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Four local schools earn bronze medals

By Staff
Kim West
Russellville High School athletic teams are known for being perennial contenders, but the school recently earned medal-worthy recognition for its academic prowess.
During the Russellville City Schools Board of Education meeting Thursday, Superintendent Dr. Wayne Ray recognized RHS for being named a bronze medal school by U.S. News &World Report magazine's annual report on the top-performing schools in the U.S.
"I'd like to commend (Principal) Rex Mayfield and his staff at RHS," said Ray, who retired Friday after 43 1/2 years as a teacher, coach, principal and administrator in the RCS system.
RHS, which serves grades 9-12, is the only high school in the Russellville system. Three Franklin County Schools – Belgreen, Phil Campbell and Vina – were also named as bronze medal schools. Out of 388 high schools in Alabama, only 54 earned bronze status, and only four were awarded silver or gold medals.
Bronze medal schools are schools that do not offer advanced placement or international baccalaureate curriculum or do not achieve a college readiness index of at least 20, but they successfully meet the other two key performance indicator criteria in the areas of poverty-adjusted performance and disadvantaged students performance gap.
"That basically means we have students who are performing well on standardized tests that aren't supposed to be for socioeconomic reasons," Mayfield said. "I want to thank my teachers for all of their hard work."
The board unanimously approved Don Cox, an administrative assistant to the superintendent, as acting superintendent effective Jan. 5.
"I want to thank the board for your showing of confidence in me," Cox said. "We're going to miss Dr. Ray, and he's been my mentor for 28 years … whoever fills his shoes will have huge shoes to fill …
"But I'm looking forward to a new challenge and carrying the system forward."
In other business, the board approved:
The next board meeting will be Jan. 22 at 3:30 p.m. The work session will be Jan. 21 at 2:30 p.m.

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