Mr. Rome: Bringing Joy to Students

Ellen Sharp, Crown Writer & Photographer

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When in high school, students are told that their high school years will be the most memorable days of their lives and that those four long years will be over in a blink of an eye. Freshman band and choir students approach the music room in fear; little do they know Mr. Rome’s welcoming presence will be on the other side of the door. Mr. Rome has had his fair share of both attending and teaching high school, and he will soon officially graduate from teaching Marian students. Little did he know, 43 years would go by and his high school teaching graduation would officially come. From teaching over thousands of students, giving them a lifetime of information on the subject he loves, the current students will have a hard time watching him go and the class of 2018 will be excited to graduate with him.

Mr. Rome has always had a love for music, so much that he decided to share his knowledge and help other students fall in love too. Marian students come from all around the county, which means a variety of schools and other music teachers, but Mr. Rome stands out from all the rest.  “He is very caring in what he does and he really pushes you to succeed in music,” Jamie Kalamaras (12) said. Kalamaras has had Mr. Rome as a choir teacher for her entire high school career and is very fortunate to graduate with Mr. Rome. “Mr. Rome gives us multiple opportunities to sing through Marian and also outside of the school,” Mary Elsinger (11) proclaimed. “He takes us on trips to sing with a professional choir in front of the bishop, which is very exciting.” Elsinger has had the privilege to be taught by Mr. Rome for three years, but now going into Senior year with a new teacher, it will take a little while to get used to. “I will adapt to it because I have to, but it is going to be difficult. I hope the new teacher keeps traditions that we do every year.” Mr. Rome is leaving an immense impact on his students, leaving behind rituals he has carried out for many years.

Daily rituals are something Mr. Rome will always be remembered by. Throughout his morning rituals to yearly rituals, the students will never stop doing them on their own. “Every morning we pray together and it is a way to de-stress. We get to share an intention for everybody to hear,” Elsinger (11) shares. Elsinger describes the ways Mr. Rome keeps his classes daily, but he also likes to change things up a bit. “The prayers we say before class always change; it depends on how we are feeling, and sometimes we sing the prayer with different harmonies.”  Every year, the Marian band produces a Christmas concert. The concert brings Marian families together to listen to their favorite holiday songs performed by students and their graceful instruments. At the Christmas concerts, there is lots of music, but faith is always tied to it. “Every year, Mr. Rome lays out the manger in the very front of the stage, and once he leaves, he hopes the new teacher will continue that tradition,” Olivia Suarez (11) shares. Mr. Rome has always kept his faith in the classroom, always bringing students back into his class each year and helping them see the importance of their faith.

Every year brings new students, but most of the faces Mr. Rome sees are familiar. Senior Anna Thompson has had Mr. Rome all four years. “I have wanted to keep taking his class because he is super caring and always happy when I walk through the door, which brightens my day.”  One particular senior, Dante Bucci, has Rome’s band class for only three years, but they have an amazing bond.“Mr. Rome is full of joy; he is pleasant and optimistic. But most importantly, he is good about bringing his faith into his classroom.” Taking band every year has been what Suarez (11)  has done. Suarez has been playing trombone for most of her life, so Mr. Rome has allowed her to move up and take exams that the grade above her would take. “I have wanted to take his class for the past three years because he is very passionate, and he has never wanted to quit. When he is conducting his music, you can really tell how much he loves what he does.”  Mr. Rome has always been a mentor for his students, and he never gives up on them.  

Having a teacher conduct in front of a choir or band doesn’t look necessary to students who don’t know much about music. However, to those choir and band students, it means a whole lot. Mr. Rome has been this figure for students for 43 years of his life, and the Marian students couldn’t imagine anyone else but him. So as Friday, May 25th approaches, Mr. Rome is teaching, mentoring, and setting an immense impact on his students as much as he can until he officially graduates from the Marian Central Faculty.

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