Academy Earns Kudos on First Day of School
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
September 5, 2019
ROCKFORD—Looking on and applauding Rockford’s newest downtown Catholic school was local Catholic businessman and benefactor of All Saints, Pat Bachrodt, who said, “This is a great day, a historic day.” 
Principal James Burns called each class forward to enter the new school for the first time, starting with the eighth grade.
Josephine Barrerer joined in the applause as she watched her daughter Natalie process through the doors of All Saints for the first time with her third grade class. Natalie had been a student at St. James. Barrerer said both she and her daughter are “excited for a lot of new friends and new kids.“ 
All Saints begins its first year with even more students than expected.  Planners had budgeted for 300 students but opened its doors to 313 in pre-kindergarten through eighth grades.  One teacher said, “It will be wonderful to have a full classroom.”
After the ceremony, a reception was held in St. James Parish Hall. 
Ed Geeser, Task Force chairman, said the whole process of bringing the four schools and eight parishes together has been “enlightening.” 
“While there may have been some apprehension about how all this will work, everyone has been very willing to help,” Geeser said. 
He added that the whole process is proof that  “Collaboration works. We are stronger as we work together versus opposing one another, and everyone really did come together and look at the bigger picture and say this makes the most sense to collaborate, consolidate and share resources in order to continue to provide a great education.”
Geeser said that while the opening of All Saints has been a “destination point on the journey” it is also “just the beginning because everything from here continues on what happens inside the building. We’re just happy about what we have so far, and now it’s in God’s hands and the teachers’ hands.”