Monthly Archives: January 2015

Marina Pisklakova, a Russian women’s rights defender, visited DHS today. The visit was coordinated by History teacher, Chris Buckley and DHS alum Wendy Ward as part of the Citizenship Initiative. Ms. Pisklakova visited classes, spoke during an assembly and had lunch with interested faculty members. Ms. Pisklakova founded the first shelter and hot line for domestic violence in the early 1990’s; today her network stretches across Russia and many of the former Soviet republics. Her years of work in unmasking the prevalence of domestic abuse in Russia has led to dramatic shifts in both legal and cultural standards. Her presentation to the students reinforced the belief that individual actions matter, ideas reinforced by her own personal courage and bravery.

Pisklakova 008Russian women’s rights defender Marina Pisklakova


Chemistry 300 faculty have had their students compete against each other in The Marshmallow Challenge, a design challenge introduced by Peter Skillman that encourages teams to experience simple but profound lessons in collaboration, innovation and creativity. Using spaghetti, tape, and string, teams of four try to build the tallest free-standing structure that supports a marshmallow.

Says TED contributor Tom Wujec: “I believe the marshmallow challenge is among the fastest and most powerful technique for improving a team’s capacity to generate fresh ideas, build rapport and incorporate prototyping – all of which lie at the heart of effective innovation.”

Marshmallow Challenge

In December the Darien Community Fund sponsored a contest to design the 2015 DHS Volunteer Fair tee-shirt.  Several DHS students entered colorful designs.  Valerie Le’s logo design was chosen and 600 tee-shirts have been made for the Volunteer Fair which takes place on Friday, January 23 in the North gym. Thank you to the Community Fund for their enthusiastic and creative support of our students.

Volunteer Fair T shirt designers 004 L- R Max Kenyon, Teddy Ruppenstein, Cade Pankowski, Chloe Zhou and Valerie Le.

An astounding thirty-seven DHS students have been selected by a highly competitive audition process to perform at the Connecticut Music Educators Western Region Music Festival on January 16 and 17.  We are all very proud of our talented students and commend the music faculty Jane Minnis (Orchestra), Christopher Andrade (Chorus), and Jonathan Grauer (Band) for their hard work and accomplishments. Bravo!

western regionalsBand:  Eve Phelps, Theresa Du, Lane Blummer, Clare Phelps, Rebecca DeMaio, Zac Pear, Anna Moorhead, Drake Corrigan, Ben Hayes, Sonia Gandhi

Orchestra: Alison Lui, Monet Takeda, Wen Yan Toh, Taylor Lindsey, Amanda Lee, Sara Baldwin

Chorus: Avery Brook, Cristina Noujaim, Daniel Traver, Melanie Turner, Carson Stewart, Sofie Sheldon, Caroline Lui, Caroline Lacy, Sofia Imbimbo, Matthew Hayes, Florian Eenkeme van Dijk,  Elizabeth Domittner

Jazz Ensemble: Julia Evans, Mitch Losito, Amanda Sload, Dominick Wood, Drake Corrigan, Andrew Trautmann, Grant Morro

Three DHS Clubs – Support Our Soldiers, Tri-M, and Students to Seniors – joined voices with residents of Atria for their “Extreme Carol Sing” on Friday, December 19. Based on the happy faces in the photo below I would say it was a hit! Thank you to our student groups and their faculty advisers for showing concern for others in our community.