EDUCATION CORNER: RCS focuses on #IMPACT
FRANKLIN LIVING SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2023
I am so excited to have had a great start to the 2023-2024 school year for Russellville City Schools. This year’s theme, which we introduced at our annual Institute at the beginning of August, is #IMPACT. With this being my last year with RCS, this theme means a lot to me personally because it encompasses everything I believe, both professionally and personally, and that I have tried to convey these past eight years here at RCS. It’s the impact we make that matters most and that will become your legacy even after you’re gone.
I’ve spoken on several occasions to our faculty and staff about the mindset of “both/and” instead of “either/or.” While quality academic instruction is and should be a priority, it can’t be our only goal. We want to make a point to have both academics and values be our focus so that we can make the most impact on our students and everyone else around us.
Teaching values is crucial, every bit as important as the academic component. Our teachers and admins are told time and time again how important academics, testing, scores and data are – and these things indeed are important! – but our focus on academics shouldn’t be so all-consuming that we forget our goal is to give our students a well-rounded education that not only prepares them academically but prepares them to be good citizens and good people who can go on to make an impact in the world.
I think somehow we have forgotten what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said to us: “Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” See, it’s “both/and” – not academics alone, nor character alone. It’s both.
RCS employees will strive to make an impact on the character, action and culture of our community. As a collective body of educators focused on truly teaching as opposed to being so focused on standards and assessments, we can shape the direction of our state and possibly even our country. Educators truly are in the most impactful and greatest profession in the world because they are in a position to impact the next generation – and it is my sincere hope this impact will be positive.
I invite our community to join us at RCS in looking for ways to make a positive impact on those around us and in our community as a whole this school year. I can only image the good that will come from it and the benefits we will see.
Heath Grimes is superintendent of Russellville City Schools. He and his wife Amy have three daughters: Leah, Halle and Erin.