Our Fitch Academy students spent this past Friday morning at Sticks and Stones Farm in Newtown, exploring the grounds, hiking Moss Mountain, and communing with the llamas on the farm property.  Each student was paired with a llama –  animals known for their gentle and social behavior – and they loved it. 

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Our Fitch Academy Fridays are a little different than the other days of the week.  Students have tutorial with individual teachers until 10am. Afterwards, the rest of the day is filled by either a guest speaker, wellness and enrichment activities, or field trips. Students have visited Chelsea Piers for a team building exercise, Google Headquarters and the High Line in New York City, and the Darien Police Station. Our students are doing well, and we look forward to learning more about them during this pilot year of our alternative program.

 

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Look at the crowd assembled for the Community Council monthly lunchtime meeting in the Chill Zone on Friday!

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Once a month the Community Council has a full meeting during the lunch waves so that students can pop in and listen.  All Community Council meetings are open to anyone in the building, but the usual 7:10 gavel is an ante meridiem roadblock for many of our students.

The proposal percolated last school year and began in September. Community Council members are excused from class (the schedule was established with a class rotation to minimize disruption), and so far, so good.  Faculty Advisers Chris Buckley (History) and Janet Keeler (Science) are happy with the turnout and the energy of our students, who have already tackled Hurricane Relief, Homecoming, and a redesign of the Chill Zone.  All are welcome to attend – the next meeting is scheduled for November 8.

 

The cast of Theatre 308’s fall drama, Anne Washburn’s Mr. Burns, a post-electric play had the opportunity to deepen their exploration of the play through a video conference with two Simpsons writers and producers who are also Darien High School alumni.

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Brian Kelley, DHS Class of 1990, and Tom Gammill, DHS Class of 1975, responded to the student questions about the process of writing Simpsons episodes, The Simpsons enduring popularity over the show’s 29-year run, and the references to The Simpsons embedded in Anne Washburn’s play.  Kelley also gave the cast a virtual tour of the FOX studio, including the writers’ room where episode ideas are generated and developed, and shared the production copy of the script for this season’s premiere episode, which he penned.

Organized by drama director Andrew Rejan and a parent volunteer, the video conference was conducted using new technology introduced at DHS this year, Facetime-equipped iPads that sync seamlessly with classroom projectors through Apple TV.  Mr. Burns, a post-electric play, which will be performed at DHS on November 16, 17, and 18, is set in a world without electricity, where the survivors of an apocalyptic event entertain themselves by trying to remember a Simpsons episode. Seven years later, the memories of this episode evolve into a live theater troupe’s performance, and, seventy-five years after that, are transformed into a musical production that blends The Simpsons, fragments of popular music, and the history of the “post-electric” world.  Tickets will go on sale in early November.

 

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Welcome to our new friends from the Shanghai No. 3 Girls School, we look forward to sharing our school days with you and learning together about our different cultures.

Nine Darien High School seniors have been named National Merit Semifinalists. Approximately 16,000 students nationwide have been recognized as National Merit Semi-Finalists. These students will continue in the National Merit program and will be candidates to receive a scholarship from the program. We are so proud of these exceptional young men and women. They are not only outstanding students but leaders within our high school community who make significant contributions to every aspect of life at DHS. We congratulate them on this achievement and all of the hard work it represents.

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L-R: Zhihao Wang, Christopher Vernal,  Justin Van de Graaf, Forrest Lazzara, Paul Hager, Caroline Lui, Julia Tong, Daniel Pfrommer, Samuel Scott.

We gathered to reflect on the events of September 11 on Monday morning. This is always a difficult day for our community, and we have all in our hearts as we pause to remember.

DHS parent Brian Stobbie spoke extemporaneously about his harrowing escape from the 84th floor of the North Tower of the World Trade Center.  Most of our students now were not even born on that awful day.  Mr. Stobbie framed that time – no cell phones, no social media – and then led us on his journey down (and up) the stairwells of the North Tower (the first tower hit).  Mr. Stobbie was honest and left us with a deep gratitude for the smallest kindnesses we can bestow on each other; in his case, he climbed back up to the cafeteria for water bottles to bring down to fire fighters who were struggling in their fateful climb up.  It was difficult to listen to, but important.  We thank Mr. Stobbie for sharing his experience with our students.

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Brian Stobbie speaks at September 11 Remembrance

Art Faculty Member Dorine Bosler introduced and described the installation of a new September 11 sculpture by Class of 2017 artist Michelle Han in the Guidance lobby.  If you haven’t yet seen it, please stop by to view it.  Mrs. Bosler’s description, which include discussion by the artist, is now hung by the sculpture.

We thank as well our S.O.S. club and its Faculty Adviser Pam Zago (Science) who organized the day.  S.O.S. speakers were Rory Washecka and Elizabeth Petner, and Echo Taps were performed by trumpeters Brooke Laird and Emily Knapp.  The DHS Tudor Singers, led by Christopher Andrade, performed a transcendent National Anthem.

Our Community Council and its Faculty Advisers Chris Buckley and Janet Keeler are  already thinking about how we will respond as a school to the historic flooding in Houston.  For the very short term and thanks to DHSPA Student Wear, we were able to send a box of athletic shirts to Coach Kelvin Sampson at the University of Houston.  We are proud to have been a part of this early response, and pledge long-term support for schools in Houston.  The DHS Community Council is on it!

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Shirts ready for shipping