Gary Russell makes sweet music at Clements High School

LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. - Gary Russell is the band director at Clements High School in Limestone County.  He also teaches music.

Principal Keith Hairrell says when it comes to his students, Russell hits all the right notes. "Two words define Gary; dedicated and caring. Dedicated to his craft and his profession and his compassionate love and caring for his kids," said Hairrell.

Those attributes have already scored Russell some well-deserved recognition.

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Gary Russell is the band director and teaches music at Clements High School in Limestone County.

"We just announced that Gary Russell was the teacher of the year for Clements High School, so it came at the right time. It just expands on what we thought about him."

When Gary was presented with the Tools For Teachers Award, he was very excited. "Awesome! I think that is great. I appreciate that. Channel 19 is awesome!"

We think Mr. Russell is awesome for emphasizing the importance of the arts in school. His young musicians have not disappointed.

Arielle Gallien is a student at Clements High School.

"Our marching band went to three competitions this year and this year we got superior ratings in every category in every competition," said Russell.

Arielle Gallien, one of Mr. Russell's students, nominated him for the Tools For Teachers Award.

Gallien is very appreciative of Mr. Russell.

"No matter what the students are going through, he is always there. If we are having a hard time, he sticks by our side and he pushed us to get through it," said Gallien.