The new teachers for Rome City Schools who gathered for an orientation filled with ice breakers and socializing on Friday at Rome High all came with different back stories as to how they got there.
Hillary Daniel, Matt Enderle and Angela Byrne were three of those teachers, and though they may all have taken different journeys to their new jobs, each of them have a connection to Rome in some way.
With the system’s school year starting Friday, they all expressed excitement and a willingness to get classes started. Here is a little bit about three of the new faces for the system this year.
Not all of Daniel’s colleagues are new to her, with some of them actually being her former teachers. She is a 2013 graduate of Rome High, and spent almost all of her school career in the Rome system. One of her former teachers told her recently that it’s OK to call her by her first name, to which Daniel responded, “No, I can’t.”
Daniel will be teaching eighth-grade math at the middle school, returning to the same place
where she learned the subject as a student.
It will be her first teaching role, but that’s not to say she doesn’t have a stockpile of experience in the classroom. For the four years she was at Kennesaw State University, Daniel racked up almost 300 hours of student teaching each semester, she said.
Becoming a teacher has always been at the forefront of Daniel’s dreams, and teaching math, despite the challenge of mastering it, has been what she’s wanted to do.
While he was teaching at an international school in Ecuador, Enderle met the woman who would become his wife, and she just so happened to be a Berry College graduate.
The two decided to move to Rome a year or so ago after several years of teaching at a Christian school in Ecuador, where he was immersed in speaking Spanish and could share his faith with students. For the South Texan, who graduated from Texas A&M University, Rome’s environment is a welcomed change from the flat and dry climate of his home.
Before taking the job at Rome High as a math teacher, Enderle worked for WinShape and was a Spanish interpreter at Floyd Medical Center. Though he has been away from teaching, which he has missed, he said with his experience it will be just like riding a bike.
One of the biggest takeaways from his time in Ecuador was the importance of building relationships with students outside of the classroom, and in turn, this will improve how they learn.
The classroom has always been the place where Byrne feels she belongs, and Anna K. Davie Elementary School is specifically the school she feels is her place to be. She will be teaching kindergarten at the school starting this year.
“I’m gonna love them,” she said, adding that it will be like having 15 Sean Michaels — the name of her 5-year-old son.
Byrne had been a teacher for several years after her graduation from Berry. But she left teaching after the school she was at downsized, and she was pregnant at the time and wanted to focus on her kids.
Byrne didn’t immediately leave teaching though. She substituted in the Rome system. Eventually, she was hired on to work at the central office, where she had been until taking her new teaching job — she was named employee of the year for the central office in fall 2016.