Emma Breithaupt interviews Lou Byars

Rome High School freshman Emma Breithaupt interviews Lou Byars, superintendent of Rome City Schools, asking him questions about his career. / John Popham

A Rome High School freshman with her sights set on becoming a journalist recently sat down with Louis Byars, superintendent of Rome City Schools and interviewed him about his career.

Emma Breithaupt is currently working on reviving the Rome High School newspaper and completed an internship at V3 Magazine.

Here are some excerpts from Breithaupt’s interview with Byars.

Question: So, what do you enjoy the most about your job?

Answer: I love going to the schools and talking to students and seeing students. I like meetings like the one I am having with you today. That’s my favorite thing when I go to some of the schools; there have been times where I can see myself back then — I won’t say how many years ago — with my friends. I see myself when I was in your shoes. I want to give our students every opportunity I can and help them to understand what opportunities they have. So that’s what I enjoy the most.

Q: So, what are a few challenges that you face while being Superintendent?

A: … For me personally, the challenge is seeing how fast we can get to our goals. I think many people want to get results immediately. But it takes time. And the challenge for me is to getting others to understand the process. We focus on graduation rate, and we focus on certain things that people can see so they can have those immediate results. Those results are measurable. However, the challenge is focusing on birth through five years old. Knowing that the results, the things that we’re doing here and now, may not be measured until after I am gone is important.

Q: Ok. What are a few of the processes of implementing the policies that we have in our school system?

A: … The Rome City School Board sets policies. That’s what they do. … Our policies must match the state laws. Now, the Georgia Department of Education will have policies dictating what we have to do. We have to make sure we match what they say and our policies are consistent with the state policies and federal laws as well.

Rome City Schools contributed to this report