Dean Ratledge, middle grades P.E. teacher and end of school day support assistant, has nearly four decades of experience in high school and elementary education, serving most recently as pre-K to 2 physical education teacher at Pepperell Primary School. There, he was also lead teacher for the science STEM class.
“We are extremely blessed to have Dean join the Darlington faculty,” said Tommy Atha, assistant athletic director. “He brings a wealth of experience as an educator to Darlington and has a great ability to communicate with kids and make them want to push themselves and get better at whatever they are doing. He’s one of those teachers and coaches who truly loves to work with kids and see them accomplish their goals.”
Ratledge holds a B.A. in Health and Physical Education from Tennessee Technological University and an M.Ed. from Tusculum College.
“My love for teaching and coaching began in college when I started helping at boys' homes for underprivileged children in the summers to earn extra spending money,” he said. “It was exciting to see these young men grow and develop. I began thinking about the influence my teachers and coaches had on me in high school and I wanted to give back what I had received. Forty years later, I will say it has been a great decision. I have never worked a day in my life!”
Ratledge and his wife, Mary Stuart, will be celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary in December. In addition to their son Tate (‘20), they have a daughter, Emmaline, who is an eighth-grader at Armuchee Middle School.
In his spare time, Ratledge enjoys reading and listening to bluegrass music.
“Before having children and getting old, I enjoyed bird hunting and horseback riding,” he said. “My children are what takes up my time now, and I am thankful that the good Lord has allowed me and my wife to be on this wonderful journey together.”
Ratledge has been a part of the Darlington Community since his son, Tate, began attending in seventh grade.
“The reason I fit (at Darlington) is because the same values that I hold dear are the same things being taught here by everyone that I have had the pleasure to come into contact with,” said Ratledge. “I believe that I bring those same qualities to Darlington and look forward to mentoring and coaching the students I work with.”