Makayla Harrell story

Team is a word that often comes to mind when thinking about athletics or competitive events. For RMS student Makayla Harrell, learning is also a team sport. 

Makayla is a 7th grader at Russellville Middle School. She is a high-achieving student and participates in a variety of sports such as volleyball and dance. While juggling all of these activities, Makayla keeps inclusion at the heart of all her work. 

Makayla is known to be a natural leader who knows how to listen to the perspective of others while making everyone feel heard. Whether it's on the volleyball court or in the classroom, Makayla seeks to hear and understand the contributions of others. 

Makayla says inclusion ensures everyone can be successful. “I think of the classroom in the same way as my team trying to win the game. In the game, the goal is to score points and hopefully win. In the classroom, the goal is learning.” 

Sometimes, not everyone will agree. But Makayla sees the difference in opinions as a path to growth. “There’s no reason to see it as a roadblock. Bringing different perspectives only furthers our learning,” commented Makayla.

Mr. David Farr, the Russellville Middle School Principal, says Makayla is one of the best examples of a leader he’s ever seen. “Makayla is always kind and positive in her interactions with staff and peers. Makayla is a great example of what we want from our students at RMS. She is hardworking, involved, and always has a great attitude. I nominated Makyla because she demonstrates several of the qualities of an RSD graduate. Most notably, I would like to highlight her as an inclusive collaborator. Makayla is the type of person who values the opinions of others. She is friendly, respectful, and engaging with her peers and with our staff. She listens with her eyes and wants to hear others instead of just waiting for her opportunity to speak. She is always so positive and uplifting to those around her. She wants others to feel welcome in a conversation and to feel like they have a voice.” said Mr. Farr. 

Makayla was recognized at the March RSD Board of Education Meeting for being an Inclusive Collaborator! This recognition comes from the RSD Profile of the Graduate, which outlines the attributes RSD graduates will encompass when they graduate. 

Read more here:

 Great job, Makayla! Thank you for being a great example for your fellow students!