1014 Cave Spring Road SW|
Rome, (Floyd County), Georgia 30161-4700
|School type||Private, PreK-12|
|Founder||John Paul Cooper|
|Chairperson||Linda Grizzard Owens '79|
|Head of School||L. Brent Bell|
|Grades||Pre-K to 12|
|Campus size||500 acres|
|Houses||Summerbell, Cooper, Moser, Regester, Neville, Thornwood|
|Color(s)||Purple and white|
|Accreditation||AdvancED, MSA, SAIS|
Darlington School is an American private, coeducational, college-preparatory day and boarding school in Rome, Georgia, United States. It serves students from pre-kindergarten to grade 12, and is divided into a lower, middle and upper school. The student body represents 24 countries. The Head of School is Brent Bell, the Upper School Director is Matthew Peer, and the Pre-K to 8 Director is Hope Jones.
Founded in 1905 by local residents John Paul and Alice (Allgood) Cooper, Darlington School was named by former students in honor of a local teacher. Joseph James Darlington taught at the local J.M. Proctor School for Boys in Rome. The school originally used Thornwood House and its associated property. In 1920 the school moved to the current location of Desoto Park and has expanded around this 500 acre area.
Darlington School uses an English public school-style house system in the upper school. Each house is led by a Head of House faculty member and a resident and day student prefect. Boys' houses include Summerbell (first-year house), Moser, and Neville. Girls' houses include Cooper (first-year house), Regester, and Thornwood.
The school participates in Greater Opportunities for Access to Learning (GOAL), a Georgia program which offers a state income tax credit to donors of scholarships to private schools.
Founded in 1905 by John Paul and Alice Allgood Cooper, Darlington School was named in honor of a teacher by his former students. Joseph James Darlington taught at the J. M. Proctor School for Boys in Rome, where the quality of his character so impressed his students that a group of them resolved to build a school to perpetuate the memory of their beloved teacher.
Present-day Darlington students feel J. J. Darlington's influence in every phase of campus life, for he believed in academic excellence and insisted upon honest, diligent effort in the preparation of daily assignments. His most vital concern, however, was the development of capable and responsible human beings, worthy of trust and responsive to it. Though he stressed the importance of sound scholarship and the necessity for discipline, his chief emphasis was always upon character and service.
To quote from the original charter, Darlington was organized and incorporated "not for pecuniary gain" but "for educational and literary purposes, in which may be taught all branches of learning." To this end, Darlington as a college-preparatory school expects and demands of its students sound scholarship, honest and diligent effort, and a continued focus on good character.
The school opened Sept. 11, 1905, with Founding Headmaster Dr. James Ross McCain teaching 24 boys in eight classes. The building that was to become the first permanent home was not ready for occupancy, so the upstairs room above the Rome Fire Department station in East Rome was rented for temporary quarters. The school was moved to a new location on East Ninth Street in 1906.
In December 1916, DeSoto Park (the current site of Darlington School) was purchased by John Paul Cooper. After two large fundraising campaigns and a great deal of support from the Rome community, the school was moved to its current location in 1923. The same year, Darlington declared itself a boarding and day school, enrolling 30 boarding students.
In April 1973, the Board of Trustees voted for the consolidation of the 68-year-old institution with Thornwood School for Girls. Earlier, trustees had approved the establishment of an elementary division and a boarding department for secondary school girls. Resulting changes saw the Lower School installed on the Thornwood campus, which was located on Shorter Avenue in downtown Rome; the Middle School continuing in the former Junior School building; and the Upper School consolidated on the main campus.
In 1980 and 1988, kindergarten and pre-kindergarten were added, respectively. In 2013, Darlington sold the Thornwood campus to Shorter University and moved the Lower School to the main campus, creating a true community atmosphere. Annual total enrollment is approximately 850 students in grades PK-12.
Darlington's campus is the location of Alhambra-Home on the Hill. The oldest home in Floyd County, and the location the name of Rome was determined. The home is now the residence of The Head of School, and has been for every Head of School at the school.
Sexual abuse allegations
In June 2017, in the wake of teacher-student sexual abuse allegations at Choate, Darlington announced an investigation into sexual abuse between its faculty and students. The investigation was sparked by the allegations of a former student, who had reported sexually inappropriate behavior by a dorm master in the 1980s. The student claims the inappropriate behavior was reported to the school administration and nothing was done. Darlington hired a law firm to investigate the claims in 2016, and in 2017 sent a letter to former and current students informing them of the investigation.
- William M. "Sonny" Landham - adult film star, actor, politician
- Jane Campbell – professional soccer player
- James Dickey – poet, novelist, author of Deliverance. Post-graduate year from 1941–42. Dickey denounced Darlington in a 1981 letter to the principal and asked to be expunged from the rolls saying "a more disgusting combination of cant, hypocrisy, cruelty, class privilege and inanity I have never since encountered at any human institution."
- Calder Willingham - novelist and screenwriter (The Graduate).
- Elson Floyd - 10th president of Washington State University
- Adam Marcus - mathematician
- Will Muschamp – head football coach at the University of South Carolina
- Shawn Powell – NFL punter
- Cy Twombly – artist
- Ernest Vandiver – former governor of Georgia
- "Institution Summary". AdvancED. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
- "Member Directory". MSA-CESS. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
- "SAIS Member Directory". Retrieved 11 February 2015.
- About Darlington School
- Bell, Daniel (October 27, 2009). "GOAL to aid private schools, donors: Saturday is the deadline for a tax break to benefit schools and their contributors". Rome News-Tribune. Retrieved 2009-10-31.
- [Judd, Alan. "Sex abuse inquiry delves into private school's secret past" Atlanta Journal-Constitution June 2, 2017 http://www.myajc.com/news/state--regional/sex-abuse-inquiry-delves-into-private-school-secret-past/oGlTNJIPhjAqyTsoAqVgHP/]
- Hart, Henry (2001-09-08). James Dickey: The World as a Lie. Picador. ISBN 9781466828650.
- Museum, Rome Area History (2014-12-01). Legendary Locals of Rome. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 9781439648674.
- "Then & Now, Muschamp an Intense Competitor". DawgPost.com. Retrieved 2017-07-27.
- "Darlington School: NFL: Powell punts five times in NFL debut". Retrieved 2017-04-26.
- "Avant-garde American artist Cy Twombly, 83, dies in Rome".