Education: Rome City Schools announces new administrators, new principals for 2018-19 school year.


Media release: Rome City School Board has voted on the following positions to be filled for the 2018-2019 school year:

Leslie Dixon will fill the position of Director of School Improvement for the system. Dixon has served as the Principal of West Central Elementary since 2011 and she has worked in the RCS system since 2005. The primary responsibilities of the School Improvement Director are: to provide leadership in the development, implementation, and evaluation of school improvement; plan, develop, organize and implement policies and procedures according to federal guidelines and budgets; and evaluate existing personnel and programs pertinent to school and district progress.

Buffi Murphy, who currently serves as West End Elementary Principal, will take a position in Central Office as the new Professional Learning Specialist. Murphy is an administrator with more than 23 years of experience in Early Childhood Education and has been Principal at West End since 2006.The Professional Learning Specialist will be responsible for professional development of RCS faculty and staff at the district level.

Now serving as the assistant principal for Anna K. Davie Elementary, Kriszti Kilpatrick will work in Central Office as the Special Education Director. Kilpatrick began her work in RCS at Main Elementary as a Special Education Teacher in 2007 until she was promoted to Assistant Principal for East Central and Southeast Elementary in 2014-2015. In 2015, Kilpatrick became Assistant Principal at Annie K. Davie and has been active in community partnerships and programs developed for the students at the school. Her work in Special Education early in her career will be her focus going forward in Central Office.

Laura Walley, the current Assistant Principal for Elm Street Elementary, will take the reins as pPrincipal for the 2019 school year. From 2007 to 2014, Walley served the children of Elm Street in the classroom as a teacher until she was promoted to Assistant Principal in 2014. (Replaces Dr. JoAnn Moss; see below)

Daphne Johnson was named the new Principal of West Central Elementary. Johnson has also served as Assistant Principal at West Central and Southeast Elementary since 2014. Before splitting time as the Assistant Principal for these two schools, Johnson served as a teacher and literacy coach when she joined the RCS system in 2005.

Dr. Dennis B. Drummond Sr., Ph.D. has been approved for the position of Principal of West End Elementary School. He has also served as a teacher for elementary schools outside of the RCS system, including Midway Elementary and Creekside Elementary in Baldwin County. Dr. Drummond has been an educator since 2005 and he has been an administrator in RCS since 2013. Working with East Central Elementary and West End, Dr. Drummond brings the perspective of an educator and administrator to the table at West End where he is already familiar with their programs.

Taking the position of Principal of North Heights Elementary will be Wesley Styles. Styles has served as an administrator for Polk County Schools and has also served as the Physics teacher for Darlington Upper School. He also worked in the Rome City Schools system in 2002 where he served as a science teacher and wrestling coach through 2011. (Replaces Tonya Wood; see below)

Said Lou Byars, superintendent: “I am thrilled about these promotions. These individuals are great representatives of Rome City Schools and we are pleased to have such wonderful educators in our system.”

The above changes are in addition to, and in some cases respond to, earlier updates announced by Rome City Schools:

Rome City Schools approved two changes to the central office staff for the 2018-19 school year. Both Dr. JoAnn Moss and Tonya Wood will take new positions.

  • Moss, an educator since 1966, began her career in Rome City Schools and has served at the elementary and middle school levels. Currently, she is the principal of Elm Street Elementary where she has helped to connect the school to community partners for the past 18 years.  She will serve at Central Office as Director of Development and Special Programs. In her new role, she will explore partnerships and opportunities for technology based projects in order to form new community relationships that help to serve the students of Rome City Schools. Part of her focus will also be program development for the new sixth-grade STEAM Academy.
  • Wood, currently North Heights principal, also will take on a new role at Central Office. Wood was hired by Rome City Schools as Assistant Principal of East Central and Southeast Elementary in 2000. In 2004, she became Principal at East Central Elementary until filling her current role as Principal of North Heights Elementary in 2011. As Grant Coordinator for Rome City Schools, Wood will work with the 21st Century Grants, in order to help the entire system find new ways to fund special projects. Wood was instrumental in the success of North Heights becoming STEM certified and will assist with other STEM grants across the system.
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