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RCS Board recognizes rocketry students

The Russellville City Board of Education met Thursday and, along with other business, honored some star students.

Special recognition was extended to the two Russellville rocketry teams. Both earned the privilege of competing at the national level in The American Rocketry Challenge, the world’s largest rocket contest, for which they designed, built and launched model rockets while trying to meet certain goals as dictated throughout the course of the competition.

Certificates were presented to each team member in attendance.

RHS Rocket Team Gemini placed fifth, winning $7,500 for the team and $1,000 for the school. The team also won Best in Launch Site for Birmingham, for another $1,000 in winnings.

Team members were Elijah Hawkins, Tino Soto, Carrie Ruth Jackson and Zakery Colburn.

RHS Rocket Team Apollo placed 35th. Team members were Shiloh Willis, Carson McCalpin, Dalton Ridge and Seth Burns.

“Our students consistently make it to the nationals every year,” said team sponsor RHS teacher Gabe Willis. “I want to give a special shout out to our team mentor, Tracy Burns.”

The business meeting took place directly after the recognitions.

Expenses for the month of June included:

  • The contract term and testing services for the Russellville High School construction project.
  • Sand seal for the Russellville Middle School gym floor.
  • A new main breaker for Russellville Elementary School.
  • A painting in the central office.
  • The monthly bond payment for the City of Russellville.
  • The monthly payment for the SROs of the City of Russellville.
  • An annual payment on the 2013 school bus loan.

Payroll for the month was $1,922,038. Current bank statements have been reconciled to the general ledger, and the board revised salary schedules as presented in the agenda.

In other business, facility use requests were approved and personnel recommendations and resignations were approved.

As the new school year approaches, the board took some time to discuss the current situation with the coronavirus.

“While we are cautiously optimistic that this school year will be much more normal than last year,” said Russellville City Schools Superintendent Heath Grimes, “the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations is on the rise. The Alabama Department of Public Health classified Franklin County as high risk.”

“We do not currently have a plan to implement masking or double our bus routes to have fewer students,” added Grimes. “We will probably have some extended space in the classrooms, but we do not plan to be overly socially distant. This could all change.

“We will follow the Alabama Department of Public Health and go by the guidelines they give us.”

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