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Community supports State of Schools

This year the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce followed suit of several other counties by hosting a State of the Schools event for community members to learn what is going on in the local school systems.

About 74 people were in attendance for the lunch meeting to hear from Franklin County Schools Superintendent Greg Hamilton and Russellville City Schools Superintendent Heath Grimes.

“The Chamber’s Board of Directors was pleased with the number in attendance for this being the first year,” said Franklin County Chamber of Commerce executive director Cassie Medley. “We hope to have more businesses and industries represented next year.”

Medley said attendees commented the luncheon was a way to bring awareness of what superintendents, teachers and staff do every day to ensure students have a positive learning environment.   

Grimes and Hamilton each updated community members on construction projects within their respective school districts and reported on enrollment numbers.

Hamilton said construction is beginning to pick up at Tharptown with an improvement in landscaping, and construction at Vina has progressed to the inside of the building.

“We are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel on these two projects,” Hamilton said.

Grimes spoke on the school report card and academic success compared to other systems. He also shared the system’s current plans for a new addition to the high school, which will include a new entrance and career tech classrooms.

Grimes said this event allowed community members to learn new information about the school systems, and it also helped clear up any misconceptions about future projects.

“I am extremely grateful to the chamber for hosting this,” Grimes said. “I feel like this is something that all communities need because it allows our school leaders to share insight to our community.”