Christian Life Names New Superintendent

Dear Christian Life Family,

Mark Perry

Mark Perry

It is with great excitement that I announce that after months of interviewing various candidates, Rockford First and Christian Life Schools have named Mark Perry as the new CLS Superintendent. Mark brings 30 years of academic experience to our school, which consists of 16 years as a Head of School/Principal, 3 years as Athletic Director, 7 years as a full-time classroom teacher, and 25 seasons as a coach in football, basketball, and softball. Mark has a Master of Education degree in Christian School Administration from Columbia International University, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from Western Washington University and is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Education with a concentration in Business Administration.

Mark, his wife Julie and son, Jonathan, will be relocating to Rockford from Columbus, Ohio in June and will immediately start preparations for the launch of another exciting school year. Mark will begin to work with our Elementary Principal, Carrie Smith, and the rest of the leadership and faculty. One priority that he will focus on is the hire of a Middle School Principal.

Rockford First and Christian Life Schools would also like to recognize Larry “Spike” Goodrich who has served as Middle School & High School Principal. We are grateful for his distinguished service, his leadership over the years and pray God’s blessing as he transitions on from Christian Life.

We are excited to welcome the Perry family to our family here at Rockford First and believe the best and brightest days of Christian Life Schools are ahead!

With Great Expectancy,

Rev. Jeremy DeWeerdt
Lead Pastor, Rockford First

Father Daughter Ball 2015


Attention Dads! Make sure your daughter’s FIRST date is with a wonderful guy… YOU!

Treat her to a night of your undivided attention and tons of fun: music, activities, photo booth , and sweets & treats! Also, every Daddy/ Daughter couple will receive a keepsake photo & frame.

The Father Daughter Ball will be held in the Rockford First Foyer on Friday, May 22, 2015 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM.

Register for the Ball



Father + Daughter Couple – $20
Father with 2 or more Daughters – $30

What Do I Wear?

Daughters: Sunday Dress/Special Occasion Dress

Fathers: Tie Requested

Who Can Go?

The Father Daughter Ball is mainly for fathers and daughters. However, grandfathers, uncles, or male role models are invited to attend.

What Else Will Be Happening?

There will be plenty of fun activities for you and your daughter to participate in throughout the evening. Some of these include a movie theater,  photo booth, dancing, games…plus more!

Will There Be Food?

Sweets and treats will be served throughout the evening. We suggest that dinner arrangements be made before or after you attend the ball.

Where Can I Purchase Tickets?

Please call (815) 877-2560 or stop by the elementary office for tickets by Tuesday, May 19th.

Mother Son Date Night


Back To School Kick-Off


CLS Eagle Open


CLS Father Daughter Ball

Father Daughter Ball: Friday, May 9
The heart behind the Father Daughter Ball is to provide a quality, memorable and wholesome event for fathers and daughters. We acknowledge that the unique and significant relationship between fathers and daughters is a mirror of God’s love for His children, and that God has entrusted fathers with the role of bringing up daughters to live in purity and in truth. Fathers and Daughters, you are invited to join us on Friday, May 9, from 6:30-8:30p.m. To register, purchase tickets online or in the elementary office. This is an amazing evening of music, dancing, and activities! All father/daughter couples will receive a special photo and frame as a keepsake for the evening.


Congratulations Golden Apple Nominees!


Elementary Night at the Football Game!


Back to School Kick Off

backtoschoolAll families are invited to attend this special and important evening presentation as CLS kicks off the new year! Following the brief presentation in the sanctuary, all students and families have the opportunity to meet new and returning faculty and staff.   Preschool and Elementary students are invited to come and meet their teacher and drop of school supplies anytime between 7:00-8:00p.m. Make it a family night by staying to watch the Athletics Pep Rally & Blue/Silver Football Scrimmage on the athletic field.  Enjoy a free hot dog meal and free admission courtesy of the Eagle Parent Organization!

For more information call 815-877-2560 or email


Host Homes for International Students at CLS

DMD is an educational and cultural organization founded on the belief that DMD promotes understanding, respect, and goodwill among people of all nations. DMD brings Foreign teens together with US host families. Our program grants students, host families and entire communities the ability to discover and value other cultures, which ultimately increases international harmony and creates lasting friendships. Students have their own insurance and spending money. In addition a host family receives a small stipend of $400/month.

International Exchange Students:

  • Are 15-18 years old
  • Bring spending money
  • Want to share cultures
  • Speak English
  • Have full insurance

If you are interested in learning more about hosting a student,
please contact Duke Ducett at 815-639-7523 or


CLS Presents The Annual Father Daughter Ball!

fdb_graphicIf your daughter is in Prek3 through Fifth grade we invite you to join us on May 10 for the Annual Father Daughter Ball. This will be a night of fun, food, dancing, games and more! There’s even a photobooth so you and your daughter can have a keepsake from this unforgettable evening.

The heart behind the Father Daughter Ball is to provide a quality, memorable and wholesome event for fathers and daughters.  We acknowledge that the unique and significant relationship between fathers and daughters is a mirror of God’s love for His children, and that God has entrusted fathers with the role of bringing up daughters to live in purity and in truth.

Ticket sales end May 7th!


The annual CLS Fun Fair is on April 12th!

FunFair2013Join us on April 12th  for the annual CLS Fun Fair! This will be a fun time for all with plenty of activities for everyone!  Inflatables, the cake walk,  face painting, carnival games, funnel cakes and more CLS favorites! The Fun Fair will be held in the south elementary gym from 6:00-9:00 p.m.

Purchase unlimited inflatable game play wristbands, plus 20 carnival game tickets in advance, for just $12.00!  Wristbands with 20 game tickets at the door will be $15.00.  Individual game and food tickets are sold only at the door: 4/$1.00

Pick up your tickets in the elementary office today!

CLS presents Oklahoma!

slide_oklahomaChristian Life High School is proud to present the Roger’s & Hammerstein’s musical production, OKLAHOMA! Playing March 14 – 16 at 7:00PM in the Rockford First Auditorium. Tickets are available for sale at the door.


Congratulations to Michael Klemm!

klemmMichael Klemm, CLS diver finished 7th in the IHSA State Diving competition, Feb 22-23. Michael, a junior at CLS, competed against 48 total divers starting Thursday afternoon, and the competition took the top 12 divers to Fridays final day. We are thrilled for Michael and the Klemm family, and next year holds tremendous promise!

CLS Girls Varsity Basketball Team Wins IHSA Regional Tournament

Girls VBB wins IHSA TournamentCongratulations to the CLS Varsity Girls Basketball team, Coach Michelle Tucker, and assistants Larry Goodrich and Greg Fiorucci, for winning the IHSA Regional Tournament in Hebron, IL.

It has been 16 years since our ladies took the Regional title. The Lady Eagles defeated the Durand Bulldogs 54-47. Great job ladies, we are proud of you. The future looks bright!

Austin Forrester signs letter of intent at Grand View University

Austin Forrester SigningOn Wednesday, February 6, CLS senior, Austin Forrester signed a National Letter of Intent to play football for Grandview University. He will join the Vikings in the fall of 2013.

Austin has been a four year starter on the offensive and defensive lines for the Eagles of Christian Life. He was a key player in their 2010, 8-1 regular season. His physical size and strength at 6’5”, 225 lbs. will be an added bonus for the Vikings.

Austin has garnered numerous football awards, including Team Captain, Offensive MVP, All-Conference selection and the most notable was that of being elected as a First Team All-State Academic Football team member for Class 1-A in Illinois.

The Vikings are looking forward to Austin’s leadership both on and off the field.

Watch coverage from local Rockford Station WTVO

Christian Life Teachers Awarded Golden Apple Foundation Grant

The CLS Preschool Team was recently recognized and awarded a $1250.00 grant for their project, Exploring & Learning Through Play, that focused on promoting creative and critical thinking while learning through play. The projects selected by the Golden Apple Foundation address various crucial learning issues and focus on creative ways to encourage achievement in all subjects. The CLS Preschool team was recognized this past December, at the upcoming 17th Annual Golden Apple Banquet held at the Radisson Hotel.

CLS Varsity Cheerleaders performed at the Liberty Bowl

Cheerleaders 2012Christian Life Varsity Cheer performed in the Autozone Liberty Bowl in Memphis,TN, on December 31st during the half time routine. Christian Life was one of two schools from Illinois that performed. We were asked by WorldStrides Heritage Performance to help be apart of the 2012 Liberty Bowl.

This same company creates various educational experiences and trips, and is responsible to put together half time shows for various college bowls including the Orange Bowl as well. Bonnie Story, who helped with choreography for “High School Musical,” served as head choreographer for the half time show for the 2012 Liberty Bowl. Not only did Christian Life Varsity Cheer perform and work with top choreographers and entertainers, but they also participated in the Liberty Bowl parade in downtown Memphis on December 30th. Our cheerleaders worked hard to raise the money to go on this exciting trip. We had numerous sponsors and companies that made this trip possible. We are so thankful.

Thanks to all of our sponsors!

  • Nancy Johnson of Century 21 Affiliated
  • Northern Mechanical, Inc.
  • Hertz Car Rental Van rental
  • Ken E. Bennett and Associates
  • Nextage Professionals Realty
  • Liebovich Steel & Aluminum Co.
  • Rockford Orthopetic Association
  • Rock Valley Credit Union
  • Midwest Express Co.
  • Stockholm Inn
  • Polsean Property Management
  • Cherry Valley Feed & Supplies
  • Caraotta Chiropractic Orthopedics
  • Value Plus Auto
  • Anderson Automotive Rock River Ford
  • Salamone’s
  • Totally You Hair Salon
  • Josh, Kealy, & Jaycie Sheean
  • Local UAW 592
  • Raymond and Rhonda Shaw
  • Central Avenue Mini Warehouse and Containers
  • Nelson Carlson Mechanical Contractors, Inc.


New Addition to the CLS Administration

We would like to welcome Mrs. Shari Wood and Mrs. Christy Saunders to the administration team at Christian Life Schools. Mrs. Wood will serve as Assistant Principal in the Elementary, and Mrs. Saunders will serve as the Assistant Principal for MS/HS.

staff_shariw2Mrs. Shari Wood holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Evangel University and a Professional Teacher Certification from Seattle University. She has over 20 years of experience in the education field, teaching in various grade levels and serving as a media specialist. Mrs. Wood, 1st Grade Teacher, currently serves as the elementary Literacy Specialist and Reading Coach. Her background experiences include leading staff development training in both public and private school arenas, leading community events to promote literacy and learning, women’s ministries director, and both women’s retreat and marriage retreat conference speakers. Mrs. Wood is married and has three sons.

staff_christys2Mrs. Christy Saunders holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Rockford College and a Master of Education Degree from Judson University. Mrs. Saunders, a NASA Certified Teacher and graduate of CLS, has over 18 years of experience in education. Her background experiences include Park District Coordinator, Director of Camp JC, Admissions Director, and Math Olympic Coordinator. Mrs. Saunders is married and is a mother to six children.

Both Mrs. Wood and Mrs. Saunders will continue to serve as classroom educators as part of their portfolio. They look forward to serving in leadership as they continue to maintain teaching responsibilities. Both Mrs. Wood and Mrs. Saunders will be valuable additions to the leadership! Please join us in welcoming them to the team!

Important Announcement for CLS Families

staff_larryg2It is with great excitement that I share with you today that Larry “Spike” Goodrich has been named Christian Life Middle School & High School Principal for Fall, 2012. Presently, Larry serves as our Middle School Principal on the CLS administrative team.

As Christian Life Schools move aggressively into a bright future as a premier educational and spiritual institution in the stateline area, Larry will assume the leadership position over grades six through twelve. He brings a wealth of knowledge from serving in both classroom and administrative roles. Before joining Christian Life, Larry served as the Assistant Principal of East High School, an educational facility consisting of 1300 students. He also served as the department head for Fine Arts & Foreign Language and was in charge of paraprofessionals.

Before becoming Assistant Principal at East in 2008, Larry had been educating fifth through eighth grade students since 1997. As some of you may know, Larry served three of those years as a part of the faculty of Christian Life Schools. Along with his years of experience, Larry offers Christian Life his educational achievements of a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership & Curriculum Development, along with an Educational Specialist degree/Type 75 Administrative certificate.

It is also important that we acknowledge the strong leadership of our present Principal, Roger Beary. Roger has served CLS with distinction in an administrative role for the past 17 years. His exemplary headship of our school has benefited thousands of students and our faculty that has served under his direction. We are forever grateful. Roger has asked to transition back into a teaching role after this school year; an environment that he has always loved and misses.

The school board will continue to share information regarding this transition, as well as the upcoming hire of an assistant principal to serve on the administrative team alongside Larry Goodrich and Christine Golembiesky.

Great days are ahead for Christian Life Schools. Recently, we have experienced record-breaking attendance at our Open Houses, as well as strong enrollment numbers for the Fall. Please continue to pray for our school.

God is doing great things!

jerJeremy DeWeerdt
Lead Pastor, Rockford First
Christian Life School Board

CLS appoints Varsity Football Coach

ambrogioAfter an extensive search that produced numerous highly qualified candidates, Christian Life High School is pleased to announce that Coach Tony Ambrogio has accepted the position of Head Varsity Football Coach for the Eagles.

Coach Ambrogio is no stranger to CLS Football, with eleven years of coaching experience in the Rockford/Belvidere region, most recently as Assistant Coach of CLS Varsity Football, Head Coach of CLS Middle School Football, Head Coach of CLS Varsity Baseball, Head Coach of CLS 8th Grade Girls Basketball, Head Coach of CLS 8th Grade Boys Basketball, and extensive involvement in CLS Football Camps for 3rd through 8th Grades.

Coach Ambrogio’s extensive coaching experience will serve him well as he builds on the CLS football program’s already solid foundation and takes it to the next level. Coach Ambrogio brings with him a philosophy of excellence both on and off the field, with a focus of producing young men who not only perform well on the gridiron, but in the classroom and beyond as well.

Coach Ambrogio’s goal to create a winning football program at CLS is superseded only by his goal of creating a solid foundation of integrity, sportsmanship, teamwork, achievement and respect within each player.