Darlington School: Some faculty, staff to take on new roles
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Some faculty, staff to take on new roles

July 11, 2019 | 966 views

The following faculty and staff members will take on new and/or additional job roles at Darlington in 2019-20:

Cristy Baldwin will serve as interim chair of the world languages department. She has taught Spanish in the middle grades since 2015. A native Spanish speaker, she holds a B.A. in Teaching English as a Foreign Language from Universidad de Guadalajara in Mexico and an M.A. in Education from Regent University. Baldwin has more than two decades of experience teaching Spanish and ESL courses to PK-12 students. Before coming to Darlington, she was foreign language department chair at Rome Middle School. She and her husband, Joseph, are the parents of Caleb ('20) and Eli ('21).

"Cristy has been a leader in the development of Darlington's curriculum and pedagogy during her time at the school," said Matt Peer, director of Upper School. "I am excited that she will have the opportunity to chair the world languages department for the 2019-20 school year.  I am confident that she will empower the members of the department to develop global citizens as they learn with passion."

Andrew Beckman will serve as head coach for the varsity cross country team. Beckman has taught science in the middle grades since 2017. He holds a B.S. in Chemistry from The University of Alabama, where he served as a chemistry tutor and lab researcher. He was a member his high school cross country team at Randolph School and won four straight state championships. 

"I am very excited that Andrew will lead our cross country team," said Eddie Guth, director of athletics. "He is a proven winner, extremely hard-working, and committed to doing well in all he does at Darlington."

Natalie Ferguson will serve as the controller in the Business Office after joining Darlington's faculty this year as the assistant controller. She is a Certified Public Accountant with a B.S. in Accounting and an M.B.A. from Berry College. Prior to her work at Darlington, she was the financial secretary at Trinity United Methodist Church. She also does contract accounting work for area businesses, nonprofits and churches.

"Natalie's experience as the assistant controller and her strong accounting background make her the perfect candidate for the position," said Beth Pollard, assistant head of school for finance and operations. "Natalie has been a great addition to the Business Office team, and I am looking forward to working with her as the controller." 

Brian Inman will be chairman of the history department. He has taught history at Darlington since 2002 and holds a B.A. and an M.A.T. from Carson-Newman College. He has taken on numerous leadership roles during his tenure at Darlington, most recently helping to create the Individual Student Portfolio and lead the school’s Strategic Planning process. He has also served as faculty advisor to the Honor Council. 

"Brian is committed to placing an emphasis on teaching excellence and understands the importance of a skills-based curriculum," said Peer. "According to Brian, we must be brave enough to continue to try new methods, build off of our successes, reassess our failures, and never stop trying."

Audrey Ashworth Mathis will be assistant director of admission - operations. She has been a member of Darlington's admission team since 2016, serving most recently as assistant director of boarding admission. She holds an A.S. in Business and a B.S. in Business and Public Policy from Young Harris College, where she spent four years working in the Admission Office. She is married to Thad Mathis ('10), who teaches fourth grade at Darlington.

"We are so fortunate to have Audrey move into this vital role. Not only does she bring her love for Darlington, but a deep understanding of the complexities of today's ever-changing admission landscape with seven years of admission experience, the last three at Darlington," said Lindy Williams, director of enrollment management. "Audrey is a big-picture thinker who understands that the little things matter, and she loves the details. She will be a driving force as we continue to expand our outreach and refine and enhance the admission experience to be a positive, informative, and enjoyable experience. You only have one chance to make a great first impression, and most of the time that first impression is all we get in the admission process."

Jess Peer will teach first grade. She has been a member of Darlington's Pre-K to 8 faculty since 2013, serving most recently as interim first-grade teacher. She holds a B.A. from St. Lawrence University. She and her husband Matt, director of Upper School, are the parents of Jackson (’24) and Ella ('27). 

""If you haven't had a chance to visit first grade this year, you are missing out," said Hope Jones, director of Pre-K to 8. "Magic happens everyday in that classroom. Jess Peer instills a love of learning in our first-graders as she empowers them to be the best they can be. She truly understands what it means to be a confident contributor, and we are blessed to have her on our teaching team."

Al Shorey will be chairman of the math department. He has taught math at the Upper School since 2013. 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. 

"Throughout his tenure at Darlington, Al has created innovative ways to help students improve through the solving of authentic, real-world problems," said Matthew Peer. "He empowers students to be lifelong learners who seek opportunities to constantly improve, collaborate, and understand the importance of making highly productive mistakes as they learn to become problem solvers."

John Zazzaro will be a full-time history teacher at the Upper School. He has been a member of Darlington's faculty since 2011, serving most recently as head of Neville House and part-time history teacher. He holds a B.A. in History from the College of Wooster and an M.A. in Social Sciences from Wesleyan University. Zazzaro has more than two decades of experience teaching, coaching and working in residential life. He and his wife, Bebe, Darlington's Pre-K to 8 counselor, have two children, Casey ('19) and Colin ('19).

"When John came to Darlington eight years ago to be a head of house, he said he always knew that he would someday return to the classroom as a full-time teacher, and we are excited that he will be doing so in the coming year," said Matthew Peer. "During his tenure as a head of house, John taught eighth-grade grade history as well as World History and several of our elective courses in the Upper School. He has taught just about every history class most high schools offer over the course of his 25 years in independent schools, but he says it is the the innovation that he is most proud of. While serving as chairman of the history department at Carolina Day, he built the Global Studies curriculum, and he says he is excited to be able to bring this kind of innovation to Darlington."

Note: This article will be updated if and when current faculty and staff members take on new or additional duties for the upcoming school year. To view a list of the employment opportunities currently available at Darlington School, please click here.