Berry Professor Eric McDowell to run for one of the seven seats on the Rome Board of Education.

Berry Professor Eric McDowell to run for one of the seven seats on the Rome Board of Education.

Rome Board of Education hopeful Eric McDowell


From Hometown: The “race of the year” is gaining another hopeful. Eric McDowell, a Berry College professor and community volunteer, says he’ll qualify this week to seek one of seven seats on the Rome Board of Education. Qualifying starts Monday.

Media release: Berry mathematics professor Eric McDowell is announcing his intention to run for one of the seven seats on the Rome City Board of Education in November.

As a local college educator, Eric offers an important perspective toward fulfilling the RCS mission that “all students will graduate from Rome High School prepared for college or work.”  As the father of three successful Rome High graduates, he also understands that Rome has been meeting this goal for a long time.

“It is exciting to consider working with a group of Board members who have a track record of putting our kids’ futures first,” McDowell says.  However, he is concerned that the system’s success toward preparing graduates for college might diminish when Georgia Highlands professor Bruce Jones retires from the BOE after this year.  “The Board needs a member with a firsthand understanding of what preparation for college really means.  If elected, I can maintain that perspective on our Board without interruption.”

Eric embraces the Board’s goal of enhancing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) resources in the classroom, and his own approach toward mathematics education literally adds the “A” (Art) to create STEAM.  “I’ve written a number of songs about mathematics that my students have turned into first class videos,” McDowell reveals.  “Most of these can be found on my channel on YouTube (”

Eric has been teaching mathematics for the past 28 years.  In addition to being a career educator himself, his direct family line contains four generations of teachers.  Eric has also been a “teacher of teachers,” providing workshops for teachers at all grade levels.

McDowell has a record of service at Berry and within the community.  He is currently the director of STEMTeach at Berry, a program designed to recruit future math and science teachers.  He also served as chair of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science for 6 years, and he begins a term as Berry’s Faculty Athletic Representative this fall.

In the community, Eric is president of the Summerville Park Neighborhood Association and chairs the Rome/Floyd County Board of Adjustments.  He is also a board member and singer with Rome’s Three Rivers Singers and has appeared in several theater productions with the Rome Little Theatre.

Eric lives in Rome with his wife and Berry education professor Jackie McDowell.  He can be reached via Facebook at or through email at


Rome City Board of Education

All seven seats are on the ballot with each winner serving a four-year term. The current board members are: Elaina Beeman, Will Byington, Faith Collins, Richard Dixon, Cheryl Huffman, Bruce Jones, Dale Swann. Dixon has stated he’ll seek a new term; we hear Bruce Jones will not.

Rome City Commission

There are three City Commission seats on the fall ballot from Ward Two: Wendy Davis, Jamie DossSue Lee.

About the city commission elections:

  • At-large voting is used, which means that every registered city voter votes for all commissioners, three in each ward.
  • Election winners are selected by plurality voting, which means that the top three vote-getters from each ward wins. No majority is required.
  • The three seats on Ward One and three seats on Ward Three will appear on the November 2019 ballot.
  • Elections are non-partisan.
  • The City Commission elects a mayor and mayor pro tem.

Also expected on the city ballot (as well as a countywide ballot)

1-cent special purpose local option sales tax: Committee is soliciting ideas for a proposed extension of the penny-per-dollar local sales tax to fund various projects if approved by voters.

1-cent education local option sales tax: Both city of Rome and Floyd County schools’ teams are drafting projects to include on an additional one-cent-per-dollar local tax to fund specified school project. This would be an extension of the current education tax.

Key dates

Monday-Friday: Qualifying for city commission and the seven school board seats.

Oct. 10: The last day to register to vote if you’re a lapsed or new city resident.

Advance voting begins Oct. 16 and ends Nov. 3.

The election is Tuesday, Nov. 7.

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