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RCS leader vies for Superintendent of Year award

Russellville City Schools is pleased to announce RCS Superintendent Heath Grimes has been selected as the Alabama District 8 Superintendent of the Year – putting him in the running for State Superintendent of the Year.

State Superintendent of the Year will be announced at this year’s School Superintendents of Alabama conference fall conference Oct. 12-14.

“To be a superintendent already puts you in a group of the best individuals, so I am so honored to receive this,” Grimes said. “I was just honored that there was more than one that considered me.”

This is Grimes’ second year to be selected as District 8 Superintendent of the Year, the first during his tenure as superintendent in Lawrence County.

Grimes has been a superintendent for 11 years, serving in Lawrence County and Russellville City. He served as the Alabama Superintendents District 8 President for the past four years and serves as president of the Alabama Leaders Advocating for English Learners.

Grimes said his biggest accomplishment this year has been the work he has done advocating for English Language Learners with the founding of ALA-EL.

“I feel like ALA-EL has changed education in this state and has changed life for these students,” Grimes said. “We are now seeing more funding being allocated per student to educate them.”

Grimes said despite not having adequate funding for EL students, his teachers have continued to rise to the challenge to empower RCS to succeed.

“I am so proud of the way we have continued to thrive in all areas,” Grimes said. “There is something to be said about a district that can achieve what we have with 25 percent of students not speaking English.”

Grimes said his biggest goal as superintendent is to inspire the people around him to become leaders who are not afraid of being bold.

“My goal is for people to understand that public education changes the country, the state and the county,” Grimes said. “I want the people around me to see that being bold is how change occurs.”

West Elementary School Principal Deanna Hollimon said she has seen Grimes embrace the tradition of excellence at RCS and continue to push those around him to be their best.

“He encourages us to think outside of the box and take risks that will make our schools better,” Hollimon said. “Each of the schools has grown in so many ways under his leadership.”

Russellville Elementary School Principal Kristie Ezzell said it is a blessing to have Grimes leading RCS.

“Mr. Grimes is a dynamic leader who always puts our students’ needs first,” Ezzell said. “He is always pushing us, as educators, to grow in our profession so we can better serve our students.”