Remembering Darryl Thames

It is with heavy hearts that we write of the passing of Darryl Thames, the Town of Manchester’s Clerk, who will be remembered as a loving husband & grandfather, committed public servant and a friend to all.

“Darryl served as the Town Clerk since January 2022 and prior to that, served on the Board of Education since 2012, including as Board Chairman. During his tenure at the BOE, he helped champion the school reconstruction projects that will ensure all of Manchester’s youth learn in state-of-the-art facilities. As Clerk, Darryl was involved in modernizing operations and led the recently launched online dog licensing program,” Town Manager Steve Stephanou wrote in an email.

“He has been a Manchester resident for over 25 years. A married father of four with two grandsons that attend Manchester Public Schools, he was a proud graduate of Howard University,” Stephanou wrote. “Darryl’s positive energy and attitude were a source of great joy for the staff in and around Town Hall, and he will be tremendously missed.”

Thames was also a member of the inaugural class of the Luminaries of Change, a living exhibit honoring the historic pioneers and community leaders who have played a role in creating positive social change in Manchester. The below Luminaries of Change excerpt memorializes Thames and honors his legacy.

Chairman Darryl E. Thames, Sr.

Chairman Darryl E. Thames, Sr., a Hartford native, has lived in Manchester for the past twenty nine years. He is the married father of four and holds a Bachelor’s degree from Howard University where he graduated alongside Vice President Kamala Harris. Currently, he has two grandsons that attend school in Manchester and two sons that have attended Manchester Public Schools. Thames has extensive experience working with public school systems as he was formerly a grants administrator for Danbury and Hartford Public Schools. He collaborated with superintendents, department heads, administrators, teachers and community based organizations to acquire grant resources to improve the quality, and increase the quantity of educational programs and services.

He also served as COO of the Urban League of Greater Hartford which provides programming in the areas of Youth Development, Adult Education, Workforce Development and Economic Enrichment. This background peaked his interest in actively serving the Manchester community. He assumed a vacated seat on the board in 2012 and ran successful campaigns in 2013, 2017 and 2019 to maintain his seat on the Board of Education. In 2017, he was elevated to the position of Board Secretary and became Chairman of the Board in 2018. As a board member he has served on School Modernization and Reinvestment Team Revisited (SMARTR 1) along with the Personnel and Finance, Policy, Residency and Communications Committees.

“As Chair I seek to work collaboratively to make an impact in the areas of improved academic outcomes, social and emotional development, decreased academic achievement gap, school climate and life after high school. The academic process should focus on educating the whole child such that he or she is prepared academically, socially and otherwise, for college, trade school, or entrepreneurship. Educating our youth is not a one- size-fits-all undertaking and the school system must continually stretch to reach the needs of all children. The system must meet children where they are, considering their values, their cultural norms, needs and their emotions, and connect in a way that is impactful. Parent and family engagement is a critical component to this work. Yes, it is a tall order, but it is the essence of the work!”

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