Russett Articles from Madill Record – May 8, 1952
Russett Graduation Will Be On May 21(Click to enlarge)
Eight seniors will receive diplomas this year from Russett high School, it has been announced by Leland Portman, superintendent.
Those to receive diplomas are Ora Mae Smith, Lometa Word, De Lois Coffman, Dale O’Steen, Lawrence Wilcox, Lavell Cryer, Billy Clark and Donal Serner.
Delois Coffman is valedictorian of her class. Lometa Word is salutatorian. She also served as secretary of the senior class.
Dale O’Steen is class president and Lawrence Wilcox is class vice-president.
Commencement exercises will be held at the school gymnasium at 7:15 p.m. on Wednesday, May 21. Dr. William Parrish, acting president of Murray State College, Tishomingo will give the commencement address.
Baccalaureate will be observed Sunday, May 18, also at the high school gymnasium. The Rev. Paul Stanley of Ft. Worth, Tex., who also is pastor of the First Baptist Church of Russett, will deliver the baccalaureate sermon.
The eighth grade graduation will be held right along with the high school graduation, Mr. Portman announced. The eighth graders will be in attendance both at the baccalaureate and commencement exercises.
Members of the eighth grade graduates are Wendyl Andrews, Marvin Cryer, Charlie Owen, Larrie Shields, Tommy Taylor, Sylvester May, William Clark, Gene Underwood, Fay Covington, Lavonia Jackman, and Verna Crider.
Russett Alumni, Juniors, Seniors Banquet TogetherThe annual junior-senior banquet at Russett high school is much more than just an affair for the two classes. In fact, it is much more than just a high school affair.
There are only 35 students enrolled in the entire Russett high school—but there were 73 guests at the junior-senior banquet held last Friday night.
The reason for this is that alumni, too, are invited to the annual affair. Then of course, in addition to the juniors and seniors there are teachers, board members and other prominent persons in the community in attendance.
This year’s banquet was especially interesting, since the "spring round-up" motif was carried out in the decorations and appointments. Rail fences, saddles, wagon wheels, horseshoes, miniature covered wagons and various other western decorations provided an unusually interesting western setting.
Wayne Easterwood, president of the junior class, presided at the banquet.
The meal was prepared by the ladies of the Russett home demonstration club, and was served by boys and girls of the freshman class.
Dale Easterwood, brother of the junior class president, was elected president of the alumni association for the coming year.
The junior-senior banquet is one of the outstanding events of the Russett community each year.
A graduate of Southeastern State College, Durant, he started his teaching career in Bryan county. He served at various schools and in various capacities there for 20 years, before accepting the superintendency of the Russett Schools.
He has been superintendent at Russett for the past five years. In addition to his administrative duty, he also teaches history.
Mrs. Portman who also was a graduate of Southeastern State College, also is teaching school at Russett. She teaches first and second grade.
Mrs. Josie Upgraff, Tishomingo teaches the third and fourth grade. Mrs. Patricia Ross, Tishomingo, teaches the fifth and sixth grades.
Sammy Littlepage, Tishomingo, teaches the seventh and eighth grades.
B. B. Smith, Tishomingo, is the mathematics instructor.
Donald C. Murk, Milburn, is the principal.
Mr. and Mrs. Portman make their homes in Russett. All the other teachers drive back and forth from their homes, in Tishomingo and Milburn.
Russett Students Get Good Lunches at Very Low Cost
Hot lunch costs Russett school children only 15 cents a meal—and they are served good, substantial food, too.
The food, of course, costs more that this. The state pays and additional 8 cents on each meal, and additional help is forthcoming in the way of groceries.
The school serves about 100 meals a day. Mrs. D. A. Covington is in charge of preparation of the meals and is assisted by various school pupils.
The serving is cafeteria style. The kitchen is modern and well equipped.
Russett Features Athletics, Both Boys and Girls
Russett high school isn’t big enough to turn out state championship football teams—but it has been turning out basketball and softball that have been quite successful in county and regional contests.
The high school boys’ basketball team, coached by Donald C. Murk, has an outstanding record in the district tournament held at Tishomingo each year. The Trophy won again this year made a record of three wins in four years.
The same team entered the invitational tournament at Durant and went to the semi-finals there.
In the regional tournament at Tishomingo, Russett lost to McLish.
The girls’ basketball team is now coached by B. B. Smith. This team played in the county and district tournament and also the invitation tournament at Tishomingo.
The grade school boys’ basketball team won a trophy at the invitation tournament played at Fillmore, and was awarded a trophy.
Russett School Thrives Although Town Is Gone
Russett at one time was a town without much of a school. Now it is a school without much of a town.
There was a time when Russett was located on a branch of the Rock Island railroad. It had a depot, post office, store, gin, and was quite an active village.
But along came good roads and automobiles, and Russett, like other small towns, began to dwindle. The crowing blow came when the Rock Island railroad was abandoned, and the tracks taken up. The final death of Russett was recorded—all except the school.
The old schoolhouse had been operated on the south side of the railroad—and south of the present Highway 70.
When consolidation of schools came along, however, three other schools were joined with Russett and the four made a sizeable school.
The modern brick building was constructed at the present site, on the north side of the highway and the school has been operating quite successfully ever since.
Now Russett has no postoffice, no stores, no depot, and very few houses, even. But it does have a good school. Two buses, covering about 30 miles a day each, bring in the students.