Al Harpenau
Mr. Al Harpenau, Principal

As the Principal of Russellville Junior High, I want to welcome you to RJHS. It’s truly an honor to lead such a great faculty and staff who devote their lives to educating children. Let me tell you a little bit about myself. This is my 26th year in education, and I can proudly say all those years have been with the Russellville School District. I taught nine (9) years at the middle school, three (3) years as an assistant middle school principal, ten (10) years as middle school principal, and this is my fourth (4th) year as principal at RJHS.

I attended the Principal Institute in 2005 and received the Middle School “Principal who Makes a Difference Award” in 2010. I’m a member of the Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators (AAEA) and the Arkansas Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (AASCD). 

I’m extremely proud to be at RJHS. We have high expectations for learning at RJHS, and it’s our intent to deliver the very best instructional program possible. Students at RJHS are our top priority. After all, they are the reason we do what we do each and every day. 

As the principal, my vision is to instill within our students the importance of an education through hard work, relationship building, and doing the right things. I believe it’s important that students respect themselves, their teachers, and the administration. Students at RJHS will be challenged to reach their highest potential.

I want to thank our community for the continuing support that you provide for us every year. Strong parental and community support enhances the quality of education at RJHS. Our PTO plays an important role in our school by involving parents as volunteers, raising money for school needs, and supporting our students in various programs.

It is my goal for you, as parents, to feel as pleased and excited about RJHS for your children as I am to be your principal. Let’s join together as a team to make RJHS the very best. Through your involvement, cooperation, and open communication with the school, we look forward to partnering with you to give students every opportunity for success. We are proud of where we are and where we are going.

My wife is Donna (Jacimore) Harpenau, and we have three children - Alaina, who will be a sophomore at ATU; Mallory will be a freshman at ATU; and Ryan, who will be in 10th.  Please feel free to contact me at any time. My phone number is 968-1599, and my email address is I am looking forward to great year.

Matt Kordsmeier
Assistant Principal

Mr. Matt Kordsmeier, Assistant Principal

It is my pleasure to serve as one of the Russellville Junior High School Assistant Principals. I am beginning my fifth year at RJHS and 21st year in education. I feel extremely privileged to be a part of a school district with such high expectations for our teachers and students. I am a member of the Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators, Arkansas Safe Schools Association, and the Arkansas Activities Association.

At Russellville Junior High School, our main goal is to provide a positive and safe learning environment in which all students can succeed. We have a rigorous curriculum which challenges students to develop higher level thinking skills. Our caring faculty sets an example for the students as life-long learners. We encourage and welcome parents and community members to be involved in the educational process. 

I see my job as an opportunity to help encourage, empower, and equip all Russellville Junior High School students to be successful scholars and citizens. My wife Karen, is the media specialist at Center Valley Elementary. We have three sons - Landon will is a sophomore at ATU, Kregan is a senior at RHS, and Bryson is in the 8th grade. We are very proud to call Russellville our home.

Please feel free to contact me at 479-968-1599 or at I am looking forward to serving our students, parents and staff throughout this school year. 

 Shavon Jackson
Assistant Principal

Mrs. Shavon Jackson, Assistant Principal

It is with great pleasure and excitement that I introduce myself to you as the new assistant principal at Russellville Junior High. I am thrilled to join the Russellville School District, and more specifically, the Whirlwind team! I am eager to begin working with and supporting you in any way I can. 

I would like to share some of my personal as well as professional and educational experiences with you in order for you to know a little more about me. Last summer, my family relocated to Russellville after my husband, Raleigh, accepted a football coaching position at Arkansas Tech University. While I was happy for him, I was immediately thrilled when I researched the Russellville School District and read about all of the amazing initiatives happening within each school. I knew this was a district I wanted to join, for I knew this was a place we could call home for our two beautiful children, Raleigh, Jr.-2 1⁄2 and Shaleigh-1. 

I grew up in Guthrie, OK. Upon graduation from high school, I attended Oklahoma State University (Go Pokes!) where I received a Bachelors of Science in Secondary Education with an emphasis in English. While studying at Oklahoma State, I ran cross country and track and cheered for the OSU spirit squad. I began my teaching career eleven years ago in my hometown, Guthrie, Oklahoma. I taught English and coached there for three years. I then moved to Frisco, Texas, for a year and taught Freshmen English at Liberty High School. The following five years, I taught sophomore English, served as the English Department Chair, and coached varsity cheerleading at Edmond Santa Fe High School. I was extremely passionate about my students and teaching English; however, I knew that I wanted to affect change at a higher level. I had a knack for curriculum planning and also for disciplining students in a way that motivated them to do better academically and behaviorally. I also enjoyed “coaching” teachers into realizing their potential in the same way I helped my students. Thus, I decided to continue my education at the University of Central Oklahoma where I earned a M.Ed in Educational Leadership. 

While transitioning out of the classroom setting, I served as the Student Support Coordinator at Deer Creek High School in Edmond, OK during the 2012-2013 school year. In this role, I was able to work closely with at-risk and academically struggling students. I also worked one-on-one with teachers to help provide resources and strategies to help their students be more successful. I served as an Instructional Facilitator in the South Conway County School District at Morrilton High School and Morrilton Junior High. I continue to work with teachers and students on a daily basis, providing resources and support as needed. While serving students and teachers at all schools, I helped to enhance strong PLC’s for teachers, created a No D and F campaign for students, and implemented an innovative remediation program for students who did not get a satisfactory score on their EOC exams. 

While this is simply a snapshot of my experiences, I hope it gives you some insight in to who I am. Again, I am elated to be a part of your team! It is a privilege to get to work with teachers who keep students’ best interest at the forefront of everything they do, and I look forward to meeting all of you. Go Whirlwinds!

I am available for you any time through my e-mail,