Monthly Archives: December 2016

Our generous community of students, supported by their parents and our faculty and staff have brought their usual enthusiasm and good humor to a variety of service projects to benefit others this holiday season.  These projects highlight their good hearts of and a commitment to understanding the larger world around them.  Thank you especially to our ever cheery Community Council Executive Council, class representatives, and their faculty mentors. With so many moving parts we have to rely on the maturity and initiative of our students and we are never disappointed. Here we go!


Izzy Howe, Casey Brown, Laurie Travaglini and Justin Plank load Halloween candy collected by the Community Council in the pouring rain – they got pretty wet but the Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County was most appreciative. The next week their truck was back for the Band’s annual turkey drive which provided almost 100 turkeys and assorted sides for their coffers. Thank you to Band parent Jen Laird who made it all work that morning, moving all those turkeys was a labor of great kindness for all involved.


Our Excel Program also has an annual drive for the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots.  As usual they have amassed a remarkable number of toys and games. Congratulations to these students and numerous faculty members who champion this cause year after year.  You have brightened the Christmas holiday for local children.  Many many thanks.

The Community Council has been busy! Let’s see if we can get it all in one post.

In coordination with the Advisory Program they organized a household cleaning supply and toiletries collection for the Darien Social Services lending closet.  That was successful and the closet is a lot fuller when it is most needed at this time of year.


Their annual Silent Auction, held earlier this week before the fabulous Holiday Spectrum concert, will provide $1,700 in gift cards for Social Services as well.  This beautiful basket, containing items donated from a local business, was lovingly wrapped and staged by amazing parent volunteers Anne-Lise Brown, Patti Bumgardner, and Ellen Volz. To be sure none of this would have been possible without the overwhelming generosity of local businesses. These silent boosters not only show up again and again for sports teams, but also for the neediest in our community.

We are also busy keeping others warm.  The Class of 2018 collected a pile of coats and jackets for the Bridgeport Rescue Mission.  I am proud that this simple idea will benefit neighbors just up the road who are in great need.

The Support Our Soldiers club teamed up with Community Council and the Advisory Program to make hand-tied fleece blankets for military service dogs.  This will take place in every Advisory on December 20, but there was much work to do beforehand (a  note of gratitude to Jo-Ann Fabrics in Bloomfield who gave the Community Council every discount and special available on the mountain of fleece which took two carloads to get to DHS!):

The fleece bolts were cut to size and then assembled by shifts of students after school over a couple of days.  The resulting pile of fleeces ready to be dispatched to each Advisory was impressive.  Each group will assemble and tie two blankets – that’s going to make a lot of dogs smile!


Well done one and all.  From all of the administrative team I wish our students and their families a peaceful holiday. Enjoy a restful break and we will see you all in the New Year!


Thanks to Faculty Members Lorraine Westervelt (Computer Science) and Sandra Mackowski (Library) who organized and ran an all-day “Hour of Code” event in the Library Learning Commons on Thursday, December 8.


Students were able to complete computer based exercises meant to introduce and explore the concepts of coding like algorithms, sequences, loops and conditionals. There were also “off the grid” events like pilots for innovation spaces and 3-D printing.



DHS Programming Club members were available throughout the day to assist with all the fun!


Congratulations to our DHS Model Congress group who won Best Small Delegation for the second year in a row at Yale University December 1-4.

In addition, Best Speakers Awards went to Mila Escajadillo, Brendan Berrigan and Aria Mucchal, and an Honorable Mention to President Mimi Markham. Contributing delegates to the team effort were Will McNear, Izzy Coughlin and Cristina Escajadillo. We are very proud of this fine group who worked so very hard to earn this remarkable recognition.

Keep legislating!