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City, county school boards recognized for their work

When decisions have to be made concerning the students in the county and city school systems, the responsibility lies on the shoulders of those who have stepped up to serve as members of school systems’ boards of education.
To honor those who serve locally in these capacities, the Russellville City and Franklin County superintendents recently took time at their January meetings to honor their board members for their commitment to the area’s children.
“It takes strong schools to build a strong community, and these men and women devote countless hours to making sure our schools are helping every child learn at a higher level,” Russellville City Schools Superintendent Rex Mayfield said.
“They make tough decisions every month and spend many hours studying education issues and regulations in order to provide the kind of accountability our citizens expect.”
Williams said being a school board member is often a thankless job so he hoped each member knew how much they are appreciated for the job they do.
“Most of the time all a school board member hears are the complaints and the things that are going wrong,” Williams said.
“They hear all about the decisions that have been made that people don’t agree with, but they are rarely thanked for the job they do day in and day out to support our schools, our students and our teachers.
“I appreciate each one of them and what they do for our school system.”
Mayfield said the key work of school boards is to raise student achievement by creating a vision for what the community wants the school system to be and for making student achievement the top priority; establishing standards for what students will be expected to learn and be able to do; ensuring progress is measured to be sure the systems goals are achieved and students are learning at expected levels; being accountable for their decisions and actions by continually tracking and reporting results; aligning the system’s resources – human and financial – around its improvement goals; creating a safe, orderly climate where students can learn and teachers can teach; forming partnerships with others in the community to solve common problems; and focusing attention on the need for continuous improvement by questioning, refining and revising issues related to student achievement.
“School board members give the Russellville citizens a voice in education decision making,” Mayfield said. “Even though we make a special effort to show our appreciation in January, their contribution is a year -round commitment.”
At Thursday’s Franklin County School Board meeting, Belgreen High School principal Myra Frederick and two student representatives showed their appreciation for the school board by presenting each one with a plaque.
“I really appreciate Mrs. Frederick and the students coming to the meeting to thank us,” board member Shannon Oliver said. “That was a nice gesture.”
The members of the Franklin County Board of Education are Randy Hester, chairman; Ralton Baker; Shannon Oliver; Terry Welborn and Mike Shewbart. The members of the Russellville City Board of Education are Judy Pounders, president; Bret Gist, vice-president; Greg Batchelor, Jerry Groce and Greg Trapp.