Darlington is pleased to welcome the following new faculty and staff members for the 2013-14 school year:
Rachel Adams will manage the bookstore, which has been relocated to Wilcox Hall. She studied advertising at the University of Alabama and has three years of experience in sales. Most recently, Adams served as director of sales for TownePlace Suites by Marriott in Birmingham, Ala. She is married to Parker Adams, director of dining services for Darlington's new food service provider, Flik.
Sarah Beaucham will teach sixth-grade humanities. She holds a B.A. in English Literature from Berry College and a Master of Arts in English Literature from Boston College. Most recently, she spent a year teaching 22 English Conversation classes per week at Jurye Girls’ Middle School in Korea. Beaucham has also taught at Breneau Academy in Gainesville, Ga., and spent two years as a first-year writing seminar instructor at Boston College.
Theda Byrd will serve as second-grade teacher Melja Watkins' long-term substitute for the first 12 weeks of school. She has over 30 years of experience in elementary education and holds a B.A. in History, an M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education, and an Ed.S. in Education Leadership from Berry College. She also received her National Board Certification in 2002. Byrd spent her entire career teaching at East Central Elementary School in the Rome City Schools system, and has served as a K-6 substitute teacher at East Central for the last five years. She also volunteers with North Broad Baptist Church's Children’s Ministry and nursery.
Hannah Decatur will serve as a history intern at the Upper School. She recently earned her B.A. in History from Johns Hopkins University, where she worked as the desk supervisor in the Office of Student Life. She also spent two years volunteering at Barclay Elementary School and helping to coordinate their after-school program.
Susan Doane will teach art to students in grades PK-1 and 6-8. She holds a B.A. in Art Education from Berry College and certifications in T-4 and Art (P-12) with an ESOL Endorsement. She also spent four months studying at James Cook University in Townsville, Queensland, Australia. Doane is no stranger to Darlington, having spent last year as a student teacher in grades 5-8. She has also given private art lessons and taught at Connect Rome City Church Sunday School.
Phillip Dunbridge will serve as assistant director of boarding admission. He holds a B.A. in Theatre from San Diego State University and an M.F.A. in Theatre from The American Repertory for Theatre's Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University and Moscow Art Theater School. Dunbridge has worked in the admissions field for the past four years, serving most recently as director of enrollment management and financial aid at Missouri Military Academy. He previously served as assistant dean of admission at Idyllwild Arts Academy, where he was also an adjunct faculty member.
Rebecca Duren will serve as Upper School choral director. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of North Texas, a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from the Peabody Conservatory of Music and a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from the University of South Florida. Duren has eight years of experience teaching voice, including teaching undergraduate and graduate students as well as private lessons at her studio. She also has an extensive resume of professional vocal performances throughout the country. Most recently, Duren served as a graduate teaching assistant at the University of South Florida and had a conducting graduate assistantship with Gulf Coast Youth Choirs in Florida.
Susan Foster will be the part-time librarian for grades PK-2. She holds a B.S. in Education from the University of Georgia and an M.Ed. in Media Instruction from the University of West Georgia. Foster has more than 15 years of experience in education and served most recently as a media specialist at the Marietta Center for Advanced Academics in the Marietta City Schools system. Additional training includes participation in numerous conferences and training seminars, including the Georgia Educational Technology Conference, Georgia Library Media Association Summer Institute and Explorers Guild Workshops at Georgia Tech Research Institute.
Angela Hester will serve as a learning specialist for grades 6-8. She holds an A.S. in Business and a B.S. in Middle Grades Math Education from Kennesaw State University as well as an M.S. in Mathematics Education from Walden University. Hester has over 25 years of experience in the classroom and holds multiple teaching certificates, including Middle Grades Mathematics, Language Arts and Social Sciences. Most recently, she was a math interventionalist for the Floyd County Schools system. She is also a member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the Georgia Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
Katie Knight will serve as a science intern at the Upper School. She recently earned her B.S. in Biology from Berry College after attending the institution on a full-tuition Presidential Scholarship. Knight did her student teaching at Coosa High School, where she taught 10th to 12th grade Honors and Environment Biology and Zoology. Additionally, she tutored peers in biology, animal science and calculus; served as an assistant P.E. coach at Berry Elementary and Middle Schools; and spent a year teaching in Africa.
Anna Mertz will teach music to grades PK-8. She recently earned her Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Shorter University and her certification in Music Education P-12. Mertz did her student teaching at Alto Park Elementary School and also teaches private lessons to students in Rome and Cartersville.
Connie Ortmeier ('69T) will serve as first-grade teacher Rachel Harrison’s long-term substitute at the beginning of the year. She has more than 31 years of experience in elementary education and has spent the last five years serving as a regular substitute at Darlington's Lower School. Ortmeier holds a B.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Georgia and an M.S. in Elementary Education from Clemson University.
Jessica Peer will serve as the teaching assistant for grades 1 and 2. She holds a B.A. in Government from St. Lawrence University and has six years of experience in education. She is no stranger to the primary grades at Darlington, filling in last year as the primary substitute for these grades. Previously, Peer served as director of student activities at Avon Old Farms School; as assistant dean of students at Kingswood-Oxford School, where she also taught history and coached; and as a math and English teacher, coach, and dormitory parent at Cardigan Mountain School. She and her husband Matthew, Darlington's director of student life, live on campus with their children, Jackson ('24) and Ella.
Derek Perkins will serve as associate director of admission. He holds a B.A. in Psychology and a B.A. in Sociology from Indiana University as well as an M.S. in Sports Studies from Miami University. Perkins has a decade of experience in admissions, serving most recently as associate director of admissions at Culver Academies. Previously, he was director of enrollment systems for Marian University.
Al Shorey will teach math at the Upper School. He holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the United States Military Academy, an M.S. in Engineering Management from the University of Missouri at Rolla and an M.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Tennessee. This summer, he will retire as a Colonel in the U.S. Army and is looking forward to putting his practical experience to work in the classroom.
Madison Willoughby will serve as a world languages intern at the Upper School. She recently earned her B.S. in Economics and Spanish from Berry College, and is fluent in written and spoken Spanish. Willoughby spent one semester studying at Universidad Latina-San Pedro in Costa Rica. She also spent six weeks volunteering at an orphanage in Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua. While at Berry College, Willoughby was a member of the Krannert Center Activities Board, a grant writer for Berry's Non-Profit Strategic Services program, a first-year mentor through Berry's Office of First-Year Experience, and an intern with the local YMCA's Después del Escuela Program.
Anna Yarborough will serve as an Upper School learning specialist. She holds a B.S. in Education from Southwest Missouri State University and an M.Ed. in International Relations from Webster University. Yarbrough has more than 25 years of teaching experience in grades 7-12 and nine years of experience working specifically with students who have learning differences. Most recently, she taught social studies at Kirkwood High School in Missouri. She also has experience in curriculum development.