Rockford Public Schools Administration Building
501 7th Street, Rockford | 3rd Floor | 7:30-10:30am

Education is the foundation for success in our community, and therefore, one of the first sessions of our program.  Area educators will discuss the role education plays in our community, our quality of life, our ability to attract employers and what we need to do to keep our college bound students in the Rockford area for both their education and their career choices after graduation.


Bridget French – Executive Director, Alignment Rockford

Bridget French has been the Executive Director of Alignment Rockford since June of 2014. As the Executive Director, French is responsible for program planning, development and evaluation; fiscal management; marketing, public relations and community engagement; grant writing; and human resources.

French received her B.A. in English from Illinois State University in 2000. French is a graduate of Auburn High School.

French currently serves on the board of the YMCA of Rock River Valley and Tinker Swiss Cottage. She is also a volunteer for the United Way’s iRead program and serves on Transform Rockford’s Education Spoke Team. French is a graduate of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership program and holds a certificate in non-profit management. She is an active runner and a member of the Rockford Road Runners. Born and raised in Rockford, IL, French has a 7th grader and a 1st grader, both enrolled in Rockford Public Schools. She also has two stepdaughters and is married to Ron Clewer.

Dr. Ehren Jarrett – Superintendent, Rockford Public Schools District 205
Ehren Jarret.jpgDr. Jarrett joined the district’s leadership team in June 2011 as an assistant superintendent.  Prior to his tenure in Rockford, he was principal at Hononegah Community High School in Rockton for four years. While he was there, Newsweek Magazine and the Washington Post both recognized Hononegah for improved student achievement.

Jarrett earned his doctorate in Educational Leadership from Northern Illinois University. He is a member of the NIU Alumni Board and has been honored as an NIU College of Education Alumni of the Year.  He is also a member of the Alignment Rockford Governing Board, the United Way Annual Campaign Cabinet, and the Discovery Center Board of Directors. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Rockford Area Economic Development Council. Dr. Jarrett is also a member of Ford NGL’s Leadership Council and Superintendent’s Council.

He lives in Rockford with his wife, Christie, and their two children.

Matt Phillips – Interim Vice President for Enrollment Management, Rockford University
Phillips_Matt.jpgMatt Phillips has been associated with Rockford University for more than a decade. He received his undergraduate degree from Rockford in 2004 and his Master of Business Administration in 2006. He’s served in a variety of positions including graduate assistant, Special Assistant to the President, Director of Operations, Contracts, and Services; Associate Vice President of Operations; and Associate Vice President for Global Affairs and Operations.

As Vice President for Enrollment Management, Phillips will oversee the Admissions, Student Administrative Services (SAS), Global Affairs, Athletics, and Student Success and Retention departments.

Dr. Howard Spearman – Associate Vice President for Enrollment & Retention, Rock Valley College
Howard Spearman.JPGDr. Howard Spearman currently serves as the Associate Vice President of Enrollment & Retention at Rock Valley College. Focusing on higher education as a personal and professional growth strategy, Dr. Spearman earned both his Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Services and Master of Science in Education Degree from University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, and his PhD in Leadership for the Advancement of Learning and Service from Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, WI.

Dr. Spearman is married with three small boys, and is passionate about identifying, cultivating, and developing the next generation of leaders. He and his family have resided in the Greater Rockford Community for the last five years.


Breakfast Menu:

Assorted Hot Breakfast Sandwiches
Ham, breakfast sausage, or crispy bacon with scrambled eggs and melted cheddar, served on an all-butter croissant, bagel or telera roll. Vegetarian Veggie Scramble Wrap also available.

Fresh Fruit

Coffee & Water