by Lynn Jones
Education has always been a passion of Dr. Barbara Ann Darby. The lifelong community servant moved to Jacksonville in 1972 and immediately began giving back to her new hometown. Throughout her years here her resume has included leadership roles as president both professionally and civically in addition to valued community servant.
She can now add author to her resume of excellence.
Anyone who knows her personally knows that she has never backed down from a challenge, and while her latest project was a test at times, she exceeded her own expectations as she recently penned her own memoirs.
Titled, “My Leadership Journey: Wisdom from the Trenches,” the new book is ready for purchase at various online outlets.
For more than 20 years, Dr. Darby served as president of Florida State College at Jacksonville North Campus and the Nassau County Campus.
A member of Woodlawn Presbyterian Church since relocating to Jacksonville from New York, she has been a devoted and active leader.
Since retiring, the seasoned educator has embarked on a mission of philanthropy, community service, church work and writing.
When asked why she decided to publish her story, Darby simply quoted her colleague, civil rights activist Rodney Hurst who articulated truism
in storytelling saying, “If we don’t tell it, no one else will.”
For ten months she focused on writing her memoirs, which stemmed from her desire to share her experiences and wisdom gained along her leadership journey. “I wanted to inspire young, new and aspiring leaders, while documenting some of the accomplishments during my tenure,” said Darby.
In ten-chapter book, the author expounds on all phases of her life as she shares tidbits of knowledge throughout the book.
Darby says that her successes and challenges were always shared with her family, who were always supportive. “I was loved and shown how to love myself and believe in myself and my potential,” she said. “ Great sacrifices were made by my mother and grandmother to provide me with a great early education that provided a solid foundation for what was to come,” she added.
Growing up somewhat shy, Darby explains that despite the leadership roles and accomplishments over her career, she often had to step out of her comfort zone in order to do her job effectively. When asked about her advice to budding writers wanting to pen a book, Darby smiled, “stop thinking about writing and start writing!”