DON DARBY, EMERITUS AWARD
Don Darby began his tenure in the Princeton City School district after graduating from Xavier University. A culminating experience at Xavier was student teaching at Lincoln Heights High School. This convinced him he had chosen the right career. Princeton proved to be the right place for him as attested by his 35 years of service. He spent his first 15 years at Princeton High School serving in a number of positions which included classroom teacher, director of student activities, basketball coach, assistant principal, and associate principal.
Don began his central office experience as director of pupil services. This appointment was followed by service as assistant superintendent for administration.
In 2001, the board of education appointed him as interim superintendent and shortly thereafter, made him Princeton’s fourth superintendent. During his tenure as superintendent, he led instructional improvement that resulted in the district’s highest scores ever on 17 state proficiency test categories. The motto he often shared with staff was, “student achievement is job one.” He also provided leadership that led the district in a successful bond issue campaign resulting in $85 million for the building of seven new elementary schools and the remodeling of one. This initiative served as the precursor for Princeton’s state of the art Middle/High School/Viking Village Complex.