Photos by Rome City Schools

The loud cheers of elementary school students echoed throughout the gym as the sound of the song “We are Family” by Sister Sledge filled in the breaks early Monday morning, August 6th. Kicking off the new school year right, Elm Street Elementary hosted their first annual Back to School Pep-Rally—one loaded with tons of dancing, singing and several special guests.

“The purpose of the Back to School Pep-Rally is to celebrate our Elm Street Family, and to come together and practice our school-wide expectations of being ready to learn, courteous and safe (RCS),” explained Elm Street Principal, Laura Walley. “We also want to boost teacher and student morale, and let students know that the adults are here for them no matter what—the good or the bad. So today is all about celebrating back to school because we’ve got work to do! It’s going to be hard work, but we are all in, all of the time,” smiled Walley.

Walley kept the students hyped by explaining the RCS Way, as well as letting her students know how important they are to each and every one of the teachers at Elm Street; “You are the biggest part of our Elm Street Family!”

After her speech, Walley introduced the special guests who were visiting Elm Street to support their back to school endeavors. Several Rome High School cheerleaders, two-time State Champion football players as well as Willie the Wolf joined Mayor Jamie Doss, Superintendent Louis Byars and former Elm Street Principal Dr. JoAnn Moss on the floor.

Mayor Doss helped to pump up the crowd with some cheers and Byars spoke about how excited he was for the upcoming school year. “We are all in! Our Central Office and everyone else is here to support you! Every one of you is important and we want each one of you to succeed! We are so glad to see you smiling and ready to start a new school year and I expect great things from each and every one of you,” cheered Mr. Byars.

“As Rome Mayor, it is important to be a positive role model to all of our citizens, including our students, and I want to encourage our young people to get involved within the community,” said Mayor Doss. “We have great expectations for our students and future citizens, and we want them to do their best in school while investing in the community.”

“We are so honored that Mayor Doss and Mr. Byars have taken the time out of their day to come join us for this back to school celebration. It is important for our students meet community leaders because one day, our students will be those leaders. It is great for you all to see what they do, and for them come and be a part of what we are doing,” Walley said.

Perhaps the most exciting part of the pep-rally was a surprise, as Mrs. Bradford sang her own version of Aretha Franklin’s hit, R-C-S-P-E-C-T. During the teacher flash mob. Mrs. Walley took the time to recognize all of the teachers who helped to make Elm Street the best street. This included a visit from previous Elm Street Principal, Dr. JoAnn Moss.

“I miss it here so much and I love coming back to Elm Street! You are going to have such a great year!” smiled Dr. Moss.

As Mrs. Walley mentioned, Elm Street is all in all, of the time, and that is easy to see as the culture of the school is electric.