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Local schools name top employees

The Franklin County Chamber of Commerce hosted the fourth annual State of the Schools program in the Belgreen High School auditorium Oct. 13.

New to this year’s program, each school recognized an Outstanding Employee of the Year.

One recipient was Dustan King, industrial maintenance teacher at the Franklin County Career Technical Center.

“It is an honor for my name to even be mentioned for this type of award,” said King. “I always hope my students take something positive from my class and are able to use those skills in their lives and careers.”

Another was Melissa Greenhill, reading specialist at Russellville Elementary. “I love getting to interact with teachers and students in many different classrooms throughout the year,” explained Greenhill. “It’s so neat seeing students grow in their reading abilities and to get to see their love for reading develop because of the planning and hard work that the teachers put in each day.”

Janett Vargas, translator and EL aide, was selected at Russellville Middle School. Vargas said she enjoys being able to help students who are struggling with English as their second language.

“I’m grateful to be able to see how they are achieving and learning across their subjects,” she said. “I really enjoy that. It’s rewarding to get to see them progressing.”

Tharptown Elementary School top employee is Monica Elliott, reading specialist. Elliott said the recognition came as a welcome surprise.

“We have a lot of great teachers and other employees in all of our schools. I’m just happy to be able to work for a school system that cares so much about our students, teachers and faculty,” Elliott said.

She added the main thing she enjoys is seeing her students be able to read and apply that skill across other areas in school, noting it’s a skill that provides a foundation for success in all areas.

Other 2022 Outstanding Employee of the Year are:

  • Belva Devaney, secretary, Belgreen
  • Tracey Potter, kindergarten teacher, East Franklin Junior High
  • Beth Loveless, instructor, NW-SCC Phil Campbell
  • Tammy Dodge, custodian, Phil Campbell Elementary
  • Susan Holt, English teacher, Phil Campbell High
  • Dawn Weaver, reading interventionist, Red Bay Elementary
  • Rhonda Scott, custodian, Red Bay High
  • Brea Colagross, programming and software development teacher, Russellville High
  • Rick Itter, school resource officer, West Elementary
  • Christy Dill, secretary, Tharptown High
  • Sara Hattaway, English teacher, theatre coach and BETA sponsor, Vina High

For further coverage of this year’s event, pick up a copy of this past week’s Franklin County Times or visit