Playful, entertaining, and absolutely informative, our Get to Know series allows the personalities of the faculty and staff who make up the Darlington Community to shine.
When you drive through the gates of Darlington, you're likely to be met with a friendly smile from Fred Chatman or a high five or fist-bump from Deric Williams. Fred and Deric are part of the amazing team that keeps Darlington safe, but they're also known for being helpful, infectiously cheerful, and a vital part of the Darlington Community.
Let's get to know Fred Chatman & Deric Williams, security officers at Darlington School.
How long have you worked at Darlington?
Fred Going on five years.
Deric Going on nine years.
Where did you grow up?
Fred I grew up right here in Rome.
Deric I grew up in Adairsville
Tell us a little about your family:
Fred I’m married to Tammy Renee. We have two children that are still in school. Jamarcus is a senior at Rome High School and has committed to playing football at Tennessee next year. Our daughter Tiffany is a third-grader at Anna K. Davie Elementary School.
Deric I’m married to Melissa who is a teacher at North Heights Elementary. We have 4 boys; Colby (22), Zach (21), Christopher (8) and Zander (5).
Why did you choose Darlington?
Fred I heard a lot of good things about Darlington from my previous job. I started here by working security on the weekends and also drove a bus. I fell in love with Darlington and decided to work full-time. I love the people here. I enjoy getting up for work in the morning. My wife and I laugh about how much I love my job. I wake up smiling and love coming to work here every day.
Deric At first I took a temporary job here for special events and also worked in maintenance. With my background in law enforcement, I was offered a position in the security department.
What makes a good teacher?
Fred A good teacher is comfortable and a good people person. They should be someone that you can talk to about anything, not just what they’re teaching. I can relate to every teacher at Darlington.
Deric A good teacher doesn’t need to think that they already know everything. They need to be willing to learn. I have trained many of the security officers here and I’ve learned something each and every time.
What music is playing in your car?
Fred I’m a preacher at the Life of Jesus In Action Holiness Church. I listen to preaching and gospel music.
Deric I love country music!
Who was your favorite teacher (and why)?
Fred Mrs. Paramour was my social studies teacher at Anna K. Davie Elementary School in the late ‘60s. She was strict and kept me in line. She was my favorite because she kept me on the right track.
Deric Coach David Cox. He never gave up on me and always saw something inside of me.
My favorite movie is…
Fred I love westerns, so I love any movie starring John Wayne.
Deric “The Notebook”
What makes a good student?
Fred A student needs to be willing to listen. You have to listen in order to learn.
Deric Someone that is willing and ready to learn.
My favorite trip was…
Fred My favorite trips have been family vacations to Orlando.
Deric We love to go to Gatlinburg. My wife tricked me into buying a timeshare.
Beach or mountains?
The best advice I ever received was…
Fred My dad was a preacher and he taught me the golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Deric Never forget that somebody gave you a chance.
My hobby is…
Fred I love to play golf.
Deric I enjoy family time with my boys and wife.
Cats or dogs?
Fred Neither… but I prefer dogs over cats.
Only my friends know…
Fred I’m shy to a certain extent.
Deric That my nickname is Soto. I got the nickname in high school when I was playing football.
When I want to crush karaoke, my song is…
Fred “Glory, Glory Hallelujah!”
Deric “Achy, Breaky Heart” by Billy Ray Cyrus
What I like most about Darlington is…
Fred I love the environment at Darlington. I enjoy going to work each and every day, seeing everyone’s smiling faces and the wonderful kids here.
Deric I love that I never meet a stranger at Darlington. I try to get to know everyone that comes through the gate on campus and treat them as a friend. I love giving high fives and fist-bumps to everyone as they drive through the gate. Fred has taught me that it’s important to leave people feeling better than they did when you started talking to them.