With his closely cropped hair resembling a military buzz cut one would think Denton Darrington was a former U.S. Marine. He’s not, but he is the living personification of the Marine motto - semper fi (Always faithful) — with his fidelity to family, friends, LDS faith, his state and country, the Idaho Legislature and the teaching profession.
After a record 30 years of service in the State Senate, Denton is leaving and returning to his farm full-time since he also retired from the classroom, having been an educator for 33 years. The people of Idaho in general and supporters of education in particular owe him a solid vote of gratitude for a job well done.
Rather than run against good friend State Senator Dean Cameron (R-Rupert), chair of the powerful Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee, when redistricting combined their districts, Darrington, true to his genuine modesty, chose to retire.
A walking encyclopedia of Idaho political history and an excellent practitioner of the art of politics, one wishes the veteran state senator was not so humble about his God-given skills. Urged by many friends to run for State Superintendent of Public Instruction in 2006, Darrington took a pass on grounds he believed he was not qualified.
Instead, the state ended up with the truly unqualified Tom Luna who has alienated most teachers and been the spear point for Republican attacks on the Idaho Education Association over issues like collective bargaining, merit pay, and on-line education.
Many believe Idaho education would not be at the nadir it has fallen to if someone like Darrington, with actual classroom experience and a working knowledge of politics, had been leading the SPI office during these perilous times. (more…)