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RHS named CLAS Banner School

When Russellville City Schools superintendent of education Heath Grimes nominated Russellville High School to be considered as a Council for Leaders in Alabama (CLAS) 2017 School of Distinction, he wanted to showcase the school’s college and career preparation.

And the rest of Alabama took notice. After RHS was named one of Alabama District Seven’s three 2017 Schools of Distinction, the next accolade came last week when RHS was named one of eight Alabama CLAS Banner Schools at a ceremony held in Prattville.

The CLAS Banner School Program began in 2001 as a way to recognize Alabama schools that showcase outstanding programs and service to their students. One hundred and seven schools were nominated for School of Distinction status, and 24 were selected this year.

“They are looking for certain programs you’re doing that other schools can emulate,” Grimes said. “For us, we focused on our college and career experience. That included our Academies programs, working to get students exposure to colleges, our different career tech programs and working with students to see what financial aid they may be eligible for at the next level.”

Grimes praised the efforts of RHS principal Jason Goodwin and assistant principal/Career Tech coordinator Natalie Bendall.

“It’s a program that’s still evolving,” Grimes said. “Natalie has done an amazing job with career tech, doing some innovative things and brainstorming new ways to help students be more successful.

“It’s great to receive this honor, but we know we’re just at the beginning phase and we have a lot more to do.”

Grimes said RHS was named an Alabama Banner School in 2014, and Russellville Elementary School earned the honor in 2008.

CLAS was founded in 1969 as the Alabama Council of School Administrators, an organization formed as a professional corporation focused on children, professional development and the needs of school administrators. The organization changed its name to the Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools, CLAS, in 1998.

For more information on the Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools and a list of all the 2017 winning schools, log onto www.clasleaders.org.

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