Thanks for community support

By Heath Grimes, Russellville superintendent, guest columnist

To our Russellville community:

I just want to take a moment to offer my sincere thanks for the efforts being made to truly support our students on the field, off the field, in the classroom, on the stage and in all the activities and academic opportunities they pursue.

Our community has always been supportive, but there’s just something special about the pride that’s been shown these past several months. And I’m here to say – it’s making a difference.

As a community member, you might not think you have much of an influence on the local schools or the students there, but I have personally seen the ways our community makes an impact.

When we have excited fans in the stands Friday nights cheering for our team, our band and our cheerleaders, you can see how much it means to these students for their hard work and dedication to be validated. When members of local businesses take time to come into our career technical classrooms to share real-life experiences and knowledge, you can see how much it means to these students to know people in the community want them to succeed.

When you support a student’s fundraiser for their team or organization, they know they have people in their corner. When positive news about our students’ achievements is shared on social media, our students see that and are encouraged to keep up the good work.

This past week, there was an amazing show of pride and support though our homecoming activities! We had a huge attendance for our homecoming parade, and there was so much spirit displayed at the community-wide bonfire and pep rally. Our alumni who returned for reunions were able to have a great time reminiscing, and that special Golden Tiger Pride seemed to be felt wherever you went.

When our students see all these things and have the support of the community behind them, it shows. They know that what they’re doing, achieving and learning is being seen.

Personally seeing these things taking place at our schools is an amazing thing to be a part of. I have seen schools that don’t have the kind of community pride we have here in Russellville, and you can just tell that’s the spark that’s missing.

So thank you, all of you, for being a great support system for our teachers and students, for cheering them on, for celebrating their victories, for helping them see the lessons in the losses, for supporting them in a myriad of ways, for showing that Golden Tiger spirit – and for helping us here at RCS cultivate well-rounded students who can turn around and take pride in their community, the way their community takes pride in them.