LaDonna Gatlin, left, enjoyed visiting with Russellville Independent Schools Superintendent Leon Smith, right, last Monday, Aug. 6, on the opening day of school for RIS faculty and staff.
Gatlin, who is sister to county music’s famous Gatlin Brothers, came from her home in Frisco, Texas to motivate the school district’s employees, who had gathered at Crossroads Church, with her humorous and poignant speech, “Tune Up Your Life.” Gatlin also sang several songs for the crowd.
“Educators are one of my favorite groups because of the influence (they had) in my daughter’s life,” Gatlin said after the program.
Her daughter, Gatlin had explained during her speech, found out as a senior in high school she was pregnant. With help from her school’s faculty and administration, she graduated from high school on time with her class. Later, the young mother married and became an educator.
“This has been such a joy for me,” Gatlin said of her time in Russellville. “Everyone has been so welcoming and warm.”