Russellville Independent schools will soon be looking to hire a new position at the high school for a new college graduate who will serve as a college coach for students at the RHS.

The Russellville school board this week decided to take part in an AmeriCorps program that will place a new grad at the high school to work with a select group of students to help make sure they will be continuing their education after high school.

The college coach will work primarily with a group of 60 students (15 from each grade in the high school) at Russellville who are on track to graduate, but might be at risk of not attending college.

Kentucky College Coaches are AmeriCorps State service members tasked with assisting high school students to think about, apply for and get accepted to college. This will involve doing whole-school activities as well as one-on-one mentoring with the 60 core students.

“I’m very excited about this program and I think it can be a really good for our students — especially if we get the right person for this position,” said Russellville superintendent Bart Flener.

The position will start on Jan. 1 and run through June 30. The college coach will be paid $1,210 per month, depending on the start date for term of service, minus taxes. The job will also come with benefits including healthcare and childcare eligibility, and education award at the end of the contract of approximately $2,255, federal student loan forbearance eligibility, professional development, college access and mentoring training events.

The Russellville school district will only have to pay around $3,500 for the position, with AmeriCorps picking up the remainder of the contract.

Flener said that if the college works out well, he would like to see it continue next year as a regular position at the high school.

“I think this is a great way to test this out and see if it works,” Flener said. “And if it does, we’ll be able to bring that information to the school board and maybe make it a permanent position in the future.”