On Saturday, February 3rd, 53 DHS students in our Authentic Science Research program competed in the Connecticut STEM Fair held at Amity Regional High School.  Over 500 students, judges and volunteers participated in the all-day event.  Each student was required to create a poster exhibit, make a presentation, and participate in a question and answer session with two sets of judges. The judges evaluated entries (both completed projects and research proposals) in four categories: health & medical sciences, physical sciences, environmental sciences, and behavioral sciences.  A number of regional awards sponsored by the International Science and Engineering Fair were also presented. We are pleased to announce that a number of DHS students earned top prizes:

For research proposals:

Catherine O’Connor – 1st Place, Health Science – “Depletion of the IkB Kinase and Inhibition of the NF-kB Complex as Gene Therapy for Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma”

Manvi Malhotra – 1st Place, Environmental Science – “A Theoretical Model of the Emergent Effects of Increasing Temperature on Predator-Prey Interactions between Didinium and Paramecium

Olivia Yoo – 1st Place, Behavioral Science – “Perivascular Macrophages and Neurovascular Dysfunction in a DOCA-Salt Hypertension Model”

Megan Cunningham – 2nd Place, Behavioral Science – “Combinations of Environmental Enrichment in Increasing the Frequencies of Exploratory Behaviors in Captive Wolves”

Thomas Finnegan – 2nd Place, Physical Science – “Effective Pitch-Catch Active Sensing Patterns For Aircraft Structural Health Monitoring”

Ashwini Patel – 3rd Place, Health Science – “Finding the Source of Cetuximab Resistance in Non-small Cell Lung Cancer”

Hallie Kreppein – 4th Place, Behavioral Science – “Long-term natal site-fidelity by immature great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) off of Long Island”

For completed projects:

Emily Findlan & Cheyenne Li – 1st Place, Team Project – “Positive Holes as Early Indicators for Future Earthquakes”

Daniel Pfrommer – 4th Place, Physical Science – “Fast Point-based Raytracing with Sphere Bounding Volume Hierarchies”

Christopher Vernal – 4th Place, Health Science – “Creation of a Screening Tool for Assessing Baseball Pitching Biomechanics”

For ISEF Regional Awards:

Daniel Pfrommer was presented the Mu Alpha Theta Award for the most challenging, original, thorough and creative investigation of a problem involving mathematics accessible to a high school student.

Alexandra Swift was presented the Stockholm Junior Water Prize recognizing outstanding water-related research at the high school level.

We congratulate these students, as well as all of the students who participated. A special thank you to Faculty Advisers Christine Leventhal, David Lewis, and Guy Pratt.



Math Modeling club fielded a team comprised of Dan Pfrommer, Julia Pfrommer, Matt Shabet, and Griffin Ott to participate in the High School Mathematical Contest in Modeling, an international modeling competition.  They had 36 hours to evaluate a problem, do appropriate research, develop and tweak their model, and write their results (in only 26 pages – yes that is a limit).  The problem involved evaluating a particular location as a host for the Winter Olympics – primarily focused on the ability to create challenging ski runs.  Our students had to generate and lay ski paths on mountainous terrain to meet certain objectives of the question, and evaluate against Olympic criteria.  The students earned the recognition of “Meritorious” placing their work in the top 20% of all competitors.  Great job for their first participation in this competition!

Our Link Leaders organized our annual event for freshmen on the eve of midterms.  Thanks to all those students who provided encouragement and study help (and just a little sugar, too). The link leaders provide a crucial bridge for our newest students as they transition from the middle school.  We appreciate the herculean effort by School Counselor Meghan Emanuelson, who corrals our ever enthusiastic seniors who volunteer for this rewarding duty.

Along with the comfort dogs, our school counselors assembled a litany of activities for fun and relaxation during exam week. Along with a couple of snack attacks in the main lobby (you can’t dodge Dr. Greenwood when he is giving out cookies) we had many opportunities for our students to exhale in between exams, papers, and other end of semester obligations.  Our students are hard working and we encourage the habit of taking a break for contemplation, reflection, and creativity on a regular basis.  Turning off the phone is a good thing!

We had a salt cave where students and staff could meditate…

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…mindful coloring in the Library…

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…and slime making in Guidance!

The slime was a big hit! A special thank you again to all our school counselors who arranged these activities, and to school psychologist intern Kiera Russo, who designed an eye-catching flyer to post around the halls.  We are fortunate to provide our students such a supportive and caring staff.  Well done one and all!


We were pleased to welcome representatives from Healing Hounds and their humans here during midterms.  The dogs brought smiles and a break for our students in between exams.  Thank you to school psychologist intern Kiera Russo for this initiative!

Please accept warm wishes for the holiday season from myself and Assistant Principals Dr. Greenwood, Mrs. Dimoulas and Mr. Schoenbart.  During this holiday break we hope everyone can find the time for rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation. Time spent with friends, family, and those we hold dear reinvigorates the soul and provides a pause from the hustle of our everyday lives. Let us all approach 2018 with the spirit of hope and optimism!

Our energetic Community Council has been busy this holiday season, bringing cheer to others in our community and towns surrounding us.  From the proceeds of their annual silent auction they were able to purchase over $1700 in gift cards for Darien Social Services.


The Class of 2018 ran a successful drive to collect coats and sweatshirts for the Bridgeport Mission, producing piles and piles of donations.


In addition, our Excel program collected boxes and boxes of gifts for Toys for Tots, and the Global Connect club collected gently used kids clothing for a local shelter program.  We are always amazed by our students and their enthusiasm for making positive change in the world.  Thank you to our students and especially the Community Council faculty advisers Janet Keeler and Chris Buckley.


This morning we had an all-school assembly to celebrate the season and listen to our outstanding musical groups from the band, orchestra, and choral programs. The quality of our productions is without compare.  Thank you as well to our music faculty of Chris Andrade, Jon Grauer, and Jane Minnis. You make us all very proud!


Thanks as well to the holiday carolers who have visited us with their interdisciplinary caroling this week! On Thursday Senor Smith and his merry band visited with some lovely Spanish language solstice music…


….followed by Calculus students led by Math faculty Susan Wood sang “O Calculus” on Friday morning…


…to perhaps our most festive group of carolers, Best Buddies, who sang us a lively rendition of “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer.”  Thank you all, you bring so much life to our school!

You never know what’s cooking in our biology labs.  Ms. Geithner-Marron’s Biology students made model cells to explore the structure and function of organelles and compare and contrast plant and animal cells.

cell 1

Vanessa Flagg and Fionn Tierney

cell 2

 Nick Aponte and Blake Triano


cell 3

Spencer Stephens and Christian Perez

cell 4

Kirill Banar