Russellville High School holds Community Partnership Breakfast to connect with community

“We are all excited to explore how RHS can work with local businesses to provide real-world opportunities for students and also prepare our students to be productive employees and members of the community,” said Russellville Mayor David Grissom.

To help bolster this goal, schools officials and community members came together Jan. 25 for a Community Partnership Breakfast.

Russellville High School band director Jeremy Willis directed members of the RHS Marching Hundred as they played outside the school entrance, welcoming guests to the breakfast, an initiative held to encourage mutually-beneficial partnership between local businesses and the school.

RHS cheerleaders and students from the Youth Leadership Academy also helped welcome attendees. Cindy Coan and her Family and Consumer Sciences students prepared and served breakfast.

The event was a mix of sharing information and asking for input from attendees.

“We are all tied together,” explained RHS principal Dr. Jeremy Madden. “You all live in this town, you work in this town. We can work as islands, if you want to, or we can work together.”

Madden, along with RHS assistant principals Jennifer Butler and Derek Ergle, as well as Shelley Montgomery, director of Career and Technical Education at RHS, addressed those assembled, giving a short presentation relating highlights about school programs and student accomplishments, as well as sharing possibilities for creating positive impact by partnering with community businesses.

“I think everybody knows what happens when we all work together,” Madden said. “There are thousands of ways we can work together. I want to tap into that.”

Butler shared statistics about student enrollment, graduation, scholarships and other accomplishments, noting 732 students enrolled, with 17 percent being English Language Learners. “We have a lot of students excelling in a lot of areas,” she said.

Academic highlights included:

  • National Honor Society has 87 members; they collected 200-plus pints of blood in their annual blood drive and earned $2,500 in scholarships.
  • RHS Scholars’ Bowl Team won the 5A state championship.
  • The RHS Science team was one of two state winners in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest.

Athletic highlights included:

  • The Golden Tiger baseball team won the 5A state championship.
  • Varsity boys Soccer won 4A-5A state runner-up.
  • Boys tennis finished as the section runner-up, which qualified them to play in the state tournament.
  • Girls tennis finished the season as the section champion and the 5A state runner-up.
  • Softball was the area runner-up and a regional qualifier.
  • Boys golf team was sub-state qualifier for the eighth consecutive season.
  • Varsity girls soccer was area champs and made it to the second round of the state playoffs.

Fine arts highlights included:

  • RHS students won Best in Show for ninth and 10th grades and second place in division for ninth and 10th grades at the 2022 Artistic Renderings of Youth.
  • RHS theater students excelled at the state Trumbauer Festival. Ten students qualified for state recognition, including third place, second place and a Showcase Selection.
  • The Marching Hundred won the 5A state championship in 2021 and finished fourth in 2022.

Montgomery talked about the CTE program offerings, noting there are 17 available, as well as eight dual-enrollment choices. She shared that a new one for next year will be fire science, to allow a student to learn about how to be a firefighter.

“I am very excited about the turnout at our community partnership breakfast earlier this week,” Montgomery said. “I look forward to working with business and industry leaders to strengthen our established relationships and build new ones.”

She said collaboration between CTE and industry “is vital to workforce development.”

“We share a vision and goal to continue developing a strong workforce in Russellville,” she noted. “Companies investing time and resources into our students are integral to successful Career and Technical Education programs. By working together, we can meet the needs of our students and serve our community by better preparing students for employment.

Madden requested guests fill out a partnership intention form and answer a brief community partner survey.

“I was really proud to see the awesome work of the RHS administration and Dr. Madden playing out so well,” said RCS Superintendent Dr. Heath Grimes. “It was a great event and a great response. It was awesome to see so many on campus prepared to continue supporting RCS.”

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