School employees rewarded

School employees rewarded
Photo:Russell County Superintendent Dr. Brenda Coley (far left) led her school district for Institute Day on Jan. 6. Faculty and staff celebrated with noisemakers and confetti poppers during the spirited event. Motivational in nature, Institute day celebrates the district’s progress, introduces new employees, and reasserts its mission, while working on professional development. Improvement incentives included new Chromebooks for all certified teachers, and spirt wear uniforms for all custodial staff. Photo|Toni Stauffer

Russell County School District came back to school with a bang after winter break, gathering in the auditorium at Russell County High School on Jan. 6 to celebrate the annual Institute Day. The event “Country Style Party of the Decade” was a New Year celebration with a country flair. Superintendent Dr. Brenda Coley dressed for the occasion, wearing an enormous New Year’s hat as attendees celebrated the festive occasion with noisemakers and confetti. 

Institute Day has been an RCSD tradition for the last 34 years, a time when the district celebrates progress, introduces new employees, reasserts its mission, and works on professional development.

 Coley said Instutitute Day has had more emphasis on motivation the last couple of years, but that this year there were ‘giveaways’ to celebrate the district’s amazing progress. 

Improvement incentives included Chromebooks for all certified teachers, a total value of approximately $112,000, paid for out of the Advanced Technology funds from the state, as well as spirit wear uniforms for custodial staff. Coley said approximately $350,000 was spent from different places for the incentives apart from the technology fund that came from local money. 

“It was a very good day and a great way to show we spend a lot of money on resources,” Coley said. “This is an investment, a way to show our employees we appreciate their work. I think it was well-received, and it was timely. Who doesn’t want a bonus after Christmas? Sometimes you have to do more than say thank you, and the board was very supportive of it.”

Guest speaker for the event was CEO Leavie D. King, III. Founder of COACHEDUP, King is renowned for delivering messages that allow audiences to recognize and reach their desired success, leaving them with a “can do” attitude. For more information on King, visit his website at