Darlington School: Private Boarding School in Georgia Episode 95: Building Soft Skills in Pre-K to 8 Performing Arts
Darlington School: Private Boarding School in Rome, GA
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Episode 95: Building Soft Skills in Pre-K to 8 Performing Arts

February 2, 2023 | 405 views

Welcome to Episode 95 of The Darlington Podcast! 

In this episode, Director of Pre-K to 8 Hope Jones talks with Director of Fine Arts Kim Tunnell, Theatre Director Shelley Daniel, Choral Director Alex Johnson and Pre-K to 8 Music Teacher Caitlyn Terry. Together, they talk about performing arts in the Pre-K to 8 and how performance opportunites and arts education provides all students with the ability to build soft skills like confidence, connection and compassion.

Hope Jones has served as director of Pre-K to 8 since 2014. Prior to her work here, she was assistant head of lower school at Viewpoint School in Calabasas, Calif. There, she was also primary and lower school curriculum coordinator, co-chair of the Technology in Curriculum Task Force, and communication liaison for K-5 school publications. Hope holds a B.A. in Elementary Education and English from the University of Alabama – Huntsville as well as an M.A. in Middle Level Curriculum and Instruction from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.

Kim Tunnell who has been a member of Darlington’s fine arts faculty since 2001, has over two decades of experience in the classroom. She taught music and chorus classes in the lower and middle grades before being named director of fine arts in 2009. She holds a B.M. and B.M.E. from Shorter College and an M.M.E. from the State University of West Georgia.

Shelley Daniel who has served as theatre director since 2015, holds a B.A. in Communication and Theatre Arts from Mercer University, an M.F.A. in Theatre with an emphasis in performance from the University of Southern Mississippi, and an active K-12 Licensure in Theatre and Speech. She has directed and acted in numerous professional and collegiate theaters and has led acting workshops for students of all ages. 

Alex Johnson has served as Darlington's choral director since 2021. She holds a B.M.E. and a M.M. in Choral Conducting from Georgia State University as well as a Georgia Educator Certificate in Music P-12. She is also a member of the American Choral Directors Association, the National Association for Music Education and the Georgia Music Educators Association. 

Caitlyn Terry has served as Pre-K to 8 music teacher since 2022. She holds a B.M.E. in Music Education from Reinhardt University. In college, she served as assistant conductor for the Reinhardt Chamber Choir. She also plays piano, guitar, recorder and ukulele.

Click here to learn more about the arts at Darlington >>


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). Andrew Beckman, middle grades science teacher, lends his voice and the editing and production of this episode was handled by Maddie Chastain, content manager.

If you have ideas for future episodes or have any questions about The Darlington Podcast, please email communications@darlingtonschool.org