Darlington School honored outstanding faculty and staff members at the annual Brown Faculty Appreciation Dinner, hosted by the Board of Trustees on Thursday, May 9.
James Douglas Brown Jr. Faculty Awards were presented to Steve McConnell, third-grade teacher; Karen Bennett, executive assistant to the Upper School director and registrar; Jean Bonnyman, Upper School learning specialist; Audra Babb, database administrator; and Bebe Zazzaro, PK-8 counselor. Nominated by colleagues and selected by the headmaster and division directors, a Brown Award recipient is one who has served the school well, in a competent and skillful manner, and one who has an interest in and a dedication to his or her work with the school and with the students. Brown Awards are endowed by Mr. And Mrs. James Douglas Brown of Ozark, Ala., in memory of their son, James Douglas Brown Jr.
Beachum Master Teaching Awards were presented to Christie Atkins, Upper School math teacher, and Melja Watkins, second-grade teacher. They were nominated by faculty and selected by the headmaster and division directors. The Beachum Award honors a member of the faculty who has accomplished something exceptional in his or her teaching, devoting time beyond the call of duty to students and to the teaching profession. This accomplishment may be in the form of extraordinary efforts to build student character or in the form of innovative programs. Established in 2004 by Mary McCamy Beachum (’63T), Robert A. Beachum (’94) and Julia Beachum, the Edward N. Beachum ’63 Master Teacher Award honors the Darlington alumnus and faculty member (1972-1989).
The George W. Awsumb Faculty Award was presented to Tara Inman, director of ESL and spiritual life coordinator. Established anonymously in June 1999 by a Darlington alumnus, the Awsumb Award is presented to a faculty member who exemplifies a personal commitment to the education and well being of the superior and average student alike. This commitment is demonstrated by the unselfish desire of the faculty member to instruct and challenge students in both a professional and enthusiastic manner and by the ability of the faculty member to raise the overall level of education and quality of life at Darlington. The commitment is further demonstrated by the unselfish giving of time and energy to many diverse extracurricular activities and by the ability of the faculty member to empower his or her students with self-confidence and instill in them the desire to learn while not only at Darlington, but also for a lifetime. The award is given in the spirit of George W. Awsumb, Darlington faculty member from 1962-2009, and the recipient is selected by the headmaster.
The following faculty and staff members were recognized for their five-year anniversaries: Ashley Evans, Brant Evans, Jeff Haigler, Mike Hudson, Erin McPherson and Bob Stinchcomb, 5 years; Audra Babb, Eva Marie Burns, Madge Crawford, Hillary Thomas, 10 years; Julia Dodd and Jenni Glover, 15 years; Tommy Atha, 20 years; Lea Duncan, 25 years.
Retirees Charla Brewster, Lynn Cox, Lea Duncan and Donald Sweeney were also acknowledged for their service to Darlington.