Welcome to Episode 90 of The Darlington Podcast!
In this episode, Head of School Brent Bell talks with academic department heads Cristy Baldwin (world languages), Brian Inman (history), Owen Kinney (science), Al Shorey (math) and Melissa Smyly (English). Together, they recap the 2022 calendar year, sharing accomplishments and noteworthy moments from within their departments, their extracurricular activities, and their own personal research and professional development.
Brent Bell was named Darlington's 11th head of school in 2014. With two decades of experience in education, he holds a B.A. in History from the University of Richmond and an M.S. in Education from Virginia Commonwealth University. Prior to his work here, Brent was head of Upper School at Randolph School in Huntsville, Ala. He also served previously as assistant headmaster and dean of academic affairs at Woodberry Forest School in Woodberry Forest, Va., where he held the E. Craig Wall Family Mastership.
Cristy Baldwin has taught Spanish in the middle grades since 2015 and serves as head of the world languages department. 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. Cristy has more than 20 years of experience teaching Spanish and ESL courses to pre-K to 12 students.
Brian Inman has taught history at Darlington since 2002 and serves as head of the department. He holds a B.A. and an M.A.T. from Carson-Newman College. He has been recognized with the Significant Contributions to the Darlington Community Award and Darlington’s Oscar Betts ‘19 Master Teacher Award, Beachum Master Teaching Award and the Excellence in Teaching Award.
Owen Kinney has taught science at the Upper School since 1999 and serves as head of the department. He holds a B.S. in Biology from Berry College and an M.S. in Ecology from the University of Georgia. During his tenure at Darlington, he has been recognized with several teaching honors, including the Beachum, Awsumb, and Betts Master Teacher Awards. Owen was also named a Toyota International Teacher in 2006, and in 2010 he received a Fulbright Award to study Education for Sustainable Development in Japanese schools.
Al Shorey has taught math at the Upper School since 2013 and serves as head of the department. 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.
Melissa Smyly has taught English at the Upper School since 2017 and serves as head of the department. She also coaches cheerleading. Melissa holds a B.S. in Secondary Language Arts from Auburn University and an M.A. in Library Media Technology from the University of West Alabama. She has more than two decades of experience teaching literature, grammar, and writing to students in grades 7-12.
The Darlington Podcast is a collaboration between the communication and advancement teams, and is hosted by various members of the school community. Episodes are released each Thursday morning and available on most podcast platforms (search for The Darlington Podcast in your podcast player). Once new episodes are posted, you'll also be able to find them at www.darlingtonschool.org/podcast. Please subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts so that you'll get the latest episode each week!
The Darlington Podcast intro music was written and performed by Elliot Luitwieler ('22) and Kathryn Davidson ('22). Leigh Hadaway, Upper School history teacher, lends her voice and the editing and production of this episode was handled by Maddie Chastain, content manager.
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