Since his tenure began in 2005, Whitworth said he has been most inspired by the people in this tight-knit community who make Darlington the special place that it is.
“Margo and I have been very fortunate to encounter the beauty and good people of Rome,” Whitworth said. “However, working with the faculty, staff and students at Darlington has been our highlight. We have loved our time and our work here, and we will always be invested in Darlington’s future and well-being.
“While Margo and I are really looking forward to this new chapter in life and to spending more time with our children and grandchildren, we cannot lose sight of the present,” he continued. “There is much to do over the next 18 months and I plan to work as hard as ever. We have so very much that is positive and defining to accomplish together, to ensure the very best for our students and families in Darlington’s second century and beyond.”
Whitworth began his tenure as headmaster during the school’s Centennial Celebration. Since then, he has led Darlington through the completion of a $90 million Second Century Campaign, which included the addition of Thatcher Hall, a LEED-certified Middle School facility.
“His steadfast dedication to building endowment for faculty support and student financial aid has inspired us to keep on working hard to raise funds over and above our goal,” said Jere Drummond (’57), chairman of the Board of Trustees. “He has also worked with the Business Office to maintain a balanced budget despite the national economic downturn and the increased need for financial aid among current and prospective families.”
With over 30 years of administrative experience, Whitworth has been the driving force behind many initiatives that have strengthened Darlington’s student-centered programming over the past eight years. He was integral in the establishment of the Teaching and Learning Center, which meets the needs of all types of learners in grades PK-12. He led Darlington through the transition to a unified PK-8 program, which strengthened curriculum continuity and allows students to progress with fewer transitions. Under his leadership, Darlington has also integrated 21st Century skills in all facets of its curriculum through initiatives such as the 1:1 program in grades 4-9 and a focus on project-based learning in all grade levels.
"Tom has been purposeful in his effort to create a ‘one-school’ atmosphere between what, for years, has felt like three different campuses,” Drummond said. “But most importantly, he has always shown an unwavering commitment to the mission of Darlington School.”
A Search Committee, chaired by trustee Linda (Grizzard) Owens (’79), has already been formed to lead the national search for Whitworth’s successor. Ad-hoc committees comprised of faculty, staff, parents and students will also be involved in the search process.
“We hope to identify a new headmaster by fall 2013 in order to ensure a seamless and effective transition,” Drummond said. “I want to take this opportunity to thank Tom for his dedication to Darlington. It has been such a pleasure to work with him in so many aspects of life at Darlington, and I know he has always had the school’s best interests at heart. I look forward to continuing our work over the next year and a half.”
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