholarships will be awarded at the Renaissance Celebration on May 29, 2015. These components are required:
Activity Paragraphs and Essay, described in Guidelines Two References, Letters or Forms
Renaissance Gifted Academy Effectiveness Survey
Thanks to all of you who participated in our Renaissance Gifted Academy Effectiveness Survey is now closed. We truly value your input. An overview of the process and results was presented at the April 20, 2015 PGE meeting. Resources:
Renaissance Gifted Academy - A Framework for Success Presentation
Customer Service Survey Results
We have launched our new Renaissance Gifted Academy Alumni Page! We are calling upon all Academy alumni to share "where they are now". It is our hope to share information about our alumni with potential families so they see the exciting range of paths our alumni have taken in life and where those paths have led them. We are also hoping this page can help alumni learn more about their friends and classmates from the past.
If you are an alumnus, please take part in our short survey found here. And, spread the word to your classmates. We want to hear from everyone!
Gifted Program News
Congratulations to the Washington and Marshall Chess Teams! On Saturday, May 9, 2015, the teams attended the Rockford Scholastic Chess Challenge held at Guilford High School. The Wolves and Mustangs finished in first place in all three divisions: K-2, 3-5, and 6-8!
We also want to congratulate Vincent Do and Jeremiah Davis for their outstanding performance at the US Chess National Junior High Championship Tournament held in Louisville, Kentucky on April 25-27, 2015. Jeremiah finished in 7th place out of 160 players in the K-9 U1250 division. Vincent finished in 12th place in the Open K-9 Championship Division.
- K-2 Team members: Cameron Parker, Ashwin Gudiseva, Jack Manley, Rally Johnson, William Lewis, Alex Powell, Garrett Love
- 3-5 Team members: Kamalesh Sureshkumar, Nolan Brauns, Spencer Kang, Nima Sheylchdeslami, Nathan Nguyen, Coda Dotson-Rentsch, Sam Manley, Amy Park, Varshitha Reddy, Samraat Zagade, Sawyer Johnson, Brielle Rach, Yura Sheylchdeslami
- 6-8 Team members: Charles Kang, Sreyansh Mamidi, Sengdao Inthavong, Jeremiah Davis, Daniel Strohman, Chris Park, Luke Manley, Tristan Ramos
Mustangs win first place in the K-12 U1200 section of the Ice Harbor Scholastic Tournament, held at the Grand harbor Resort in Dubuque, IA on May 16 and 17, 2015. The Marshall team, consisted of Jeremiah Davis, Sreyansh Mamidi, and Charles Kang who outpointed the University School of Milwaukee 12.5-11.5. Jeremiah and Sreyansh both posted 4.5/7 with Jeremiah taking home the sixth place individual trophy and Sreyansh nabbing seventh. Charles won first place among entrants whose pre-event rating was less than 600. For more details, see the Ice Harbor Results.
We could not be prouder of our Marshall Scholastic Bowl Team. They travelled to Dallas, Texas on Friday, May 8, 2015 to compete in the National Scholastic Bowl Competition. Marshall finished in 12th place out of 128 teams! Ethan Strombeck finished in 3rd place as an individual. Team members include: Kodai Speich, Zoe Doll, Rutu Bhalavat, Ethan Strombeck, Yusuf Zahurullah, Lilly Chavez, and Greydon Westin.
Congratulations Matthew Seigel! Matthew, an 8th grader at Thurgood Marshall, won the IESA State Bowling Championship on April 18, 2015.
On Wednesday, May 6, 2015, at 4:00 pm, in the school cafeteria, Auburn senior track stars Janelle Ferguson and Christian Lopez will sign letters of intent to compete at rival Wisconsin colleges. Janelle Ferguson will attend UW-Platteville to major in engineering and run distance for the Pioneers. Christian Lopez will major in psychology and run sprints/relays for the UW-Oshkosh Titans. Family, friends, and staff are welcome to attend and help celebrate the athletic commitment of these dedicated Auburn students.
Outstanding Student Achievement at Auburn
Renaissance Senior Seminar
On Saturday, May 2, 2015, the seniors in our first ever Renaissance Senior Seminar presented their year-long projects to a panel of judges and the public. This elective course was designed to give students university-level experience in independent study, primary and secondary research, seminars on a variety of research-related topics, and the development and presentation of an original product. The Senior Seminar followed the dissertation process. The wide variety of self-selected projects and the hard work students have done were exciting and impressive! To read more:
National Achievement Scholarship Winner
Jacob Higgins has won a National Achievement Scholarship. He was selected from an initial pool of 150,000. Jacob is currently deciding amongst the schools that have accepted him and which include MIT, University of Chicago, and Yale University. Jacob is considering Astrophysics as a major and/or career.
National Merit and National Achievement Finalists
Congratulations to Valerie Stenerson and Daniel Nielsen, our newest National Merit Finalists! And, congratulations to Justyn and Jacob Higgins, our newest National Achievement Finalists. These students learned of their semi-finalist status in the fall. We will learn about our National Merit Scholars in the spring.
Every year, approximately 1.5 million students enter the National Merit Scholarship competition by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT). Some 50,000 of these students, who have earned highest Selection Index scores, qualify for National Merit recognition as Commended Students. Of those, about 16,000 students qualify as Semifinalists. Semifinalists are designated on a state representational basis, with Illinois being one of the most competitive states. These students need to meet further requirements to become Finalists.
Steps in the National Merit Scholarship Program
Congratulations to Chen Lin at Auburn High School on his perfect ACT score of 36! On average, less than one-tenth of 1 percent of all test takers earn the top score. This exceptional score is evidence of Chen's readiness for the academic rigors that lie ahead.
Scholastic Bowl - IHSA Regional and Sectional and State Winners!!
Congratulations go out again to Auburn's Scholastic Bowl Team! They are the 2015 State Scholastic Bowl Champions! On Friday, March 20, the Auburn Knights defeated Dunlop 400-240, Palatine Fremd 430-270, Carbondale 390-310, and Hinsdale 480-240 in the championship round to finish victorious!!
Team members include:
- Hamza Zahurullah
- Cole Timmerwilke
- Steven Vo
- Usman Haseeb
- Mohammad Nizamuddin
- Evan Pandya
- Henry Roe
- William Jiang
- Brad McLain
- Joshua Day
On Monday, March 9, Auburn won the Regional Tournament. On Saturday, March 14, 2015, Auburn won the Sectional Tournament, held at home. Way to go, Knights!
Rockford Register Star Editorial
2015 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards - National Gold Key Winner
Benji Bear, Auburn High School senior, has won the Scholastic Art and Writing gold key award for his Senior Art Porfolio. His photography portfolio, The Ignored, was inspired by the events in Ferguson, Missouri. All art and writing submissions were judged based on the program’s three criteria: originality, technical skill and emergence of personal vision or voice.
The Scholastic Art and Writing Competition is the nation's longest-running and most prestigious recognition program for creative teens in grades 7–12. More than 300,000 works of art and writing were submitted for adjudication at the regional level in the Awards' 28 categories, which include poetry, painting, architecture, short story, fashion design and more. Eight high school seniors, including Benji, received the art program's highest national honor, the Portfolio Gold Medal, which includes a $10,000 cash scholarship. Another 8 students were recognized for writing. In addition, all national Award-winning high school seniors gain access to a special scholarship pool of more than $10 million through Alliance partnerships with esteemed colleges and universities across the U.S.
Previous winners include Andy Warhol, Truman Capote, Sylvia Plath, Stephen King, Zac Posen, and Lena Dunham.
Congratulations to our Top Illinois Schools
Each year, the State Board of Education releases school report cards for each public school in the state. The Chicago Sun-Times analyzes these scores using a statistical method called standardizing to analyze the “scale score” of every reading and math test statewide. Then, schools are ranked based on average scores on state achievement tests - not on the percentage who meet state standards. When several schools, such as ours, have 100% of their students who meet or exceed state standards, this statistical analysis yields more accurate rankings.