DARLINGTON — Jim Faile is everywhere it seems, though he is rarely seen.
The quiet journalist from The Hartsville Messenger has covered the news of Darlington County for more than 35 years. On Friday, however, the acting editor of the Messenger became the story when the Darlington County School District (DCSD) Teacher Forum presented Faile with the 2019 Jimmy Newsom Signature Award during the annual DCSD Education Forum.
Named in honor of former DCSD Superintendent Jimmy Newsom, the award is presented annually by the school district’s Teacher Forum to an individual, group, or business for significant contributions made to education in Darlington County.
“This is a total surprise,” Faile said. “I was not expecting this at all. I’m very grateful to the Teacher Forum and I am deeply honored.”
Faile began his newspaper career 35 years ago by covering a Darlington County Board of Education meeting. Since then, he has attended hundreds of board meetings, work sessions, graduations, award ceremonies, and school events. His work over the past 35 years has created a nuanced, comprehensive history of the Darlington County community and the Darlington County School District, the district said in a news release.
“With his extensive knowledge of the education system, education funding and the Darlington County School District, Jim writes articles that distill complex ideas or events into understandable and readable stories,” said Dr. Tim Newman, Darlington County School District superintendent. “His work allows our community to understand better how our district operates and how our students learn. We truly appreciate his efforts.”
Faile started his career with the News and Press of Darlington in 1984. He joined The Hartsville Messenger in 1998.
Previous Jimmy Newsom Signature Award honorees include CareSouth Carolina, S.C. Speaker of the House Jay Lucas, Duke Energy, and former DCSD Superintendent Dr. Rainey Knight. Faile is the 21st recipient of the prestigious award.
The Darlington County Teacher Forum is a teacher leadership organization composed of the 23 school Teachers of the Year, as well as current and former District Teachers of the Year. The Darlington County School District serves more than 10,000 students in 23 schools across the county. For more information, please visit www.darlington.k12.sc.us.