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RCS hires new principal Ann Scott with Deanna Hollimon’s departure

A new face will soon lead West Elementary School as Deanna Hollimon makes her exit from the Russellville school.

Hollimon said when she first began her teaching career at West Elementary School 35 years ago, she did not know how much the school would become a part of her life.

Now 35 years later, Hollimon is leaving her post as principal at WES for a new challenge.

“I knew I always wanted to be that person who challenged myself and always reached for more,” Hollimon said. “I feel like this is my next challenge.”

Hollimon’s final day at WES was Friday before beginning Monday as the director of the University of North Alabama’s In-Service Center.

WES welcomes a new-but-familiar principal beginning Monday, with Tharptown High School Principal Ann Scott making the move to Russellville.

Russellville City Schools Board of Education officially hired Scott Friday at a special-called board meeting.

“When we talk about building a tradition, she is a great example of that,” said Russellville City Schools Superintendent Heath Grimes. “She is good at her job and is tough with very high standards.”

Grimes said Scott, a Russellville graduate, will be getting back to her roots working with elementary students after taking some time to work with high schoolers.

Grimes said there were three internal candidates for the position, and Scott was the only external candidate who applied for the job.

“We are really looking forward to having her here working with our students,” Grimes said. “We know she will do a great job.”

Hollimon said at her new job, she will work with teachers across Franklin, Colbert, Lauderdale, Marion, Walker and Winston counties with professional learning, for which Hollimon said she has always had a passion.

“I am a big believer in professional learning and professional development, so this job seemed like a perfect fit,” Hollimon said.

She said although she is looking forward to the opportunities her new job will bring, it is tough to leave Russellville City Schools after all of these years.

“It has been very bittersweet,” Hollimon said. “It is like the end of a chapter.”

Hollimon, a graduate of RCS, began her teaching career at WES and spent the remainder of her time in RCS in various positions at WES, except for a three-year period serving as assistant principal at Russellville Middle School.

“I have spent 32 years of my life in these hallways,” Hollimon said. “I have seen so many children come through here and have watched them grow up.”

Hollimon said one of the best parts of her job has been watching children she taught return to RCS as teachers or bring their own children to RCS.

“The school really has been the heartbeat of the entire community,” Hollimon said. “That is something that I love and hope continues.”

Grimes said he is thankful for Hollimon and the work she has put in at RCS over the past 35 years.

“We are very blessed with amazing staff here at RCS,” Grimes said. “We are thankful for her and the impact she has made here.”