Playful, entertaining, and absolutely informative, our Get to Know series allows the personalities of the faculty and staff who make up the Darlington Community shine.
Al Shorey has taught math at the Upper School since 2013 and also coaches girls' soccer. A retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, he holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the United States Military Academy, an M.S. in Engineering Management from the University of Missouri at Rolla and an M.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Tennessee. Al and his wife, Stephanie, are the parents of Charlie ('16) and Alan ('18).
Let’s get to know Al in today’s installment of our Get to Know series!
How long have you worked at Darlington?
This is my fifth year
Where did you grow up?
I grew up on a chicken farm in central Maine.
Tell us a little about your family...
I've been married to my wife Stephanie for over 20 years. We met on a blind date when I was stationed at Fort Campbell, Ky. We have two boys - Charlie is a sophomore at Auburn University and Alan is a senior at Darlington.
Why did you choose Darlington?
Teaching is a second career for me after serving over 20 years in the Army as a combat engineer. My family chose Darlington because it was a place where both of my boys could pursue their very different passions. After bouncing around at various schools throughout my Army career, I felt that they deserved to finish their high school careers in the best place that I could offer to them.
Your seven word philosophy on education is…
"It will be what you make it." There are no shortcuts. Students have to take responsibility for their education and work hard.
What makes a good teacher?
Passion and empathy.
What music is playing in your car?
The Garth Brooks channel
What’s your favorite podcast?
ET the Hip Hop Preacher
Who was your favorite teacher (and why)?
Mr Stilphen - he was a hardworking, passionate and did things a little differently. You never knew quite what to expect from him but you knew that you would get his best effort whatever was planned for the day.
My favorite movie is…
“The Bucket List”
What makes a good student?
Self-discipline, consistent hard work and never let yourself get too high or get too low in response to assessments.
My favorite trip was…
My son Alan and I made a trip to New York City several years ago. It was the first time in the city for both of us and we had a lot of fun trying to figure things out.
If I could travel anywhere it would be…
To take my family to Game 7 of the World Series at Fenway Park…
E-book or hardcover?
Beach or mountains?
The last book I read for fun was…
“Life Without Limits: Inspiration for a Ridiculously Good Life”
Four people I’d like to take to coffee…
Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, Eric Thomas and Tony Dungy
The best advice I ever received was…
While working in Baghdad as a Major in the United States Army, I was trying to help an Italian Officer get a task done. He stopped by one evening to see my progress and I proceeded to give him a list of all the roadblocks that I had encountered and why I hadn't made much progress... He told me, "Al, don't confuse effort with results." I've always kept this with me. It is great to work hard but working hard isn't enough. We must couple hard work with achievement.
My hobby is…
I haven't found one yet - maybe when I grow up. My wife sometimes tells me to go to Hobby Lobby to try to buy a hobby when I'm irritating her.
Cats or dogs?
Neither (My dog pooped on our rug today)
Only my friends know I…
that I don't have very many friends.
When I want to crush karaoke, my song is…
"American Soldier" by Toby Keith
My favorite saying is…
Get over it
What I like most about Darlington is…
It has been a great school for my kids but what I enjoy most about Darlington is my great colleagues (especially in the Math Department). The teachers at Darlington are 100% committed to our students.