Darlington School: Brown Dinner honors faculty, staff
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Brown Dinner honors faculty, staff

May 9, 2014 | 1281 views

Brown Award winners Beth Pollard, Crystal Cleveland, Chris Holloway and Rachel Harrison. (Not pictured: John Plough)

Darlington School honored outstanding faculty and staff members at the annual Brown Faculty Appreciation Dinner, hosted by the Board of Trustees on Thursday, May 8.

James Douglas Brown Jr. Faculty Awards were presented to Rachel Harrison, first-grade teacher; Chris Holloway, ELA-8 band teacher; Gregg Marshall, English teacher; John Plough, theater director; Crystal Cleveland, Spanish teacher; and Beth Pollard, chief financial officer. Nominated by colleagues and selected by the headmaster and division directors, a Brown Award recipient is one who has served the school well, in a competent and skillful manner, and one who has an interest in and a dedication to his or her work with the school and with the students. Brown Awards are endowed by Mr. And Mrs. James Douglas Brown of Ozark, Ala., in memory of their son, James Douglas Brown Jr.

Beachum Master Teaching Awards were presented to Yensen Lambert, chairwoman of the world languages department, and Randy Smith, middle school science teacher. They were nominated by faculty and selected by the headmaster and division directors. The Beachum Award honors a member of the faculty who has accomplished something exceptional in his or her teaching, devoting time beyond the call of duty to students and to the teaching profession. This accomplishment may be in the form of extraordinary efforts to build student character or in the form of innovative programs. Established in 2004 by Mary McCamy Beachum (’63T), Robert A. Beachum (’94) and Julia Beachum, the Edward N. Beachum ’63 Master Teacher Award honors the Darlington alumnus and faculty member (1972-1989). 

The George W. Awsumb Faculty Award was presented to Mike Hudson (’94), chemistry teacher. Established anonymously in 1999 by a Darlington alumnus, the Awsumb Award is presented to a faculty member who exemplifies a personal commitment to the education and well being of the superior and average student alike. This commitment is demonstrated by the unselfish desire of the faculty member to instruct and challenge students in both a professional and enthusiastic manner and by the ability of the faculty member to raise the overall level of education and quality of life at Darlington. The commitment is further demonstrated by the unselfish giving of time and energy to many diverse extracurricular activities and by the ability of the faculty member to empower his or her students with self-confidence and instill in them the desire to learn while not only at Darlington, but also for a lifetime. The award is given in the spirit of George W. Awsumb, Darlington faculty member from 1962-2009, and the recipient is selected by the headmaster.

Thatcher Faculty Development & Research Fund grants were presented to Julia Dodd, chemistry teacher; Laura Hicks, ELA-8 Teaching and Learning Center coordinator; Marcus Holmes, residential dean and head of house; Melinda Holmes, director of library services; and Dana Peek, math teacher. Established in 2014 by the Thatcher Foundation, these annual awards honor the memory of Samuel E. and Mary W. Thatcher, the parents of John Thatcher (’44). This fund provides five grants of $2,000 each to faculty and staff who wish to pursue professional development directly related to their teaching duties.

Thatcher Master Teacher Fund grants were presented to Barbara Barfield, middle school Spanish teacher; Sarah Beaucham, middle school English teacher; John Cox, Thatcher Chair of English; ELA-2 teachers Jody Deaton, Rachel Harrison, Beth Smith and Melja Watkins; and Raymond Murray, upper school English teacher. Established in 2014 by the Thatcher Foundation, these annual awards honor the memory of Samuel E. and Mary W. Thatcher, the parents of John Thatcher (’44). This fund provides five grants of $2,000 each to faculty for personal use in travel or other experiences. Not strictly curricular in nature, these experiences nurture the dedicated teacher as a lifelong learner whose personal travel and other activities return them to the classroom refreshed and renewed. 

Wood Distinguished Faculty Fellowship awards were presented to fine arts faculty Kim Tunnell, Will Camp, Rebecca Duren, Chris Holloway and John Plough as well as to world languages and history faculty Yensen Lambert, Eric Braun, Crystal Cleveland, Brant Evans and Brian Inman. Established in 2011 by Carla and Leonard Wood during the Second Century Campaign, the Wood Fellowship seeks to create a culture for professional growth and perpetual improvement in our faculty by funding scholarly activity of an exceptional character. Applicants submit an ambitious and rigorous proposal which must identify the critical steps of planning and execution, and clearly state how this project will benefit both students and faculty.

The following faculty and staff members were recognized for their five-year anniversaries: Wendell Barnes and Chris Earnest, 5 years; Theresa Dulaney, Rebekah Kinney, Chad Liddle, Leanne Mann, Kelly McDurmon, Joe Montgomery, Lynda Miller, Jennifer Moore and Tannika Wester, 10 years; Karen Bennett, Carrie Eady, Owen Kinney, Jill Pate and Phil Titus, 15 years; Tim Garrett, Ellen Ryan and Beth Smith, 20 years; Pam Morgan, 25 years. 

Retirees Rick Buice, Janice Cox and Tom Whitworth were also acknowledged for their service to Darlington.