On Tuesday, September 1, at the front doors of the Logan County Public Library, members of Russellville’s local P.E.O. International philanthropic organization were warmly greeted by the Russellville Junior/Senior High School Student Ambassadors. The Russellville Ambassadors are the official, school-board-sanctioned representatives of the Russellville Independent School District.
These students represent grades 6-12, and selected ambassadors were invited to P.E.O International to present their Program Overview: The Student Ambassador Experience. Program Creator and Advisor, Brandon M. Blake, shared his vision to create a student-led organization to serve as the official representatives of Russellville Independent Schools. The inspiration for the program came from many sources, including community and collegiate organizations, district leadership, the local school board, and independent research. The program was established in 2011, and has received continued support from the school board. The Ambassadors primary objectives are to promote their highest values and ideals consistent with RIS, provide leadership to the student body, assist in facilitating school events and functions, and to build connections within the school and between the school and broader community. Students apply in September. Teachers will supply recommendations to the advisor for students in grades 6-8.
Students will be informed of their nomination and be given an application. There is an open-application process for students in grades 9-12. The Ambassador will be elected through a process of teacher recommendations, applications and interviews. The most qualified applicants may be invited to an interview.
The interview panel will rate each candidate according to their personal appearance, promptness, confidence, communication skills, school commitment, current schedule and grades, extra-curricular activities, recognitions, an essay question, teacher recommendation(s), and parent support agreement. The Selection Committee consists of the Advisor, Guidance Counselor, three faculty representatives, and a community representative. Student Ambassadors receive training intended to develop and build on the talents of each student as well as enhance their ability to lead and serve now and in the future. A student at Russellville High School would apply to the Ambassador Program not only to become a better leader, but a better person. The skills they learn can help them blossom into prosperous individuals. Being an Ambassador can help a growing leader gain skills that they can apply in the “real world”. They can truly transform our school and the school-community relationship with the aspects they learn as Ambassadors.
They have experienced success as they have been featured in the Kentucky School Advocate as a model program, they have presented at the Kentucky School Boards Association Conference, and have supported the development of other programs across our region and state. Their major expenses are attire, supplies, new Ambassador Luncheon, leadership and team-building day, travel, and special events. Their major funding is received from the RISD School Board, the deGraffeinreid Grant, and donations. The Ambassadors shared that Russellville High School was named a High Progress School and listed in the top 10% Most Improved in KY (2014-15). Russellville City Schools is an Independent school district consisting of Stevenson Elementary School, K-5th grade, and Russellville Jr. /Sr. High School, which serves students in grades 6-12. Russellville J/S High School is home to approximately 550 students.
Students attending this presentation were Mateah Black, Laurel Chaney, Cassidy Farwick, Ashlee Gilbert, Skylar Hale, Chris Hines, Gram Humphries, Jaylen McMurray, Josh McMurray, Elly Myers, Jacob Naylor, Colby Nichols, Johnea Pendleton, Madison Rose, and Nicholas Scarbrough.
For further information contact: Brandon M. Blake, Russellville J/S High School, 270.726.8421; 270.303.2233, or email: email@example.com. P.E.O. is a philanthropic organization where women celebrate the advancement of women; educate women through scholarships, grants, awards, and loans, and motivate women to achieve their highest aspirations. True to the mission of promoting educational opportunities for women, education continues to be the primary philanthropy of the P.E.O. International. Russellville’s local P.E.O President is Sherryl Appling.