Darden will be missed

Published 8:00 pm Saturday, May 14, 2011

Having a boss who is a joy to be around is unheard of for too many people.

Having a principal who caters events to make sure his school’s students can enjoy special opportunities is a rarity.

Suffolk Public Schools, its employees, students and former students were blessed with both of these for more than 30 years. Sadly, those years came to an end Thursday when Talmadge Darden, principal of King’s Fork Middle School, died after a brief fight with cancer.

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Current and former employees spent the next couple of days remembering Darden.

For several teachers, Darden is the only principal they have ever worked for. They said Darden’s leadership had a profound effect on them and their careers.

Students missed Darden so much on Friday that they walked extra in Friday night’s Relay for Life, which raised money for the American Cancer Society.

And community members, like the Rev. Michael Halley of Suffolk Christian Church, said Darden will be missed outside the school as well.

“He truly was a leader and inspiration in every way,” Halley said. Darden attended Suffolk Christian Church and was the minister of music there.

It’s not too often that leaders like Darden come around. People who can inspire everyone around them each day are rare indeed. We hope that everyone who knew Darden took the opportunity while he was living to thank him for his service and let him know he was appreciated. Surely he is now receiving his reward.