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Russellville City Schools hosts teacher appreciation parade

It was not a typical parade Monday at Russellville City Schools, but parents and children lined up with excitement to see and support their teachers for Teacher Appreciation Week.

Teachers sat in lawn chairs lined up in the pick-up lines at each of RCS’ four schools as parents and students drove through to show their appreciation.

“As much as this might not be our normal, it is almost like it brings some normalcy during these times,” said Russellville Middle School Principal Tony Bonds. “We have just missed seeing everyone.”

Students and parents were not allowed to exit their vehicles, but they were encouraged to ride through the school parking lot and shout words of encouragement to teachers in a parade format.

Several participants added messages of support to the outside of their vehicles, and others made signs expressing their gratitude. Students stuck their heads out of car windows, eager to see their teachers.

“This has been an exciting time for all of us,” Bonds said. “These teachers miss each other, and we miss seeing each students every day. For us to get to see each other today is awesome.”

Russellville Elementary School Principal Kristie Ezell said seeing each of her teachers and students put a smile on her face.

“I have been doing Zoom meetings with staff, but it is so nice for us to have the chance to see each other,” Ezell said. “I know they have been in contact with their students during this time, but I know they are looking forward to seeing a lot of them today.”

The parade ended a week-long celebration of teacher appreciation week at RCS, with students and parents posting tributes to and memories with teachers on their social media platforms last week.

Ezell said it means a lot knowing parents and students are appreciative of the work teachers do, especially during this time, with education having to transition out of a traditional classroom setting.

“I know right now there are a lot of parents who are concerned because each child is going to take to this approach of learning differently,” Ezzell added, “so I know a lot of parents are concerned about keeping their children caught up. We are going to do everything we can to make sure students are where there are supposed to be, so we appreciate parents believing in us.”

Bonds said schools have not been the same since students left, so as much as the parade was about showing appreciation for teachers, the teachers received the most joy from having students back momentarily.

“Things here just are not the same without the students,” Bonds said. “I know our teachers miss their students and are hopeful for things to begin going back to normal so we can see them again.”