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Tom Whitworth Headmaster James Milford Associate Headmaster Director of Admission Max Roach Director of Upper School James Hutchins Director of Middle School Steve Bartholomew Director of Lower School Joe Montgomery Chief Advancement Officer Vicki Vincent Director of Alumni Relations Doug Hamil Director of Graphic Design Tannika King Director of Media Relations RuthAnne Anderson Brittany Hannah Photographic Contributors Darlington Magazine is published two times a year by the Communication Office of Darlington School, and is distributed to those who have shown a continued interest in Darlington. Darlington School, a nonprofit organization, does not discriminate in admission because of race, color, creed, religion, national or ethnic origin, and maintains non-discriminatory policies throughout its operation.

1014 Cave Spring Road Rome, Georgia 30161 706-235-6051 (phone) 706-232-3600 (fax)

On The Cover: O’Keefe Johnson (‘13), Sara Zhang (‘13), Lauren Chin (‘11), Leonie Herth (‘14), Rachel Glass (‘13), Helene de la Motte (‘13) and the girls of Regester House make Darlington history by becoming the first-ever female house to claim the title of RUMPUS champion. One of the most highly anticipated events of the year, RUMPUS is a weekend-long competition between day and dorm students from all six residential houses.



Content 2 Community News 6 Second Century Campaign News 22 Class Notes 36 In Memoriam Campus Features 14 Ask David Powell 18 All About Apple

Pilot program provides MacBooks, iPads to students

19 Patricia Ayer

From teacher to techie

Campus Views 9 Alumni Weekend 16 ’Tis the Season 20 RUMPUS Alumni Profiles 24 Xaivier Ringer (’04) Capturing a community

28 Scott Gordon (’77) Molded by music

32 Gordon Smith (’71) Distinguished Alumnus

36 Cy Twombly (’47) Making his mark

Community News

School hosts reading program’s featured author

Author Kristen Kimball signs a copy of her book.

Kristen Kimball’s “The Dirty Life: A Memoir of Farming, Food, and Love” was the focus of Rome’s annual One Book, Many Voices reading initiative, which has brought authors like Maya Angelou and Paul Rusesabagina to this community. Kimball’s book tells the story of her two loves: farming and family. She chronicles a trip to Pennsylvania, during which she meets her husband, a handsome farmer with a flair for culinary courtship. Driven by love and longing for a home, she follows him to northern New York, where they transform a neglected piece of land into a sustainable farm powered by horses and supported by year-round communitysupported agriculture memberships. Darlington hosted Kimball’s community address in October. As the school’s

winner of an essay contest focused on the book, Chandler Johnson (’14) had the opportunity to meet the author. “I found Kristin Kimball’s story fearlessness inspiring,” Johnson said. “Her willingness to change her lifestyle completely made me believe that any goal is achievable – that there is no dream I cannot aspire to make come true. I hope I am that fortunate, that brave, so that I too can reach for the stars and listen to my heart to find my purpose in life.” This year, 154 students entered the writing contest, which was sponsored by the Rome News-Tribune. Winners were selected from each area high school. One Book, Many Voices is sponsored by 13 community organizations, including Darlington School.

Darlington employees Walk a Mile in Her Shoes More than 40 faculty and staff members, including Headmaster Tom Whitworth, participated in the Hospitality House for Women’s 4th Annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes in October. Seeking to raise awareness about domestic violence, over 400 total participants marched down Broad Street during lunch hour – with most of the men donning ladies’ shoes. Darlington’s group, the largest in attendance from a single organization, could be seen wearing a variety of purple wedges, clogs and high heels. Lower School Director Steve Bartholomew’s fuzzy tiger slippers earned him a spot in the pre-event fashion show. All in all, it was a fun way to get the community talking about a tough subject.

Darlington employees walk to support the Hospitality House.

James Milford, Norris Allen, Tim Mallory, Tom Whitworth, Joe Montgomery, Kevin Allen and Shirinza Jackson

Facilities Director Brian Zobel shows off his purple shoes.


Children hear from award-winning author

Elise Broach Connecticut author Elise Broach brought her stories to Darlington in October during the Lower School’s annual author visit. Broach is the New York Times bestselling author of “Masterpiece,” “Shakespeare’s Secret,” “Desert Crossing” and “Missing on Superstition Mountain,” the first book in the Superstition Mountain Trilogy, as well as several picture books. “Elise tailored her presentations to each age group,” said Ann Glass, Lower School librarian. “The younger students learned about writing and publishing, starting from the conception of an idea to the published product. Elise brought running sheets and other material to illustrate the different steps of the process. The older students learned about writing a mystery and the different elements and research involved.” Broach’s books have been selected as ALA Notable Books, Junior Library Guild selections, a Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Book, a New York Public Library Best Book for the Teen Age, an IRA Teacher’s Choice and an E.B. White Read Aloud Award. Her work has also been nominated for an Edgar Award, among other distinctions. Past guest authors/illustrators to visit the Lower School have included Patricia Reilly Giff, David Winsniewski, Robert San Souci, Jack Gantos, Lynn Cullen, Mike Lester, Carmen Agra Deedy, Helen Lester, Jane Kurtz, Mordicai Gerstein, Eric Kimmel, Grace Lin, Lola Schaefer and Diane Z. Shore.

Darlington Magazine

Community News

Chapel organ restored

Blood drive honors faculty member, alumna

Darlington’s pipe organ has been restored to its original condition by Wicks Pipe Organ Co., the company which originally built and installed it in Morris Chapel in the spring of 1958. “Darlington’s organ has been described as an outstanding example of a mid-century chapel organ,” said Kim Tunnell, director of fine arts. “We are so fortunate that our Board of Trustees supported the investment of keeping and renovating it.” The project involved renovating the console of the organ and cleaning and repairing its pipes. Other than routine maintenance and tunings, the organ has not had extreme work completed since 1980 when the relays were replaced. There are several places in the cabinets where this work was recorded. The organ is used to lead congregational singing of hymns and the Alma Mater during chapel serves and at special events such as Baccalaureate, Alumni Weekend and weddings. “This particular pipe organ was designed at a time when we were still under the tonal influence of Henry Vincent Willis,” said Mark Wick, president of Wicks Pipe Organ Co. “Henry Vincent Willis comes from a long heritage of English tonal designers. His involvement is why the sound is smooth and enveloping. The organ provides a tone that is pleasant to the listener yet provides many different colors for the organist. Darlington’s preservation of its pipe organ ensures that the community can enjoy the true sound of a windblown instrument for many years to come.”

Winter 2012

Current parent Natalie Settoon gives blood. The Darlington Community donated 43 pints of blood at the school’s November Blood Assurance blood drive in honor of faculty member Madge Crawford (‘84), who was diagnosed with breast cancer in September. “It is always so meaningful when we hold blood drives in honor of one of our own,” said Reba Barnes, director of servant leadership. “Madge underwent surgery this fall and is doing well. As a school community, we want to support

her not only with kind words and gestures, but also through events such as this one that raise awareness.” Crawford has worked at Darlington since 2003 and currently serves as executive assistant to the dean of college guidance. She is also a member of the Alumni Council. She and her husband, Cooper, are the parents of current students Asa (’13), Will (’16) and Hank (’20).

58 earn AP Scholar designation During the 2010-11 school year, 88 students in Rome and Floyd County earned the designation of AP Scholar by The College Board in recognition of their exceptional achievement on the college-level Advanced Placement Exams. Of these scholars, 58 are from Darlington. “The AP exams are an excellent measure of readiness for college study,” said Academic Dean David Powell. “We applaud our students for attaining the status of AP Scholar as they prepare for a rigorous college curriculum.”

Seven recent graduates qualified for the National AP Scholar Award, the highest designation, by earning an average grade of 4 or higher on a 5-point scale on all AP Exams taken during their high school career, and grades of 4 or higher on eight or more of these exams. They are Chad Collins (’11), Mark Huang (’11), Lucas Jennings (’11), Stephanie Kehl (’11), Jin Sol Lee (’11), Alex Pickle (’11) and Sam Watters (’11). Darlington currently offers AP courses in 21 subjects.


Community News

Rachel’s Challenge inspires Chain of Kindness

Lower School students connect their chains of kindness.

Students heard a message of kindness and compassion when the Rachel’s Challenge organization visited campus in August. The namesake of Rachel’s Challenge, Rachel Scott, was the first person killed in the shooting at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999. Her actions, coupled with the contents of her six diaries, have become the foundation for one of the most life-changing school programs in America. “In an increasingly uncivil world, programs like Rachel’s Challenge reinforce the power we each have, everyday, to affect positive change in our homes, our schools and our community,” said Jill Pate, director of personal counseling. Founded in 2000 by her father, Darrell Scott, Rachel’s Challenge is a bullying and violence abatement program. Each year, more than 1.5 million students

have the opportunity to accept the challenges, modeled after Rachel’s life and writings. Inspired by Rachel’s Challenge, Atlanta TV station 11Alive helped spread the organization’s message with its “Add to the Chain” campaign – encouraging viewers to build a chain of kindness in which each link represents a kind deed. Darlington jumped on board and in November, 45 students representing the Lower, Middle and Upper Schools traveled to the Georgia Dome to add the school’s chain to the others. “It was wonderful to see teachers and students embracing this effort,” Pate said. “Chains of kindness hung in classrooms, offices and residence halls school wide and it really sent a powerful message about the type of community we are here at Darlington.”

Historic phonathon kick starts Annual Fund campaign The work of 19 parent and alumni volunteer callers paid off in a big way during the first Annual Fund phonathon of the year when they raised over $95,500 – more than doubling their goal for the night. “This is the most money we have ever raised at a phonathon,” said Julie (Wilson) Lucas (’97), director of giving programs. “We are so lucky to have such a dedicated group of volunteers working hard for us.” Darlington’s Annual Fund, which currently supports five percent of the school’s operating budget, is often called the school’s most vital fundraiser because it impacts every aspect of the Darlington experience. To help raise awareness and help people understand the purpose of this annual fundraising effort, the school launched its “fill the 5” Annual Fund campaign in September. “Your gift to the Annual Fund helps fund five percent of all student, parent, faculty and alumni programs at Darlington School,” said Steve Wilhoite (’73), chairman of the Annual Fund Leadership Team. “This


means everything from fine arts to athletics, Alumni Weekend, campus improvements—all of it is supported, in part, by the Annual Fund. Your support completes the Darlington experience.” But that’s not all. Capitalizing on the momentum of the Second Century Campaign, Darlington has embarked on another bold initiative. Over the next four years, the school aims to double the amount of money raised through its Annual Fund campaign to cover 10 percent of the school’s operating budget instead of five. “This will significantly increase the funds available for faculty salaries, financial aid, academic programs and many other needs,” said Wilhoite, adding that $821,415 has already been raised for the current school year. “We ask you to please consider making your gift today if you haven’t already done so. Your generosity really does make a difference in the lives of our students and faculty.” To make your tax-deductible gift to the Annual Fund, visit www. before May 31, 2012.

Youth Orchestras influence musicianship

Anna Sea (’12) A new program at Darlington offers young instrumentalists the opportunity to widen their musical styles and knowledge while advancing their individual technique. Open to Darlington and non-Darlington students alike, the Northwest Georgia Youth Orchestras bring musicianship to a higher level. “This is a comprehensive orchestral program that allows all participants to advance their ensemble skills as they progress from one level to the next,” said Will Camp, director of instrumental music. “Regardless of skill level, every student will find a place where they will be challenged.” Directed by local and regional professionals, the program is segmented into four groups: Exploratory, Beginning Performers Collective, Junior Youth Orchestra and Senior Youth Orchestra. The most advanced Senior Youth Orchestra members may also be offered an opportunity to perform with The Oak Hill Players of Berry College Symphony Orchestra.

Darlington Magazine

Community News

School launches Leadership Darlington The Alumni Office is pleased to announce that 29 alumni were selected to participate in the inaugural class of Leadership Darlington. “Leadership Darlington is a prestigious and competitive opportunity for alumni to engage with their alma mater and school leaders on an indepth, personal level,” said Vicki Vincent, director of alumni relations. “The program is designed to increase the number of alumni actively engaged with the school and develop the next generation of Darlington’s leadership.” The inaugural event, which took place March 4-5, included an address by Honorary Chairman Jere Drummond (’57), retired vice chairman of BellSouth Corp. in Atlanta and vice chairman of Darlington’s Board of Trustees. Over two days, participants obtained an integrated view of the school, including the internal and external forces that affect it’s direction, and the challenges it faces. They also experienced an interchange with senior administrators and participated in discussions about the future of Darlington. Members of the inaugural class included Wright Bagby (’63) of Rome; Lang Cheves (’60) of Greenville, S.C.; Helen (Harbin) Davis (’02) of Atlanta;

Maurie Dugger (’94) of Washington, D.C.; Marie (Hodge) Gordon (’99) of Marietta, Ga.; Adeline (Wright) Hanks (’62T) of Rome; Dan Hanks (’61) of Rome; Villa (Sulzbacher) Hizer (’66T) of Rome; Terry Honan (’64) of Eufaula, Ala.; John Scott Husser (’99) of Rome; Molly Kelly (’98) of Atlanta; Mai Mai (Selman) Kelly (’72T) of Rome; Meg (Gammage) Kramer (’98) of New Orleans, La.; Tony Massing (’79) of Cartersville, Ga.; Kim McConkey (’73) of Roswell, Ga.; Cindy (Hortman) Meeker (’71T) of Troy, Ohio; Strom Mull (’06) of Atlanta; David Muschamp (’68) of Blue Ridge, Ga.; Mary Burke (Wimbish) Nadeau (’85) of Savannah, Ga.; Danny Orthwein (’06) of Nashville, Tenn.; Steve Posey (’86) of Olive Branch, Miss.; Whit Remer (’03) of Washington, D.C.; Mark Rogers (’94) of Atlanta; Beth (Bagby) Smith (’87) of Rome; Andy Smith (’67) of Lookout Mountain, Ga.; Win Stewart (’97) of Denver, Colo.; Aaron Sumner (’02) of Rome; Will Thuston (’00) of Birmingham, Ala.; and Michael Van Cise (’97) of Atlanta. To apply for Leadership Darlington 2013, contact alumni@

Apply now for Honor Scholarship Qualified students are invited to apply for the Honor Scholarship, the most prestigious merit award offered by Darlington. This full scholarship, which also covers books and material fees, is awarded annually to the best all-around freshman day and boarding applicants. “Darlington Honor Scholars exemplify honor and service through their community work; have a deep desire to grow, lead, learn and impact their world; and be unparalleled in academic excellence,” said James Milford, associate headmaster and director of

Winter 2012

admission. The multistage selection process involves alumni interviews and a required campus visit and interview. Renewable for four years, this scholarship also provides a six-week internship with Darlington alumni the summer before the senior year and a Mastery Award to fund development in an area of the student’s choice. To nominate a student for the 2013-14 school year, visit www.darlingtonschool. org/nominate or contact admission@ by Jan. 1, 2013.

McHenry students benefit from senior class project

The Class of 2012 has launched a senior class project that focuses on helping its South Rome neighbors, the students at McHenry Primary School. “They wanted to create a project that would touch the lives of as many people as possible,” said Matthew Peer, director of student life. “Many ideas were debated and discussed, and in the end they decided to focus on the needs of children in our area.” The project kicked off in November when the 137 members of Darlington’s senior class spent a Thursday morning in classrooms at McHenry. “Our students had the opportunity to share their passion for learning with the young people at McHenry as they learned Spanish, danced in gym class, worked on math problems, painted and colored, listened to music, and read books,” Peer said. “Each of our seniors will have different memories from today that they will cherish. As director of student life, I couldn’t be more proud of them.” Throughout the remainder of the school year, the Class of 2012 will work on additional projects with the faculty and students at McHenry as part of their ongoing service project. 

Austin Spooner (’12) works with McHenry students Helena Robinson and Brylee Pegg.


Second Century Campaign News

Three receive inaugural Wood Faculty Professional Development Endowment awards

Julia Dodd

To find out how you can make a difference in the lives of students and faculty, or for more information about the Second Century Campaign, contact the campaign staff at campaign@


Julia Dodd, Jody Deaton and Rebekah Kinney were selected from a pool of seven applicants to receive the inaugural Carla and Leonard Wood Faculty Professional Development Endowment awards, funded through the Second Century Campaign. “All of the proposals showed ambition and creativity,” said Academic Dean David Powell. “The winners did a particularly good job of planning the projects, and included a measurable plan for bringing what they learned back to the rest of the faculty at Darlington.” Dodd’s proposal focuses on exploring the flipped-classroom model, an instructional method that directly correlates to 21st Century teaching and learning. The flipped classroom uses videos of short lectures or demonstrations as homework assignments, while class time is used for group and individual activities and labs.

Rebekah Kinney “This model allows the teacher time in class to interact with students individually to address misconceptions and to ascertain mastery of concepts,” said Dodd, Upper School chemistry teacher. “In addition to allowing class time to practice new procedures with the teacher present as guide, it would also be useful for students who miss class for illness or extracurricular activities, for substitutes’ lesson plans and for students who seek extra support outside of class.” Dodd adds that videos could be made by both faculty and students and available online. “As teachers in each department become proficient in making and using the videos, they could in turn teach the method to their colleagues,” she said. Deaton and Kinney, who teach second and fourth grade, respectively, submitted a proposal that focuses on

Jody Deaton building an even more robust reading and writing program at the Lower School. They attended The Reading and Writing Project’s February MiniInstitute at Columbia University in New York. “This workshop arms educators with a repertoire of skills for teaching young readers and writers to think analytically about nonfiction texts,” Deaton said. “We want to use our insights to help build more effective reading and writing education at the Lower School.” Kinney said action plans will be explored to revise curricula in social studies, science and language arts. “In addition to finding new opportunities for students to work on interpretation and synthesis skills, we hope to develop a Reading and Writing Workshop mentoring program,” she added. In response to the Second Century Campaign’s effort to increase

Darlington Magazine

Second Century Campaign News endowment for faculty support, Trustee Leonard Wood challenged the Darlington Community to get on board by offering to provide a 1:1 match of every gift to this area of the campaign up to $500,000. His call was answered as 37 donors funded half of The Carla and Leonard Wood Faculty Professional Development Endowment, allowing Darlington to claim the remainder of the matching gift from the Wood family. The 2011 Wood Professional Development Endowment awards provide for $10,000 in grants. From this point forward, grants will be awarded in two categories: faculty development and summer travel. Four faculty development grants of up to $10,000 will be awarded each year, with another $10,000 to be used for summer travel grants. “The Carla and Leonard Wood Faculty Professional Development Endowment is allowing us to build a culture of continual professional development among our faculty,” Powell said. “Teachers tend to be learners, but the intense routine of the teaching year makes it difficult for us to plan for our own growth. Therefore, we sometimes lean on what we already know from year to year. Time set aside for travel and study, and money set aside for tuition, materials and other resources, will allow teachers to explore the newest research in their fields and adopt the best practices of innovative programs.”

Community celebrates LEED Gold Certification

Tricia Newton, Gary Paetau and Ed Watters (’83)

Mike Mascheri

Angela Pieroni

Paul Ferguson

Winter 2012

The Darlington Community cheered as Middle School Director James Hutchins and eighth-grader Ethan Pender unveiled a plaque recognizing Thatcher Hall’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council in November. “Thatcher Hall was the first LEED Gold School to be certified under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Schools 2.0 system in the State of Georgia,” said Joe Montgomery, chief advancement officer. “This is a milestone for Darlington and a first step in our commitment to environmental sustainability.” LEED is the premier program in the nation to certify high-performance green buildings. Certification is awarded based on energy consumption, water management, indoor environmental quality, site planning and material use. “By integrating sustainable features in the building, faculty and students are able to see how our energy and natural resources can be conserved during everyday life,” said architect Mike Mascheri of Chapman Coyle Chapman. “This facility also exemplifies that a LEED Gold building can blend seamlessly within a traditionalstyle campus environment, while maintaining the technologies, building materials and design elements necessary for the efficiency and environmental standards required for this certification level.” 

Thatcher Hall’s mechanical system exceeds the local energy code efficiency requirements by 40 percent. All spaces are day lit to minimize the need for artificial lighting, motion sensors are used and photocells control lighting in the classrooms. To conserve water, plumbing fixtures and kitchen equipment are low-flow and many are also motion controlled. To preserve a healthy air quality, interior finishes and materials are low-VOC products and environmentally friendly cleansers are used by the housekeeping staff. Probably most remarkable, 90 percent of all construction waste was recycled. “Throughout this entire process, Thatcher Hall and its grounds have served as an important teaching tool in our classrooms,” said Angela Pieroni, dean of grades 7-8. “Our questions have changed from ‘Why should we build a green building?’ to ‘How?’ ‘Why not?’ ‘Where else?’” Recognized along with Mascheri were partners Tricia Newton of J.E. Dunn Construction Co. (formerly R.J. Griffin & Co.), Gary Paetau of Carter USA, and Ed Watters (’83), chairman of the Facilities Committee of the Board of Trustees. Hillary Tarabour and Jesse Ross of CxGBS were also in attendance. Representing the South Rome Redevelopment Agency and Corp., Paul Ferguson commended Darlington for its leadership. “Darlington has continued to be a steady and valued partner in the redevelopment of South Rome and I want to congratulate the school on its LEED Gold Certification,” he said. Hutchins thanked all those involved in the project, including the Board of Trustees, the donors, the advancement staff, the architect and builders, the facilities team, the faculty and – last but not least – the students. “I want to thank our students who, over the last three years, have really taken ownership of this facility. This is your building,” Hutchins said to the student body. “Thatcher Hall is remarkable but it’s what goes on inside that is truly special. We don’t just learn in this building – we learn from it.”


Second Century Campaign News

Tom Whitworth, Lou Dempsy (’87), James Milford and David Powell

Athletic Boosters commit $50,000 to Second Century Campaign

To find out how you can make a difference in the lives of students and faculty, or for more information about the Second Century Campaign, contact the campaign staff at campaign@


The Darlington Athletic Booster Club’s second annual Raffle & Steak Dinner in August was a huge success, raising more than $29,000 for athletic programs and $5,000 for faculty development. In September, the parent organization presented the first installment of their $50,000 Second Century Campaign commitment to Headmaster Tom Whitworth, Associate Headmaster James Milford and Academic Dean David Powell. “The children of our Booster Club members are student-athletes, so in addition to raising funds for our athletic programs we feel it is very important to support the people who are helping our children succeed as students,” said President Lou Dempsey (’87). “We’ve got an incredible faculty at Darlington and we are proud that the reverse raffle has provided us with such a wonderful opportunity to give back to them. We

were also able to make a donation to the school’s fine arts program, so everyone at Darlington is benefiting from our success.” The Athletic Booster Club has committed to giving an additional $5,000 per year to faculty endowment for the next nine years. “We know that recruiting and retaining top-notch teachers and coaches is critical to Darlington’s success, both now and for generations to come, so we want to do our part to ensure that it continues to be possible,” said Fundraising Co-Chairman Mike Lawrence. The Athletic Booster Club is comprised of an Executive Committee, the athletic director, and a delegate representing the needs and interests of each varsity sport. “On behalf of the faculty at Darlington, I’d like to thank the Athletic Booster Club for their generous

contribution to the Faculty Endowment Fund,” Whitworth said. “It always makes me so proud to see current parents step up in support of our faculty. It tells me that their children are having a positive experience here because of the people who are impacting their lives every day. This is what the Second Century Campaign is all about – transforming lives.”

Darlington Magazine

Campus Feature

Darlington Celebration: Bill Kelly (’71), Mai Mai (Selman) Kelly (’72T), Sam Moss (’63) and Luke Lester (’84)

Darlington Celebration: Alumni Council President Chason Mull (’78), Board Chairman Frank Stegall (’62) and Gordon Smith (’71)

Winter 2012

Alumni Weekend

More than 300 alumni and friends returned to the Lakeside in October for Darlington’s annual Alumni Weekend celebration. Event highlights included the presentation of the Distinguished Alumnus Award to Gordon Smith (’71), the 20th Annual Fall for the Arts Festival and a 40-25 win over Bowdon at the Homecoming football game. Reunion classes had high attendance, with 25 percent of alumni celebrating their 50th reunion participating. The class parties were also a success, with the Class of 1971 boasting the largest number of returning alumni. A special thanks goes out to our class agents, event hosts and all those involved in making this year’s celebration a great success. We hope to see you Oct. 15-17 for Alumni Weekend 2012!


Fall for the Arts Festival: Josh Land (’21) Distinguished Alumnus Luncheon: Bill Kerestes

Pre-Game Picnic: Former Darlington President Jim McCallie

Pre-Game Picnic: Kate Diruggiero and Roy Dickinson (’77)

Halftime at the Huff: Rachel Peller (’06), Caroline Clark (’06), Leslie Beninato (’06), Mary Owens (’06), Tristan Griffin (’06),


Darlington Magazine

Campus Feature

Run With PRIDE 5K & Fun Run: Kennen Milford (’20) and Jonathan Pieroni (’19) lead the pack.

Run With PRIDE 5K & Fun Run: Eric and Jenny (Diodati) Hammett (’86)

Town Hall Meeting: Bob Hendrickson (’71), Headmaster Tom Whitworth, Dan Hanks (’61)

Alumni & Friends Cookout: Jim (’54) and Edie Ford Alumni & Friends Cookout: Annabelle Braden (’19) and Preslie Grayce Jackson Winter 2012


Golden Tigers Induction: Headmaster Tom Whitworth addresses alumni celebrating their 50th reunion or more.

Golden Tigers Induction: Nevin Patton (’61), Ernie Higgins (’61) and Terry Bradshaw (’61)

Alumni Cocktail Party: Harry Dawson (’60), Frances (Dawson) Schlitz (’91), Julie (Peek) Dawson (’81), Brett Sennett (’81), Jule Peek (’81), Caroline (Peek) Blaylock (’91) and Stiles Blaylock


Darlington Magazine

Campus Feature

Alumni Cocktail Party: Mary (Hight) Sawhill (’96)

Alumni Cocktail Party: Rob Day (’96) and Alana (Lanier) Cobb (’96)

Class Reunion Parties: Patricia Hubbard (’86), Mario Kidey and Ingrid (Opsomer) Kidey (’86)

Winter 2012

One-Act Play: Laura Owens (’12), Avani Reddy (’12), Kelli Maria Crawford (’13), Marshall McCann (’15) and Murphy Kenefick (’15) present flowers to Director Karen Bowling.


David Powell has been a member of Darlington’s faculty since 1981. During his tenure, he has taught a variety of English courses and held the distinguished title of Thatcher Chair of English from 1992-2009. The longtime English department chairman was named academic dean in 2009. He continues to teach AP English Literature and holds an B.A. from Berry College; an M.Div. from Emory University and an M.A. from Middlebury College. He and his wife, Katherine, are the parents of Daniel Powell (’08).

David Powell

When did you first realize that you wanted to be an educator?

I didn’t set out to be an educator. I had always been interested in the arts – music, drama and literature – and pursued those interests both in and out of school. I discovered a real love for teaching after I started doing it. Two years into my Darlington career, I began a degree at the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College, in Vermont, where I got to know the most expert and passionate faculty I’ve ever encountered. Plus, all my student/peers were teachers, too. At Bread Loaf, I began to believe that teaching English and directing plays was the most important job in the world. That sense of high purpose has remained with me.

What do you enjoy most about working with young people? I enjoy their energy and their intellectual courage. They are willing to try on any new idea they find interesting, and helping them to explore the new is fascinating. Plus, when they find a true interest and start “running on their own fuel,” stand back. They’ll discover more on their own than I could have ever taught them. That’s when I learn from them, and the educational experience becomes mutual – collaborative. That’s just fun.

What attracted you to Darlington School in 1981? I first heard of Darlington School from a college professor, Dr. Alex Whitaker. He was a multitalented man who had great fun in his work. I remember that he used to write minutes from the faculty meetings in the style of famous authors, for instance. He was irreverent in the most creative sense of the word. He had spent several years teaching at Darlington, and spoke about his time here with such fondness. I came to Darlington first because I was changing careers and needed a new direction. I’d had the privilege of working with several Darlington faculty, especially Jack Summerbell, whom I admired greatly. He invited me to apply for a position teaching Bible, and that’s how I got started.


What is your personal educational philosophy? Why should everybody have one?

It’s simple – everyone can and will learn if they get interested. Making the connections, finding the level of interest – that’s the work we continually do. Maria Montessori said simply, “Observe the child.” When you see the child is ready to be interested in a particular thing, immerse him in that thing in every way possible. When I directed plays, I sat where I could watch the audience while the play was going on, absorbing when and why they paid attention or failed to. I watch my classes the same way. The subject matter may be the same, but the interest level is dynamic and continually calls for experimentation and adjustment.

What inspired you to move into an administrative role? A team of people can become a powerful force to get things done. I learned as chairman of the Upper School English department that a group of teachers on the same page can accomplish things a single teacher can’t. When Headmaster Tom Whitworth asked me to consider the dean’s position, I began to wonder how much an entire school could accomplish if they became a team. We have always celebrated Darlington’s community in interpersonal terms, I wanted to see how far that strong community sense could grow us as professionals.

Why was it important to you to stay in the classroom at least part time? Classroom teaching is our primary, daily work. I need to remain part of it, and to continually remind myself what it feels like to search for connections with students. It’s too easy to lose touch with the day to day when you are thinking strategically.

What were some of the immediate challenges you faced as you moved into your new role two years ago and how did you turn them into opportunities? I had worked so many years in the Upper School that the learning curve was steep for Lower and Middle School issues, so the challenge there was just to jump in and learn as much as possible. I know more now about teaching math

than I ever knew in my entire life. Fortunately, I was surrounded by experts in their fields who were good and generous teachers. The educational world has changed so much because of developments in neurology that I had a lot to learn about psych-ed testing and the many factors which affect how different students learn. That part has actually been fun, because the findings in research are so fascinating. It’s very interesting to see how much teachers have always known about learning just by observation, but how many widely held assumptions have been debunked by the new research.

Describe the work and mission of the vertical teams. Moving constantly between the school’s three divisions, I am always aware that education is a 12-year arc. It’s analogous to building a house. Foundation, floor, walls, second floor, roof, insulation, outer walls, plumbing, electrical – there are good ways and bad ways to put these elements together, and each successive layer depends on the integrity of the previous layer. If the plumbing and foundation guys don’t talk to each other, how will the pipes get into the house? We simply started the practice of getting Lower, Middle and Upper School teachers together to look at our curriculum blueprint and make sure we are building the best structure possible.

What is Atlas and why is it important to the work you are doing? Atlas is a curriculum mapping tool which allows all teachers to enter the scope and sequence of their courses in one place so that we can then analyze by year, subject and topic how our curricular house is designed. With a few mouse clicks, we can diagnose gaps and redundancies in our curriculum and adjust accordingly.

Why is professional development important? Without a continual process of professional development, all work becomes stale and routine. This is especially true when our business is learning. My friend Craig Schmidt, chairman of the history department, is fond of saying, “Every year, there is another year of history to know about.” Research in science is

Darlington Magazine

Campus Feature exploding – just think of what a difference the genome project has made in our understanding of biology and chemistry. We’re living in a time in which we simply can’t rest with what we already know.

What do you think it means to faculty to know that alumni and friends are supporting their work and the future of the school? More and more teachers are thinking of projects they can do that the Wood Faculty Professional Development Endowment makes possible. It took less than a year for that challenge to be fully met by Second Century Campaign donors, and that fact has sent a powerful message to the faculty about our constituents’ commitment to help make our learning continual.

What does “student centered” mean to you? “Student centered” is simply a way to remind ourselves that we must always consider what is best for the student. The term evolved in reaction to harsh teaching practices that stressed the expertise of the teacher over the developmental needs of the student. But it does not mean “student indulgent” – because students don’t always know what is good for them. There is a story about a king who was overjoyed at the birth of a son, and who was determined that the boy should be raised in expectation of being a ruler himself. He told the nursemaid to give the boy absolutely everything he wanted, with no exceptions. Sometime later he heard the baby crying; the king burst into the nursery and demanded to know why the child was distressed. “Didn’t I tell you to give him everything he wanted?” he shouted. The nursemaid nervously replied, “Yes, your highness. There was a wasp in the window, and he wanted it.” Both the king and the nursemaid are at fault in that story: the king because he valued the wants of the child over the needs of the child and the nursemaid because she was afraid of displeasing her master.

How does the Teaching and Learning Center help us to be student centered? What is your vision for this program? Determining the real and appropriate needs of a student takes a trusting relationship between teacher, student and parent. The Teaching and Learning Center exists to help all three become better informed partners in determining those needs. That could mean helping teachers to level the playing field for a student with learning differences. It could also mean figuring out how best to challenge a gifted student. It could also mean helping parents understand how to support the student at home. It sometimes helps me to think of the Teaching and Learning Center as the wise aunts and uncles in an extended family. They love the child, but can be a bit more objective at times about what the child needs. In the previous story, the Teaching

Winter 2012

and Learning Center might be a trusted member of the royal family, asking the nursemaid to think through what could happen if the child got the wasp and reasoning with the king about setting limits on desire. Thankfully most of the program’s work isn’t as dramatic as that. But with what we know about individual learning styles and what we are daily learning about it, we need these compassionate experts helping us to grow the partnerships well.

This is an accreditation year for Darlington. Why is this process healthy for an institution? Self-examination and strategic planning are essential for any institution. All schools need to remember that they don’t operate in a vacuum, just as all other professionals need to remember it. Before I try a medical treatment, I want to know that it is sanctioned by a group of disciplined professionals and not just dreamed up by a single practitioner. Before I let someone start cutting trees around my house, I want to know that he is insured. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Southern Association of Independent Schools function in an analogous way. They bring school professionals together to share information, combine resources and track the success of best practices. That’s all accreditation is – a chance to show that our people are qualified, that we know what our key issues are, and that we are committed to continual improvement. I have served on several accreditation teams at other schools. I always bring back an appreciation of how dedicated educators are, an appreciation of Darlington’s strengths, and new ideas for how we can improve. Of the three Darlington accreditation processes I have been a part of, this one was by far the most transparent, and the visiting committee has given us invaluable feedback as we seek to improve.

What do you see as you greatest challenge in the immediate future? The education field is ripe for innovation right now. That brings great opportunity, but it takes a lot of nerve, too. Education is conservative by nature, because nurture demands dependable routine. How do we marry dependable routine with a readiness to experiment and try new things? It takes courage to keep trying new things with so many unknowns out there. How do we preserve the core traditions of Darlington while readying our students for a future few of us can accurately imagine? Our Apple pilot program in information technology directly addresses these issues. In fact, we have discovered that the I.T. initiative is actually a teaching initiative – finding the right resources for the right lessons. The key to it all is dropping the idea that teaching is a solitary activity and pushing for collaboration in every way possible.

What do you see as Darlington’s areas of greatest success in terms of its academic program? I quote from educational consultant Bill Weary’s report about our school in our 2009-10 Strategic Plan: “It is rare to find faculty at any school as eager as Darlington’s to address questions of educational philosophy, direction and coherence. The sense of a launch, of high expectations and of hope was one of the strongest of all indicators of Darlington’s future, and was present among faculty in each division. Videos of each session with faculty would have been met with disbelief at any number of institutions.” I am well-acquainted with some of the schools who would view our current enthusiasm with disbelief. This spirit embodies the zeal to learn, which fuels the will to change. As we constantly say, “It’s all about who.” A single great teacher can have an enormous impact – what about a school full of such teachers?

In your opinion, what does it mean to be a Darlington Tiger? From the earliest epochs of human history, we have identified with animals critical to our survival. We recognize those qualities which can help us to interact successfully and meaningfully with the natural world and with each other. Tigers are powerful, graceful, efficient predators – feared by all. Yet they are not indiscriminate predators – they provide for their own kind, to whom they are fiercely devoted, and they preserve the balance of life from the top of the food chain. Who wouldn’t want to be a tiger?

What are some of the personal goals you have set for yourself this year? I set these goals for myself this year: Develop a comprehensive system of progress assessments for the three divisions which is rigorous, inclusive and humane. Work with division heads to ensure that all employees are rigorously and fairly evaluated this year. Produce a school report for accreditation which celebrates our accomplishments and identifies our real needs. Since accreditation is completed, my next goals are to work with the Academic Committee to make strategic exploration of new ideas an ongoing priority and to see that every single faculty member applies for a Wood Faculty Professional Development Endowment grant. And personally? There are a couple of jazz progressions on the guitar I’d like to master so I can play along with Steely Dan.


’Tis the Season The Darlington campus is alive with good tidi ngs du r i ng th e mon th of Dece mber! Even with exams looming, students find time to be part of the slew of activities and events that spread joy and good cheer in our community. Whether they are featured in a seasonal concert like Lessons & Carols or supporting a meaningful service opportunity to benefit Toys for Tots, the Rebecca Blaylock Child Development Center, the Boys & Girls Club, McHenry Primary School, the North Rome Community Kitchen, the Open Door Home or the Salvation Army, our students jump right into the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.


Darlington Magazine

Campus View

Winter 2012


Campus Feature

All About Apple

Pilot program provides MacBooks, iPads to students

Photo by Brittany Hannah/Rome News-Tribune

Students huddled around MacBook laptop screens while working on a toy car project in Angela Pieroni’s eighth-grade physical science class. Some would measure the car’s distance on the floor with wooden yardsticks while others shared their findings simultaneously in an online application.

Eighth-graders Jake Maxwell (from left), Drake Frix and Seth Parker share information on a MacBook as they collaborate on a project measuring toy car speed in Angela Pieroni’s physical science class at Darlington.

This article was written by Rome News-Tribune reporter Brittany Hannah and was originally published on Dec. 5, 2011.


Pieroni, dean of grades 7 and 8, is one of several teachers involved in Darlington’s pilot educational program during the past semester that provides instructional Apple MacBooks to eighth-graders and iPads to fourthgraders to be used in and out of the classroom. With the MacBooks, Pieroni is able to keep in constant contact with her students – some of whom live in Calhoun and Atlanta – even when they’re out of the classroom and working on homework. Using Google Docs, she is able to watch, in real-time, the work her students are doing on their typed documents and can provide instantaneous feedback. Jake Maxwell (’17) said he liked everything about the process of working with his teammates on the MacBooks. “If we’re all working together, it won’t take as long,” he said. Pieroni added that the new inter­ connectivity of technology in her classroom has dramatically changed

her students’ learning behavior for the better. “They’re more willing to ask questions and try new strategies,” she said. It all started in 2005 as part of Darlington’s Strategic Plan. The school began encouraging students to bring their own laptops to school and also provided PC laptops to work technology into the classroom, according to Stefan Eady, director of information technology. Over the years however, teachers seemed to be spending more time on troubleshooting and maintenance than working on the lessons at hand. Eady and his staff researched Apple’s lineup of products and were impressed by the ease of workflow and connectivity across software platforms. With the MacBooks and iPads, they were soon able to work on a common platform, and efficiency started to increase with the simpler, more reliable devices. Teachers no longer had to spread themselves thin to fix computer issues for individual students. “With the Macs, that’s completely gone away,” Eady said. Only a few months after introducing the devices, teachers reported positive results in their classrooms. In a survey given to parents, more than 90 percent strongly agreed with the effect the hardware was having on their children’s learning, according to Instructional Technology Coordinator Cynde Reneau. Although there were worries in the beginning of students being easily distracted and using the internet safely, the staff discovered that integrating the devices into the curriculum actually helped to teach valuable lessons about responsible digital citizenship from a young age. “With the Macs, they feel more connected now than they did before,” said Reneau. “They’re more enthusiastic and excited to be interactive.” In Flo Anthony’s fourth-grade reading

class, students developed character profiles from the books they were reading and then created a comic strip on their iPads. Anthony also encourages her students to use iPad applications for math and social studies to visually enhance their learning. Madeline Lewis (’20) showed her dexterity on the iPad with an interactive app that uses rocket ships and space creatures to teach math skills. Eyes focused on the flying numbers, she controlled the game by tilting and tapping the screen. “My favorite app is Math Blaster,” she said. “It’s really fun.” Anthony added that her students learn more from lessons by being able to hold, hear and manipulate them, and that it made a big difference in their learning retention. Beyond the lessons, she said working with the devices has brought her students closer together because they’re more willing to reach out and ask questions of their classmates. The new and exciting technology has made the classroom climate more team oriented. With their increased confidence through learning the new technology, the students are coming together in a way she said she never expected. Anthony sees this as a crucial step in developing their social strength, adding that it will enable them to be more comfortable in dynamic situations as they get older. “It validates that what they’re doing is upcoming and interesting,” she said. “By learning to meet challenges, it will put them in a mind frame to succeed in an environment they have to learn in.” In its work toward creating 21stCentury learners, Darlington plans to expand the program in 2012-13. Starting in August, the school will provide iPads to students in grade 4-6 and MacBooks to students in grades 7-9.

Darlington Magazine

C ap m Cam u sp uF se aVt iuerwe

Patricia Ayer

From teacher to techie Patricia Ayer’s 32-year relationship with Darlington began as a parent. The school had launched a new kindergarten program and she decided to enroll her daughter, Mandy (’93). “When I walked on campus and talked with the teachers, I felt a sense of peace,” Ayer said. “I knew it was the right spot for her.”

In the following years, her other children, Molly (’97) and Ben (’03), would also join the Darlington family – Ben as a member of Darlington’s very first pre-K class. “My husband and I were so happy that all three of our children were finally at Darlington, but it was becoming a strain on us financially,” Ayer said. “I went to then-principal Larry Muschamp to tell him that we just couldn’t do it anymore, but he had a different plan.” Ayer’s background was in insurance, not education, but Muschamp saw something in her and encouraged her to accept a position working alongside Charla Brewster as a second-grade aide. “Until then, I’d been a stay-at-home mom who would volunteer in my children’s classes, but somehow Larry knew teaching would be a good fit for me,” said Ayer, who started working at

Winter 2012

Darlington in 1990. For the next several years, she worked as an aide in second grade, pre-K and then kindergarten. Eventually, Muschamp asked her to consider going back to school. A longtime faculty member was planning to retire, and Ayer would have the opportunity to become a full-time teacher if she earned her teaching degree. “Larry was a great mentor – he really pushed me to reach my potential,” said Ayer, who earned her B.S. in Education in three years. Ayer was assigned to teach kindergarten, a grade she was very comfortable with after working as Janice Cox’s aide for six years. “I love that age,” Ayer said. “I felt like I was in Heaven, right where God wanted me to be.” A lover of technology, Ayer was always finding new ways to integrate it into her lessons. In January, her students would get online and watch scientists work in Antarctica. And after discovering SMART Boards, she wrote a grant proposal and became one of the first teachers to get one in her classroom. Her innovation did not go unnoticed by then-principal Mark Tayloe. “He came to me with his vision to expand technology at the Lower School and create a lab with enough computers for a whole class,” Ayer said. “He asked if I would help. At first I was hesitant, but I admired him and loved Darlington. I thought, ‘Well, Larry saw something in me, so if Mark sees this then maybe there’s something that I still need to give.’” In 2005, she moved into the Computer Lab full time. One of the first things she wanted to introduce was a daily newscast. After a year of planning and securing the equipment, WDLS was born.

“I’ll never forget that first year,” Ayer said. “There was one student who hated to come to school – it was daily struggle for his mother. But this child was among the first to work on WDLS and suddenly his whole outlook changed. He couldn’t wait to get to school and do the show. He even became the director! It changed his life because he had a purpose, and he discovered talents that he might not have explored otherwise.” Ayer calls Tayloe’s successor, Steve Bartholomew, a tremendous advocate for technology innovation. Under his direction, she implemented a twoyear pilot program for the Educational Records Bureau (ERB) as they developed an entrance exam for private schools. This program earned the Lower School 20 touch-screen monitors. She also went back to school again, this time earning her M.S. in Education with a focus on technology. “To encourage children to become lifetime learners, we have to show them that we are, too,” she said. “That’s so important.” But in December, Ayer announced that after 22 years at Darlington she would be putting her career on hold to tend to more important responsibilities – her family. As her journey with the school comes to a close, she reflected on what she will miss most. “I’ll miss the support of my colleagues and the camaraderie,” she said. “I look at them and see the people who educated and loved my kids. And of course I’ll miss the children, but I’m still young. I expect that, at some point, there will be more children and another classroom.” During her tenure at Darlington, Ayer also served as instructor and, later, camp director for Delightascope, director of Cool Yule holiday camp and director of the Lower School’s Extended Day program.


RUMPUS It only happens once a year. Each January, day and boarding students representing each of Darlington’s six residential houses vie for the coveted title of RUMPUS champion during three days of intense competition. This year’s players included a troop of Girl Scouts from Cooper House, the Blues Brothers of Summerbell House, the Aristocats of Regester House, the T-Rexes of Thornwood House, the Neville House Globe Trotters, and William Wallace and the Braveheart Men of Moser House. Teams made spirit banners and donned creative costumes as they competed in events planned by head prefects from each house. Students and faculty members alike played dodgeball, ate odd food combinations during Fear Factor, racked their brains during Mind Skillet and Team Trivia, baked without a recipe during Iron Chef, took center stage during Lip Sync and pushed themselves to their physical limit during the final challenge – The Gauntlet. The girls of Regester House banked over 40 points to be named 2012 RUMPUS champs and, as always, the highly anticipated weekend promoted teamwork, unity, sportsmanship, fun and laughs as the Darlington Community came together as a family.


Darlington Magazine

Campus View

Winter 2012


Class Notes

Class of 1961 1953

(next reunion 2013)

Class Agents: John Hine, Mike Luxenberg

Ted Parker has retired from 30 years of distinguished service to the City Council and the residents of Walterboro, S.C. He was feted by the City Fathers, local officials and friends. Ted was presented with numerous resolutions from the Senate and House of Representatives and letters of commendation from Joint Minority Whip, Rep. James Clyburn (D). 1961

(next reunion 2016)

Class Agents: Terry Bradshaw, Alex Wyatt

Richard Felker (’57) talks with Joe Montgomery during a luncheon for Atlanta alumni.

Lloyd Griffin III has joined Armstrong Relocation as director, commercial and residential services for Northwest Georgia. He works out of the Chattanooga, Tenn., office and serves Rome, Dalton, Canton, Cartersville, Calhoun, LaFayette, Summerville and Carrollton. Lloyd has spent more than 20 years in the moving and relocation industry as owner and operator of United Van Lines agencies in Rome, Beaufort, and Hilton Head Island, S.C. He and his wife, Donna, live in Rome. 1964

(next reunion 2014)

Class Agent: Vacancy

Class of 1966T


Tommy Staples has been admitted to the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, which represents the top trial lawyers in America, in addition to obtaining the Martindale-Hubble Attorney Rating of AV-Preeminent. Tommy has been a member of the American Board of Trail Advocates since 1989.  His law practice, Staples, Ellis & Associates P.A., is located in Pensacola, Fla.

Bucky Webster (’57) 1973

(next reunion 2013)

Class Agent: Steve Wilhoite

Julia (Trawick) Knight’s artwork was on display at the Cedartown (Ga.) Welcome Center last summer.  1978

(next reunion 2013)

Class Agent: John Gilliland

Jon Howse married Holly Bradfield on June 10, 2011, at Berry College. Holly is a Rome native, local attorney and the mother of three daughters. 1982

(next reunion 2012)

Class Agent: Charlie Williams

Drake Ozment writes: “Hey all you Tigers! Just showing my kids Darlington through the campus tour and looking through the galleries. I am married to Karina. We have one daughter, Darian, and two sons, Crispin and Callan. All is good in Jupiter, Fla., where we live one block from the ocean. God bless.”

Darlington Magazine

Class Notes 1988

(next reunion 2013)

Class Agent: Ron Mixon

Bobby Keith married Cheryl Hudson (’92) on Oct. 1, 2011, at First Baptist Church in Rome. He writes: “Our new family consists of Lindsey, 8, Carrie, 7, Maggie, 6, and Sam, 5.”

Class of 1971

Bobby (’88) and Cheryl (Hudson) Keith (’92) with their children


(next reunion 2015)

Class Agents: Mary Margaret (Estess) Johnson, Bill Temple

Web Bond III married Lara Melanie Mancini on Oct. 28, 2011, in San Francisco, Calif.

Class of 1976 1983

(next reunion 2013)

Class Agents: Katherine (Persons) Kelly, Stephanie (Smith) Walker

Martha (Wilkinson) Compton is an actress in Nashville, Tenn. She has performed with Tennessee Rep, Chaffin’s Barn Dinner Theater, 3Ps and other local companies. She also serves as artistic director at Chaffin’s Barn Dinner Theater. 1985

(next reunion 2015)

Class Agents: Wright Ledbetter

Mary Burke (Wimbish) Nadeau married Mike Nadeau on Nov. 11, 2011, in Savannah, Ga. 1986

(next reunion 2016)

Class Agent: Vacancy

Todd Beam married Jessica Brianne Kelley on April 2, 2011, at The Old Baptist Church in Cave Spring, Ga. The couple lives in Silver Creek, Ga.

Winter 2012

Web (’90) and Lara Bond

Sam Donaldson (’53) Jeff Chambers commissioned as a Captain into the United States Air Force Air National Guard 187th Fighter Wing in Montgomery, Ala., where he serves as a PA with the medical detachment of the wing. He writes: “Our mission is providing medical care for the pilots and airman and also disaster response as part of a combined Army National Guard and Air National Guard CERFP team. Jennifer, Jack, Tommy, Drew and I live in the Athens, Ga., area where I work in orthopedic surgery.”

Christine (Lehman) Gallagher is a meteorologist and news reporter at WLTX in Columbia, S.C. In October, she interviewed former Darlington teacher Mike Muschamp about his brother Will Muschamp (’90). The story aired just before the Florida/ South Carolina football game in November. Christine says: “It was so nice to see Mike. He was one of my favorite teachers at Darlington. I got a chance to watch one of his football practices and see him interact with his players. Those kids are lucky to have him!” Will Muschamp is head football coach at The University of Florida.


Alumni Profile

Xaivier Ringer (’04) Capturing a community

After graduating from Georgetown University a n d wor k i ng i n th e Ca r i bbe a n, X a i v i er Ringer (’04) never imagined she would find an opportunity to blend her passions for human development, art, politics and business right in her own back yard. “My return to Rome was quite a transition,” Ringer said. “I moved from the bustling 2.5 million-inhabitant, Spanish-speaking metropolis of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, where I worked as the manager for innovative initiatives with ALEPH, a human development consulting firm, to Rome’s quaint seven hills and three rivers. I figured I’d come back home, take a break and figure out my next step – not knowing that I’d be doing this.” In an effort to explore her hometown through new eyes, Ringer borrowed a bike from Pullen’s Ordinary Bicycles on Broad Street and started her adventure. She felt like a tourist in her own city and one of the first places she wanted to investigate was South Rome. A former resident of that area, she had heard much over the years about redevelopment and her background in strategic thinking for development piqued her interest. “I have always loved South Rome’s beauty and found it to be unique with various enclaves of communities,” said Ringer. “My visits there were nostalgic, yet they left me with questions. While riding down Branham Avenue and within the predominantly AfricanAmerican community known as Hillsboro, I did not see the changes I hoped to see. Even with all the new buildings, such as the Floyd County Health Department and the Boys & Girls Club, my gut told me something was missing – a certain voice, perspective, vision and specifically a medium to document the changes being made.” That’s all the inspiration Ringer needed. She would use the knowledge


Xaivier Ringer (’04) she had gained while working in human development consulting in the Dominican Republic, thinking about sustainable development within the English-speaking Caribbean, and examining problem-solving issues in D.C. public schools to capture the redevelopment of South Rome in documentary form. “I was just curious. I wanted to know what people were thinking,” she said. “What did the people think about the agenda of the South Rome Redevelopment Agency and Corp.? As the streetscape is being beautified, what are their hearts saying? What programs are in place so that there’s also internal beautification? So that it’s not just physical – it’s something that the community believes in and will replicate. I was just concerned about the people that used to be my neighbors.” “When thinking about communities and their well-being, even their sustainability, we must ask questions and feel responsible for our communities because they are ours,” Ringer continued. “This documentary is important because it is allowing Romans to tell their stories, to give an

opinion, to articulate their position. My goal is to correctly give light to the diverse opinions and perspectives and provide a social documentary forum to argue possible outcomes and conclusions.” Within a couple of weeks, she and her team were out shooting the demolition of Anna K. Davie Elementary School, which was controversial for many area residents. So far, she has completed more than 20 interviews with city commissioners, community leaders, residents and former residents, ministers, and many people who simply have a story to share. “Most people are welcoming to the idea because it helps create a history of an important community and even a legacy,” Ringer said. “We are not only talking with stakeholders about physical buildings and infrastructure; we are thinking about people, people who work 12-hour days, people who are doctors, people who are struggling, people who are immigrants, people who love South Rome.” One of Ringer’s interviews is with Shirley Denmon, one of the legendary Anna K. Davie’s former students.

Darlington Magazine

Unofficially known as “the mayor of South Rome,” Denmon tells the story of losing her nickel at school and how Davie replaced it. “Shirley’s interview was thought provoking,” Ringer said. “She addressed some of the negative images of people in her community, but her perspective was positive. She presented the complexity of who we are as people and how outside views don’t fully investigate who a person is. What happens in these interviews is that you see differences. If I think about all the interviews together, the complexity of our communities and the need for our members to feel deserving comes out.” Through the interviews, Ringer said she is learning a great deal about the history of Rome and its stakeholders. “You have an option. You can directly speak to people and listen to them, or you can write them off,” she said. “That’s why I’m really appreciative of those who have engaged with me – allowing me to ask questions and present their answers in documentary form. That’s what needs to happen even with people who disagree. You can isolate yourself from protestors or you can bring them to the table.” Some of the questions Ringer

is attempting to answer in her documentary include: who influences the decision-making; what actors are involved in the economic wellbeing of the community as a whole; whether there is a risk of gentrification; how those involved will ensure that South Rome is community-owned, community-tailored and communityled; what policies are in place to create home-ownership; who is responsible for the location of Anna K. Davie, who will then ensure the new school produces students of excellence; what institutions, communities and events are responsible for the current status of South Rome; does the community feel deserving, do residents know that they are responsible for the redevelopment outcomes; how is the community being engaged; and what will be the visual and social outcomes of such a great endeavor? Ringer added that this is her first documentary and undertaking such an endeavor to capture the structural redevelopment, social development, education needs and economic wellbeing of a community has been no small feat. She is quick to thank her team, comprised of filmmaker Deno Brown and co-producer Clarice Estes, who

helped get the ball rolling. They have also collaborated with Brian Armstrong of GHTV and Jim Alred of the Rome News-Tribune. Susan Cooley and the staff of the Rome-Floyd Library have also been helpful, she added. “I’m passionate about this,” Ringer said. “I don’t have an angle. I’m just trying to ask questions and get some answers. Let’s work together to create a model redevelopment effort that doesn’t displace anyone, that has majority buy in, that engages people. Let’s innovate and use existing resources for a sustainable community. If you’re going to push and encounter resistance, you might as well push and create something powerful. I want people to grasp that we can do justice to our communities. There are so many diverse opinions but there’s one common goal. Everyone wants to see a better South Rome.”

Clarice Estes and Xaivier Ringer (’04) are co-producing a documentary about the redevelopment of South Rome.

Xaivier Ringer (’04) and Clarice Estes visit the home of South Rome resident Charlotte Winston.

Winter 2012


Class Notes

Class of 1981 1993

(next reunion 2013)

Class Agent: Meredith (Koegler) Harrison

Bess (Husser) Creech and her husband, Zeke, announce the birth of a daughter, Elizabeth Redmond Ransom, on April 1, 2011. She joins big sister Katie Worth. The family lives in Raleigh, N.C., where Bess manages U.S. print and online advertising for SAS, a software company.

Bill Kelly (’71)

Class of 1991 1992

(next reunion 2012)

Class Agent: Alison Dunwoody

Class of 1991


Craig Brewster has returned to Citizens First Bank in Rome, a division of Synovus, after a little over five years at River City Bank. He started his banking career with Citizens First in 1999 and then moved to River City Bank when the new institution opened in 2006. Craig said: “The opportunity came to return to Citizens First where my banking career started so I was very excited to get that opportunity and chance to grow as a person and as a banker through Citizens First as part of the Synovus family.” Andrew Johnson and his wife, Shannon, announce the birth of a daughter, Ava McCrea, on May 19, 2011. The family lives in Frederick, Md.

Bess (Husser) Creech (’93) with her daughters, Elizabeth Redmond Ransom and Katie Worth


(next reunion 2014)

Class Agents: Maurie Dugger, Jimmy Smith

William Brock writes: “It’s been a while since I have posted on the big D’s website. I’m living in Los Angeles and loving life. That’s about it. Hope everyone is doing well.”

Class Notes Christine (Lehman) Gallagher (’90) interviews Mike Muschamp about his brother, Will (’90), who is now head football coach at the University of Florida.


(next reunion 2015)

Oliver York (’06), Strom Mull (’06), Fatema Bandukwala (’06), Ellen Collier (’04), Leigh (Lathem) Amborn (’07) and Caroline Clark (’06) volunteer at the Atlanta Young Alumni Textathon.

Class Agent: Morgan Seigler

Glenn Austin III and his wife, Hope, announce the birth of a son, Glenn Thomas IV, on May 17, 2011. The family lives in Atlanta, where Glenn is dean of middle school students at The Lovett School. He also teaches seventh-grade global studies and life science and is head girls’ lacrosse coach. Elizabeth (Bowen) Betz and her husband, Ballard (‘96) announce the birth of a daughter, Rachel, on Dec. 12, 2011. The family lives in Rome. Andrea (Dellinger) Jones and her husband, Brent, completed their doctorates in May 2011. She received a D.Min. from Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, while he received a Ph.D. in American Religious History from the University of Virginia. Andrea is the senior pastor at Millbrook Baptist Church in Raleigh, N.C., and an adjunct professor at Duke Divinity School.

Cordle (Morgan) Parker and her husband, Ben, announce the birth of a son, Samuel Lee, on June 14, 2011. He joins big sisters Addison and Macey. The family lives in Nashville, Tenn.

Alicia (Williams) Segars and her husband, Shain (’96), announce the birth of a son, Samuel Thomas, on July 18, 2011. He joins big brother Will and big sister Ava. The family lives in Trussville, Ala.

Wayne Russell and his wife, Miranda, announce the birth of a son, Rowan Malone, on July 20, 2011. The family lives in Freeport, Bahamas.

Jake Sisley IV and his wife, Cathy, announce the birth of a daughter, Julia Morgan, on June 28, 2011. The family lives in Atlanta.


(next reunion 2016)

Class Agent: Corie (Dempsey) Swan

David Betz stopped by Darlington for a campus visit prior to leaving the country for work. He will spend one year as a contractor with ITT Systems Corp. for the Department of Defense at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. 

Brent and Andrea (Dellinger) Jones (’95)

Nancy (Martin) Koen married Jason Albert Koen on Nov. 20, 2010, in Dallas, Texas. The couple lives in Dallas with Jason’s sons, Zion and Jason.

Corie (Dempsey) Swan and her husband, Andrew, announce the birth of a son, Patterson, on Dec. 8, 2011. The family lives in Macon, Ga.1 1997

(next reunion 2012)

Class Agents: Julie (Wilson) Lucas, Michael Van Cise

Jane (Hess) Nunez and her husband, Eddie, announce the birth of a daughter, Anna Caldwell, on May 1, 2011. The family lives in Baton Rouge, La.


Alumni Profile

Scott Gordon (’77) Molded by music

Scott Gordon (’77) set his sights on a career in music when he discovered FM radio and The Beatles at age 10. Now, he is composing the score for one of CBS’ top-rated TV shows, “Criminal Minds” and the path that got him there is an interesting one. “At Darlington, I was in the Chorus and was involved with a couple of plays,” said Gordon. “I was also in a bluegrass band called the Neeley Hills Boys. I’d come to realize that my future was in the arts, but I could not have imagined that I would end up as a composer for TV and film. That was simply not on my radar.” After high school, Gordon returned home to Newport News, Va., and started playing drums with a group called The Flying Machine. The sevenmember band played Top 40 music at local clubs and military bases until they hooked up with soul singer Clarence Carter. “At one point, a sax player joined us and he had a connection to Clarence,” explained Gordon. “We packed up a truck, moved to Atlanta and spent the next six months touring the South on The Chitlin’ Circuit. I got a hernia carrying gear, but we played at some of the funkiest roadhouses I’ve ever seen.” His desire to play professionally grew stronger with each gig, and in 1979 he enrolled at the University of Miami Frost School of Music. He calls it one of his smartest decisions, mainly because it’s where he met his bride-to-be, Barbara. After two years, he decided it was time to see if he could make a living playing music. So, he joined a band called Poppy that played the Miami club circuit. With songs in 17 languages, they appealed to the constant flow of international tourists. “I was paying the bills, but became disenchanted with club work and the struggle to find the next gig,” he said.


With Marc and Steffan Fantini at the 2010 ASCAP Awards “I realized that dropping out of college perhaps was not the best choice and I went back to school at Miami Dade Community College.” To Gordon’s delight, the college introduced a new music recording program and it was not long before he realized he was equally as happy on the other side of the studio glass as a producer/engineer. In the meantime, Barb continued her studies in communications and acting, graduating in the spring of 1984. That summer, they married and moved to New York City. “My interest in record production led me to The Institute of Audio Research to study audio in a big city – a city where there would be world-class studios and musicians,” he said. Gordon spent the next 15 months studying at IAR and working as an assistant engineer at a jingle studio. After completing the program, he and his wife packed up their car and their dog, Tucker, and headed for Los Angeles. There, he found a job as an assistant engineer at Cherokee Studios. During the next two years, he was promoted to engineer and found himself working with noteworthy artists like Rod Stewart, Stevie Nicks, Dolly Parton, Stewart Copeland, and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. “I was able to be a fly on the wall and watch how these veterans made records,” he said. “I learned which mics were best for each instrument, where

to put them for the best possible sound, how to interact with musicians, and how to inspire them to perform at their best.” After Cherokee, Gordon spent the next seven years as chief engineer/studio manager at IRS Records. Though many of the label’s artists were obscure, he worked with some legendary performers at Printemps de Troubadors – a biannual songwriters’ retreat held at IRS President Miles Copeland’s 14th century castle in Southwest France. Attendance at The Castle was by invitation only and no media were allowed. “During the two-week event, 24 songwriters from LA, New York, Nashville, Europe and Africa would set up shop,” he said. “We had eight writing rooms and three demo recording studios. By the end of two weeks, we had over 80 songs to be shopped to artists to record. It was the most amazing time of high power creativity in one place that I have ever experienced.” As head engineer of eight of The Castle sessions, Gordon worked with artists like Carol King, Jeff Beck, Stewart Copeland, Keith Urban and Bon Jovi, to name a few. The connections he made there led him to work on records with Aerosmith, Hanson, Alanis Morissette and longtime inspiration Ringo Starr of The Beatles. “Ringo is an excellent drummer, very quick witted and extremely gracious,” he said. “Working with him felt like

Darlington Magazine

With Ringo Starr and Steven Tyler

I had reached the highest high as an engineer. To work with a Beatle was to work with music royalty.” He also got to work with Beatles producer George Martin and Beatles engineer Geoff Emerich. Gordon recorded two records with Starr, “Vertical Man” and “I Wanna Be Santa Claus,” the latter featuring a song called “Pax Um Biscum,” which he co-wrote with Starr. He also recorded live performance records for “VH1 Storytellers” and “Live from the Hard Rock Café,” and in the summer of 1998, he toured with Ringo Starr and His AllStar Band in Europe. “My job on tour was monitor engineer, but Ringo let me play harmonica on a couple of songs every night,” he said. “My favorite memory, though, was at the end of a studio mixing session one day when Ringo said, ‘That’s the best drum sound I’ve heard since The White Album.’ That quote is on my resume.” Other records Gordon is particularly proud of, in addition to the two he did with Starr, are Alexi Murdoch’s “Time Without Consequence,” DADA’s “El Subliminoso” and Alanis Morissette’s “So Called Chaos.” In 2005, as record companies and recording budgets began to dwindle, he switched gears. He and longtime friends Marc and Steffan Fantini decided to take a shot at composing for TV. As luck would have it, his brother, producer Mark Gordon, was working on a pilot called “Criminal Minds” and let them submit music for the show. “Mark got us in the door, but we had to prove ourselves on the pilot,” Gordon said. “We were probably scrutinized even more because he’s my brother.

Winter 2012

With George Martin (Beatles Producer) Fortunately, everyone liked our work and we got the gig. We’re currently in our seventh season.” His production and engineering experience has served him well as a composer, especially since the turnaround is so fast. He and the Fantini brothers get the episode with temporary music and sound effects after eight days of shooting and eight days of editing. They then divide up the music equally, discuss sounds and themes, and go into their individual studios to write. After they submit the music, it is reviewed by the producers and they have two to four days to make adjustments before the episode is mixed. A few days later, it airs on CBS. “We have as little as five days to do 30-37 minutes of music,” Gordon said. “When I’m composing, I’m thinking about the emotions I’m trying to convey and I try to get a stream of consciousness. There is no time to labor over the mix. It’s all done in one motion. We mix it as we are writing and recording.” The music on “Criminal Minds” is composed mostly of samples, with the composer using a keyboard to play the music. Occasionally, they will add live strings, horns or woodwinds to the samples. “Nothing can bring a tear to your eye like a great live cellist or horn player,” he added. “Music is another character in the story. It helps guide the viewer to a visceral reaction that dialog and sound effects alone cannot accomplish. It helps us know how we are supposed to feel.” And while the composers don’t spend much time on the set other than the

Marc Fantini, Steffan Fantini, Scott Gordon (’77), Joe Mantegna, Chris Burnero and Michael Ditrich on the set of “Criminal Minds.” occasional visit, they had a unique experience during Season 5 when they played Bush front man Gavin Rossdale’s backup band in an episode titled “Rock Star.” “The episode was about a heavy metal band with a lead singer who might be the killer – it was a fun episode to work on,” Gordon said. “I enjoy the challenge of being creative each week as well as the instant gratification of seeing and hearing my work on the air every Wednesday night. More people hear my music on TV than on any of the records I have worked on.” Gordon and his team also compose the score for “Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior” and Lifetime’s “Army Wives” and have done additional music on a couple of films. Together, they have won six American Society of Composers and Publishers (ASCAP) Awards for “Criminal Minds” and five for “Army Wives.” “Recognition is always appreciated but being able to work in this business for so many years is the greatest reward of all,” Gordon said. “Everything I have done up until now has prepared me for my current situation. From the Darlington Chorus, to The Chitlin’ Circuit, to the cheesy clubs in Miami, to recording, mixing and producing records – it’s all shaped my musicality and creative spirit.” To see clips of Gordon on harmonica with Ringo Starr and The Doors, respectively, visit ScottGordon2 and ScottGordon.


Class Notes

Michael Van Cise (’97) makes a call during the Atlanta Young Alumni Textathon.

Class of 1996 Richie Ryan Jr. and his wife, Mary Elizabeth, announce the birth of a son, Richard Dennis III, in September 2011. The family lives in Charleston, S.C. 2001

(next reunion 2016)

Class Agents: Kelli (Hutchinson) Karanovich, Whitney (Keene) Whittington

Paige Booker (’98), Oliver Drose (’99), and Will Young (’99) volunteer at the Atlanta Young Alumni Textathon. 1998

(next reunion 2013)

Class Agents: Brent Keene, Regan Maki

Elizabeth (Ansley) Brewster is extension 4-H agent at the University of Georgia Floyd County Cooperative Extension Office. 1999

(next reunion 2014)

Class Agent: David Swift

Ryan Fox and his wife, Lindsey, announce the birth of a son, Noah Ryan, on Aug. 23, 2011. The family lives in Rome. Harris York Jr. married Taylor Ann Fagan on Nov. 5, 2011, at Darlington’s Morris Chapel. The couple lives in Rome. 2002

(next reunion 2012)

Class Agent: Miles Wellesley

Trip Barnes III married Jessica Kate Podlaski on Oct. 22, 2011. Miles Wellesley (’02) was a member of the wedding party.

Reagen (Lowrey) Lozar and her husband, Casey, announce the birth of twin sons, Leighton Davis and Winn Lowrey, on Aug. 22, 2011. The family lives in Lafayette, Colo.

Michael Glanton (’02)

Trip (’02) and Jessica Barnes with their wedding party

Casey and Reagen (Lowrey) Lozar (’99) with their twin sons, Leighton Davis and Winn Lowrey


Michael Glanton write: “After Sewanee, I spent three years working as a program coordinator with parks and recreation and joined the Army in September 2010. I’m currently stationed in South Korea, continuing to strengthen our alliance. I’ve enjoyed my time here exploring Seoul on weekends and experiencing South Korean cultures and traditions. I am looking forward to moving on to my next duty station – my fingers are crossed for Germany! Wishing you all the best.”

Missy (Lovell) Garrett married Brian Garrett on July 29, 2011, in the Dominican Republic.

Aaron Sumner was sworn in to the practice of law in Floyd County Superior Court in November 2011. Aaron holds a B.S. from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, an M.B.A. from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a law degree from Cumberland School of Law, Samford University. He also serves as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Reserve.

Andy Gates married Kelly Jae Knight on May 21, 2011, at Darlington’s Morris Chapel. The couple lives in Vinings, Ga.

Darlington Magazine

Class Notes Jordano Williams married Jessica Weitzel on June 4, 2011, at Brigantine Beach in New Jersey. The couple lives in Mahwah, N.J., with their son, Jaiden.

Jessica and Jordano Williams (’02)


(next reunion 2013)

Class Agents: Lindsay Doss, William Krueger

Class of 2001

Ashley (Ware) Anglin and her husband, Justin, announce the birth of a son, Sullivan Wyatt, on Nov. 8, 2011. The family lives in Rome. Andrea (Cescutti) Blankenship married Derek Seth Blankenship on July 11, 2011, at Secrets’ Resorts and Spa in Montego Bay, Jamaica. The couple lives in Marietta, Ga., where she is a special education teacher for the Cobb County School District and he works in project sales with Newmans Valve.

Carolyn (Seigler) Brearley (’99), Molly Kelly (’98) and Whitney (Keene) Whittington (’01) attend the Alumni Council Kickoff Party.

Russell Evans received Rome Little Theater’s 2011 Best Lead Actor Award for his performance in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” Hannah (Betts) Hensley and her husband, Joseph, announce the birth of a daughter, Emma Kathryn, on Oct. 21, 2011. The family lives in Atlanta.  Juli (Mull) Lemming married Jason Ryan Lemming on Sept. 24, 2011, at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Rome. The couple lives in Rome, where she works at Owens Hardware and Sporting Goods Co. and he owns STAR Construction. 2005

Bob Hortman (’72) makes a call during a fall phonathon.

Megan (Betts) Banks is the manager of Big Peach Running Co. in Atlanta.

Mary Sue Barron (’04) texts a classmate at the Atlanta Young Alumni Textathon.

Winter 2012

(next reunion 2015)

Class Agent: Madison McRae


(next reunion 2016)

Class Agent: Strom Mull

Crystal Gadishaw-Lue writes: “I am in my last year for an undergraduate degree in contemporary science at Ryerson University. I got an award last year that allowed me to work with a professor of my choice in her lab. We did really interesting work with pathogenic E. coli and I loved it. This fall, I am doing an undergraduate thesis that focuses on the interaction of hosts and a strain of pathogenic E. coli. It is in the same family as the one that caused the deadly outbreak in Germany. After graduating, I will be moving onto graduate school for environmental microbiology. So essentially, a lot more school left to go, but I am really enjoying both the challenges and the rewards.” Luke Hyder graduated with athletic distinction from the United States Air Force Academy in 2010. He is currently at Laughlin Air Force Base in Del Rio, Texas, where he is training on the T-38 Talon and preparing for a career as a fighter pilot. Wil Tucker married Jennifer Rose Hoffmann on Aug. 6, 2011, at Darlington’s Morris Chapel. The couple lives in Boone, N.C., where Wil is employed by the U.S. Air Force Base and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in General Experimental Psychology. Jennifer graduated in August 2011 from Appalachian State University with a Master of Science in SpeechLanguage Pathology. 2007

(next reunion 2012)

Class Agent: Brett Henson

Marlowe Brant graduated in May 2011 from Vanderbilt University with a degree in secondary education and English, plus a certification in English language learners. She was hired by the Metro-Nashville School System and is presently teaching seventh grade at Apollo Middle School while pursuing a master’s degree in teaching and learning in Urban Schools from Peabody College at Vanderbilt.

Beau Griffith was selected for the F/A-18 and EA-6B training pipeline and will continue flight school in Pensacola, Fla., with the VT-86 Sabrehawks.


Alumni Profile

Gordon Smith (’71) Distinguished Alumnus

As a student at Darlington, Gordon Smith (’71) was captain of the varsity tennis team and the top-ranked junior player in the state in both singles and doubles. His love for tennis never wavered, and in 2007 he was named executive director and chief operating officer of the United States Tennis Association. “I was lucky because the day I left Darlington, I was ahead of the game and what I left with let me stay ahead of the game,” said Smith, the recipient of Darlington’s 2011 Distinguished Alumnus Award. “I was prepared to excel at whatever I chose to do. For many years that was being a lawyer, but I had the opportunity four years ago to return to my first love – tennis.” In his acceptance speech, he entertained students, faculty and fellow alumni with stories about the Darlington of his day, mentioning legendary teachers like George Awsumb, Rick Buice, Carl Paxton, Jack Summerbell and Jim Van Es. A self-proclaimed “mediocre” student, Smith was editor of the Jabberwokk and a member of the “Y” Cabinet, D-Club and Pep Club. He received the Journalism Cup, the Journalism Key and the Alice Allgood Cooper Award. He also played JV basketball on Van Es’ first team. “I was probably the worst player on the worst team Darlington ever saw – the 1969 JV basketball team,” laughed Smith. “We went defeated. We didn’t win a game. After the first game at Baylor, we were beaten up and down the court so much that Coach Van Es walked into practice, held up a basketball and said, ‘You see this? This is a basketball. This is the last time you’re going to see it.’ We ran for a week and did not touch a basketball.” Smith had better luck in tennis, becoming the first player from Darlington to win a state tennis


championship. His successful run with the sport continued during his years at the University of Georgia, where he captained a tennis team that swept four straight Southeastern Conference titles from 1971 to 1975. He was also the SEC doubles champion in 1975 and twice earned an All-SEC selection. These accomplishments would later earn him an induction into the Rome-Floyd County Sports Hall of Fame and the Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame. “Tennis did treat me well at Georgia. I had some success here. But the best success I had was meeting my wife at the tennis courts,” he said. “We’ve been together 36 years.” At UGA, Smith earned a B.A. in Journalism and a law degree. He then clerked with the federal judiciary before joining 800-lawyer Atlanta law firm King and Spalding, where became senior partner. He is a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers and has been listed in the publication The Best Lawyers in America for many years.

“I loved to practice law. I did it for 28 years,” he said. “Being in a courtroom turned out to be fabulous – it’s as close to an athletic contest you can get without having to be in shape.” Smith’s eventual leadership of the USTA stems from a long relationship with the organization. A past-president of USTA Southern, he was an active member of the section for the better part of two decades. He received the Jacobs Bowl Award as the Southern Section’s Outstanding Volunteer in 1996. Prior to his appointment as the USTA’s executive director, he served three years as vice president of the USTA Board of Directors and, previously, as director at large. As the USTA’s senior staff member, he currently oversees more than 300 employees as they work to put on the U.S. Open and support the organization’s Sectional Associations and thousands of grassroots volunteers across the country. “The U.S. Open is the best attended annual sporting event in the world. The

only sporting events that actually have more people come are the Olympics and the World Cup, but they don’t happen every year,” Smith said. “We put more than 700,000 people through our turnstiles and have over 40,000 hours broadcasted internationally through 188 countries. Our economic impact on the city of New York in 2010 was in excess of $750 million. But that’s not what we really do. “We are a mission-driven nonprofit and our mission is to promote and develop the growth of tennis,” he continued. “We want to grow tennis and make it look like America. In the last 10 years, tennis is one of only two major sports that is up in participation. Soccer is up 1 percent and tennis is up 43 percent, so tennis is doing well.” Additionally, he has served on the Board of the USTA Serves, the philanthropic arm of the USTA, and on the Boards of the Southern Tennis Patrons Foundation and the Georgia Tennis Foundation. Smith also remains an active member of the Darlington Community. A visitor emeritus, he is also a former trustee and class agent. He and his wife, Jane, have three grown children. “The only advice I would give you is to use the head start that every one of you will get and are getting through Darlington to stay ahead of the game and to keep your options open,” Smith told students. “You probably don’t realize – and won’t until sometime later – how lucky you are to have teachers like you have. Virtually everyone in this room, no matter what you end up doing in your life, will feel like I do looking back – that you had a head start and that all your successes are due, in principle part, to the time you spent at Darlington.”

World Wide Web Visit to get the latest news, watch videos, read blogs, view photo galleries and keep up with sports scores. To view protected content, such as the online Alumni Directory, simply set up your account and profile at www., log in, and start browsing. For help, email Vicki Vincent at

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Class Notes C. J. Cypress III represented Young Harris College at Darlington’s 2011 College Fair.


(next reunion 2013)

Class Agent: Kelly O’Mara

Meagan (Dingler) Murphy married Matthew Ryan Murphy on Nov. 26, 2011, at Darlington’s Morris Chapel. The couple lives in Rome, where she is studying radiology at Georgia Northwestern and he is employed by North Georgia Distributing. Courtney Stevens published a children’s book called “Elsie’s Adventures through the Bible: Elsie Meets a Young Queen.” It can be found on 2009

(next reunion 2014)

Class Agents: Rachel Buckle, Shanarra Goode, Cleve Jackson

CJ Cypress ’07: C.J. Cypress (’07) and Sam Moss (’63)


Shawn Powell was named to the 2011 AFCA FBS Coaches’ AllAmerica Team, the Walter Camp All-America Team as well as the All-ACC Team. This fall, the punter and his teammates at Florida State University led a campaign to sign up potential bone marrow donors to the Be The Match registry this fall. More than 100 players, administrators and others signed up. The players were inspired by the story of FSU coach Jimbo Fisher’s son, Ethan, who was diagnosed with Fanconi anemia, a life-threatening blood disease that will eventually cause him to need a bone marrow transplant. Shawn says: “We wanted to help as much as we could because it’s somebody in our family. Everybody deserves to have a fulfilling life.” To watch a video story about Powell, visit www.

Garrett Brown won the Samford University Concerto-Aria Competition and will perform in the spring of 2012 as soloist with the University Orchestra. 2010

(next reunion 2015)

Class Agent: Vacancy

Bethany Hyder is in her second year at Georgia Southern University, where she made the Dean’s List her freshman year.  She is a member of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority. 2011

(next reunion 2016)

Class Agents: Chandler Holcombe, Charles King

Allen Edge attends college in San Antonio, Texas.

Anna (Safigan) Rudy married Matthew Philip Rudy on Oct. 1, 2011, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Rome. The couple lives in Patuxent River, Md. 

Shawn Powell (’07)


Darlington Magazine

Your Support Completes the Darlington Experience Your gift to the Annual Fund helps fund 5 percent of all student, parent, faculty and alumni programs at Darlington School. Thank you for your continued support! To help “fill the 5” in 2011-12, visit

Calling all alumni… Distinguished Alumnus Nominations Send us your nominations for the 2012 Distinguished Alumnus Award. Established by the Alumni Council in 1983, this award recognizes alumni who have achieved prominence in their profession and/or community and who have demonstrated loyalty to Darlington. Please e-mail your nomination to by April 1, 2012, and include the following information:

Alumni Council Nominations Send us your nomination for the 2012-2015 term. The Darlington School Alumni Council is the governing body of the Alumni Association. Council members serve for a three-year term and are nominated by current Alumni Council members and the Association membership at large. Please e-mail your nomination to by April 1, 2012.

Name and class year of nominee Reason(s) for nomination Your name and class year

Winter 2012


In Memorium

Cy Twombly (’47) Making his mark

Born April 25, 1928 in Lexington, Va., he was the son of a college baseball coach who played briefly for the Chicago White Sox. His father was nicknamed “Cy” after Boston pitcher Cy Young and when Twombly was born, he inherited the moniker. But it soon became apparent that the younger Cy was more interested in painting than baseball. He attended Lexington High School and was a boarding student at Darlington for one year before going on to pursue his passion at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Washington and Lee University, the Art Students League in New York and Black Mountain College. In 1952, Twombly won the Virginia Museum Traveling Scholarship and used it to visit Italy and North Africa with fellow art enthusiast and friend Robert Rauschenberg, whom he met at the League. It was during this trip that he fell in love with Rome, Italy. The following year, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and worked as a cryptographer while stationed in Georgia. Upon his return to civilian life, he spent one year as a college art professor in Virginia before making a permanent move to the city he had fallen in love with two years prior. There, he married fellow artist Tatiana Franchetti and they had a son named Alessandro (who would eventually follow in his parents’ footsteps and become a painter). It was after Twombly’s move to Italy that his repertoire really began to take shape. Drawing on a variety of


© Sankei Shimbum Co. Ltd. Courtesy of the Cy Twombly Foundation

Cy Twombly’s (’47) classmates remember him as a good-natured young man who laughed when they nicknamed him “Buzzard.” And though he was a tri-sport athlete in soccer, swimming and tennis teams during his Darlington years, it was actually his flair for all things artistic that would gain him notoriety as a world-renowned contemporary artist.

Cy Twombly (’47) inspirations over the years, he developed an abstract style that has been said to blur the boundaries of painting, drawing and handwritten poetry. His complex, large-scale pieces often feature muted backgrounds and what has been described as “graffiti” or sometimes even “scribbling.” “Twombly’s art can be broadly categorized as abstract and compared to that of Jackson Pollock with its seemingly haphazard patterns,” said Darlington art history teacher Brian Inman. “However, unlike Pollock, Twombly uses a stylized calligraphy in many of his works, basing them on classical themes. In addition, his works can be more specifically categorized as ‘minimalist,’ which is actually a movement that breaks from abstract expressionism.” “It’s more like I’m having an experience than making a picture,” Twombly once stated. Permanent displays of Twombly’s artwork are installed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Menil Collection in Houston, with the latter gallery containing “Untitled (Say

Goodbye Catullus, to the Shores of Asia Minor)” – the largest canvas of his career. Measuring 4 by 16 meters, it took him 22 years to complete. “Twombly’s art is often void of bright colors or complex shapes and sometimes comes under criticism as being too simple,” Inman said. “If you stand long enough in front of a Twombly painting in a museum, you are likely to hear someone say, ‘My child could do that!’ However, art is more than just how a painter fills up space on a canvas. Art begins in the mind of the artist long before brush touches surface. The genius of Twombly is the careful preparation of the placement his designs and the inspiration that goes much deeper than random markings. “ Twombly received the most attention in 2010 when the Louvre unveiled his project aptly known as “The Ceiling,” a 3,750-square-foot work that covers the ceiling of the museum’s Salle des Bronzes. This made him one of only three contemporary artists given such an honor and the first since Georges Braque in the 1950s.

Darlington Magazine

understood art as an expression of emotion without rules or borders,” Inman said. “He lived and painted unapologetically. As a faculty member, I feel he is a great testament to the type of creativity we hope to instill in all Darlington students.” Twombly’s death in July 2011 came as unexpected news to friends and colleagues, despite having battled cancer for several years. A memorial service at the Museum of Modern Art’s Titus Theater in New York included remarks by curators and fellow artists spanning his 60-year career. In his 83 years of life, he saw his work make an indelible impact in the art world – and true to himself, he looked the other way.

© Cy Twombly Courtesy of the Cy Twombly Foundation

But fame and fortune were never among Twombly’s ambitions. In fact, he very rarely gave an interview. In 1994, he told the New York Times, “I have my pace and way of living and I’m not looking for something.” Of reputation and artistic acclaim, he added, “It’s something I don’t think about. If it happens, it happens, but don’t bother me with it. I couldn’t care less.” It did happen. Not only is the humble artist known internationally, he is credited with influencing a whole new generation of creative minds. He and longtime friend Rauschenberg have been called “two of the three most important American artists to emerge during the 1950s” (the third being painter Jasper Johns). “Twombly was an artist who

Empire of Flora, 1961

In Memoriam 1934

Harry Boss died Aug. 27, 2011


Cy Twombly died July 5, 2011



Ed Huffman died Jan. 20, 2011


Raleigh Cannon died July 19, 2011



Milon Christman Jr. died Oct. 31, 2011


Peter Rascoe Jr. died May 16, 2011



Dick Wharton died May 21, 2011

Fred Boykin died Dec. 29, 2010


Bobby Cameron died Aug. 18, 2011



Bill Grimsley died July 20, 2011


Palmer Dearing died July 26, 2008


Dick Yeary died March 29, 2008



Fred Hoyt Jr. died July 25, 2011

Pete Ebersole died Feb. 27, 2011


Dan Hopkins died July 22, 2011


Mid Allen III died July 13, 2011

Adgar Reeves died June 28, 2011

Mark Berry died Dec. 7, 2011

Larry Hawkins died Sept. 28, 2011

Tom Hendrickson died Sept. 9, 2010

Beau Beaumont III died Sept. 19, 201

Bill Collins III died Oct. 7, 2011

Not Pictured

Ed Fryer III ’37 died March 20, 2011

James Williams ’56 died Sept. 5, 2011

Jack Cumming ’58 died Jan. 20, 2011

Salli (Shropshire) LaGrone ’66 died July 29, 2011

Joseph Nelson III ’67 died Feb. 14, 2007

Tim Rogers ’85 died Dec. 14, 2010

Winter 2012



Bill Ray died March 29, 2011


Everett Veach died Aug. 19, 2011


Sam Singer died Nov. 16, 2011

Edward Thomason died Sept. 5, 2011


Dan Biggers died Dec. 5, 2011


Non Profit Organization U.S. Postage PAID Rome GA 30161 Permit No. 501

1014 Cave Spring Road • Rome, Georgia 30161-4700

Leaving a Legacy Bill (’90) and Cammie (Schroeder) Temple (’90) have a long history with Darlington. The couple met the summer before Cammie’s one and only year as a Tiger and 22 years later, their twin daughters are in fourth grade at the Lower School. “We got to know each other in Coach Guth’s highly sought-after speech class,” laughed Bill, who began attending Darlington in seventh grade. “We had to work on our newscast together,” Cammie added. “I was the first person Bill chose for his team – don’t let him deny it!” Both outgoing members of their class, Bill and Cammie ran in the same circles. After their freshman year of college, they each wound up living in Florida for a summer with former Darlington classmates. The two went on a few dates and returned to their respective colleges in August – Bill to the University of Georgia and Cammie to Ole Miss. “After college, we both ended up in Atlanta and started dating seriously,” Cammie said. “We were married three years later.” Bill and Cammie moved back to Rome to start a family and when it came time for their daughters to

begin pre-K, they were excited to experience Darlington in a new way – this time, as parents. “We looked at a few schools, but when we visited Beth Smith’s (’87) class we just knew,” Cammie said. “The Darlington spark gets everyone after their first hour with her.” Bill agreed, “It is very special watching Camille (’20) and Gracie (’20) becoming part of the Darlington family. They are learning so much more than math, reading and now to navigate the iPad. They are becoming Little Tigers.” The Temples look forward to watching their daughters – and eventually their son, Brooke, 4 – grow up at Darlington, and they hope that their planned gift, in the form of an insurance policy, will help future generations of students have the same experience. “Being a part of Darlington has meant so much to me,” Bill said. “It gave me an amazing education and a close-nit network of extremely sharpminded alumni. It is also where I met my friends for life, and even my wife. If there is something we can do to ensure others experience this place in the same ways that we have, we’re on board.”

Insurance policy gifts are an easy way for young supporters to make a big difference in Darlington’s future for pennies on the dollar. To learn more, visit www. or contact Clay Doss (’74) at cdoss@

Darlington Magazine Winter 2012  

Darlington Magazine is published twice per year by the Communication Office at Darlington School. Darlington School is an independent, colle...

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