Darlington School: Get to Know: Randy Smith
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Get to Know: Randy Smith

Jennifer Collins | July 16, 2018 | 444 views

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. 

Randy Smith has been a part of the Darlington Community for 18 years. He began his time at Darlington as a Middle Grades science teacher and has coached wrestling and soccer. Randy now serves as Head of Summerbell House and continues to serve as head coach of the middle school wrestling team. He’s also the Student Activities and Go Green Initiative Coordinator and the driving force behind Darlington’s solar array.  

With nearly 30 years of experience in the classroom, he holds a B.S.Ed. in Math and Science from Georgia Southern University as well as an M.Ed. and an Ed.S., both in Math and Science, from Georgia State University. Randy is a recipient of Darlington's Brown Faculty Award, a co-recipient of the 2012 Carla and Leonard Wood Faculty Professional Development Endowment Award, and a co-recipient of the 2014 Beachum Master Teacher Award. 

Let’s get to know Coach Smith even better in this installment of our "Get to Know" series! 

Where did you grow up?
Atlanta, Ga.

Tell us a little about your family…
I am married to Leigh Ann and we have three children: Rand('18), Lila ('20), and Bradley ('23). We reside in Summerbell House and have up to 40 additional sons as a part of our family.

Why did you choose Darlington?
I chose to teach at Darlington because of the creative supportive atmosphere. 

Your seven word philosophy on education is…
Live life to the fullest: carpe diem!

What makes a good teacher? 
A great teacher has a great sense of humor, loves students, loves their subject, and continues to learn.

What music is playing in your car? 
“Right Now” by Van Halen 

What’s your favorite podcast? 
Dave Ramsey

Who was your favorite teacher (and why)? 
I had two teachers that had a profound impact on my life: Lloyd Cuevas and Gordon "Flash" Lackey. Mr. Cuevas took individual time to work with me when my math foundation was zero and turned me into an algebraic/geometry proofing machine! Mr. Lackey taught me that if you really want to learn, you have to risk it all (ridicule, embarrassment, and acceptance) and ask questions. You have to come to the point where you feel like you a going to die if you don't ask the question to find out how to do something or discover a solution. And, don't forget to celebrate little victories which are the stepping stones for greater success. Those two men had such a profound impact on my life. Looking back, they both inspired me to be a teacher. 

My favorite movie is…
“Mr Holland's Opus,” “Dead Poets Society,” “The Eagle,” and ”Braveheart”

What makes a good student? 
Curiosity, discipline, effort, respect, and raising your hand.

My favorite trip was… 
Going anywhere with my children. 

If I could travel anywhere it would be… 
Hawaii

E-book or hardcover?
Audiobook

Beach or mountains?
Beach

The last book I read for fun was…
“Entreleadership” by Dave Ramsey

Four people I’d like to take to coffee…
Mr. Cuevas, Mr. Lackey, Coach Cooley, my Dad

The best advice I ever received was…
Live. Laugh. Love.

My hobby is…
Moving things from one storage area to the next!

Cats or dogs? 
Neither. I don't do pets very well, just ask my family.

Only my friends know…
That I performed with The Lettermen when I was six years old.

When I want to crush karaoke, my song is…
“Freebird” by Lynyrd Skynyrd

My favorite saying is…
Don't go running to get into trouble, run away from it.

What I like most about Darlington is…
The people! I love the students, my colleagues, and the staff.