Principal Dee Guffy of Russellville Middle School received the news the Friday before Christmas break that RMS would be receiving $132, 139 for technology based needs from the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation.
She had applied for the grant in September and has been "holding her breath" since then. She feels that this grant will be a big morale booster for her students and faculty.
"It is hard to fathom that much money until one sees the truck loads of equipment come in," said Guffy.
She has worked with David Guffy of Russellville Schools on assessing how the money can best be used. So far, they plan on the purchase of at least 147 new computers, 'Follett,' a new software for the library, digital cameras and camcorders, laser printers, and accelerated math programs.
At the Russellville Independent School Board meeting on Jan. 11, Guffy said that the new computers will replace the ones currently in the RMS lab, plus around three new workstations will appear within each classroom. Currently, in most classrooms, only the teacher has a computer.
Because of the hard work of David Guffy, who had already worked efficiently in keeping their computer lab well-stocked, the computers currently in their labs will be shared with Stevenson Elementary and Russellville High School. All city schools will benefit from this grant.
This is not the first time that Dee Guffy has had success in grant writing. When she was an administrator at Lewisburg School, they also were awarded a grant. This time, she didn't ask for quite as much. She bases the amount she asks for on socioeconomic statistics and also on Title 1 information. Though she didn't ask for as much, she actually received a little more than her initial figure.
Guffy said that she worked pretty hard on the grant for two to three weeks. She said it hampered her a little by her having only been hired in July, when the grant was due in September. It took late nights of crunching numbers and meetings with the "tech guy" to figure out what the school needed.
"Every decision I make is based on what's best for the kids," said Guffy. She wants parents to be reassured that the school system is working for their children's best interest. She also wants more parents to come in and ask her questions about what's going on in their school.
"We are trusted with their most precious resource," Guffy said of parents, so she expects there to be plenty of questions.
She hopes that after they replace the computers and have the new technology in place, representatives of the Carpenter Foundation will come out and see how much they are doing for the community. She is very excited about what the grant money will do for her school and hopes that parents and students will get excited too, once they see the results.