DARLINGTON, S.C. — Jim Faile is everywhere, 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, he became the story when the Darlington County School District Teacher Forum presented Faile with the 2019 Jimmy Newsom Signature Award during the district’s annual Education Forum.
Named in honor of former Darlington County School District Superintendent Jimmy Newsom, the award is presented annually by the school district’s Teacher Forum to an individual, group or business who made a significant contribution to education in Darlington County.
“I’m stunned!" Faile said. "This is a total surprise. 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.
“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,” Darlington County School District Superintendent Tim Newman said. “His work allows our community to understand better how our district operates and how our students learn. We truly appreciate his efforts.”
Previous Jimmy Newsom Signature Award honorees include CareSouth Carolina, S.C. Speaker of the House Jay Lucas, Duke Energy and former Darlington County School District Superintendent 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.
“Coming from teachers makes this a very special honor," Faile said. "Also, the fact that it’s named for Mr. Newsom, a friend and someone for whom I have great respect.”
For more information, visit darlington.k12.sc.us.