Teachers

Beth Abbott

Kindergarten Teacher

Beth Abbott

Beth Abbott

Kindergarten Teacher

Years at St. Mary's: 28

What do you love about St Mary's?
SMS has always offered high academic standards and such that all schools would love to say they have. However, what I truly love about our school is the love, caring atmosphere and the accepting environment.

Favorite subject to teach
I love to teach reading and I love, love, love to read aloud to the students. It's the best feeling in the world to open up a child's mind to the world of books and to teach them to appreciate literature and begin to learn to read themselves.

Classroom or teaching philosophy
Kids need to feel safe and comfortable. In my classroom, I want the students to always know that I love them and value them. One of my favorite things is to love those you can't seem to teach and the teaching will be easier to accomplish.

I also believe that children should not only be comfortable emotionally, but physically. Because of this I use alternative seating in my classroom. The kids may choose their seating each day to do their work. If their bodies are comfortable, their minds are more eager to learn.

Lastly, little ones need to have fun. They learn best through play. Teachers have known this for so long, yet the education system in our country tries to make kindergarten children sit and listen and do worksheets. I try to use games and activities to get the students involved and moving in their learning. I love it when they are learning and don't even realize it!

Previous job experience
During my four years of as a student at Berry College, I worked at the Child Development Center with the four year old class. Upon graduating, I began working at St. Mary's where I taught 3rd grade. After my first year, I was given the opportunity to move to kindergarten where I have been ever since.

Education
Bachelor of science in early childhood education from Berry College
Master of Education in early childhood education from Berry College

Certifications, professional memberships, or committees
I have served on various accreditation committees, curriculum committees, and worked with other Archdiocesan teachers to evaluate entrance evaluations for pre-k and kindergarten.

Family
My husband, Greg, is a Battalion Chief with the Rome Fire Department. We have twins, Cole and Hannah, who graduated from SMS and went on to attend Rome High and Berry College. Our youngest, Audrey, recently graduated from St. Mary's and will attend Darlington School.

Pets
My son loves animals and has done several internships to reach his goal of becoming a zookeeper. Because of this, we have quite the menagerie. We have three dogs, two cats, a snake, two leopard geckos, a bearded dragon, a tarantula, and two fish.

Hobbies
I love to read and to color...and recently I discovered that I enjoy badminton (even though I'm not very good at it)!

Kelly Armstrong

Middle School Teacher

Kelly Armstrong

Kelly Armstrong

Middle School Teacher

Years at St. Mary's: 21

What do you love about St Mary's?
I love the fun activities and the small class sizes. I also love teaching the kids for three years.

Favorite subject to teach
I love teaching religion because it is my passion. I also learn a lot by teaching it.

Classroom or teaching philosophy
You may think you're bad at math, but you just haven't had anyone show you the easy way yet. I promise you will at least like it by the time I am done with you.

Previous job experience
Taught at Gordon Central High School for four years.

Education
Georgia Tech (attended)
Bachelor of science in mathematics from Georgia State University

Family
Husband - Greg Armstrong
Two children - Jessica Armstrong and Paul Armstrong

Pets
Horse - Shiloh
Cats - Reese and Boo

Hobbies
Attending Atlanta United games, kayaking, rafting down the Chattahoochee and attending SMS sporting events

Extracurriculars
Emergency bus driver
Winter Jam organizer/bus driver
Beta Club Sponsor
Math Team Sponsor

Katherine Avery

Pre-K 4 Teacher

Katherine Avery

Katherine Avery

Pre-K 4 Teacher

Years at St. Mary's: 3

What do you love about St Mary's?
I love the family environment and focus on excellent academics. It is so thrilling to work with the very best educators Rome has to offer!

Favorite subject to teach
My favorite subject to teach is religion. I have a desire to share my strong and passionate Catholic faith with my students. I love watching children grow in our faith.

Classroom or teaching philosophy
My philosophy of education is that all children are unique and must have a stimulating educational environment where they can grow physically, mentally, emotionally and socially. It is my desire to create this type of atmosphere where students can meet their full potential.

Previous job experience
My previous job experience is in finance and banking. I stayed at home with my children when they were small. I was so pleased to come back into the workplace full time as a para-pro at SMS three years ago.

Education
Currently enrolled in the Master of Education in Elementary Education program at Brenau University
Bachelor of Arts in Communications, with a focus in Public Relations from Berry College

Family
I am married to my wonderful husband, Lane. We have two children who attend SMS, Noah and Ella Mae.

Hobbies
I love to read, cook and go to the beach in my spare time.

Therese Cox

Librarian

Therese Cox

Therese Cox

Librarian

Years at St. Mary's: 30

What do you love about St Mary's?
Everything! My two children went to Saint Mary's and they had a wonderful foundation.

Previous job experience
St. Peter and Paul School, in Atlanta, for two years, first grade
Sacred Heart in Pensacola, Fla., for two years, 2nd grade

Education
Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood from Georgia State University
Berry College, worked on masters
University of West Georgia, classes in Media Science

Other affiliations
Attends Saint Mary's Catholic Church

Family
Married to husband, James for 38 years
Two children Marlin and Kara

Pets
Four cats and one dog

Hobbies
Photography, making soap and candles

Melanie Ferguson

2nd Grade Teacher

Melanie Ferguson

Melanie Ferguson

2nd Grade Teacher

Years at St. Mary's: 20

What do you love about St Mary's?
I love the sense of family. Having previously taught Pre-K at SMS, I have had the privilege of teaching many of our students. Once I have taught your child, they are always my student, no matter what grade. I love how the older students interact with the younger students. The younger students look up to the older students as role models. Our older students take the role of being leaders seriously and set the example for the rest of our school. At SMS, we are also fortunate to be able to share the love of God with our students. In good times and in times of trouble, we can come together as a faith filled family.

Favorite subject to teach
My favorite subject to teach is reading. From the first sounds being put together to read a word to finishing their first book, it is a joy to watch a young child learn to read.

Classroom or teaching philosophy
In my classroom, I want every child to feel safe and secure in his/her environment. Having a positive learning environment allows the student to develop socially, emotionally and intellectually. As the classroom teacher, I believe my role is to provide learning activities and opportunities that will aide in the development of my students and to build in them the desire to become lifelong learners.

Previous job experience
Taught for four years in the Georgia Pre-K Program

Education
Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education (P-5) from Berry College

Certifications, professional memberships, or committees
Archdiocese Pre-K Curriculum Committee
Religion Professional Learning Committee

Family
I have three children that all attended SMS.
Katie is a registered nurse working in Atlanta. Beth is a senior majoring in pre-law at Georgia Southern University. Will is a freshman at Rome High School.

Pets
Dog - Boone
Cats - Little Kitty and Chaco

Hobbies
Reading, walking and spending time with family

Extracurriculars
Co-founder of SMS Top Chef Academy
Founder SMS LEGO Knight Program
PTO Board faculty liaison for over 10 years
Grandparents Day Chairperson
Catholic Schools Week Chairperson

Amanda Fricks

4th Grade Teacher

Amanda Fricks

Amanda Fricks

4th Grade Teacher

Years at St. Mary's: 4

What do you love about St Mary's?
I love the sense of family at SMS. I am surrounded by co-workers and parents who take the SMS mission to heart and live it out each day.

Favorite subject to teach
I love to teach social studies and reading integrated together. I enjoy using historical fiction to get students to really think about different time periods in history. Reading engaging novels can bring history to life for students.

Classroom or teaching philosophy
I believe a teacher is obligated to have only the highest of expectations for all of her students. By setting high expectations, I create a self-fulfilling prophesy for each child. Through a willingness to learn, hard work, and perseverance, my students will rise to the occasion. I believe it is my job to demonstrate consistency, love, and a strong work ethic to motivate and encourage these characteristics in my students. Colossians 3:23-24 is one of my favorite scriptures where we are told,”whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” I want to instill this in my students- whatever we are working on, work on it as if working for the Lord.

Previous job experience
Middle School Resource Teacher
Pre-K (3-4) Special Needs Inclusion
Taught 2nd Grade for eight years
Taught 4th Grade for four years

Education
Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education from Clemson University
Master of Education in Special Education/Learning Disabilities from Clemson University
Education Specialist degree in Teaching and Curriculum from Berry College

Certifications, professional memberships, or committees
Orton Gillingham trained

Family
Married to Phil for 22 years
Mary Anna (20) attends Samford University
Samuel (16) attends Darlington School

Pets
Dog – Clyde

Hobbies
Reading, hiking, antiquing, cooking and gardening

Josclyn Giles

Pre-K 3 Teacher

Josclyn Giles

Josclyn Giles

Pre-K 3 Teacher

Years at St. Mary's: 8

What do you love about St Mary's?
I love the family and spiritual environment. Every day it is a joy to see loving and welcoming faces.

Previous job experience
Life experiences prepare you for job experiences. As I child I always knew I wanted to be a teacher. During my high school years of babysitting, I learned I loved working with young children. Even during my senior year at Hayesville High, I volunteered my afternoons in the pre-k classrooms. In my early college years at Young Harris, I was a nanny to twin toddlers. Later, when I transferred to Berry, my next two years’ work experience was in the Child Development Center. I also completed my student teaching at Berry Elementary in a Kindergarten-First grade multi-age classroom. With all my experience in early childhood, I took my first job at Cave Spring Elementary, as a Pre-K teacher. I taught there from 2000-2005. By then I had by own child and took my second position as a stay at home mother. While raising my daughter, I became involved with the youth group at St. Mary’s. I was the youth leader for two years. After my second child entered her toddler years, I transitioned back to teaching Pre-K again. From 2009-2011, I taught at Rebecca Blaylock East where my daughter attended. My oldest daughter already was a student at St. Mary’s when I was accepted to be the new Pre-K 3 teacher and my youngest entered Pre-K 4. I have been at St. Mary’s for 8 years. Last year, I was awarded Teacher of the Year.

Education
To-County Community College (dual enrollment in N.C.)
Associates of Science from Young Harris College
Bachelor of Science in Education from Berry College

Certifications, professional memberships, or committees
Archdiocese of Atlanta Pre-K Curriculum Writing Team

Other affiliations
Attends St. Mary’s Catholic Church and participates as a cantor
St. Mary’s Choir member
St. Mary’s Catholic Church Youth Group Volunteer
SMS Middle School Volleyball Assistant Coach
SMS Leader of FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes)

Family
My husband, John, works for the Rome Police Department. We have two daughters, Jillian and Jennilyn. Jillian is a rising senior and honor student at Model High. She was the Valedictorian at SMS in 2016. Jennilyn, is a SMS 8th grader, and enjoys all the sport teams.

Pets
Dandelion is my daughter’s long-haired rabbit
Two dogs - Jesse and Shaggy

Hobbies
I love gardening, singing (to whoever will listen and touring historical homes, places and gardens. If I sit down, it is to pick up a historical fiction book. We also enjoy relaxing at our family’s place at Weiss Lake.

Extracurriculars
SMS Middle School Volleyball Assistant Coach
FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) SMS leader
Little Gunners YMCA preschool soccer volunteer assistant

Megan Hunsaker

Art Teacher

Megan Hunsaker

Megan Hunsaker

Art Teacher

Years at St. Mary's: First year

What do you love about St Mary's?
I’m excited to meet all the new families and be a part of such a great community.

Favorite subject to teach
I’m excited to meet all the new families and be a part of such a great community.

Classroom or teaching philosophy
“Beauty is indeed a gift of God” St. Augustine

In art class, we learn by engaging in the process of creating that which is good, beautiful and true. Hands molding clay. Fingers smearing chalk. Wrists moving brushes of paint across paper. Eyes observing. Minds formulating ideas. Hearts full of inspiration and peace.

Previous job experience
8 years teaching art, at an inner city charter school, in St. Louis, Missouri
6 years teaching art in East Lansing, Michigan
2 years teaching in Georgia

Education
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art Education from the University of South Carolina

Certifications, professional memberships, or committees
NEAE member
Artist Eyes Founder

Family
Married to Dr. Hunsaker, he is The Dean for Personal and Professional Development at Berry College
Daughter, Hannah, is in 5th grade
Son, Logan, is in 1st grade

Pets
Moose! Our Big and sweet chocolate lab

Hobbies
Gardening, exploring nature, exercising, singing, cooking and playing the ukulele

Extracurriculars
After school Art Clubs

Martha Karmali

Computer Teacher & IT Coordinator

Martha Karmali

Martha Karmali

Computer Teacher & IT Coordinator

Leigh Ann Lundy

Music Teacher

Leigh Ann Lundy

Leigh Ann Lundy

Music Teacher

Years at St. Mary's: 7

What do you love about St Mary's?
I love all of the SMS students and our amazing faculty and staff. SMS is the best.

Previous job experience
One year as a Music Teacher for Rome City Schools (Main/North Heights Elementary)
12 years as a Music Teacher for Polk School District (Cherokee/Northside Elementary)
4 years as a Preschool Music Teacher in Cedartown, Ga
5 years as a Kindergarten Teacher for Covenant Preschool/Kindergarten

Education
Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Shorter College

Other affiliations
Attends First Baptist Church, Cedartown
Pianist for 27 years at First Baptist Church, Cedartown
Lifetime Member of Cedartown Junior Service League

Family
Married to Richard J Lundy (Rick)
One Daughter - Grace Ann Lundy

Pets
Bunny - A Cocker Spaniel
Toulouse - a Ragdoll Cat

Extracurriculars
Middle School Chorus

Lindsey Lynn

5th Grade Teacher

Lindsey Lynn

Lindsey Lynn

5th Grade Teacher

Years at St. Mary's: 3

What do you love about St Mary's?
I love the way SMS feels like a family. The school gives you so much love and support. The staff is talented, our students and the parents are amazing. It is a joy to go to work each day.

Favorite subject to teach
I love all subjects. I am naturally good at Science and Math; however, I think a well-rounded curriculum makes great learners. I want to structure my classroom so that there is something for each student to enjoy, independent of the specific subject material.

Classroom or teaching philosophy
Each child is gifted in their own way, and it is my job to find those passions and use them to propel the student to their best. Every child has a talent given by God. It is not the child's job to mold to my classroom, but my responsibility to mold the class to the child.

Previous job experience
Teach for America in Atlanta, Ga
Taught 7th Grade Life Science at Atlanta Public Schools
Secretary and Pre-school teacher at Abiding Savior Preschool
Substitute teacher and Pre-K paraprofessional at Saint Mary’s Catholic School

Education
Bachelor of Science in Biology (pre-medical coursework) from Georgia Institute of Technology
Master of Education in Early Childhood Education from Brenau University

Family
Married to PJ Lynn
Three children, Peter, Betsy and Bruce

Pets
Dog- Georgie Lynn

Hobbies
I love to read, spend time with my family and friends and travel.

Julie McCormick

Middle School Teacher

Julie McCormick

Julie McCormick

Middle School Teacher

Years at St. Mary's: 12

What do you love about St Mary's?
I love the students and families. I really love to teach science, and at St. Mary's, I can incorporate my faith into that which is a wonderful privilege. I love my colleagues and have an incredible amount of respect for them. I really appreciate getting to constantly be fed and grow in my own faith as a part of my every day life.

Previous job experience
East Rome High School from 1988-1992
Rome High School from 1992-1993
Armuchee High School from 1993-1999

Education
Bachelor of Science in Biology with minors in chemistry and secondary education from Berry College
Master of Science in Biology from Georgia Southern University

Certifications, professional memberships, or committees
Member of National Science Teacher's Association (NSTA)
Georgia Science Teachers Assn. (GSTA)
Archdiocese - Science Curriculum Committee

Other affiliations
Attends First Baptist Church of Rome – Serves as a Deacon, Youth Bible Study Teacher and choir member

Family
Married to Dr. Jerry McCormick
Son - Winston McCormick (2011 SMS Grad) - in first year of medical school
Daughter - Mary Jo McCormick (2013 SMS Grad) - rising senior at Furman University

Pets
3 dogs (currently)

Hobbies
Love to hike in the woods. Like to walk anywhere in nature.
Like wildflowers and any wildlife. Like to read, work puzzles, spend time with my family and our dogs.

Extracurriculars
Co-sponsor Beta Club
Sponsor Recycling Club

Marti Miller

Middle School Teacher

Marti Miller

Marti Miller

Middle School Teacher

Years at St. Mary's: 14

What do you love about St Mary's?
SMS is a wonderful family experience, with high academics and a shared love of God. God is infused in everything we do!1

Previous job experience
Teacher, retired from the Paulding Country School System.

Education
Bachelor of Arts in History and a Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Sciences from Tift College of Mercer University
Masters of Education in Board Based Social Science Education from State University of West Georgia
Graduate Work at Georgia State University
Mentorship Training at Berry College

Certifications, professional memberships, or committees
Teacher Support Certification
Reading Certification
Social Science Certification (History, Geography, Economics, Psychology, Sociology, Political Science and Anthropology)

Other affiliations
Attends St. Mary's Catholic Church

Family
Married to Jerry Miller
Has three children, Kimberly, Kevin and Lucas. Grandmother to 8 and Great-grandmother to 3.

Pets
A dog, Kiko and a parrot, Francis

Hobbies
Reading and knitting

Extracurriculars
SMS St. Genesius Players (Drama)

Gordon Powers

PE Teacher & Athletic Coordinator

Gordon Powers

Gordon Powers

PE Teacher & Athletic Coordinator

Years at St. Mary's: First year

Previous job experience
Outside the classroom, I have served as an athletic director, football coach and track coach. I have been an educator for 38 years with experience in public and private schools. I spent 15 years at Model High School, where I retired in 2018. This past year I taught PE at Model Middle School, on a part-time basis.

Education
Bachelor of Science in Biology from Austin Peay State University
Masters and Specialist degree in School Counseling from Western Kentucky University
I have teaching certifications in biology and physical education

Family
I have been married to my wife, Debbie, for 38 years. We are proud parents of three sons (Bryant, Aaron and Steven) and two daughters (Angela and Emily). We are blessed with seven grandchildren.

Kyser Pritchett

First Grade Teacher

Kyser Pritchett

Kyser Pritchett

First Grade Teacher

Years at St. Mary's: 3

What do you love about St Mary's?
My favorite thing about SMS is the love you feel when you come into our building. This is the sweetest school and it truly is like one big family!

Favorite subject to teach
My favorite subject to teach in first grade is reading, because I love watching my students develop reading skills. I also love reading stories with them!

Classroom or teaching philosophy
I guess my teaching philosophy is that every child behaves differently, learns differently and responds differently. You’ve got to know your audience.

Previous job experience
This is my eighth year teaching. I have four years of experience prior to SMS at Cobb County Schools and Bartow County Schools. My first year at SMS I taught 5th grade, and this will be my third year in 1st grade.

Education
Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from Kennesaw State University
Master of Education in Elementary Education from University of West Georgia

Certifications, professional memberships, or committees
I’m also certified K-12 Special Education General Curriculum

Other affiliations
I attend church at Rockmart Church of Christ where I teach the 0-3 year old Sunday School class

Family
I’ve been married to my husband, Jacob, for 5 years. We have a 3-year old son, Kash.

Pets
I have a miniature Goldendoodle, Marlee, and a cat, Jax.

Hobbies
I enjoy spending time with my family, playing baseball with Kash and shopping.

Susan Speed

3rd Grade Teacher

Susan Speed

Susan Speed

3rd Grade Teacher

Years at St. Mary's: 3

What do you love about St Mary's?
I love the students, the teachers and staff. We work together very well.

Favorite subject to teach
My favorite subject to teach is grammar because I think it’s fun!

Classroom or teaching philosophy
My teaching philosophy is to love and encourage my students and to make learning fun.

Previous job experience
Prior to SMS, I had just completed my tenth year in the classroom.

Education
Bachelor of science in education from Berry College

Family
Married to Bryant Speed for 29 years
Three children- Bryant Speed III (age 25), Katherine (age 24) and Thomas (age 17)

Pets
Dog - Lily

Hobbies
Spending time with family, reading and exercising

Ann Marie Tillery

Middle Grades Language Arts

Ann Marie Tillery

Ann Marie Tillery

Middle Grades Language Arts

Years at St. Mary's: 15

What do you love about St Mary's?
I love SMS because it is a unique Christian learning environment where respect, discipline, kindness, and love permeate the school's family atmosphere.

Favorite subject to teach
My favorite subject is Language Arts as it embraces reading, writing, and thinking skills - all the skills needed for a lifetime of learning.

Classroom or teaching philosophy
I believe my role as a teacher is to nuture, encourage and prompt students to use their own curiosity and skills to think , explore and enjoy learning.

Previous job experience
Christ The King School- Tampa, Fl , Elementary Grades Teacher
Covenant Preshool and Kindergarten - Cedartown, Ga - Teacher and Director

Education
Darlington School
The University of the South -Sewanee
Bachelor of Science in Education PreK - Middle Grades from Berry College

Family
I am from Cedartown, Georgia where I reside with my husband, Scotty. We have a son, Clayton , SMS C'15 , who is a sophmore in college. We are fortunate to have our other son, Russell and his family, Erika and Rhett living only a few blocks away.

Pets
Sadie our dog and two cats, Max and Molly

Hobbies
Cooking, tennis, gardening and fishing

Extracurriculars
Student Council

Maria Gabriela Zini

Spanish Teacher

Maria Gabriela Zini

Maria Gabriela Zini

Spanish Teacher

Years at St. Mary's: First year

What do you love about St Mary's?
The sense of community.

Favorite subject to teach
Spanish because, as a native speaker, I enjoy teaching it in conjunction with the cultural backgrounds, traditions and history of the countries where the language is spoken.

Classroom or teaching philosophy
I am looking for ways to stimulate my students' curiosity so that they can find ways to express their full potential.

Previous job experience
K-8 Substitute Teacher at Berry College Elementary and Middle School (2018-2020).
High School Spanish Teacher at Darlington School (2016-2018)
Cancer Research in Turin, Italy (1993-2006)
Clinical Biochemistry and Immunology in Córdoba, Argentina (1987-1992).

Education
Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and a Residency in Immunology from the
Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Córdoba Argentina

Family
Marco Verzino, my husband and I have a daughter, Giulia Verzino.

Pets
Muffin, a 11- year old Bichon Frisé

Hobbies
Making jewelry, gardening, quilting, scrapbooking, reading, cooking, traveling, enjoying family and friends

Staff

Jenny Rittgers

Principal

Jenny Rittgers

Jenny Rittgers

Principal

Years at St. Mary's: 3

What do you love about St Mary's?
What I love about SMS is that we are a family who works together to grow closer to the Lord everyday, while also learning as much as we possibly can about the magnificent world that Our Heavenly Father has created. Both faculty and staff witness to the joy that comes from a life lived for Jesus and when you enter SMS you feel it! The joy and warmth that radiates from everyone in our building is a realization of a community that strives to be the hands, feet, and heart of Christ.

Previous job experience
9 years of classroom experience in grade 2 and 9-12
6 years of experience as the Director of Admissions for Notre Dame High School in Chattanooga, TN
4 years of experience as the Community Service Coordinator for Notre Dame High School in Chattanooga, TN
2 years experience as the Director of Faith Formation for the Diocese of Winona-Rochester in Minnesota.

Education
Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Lincoln Memorial University
Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, K-8, Aquinas College

Certifications, professional memberships, or committees
Archdiocese of Atlanta - Principal Formation Program
Georgia Educational Training Agency - Complete Reading Series
University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana
Alliance for Catholic Education - Curriculum Development Training
Catholic Identity Professional Learning Committee at SMS

Other affiliations
Attends Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Chattanooga, TN

Pets
I have a 9 year old chihuahua named Lexington

Hobbies
I enjoy baking, sewing, crafting, and organizing, but my favorite thing to do in my free time is praying the Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet. I also love learning more about my Catholic Faith and spending as much alone time with the Lord as I can.

Father Rafael Carballo

Priest

Father Rafael Carballo

Father Rafael Carballo

Priest

Years at St. Mary's: 5

Previous job experience
Chicken…yes chicken…brought me to the United States! I worked in several roles at the ConAgra Poultry Company in Puerto Rico and Dalton, Ga., including plant supervisor, broiler specialist and quality assurance specialist.

After serving the parishes of St. Brenden Church in Cumming, Ga. and our Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Carrollton, Ga., I joined St. Mary’s Parish in 2016.

Education
Business Administration from Universidad InterAmericana-Río Piedras in Puerto Rico
Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (Poultry Science) from Kansas State University
Master of Divinity from St. Vincent Seminary

Hobbies
While I enjoy travel, photography, and baseball, much of my time is spent giving my heart to St. Mary’s Parish, the school community, and passionately serving all ministries, including the hospital, prison and Hispanic ministries.

Father Mike Metz

Priest

Father Mike Metz

Father Mike Metz

Priest

Years at St. Mary's: 1

What do you love about St Mary's?
The kiddos, teachers and staff.

Previous job experience
Military

Education
Bachelors of Science in Business from Christian Brothers University
Masters of Philosophy and Religion from USML Mundelein Seminary
Masters of Divinity from USML Mundelein Seminary
Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology from USML Mundelein Seminary
Licentiate in Sacred Theology from Liturgical Institute

Other affiliations
Member of the Army Chaplain Corp

Family
Patrick and Marion Metz.
Patrick, Kevin, John Paul, Gregory, Mary Margaret, Regina, Joseph, Mark, Teresa, and Christopher are my siblings.

Pets
Gable, a great dane
Ellie, a lab whippet mix

Deacon Stuart L. Neslin

Parish Deacon; School Spiritual Advisor

Deacon Stuart L. Neslin

Deacon Stuart L. Neslin

Parish Deacon; School Spiritual Advisor

Years at St. Mary's: 23

What do you love about St Mary's?
Our School Community at St. Mary's Catholic School is a vibrant Faith Community, giving us the opportunity each day to live out our Faith and to be the Face of Christ to others.

Previous job experience
35 years of Human Resources Management experience with GE, Georgia Pacific and Sara Lee Corporation. Parish Administrator of St. Mary's Catholic Church since 2008.

Education
Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary from Union College.
Masters of Arts in Personnel Administration from Columbia University

Certifications, professional memberships, or committees
Ordained to the Diaconate, Archdiocese of Atlanta, 2006. Advocate, Metropolitan Tribunal, Archdiocese of Atlanta.

Family
Married to Barbara Neslin; 6 grandchildren, including SMS students Gracie Pinkard, Kendall Mary Pinkard and Stuart Pinkard.

Extracurriculars
Active with the Student Altar Society

Terri Borchardt

Business Manager

Terri Borchardt

Terri Borchardt

Business Manager

Years at St. Mary's: 5

What do you love about St Mary's?
The Catholic and christian feel of the school. The school is full of life and it feels wonderful each time I enter it. The school offers such a nurturing environment with it's strong catholic identity. It's a great place to work and be able to pray.

Previous job experience
Parish Administrator, Marketing Manager, Telemarketing Supervisor, Records Manager and Customer Service Specialist.
Accounting, website updates, department rep for computer software integration.

Education
Master in Business Administration from Shorter College
Bachelor of Science in Management from Shorter College

Certifications, professional memberships, or committees
Ex-Officio member of the school advisory committee and Finance Committee.

Other affiliations
Member of St. Mary's Catholic Church

Family
Husband, Marc. Married for 30 years as of July 2020. No children.

Pets
None at this time. But looking. We especially love labrador retrievers.

Hobbies
Camping, painting, home improvement and wine collecting.

Extracurriculars
L.I.F.E. bible study group at St. Mary's Church.

Additional info
I love keeping up with and seeing family and friends. My husband and I enjoy traveling and camping, sometimes in the same trip. We recently upgraded our camper and are planning many more trips to the state parks and national parks. We especially love the Great Smokey Mountains.

Dee Brewer

Bus Driver

Dee Brewer

Dee Brewer

Bus Driver

Years at St. Mary's: 3

What do you love about St Mary's?
I love the students and everyone in SMS family~they are the nicest people in Rome community and are totally committed to providing educational excellence as well as spiritual and ethical guidance.

Hobbies
My hobbies are kayaking, organic gardening, medical herbology and nutritional healing.

Robin Cole

School Nurse

Robin Cole

Robin Cole

School Nurse

Years at St. Mary's: 4

What do you love about St Mary's?
I love the family atmosphere.

Previous job experience
I worked at Kindred Healthcare. I also worked as a float nurse at Grady Memorial Hospital and as a pediatric home health nurse.

Family
Derion Richardson-son

Hobbies
I like to read and watch sports.

Extracurriculars
I assist with athletics and booster club.

Kay Parker Doss

Elementary Paraprofessional

Kay Parker Doss

Kay Parker Doss

Elementary Paraprofessional

Years at St. Mary's: 28

What do you love about St Mary's?
The love and family atmosphere!

Previous job experience
I raised four fabulous young men! I also worked at Mother’s Morning out before coming to Saint Mary’s.

Education
Graduated from West Rome High School.
I attended Young Harris College, the University of Georgia and Shorter University.

Other affiliations
Attends St. Mary’s Catholic Church

Family
My husband is Moe Doss. We have been married 42 years. We have four wonderful sons who are all graduates of SMS; Drew, Hal, Frank and Jon. We are also blessed with granddaughter, Lucie.

Hobbies
I love working in my yard and cooking.

Andres Flores

Maintenance Supervisor

Andres Flores

Andres Flores

Maintenance Supervisor

Years at St. Mary's: 29

What do you love about St Mary's?
The main thing I like about working at Saint Mary's is the people -- I enjoy both the teachers and the students.

Family
I have four children and two step-children. My daughter, Karen, is a graduate of Saint Mary's School, Class of 2013.

Hobbies
I just love to work -- but every once in a while, I get a chance to fish, which I really enjoy.

Christa Jackson

Director of Admissions and Advancement

Christa Jackson

Christa Jackson

Director of Admissions and Advancement

Years at St. Mary's: I am in my 25th year at Saint Mary's Catholic School, although I have been at SMS as a parent since 1985!

What do you love about St Mary's?
There are so many things that I love about our wonderful school! Of course, I am so proud of the rigorous academic preparation that our students receive that gives them a strong foundation for high school and beyond. But I also love the solid foundation of faith and Christian values that builds fine character, as well as the many opportunities students have to put their faith in action through service to others in our community. I love to watch our students develop athletically as they play sports at school. And I love the special, fun days that make memories that will never be forgotten.

Previous job experience
1978-1988 - Owner of "My Little Shop" - a gift shop in Cave Spring, best known as a place to "adopt" the original "Little People" or "Cabbage Patch Kids"
1988-1991 - Taught Special Education at Pepperell Middle School, while working on my Masters in Education.
1995-present - Saint Mary's Catholic School

Education
Bachelor of Arts in English and Psychology from Agnes Scott College
Master of Education from University of West Georgia

Other affiliations
I am a member of First Baptist Church of Cave Spring, where I feel very blessed that four generations of my family worship together. I teach children on Wednesday nights, sing in the choir and am active in our Ladies' Group.
I am a former President and current Sustainer in the Junior Service League of Rome.
I serve on the Board of the Cave Spring Historical Society.

Family
Married to Charles Jackson, December 17, 1977
We have four sons, Chas, Cline, Chris and Cleve Jackson - all SMS alums.
We have ten grandchildren, with number eleven on the way! There are seven girls and three boys, and of the ten, eight are current Saint Mary's students!

Hobbies
Our family loves University of Georgia football games, and on Saturdays in the fall that's where you will probably find us!
Another fun thing that my family does is organize the Annual Cave Spring Fourth of July Parade.
In addition to spending time with my family, I love to read and enjoy taking pictures.

Extracurriculars
Fellowship of Christian Athletes
Chess Club

Melissa Johnson

Elementary Paraprofessional

Melissa Johnson

Melissa Johnson

Elementary Paraprofessional

Years at St. Mary's: First year

What do you love about St Mary's?
I love the SMS atmosphere. When you walk through the doors you instantly feel loved by the staff. When you interact with the students at SMS they are very respectful.

Previous job experience
7 years as a lead Prekindergarten teacher
One year as lead 2-year-old teacher

Education
Associates of Science in Education from Georgia Highlands College
Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from the University of West Georgia

Other affiliations
Attends New Prospect Baptist Church as a Pastors Wife

Family
Chris Johnson, husband
Abbie Grace Johnson, daughter
Jeremiah Johnson, son

Pets
Maddie, our favorite dog

Hobbies
I love riding bicycles, working around my house and playing outside with my children.

Towers Maddox

Elementary Paraprofessional, Extended Care Director

Towers Maddox

Towers Maddox

Elementary Paraprofessional, Extended Care Director

Years at St. Mary's: 18

What do you love about St Mary's?
Saint Mary's Catholic School has always felt like home to me! I was a student at SMS and it holds a special place in heart! I can't imagine working anywhere else!

Previous job experience
I started working at SMS at the age of 22 and have only worked ever worked in this school.

Education
Shorter College

Other affiliations
I am a member of Saint Mary's Catholic Church. I am also a weather observer for The National Weather Service, which is something my family has done since the 1800s.

Pets
I am the proud owner of 2 dogs and 2 cats!
Ruby - Terrier Mix
Gelsey Kirkland - Chihuahua
Rumpleteazer - Orange/White Mix cat
T-Kitty - Tabby cat

Hobbies
I love musical theater, art, photography, and the ballet!

Extracurriculars
I host two cooking camps a year for the students at SMS, with my coworker Ms. Ferguson. We have been cooking up a storm for many years! I love our Gingerbread Camp and themed summer cooking camps!

Lisa Mazur

Secretary

Lisa Mazur

Lisa Mazur

Secretary

Years at St. Mary's: 14

What do you love about St Mary's?
The family atmosphere and the love that is shown between everyone. Not to mention an occasional hug I get from time to time.

Previous job experience
Orthodontic assistant

Education
Associates degree from the Bradford School of Business in Columbus, Ohio

Other affiliations
Ron and I are the Mass captains for the 10 a.m. mass at St. Francis of Assisi, in Cartersville.

Family
Married to husband Ron for 28 years
Two sons, Zach and Ryan

Pets
Dogs-Molly, Lucy and Max

Hobbies
My most favorite thing to do is spend time with my family. My most favorite place to spend time with them is at Disney World, of course.

Becky Motes

Advancement Assistant

Becky Motes

Becky Motes

Advancement Assistant

Years at St. Mary's: 20

What do you love about St Mary's?
Each of my children were here with me for 10 years.

Education
B.S. in Early Childhood Education

Dr. DeAnn Simon

School Counselor

Dr. DeAnn Simon

Dr. DeAnn Simon

School Counselor

Years at St. Mary's: 11

What do you love about St Mary's?
Saint Mary's Catholic School has that rare blend of academic excellence in a Christian environment. SMS is a community where children can feel safe, loved, and inspired to be the best version of themselves. The faculty and administration work tirelessly to create an environment that fosters love, tolerance and creative thinking. Saint Mary's has a passion for educating children both spiritually and academically.

Previous job experience
Dr. Simon began her career as a probation officer after she graduated college. After working in this field for a few years, she felt that God was calling her to help people further, so she went back and obtained her master’s degree in Counseling. She has always had a passion for working with children, so her primary focus has always been on child development and counseling. She has over 22 years experience working with couples, families and children/adolescents in different settings. She also teaches college classes in Counseling and Human Services.

Education
Doctor of Education in Counseling Psychology from Argosy University/The American School of Professional Psychology
Master of Science in Community Agency Counseling from Jacksonville State University
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Shorter College.

Certifications, professional memberships, or committees
Dr. Simon is currently licensed as a Professional Counselor in the state of Georgia and is also a National Certified Counselor. She has a certificate of specialization in Distance Counseling and is a member of the American Counseling Association.

Family
Dr. Simon currently lives in Rome with her husband and their 3 children- Brady, Christian, and Leah.

Angela Vinson

Director of Transportation

Angela Vinson

Angela Vinson

Director of Transportation

Years at St. Mary's: 15

What do you love about St Mary's?
Christ-centered and wonderful “family” of parents, students, faculty, and staff. You can feel the love.

Family
My wonderful husband Gaylon, daughter and son n law Chelsey & Matt Byars, son Blake Vinson, 3 precious grandbabies (+1 on the way) Logan, Remy, Camila.

Pets
I have a 140 lb German Rottweiler, a pit bull rescue, and 1 indoor cat, 2 outdoor cats, and a family of deer we see daily.

Hobbies
I love love love to travel and read.