RSD Thrive

Three Members of Russellville School District selected for Arkansas Thrive Leadership Academy

Joe Sitkowski, Assistant Principal at Russellville Middle School, Laura Binz, Principal at Russellville Intermediate School, and Shavon Jackson, Principal of Crawford Elementary, have been accepted into the Arkansas Thrive Leadership Academy. This academy is a multi-day training program for school leaders. 

Shavon Jackson, Crawford Elementary Principal, commented, “The knowledge and strategies gained in this cohort will have far reaching effects that will help students, teachers, and families.”

The AR Thrive Program focuses on educating school leaders on how to create, support and promote positive behavior and mental health in their schools. 

Joe Stikowski, Assistant Principal at RMS said, “Thrive will equip RMS faculty and staff with a multi-tiered system of support focused on individual student mental health, behavior, and academic needs to ensure all students will be successful.”

Through the AR Thrive Leadership Academy, participants learn about preventative techniques, strategies for de-escalation, and tactics to provide positive support. These topics include learning how to recognize internal and external biases about behavior, identifying signs of stress or trauma that may have effects on student's behavior, and learning how to build and support an internal behavioral team that will reach the needs of every student. 

Laura Binz, RIS Principal, says she is very excited about this opportunity. Binz said, “... This training will better equip me to support my students with their behavior and mental health. I hope this training will help RIS to systematically teach academic and social behaviors to our students so they can acquire tools to help them THRIVE in whatever situation or environment they are in.”

Through completing the program, endorsements are added onto the participants’ teaching licenses. 

Congratulations to 3 of RSD’s amazing school leaders! Thank you for your dedication to achieving excellence together. 

To learn more about AR Thrive Academy go to