Student recognition was one of the main features of the Rome City Schools board of education meeting Tuesday night in the crowded lunchroom of Rome Middle School.

Rome City Schools Technology Fair Spelling Bee winners were both honored during the meeting. Mason Cochran, a sixth-grader at West End Elementary and winner of the Rome City Spelling Bee, was recognized along with North Heights Elementary student Samuel Metzger. Cochran received a check for $250 and runner-up Metzger a check for $50 from Russ Wheeler of National Copier Exchange.

The STAR Students of Rome High School were also recognized, however were unable to attend due to prior engagements.

Rome High School Principal Eric Holland accepted the honor on their behalf. The STAR Teachers were also recognized and shook the hands of the board members after receiving their awards.

Leslie Dixon, director of school improvement, gave a brief overview of how the school system celebrated Black History month.

Board member Alvin Jackson spoke up and said he tried to visit every school during the month and thanked Dixon and the school system for recognizing and celebrating an important part of American History.

Host Rome Middle School showcased its student achievements with Principal Parke Wilkinson presenting the school’s academic statistics to the board and also took questions. Board member Elaina Beeman asked Wilkinson about his plans to get his students on grade level.

“One of the things you have to do is read,” he said. “If you don’t read, it’s not gonna happen.”

Wilkinson added that the school’s media center and classroom libraries have improved, and allow students to take books home to read. Students are being instructed in small groups.

Superintendent Lou Byars took a moment to recognize the system’s board members in honor of board appreciation week which begins next week.

The board voted to approve the hiring of 20 new certified employees for the 2019-2020 school year and one classified hire for that school year. They approved 18 educators and other staff to transfer to different schools in the system, with six leaving once this current school year ends.

In the caucus before the meeting, the board discussed nominating a delegate to attend the 2019 Georgia School Boards Association Delegate Assembly in Savannah on June 8. Beeman volunteered to be the delegate with Vice Chair Jill Fisher volunteering to be the alternate.