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RHS seniors sign intent to become teachers

Russellville High School senior Future Teachers of America members signed statements declaring their intent to become teachers in a signing ceremony held in the school library May 3.

“I am so excited to see some of our outstanding students going into the field of education,” said Dr. AnnaKay Holland.

Students participating in the event included Katlyn James, Arely Mojica, Anna Skidmore, Sophie Hill, Nicole Foster, Avary Miller and Brock Grissom.

“This is an exciting day for these students because they have made commitments to go into education,” explained RHS teacher and FTA sponsor Lorraine Perez. “This is a program we have spent a few years working to build. Teaching is a high-need specialty field.”

James, a 2022 FTA officer, said her goal is ultimately to return to Russellville and work in the city schools.

Hill explained she plans to attend Northwest-Shoals Community College where she will major in salon and spa management then get her CTI from Athens State so she can teach cosmetology at Russellville High School someday.

Grissom said he plans to attend the University of North Alabama, where he will major in music education. He said he hopes to teach somewhere nearby, preferably at the high school level.

“It’s wonderful to see so many of the students express their intentions to come back to their communities as educators,” said Suzanne Clemons, education policy and professional practice director for the Alabama Education Association.

For RCS Superintendent Dr. Heath Grimes, the signing represents a strong hope for the future.

“We are incredibly excited to have the FTA program, and we are thankful for Ms. Perez and her efforts,” Grimes said. “There is a severe teacher shortage right now, and to see these future teachers graduating from Russellville with the goal of going into education is very rewarding.

“We are pleased to note that several have expressed plans to return to RCS to teach. We are extremely proud of them.”

RHS teacher Cindy Coan, who will be the FTA sponsor next year, expressed pride in seeing the students choose teaching as a profession.

“It is so important that we actively recruit young talent to go into teaching,” Coan said. “It was also very humbling to have several of the signees express their desires to return to the Russellville City Schools system and teach when they finish college. Russellville is a special place for our students and teachers.”