He’s the man. A jack of all trades. The do-it-all operator behind the scenes. If a Franklin individual needs something done right, it’s best to have him on speed dial. But for the first time in 20 years, Franklin CUSD 1 will be without Darin Seymour as its head of management.
His title hardly describes the roles that he fulfilled within the school nor the time that he invested. Jason Courier, a close friend and colleague, saw Darin’s work ethic first hand. “He was constantly here. He was here at night, here on weekends, and we used to joke that you would have to make him take a vacation or ban him from the property, because even if he took a day off he’d somehow check in. Or do something. His dedication to the school district was just tremendous.” Ms. Reed is a first hand witness to the special relationship that Jason and Darin share. Reed witnessed the two always “bickering,” but noted their obvious closeness. “They deny their relationship but they’re totally best friends.”
Darin’s impact on Franklin CUSD 1 didn’t just start when he took the job. In fact, Darin’s senior year the Franklin yearbook was dedicated to him “for his devotion and commitment to our school. His unselfish, giving attitude is what keeps this school running,” as Greg Tabeek explained. Tabeek is a guidance counselor at the school and has seen hundreds of students graduate in his 26 years. “He is the only student that was not deceased to have the yearbook dedicated to him. That I know of. I’ve never heard that anywhere else before.”
Darin excelled at more than his job, becoming one of the four main men behind the infamous Franklin Follies that raises money annually to give out in scholarships to students. He was usually the main feature in the largest skits, and typically drew large applause from the crowd. Rick Smith, along with Jason Courier, was usually a part of those skits. Smith commented, “They always seemed to put us together in skits, I don’t know why. But we did. And we had a good time doing it. Just being dressed up as women was always fun. And he (Darin) made a good looking woman.”
Darin’s talents in the Follies exceeded simply dressing up in women’s clothing, according to Tabeek. “He was always prepared, and he was one of the best at improvisation. If somebody was screwing up lines or something, he was always good about coming up with something that kept us going.” Tabeek experienced Darin’s acting talents firsthand, playing numerous roles in every Follies since its existence, and playing numerous roles along with Darin such as being Beyonce’s backup dancers. In his 16 years of the Follies, Darin played some incredibly hilarious roles, dressing up as Gilligan from “Gilligan’s Island,” one of Elvis’s girls on numerous occasions, and as one of the Von Trapp children of the Follies rendition of “The Sound of Music.”
With the impact that Darin Seymour left at the school, in work and in play, he will never be forgotten. Ms. Reed, when first asked about Darin, smiled and held up a photo of him that she keeps on her desk at all times. She then said the unspoken words of all people in our school community who have ever known this amazing man: “Darin lives on forever.”
Currently, Darin is working at UPS, loading trucks throughout the busy holiday season. Even though Darin might not be present in the halls of Franklin schools every day, he will continue to be an integral part of the Franklin community.