Darlington School: Private Boarding School in Georgia Episode 120: A Look at Summer Professional Development
Darlington School: Private Boarding School in Rome, GA
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Episode 120: A Look at Summer Professional Development

July 27, 2023 | 316 views

Welcome to Episode 120 of The Darlington Podcast! 

In this episode, Professional Development Coordinator Rebekah Kinney talks with second-grade teacher Courtney Cescutti, Director of Pre-K to 8 Hope Jones, Director of the Teaching and Learning Center Jessica Laliberte and pre-K teacher Beth Smith about their summer professional development activities. They share about each of the work they have been doing within their colleagues and how it has prepared them for the coming school year. 

Rebekah Kinney has been at Darlington since 2002 and currently serves as the professional development coordinator. Previously, she was the technology integration specialist and coordinator, a fourth-grade and kindergarten teacher, and was a member of the house duty staff. Rebekah holds a B.S. and an M.Ed. from Berry College. At Darlington, she has received the Brown Faculty Award and was an inaugural recipient of the Carla and Leonard Wood Faculty Professional Development Endowment Award.

Courtney Cescutti has taught second grade since 2022. She holds a B.S. in Early Childhood Education from the University of West Georgia, T-4 Early Childhood Education certification, Mathematics Endorsement K-5 and Gifted Endorsement. Courtney has 11 years of experience teaching, most recently serving as second-grade teacher at West End Elementary School, where she also served as teacher leader and mentor.

Hope Jones has served as director of Pre-K to 8 since 2014. She 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.

Jessica Laliberte has served as director of the Teaching and Learning Center since 2022. She holds a B.A. in English Teaching from the University of New Hampshire, an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from Lesley University, and an Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from American College of Education. She also holds the American Montessori Lifetime Credential from New England Montessori Teacher Education Center and an MBA-Level Marketing Strategy Certificate from Cornell University.

Beth Smith has taught pre-K since 1994. She holds a B.S. and an M.Ed. from Auburn University and has three decades of experience in the classroom. During her tenure, she has been recognized with the Beachum Master Teaching Award and Brown Faculty Award. 


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). Shelley Daniel, theatre director, lends her voice, and editing and production is 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