Alicia Raymond will not only be joining the Darlington Community as the newly named English teacher for grades 6 and 7, but she will also serve as the head swim coach at the Upper School.
With a B.A. in English and an M.A. in Creative Writing, both from Longwood University, as well as a Teaching Certificate in Secondary English from the University of Richmond, Raymond is confident she will make a difference in the lives of her students here at Darlington School.
With nearly a decade of teaching experience under her belt, most recently serving as the athletics administrative assistant and facilities coordinator at St. Catherine's School for Girls, she looks forward to being a Darlington Tiger.
Raymond discovered her passion for teaching while coaching at St. Catherine’s. “Every day when I got to step onto the court with my team, or in the pool, that’s what I looked forward to," she said. "Being able to build that relationship with my team and teach them something I was so passionate about and see their progress, I knew then I didn’t just want to do it on the court/pool, but also in the classroom with English.”
But before she declared English as a major, Raymond was actually studying art. “I try to bring the creative side of my background into everything I teach," she explained. "Also, I have worked in the administrative side of a school, which I think will be beneficial in knowing how everyone has to work together as a team in order to provide the best well-rounded experience for the students.”
From the minute she stepped onto our campus, Raymond said she could tell this was the right decision to make; everyone she met was encouraging, welcoming and positive.
“I believe in the mission of independent schools and while I have been at a single-sex school now for four years, I am excited to now be part of a co-ed community,” she said.
Raymond’s philosophy as an educator comes from an old quote: “You must first learn the rules before you can break them.” Having learned this quote while in grad school, she says it’s something she has always remembered. “I want to be able to instill in my students the knowledge and confidence in that knowledge so they will know when it’s OK to break the rules—because in English, it can be OK,” she said.
Hope Jones, director of ELA-8, looks forward to welcoming Raymond to the ELA-8 faculty. "Ms. Raymond is a dynamic young lady and will be a wonderful asset to our 6-8 team," she said. "She is passionate about literature and seeks to cultivate young writers under her tutelage. Connecting with students both in and out of the classroom is a priority for her. Ms. Raymond understands the importance of mentoring and guiding students through the middle school years. Her experience at St. Catherine's can attest to that."
In her spare time, Raymond enjoys running and playing tennis. “If it’s nice weather, I will be outside!" she said. "I’m looking forward to all the trail runs I’ve heard so much about and hopefully some paddle boarding as well!”
Alicia added that she is excited to be working with such a positive and welcoming community and is excited to be moving south.