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Rome City Schools Teacher of the Year candidates announced

September 21, 2019–9:52 p.m.


The following educators have been selected as Teacher of the Year for their schools. The Rome City Schools’ System Teacher of the Year will be announced on October 8, 2019 during a ceremony held at the Courtyard Marriott in Rome.

Name: Allison Brown

School: West End Elementary, 3rd grade, Literacy

Years Teaching: 13

Years at West End Elementary: 4

Facts: Allison Brown attended West End Elementary as a grade level student. She has been a teacher at West End Elementary for four years, and she feels that building relationships with co-workers, students and families is a driving factor in developing successful outcomes. Mrs. Brown serves as the advisor for “Imagine the World”, an afterschool club that enables students to learn servant leadership.


Name: Luis Goya

School: Rome High School, 9th grade, Math, ESOL

Years Teaching: 5

Years at Rome High: 5

Facts: Luis Goya began his path in education through mentoring and tutoring Hispanic students at Rome High School. Mr. Goya knew that teaching at Rome High School and servicing the ESOL population through math education was his dream and only applied to one teaching position–at Rome High School. Additionally, Mr. Goya is the high school cross country coach and was a key player in establishing the running clubs at six elementary schools within Rome City Schools.


Name: Hailey Fricks

School: Anna K. Davie Elementary School, 1st grade, all subject areas

Years Teaching: 6

Years at Anna K. Davie: 6

Facts: Hailey Fricks is actively engaged in several leadership  and extracurricular activity roles within her school. Specifically, Ms. Fricks serves in the ASPIRE program, as well as working as the Bright From the Start Rising Kindergarten Summer Transition Program Coach. Ms. Fricks works diligently with students and families. Her goal is to establish positive relationships with families to allow for confidence when meeting their child’s teachers and smooth transitions.


Name: Ashley Hamby

School: Rome Middle School

Years Teaching: 6

Years at Rome Middle School: 6, 7th & 8th grade, Agricultural Education

Facts: Ashley Hamby has professional certification in seven teaching fields. Currently, she serves as the Agricultural teacher at Rome Middle School. In addition to teaching, Ms. Hamby is the FFA advisor. FFA has grown from 0 members to 80 members under her leadership. Ms. Hamby is also the CTAE department chair. She loves CTAE because it allows academics to meet real world experiences through growth and leadership.


Name: McKensey Wheeler

School: West Central Elementary School

Years Teaching: 9

Years at West Central Elementary: 9, 5th grade, Math

Facts: McKensey Wheeler was initially hired at West Central in literacy paraprofessional role. Within two weeks of her employment, the principal offered her an opportunity to teach math education. During her time at West Central, Ms. Wheeler as served in many capacities. She has worked with Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports, serving as the coordinator. She has also been the Grade Level Chair and currently, she coordinates the ASPIRE Afterschool program.


Name: Jennifer Underwood

School: Main Elementary School

Years Teaching: 14

Years at Main Elementary: 9, 5th grade, Math & Science

Facts: Jennifer Underwood currently serves the 5th grade population at Main Elementary in the subjects of Math and Science.  Previously, she has taught all subjects in grades two through four. Ms. Underwood uses technology in the classroom to allow her students to journey through “virtual trips” allowing for unique educational opportunities. Ms. Underwood strives to increase parental and family engagement. She accomplishes this through positive interaction with families and attends extracurricular activities of her students.


Name: Helen Peck “Lisa”

School: East Central Elementary School

Years Teaching: 18

Years at East Central Elementary: 3, 1st grade, all subjects

Facts: Helen “Lisa” Peck has taught many grade levels over the course of her career. Ms. Peck is the advisor for the East Central Student Leadership Team. These students serve as ambassadors in the school and community. With her involvement in this program, she has been able to witness a direct impact on positive school culture.


Name: Gina Loveman

School: Elm Street Elementary School

Years Teaching: 18

Years at Elm Street Elementary: 5, 3rd grade, Reading/Writing/Language Arts

Facts: Gina Loveman taught at Main Elementary for 13 years before taking an 11 year break from public education. During this time, Ms. Loveman focused on her children and worked at Rome First United Methodist Church. She returned to teaching at Elm Street Elementary and  since her return, she has been a part of the entrepreneurial education program. Through this, she has had the opportunity to directly impact students’ academics and soft skills through Sugar Kids Beauty. This avenue has allowed her to teach her students the importance of community involvement and how to be successful outside of the classroom.