In April 8 IssueBy Derek AaronTimes Journal Reporter
Russell County High School's presence on the Internet has grown in the past year as School Technology Coordinator Chris Godby revamped the school's Web site and added many new features and applications to it.
Available on the Web now at www.russellcountyhigh.com, the site is currently up and running and more impressive than ever.
“There have been a lot of attempts at a school Web site for us over the years,” Godby said. Current RCHS Principal Darren Gossage created the first site in the mid-90s, Godby said, and there have been several variations since then.
After those several attempts, Godby restarted the process again in January 2009 to build a new school site.
“The goal was to try and have one of the best high school Web sites in the state,” he said. “It took weeks and weeks to get it all built.”
Godby credited Russell County High senior Chanson Davenport in helping to get the site rolling.
“He had had some Web design experience himself,” he said. “He wasn't familiar with the type of software we were using but he picked it up really quickly.”
Now, both Godby and Davenport update the site regularly and Davenport has even created a site for the school's Y-Club that is linked off of the school's page.
Godby said those at Russell County Middle School liked the high school's site so much that they now have one too, www.russellcountymiddle.com, that Godby helped them start.
The high school's site is updated daily, mainly with sports scores, lunch menus and announcements, he said..
“Every week we change the picture of the student of the week and every month we change the freshman of the month,” Godby said. “The headline news story we change every couple of weeks.”
Godby said that the site's articles have been written by teachers as well as students and is open to any input by school-affiliated folks.
“I always say if you've got something for the Web site, tell me and it will go on the site, on WLKR news, the televisions in lobby and we'll get the word out,” he said.
Godby said he has posted school course information, a Google map to the school, an interactive Google calender of events on the site as well.
School faculty contact e-mail addresses, school calendars and information on high school sports teams all appear on the site, too.
Godby also said the school has now joined several social networking sites, Facebook and Twitter, that are linked to the site and to help get word or announcements out to students in a manner students are more likely to check.
To follow the school on Twitter, search @RCHSLakers or to become a fan on Facebook, search Russell County High School when signed on to the social networking site.
“We started to see other front-running schools in Kentucky using a Facebook page to get information out,” he said. “We're able to post announcements and know that everybody uses stuff like that so they will see it.”
Godby said he expects to see the school's social media to continue to grow as everything continues to become more tech-oriented.
“I've got bigger ambitions for the site too,” he said. “I'm competitive about it ... I want to step ahead and make a better site when (other schools) catch up.”
With the site the school displays now, it appears Godby has a head-start.