Academic banquet in place for Russellville

— RUSSELLVILLE — The gymnasium floor where athletes excel during the school year will be transformed into a banquet honoring academics in May.

At the Cole County R-1 Schools regular board meeting, the creation of a high school academic banquet was approved.

The top 20 percent, or about 45 students, will be treated to a free meal, guest speakers and awards May 13.

Eligibility will be determined by standing at the end of the fall semester.

The honorees will receive two additional tickets, to invite whomever they choose.

And tickets will be available for purchase.

The Junior Beta and Junior High Student Council will be trained to serve at the banquet.

Invitations will be sent to eligible students to make reservations in the spring.

Dress code expectations will be made clear, as well.

A recent graduate will be invited to give a 20-minute address, focusing on the quality and importance of education.

Each honoree will receive a medal of the school crest and a sealed certificate.

To offset costs, the district will approach the school’s new foundation and local businesses for financial support.

In other business, the board noted bids on the last phase of the track project are due this week.

A special board meeting Dec. 3 will select the contractor, who is expected to complete the project by early April.

The last phase includes a one and one-half story metal building, about 1,500-square-feet with two-sided, overhanging awnings, which will provide concession service, restrooms and equipment storage.

Following a closed session, the board accepted the retirement of Joyce Zimmerman, effective the end of the school year.

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