• 54°
franklin county times

Distinguished Through the Decades: 2005, Addie (Pickett) Harbin

Progress 2022: Distinguished Through the Decades

Russellville’s Addie Pickett Harbin had attended the Junior Miss program for several years and always admired the participants – a stepping stone on the path to competing in the program herself and ultimately becoming Franklin County’s Junior Miss 2005.

“They were great role models for myself and others, and I knew I wanted a chance to be Franklin County’s DYW,” said Harbin, who owns and operates Addie Flip Tip and Tap studio in Russellville. “I had so much fun the week of the local program; honestly, at the end of the night, I was just proud to be representing Franklin County as a contestant alongside many of my friends on stage before the actual winner was ever announced.”

Harbin, a Russellville High School alumnus, said she enjoyed her time as a Golden Tiger. “I have positive memories of my time spent in the halls and classrooms at RHS. I was a member of National Honor Society, RHS varsity head cheerleader, first alternate on the Homecoming Court and many other activities,” she said. “All of these opportunities taught me how to reach my full potential and how to be active in my community.”

After high school, Harbin started working at the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce while a full-time student at the University of North Alabama. “The scholarships I received definitely made an overall impact and allowed me to complete four years of college without paying tuition out of pocket,” Harbin noted. In 2006 she started AFTT, a dance, tumble and cheer studio in Russellville, and in 2009 she graduated from UNA with honors with her bachelor’s degree in elementary education. “I always knew I wanted a career involved with teaching children,” she said. “I’ve always had a passion for helping others and working with youth of all ages.”

The studio has given her a unique opportunity to encourage future DYW participants.

“I try to always influence high school girls to be Little Sisters in the program to see what DYW offers,” she said. “Every year I encourage upcoming seniors to participate.

“I will always continue to promote the program. If you prepare for the program in advance and enter with a positive mindset, you definitely have a great experience ahead of you.”

In addition to owning and teaching at her studio, Harbin is a third-grade teacher at Russellville Elementary. She and husband Aaron have two children: Ruby, 10, and Willis, 4.

“I enjoy spending time with my family, whether it be going to practices, games and competitions with my children or traveling,” she said. “In the summer we like to spend time at the lake, beach or swimming pool.”

When Harbin looks back on her Junior Miss experience, several memories come to mind, like her performance for the talent portion. Her love for dance began as a child and provided her with her talent for the program. “I have always had a passion and love for dance, so getting to perform my tap dance on stage was always a highlight of the competition at the local and state levels,” said Harbin, who performed to the tune “Trickle, Trickle.”

During her interviews and self-expression, “I felt was always positive, and it helped prepped me to interview for ‘real’ jobs in my future,” Harbin said. One memory makes her laugh to this day. “I had worn heels all day and practically all week, so during awards, I was on stage in flip flops,” she said. “Of course, they couldn’t be seen on stage due to the length of my dress, but when I was named Franklin County’s DYW wearing flip flops – that was definitely memorable.”

Harbin said to this day she enjoys “being involved with the program and giving back so others can have the same scholarship opportunities. Having the title of Franklin County’s Distinguished Young Woman has given me a platform to always be my best self and to help promote this balance in young ladies. It’s not about what others are doing; it’s about you just being you and being held accountable to always do the right thing.”