The Rome City Schools Board of Education met for their scheduled monthly meeting at the RCS College and Career Academy on May 5, 2022.

The agenda included several items of business, recognition of Rome High School as an AP STEM Achievement School, and a special time dedicated to educators who are retiring from the system.

 Rome City Schools retirees recognized include:

James Bowen – West Central Teacher

Deanna L. Hackney – West End Teacher

Hillary Reaves – West Central Teacher

Kaiwen Hardy – Lead School Psychologist at Central Office

Stephanie Caldwell – Rome Transitional Academy Teacher

Haley Pyle – Media Specialist at East Central

Michael Fox – Custodian

Ruth Miller Parent Involvement Coordinator at Central Office

Beth Paulson – Paraprofessional West Central

Fredia Hanner – Rome High School Paraprofessional

Teresa L. Price – Central Office Administrative Assistant

Avis Studdard – West End Administrative Assistant

Janice Singleton – Paraprofessional at Central Office

Wanda Argo Sullivan – Central Office Accounts Payable Coordinator

Louis Byars – RCS Superintendent at Central Office

Board Chairperson, Jill Fisher, presented Superintendent Byars with a special gift and thanked him for his contribution to Rome City Schools. Board member Faith Collins called the names of the retiring faculty members and gave them certificates to commemorate their time with Rome City Schools.

“It has been a wonderful journey and I want to thank our students, teachers, staff and community,” Byars said. “I especially would like to thank Mrs. (Faith) Collins. She has always supported me, and I am forever grateful for that. I would like to thank my two daughters and my wife Gina who served in human resources for Rome City Schools, and I would also like to thank Mrs. Teresa Price for helping me during my time as superintendent.”

Byars, who also is a pastor, said that he would like to thank God for the opportunity to serve Rome City Schools and plans to continue to support the system’s efforts however he can.

Associate Superintendent Dr. Dawn Williams presented the Board with a first reading of the proposed budget for FY23 in which she detailed the financial records of the system. Highlights of her presentation included an increase in revenue due to state funds and an increase in expenditures due to pay raises across the system. The RCS teacher salary schedule has also changed adding an 8.25 percent supplement the salaries for Rome City Schools educators.

“Our teachers earn this increase every day,” Dr. Williams said when asked why she included an increase to salary supplements in proposed the FY23 budget. “We feel they earn way more than this supplement, and this is one way for us to show them that we recognize their hard work. Also, we want to be competitive because we are in an area where teachers will drive to earn more pay. Our goal is to keep quality educators in our system and offer competitive pay. If we offer a little more and keep them here, then it is worth it. We have the funds to do it this year, and I appreciate our Board for allowing us to raise the supplement amount.”

Dr. Williams said that statewide, school systems offer this increase based on what they can afford responsibly. Upon her review of systems near Rome City Schools, Dr. Williams said the system is certainly competitive.

In addition to the financial report, Dr. Williams presented the system’s strategic plan. Part of her presentation included a continued focus on CTAE programs and implementing a district-wide anti-bullying initiative. This plan will be developed over the summer break.

All were approved by the RCS School Board after a vote.