Heading back Heading back to schoolto school
A look at how teachers A look at how teachers spend their summer spend their summer
New Phil Campbell High New Phil Campbell High School nearing completionSchool nearing completion
August 2014 Vol. 4 Issue No. 7
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4 FRANKLIN LIVING
20A new chapterNew Phil Campbell High
School nears completion
25 A year of firstsStudents discuss big mile-stones in their school careers
36A teachers summerTeachers talk about what they really do during summer break
8 What To Do
12The grass is greenerRHS Marching Hundred unveils new grass practice fieldRu
16 Wellness18 Whats Hot30 Cooking with Sam33 Classifieds40 Looking Back42 Parting Shot
P.O. Box 1088 Russellville, AL 35653256-332-1881 fax: 256-332-1883
General Manager Nicole PellManaging Editor Kellie Singleton Sales Peggy HydeCirculation Geraldine BondsEditorial/Photography
Franklin Living is published monthly by Franklin County Newspapers, Inc. Copyright 2011 by Franklin County
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6 FRANKLIN LIVING
t doesnt seem like we should already be using phrases like back to school, but as sad as that may be for some, the real-ity is that students and teachers will indeed be heading back to school in just a few short weeks.
When I was young, I loved summertime. It was always excit-ing to pass the hurdle of the last day of school and finally make it to those care-free days of sleeping late, playing outside, going to the pool and having slumber parties with friends on weeknights.
But, seeing as though I have pretty much been a nerd my whole life and have come to embrace my nerdiness to its full, somewhere after the Fourth of July, I would start to get restless and ready to head back to school with my friends. I would get excited when the stores would start putting out the back to school supplies, and I would make my infamous lists, marking down each and every school supply I needed, and then hound my mother until she would let me go ahead and purchase my color-coded folders, notebooks, pencils and erasers.
Now, Im sure not every child will be as excited to start back to school as I used to be, but with the two excellent school systems we have here in Franklin County, there is certainly a lot to look forward to in the coming school year.
In this issue of Franklin Living, we explored several school-related topics.
One of the stories that hit close to home for me is the story on the RHS Marching Hundreds new grass practice field that they will be able to use for the very first time this month. I can remember vividly all five burning hot and ridiculously humid Alabama sum-mers spent at band and color guard camp because I dont think I will ever be as hot as I was during those few weeks. But after years of planning, the Marching Hundred has a grass practice field that is all their own for the first time in its history, and across the county toward the end of July, you should be able to hear these students rejoicing at the difference it makes.
This issue also features a look at what most teachers actually do during their summer break (and contrary to what many people think, it doesnt include lying on a couch watching soap operas all day, every day). It takes a lot of planning and work for a teachers classroom to look great on that first day, and it takes a lot of time spent in workshops and continuing education classes for teachers to stay on top of the latest technology and educational tools.
We also have four different profiles on local students who will be celebrating some milestone firsts this year as they head off to kindergarten, middle school, high school, and college for the first time.
And finally, the town of Phil Campbell has been waiting anx-iously for the grand opening of their brand new, state-of-the-art high school that has been in the construction phase since January 2013. The school, like much of the town, had to be rebuilt after the devastating tornado came through the area on April 27, 2011. Even though the school wont be completed until after Labor Day, it is already a breath-taking sight for this community that has had to overcome so much in the past three years.
Even though there are still several weeks left of pool parties, bar-becues, and summer fun, we hope this issue of Franklin Living gets you excited about heading back to school.
FCNI managing editor Kellie Singleton with her husband, David, and their dog, Phoebe.
IFROM THE EDITOR
8 FRANKLIN LIVING
WHAT TO DORussellville Youth Basketball CampJuly 15-17The 5th Annual Russellville Youth Basketball Camp will start July 15 and go through July 17 at Russellville High School and Russellville Middle School. The camp will be from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. each day. You can register at the Russellville Parks and Recreation Department now through July 14. The registration fee is $25 per camper.
Vina pre-k registrationJuly 17Vina School now has PreK. Alabamas nationally recognized First Class PreK is now accepting applications for the 2014-2015 school year at Vina High School. Enrollment is open to all children who are residents of the State of Alabama regardless of fam-ily income. Applications will be available on Thursday, July 17, 2014, between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. at Vina High School. You will need their birth certificate, blue card, proof of residency (utility bill), social security card, and the name of Medical Insurance Carrier and Policy Number. The random selection drawing will be held on Thursday, July 17, 2014 at 5:30 p.m. Acceptance to the program is through a random selection process. The registered applicant must meet residency requirements
and complete the essential docu-ments set forth by the program. Children will not be denied par-ticipation on the basis of income, sex, race, color, national origin, or disability.
Watermelon Beauty Pageant July 19The 2014 Watermelon Festival Beauty Pageant will be Saturday, July 19, at the Russellville City Schools Auditorium. Applications are available at the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce or at www.franklincountychamber.org. For questions, please call 256-332-1760.
Russellville Middle School registrationJuly 21-24The Russellville Middle School reg-istration dates will be July 21 24. The sixth grade will register on July 21, from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m. The seventh grade registration will be on July 22, from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m. The eighth grade registra-tion will be on July 23, from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m. The new student reg-istration will be on July 24, from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m.
Vina July FestJuly 26The annual Vina July Fest attracts
visitors from all over he area. Come out and enjoy games, crafts, and giveaways.
Teachers start back to schoolAugust 4 Russellville City School SystemFranklin County School System
First day of school for studentsAugust 7 Russellville City School SystemAugust 8Franklin County School System
Rockin at the RoxyAugust 9The Franklin County Arts and Humanities Council hosts the Rockin at the Roxy concert series the second Saturday each month.
Watermelon FestivalAugust 15-16Come enjoy a good time in down-town Russellville this August at the Franklin County Watermelon Festival, hosted by the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce. The Watermelon Festival has been recognized as one of the top attractions in the state of Alabama each August. The two-day festival includes concerts, games, crafts, vendors, and all the watermelon you can eat.
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10 FRANKLIN LIVING
OUT & ABOUT
FCCDC representative Kathy Hall presents checks to Brianne Hester, Leah Borden, Lindsey Stancil, Brittany Garner, and Blanca Aquirre for the Tharptown High School cheer-leaders.
FCCDC representative Kathy Hall presents checks to Meaghan Hardy, Brooklyn Scott, Courtney Baker, and Chloe Brown for the Phil Campbell High School cheerleaders.
FCCDC representative Kathy Hall presents checks to Stanley Champion for the Union Community Center playground equipment and storm shelter expenses.
FCCDC representative Kathy Hall presents checks to Brianne Hester for chair purchases for the Tharptown High School gymnasium.
FCCDC representative Kathy Hall presents checks to Brett Thomas for the Phil Campbell boys and girls basketball programs.
The following groups were recently awarded grants through the Franklin County Community Development Commission, which is an entity set up through the efforts of Sen. Roger Bedford, Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow, and other members of the Tennessee Valley caucus who worked to make sure TVA in-lieu of tax funds were being re-distrib-uted in the counties where the money was generat-ed. The committee consists of two appointed mem-bers, Brad Bolton and Kathy Hall, and a chairman, which rotates between the mayors of Russellville and Red Bay every two years. Currently Red Bay Mayor David Tiffin serves as the chairman. Funds are used to promote economic development, edu-cation, and recreation in the area.
The grass is greener...
STORY BY KELLIE SINGLETON
PHOTOS BY KELLIE SINGLETON
igh school students from around the county who are involved in their schools marching band spend many hours during the summer battling the heat and humidity to make sure their performances for the
upcoming football and competition seasons are top notch. Most local band programs have whats
called band camp, where students work on marching basics, drill, sets and music for their new halftime show.
For the Russellville High School Marching Hundred, their band camps have garnered quite a reputation, especially among current
students and alumni, for being some of the hottest and most brutal days of a students high school career.
And this is due in large part to one specific reason the asphalt drivers education range that has been the Marching Hundreds practice field for more than 40 years.
Summer after summer, Marching Hundred members have sweltered on the hot parking lot that features striping and markings that mimic those on the football field they perform on each Friday night in the fall.
The blistering heat that has forced current band director
Gary McNutt and several band directors before him to banish practices in the heat of mid-day has been a problem for a long time.
Because of this, McNutt had an idea several years ago for the Marching Hundred to have their very own grass practice field behind the RCS Fine Arts Building a place his band students could practice without literally melting the soles of their ten-nis shoes.
And this summer, that idea has finally become a reality.Behind the RCS Auditorium now stretches a 60-yard plot of
thick, green grass that will soon boast yard lines and a smaller version of the band tower that now sits in the drivers ed park-ing lot.
The idea of a grass practice field has been kicked around for several years, but the actual concept started coming together between 2009 and 2010, McNutt said.
We knew we had available space behind the fine arts build-ing and the auditorium, but you cant just clear it off and it be suitable for a practice field. There were many different factors that had to be considered before we could get to this point.
Once the plans were created and the positioning of the field was nailed down, McNutt said the land had to be cleared and
12 FRANKLIN LIVING
14 FRANKLIN LIVING
graded to receive the best drainage, overseed-ed with grass seed, and all the electrical lines and the fiber optic lines had to be buried.
We really appreciate the Russellville Electric Department for all of their help getting the area ready, McNutt said, and we appreciated [superintendent] Rex Mayfield and the school board for their support of this project as well. It is going to be a huge benefit to our students and our program.
One of the obvious benefits will be the break from the scorching heat of the asphalt parking lot.
Moving to a grass practice field will cut the temperature by 20 to 25 degrees, McNutt said.
After all the years of enduring the heat and wondering how hot it actually was out there on the parking lot, two years ago we measured the surface temperature during band camp and it was 128 degrees on the lot and 139 degrees on the black yard lines.
We have actually seen it melt the rubber on the soles of tennis shoes before. That just makes for some miserable practice conditions, especially in the hottest part of the summer.
Besides the respite from the heat, McNutt said other advantages to the long-awaited and much-anticipated grass practice field include being in closer proximity to the band room and practicing on a surface more similar to the field the band actually performs on.
Marching on asphalt is a lot different than marching on grass, he said.
This field will give us a truer feel for what the
students will be performing on.And being closer to the band room will be a great benefit,
not just because were closer to bathrooms and air condi-tioning and equipment, but because were closer to shelter.
There have been many times when a storm would come up quick and wed have to rush the kids off the parking lot and back up to the band room and it would already be pouring down rain or lightning by the time we could get all the equipment loaded and have everyone back at the band room.
The benefits of this field...