Partnering for progress, connected for success.

Preparing Students for the 21st Century

The Russell County Public Schools provide a quality education to students by following the Virginia Standards of Learning and by integrating cutting-edge programs that support the 21st century classroom. Having access to superior broadband and two leading IT companies within our borders fundamentally changed our approach to public education. Today, we work closely with these and other stakeholders to continually upgrade our curriculum to meet workplace demands based on emerging technology skills.

In 2008, our school system was one of the first in Virginia to partner with local businesses and other entities to establish a Governor’s Career and Technical Academy, known locally as Pathways Academy. This program gives our middle and high school students opportunities to acquire STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) literacy and other critical skills, knowledge and credentials needed for high-wage and high-skills careers.

All high schools also have a Cisco Networking Academy, a computer and networking curriculum that prepares students for IT jobs and/or post-secondary technology training. Cisco programs are developed by Cisco Systems Inc., an American multinational corporation based in San Jose, California, that designs, manufactures and sells networking equipment.

Plans for developing technology training in our public schools are partially determined by a Russell County Technology Committee, with assistance from community, schools and local industry.

Russell County School Systems

Our public school system is accredited by the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges and serves approximately 3,900 students, preschool through grade 12, in 14 teaching facilities, including provision of career and technical classes for grades 9-12 at the Russell County Career and Technology Center in Lebanon.

Grades PreK-7

  • Cooper Creek Elementary School, Grades Pre-Kindergarten-Kindergarten (Castlewood)
  • Givens Elementary School, Grades Pre-Kindergarten-2 (Swords Creek)
  • Lebanon Primary Elementary School, Grades Pre-Kindergarten-1
  • Lebanon Elementary School, Grades 2-4
  • Lebanon Middle School, Grades 5-7
  • Belfast Elk Garden Elementary School, Grades K-6 (Rosedale)
  • Castlewood Elementary School, Grades 1-7
  • Cleveland Elementary School, Grades K-7
  • Honaker Elementary School, Grades Pre-Kindergarten-7
  • Swords Creek Elementary School, Grades 3-7

High Schools

  • Castlewood High School, Grades 8-12
  • Honaker High School, Grades 8-12
  • Lebanon High School, Grades 8-12

Vocational Education

  • Russell County Career and Technology Center, Grades 9-12 (Lebanon)
  • Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center (Abingdon)

Private Schools

  • Anchors Academy, Grades 8-12 (Rosedale)
  • Spring City Baptist School, Grades K-12 (Cleveland)


  • The University of Virginia’s College at Wise (Wise County) offers the only bachelor’s degree in software engineering available in Virginia.
  • Fast track software programming, IT help desk training, and manufacturing technology programs are among the learning options offered by community colleges and workforce training centers in Southwest Virginia.
  • Both Mountain Empire Community College and Southwest Virginia Community College provide training for the Career Readiness Certificate (CRC), which helps employers determine job qualification levels of job applicants.

Below is a complete list of colleges, universities, and professional schools located within three hours of Russell County.


  • Appalachian School of Law (Grundy)
  • Appalachian College of Pharmacy (Oakwood)
  • Bluefield College (Bluefield)
  • Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine (Blacksburg)
  • Emory & Henry College (Emory)
  • New River Community College (Dublin)
  • * Radford University (Radford)
  • Roanoke College (Salem)
  • * University of Virginia’s College at Wise (Wise)
  • * Virginia Tech (Blacksburg)
  • Virginia Western Community College (Roanoke)
  • Wytheville Community College (Wytheville)
  • Southwest Virginia Community College (Cedar Bluff)
  • Virginia Highlands Community College (Abingdon)
  • Mountain Empire Community College (Big Stone Gap)


  • Carson Newman University (Jefferson City)
  • * East Tennessee State University (Johnson City)
  • King University (Bristol)
  • Knoxville College
  • Lincoln Memorial University (Harrogate)
  • Maryville College (Maryville)
  • Milligan College
  • Tusculum College (Greeneville)
  • University of Tennessee (Knoxville)
  • Northeast State Community College (Blountville)
  • Walters State Technical Community College (Morristown)
  • Pellissippi State (Knoxville)

North Carolina

  • * Appalachian State University (Boone)
  • Lees-McRae College (Banner Elk)
  • Lenoir-Rhyne University (Hickory)
  • Mars Hill University (Mars Hill)
  • Montreat College (Montreat)
  • * University of North Carolina-Asheville
  • Warren Wilson College (Asheville)
  • Maryland Community College (Spruce Pine)
  • McDowell Technical Community College (Marion)
  • Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College (Asheville)
  • Catawba Valley Community College (Hickory)
  • Wilkes Community College (Wilkesboro)

West Virginia

  • Bluefield State College (Bluefield)
  • Bridgemont Community and Technical College (Montgomery)
  • Concord University (Athens)
  • University of Charleston (Beckley)
  • New River Community and Technical College (Beckley)
  • Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College (Mount Gay)
  • West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (Lewisburg)
  • West Virginia University Institute of Technology (Montgomery)


  • Alice Lloyd College (Pippa Passes)
  • University of Pikeville (Pikeville)
  • Big Sandy Community and Technical College (Prestonsburg)
  • Hazard Community and Technical College (Hazard)
  • Southwest Kentucky Community and Technical College (Cumberland)

* Educational programs certified by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).

Southwest Virginia Technology Development Center (Lebanon) is an education center located in the Russell County Governmental Center and operated by Southwest Virginia Community College. Founded primarily to serve the emerging information technology industry in our county, the facility provides unprecedented IT training and development opportunities for businesses and residents across the region. Visit the website

Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center (Abingdon) is a meeting and satellite teaching facility for nine different colleges and universities, offering professional development and undergraduate and graduate degree programs to Southwest Virginia residents. Participating schools are Emory & Henry College, King University, Old Dominion University, Radford University, University of Virginia, University of Virginia’s College at Wise, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Virginia Highlands Community College, and Virginia Tech. Visit the website