Award Year: 2020

Thurgood Marshall School

4664 N. Rockton Avenue
Rockford, IL, 61103-1528

(815) 490-5400

Mrs. Jill Faber, Principal at time of Nomination

Mrs. Jessica Powell, Current Principal

Choice School

Rockford SD 205

School Website


Our mission at Thurgood Marshall School is to collaboratively engage students in a world-class gifted education.

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 4%
  • White: 65%
  • Hispanic: 10%
  • Asian: 14%
  • Two or more races: 6%
Marshall students celebrate other cultures in their Multi-Language Lab.

Marshall students celebrate other cultures in their Multi-Language Lab.

Thurgood Marshall School is a choice school and one of five specialty programs in Rockford. As a 5-8 Gifted Program, Marshall embodies rigor and relevance while promoting academic excellence, personal responsibility, and integrity. Several new initiatives have allowed our teachers to think outside the box while challenging the curiosity of our students and inspiring them to love learning. To ensure all of our students have the necessary tools to be successful, we implement Organizational Skills, Note-Taking Strategies, Mustang Time, and a PBIS Program. Mustang Time is a flexible-use period on Wednesdays during which students who are struggling are given extra attention through small group instruction and those that are excelling are provided with different options for enrichment that could include Skyping with an author, a cooking class, a video on nuclear energy, or coding in the computer lab.

All teams have a common planning period and work together to make topics more meaningful to students by planning inter-disciplinary learning opportunities while utilizing a PDSA model that emphasizes goal-setting. Additionally, teachers at various grade levels employ an idea called Genius Hour that allows students time to explore a topic that they are passionate about with support from a teacher. Meeting the Social/Emotional needs of our students is paramount. Counselors work closely with teachers to deliver lessons on topics like managing stress, controlling perfectionism, learning not to fear failure, and developing tenacity. Whether the focus is academic or real-world social skills, our mission is to motivate students to reach their full potential.