Rome City Schools welcomed community members, educators, parents and students to the Rome City Schools College and Career Academy for a special reception honoring the two Valedictorians and this year’s STAR student and teacher.
STAR student and teacher, Anna Davidson (student) and Kelly Goldin (teacher), addressed the crowd of parents, friends, and prior educators about receiving this honor, and thanked all the people responsible for their success.
Joanna Cordle and Griffin Girard, both named Valedictorian this year due to taking identical classes and having equal grade point averages, were also given the opportunities to thank their parents, their friends, and the faculty members who have supported their education.
“My message had to shift a little bit this year,” Dr. Eric Holland, Principal of RHS said when asked about how he fosters a supportive school environment. “With the naming of our Valedictorians and the naming of our STAR student and teacher, I told our kids that it is not about the title, it is about the tasks. I told them all that they must love the tasks.”
Holland said some of those tasks include long study sessions, attending classes, getting up early and building positive relationships with their teachers.
“We focus on the pursuit of perfection, but loving the journey is equally important,” Holland explained. “If you love the tasks, you will earn the title. The students and educators in this room have loved rising to the challenge and working hard. Our children have taken the tough classes and prepared for the ACT and SAT. They all love their classmates, and they love their school. Our teachers are not only helping children to achieve their goals, but they are building lifelong connections we hope will provide a support system long after graduation.”
Everyone who wished to say a few words was given the opportunity to do so. From primary school teachers to parents and current faculty members who have had a hand in helping, all enjoyed a moment of reflection.
“Our vision has always been to form a connection with our student body. Our job is not to always focus on the standard,” Holland said as he expressed his pride for his school. “It is not about what we see on our checks, it is about what we see in a child. If we can pour into our students what we know will help them to achieve, that is what it is all about.”
After the ceremony, visitors were invited to stay for refreshments provided by the RCS College and Career Academy’s culinary program.
“Our choices impact their chances,” Holland said in closing. “We will continue to make choices that are best for children. I am proud to say that we are accomplishing our goal, and this day is a great example of the hard work here at Rome High School.”