Faye Darsey, former Latin and English teacher at Bradwell Institute, passed away last weekend at age 93. She retired in 1983 after teaching for years in the Liberty County School System. We asked some of her former students, friends and colleagues to share their favorite memories of her. Here’s what they had to say:
• John Stetzer, a friend of Darsey’s, said he will always remember her way with words and extensive vocabulary. "She used to harass me a lot because I would spring new words on her," he said. "That teacher in her got her and she would go and look it up. Then she would give me a call back and apologize and say, ‘that’s a good word.’ She was just precise, that was just Faye."
• Liberty County School Superintendent Judy Scherer met Darsey through the education system and said she was impressed by the educator who was known for being notoriously tough in her English classes. "What I can tell you about her is that she was one strong lady — very clear in what she believes and in the standards she set for herself and others," Scherer said. "She was very intelligent and when you talked to her you always knew exactly where you stood. She was also very caring and giving — always concerned about others when I visited her in the nursing home."
• Paulette Stetzer, a former BI student, became close friends with Darsey after they started teaching together. Stetzer said Darsey was an "excellent teacher" who apparently was appreciated by Georgia Southern University professors who could pick out Darsey’s former students, thanks to their noticeably advanced writing skills. "She had a love of English, of course. She wanted us to do well and she expected us to do well. There was no question about doing our best. We were to do our best … we’ve been friends a long time … she’s just a special lady."
• Barbara Martin, a former student and colleague, was inspired to major in English after she spent four years in Darsey’s English and Latin courses. "Although I was a good student, I don’t ever recall getting an A in her class," Martin said. "But when I got to college, I made A’s in all my English classes. She prepared you for college and she prepared you for life … without a doubt, I can honestly say she was the smartest person I ever knew."
• Bradwell Institute’s girls basketball coach Faye Baker said she will always remember Darsey as a teacher who was respected by all. Even years later, she recalls talking with former classmates about the legendary educator who marked up their papers with endless amounts of red ink. "She was probably the best English teacher I ever had, even through college. We had the utmost respect for Mrs. Faye Darsey. We already knew about her as a ninth-grader … she was a great, great teacher. She’s someone [who] when I think of Bradwell Institute and I think of academics, Faye Darsey always comes to mind."